Posts Categorized: SB&G Behind The Scenes
We here at Southern Bride and Groom are thrilled to announce our Summer cover for our 2017 magazine, celebrating 30 years as your trusted guide to North Carolina wedding planning! A beautiful couple who wed at Duke University Chapel and were photographed by Bronwyn Duffield Photography are featured as our cover bride and groom.
The bride and groom, Cara and Corey, having met in Durham – wanted to keep their wedding a “local theme.” Their wedding was set at Duke University Chapel, a Durham staple and their reception at The Cookery. The couple’s vision was for the reception to feel warm, intimate, and inviting, while also being locally sourced. Sally Oakley Wedding & Events assisted the couple and making their vision come to life with locally grown, fresh flowers, candles in silver and gold and the warm brick of The Cookery.
Be sure to check out the wedding in its entirety, here!
NC’s Trusted Wedding Magazine Reveals 30th Anniversary Cover
Each year, putting Southern Bride & Groom’s annual magazine together is a labor of love between the SB&G team, local wedding vendors, and the happy couples connected in our network. Fittingly, our annual magazine showcases the best of the best when it comes to North Carolina wedding vendors. This year is an especially exciting year for us because it marks a major milestone for the magazine’s – our 30th anniversary! We are thrilled to reveal our first cover of 2017, and share the styled shoot from which it came, created by several local NC wedding vendors.
A Garden Party Wedding at Merrimon-Wynne
The winter-spring cover captures the essence of what it means to be a Southern bride and groom: modern beauty mixed with timeless tradition. This enchanting photo is by local photographer Renee Sprink. It was taken during an inspirational garden wedding on the lawn of The Merrimon-Wynne House. The shoot, styled by Events by La Fete, was part of a celebratory event for this popular wedding venue which had completed construction on its gorgeous Carriage House, located in the back lawn, expanding capacity and functionality for wedding parties.
The stylist and florist, Meristem Floral, worked to bring a garden party vibe indoors with trees, moss, and shimmery linen. A white, mirrored bar and lounge furniture kept the vibe modern and clean.
Who wouldn’t be all smiles when donned in Vera Wang? The lovely bride was stunning in with the magical “Pippa” gown, from Alexia’s Bridal, and styled by Makeup for Your Day with raspberry-hued lips and a loose braid. Her groom was dashing in his smart navy suit, and her maid of honor floated in a Monique Lhuillier, also from Alexia’s.
Vibrant Mottahedeh china and Herend collectibles from Bailey’s Fine Jewelry atop a glass table set on a verdant green lawn were lovely touches for this spring garden party. A soft butterfly theme was found in the patterns and hand-made place cards. Specialty furniture from Themeworks and additional tabletop items from Party Reflections completed the look.Food tastes better when beautifully presented! Delicious hors d’oeuvres from Donovan’s Dish were displayed on a hanging swing in the courtyard, as well as on living tabletops that floated about the event – it doesn’t get more charming than that!They may look like models, but these sparks are real. Kari and Matthew are a real couple and loved getting dressed up for this faux wedding day.
PLANNING/DESIGN Events by La Fete | PHOTOGRAPHY Renee Sprink Photography | BRIDAL GOWN Vera Wang from Alexia’s Bridal | BRIDESMAID GOWN Monique Lhuillier from Alexia’s Bridal | HAIR & MAKEUP Makeup for Your Day | FLOWERS Meristem Floral | GLASSWARE AND FLATWARE Party Reflections | CHINA Bailey’s Fine Jewelry | LIGHTING & FURNITURE Themeworks Creative | CATERING Donovan’s Dish | PAPER Emily Brooks Designs | CALLIGRAPHY Mason Dixon Designs | PERFORMANCE ART AND LIVE FOOD STATIONS Elevate | DJ Joe Bunn
Couture Wedding Fashion at Alexia’s Bridal in Raleigh NC
“Project Runway” devotees will remember Austin Scarlett and his theatrical styles from the show’s original season. But Austin’s fashion career started far before his reality TV fame, and has taken off in the years since. After serving as Creative Director at Kenneth Pool for several years, he debuted his own bridal collection in 2012. Each year his craftsmanship has evolved, and today he is regarded among the true couture in U.S. wedding brands.
Why do Austin’s bridal gowns so perfectly fit the Southern bride? He is a cutting-edge designer with experience in theatrical work, yet his root inspiration is in vintage fashion, including classic styles of the South. I first met Austin at a trip to New York Bridal Fashion Week a few years ago. His presentation was like a homecoming – his collection that year was themed to “Gone with the Wind.” He has also authored a book on the same topic: In “Forever Scarlett, the Immortal Style of Gone with the Wind,” Austin describes how he strives to bring the grace and elegance of that iconic Southern belle’s fashion and persona to his own designs.
Austin is a master of minimalist shape that honors the female form, combined with beautiful draping techniques. In true haute couture tradition, every design is developed and created under Austin’s personal supervision, and each gown is made-to-order, by hand, in New York City.A Visit to Raleigh
This fall, Austin Scarlett visited Raleigh for a trunk show at Alexia’s Bridal, a wedding dress boutique off of Glenwood South, which is the only place you can find these gowns in our state. At this special event, brides had the unique opportunity to meet the designer during their appointment and get direct feedback. After a day of appointments, the charming and humble designer mingled with brides at a cocktail event at the salon.
Riley MacLean captured some playful images of Austin near the bridal boutique in downtown Raleigh.
Alexia’s Bridal team welcomed Scarlett and brides to their salon, offering the unique opportunity to get personalized fitting advice from the designer himself.
For information about upcoming trunk shows at Alexia’s Bridal, and other area bridal salons, visit SB&G’s Shows & Event’s Page
By Jenna Parks, co-publisher of Southern Bride & Groom
Photos by Riley MacLean Photography
Spun Gold and See-Through Lace Take the Runway
Individuality, figure-revealing clothing and departure from tradition are growing norms in today’s culture, and this is starting to show up in the luxurious world of bridal fashion too.
Where once upon a time, formal white ball gowns ruled wedding day fashion, today’s bridal gowns are moving in other directions. This, if anything, was the theme of the 2016 Charleston Spring Bridal Show.
You never know what kind of surprises you’ll come across both with the fashion and the attendees, like a surprise engagement on the runway! SB&G photographer Cara Galati of f8 Photo Studios was front and center to capture all the best looks and moments during the show (even a live proposal – shown below).
There were lots of eye-opening trends featured on the runway this season. To be clear, white – or at least ivory – are still present on bridal runways, but golds as well as other metallics and blushes are being used more often. All these tones were on display during Fashion Week, where strapless gowns, back and side cutouts, bare midriffs, and sheer lace also appeared in most of the collections.
Featured Designer Kelly Faetanini, whose gowns range in price from $2,500 to $5,000 retail, literally set the tone for the show. The first designer to take the runway, several of her gowns were made from metallic gold fabric. Others featured gold embellishments.
Many were figure-skimming and the trends captured in Faetanini’s collection – like many others on display that day – exposed bare midriffs, or were fully backless or backless covered by a layer of sheer fabrics. Others featured side cutouts, back cutouts or had bodices made from lace without much else underneath. In other words, modesty was not an issue.
Her collection, and others, also included several dresses that harkened back a century to Jean Harlow’s Hollywood as well as modified mermaids.
The collection from White on Daniel Island, which featured Designer Jessica Williams of Alvina Valenta also included gowns with gold embellishments, as well as lace cut-outs, see-through sides, and lace see-through bodices as well as plunging necklines. In this assortment of gowns, however, cutouts and sheer lace were found on formal ball gowns with wide sweeping skirts.
A few of these trends – particularly, gold-toned wedding dresses, sheer bodices, bare midriffs and cutouts – began to appear last year at the 2015 Charleston Fashion Week fashion show. This year, however, these bolder styles began to take on a stronger presence.
In fact, you could say that at this year’s Charleston Fashion Week, less truly was more. Is this a growing trend or will the pendulum swing back or even move in an altogether different direction next year?
Given this year’s show, it will be interesting to see where Charleston Fashion Week 2017 takes us, style-wise. So, stay tuned because we’ll be returning to find out.
Glenna Musante is an award-winning writer who specializes in bridal, fashion, travel and the textile industry. She is a former writer for the Raleigh News & Observer.
Photos by Cara Galati, owner and lead photographer at f8 Photo Studios
Local Creatives Gather at The Stockroom in downtown Raleigh for “Chalk Lettering for Charity”
Southern Bride and Groom recently hosted a creative night out at The Stockroom at 230 in downtown Raleigh. The event, “Chalk Lettering for Charity,” brought women from all around the Triangle together to learn a new skill and benefit a great local charity, Carroll’s Kitchen.
The class was led by Maghon Taylor of All She Wrote Notes and all proceeds from the sold out event went to Carroll’s Kitchen, a nonprofit restaurant that is dedicated to ending homelessness by providing opportunities and job training for women coming out of difficult living situations (learn more about it below).
Maghon Taylor is a talented calligrapher and hand letterer who shares her skills with brides-to-be at various locations and events in the Triangle. The Stockroom (and their upstairs venue, The Glass Box) was the perfect intimate and fun venue to hold this chalk lettering event.
Attendees sat at tables provided by American Party Rentals and Party Reflections adorned with a variety of chalk and personal chalkboards. Throughout the night, guests giggled and nibbled on sweet potato biscuits provided by Lip Service Catering as they followed Maghon’s instructions, drawing out “yay,” “hooray,” and other words in different styles.
Carroll’s Kitchen, the charity for which this event was benefiting, will be located in the former Square Rabbit restaurant space which operated out of that location for 25 years. The food served at Carroll’s Kitchen will be delicious classics like sandwiches, salads, house made soups, baked goods and some surprises that are new to the area. They’re excited to share NC pecan sticky buns and fresh made breakfast sandwiches along with many other treats. The women in the program will share their favorite foods over time and learn to build and create culinary dishes to put on the menu.
The non-profit will be supporting many collaborative partners as well as employing women coming out of homelessness and incarceration. The job-training program will be a year-long program and will include a place to live.
When the class drew to a close, everyone was invited upstairs to take in a sunset view of downtown Raleigh from The Stockroom’s open and airy suite The Glass Box. This room can be rented out for bridal parties, such as showers and small events, as well as used as a bridal suite for those getting married at The Stockroom.
The Cupcake Shoppe in Raleigh bakes from scratch every morning and makes custom cakes and desserts for weddings and special events.
A sunset toast was complete with a glass of sparkling blue wine from Blanc de Bleu, a California based wine that gives brides a unique way to incorporate “something blue” into their wedding day.
This creative evening, which raised over $1,600, was a big success thanks to the many vendors, including All She Wrote Notes, The Stockroom at 230, The Cupcake Shoppe, Blanc de Bleu, Lip Service Catering, American Party Rentals and Party Reflections who helped put it on. Carroll’s Kitchen is still seeking donations for equipment and construction, will begin later this month. You can also support their cause by dining at the eatery when it opens!
Working in the wedding industry is a joy – after all, weddings celebrate one of the most exhilarating and monumental occasions we know. But there is another side to the satisfaction that comes from working in weddings: the privilege to work with the talented creatives who bring these special unions to life again and again, and manage to create something new each time, unique to each couple.
I think that the folks who serve in this field are often overlooked or taken for granted, but we at Southern Bride & Groom believe that the wedding pros who are at the top of their game truly are artists, and we strive to give them credit where credit is due! We draw inspiration from our talented NC wedding specialists on a daily basis. All of the beautiful photography, real weddings and styled shoots you see in our magazine and on this blog are pulled from and designed hand-in-hand with our SB&G Preferred Vendors, a collection of local pros we know not only to deliver high quality service but who are also constantly pushing the envelope, bringing the latest trends to the Raleigh area, and creating personalized events for their brides and grooms.
Beyond surrounding ourselves with the best of the best, SB&G regularly invests in continuing education on the latest and greatest happenings in our field, so we can bring these things to our local readers. And so this summer, I was honored to attend the premiere luxury wedding summit, Engage! In addition to helping attendees broaden their personal goals as individuals and leaders, this 3-day seminar is a non-stop flow of wedding inspiration. Engage! 16 was held at The Breakers in Palm Beach, FL (what a venue, as you will see below). The photos of this event, captured by some of the top wedding photographers in the US, speak for themselves, so we’re thrilled to share them today (individual photo credits are in each photo, scroll over to view).
The wedding “inspo” started before we even arrived at Engage! Each attendee was mailed pop-out fashion guides and even a countdown box full of travel and beach-themed gifts to build anticipation for our getaway to the sunshine state.As guests checked into the event, we were led into a pop-up shop full of swag, from perfume and scented candles for the gals to matches and cuff links for the fellas. Below, candy bar by Sugarfina. Luckily I had attended an Engage! (at the Biltmore Estate a few years back), so I knew to leave some room in my suitcase for all the take-home items.
Day 1 kicked off with a welcome session in the exquisite Mediterranean Ballroom of The Breakers and an introduction by the team who makes Engage! happen, Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce (pictured below). As you can see, this Italian Renaissance inspired 5-star resort made for a memorable experience.
A great deal of our time at the conference was spent hearing presentations by some of the industry greats, like planner extraordinaire Marcy Blum, and up-and-coming leaders such as social media guru Samantha Roberts of the XO Group (each pictured below). Every detail was considered, from the coral-themed florals to the themed coffee and champagne fueled breaks.Our first evening was spent at a lavish pool party. The Breakers showed off its culinary delights with food stations ranging from seafood stations to an avocado bar. Dramatically uplit palm trees framed the pool, which was the centerpiece of the party with its fire pits and a giant “Make Waves” message in the water. A surprise salsa performance make it a festive occasion, and the night wrapped up with a DJ-band combo.Day Two started off with a bang as our 7am wake up call turned into a New Orleans themed breakfast party, complete with a brass band.
Fueled up for a day of learning, we spent most of the day watching presentations in the Venetian Ballroom (below, Preston Bailey and Lynn Easton).Of course we were not expected to remain in our seats all day… Breaks were planned and each one had meaning, such as this “Happy” themed one to follow up Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project. A gospel choir and smiley face food were charming touches. (below, Carly Roney and Colin Cowie)The coral theme continued at a seated luncheon, and our afternoon breaktime called for something sweet. (did I forget to mention that I packed on a couple of pounds over the course of my three days at this event?)After eating dinner in small groups around the resort, everyone was invited to a “Cake by the Ocean” themed dessert party. We downed tequila and espresso drinks and an array of desserts from extravagant candy coated milkshakes to quaint freshly baked (still warm) chocolate chip cookies. The fantastic entertainment by Elan Artists made me feel like I’d stepped into a Katy Perry music video. How amazing is the chocolate and sprinkles lipsticks worn by the candy gals?
Above, our NC crew: Kathryn & Chelsey of Gather Together, Amanda of A Swanky Affair, Jill of Donovan’s Dish, me, and Jodi of Merrimon Wynne.
The final day we enjoyed a courtyard breakfast, breakout sessions, and a white-themed picnic lunch on the front lawn of The Breakers. The rest of the afternoon was spent lounging poolside, or getting dolled up for the gala.
below, the NC gals ready for the big night!
The spectacle of the event is showcased beautifully in the photos. The Venetian Ballroom was transformed into a glitzy sparkly wonderland of chandeliers and candlelit glam. A five course meal was broken up with entertainment ranging from an opera singer to a band and orchestra performing in tandem (Vali Entertainment). The night was capped off with an after party with a fantastic DJ and Band rocking out under a disco ball- highlight being a Prince tribute series.The video by Ray Roman Films gives another perspective of this amazing experience! Enjoy the eye candy!
Venue, Food and A/V: The Breakers | Graphic Design & On-Site Director: Trisha Hay Design | Event Branding & Gifting: Gifts for the Good Life | Custom Event Linen: Nuage Designs | Nametags and Programs: Two Paper Dolls | Custom Printing: Checkerboard LTD | Photographers: Carla Ten Eyck – C10 Studios – Love Life Images – Cameron Clark – John Cain Sargent – Jeremie Barlow Photography | Highlight Film: Ray Roman FilmsSB&G founder Donna (aka Mama Parks) attended Engage! as well, but was on nanny duty for my little light, Cecelia. I did have chance to spend some time enjoying The Breakers with my best gals between events. Big thanks to my Moms for making this trip possible!
What do you get when wedding professionals are given a pile of props and 15 minutes to throw together a styled shoot? Magic!
Wedding-themed styled shoots are all the rage these days. They are a wonderful way for wedding professionals to showcase their talent, creativity, and the latest styles and trends.
Triangle NACE, an organization of local event professionals which SB&G has belonged to for many years, themed their monthly chapter monthly meeting on this subject. The event last week took place at The Stockroom at 230 in downtown Raleigh, one of SB&G‘s favorite venues! Donna and Jenna of Southern Bride and Groom, along with our friends from Weddings Magazine, spoke on a panel to discuss tips on how to get styled shoots published.
Soigne Events was the featured caterer at this event and did a beautiful job with the local fare. The University Club provided libations and a signature cocktail, and dessert was from The Cupcake Shoppe and The Freezing Pointe. The Stockroom looked gorgeous with entrance arrangements by North Raleigh Florist and table arrangements by Artfully Arranged, and furniture from Themeworks. Spin provided the production, and Fancy This Photography chronicled the evening’s events.
After the presentation, tables were surprised by the announcement that there would be an on-site styled shoot contest! Each table was sent upstairs to The Glass Box to collect materials and come up with their own styled shoot design in under 20 minutes. There were six teams who tackled three different themes: Bohemian, High Drama and Romantic and Sweet.
Here at SB&G, we viewed the photographers’ images of completed designs from each styled shoot and judged our favorite. We agreed on a bright bohemian themed shoot captured on the rooftop of The Glass Box. What makes this shoot so stunning is the lush colorful floral arrangements, attention to detail on the table including vintage elements, fashion selection and the overall presentation of the theme. It’s fun while still romantic and perfect inspiration for a modern bohemian bride! Check out images from the winning shoot below.
Truthfully, we were impressed with the creative designs all six teams came up with in such quick time frame! Here are a few images of the remaining teams in each category. Great job to everyone who took part!
Each spring, Southern Bride and Groom hosts a Customer Appreciation event to celebrate all of our talented preferred wedding vendors.
This year, the luncheon was held at the brand new luxury boutique hotel, The Mayton Inn, in downtown Cary, NC, and the theme was sustainability. Green weddings are a growing trend, and venues like The Mayton Inn follow environmentally-responsible business practices and are built with that very mission in mind.
The Georgian-style hotel encompasses a luxury atmosphere along with green technologies in all aspects of the new construction building. The 44 rooms and public spaces are dressed with custom features and furniture that was made in High Point, NC just for the Inn. Green technology, such as solar panels on the roof and a rainwater cistern to keep the landscape lush during a drought, make it a great choice for the eco-concious bride.
The hotel also features a lounge, full bar and restaurant, event spaces, a spa and an outdoor terrace. The Inn offers afternoon tea, as well as turndown service for guests with port and chocolates. A gourmet hot breakfast is served to hotel guests every morning in the full service restaurant.
On our menu was chilled honeydew and basil soup, followed by a choice of three entrees: pan-seared chicken breast with haricots verts & tarragon roasted bliss potatoes; pan-seared mahi with spring vegetable succotash and sautéed spinach, or farmers market vegetables and Anson Mill grits with smoked tomato jus, fennel and sweet onion salad.
For dessert, Edible Art Bakery provided delicious individual-sized key lime pies and fruit tarts that flew off the dessert table in no time!
To bring out the natural beauty and the clean, crisp look of Mayton Inn’s dining room and event space, Victorian Seasons created simple and elegant white tulip centerpieces (oh so perfect for a spring wedding soiree!). Light pastel blue containers were courtesy of Table of Contents and the stunning silver chargers were from American Party Rentals.
From start to finish, SB&G carried out a green-themed event. We mailed plantable seeded invitations and encouraged our guests to plant them in the garden where they would sprout a variety of herbs! The invites and calligraphy on them (and the menus) was provided by The Obique Pen.
Guests were also encouraged to bring clothes to donate to the Durham Rescue Mission and Dress for Success. Thanks to their kind donations, we made a delivery of very nice clothes to both locations.
At the end of the lunch, our guests parted with sweet small jars of local North Carolina honey from Bumble & Branch. It’s a perfect party favor for both an elegant affair or a rustic wedding with a focus on local goods.
Photographs from the day were taken by Casey Rose Photography on film, which give them a gorgeous glow. She’s a hybrid photographer, doing both digital and film, and is very talented at both. We can’t thank her, and everyone else involved, for making this year’s luncheon a successful and enjoyable event. Thanks also to all of our wonderful wedding vendors who make our magazine shine because of the truly great work they do every day!
Photos: Casey Rose Photography
Southern Bride & Groom is thrilled to share the release of our Summer-Fall cover, a captivating bridal portrait from Walters & Walters Photography featuring a rich and stunning bouquet created by Raleigh florist Eclectic Sage.
This image is part of our yearly floral shoot, which appears on the pages of our 2016 magazine. Eclectic Sage created the most enchanting outdoor display under the wrought-iron gazebo at The Pavilion at The Angus Barn. One would expect elves and fairy nymphs to make an appearance in this magical woodland wonderland. The sweetheart table is adorned with a floral and moss chandelier and reindeer pelt, surrounded by plush garden flowers in shades of bright pink to rich purple. Each glass bubble holds a perfect lavender rose and our bride reigns as queen of the forest adorned with a flower crown also designed by Eclectic Sage.
With floral embellishments on the straps and bodice of the free-flowing Monique Lhuillier gown from Nitsa’s Apparel, the bride has a naturally elegant look that stands out, yet still blends into the scenery around her. Her hair and makeup, in shades of blush and plum, done by Bella Trio, also matches the bounty of flowers. The slim gold pendant necklace around her neck is from Bailey’s Fine Jewelry, which also supplied the silver branch candleholders and vase under the gazebo.
Check out our newest cover below (which you can find distributed at these locations and making its big debut at the Forever Bridal Show on May 1, 2016) along with additional images of Eclectic Sage’s inspiring floral design.
FLORAL DESIGN & ACCESSORIES Eclectic Sage | TABLETOP, LINEN & CHAIRS Party Reflections | SILVER VASE & CANDLEHOLDER Bailey’s Fine Jewelry | FLORAL CHANDELIER Eclectic Sage | GOWN Monique Lhuillier from Nitsa’s Apparel | JEWELRY Bailey’s Fine Jewelry | HAIR & MAKEUP Bella Trio | VENUE The Pavilion at the Angus Barn | PHOTOGRAPHY Walters & Walters
Flattering & Affordable Couture Carried by Lana Addison in Cary NC
The lovely and charming San Francisco-based Amy Kuschel is one of the more playful bridal gown designers. Her line has been a staple at local NC wedding dress boutique Lana Addison Bridal, so we at SB&G have had the privilege of watching her style evolve over the past several years.
At NY Bridal Fashion Week lat October, we took a peek at Amy Kuschel’s 2016 collection. This year’s line takes inspiration from various “decades of fashion” – but her signature shapes that are form fitting and oh-so-flattering have remained consistent. From deco to disco, this
sophisticated collection pulls the best features of each decade and offers something for every bride.
Fine fabrics, playful lace patterns, and best of all, moderate price points are what you’ll find with Amy Kuschel. Peruse the website where you can search gowns by theme, fabric, silhouette, or neckline. We think you’ll fall in love. And when you do, plan a visit to Lana Addison bridal boutique, located in a historic renovated home in downtown Cary, NC, where these wedding dresses are available. Owned and operated by Alexia and Michael Joyce (and named for their daughter, Lana), who also own Alexia’s in Raleigh, this bridal boutique will give you the experience of feeling like the blushing bride that you are!
Photos below captured by Riley MacLean Photography during our bridal market visit with Amy Kuschel.
A pleasure to see lead designer Amy Kuschel, and her fabulous media rep, Lauren Aranador
Any Breakfast at Tiffany’s fans? ‘Go Lovely’ blends a low scoop neckline with a soft trumpet shape and the smallest pleats to accentuate
Old Hollywood-inspired ‘Harlem’ shows Amy’s talent for balancing a low back with a charming silhouette.
The roaring 20s continue to be a major inspiration in bridal fashion this season. Amy’s got several options for brides seeking a frisky flapper style!
At left, a detail of ‘Broadway’ a cap sleeve in Amy’s 60s Garden Party lace (we swoon at the creativity!). At right, ‘Libby,’ with a sheer blouse styling, evokes a bohemian vibe.
Photos by Riley MacLean Photography