Posts Categorized: Real E-sessions
The heart of the city is the perfect lively and colorful backdrop for an engagement session, which is what we love about today’s featured couple, Donald and Damion’s “superhero-themed” same-sex engagement session in downtown Raleigh captured by Ariel Perry Photography!
The two grew up in different cities in the South. Donald was born in Seaford, DE and eventually lived in both Greenville, SC and later Wilmington, NC while Damion was born in Roanoke Rapids, NC and grew up in the small town of Enfield. After graduating from high school, Donald attended NC State University, where later, Damion began graduate school. Ironically, the two didn’t end up crossing paths here, instead meeting later through mutual acquaintances.
The engagement was a complete surprise planned out by Donald during a family trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
As the growing epicenter of the state capital, the couple was driven to have their engagement shot represent the converging of their paths just as so many others who visit the city converge in the downtown area. “Moreover, there is an interesting parallel between the flourishing of downtown Raleigh, especially the Fayetteville street area, and our own flourishing love that, not too long ago, would not have received the same attention or respect that any other relationship would receive. Raleigh is our home and we are proud to be able to say that our roots, as a couple, were formed here,” Damion shares.
The wedding theme was largely shaped by their use of the DC comics characters, Superman and Batman. It has been long noted that Superman and Batman have been given the title as the World’s Greatest or World’s Finest Super Hero team. During couple’s game day event they decided to frame their team using that stance (or rather Donald went along with Damion and ended up liking it). The team represents the collaboration of two distinct heroes who are not only opposites, but complements to one another. One has what the other does not which equates to a more powerful team than could be imagined and Donald and Damion function in much the same way.
LOCATION Downtown Raleigh, NC | PHOTOGRAPHER Ariel Perry Photography | PLANNER Timeless Creations by Jay
Southern Bride & Groom is continuing its Charleston, SC-themed week with a charming engagement session along the cobblestone streets of this historic and colorful city, captured by Rachel Red Photography! Rachel is a Charleston and Raleigh-based wedding photographer. A true talent, she was our Winter/Spring Cover Photographer for SB&G this year, with one of our favorite photos from our Kentucky Derby Wedding Styled Shoot! More on Rachel Red Photography HERE.
With a little match-matching help from a mutual friend, Lindsay and Mike discovered they were a perfect fit. They had both spent time with this friend on separate mission trips to Haiti through their church in Charlotte, Forest Hill. Their friend wisely encouraged Mike to ask Lindsay out for a cup of coffee, at which point they spent hours talking, extended the time into church, and ended with a sushi dinner – all in the first day! Lindsay fell in love with Mike’s gentle spirit, shared faith, his blue eyes and amazing smile. They were pleasantly surprised by how much they had in common; it truly was a perfect match!
Mike, a romantic at heart, knew it would be a challenge to surprise Lindsay with an engagement. The couple had a trip planned to St. Petersburg in the spring and Mike had the ring three weeks beforehand. Lindsay had a feeling a proposal would be part of the trip and even started to plan her picture-perfect outfits! However, the ring was burning a hole in Mike’s pocket and he just couldn’t wait. After nine months of dating, Mike asked Lindsay to take a lunch time walk in Freedom Park (her favorite place in Charlotte). Lindsay didn’t expect what happened next – Mike stopped and asked a stranger to take their picture and when she turned around, he was down on his knee with a gorgeous ring in his hand. It turned out to be the perfect surprise proposal!
Before the couple got engaged they knew they wanted an intimate beachside ceremony, and within hours of their engagement, they had almost the entire wedding planned! Isle of Palm, Charleston was an easy choice. Mike is a beach bum at heart and Lindsay loves the casual elegance of Charleston. They have rented a beach house on Ocean Blvd. on Isle of Palm that will host the ceremony and 16 family members. Friends and family will rent nearby houses so the whole week will be a reunion of sorts with a southern backyard party feel. The Smoking Pot is catering a Lowcountry boil with oysters and key lime pie. They will have lawn games and a guitar duo, patio lights and dancing under the stars. Living in Charlotte allows them to frequently visit and plan their Charleston wedding, set for this October. They will have a follow up reception in Charlotte a week after the wedding.
The historic charm and beauty of Charleston is what attracts many brides to the area. During their charming Charleston engagement session with Rachel Red Photography, Lindsay and Mike took a stroll down the cobblestone streets of downtown, posing in front of many beautiful backdrops and landmarks, such as Rainbow Row and nearby parks.
Lindsay expresses her happiness working with their photographer, Rachel, of Rachel Red Photography. “I was so impressed with her work on prior weddings; I knew she was clearly talented, but it wasn’t until I started communicating with her that I understood what a jewel she really is. She is so helpful, flexible and comfortable through the planning process! She made Mike and I feel relaxed and beautiful during our engagement shots in Charleston. She is such a professional from start to finish. Her sweet, thoughtful touches are found in every detail! I feel confident that she will not only make our wedding look beautiful in the images, but capture our love and story as well.”
Photos by Rachel Red Photography
Southern Bride & Groom is excited to kick off baseball season and Opening Day at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park with Robin and John’s fun sports-themed engagement session! This year marks the 20th anniversary of the well-known Minor League ballpark in Durham, NC, which, along with the American Tobacco Campus, served as the backdrop for this adorable baseball inspired photo shoot captured by Red Boat Photography.
Robin and John met on Match.com and met in person for the first time at Poole’s diner in Raleigh, NC – which is also where John proposed to Robin. John planned a date to Poole’s, and ahead of time, he arranged for the restaurant staff to write on the chalkboard menu, “Robin will you marry me?” The couple was seated right in front of the menu that night. After a few minutes deliberating what she wanted to order, Robin realized what was really on the menu that night and John got down on one knee.
The couple chose the Durham Bulls stadium and the American Tobacco Campus for their engagement session photographs because sports was something they quickly bonded over. Their second date after meeting at Poole’s Diner was at Tobacco Road, which overlooks the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Both families are avid baseball watchers, so they knew the ballpark was a perfect fit for their backgrounds and their relationship. Plus, it made for a fun location with many unique photo opportunities!
Today, we’re sharing an upcoming wedding that celebrates a historic moment for many couples across the state. North Carolinians were privileged to have experienced the making of history last October, with the new legislation making same-sex marriage legal in our state. It’s an important milestone and SB&G celebrated marriage equality in NC by featuring couples who were engaged or married around the time of the legislation in our 2015 magazine.
Chad Biggs and Chris Creech were the first to make history in North Carolina. You saw them all over the news when the legislation passed – they were the first gay couple to legally wed in the state! But their story did not begin or end that day.
Chad and Chris live in Raleigh and are both Wake County Deputies, as well as own Chad Biggs Event Planning & Design. Chad is also the exclusive planner at Babylon in Raleigh.
Friends introduced the two in 2006. On their very first date, laughing with one another and relishing in Chad’s daughter playing with Chris’s two new foster sons, they knew were meant to be a family. The men became a couple sharing home and child-rearing duties. They soon welcomed their foster children’s three additional siblings into the bunch, making a six-child household! Eventually, the foster children were returned to their parents, but Chad and Chris’ lives have been forever impacted, and they have stayed in touch with the children they helped raise. They still have a full house today with their daughter, Sabre, and two dogs.
When October 10, 2014, arrived, Chad and Chris stood together among dozens of couples and supporters outside of the Wake County Register of Deeds office where upon learning legalization had passed, Chad surprised Chris and asked him to marry him at the courthouse that day. Shortly after, they rushed inside and purchased their marriage license – the first in the state – and were married by Chief Magistrate Judge Dexter Williams, a long time friend.
Following the legislation, Rochelle Johnson, co-owner of The Cookery, an event venue and culinary incubator in downtown Durham, reached out to Chad and Chris and offered to donate their venue for a formal reception event.
“The Cookery is in the business of hosting ALL weddings,” said Rochelle Johnson, owner of The Cookery. “We are so happy to have Chad and Chris here to celebrate such a special and historic day.”
This September, Chad and Chris will have the wedding they have been waiting for – with a ceremony in Duke Gardens followed by a wedding reception at The Cookery’s Front Room. In addition, The Cookery has secured donated services from a variety of wedding vendors. All vendors listed below have offered generous discounts to help this couple have a very special day. Some went above and beyond to fully donate their services, including Donovan’s Dish, American Party Rentals, Union Press and Paper, Focus Media, Spin, Harpist Laura Byrne, Calligraphy by Carrie, Simply Cakes, and Babylon.
“We are overwhelmed by the generosity that The Cookery and other vendors have shown us. This is not only a huge day for us, but also a huge day for the state of North Carolina,” said Biggs.
Enjoy these beautiful engagement photos that were taken at American Tobacco Campus and Duke Gardens, photographed by SB&G Preferred Photographer, Southern Love Studios. We can’t wait to see the images he captures on their upcoming wedding day. Congratulations, Chad & Chris, and happy planning!
CAKE Simply Cakes | CATERER Donavan’s Dish | STATIONERY Union Press & Paper | CEREMONY VENUE Sarah P. Duke Gardens | PHOTOGRAPHY Southern Love Studios | RECEPTION VENUE The Cookery | REHERSAL DINNER VENUE & FOOD Babylon | FLOWERS Expressions of Love Florist | VIDEOGRAPHER Focus Media / Zach Stamey | TENT and LINENS American Party Rentals | TRANSPORTATION Classy Transportation | DJ Spin | MUSIC Laura Byrne Professional Harpist | CALLIGRAPHY Calligraphy by Carrie | HAIR Manuel Eason at 6 Salon | MAKE UP Maria Arellano
Welcome to my eco-friendly vintage vineyard picnic engagement shoot featuring newly-engaged couple Marissa DiMarco and Stephen Wingate. The inspiration for this engagement shoot began with the JOLO Winery & Vineyards in Pilot Mountain, NC and a lovely newly engaged couple.
My initial vision was rooted in the eco-friendly, vintage romantic, earthy feel of the vines. JOLO is a new winery in North Carolina, located just north of Winston-Salem.
Jenn Aan, the photographer, was instrumental in suggesting different areas around the vineyard based on the best lighting and setting for each of the scenes in the shoot. She also provided meaningful direction in the tasting room, which actually re-directed our celebration scene to the front of the wine cellar. Aan has great technique, and in line with our eco-friendly theme, is also in the process of finalizing a product line which features around 80 percent post-consumer product of which everything is renewable.
JOLO Winery & Vineyards is perfect for any event – engagement, wedding ceremony, reception, bridal showers and farewell brunches – you name it! This venue includes a beautiful quaint restaurant, a lovely tasting room with a long tasting bar, fireplace and temperature controlled wine storage, a separate barrel room behind the tasting room to accommodate rehearsal dinners, a charming honeymoon chateau, beautiful views of Pilot Mountain, a gazebo, fire pit and other amenities. Couples who enjoy delicious wines, exquisite food, and rolling hills covered in rows of lush grape vines will be pleasantly surprised at this new North Carolina hidden gem.
One of the main reasons we choose this vineyard for the shoot was based on the owners’ commitment to being as “green” as posible in several areas of the business. Their eco-friendly initiatives include using burnt vine clippings combined with compost for fertilizers, using baking soda and hot sauce in place of most insecticides, and using reclaimed creek and rain water for the vines, which tied in nicely with our styled shoot theme.
The styled shoot scenes
The styled “scenes” of the shoot unfolded like an old silent movie, beginning with a walk across the property.
The couple then proceeded to the gazebo where it was staged to look like Stephen had previously arranged the picnic setting for the engagement. In designing this area, we thought we would supplement the vineyard’s “green” choices with a few of our own and return to the simpler days of an old fashioned picnic. Antique wine boxes and vintage dishes added a dreamy touch to the gazebo picnic overlooking Pilot Mountain. The picnic basket included a long crusty baguette, an assortment of aged cheeses, olive oil, nuts, grapes, honey, jam and of course, JOLO wine provided by JOLO’s restaurant, End Posts. We used soft green, navy blue and grey color in the design to flow with the natural surrounding beauty of the grounds.
At the end of the day, the engagement was celebrated with a glass of champagne and old fashioned cupcakes in the tasting room of the lodge followed by a walk back to the fishing lodge for some quiet time.
Anna from Simply Elegant Floral Designs kept things simple yet playful, just like the fun couple. She chose organic flowers from the local farmer’s market which were styled in vintage milk jugs, old water bottles and vases to look like Stephen had made them for Marissa himself, loose and carefree!
Raleigh Vintage provided Marissa with a vintage green toile summer dress. This early 1960s slightly sheer white-crinkle dress with a minty green toile print was perfect for a summer picnic engagement! We swapped the matching belt for a thin navy belt and paired it with little navy blue flats to coordinate with the groom’s outfit.
Jenn with Jenny’s Cupcakery provided the cupcakes which were organic gluten free/vegan vanilla cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting. She also made the frosting look “old fashioned,” as if Stephen would have made them himself.
About the couple ~ Marissa and Stephen
Were you wondering if Marissa and Stephen are really engaged? They are indeed, and Stephen’s real proposal was one of the most romantic that has been shared with us.
One Saturday morning, Marissa awoke to find roses on her bedside table with a love note from Stephen telling her he was treating her to a day of relaxation because she worked so hard with her teaching and coaching job. Soon afterwards, her best friend, Courtney, came to the door and whisked the two of them away to lunch and a full spa day taken care of by Stephen. Afterwards, Courtney brought Marissa to Stephen’s apartment where she expected to find him, but instead found a beautiful new dress laid out on his bed for her with another note telling her to wear it to meet him. Courtney then took her to Duke Gardens where, at last, she saw Stephen. They walked through the gardens and he soon got down on his knee to propose! This proposal was professionally photographed, and to top off the day’s surprises, cheers erupted as Marissa turned to see three of her best friends. Stephen had flown in two of Marissa’s best friends from college to share the news. They all headed out to dinner and were joined by several more of their best pals to celebrate one of their most important days together.
Marissa and Stephen’s wedding is in the works for this coming July at the Penn Oaks Golf Club, owned by her father and uncle, in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Kimberly Williams is the heart and soul of Weddings by the Vine. She is an expert on vineyard wedding venues across North Carolina — marrying her passion for wedding planning with her passion for wine. For the past 15 years, Williams traveled the world, studying wine and exploring vineyards on both sides of the Atlantic, with a particular focus on the vineyards of North Carolina; she has been coordinating weddings across the state since 2004.
PLANNER Kimberly Williams, Weddings by the Vine | PHOTOGRAPHER Jenn Aan, Halftone Studios | Marissa DiMarco & Stephen Wingate | VENUE, WINE, FOOD JOLO Vineyard & Winery, Pilot Mountain, NC FLORALS & STYLING Simply Elegant Floral Designs | DRESS Raleigh Vintage | CUPCAKES Jenny’s Cupcakery | PLATES & NAPKINS Party Reflections | HAIR & MAKEUP Elaine Harrison Makeup Artistry
It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today, we’re excited to share Darcy and Kyle’s Southern Engagement Session in Chapel Hill, NC, shot by Southern Love Studios.
Darcy and Kyle met at Orientation Day for UNC’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program in 2008 and instantly became close friends – she loved his positive energy (even during stressful exams) and he was drawn to her passion for serving others. While on a trip with another classmate, Darcy and Kyle shared amazing adventures in northern California – hiking at Yosemite, camping on the beach, and exploring wine country. They both say that by the time they’d returned to North Carolina, it was clear that their friendship had changed.
Kyle proposed to Darcy while on a trip to the NC mountains – he popped the question after they’d watched the sunrise on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and after she said yes, they celebrated at the Grove Park Inn. The couple married at Het Landhuis last Saturday, but today we’d like to share their beautiful engagement photos shot on UNC’s campus and around Chapel Hill, courtesy of Southern Love Studios.
It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today we’re excited to share Camry and Eric’s Southern engagement session at the NC beach, shot by Red Boat Photography.
Camry and Eric met in high school and worked at the local pool together in the summers, but they didn’t officially begin dating until college, when they both attended NC State University. The bride said that they spent a lot of time running and cheering on the Wolfpack!
Eric planned a romantic weekend in Asheville under the disguise of their annual ski trip with family and friends. However, instead of skiing, the couple spent the day exploring Biltmore Estate, and Eric proposed during a private carriage ride that evening, with a breathtaking view of the estate house as the backdrop. Eric and Camry are tying the knot at a plantation in New Bern, NC, on August 30 of this year, and they can’t wait to celebrate!
Here are some of our favorite shots from the couple’s romantic engagement session on the beach, courtesy of Red Boat Photography!
It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today we’re sharing Reeves and Michael’s romantic engagement session at Duke Gardens in Durham, shot by Anna Kirby Photography.
This couple’s story is so sweet and unique, and we love it even more because of its ties to Anna Kirby of Anna Kirby Photography, one of the extremely talented photographers in SB&G!
While Reeves was in her first year of medical school at Duke, her classmate introduced her to his wife, who happened to be Anna Kirby. The two became fast friends, and Anna introduced Reeves to her brother, Michael, a few times. It wasn’t until a year later, when they ran into each other at a bar and ended up talking until closing time, that Reeves and Michael began officially dating, though! Reeves asked Michael to call her a cab home, and he agreed in exchange for a date three nights later – she said yes, and the two have been inseparable ever since. Reeves said Anna and her husband take credit for making sure she and Michael were repeatedly in the same place at the same time!
A year after they began dating, Michael took Reeves to Tampa, his hometown. After a long day of fishing, the couple went on a walk down Bayshore Boulevard, a beautiful spot in Tampa where you can see all of downtown and Old Tampa Bay, looking out over the water. While they were talking about their future together, Michael got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. Of course, she said yes, and the two, who now live in Durham, are now planning their March 2015 wedding in New Orleans (which will include a traditional second line!), where the bride-to-be grew up. Reeves added that she used to want Anna to shoot her wedding, but then she fell in love with her brother! So now she wants Anna to stand in the wedding, not shoot it from behind a lens.
Congrats, Reeves and Michael — we can’t wait to see photos from your wedding next year!
Everyone in Durham knows that on a fine spring day, nothing beats spending the evening sitting on the patio at Fullsteam Brewery with a fresh pint of your favorite brew! On one such one afternoon, both Megan and William were doing just that, and happened to sit at picnic tables near on another. Eventually, they struck up a conversation, and their first date was two days later – a jazz concert at Casbah in downtown Durham NC. They’ve spent almost every day together since!
Megan and Will participate in the weekly RUN DRM group, which meets at Fullsteam Brewery. One week, as the group was gathered pre-run, listening to some housekeeping announcements, the leader of the group asked if anyone had anything to share. Will jumped up on the table, got on a megaphone and declared to the crowd that he had met his best friend and life partner. He called Megan up, then got down on one knee and asked her to be his wife, at the very same place where they’d met almost two years earlier!
Megan and Will have chosen to get married in the bride’s hometown of Lexington, North Carolina, in the church I attended as a child. The wedding will incorporate a vintage theme featuring old hardback books, as a nod to the couple’s passion for reading and education – Megan and Will are both English teachers, living in Durham, North Carolina.
We are a big fan of the photographer they’ve got onboard – Anna Kirby Photography – who’s sophisticated Southern style and natural lighting technique is simply enchanting! We’re happy to share some highlights from their engagement session, in various locations in Durham NC including American Tobacco Campus and Duke Gardens.
The e-session has become one of the most popular wedding over the last several years, and we simply love it! A photo shoot with your beau prior to your wedding day lets you get to know your photographer, get comfortable in front on the camera, and of course, gather some wonderful images to use throughout your wedding planning process — like on Save the Dates, invites, or even holiday cards. Today, we’re excited to share this Real NC Engagement Session from Morgan and her husband-to-be, Cody!
Morgan and Cody met several years ago — she was trying on bridesmaids dresses for her cousin’s wedding, and the maid of honor (Cody’s sister!) asked her if she was single and tried to set her up with her brother! Cody popped the question in May of this year while the two were out fishing. Of course, she said yes!
The couple plans to wed in June of 2014 at the bride’s childhood church with a color palette of plum and yellow. Morgan graduates from Appalachian State University next month, and Cody is currently working as a fireman. These photos from their engagement session were taken by Emma Kathryn Tally, one of the bride’s closest friends.
Congrats, Morgan and Cody — we’re sure your wedding will be absolutely gorgeous!