Posts Categorized: Real Weddings

Navy and Slate Blue Simplistically Elegant Wedding at The Merrimon-Wynne House

John and Krystal

Finding a venue that is so perfectly a couple’s style that not much has to be done to make it feel like “theirs” is hard to come by. When John and Krystal stepped foot into The Merrimon-Wynne House they felt immediately that it was the perfect place to have their special day. It’s classic, simple and elegant, which encapsulated exactly what the couple wished for in a venue. Gather Together pulled together the couple’s vision to have a picture perfect simple and elegant navy wedding.

Bridal Party in navy and grey with white floral bouquets on porch at The Merrimon Wynne by Gather Together, Melissa Delorme Classic white and blue paper invitations for The Merrimon Wynne House wedding by Gather Events, Melissa Delorme

Diamonds Direct Engagement Ring

Getting Ready

Lea Ann Strapless Gown at The Merrimon-Wynne House Melissa Delorme
Mother of Bride helping bride in Lea Ann Strapless down at The Merrimon Wynne House, Melissa Delorme
Bride in Lea Ann Strapless Gown holding large white and leaf bridal bouquet at The Merrimon Wynne by Gather Together, Melissa Delorme
Navy Bridesmaid dresses by Wedding Way with Sequin Hangers Melissa Delorme
Bridesmaids in wedding way dresses peeking at bride in dress at The Merrimon Wynne House, Melissa Delorme
Groom and Groomsmen in classic dark grey suits by VIP Formal Ware and bowties at The Merrimon Wynne by Gather Together, Melissa Delorme
Bridesmaids in Navy and Bride on porch at The Merrimon Wynne by Gather Together, Melissa Delorme


Krystal and John had no regrets in their choice of The Merrimon-Wynne House as their venue. Not only was it beautiful, but their staff went above and beyond. “The stunning views of the venue speaks for itself. The staff, however, proved their greatness that day. They went out of their way to make sure John and I, as well as my family and wedding party, were comfortable and had everything we needed.”

Ginger Jars incorporated into outdoor ceremony at Merrimon Wynne, Melissa Delorme NC Outdoor wedding with wooden chairs and white drape arbor at The Merrimon Wynne by Gather Together, Melissa Delorme
Large white various flower bridal bouquet from NC florist at The Merrimon Wynne by Gather Together, Melissa Delorme
Father of Bride walking bride down the aisle with veil during outdoor ceremony at The Merrimon Wynne by Gather Together, Melissa Delorme
Bride and Grooms first kiss under white drapery at The Merrimon Wynne by Gather Together, Melissa Delorme

It is so important for a photographer to be able to capture a couple’s special day in great detail. The day may fly by, but with photographs, the memories last a lifetime. “Melissa and her team documented every detail of the day, some of which i didn’t get to see until I received the pictures. Her style fit my overall design and choice of venue.  With her use of natural light she was able to capture the best photos. She is so easy to work with and is as personable as she is talented.”

Must have photo of bride and groom at wedding at The Merrimon Wynne by Gather Together, Melissa Delorme
Bride and groom embrace in wedding must have photo at The Merrimon Wynne by Gather Together, Melissa Delorme


The bride’s late grandmother gifted her with ginger jars to decorate her first apartment with and she wanted to incorporate them into the wedding’s design. “Katherine, my wedding planner, helped me do that and beyond. We chose a fairly neutral color scheme that complimented the jars: navy, slate blue, and champagne. We added green and white accents, mainly with additions of white floral and greenery. The ginger jars added to the mix of blues in the color scheme. Signage was designed to complement the ginger jar patterns as well, such as the menu board design,” said Krystal.

Leaf wall and menu idea for outdoor wedding at The Merrimon Wynne by Gather Together, Melissa Delorme

The bride could not have been more pleased with their wedding planner. “Hiring Gather Together was the best decision I made in the planning process and was the best investment of my wedding budget. Katherine brought my vision to life with her knowledge of local vendors and design expertise. My family and I also didn’t have to worry about a thing on our wedding day because we knew Katherine and her team had it handled. The Gather Together Team were my secret weapon!”

Blue and White China vases wiht floral arrangements at NC reception at The Merrimon Wynne by Gather Together, Melissa Delorme
Simple white small case with white roses by Cupcake Shoppe, a raleigh NC bakery, at The Merrimon Wynne by Gather Together, Melissa Delorme
Grand exit of bride and groom under sparklers at The Merrimon Wynne by Gather Together, Melissa Delorme

SB&G Preferred Vendors

Wedding Consultant: Gather Together Event Planning & Design | Venue: The Merrimon-Wynne House | Cake: Cupcake Shoppe | Ceremony Musicians: SPIN DJ Service | Party Rentals: Party Reflections | Bridesmaid’s Hair: Parlor Dry Bar | Engagement Ring: Diamonds Direct | Registry: Belk

Other Vendors

Photographer: Melissa DeLorme Photography | Minister: Rev. Michael Weaver | Caterer: Meadow Village Catering | Videographer: Cinema Film | Bridal Gown: Lea-Ann Belter ; Traditions by Anna Bridal Boutique| Bridesmaids’ Dresses : DOVE & DAHLIA Line ; Weddington Way | Bridesmaids Gifts: Robes from SandyWatersStore  | Men’s Formalwear: VIP Formal Wear | Florist: Meristem Floral | Stationer: Minted | Reception Music: Empty Pocket Band | Transportation: Getaway – Raleigh Rickshaw | Guest Accommodations: Hampton Inn & Suites Raleigh Downtown | Bride Hair: Jessica Stevens of Mane Street Salon | Make-Up: Mattie Johnson (Bride, MOB & Bridal Party) and Kristan Osoria (Bridal Party)


Sultry Sophistication at The Umstead Hotel & Spa

Chuck & Andy

The Umstead Hotel & Spa was the first venue that came to mind for these two handsome grooms who wanted a classy and sophisticated wedding. Chuck and Andy tied the knot with an outdoor ceremony and candlelit reception filled with sultry sophistication, perfected by their wedding coordinator, A Southern Soiree.

Grooms holding hand after intimate ceremony by A Southern Soiree at The Umstead Adam Chapin Photography

Chuck Gavazzi and Andy Pacos met at work, where they are both VPs within the same national emergency medicine management company. For nearly a year Chuck noticed Andy around the hospital. Finally, a real conversation led to a first date. When Andy toasted to “new friendships,” Chuck knew he was in for the long haul, and years later, when Andy proposed, Chuck’s reply was “Absolutely.”

Grooms laughing at their wedding at The Umstead in classic black and white tuxedos Adam Chapin Photography

Grooms special moment in black and white at The Umstead Adam Chapin Photography
Groom in classic black and white tuxedo at outdoor ceremony The Umstead Adam Chapin Photography

They knew they wanted their wedding to have the utmost class and sultry sophistication. They booked The Umstead Hotel & Spa knowing it is renowned for impeccable service, which the couple noted they received, mentioning that “the staff of the Umstead did not miss a beat.”

Gold and Black Wedding Invitations for sultry wedding at The Umstead by Adam Chapin Photography Groom walking down aisle at outdoor wedding in NC at The Umstead Adam Chapin Photography flower girl at same sex wedding in nc walking down the aisle in outdoor ceremony at The Umstead Adam Chapin Photography Groom saying i do at outdoor wedding in NC at The Umstead Adam Chapin Photography
Grooms exchanging rings at intimate outdoor ceremony at The Umstead Adam Chapin Photography
Grooms first kiss at same sex wedding at The Umstead Adam Chapin Photography

“A good photographer is a big deal. Adam Chapin Photography truly conveyed the emotion of the day and captured the essence of who we are as a couple.”

Grooms after vows walking down aisle at intimate outdoor ceremony at The Umstead Adam Chapin Photography planned by A Southern Soiree Grooms at their Same Sex Wedding at The Umstead by A Southern Soiree photographed by Adam Chapin Photography

The decor had a woodsy outdoor look with moss coverings, accented with lots of candles in varying heights.

Sultry Romantic NC Wedding at The Umstead by candlelight with tall floral arrangements photographed by Adam Chapin Photography
Candle arrangement in variety of heights in intimate sultry romantic wedding at The Umstead Adam Chapin Photography

Chuck and Andy had a custom design of their initials in elements of the wedding beginning with the invitations and menus, and even beautifully lit up on the dance floor by Themeworks.

Intimate Gold and black wedding by A Southern Soiree with Monograms and candlelight The Umstead Adam Chapin Photography

“A good wedding planner is worth a million dollars. A Southern Soiree took care of every detail from surprises such as custom made look-a-like cookies and light up tambourines to all the handling of the wedding day – we can not say enough great things about Megan.”

Grooms personalized cookies in shape of both grooms at wedding at The Umstead Adam Chapin Photography Same Sex wedding dancing at The Umstead Adam Chapin Photography planned by A Southern Soiree

Wedding Party dancing with monogram light gobo on floor at The Umstead Adam Chapin Photography

SB&G Preferred Vendors

WEDDING COORDINATOR: A Southern Soiree | PHOTOGRAPHER: Adam Chapin Photography | VENUE, FOOD & ACCOMMODATIONS: The Umstead Hotel & Spa | LIGHTING: Themeworks

Romantic Garden Style Wedding at Duke Gardens

April and Costa’s Picture Perfect Wedding at Duke Gardens

Every couple dreams of getting married somewhere that has holds a special place to their relationship. April and Constantine went back to the location of their first date and with the help of their wedding planner, Gather Together, had a picture perfect wedding day.

Bride and Groom embrace in Duke Gardens in BHLDN dress and Navy Menguin suit with golden sun Duke Gardens wedding by Gather Together Photography by Katherine Miles Jones (1)

April Harrison and Constantine (Costa) Stoumbos met during their junior year at Duke University. Their October wedding at Duke Gardens commemorated their first date exactly six years prior at that very location. The weekend was not only a walk down memory lane complete with a bridal luncheon at one of April’s favorite college eateries, but also a wonderful celebration for their college friends, as it was homecoming weekend on campus. After the gardens wedding reception, the couple hosted an all-night after party at The King’s Daughters Inn.

Duke Gardens Wedding Durham Wedding Graphic Map Bride with Bridesmaids in spring floral robes Duke Chapen Wedding Bridesmaid helping Bride with BHLDN dress by Patricia Bonaldi Duke Gardens wedding by Gather Together Photography by Katherine Miles Jones

The color scheme revolved around lots of gold and other metallic elements, with eucalyptus green and natural tones, and a burgundy and lavender contrast. 

Mismatched Bridesmaids dresses BHLDN bridesmaid dresses blush and pastel pink dresses duke chapel
Spring Pink Bridesmaid Bouquet by Watered Garden White Flower and Eucalyptus Bridal Bouquet by Watered Garden Duke Gardens wedding by Gather Together Photography by Katherine Miles Jones
Flower Girls in white dresses Duke Chapel wedding by Gather Together Photography by Katherine Miles Jones Father of the bride and bride walking down staircase at Duke Gardens wedding by Gather Together Photography by Katherine Miles Jones
White Flower and Eucalyptus Bridal Bouquet by Watered Garden Duke Gardens wedding by Gather Together Photography by Katherine Miles Jones
Watered Garden Bridal Bouquet, In memoriam locket, Charm on bridal bouquet, white roses
Bride walking down aisle at NC outdoor ceremony with groom smiling Duke Gardens wedding by Gather Together Photography by Katherine Miles Jones
First Kiss at Duke Gardens wedding by Gather Together Photography by Katherine Miles Jones
Bride and Groom walking hand in hand through Duke Garden Duke Gardens wedding by Gather Together Photography by Katherine Miles Jones
Bride and Groom walking Wedding party in mismatched bridesmaids gowns and navy suits in NC Wedding at Duke Gardens wedding by Gather Together Photography by Katherine Miles Jones

Katherine Miles Jones has a warmth and openness that immediately put us at ease and created an intimacy that comes across in the moments she captured. Her calming presence and funny jokes helped keep everyone relaxed when there was a bit of a time crunch right before the ceremony. Finally, her natural light style was incredibly flattering, capturing the natural beauty of the space and producing images that felt like the real us.”

Bridesmaids in mismatched BHLDN pastel dresses and bride in Patricia Bonaldi embellished dress with florals from Watered Garden at Duke Gardens by NC Photographer Katherine Miles Jones
Bride and Groom embrace in Duke Gardens in BHLDN dress and Navy Menguin suit with golden sun Duke Gardens wedding by Gather Together Photography by Katherine Miles Jones
White Flower and Eucalyptus Bridal Bouquet by Watered Garden Duke Gardens wedding by Gather Together Photography by Katherine Miles Jones (1)

April was set on a very organic palette reflecting the natural beauty of the gardens, and Chelsey inspired and designed the contrasting elements, bringing it all together. It felt warm and inviting, but also airy and romantic. April was floored when she walked into the reception, which she described a “woodland utopia.”

Hanging Floral Chandeliers by Watered Garden at Doris Duke Center Duke Gardens wedding by Gather Together Photography by Katherine Miles Jones
Romantic NC Wedding with Hanging Floral Chandeliers by Watered Garden at Doris Duke Center Duke Gardens wedding by Gather Together Photography by Katherine Miles Jones
Gold Accents in Romantic NC Wedding at Duke Gardens with menus by Mason Dixon by Gather Together Photography by Katherine Miles Jones
Geometric Shape Table Decor and spring floral arrangements for Duke Gardens wedding by gather together, Katherine Miles Jones Photography Romantic Outdoor Reception Cocktail rounds with Hanging lights and neutral linens Duke Gardens Reception by Gather Together photographed by Katherine Miles Jones Table Assignments with personalized calligraphy on glassware, Katherine Miles Jones Photography
Cheers bar menu sign hanging above wine bottles at NC Duke Gardens wedding Duke Gardens Reception by Gather Together photographed by Katherine Miles Jones
Champagne Glasses Stacked at NC Duke Gardens Wedding with Gold Accent Light hangings by Get Lit Duke Gardens Reception by Gather Together photographed by Katherine Miles Jones.
Bride and Groom pouring champagne fountain at NC wedding reception by Duke Gardens Reception by Gather Together photographed by Katherine Miles Jones
Hanging Floral Chandeliers by Watered Garden at Doris Duke Center Duke Gardens wedding by Gather Together Photography by Katherine Miles Jones
Bride and Groom Cutting Wedding cake at Duke Gardens NC Wedding by Details Cake Design by Gather Together photographer Katherine Miles Jones

“Working with Gather Together eased our worries throughout the planning process so that we were able to be more present and enjoy the experience rather than stressing about logistics. This was true for the whole year we worked with her,” said the bride.

Bride and Groom exit under confetti at Duke Gardens Reception by Gather Together photographed by Katherine Miles Jones

SB&G Preferred Vendors

WEDDING PLANNER Gather Together PHOTOGRAPHER Katherine Miles JonesCATERER ParizadeHAIR Makeup for Your Day RECEPTION MUSIC SPINCHAIRS & TENT Party ReflectionsLIGHTING Get Lit Special Event LightingACCOMMODATIONS 21c Museum Hotel Durham and The King’s Daughters InnBRIDAL LUNCHEON VENUE The King’s Daughters Inn  

Other Vendors

FLORIST: Watered Garden | CAKE Details Cake Designs | BRIDAL LUNCHEON Mad Hatter’s take-out at the King’s Daughter’s Inn | REHEARSAL DINNER C + P Catering |  CEREMONY The White Garden amphitheater at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens | RECEPTION Doris Duke Center at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens | RENTALS linens by Party Tables; furniture by Greenhouse Picker Sisters (lounges and bar) and Party Reflections (dining furniture and tent) | BRIDE GOWN Patricia Bonaldi, from BHLDN | BRIDAL SHOES Bella Belle, from BHLDN | BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES Various from BHLDN | GROOM & GROOMSMEN Menguin | MUSICIAN Tim Leonard | STATIONER & CALLIGRAPHER Danielle Olcott of Mason Dixon, through Gather Together | TRANSPORTATION Carolina Livery and EcoStyle Transportation | MAKE-UP Katherine Noel and Adelyn Wyngaarden | WEDDING FAVORS Jordan almonds (traditional Greek wedding favor) with plantable, seed paper tags, and personalized cookbooks with recipes from all guests (a gift from April’s aunt, Carol Marshall) | BRIDESMAIDS’ GIFTS: homemade coffee scrub, gold gladiator Havianas sandals, personalized leather clutch, and a mini bottle of Patrón | GROOMSMEN GIFTS: White Nike Huaraches and tuxedo coozies

The Perfect Southern Wedding at The Sutherland

Wedding Wednesday

What is more romantic than a wedding between two high school sweethearts? Between their adorable proposal story, the perfect blush tones, and their unique wedding favors, Meghan and Zach’s wedding is sure to make your heart swoon!

Wedding Ceremony at Sutherland Estate and Gardens, Wake Forest NC, Southern Love Studios

What started out as Meghan Owen’s middle school crush on her older brother’s friend, Zach Pro, grew into a romance when he asked her out soon after she began freshman year at Wakefield High. These high school sweethearts are still inseparable. Ten years later, Zach sealed the deal when he slipped a ring on Meghan’s finger one night while she was sleeping – the week before the proposal trip he’d planned. He couldn’t wait another day to call her his bride-to-be.

Invitational Suite with Pink Roses, Jessica Yee Calligraphy at a La Cosa Bella

With a nod to their childhoods, Meghan and Zach chose The Sutherland to exchange their wedding vows – a beautiful venue that is right down the street from where they grew up. Beyond the nostalgic ties, it was the perfect fit for the elegant outdoor ambiance that they desired.

The blush pink blossoms with pops of bright pink roses, and mix and match styles of formal bridesmaids gowns, encapsulated Meghan’s desire for an upscale “Southern glam” look.

Lounge Area with Vintage Furniture and Elegant Pink Flowers La Cosa Bella Southern Love Studios
Floral Married Initial at NC Wedding by Fresh Affairs at La Cosa Bella
Pastel Purple and Blush Jenny Yoo Bridesmaid Dresses at Sutherland Gardens NC Elegant Wedding Tabletop Tall Centerpieces with White and Pink Florals Gold Linen La Cosa Bella and Fresh Affrais
Giant Garden White Roses Bridal Bouquet, Raleigh Florist
Bride with flower girl on porch, Southern Love Studios
Rose Boutonnieres on Gold Platter Southern Love Studios
Dress on Mirror, Southern Wedding
Just Married at Southern Love Studios

La Cosa Bella Events was such a pleasure to work with throughout the whole planning process,” said Meghan. “After I showed Gina just a few inspirational pictures she knew just what I wanted. Usually you hear stories of brides worrying about a million different things, but with Gina [Myers], I didn’t worry about a thing. I had so much trust in her and her team and it could not have gone more smoothly. The whole day was so organized and SO much fun for me, Zach, and all of our guests!”

The handsome natural wood and soaring beams of the reception Pavilion are graced by tall windows and glass doors on three sides. This allowed everyone to enjoy the scenic outdoor landscape with its lush gardens and giant oaks.

Elecgant NC Wedding at Sutherland Estate Pavilion La Cosa Bella Events
The bride told us that their guests raved about the food from Rocky Top Catering! They wanted just a touch of Southern flair for their meal, so they added a Cajun sauce to the Italian gnocchi pasta and a late night biscuit bar with several “fixin’s.” It was a huge hit!

Meghan and Owen had orange Crush sodas as favors to share their “High School Crush” love story. It was the perfect amount of personal and fun!

Wedding Favor Story Board La Cosa Bella Events Southern Love Studios Orange Crush Wedding Favors with Calligraphy tags, Southern Love Studios Elegant Southern Wedding Tabletop with Candlelight Wedding Tabletop Inspiration of Lace Menus with Monogram Napkins and Rose Textured Linen La Cosa Bella Events Southern Love Studios White Wedding Cake with Cascading Roses Southern Love Studios

“We felt like we’d known Brandon at Southern Love Studio forever! He is not only fun, but takes amazing photos and made the entire experience one we’ll remember forever,” shared Meghan.

Natural Light Wedding Photography in NC by Southern Love Studios

SB&G Preferred Vendors

WEDDING CONSULTANT La Cosa Bella Events | PHOTOGRAPHY Southern Love Studios | VENUE The Sutherland | CATERER Rocky Top Catering | BRIDESMAID DRESSES Jenny Yoo from Bella Bridesmaids | CALLIGRAPHER The Oblique Pen | CEREMONY MUSIC Save the Date Music | LIGHTING: Themeworks

Other Vendors

Videographer: Morgan Scott Films | Bridal Gown Maggi Bridal | Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids Gifts: Monogrammed burlap bags and robes and Kendra Scott earrings | Men’s Formalwear Men’s Wearhouse Groomsmen Gifts “Happy socks”and engraved Kershaw pocketknives | Florist Fresh Affairs | Cake Cinda’s Creative Cakes | Stationer Theresa Jatko Designs | Reception Music Bunn DJ Company | Party Rentals CE Rental | Vintage Furniture Rentals Paisley and Jade | ACCOMMODATIONS Hampton Inn Raleigh | Transportation Roaring 20s Limo Company | Hair & Make-Up for Wedding Party Lula Hair and Makeup | Wedding Favors  Stemless Personalized Wine Glasses

Soft Spring Light Graces Highgrove Estate Wedding

A Highgrove Estate wedding in the spring is a dream. Add natural light wedding photographer Jamie Blow into the mix and you have nothing short of magic.Highgrove Estate wedding wedding portrait Jamie Blow Photography

Cristina Kim and Dan Havens grew up in the same area, ran in the same circle of friends, and even crossed paths many times before finally meeting at a party. They bonded over their many connections (and their mutual love for Carolina Ale House cheese fries) and knew that had finally looked in the right direction.

Cristina did not think it was possible for Dan to surprise her with his proposal. She was sure it was going to happen during their early Christmas dinner at Gravy, where they had their first date. As dinner came to a close, she figured this was not the night. On the walk out, Dan dragged Cristina to The Raleigh Times and led her to the rooftop. She thought it was odd that no one was there, and was floored to find the patio decorated with twinkle lights and a candle-lit table for two for a beautiful proposal, followed by a celebration with family and friends.

A Highgrove Estate Wedding

“We knew we wanted one place for the ceremony and reception, and when we saw the outdoor area and the ballroom of The Highgrove Estate, we immediately knew it was the perfect place,” said Cristina. “From the staff to the food, everything was perfect!”Highgrove Estate on Laurel Lake Wedding Venue in Fuquay Varina NCHighgrove is not only lovely on the outside. This picturesque NC wedding venue is located near Raleigh in the charming small town of Fuquay-Varina. It was built specifically for Southern weddings and events, with an onsite ceremony setting and reception ballroom, bridal and grooms’ suites, and a onsite kitchen offering full-service catering. The property also has beautifully manicured grounds, that are all abloom in the spring. This April wedding was the perfect time to experience the enchanting gardens – as you can see in these sun-kissed photos by Jamie Blow Photography. Groomsmen getting ready at Highgrove Estate Raleigh NCBadgley Mischka wedding shoesSouthern Bride and Bridesmaids in Highgrove Estate bridal suite Raleigh WeddingBlue Willow Wedding Dress from Tre Bella Bridal in Highgrove Bridal Suite Jamie Blow PhotographyGetting Ready for the Wedding at Highgrove EstateWhite Bridal Bouquet Jamie Blow PhotographyClassic Bride in a Blue Willow wedding dress from Tre Bella Bridal at Highgrove Estate Southern wedding venueThe bride wore a Blue Willow by Anne Barge wedding dress befitting of a classic Southern bride – from NC bridal boutique Tre Bella Bridal. Her maid of honor wore Adrianna Papell and the bridesmaids wore Joanna August from our local Bella Bridesmaids salon. The mix and match bridesmaids were united in pale pink, which also presented in the mostly white spring floral arrangements. Bouquets in hands with blush gowns by Jamie Blow PhotographyBride and mix and match Bridesmaids in Pink Adrianna Papell and Joanna August dresses Jamie Blow PhotographyPink Joanna August gown from Bella Bridesmaid Raleigh with loose feminine bouquetAdrianna Papell bridesmaid dress in pink with loose garden bouquet in white and pink by Jamie Blow PhotographyThe groom and his groomsmen wore smart navy suits. The two groups met for some pre-wedding portraits in with Jamie Blow Photography, who specializes in natural light photography. Groom and Groomsmen walking in navy formalwear Jamie Blow PhotographyFlower Girls with Wedding Party portrait by Jamie BlowNatural Light Photography in NC by Jamie BlowWhite Bouquet with Greenery with Bride and Groom Jamie Blow PhotographyCristina and Dan said their vows outdoors in the soft spring light, overlooking the lovely Laurel Lake in Fuquay-Varina. Then guests moved into the Highgrove Estate wedding reception ballroom. Tall centerpieces held white floral arrangements with loose greenery.  Father walking bride down aisle at Highgrove Estate weddingBride and Groom arm in arm Jamie Blow PhotographyWedding Ceremony at Highgrove Estate Jamie Blow PhotographyPortrait with wind blown veil by Jamie Blow PhotographyThe couple shared their wedding date with the bride’s aunt and uncle, who had a low-key ceremony at the courthouse and small gathering when they married 25 years earlier. They surprised her aunt and uncle by having the DJ call them to the floor to announce their anniversary, and had a special cake made just for them to cut and take home.Wedding Cake Display at Highgrove Estate weddingHighgrove Estate Wedding Reception with Tall Floral Arrangements Photo by Jamie BlowTall Centerpieces with white wedding flowers and greenery at Raleigh wedding venue Highgrove EstateFirst Dance at Highgrove Wedding in Fuquay Varina by Jamie Blow PhotographyDan is a firefighter, so arrange for a wedding day photo opp with the fire truck as part of the send-off!Firetruck Exit for NC wedding by Jamie Blow Photography“We loved how Jamie Blow Photography fit right in with our fun rowdy bridal party! She made us feel so comfortable and at ease – even Dan, who really hates pictures,” the bride said.Spring Flowers at Highgrove Estate make a perfect wedding portrait by Jamie BlowSB&G Preferred Vendors

Reception Venue & Caterer – Highgrove Estate | Photographer – Jamie Blow Photography | Bridal Gown Blue Willow by Anne Barge from Tre Bella Bridal | Maid of Honor Gown – Adrianna Papell from Bella Bridesmaids Raleigh |Bridesmaid Dresses – Joanna August from Bella Bridesmaids Raleigh | DJ and Reception Lighting Stylus S.E. | Rehearsal Dinner Raleigh Times

Other Wedding Vendors

Minister: Brian Eisner | Florist: Flowers on Broad Street | Cake: Sweet Memories Bakery | Stationer Reaves Engraving | Party Rentals: CE Rental

Indoor Garden Wedding at The Atrium Wilmington

Among all of the weddings we see, the words of some couples stand out, and even give us a lesson in love. Today we are sharing a lovely indoor garden wedding that took place last spring at The Atrium, in the heart of downtown Wilmington, NC.

During the spring of 2011, Matt and Preston were both employed at Easter Seals UCP in Wilmington, working with children with special needs. This was lucky for them, because two of their youngster clients brought them together… or at least gave Matt an excuse to introduce himself to his future bride. When he spotted a lovely lady accompanying a child he’d previously worked with on a spring outing at Ogden Park, he said hello. Encounters at the park blossomed into dates, and they spent a summer inseparable. When Preston moved to Greensboro for school that fall, Matt called his mother to tell her he had met his wife. He was right. The pair fostered a long distance relationship until they could reunite in Wilmington to start their life in marriage. When it came time to ask Preston to spend the rest of her life with Matt, he knew he had to return to that fateful bench where he first laid eyes on the love of his life. And so, on a cool autumn day they returned to Ogden Park and took a walk around the lake, and when they got to that bench, the rest of their lives began.

Matt and Preston have a beautiful understanding of marriage that is often not developed until years in! They told us, “We believe that marriage is a commitment and that it requires work. It means mutual, creating trust and safety, sharing joy and sorrow, and making space for both individual growth and growth together. We share a desire to have a personal and positive impact on others.”First Look in a Wilmington GardenWilmington NC Wedding Erin Costa PhotographyIt was easy for Preston and Matt to choose The Atrium as their wedding venue. Nestled in downtown Wilmington, The Atrium features an open-air courtyard which is used for the ceremony and reception space. This secret garden vibe was love at first site for this couple, and reminiscent of their own love story, which began in that park. They were able to utilize the lush greenery that grows along the wall as their ceremony backdrop, and play on that natural beauty for the wedding details and décor.The Atrium downtown Wilmington NC wedding venueThe Atrium Wilmington weddingPreston noted that some of her bridesmaids have been lifelong friends, since age 2 and 4. Matt shared that one of the most important memories of this day was having his groomsman who is battling lymphoma make it to the wedding to celebrate with them. Bella Bridesmaids Kirribilla in CoralGray and Coral GroomsmenA gray and coral color palette was perfect for the spring affair. Elegant florals sat atop lace table runners atop farm tables and rustic woods, to capitalize on the natural look.

Preston shared that her florist, Fiore Fine Flowers, was “beyond incredible.” She said that owner Chelsea “took extra time to understand our vision and each detail was executed to perfection!” The most exquisite detail was the incredible floral chandelier!Coral Spring Bouquet Fiore Fine FlowersGray Suit with Coral BoutonniereFloral Chandelier The Atrium Erin Costa PhotographyWilmington Wedding at The Atrium by Erin Costa PhotographyRustic Tabletop with Coral and White Wedding FlowersRustic Wedding Flowers by Fiore Fine FlowersNature Inspired Table Number on Rustic Tabletop DisplayGray Wedding Cake with Floral AccentsLemon Mini CupcakesPersonalized Wedding Napkins For Like EverDowntown Wilmington Wedding ExitPreston’s engagement ring is extra personal because the diamond was her Grandmother’s. They added the sapphire into a modern setting.Vintage Diamond with Sapphire Engagement Ring with Wedding BandThe bride and groom shared that their photographer, Erin Costa Photography, was “has an amazing talent for capturing all emotions felt, while creating a fun atmosphere.”Downtown Wilmington Wedding Erin Costa PhotographyThese newly weds reside in Wilmington, NC. Preston is a speech-language pathologist and Matt is an elementary school teacher.
SB&G Preferred Vendors

Photographer: Erin Costa Photography | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Kirribilla from Bella Bridesmaids | Florist: Fiore Fine Flowers

Full Vendor List:

Ceremony & Reception: The Atrium by Ligon Flynn | Minister: Han Hills | Caterer: Middle of the Island | Bridal Gown: from a Brides Against Breast Cancer Event, Oleg Cassini wedding dress | Men’s Formalwear: Men’s Wearhouse | Cake: One Belle Bakery | Stationer: Wouldn’t It Be Lovely | Musicians: DJ Brian Hood & saxophonist Benny Hill | Party Rentals: L&L party rentals | Lighting: High Performance Lighting | Transportation: Event Shuttle Service | Guest Accommodations: Courtyard Marriott | Hair & Makeup for Wedding Party: Adrianne Lugo

Soft Pink and Silver Wedding for Duke Alum

Happy Wedding Wednesday! March Madness is almost here – why not bring a bit of that spirit to your own wedding, like Taylor and Tres did for their Duke themed wedding last fall! This elegant affair was also featured in the 2017 edition of Southern Bride & Groom Magazine.
Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club weddingsDespite sharing similar social circles at Duke University, it took a 2011 summer internship in Guatemala for Taylor Starks and Tres Ricks to officially meet. They began dating on their return to Duke, and then long distance after graduation. When Tres was accepted to UNC Law School in 2014, Taylor moved to Raleigh so they could be in the same city. After a lunch date at the Washington Duke Inn, Tres manipulated a car stall and managed to glide into a parking spot at Duke Gardens. They strolled into the gardens, and Tres proposed to Taylor in front of the koi pond, with friends hiding on-site to photograph the occasion.

Tres and Taylor were grateful to have their wedding at Duke Chapel, which symbolized the place where their relationship began. The personal connection was made even more special by having fraternity and sorority sisters standing by them at the altar, and their vows being officiated by the father of the groom, Dr. Harriss Ricks.
Riley MacLean wedding photographerArtistic wedding photographyCandid wedding photographyDurham wedding bandswedding photographybeautiful wedding photos in the rainPink roses and white calla lily bouquetRainy day wedding photographsRainy day duke weddinghistoric wedding chapelsDuke Chapel weddingRiley MacLean wedding photographerChapel wedding in NCDurham nc wedding photographerswedding photos at American TobaccoTaylor desired a whimsical romantic wedding day so Grace Leisure Events helped articulate her vision with a soft pink theme, silver and white accents in the flowers, and beautiful romantic draping.

The couple hosted a full weekend of events at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, starting with a Friday night welcome bash. Between the ceremony and reception, an afternoon tailgate kept everyone entertained.
pink and white wedding flower ideasGrace Leisure wedding plannerWeddings at Washington Duke Innwhite and pink centerpiecesWhite wedding cakeWashington Duke WeddingsWashington Duke ballroomstatement centerpiecesTall wedding centerpiecesduke mascot at weddingDurham wedding receptionDuke alum weddingDuke University alum wedding“In planning and executing my daughter’s wedding, my very high expectations were easily surpassed by Grace, of Grace Leisure Events. Clearly, she has a wealth of experience in wedding planning, and the result is an individual who is off the charts when it comes to creativity. Her demonstrated ability to really listen to the needs and desires of the client are the foundation of her business. And her positive approach throughout the planning process eliminated all anxiety. She is as nice a person as you will ever meet, and to this day, I feel like she is part of our family,” said the father of the bride, who worked directly with Grace in the planning of his daughter’s day.
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WEDDING CONSULTANT Grace Leisure Events |ASSISTANT DESIGNER & ON-SITE COORDINATION A Southern Soiree | PHOTOGRAPHER Riley MacLean Photography | RECEPTION, FOOD & GUEST ACCOMMODATIONS Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club | HAIR & MAKEUP Makeup for Your Day | REHEARSAL DINNER Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club President’s Terrace

Other wedding contributors
CEREMONY Duke Chapel | MINISTER Dr. Harriss Ricks (Father of the Groom) | VIDEOGRAPHER 21 Films | BRIDAL GOWN Romona Keveza, Traditions by Anna | BRIDAL SHOES Badgley Mischka | BRIDESMAID DRESSES David’s Bridal | MEN’S FORMALWEAR Men’s Warehouse | FLORIST Watered Garden Florist | CAKE Sugarland | STATIONER Maria Scheel Invitations | REHEARSAL DINNER MUSIC 20 Ride | CEREMONY MUSIC Christopher Jacobson, Organist | RECEPTION MUSIC Liquid Pleasure | REGISTRY Pottery Barn, William Sonoma, Macy’s, Crate & Barrel, Amazon and Anthropology

Durham Wedding with Mardi Gras Flair

Happy Wedding Wednesday! With Mardi Gras a couple weeks away, we wanted to share a Durham wedding that captures some of that fun Louisiana style! Take a look at Jasmine and Joel’s colorful and raoucus wedding – complete with a brass band. This wedding was also featured in the 2017 edition of Southern Bride & Groom Magazine.
The Kings Daughters InnEven though Joel Guerrero’s blind date at a friend’s birthday party was a bust, it was a blessing in disguise because he met the love of his life there, Jasmine Stringer. Joel proposed in the ballroom at the Carolina Theater in Durham, one of the couple’s favorite date-night spots. He rented the tiny theater for a private screening of Jasmine’s favorite movie, Breakfast  at Tiffany’s.
African American bridewedding fashion DurhamBridal updo with flowersColorful wedding bouquet by Eclectic Sagecolorful corsages for wedding guestsblue sapphire engagement ringGroomsmen feather bowtiesDurham hotel weddingKing's Daughters Inn DurhamFor their wedding celebration, the couple wanted a raucous and joyful “mid-summer night’s Bull City  garden party” – a mashup of all things they love about their families, their city, and the life they have  built here together.
Feather bowtie for groomThe Kings Daughers Inn DurhamNorth Carolina bride and groomWedding at Duke Gardens“Heather and her team at Eclectic Sage are masters at their art! Together, we came up with some really fun and creative ways to make florals a highlight in our design and the arrangements they created were truly one of a kind,” shared the bride.
wedding favor fansDuke Garden weddingsRaleigh NC floristsJasmine and Joel (honoring his Louisiana roots) led their family and friends in a second line strut out the door and into the street to the sounds of Marvin Gaye from the brass band.
Get Lit Special Event LightingThe RIckhouse decorated by Get Lit Lighting Durham NC live bandsReception entertainment ideasReceptions at The Rickhouse DurhamLive bands at weddingLive music at weddingDurham NC wedding photosThe Rickhouse was a perfect fit for the couple, and they loved the connection to Joel’s childhood – the terrace overlooks the original Durham Bulls Stadium which was where he watched local ball games in his youth.

“Amanda Scott of A Swanky Affair was the brains behind the whole operation,” Jasmine said. “We never could have pulled off such a complex and creative affair without her! She had everything you want in a great coordinator, plus an excellent eye for style!”
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WEDDING CONSULTANT A Swanky Affair | RECEPTION The Rickhouse | CATERER Donovan’s Dish | FLORIST Eclectic Sage | PARTY RENTALS Party Reflections | LIGHTING Get Lit Special Events | WEDDING PARTY ACCOMMODATIONS AND PORTRAITS The King’s Daughters Inn | GUEST ACCOMMODATIONS Aloft Hotel at American Tobacco Campus | REHEARSAL DINNER The Pit rooftop | RECEPTION MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT SPIN
Durham bride and groomOther Wedding Contributors
PHOTOGRAPHY Carolyn Scott Photography | BRIDAL LUNCHEON 
Watt’s Grocery | CEREMONY Sarah P. Duke Gardens | OFFICIANT  Daniel P. Stringer (brother of the bride) | BRIDAL GOWN Maggie Sotero from Elegant Bridal | BRIDAL SHOES Badgely Mischka | HAIR Qi Essentials | MAKE UP Tiwa Lawrence | JEWELRY Bauble Bar | MEN’S FORMALWEAR J. Crew; custom bow ties made by artist/designer Tracey Telford at | CAKE Once in A Blue Moon Bakery | STATIONER Wedding Paper Divas | REHEARSAL DINNER MUSIC Makin’ Ends Meet | CEREMONY MUSIC Alex Gorodezky | BAND Second Line Band: Boom Unit Brass Band | TRANSPORTATION EcoStyle

Elegant Ballroom Wedding with Lots of Sparkle

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Today on the blog we’re sharing Jameeka and Chris’ elegant ballroom wedding with lots of sparkle at The Grand Marquise Ballroom in Garner, NC.

After a long day of sight seeing during Jameeka Carrington’s first visit to her future husband’s hometown of Chicago, she was awakened from a cap by her overly anxious love, Christopher Bridgeman, with a proposal. The moment felt like a dream, and indeed, it was a dream come true!
Baileys Fine Jewerlry wedding ring“Our wedding planner, Elana Walker, helped us design the entire event. We told her that we wanted an elegant wedding with lots of sparkle, and she pretty much took the reins from there,” said Jameeka. “All of her ideas were amazing and she stuck to a timeline that helped prevent us from becoming overwhelmed. I was entirely against hiring a wedding planner in the begin in, but it turned out to be the very best decision that was made.”
custom wedding hangers www.southernbrideandgroom.comClassic script on invitations www.southernbrideandgroom.comPurple bridesmaids robes www.southernbrideandgroom.comwhite orchid wedding bouquet www.southernbrideandgroom.comWedding dress with crystal embellishments www.southernbrideandgroom.comRoyal looking invitations www.southernbrideandgroom.comWedding decor ideascustom wedding card boxes www.southernbrideandgroom.comLilac bridesmaid colorsGrooms in Prada
Fabric groomsmen boutonnieres www.southernbrideandgroom.comGrooms converse sneakers www.southernbrideandgroom.comCute ring bearer outfits www.southernbrideandgroom.comRaleigh NC groomsmenThe Grand Marquise Ballroom was absolutely gorgeous, from the chandeliers to the immaculately decorated bride and groom suites, to the elegant stairway and the Roman columns and statues,” shared Jameeka. “Everything just took my breath away…it was like getting married in a place from a storybook.”Memory candle at wedding www.southernbrideandgroom.comLive music at Raleigh NC weddingIdeas for ring bearers www.southernbrideandgroom.comWeddings at Grand Marquise Ballroom www.southernbrideandgroom.comWedding reception outfits www.southernbrideandgroom.comThe Grand Marquise Ballroom www.southernbrideandgroom.comJameeka and Christopher changed to going-away outfits near the end for dancing and their exit.

The couple’s wedding date decorated the cake, and their new monogram appeared on the menu, in gobo lights on the dance floor, and shone through the backlit ice sculpture sculpture centerpiece www.southernbrideandgroom.comPurple and gold wedding colorsice sculpture for wedding www.southernbrideandgroom.comGold foil wedding cake www.southernbrideandgroom.commother and son danceThe Grand Marquise wedding receptionSports themed weddings www.southernbrideandgroom.comFootball toss instead of garter toss www.southernbrideandgroom.comAn intricate candle and glass display on each table shimmered when the lights were lowered during dinner and later were enhanced with colorful uprights in the ballroom for a magical effect.
Candles used as wedding decor www.southernbrideandgroom.comElana Walker wedding designer www.southernbrideandgroom.comelaborate wedding florals www.southernbrideandgroom.comElana Walker wedding eventsThe couple now resides in Raeford, where Jameeka is a pharmacist at Cape Fear Hospital and Christopher serves as the Director of Food & Nutrition at Scotland Memorial Hospital.

SB&G Preferred Vendors
WEDDING CONSULTANT Elana Walker Events | CEREMONY & RECEPTION Grand Marquise Ballroom | ENGAGEMENT RING & WEDDING BANDS Bailey’s Fine Jewelry

Other Wedding Contributors
CATERER Unforgettable Food Affairs | PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHER Creative Silence | BRIDAL GOWN Oleg Cassini | BRIDESMAID DRESSES Vera Wang | MEN’S FORMALWEAR Calvin Klein | FLORIST Fresh Affairs | CAKE Ashley Cakes | INVITATIONS Suite Paper | CEREMONY MUSIC Blue Sands Music | RECEPTION MUSIC DJ Paradime | LINENS & PARTY RENTALS CE Rentals | TRANSPORTATION Royal Limousine | ACCOMMODATIONS Wingate by Wyndham and Hampton Inn | BRIDAL HAIR Valerie Selby | BRIDESMAID HAIR & MAKEUP Allyson Hill

Intimate Wedding at Lantern Restaurant in Chapel Hill

When Ryan and Britney Perlowin first met, they quickly realized they had a lot in common and Britney joked they should get friendship bracelets. Fast-forward nearly three years later, Ryan and Britney were enjoying a picnic (a favorite weekend activity), and Ryan gave Britney a stack of polaroid photos showing some of the significant locations from their relationship. The photos were tied to a box containing two friendship bracelets. As Britney looked at the bracelets she thought about how sweet it was that he remembered, and about how this was a waste of a perfect proposal opportunity. Ryan then got the engagement ring out and asked the sweet question.
wedding photographers NCRyan and Britney’s first date was at the bar at Lantern restaurant in Chapel Hill, so naturally it became “their spot.” It’s where they went for anniversary celebrations and the day they got engaged. “Aside from being a sentimental pick, it also has the best food in Chapel Hill and is absolutely beautiful,” says Britney. There is even a stunning garden patio in the back perfect for a small ceremony.Candid wedding photography RaleighChapel Hill wedding venuesChapel Hill photographerWedding at Lantern RestaurantEverything about their small wedding weekend was personal and meaningful. “It was a celebration of our love for each other, for our family and friends, and for our life together in the beautiful town we’ve made our home. We wanted the weekend to feel intimate, fun, whimsical, and to be a representation of who we are,” Britney shares.

There were 19 people at the wedding – immediate family and bridal party friends. “While our first instinct was to invite every single person we know and love, it was important to us the day felt intimate and that we truly shared the day with the people who are essential to who we are as individuals and a couple,” says Britney. And she reminds brides-to-be that “the day is about the two of you and it should be exactly what you want it to be – an elopement, a gala, or somewhere in between, have the wedding that feels right and makes you happy.”
cute custom bridesmaid shirtsBohemian brideCasual bridal flatsChapel Hill brideThe Siena Hotel Chapel HillDowntown Chapel Hill weddingF8 Photo Studios wedding photographyChapel hill weddingsChapel Hill wedding Flower crownThe photographer with F8 Photo Studios was well prepared for the occasion, learning exactly what the couple wanted on their big day. “She stayed flexible as things changed while gently keeping us on track,” says the bride, who was also very happy with the her look created by Gabriela at Mina’s Studio in Chapel Hill. “I had a complicated updo, which required adjustments and tweaks, and I was one of many appointments that day, but she gave me all of her attention to make sure I was comfortable and happy every step of the way.”

With the help of a long-time friend, Caroline, who Britney asked to be her “day of” coordinator this charming small wedding was exactly what they hoped it would be.
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VENUE & CATERER Lantern Table (restaurant in Chapel Hill) | PHOTOGRAPHER F8 Photo Studios | HAIR Mina’s Stuido | ACCOMMODATIONS The Siena Hotel | ENGAGEMENT RING Diamonds Direct

MINISTER Sharon Wheeler | GOWN Songbirds Consignments in Greensboro | ALTERATIONS Bridal Alterations by Juliana | MAKEUP Kayla Cross | BRIDESMAID GIFTS Personalized necklaces | GROOM Bar III | GROOMSMEN GIFTS Personalized whisky or pint glasses | FLORIST Bloomin’ Rose Flowers | CAKE Mad Hatter Bakeshop | STATIONER (calligraphy by friend) | CEREMONY MUSIC Emma Dunlap-Grube on bass and Josh Moore on acoustic guitar | FAVORS Homemade s’mores packages