Posts Categorized: Real E-sessions

Charming Charleston Engagement Session

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.”

Charleston South Carolina Engagement SessionCharleston-SC-Engagement-PhotographyCharleston weddingCharleston Wedding PhotographerCharleston-Engagement-Photography-Rainbow-RowCharleston wedding photographyCharleston SC Park Engagement SessionPhotos by Rachel Red Photography

Fun Engagement Session at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park

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!

Robin and John are getting married on April 25, 2015 at the Chapel Hill Carriage House in Chapel Hill, NC.Durham, NC engagement sessionRed Boat Photography engagement session in Durham Bull's BallparkBaseball themed engagement sessionSports themed engagement session in North CarolinaPhoto shoot in the Durham Bulls Athletic ParkBaseball park engagement sessionCouple's engagement session in baseball parkFun engagement photo session in the Durham Bulls StadiumEngagement photos by NC photographerBallpark stadium engagement sessionEngagement Photos by Red Boat PhotographyBallpark themed engagement session in NCBallpark engagement session in Durham, NCBaseball park photo sessionPhoto shoot in Durham BallparkEngagement session at American Tobacco CampusWedding photography by Red Boat PhotographyPhotos: Red Boat Photography

Celebrating Marriage Equality in NC

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!

Silver mens engagement ringsEngagement session at Duke Gardens in Durham NCSame-sex North Carolina engagement by Southern Love StudiosSame-sex wedding photography by Southern Love StudiosEngagement shoot at American Tobacco Campus in Durham NCCAKE 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

Eco-friendly Vintage Vineyard Picnic Engagement at JOLO Winery & Vineyards

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.

Pilot Mountain NC Winery Engagement

The photography
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.

Halftone Studios NC Wedding Photography

The vineyard
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.

Pilot Mountain Winery ProposalWine Toast NC Wedding

The styled shoot scenes
The styled “scenes” of the shoot unfolded like an old silent movie, beginning with a walk across the property.

Triad Winery Engagment SessionRaleigh Wedding Engagement Photography

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.

Engagement Picnic at JOLO Winery and VineyardsVintage PicnicEngagement PicnicProposal PhotographyVineyard in NC Proposal

The flowers
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!

Weddings by the Vine NC Wedding Planner

The dress
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.

JOLO Winery Tasting Room

The cupcakes
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.

Cupcakes with Vintage Styling

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.

JOLO Winery Weddingsbw-couple-couch-wine-cellar

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