Posts Tagged: nc wedding trends
These days, the rules of who pays for what when it comes to a wedding are a little more in the grey area than in years past…for quick and easy reference, SB&G has provided a short and sweet list of new wedding etiquette so you know what to expect from whom!
Old Wedding Etiquette Rules: Wedding and reception expenses for a first marriage were traditionally the sole responsibility of the bride’s family. When paying, they get to determine the size and style of the wedding and reception. The groom’s family my offer to share in the cost of the reception, and the bride’s family may accept in order to accommodate a larger wedding.
New Wedding Etiquette Rules: Both families may divide the expenses as their budget allows, or each family can contribute a set amount to the total expenses. This may be supplemented by the bride and groom. As the average age of couples rises for marriage, many working duos today host and pay for their entire wedding and celebration themselves, and issue the invitation for their personalized wedding on their own. For encore weddings, the couple is always responsible for the costs.
The Bride’s Family Pays for:
-Church and reception site rental
-Cake, catering and beverages for the reception
-Invitations, announcements and stationary
-Services of a wedding consultant
-The bridal attire and trousseau
-Photography for the engagements, bridal portraits, ceremony and reception
-Flowers for the church, reception and the bridesmaids
-Corsages for special helpers
-Music at the ceremony and reception
-Limousine for the bride and family to the church, and cars for transportation
-Lodging for out-of-town bridesmaids or arrangements with friends
-Security and insurance
The Groom or His Family Pay for:
-The bride’s engagement and wedding rings
-Officiant’s fee and travel expenses
-Bride’s bouquet and going-away corsage
-Corsages for the mothers and grandmothers
-Boutonnieres, gloves and ties for the men of the wedding party
-Wedding gift for the bride
-Limousine expense leaving reception — or for the day
-Wedding night accommodations
-Gifts for the best man and groomsmen
-Shipment of the wedding gifts to the couple’s home
-Lodging or arrangements for out-of-town groomsmen
-Groom’s wedding ring
-Gifts for the bride’s attendants
-Thank you gift for parents
-Bridesmaid’s luncheon (optional event)
-Engagement parties may be hosted by each set of parents or friends
-Groom’s family or engaged couple may co-host or host the entire wedding event
-The groom’s family or friends usually give the bachelor dinner or party
Who pays for what for a wedding might be just the first of many questions that come up when planning your day. Peruse our BLOG for other advice columns, and of course, lots of inspirational eye-candy!
If you are getting married in NC, we’d also love for you to check out our Preferred Vendors. SB&G has been the trusted wedding planning resource for our region for 30 years and has the most extensive VENUE GUIDE spanning from the NC Triad, across the Greater Triangle and to the Coast. Our region has great options for DESTINATION WEDDINGS too!
Father of the Bride
Since Father’s Day is just around the corner (this Sunday!) – we thought we’d dedicate this Friday post to ideas that will make the Father of the bride feel special on his daughter’s wedding day; to show him that no matter how old you are, or who comes into your life, you’ll always be his little girl.
1. Give Him A Little Gift
Some of our favorite tokens on a wedding day are small gifts given from the bride to her father, like an embroidered handkerchief, personalized cufflinks, or a special photo opportunity. Your father will absolutely love the thought that went behind whatever gift you choose.
Photo by Fancy This Photography
2. Give Him A Bear Hug When He Gives You Away
Giving their child away at a wedding may be one of the hardest moments for a father. The symbol that passing their child to their future husband holds is emotionally tough for any dad. Let your dad know he’s still your number 1 guy with a big hug and kiss before you join your fiancé at the altar. A little display of your love and appreciation for him will make him feel so honored and may make the moment a little easier on them.
3. Let Him Surprise You With A Father/Daughter Dance Song
While you may want to be a part of every decision in your wedding planning, give your dad the opportunity to help! Let him surprise you with a song to have your father/daughter dance to. Not only will it mean so much to him, but it could also be a ton of fun to see what he comes up with!
4. Write Him a Thank You Note
As the years go by, handwritten thank you notes have become less and less customary. Nothing shows how thankful you really are more than words from the heart. Put your pen to paper and thank your father for everything he’s done for you for your entire life. It will almost definitely bring tears to his eyes.
Give your dads a huge hug this weekend, ladies, and Happy Father’s Day!
Summer Catering in NC
Summer is around the corner and wedding season is among us. That means finding the right seasonal fare to serve at your wedding! Depending where you are located, that could mean different things. We brought together some of our favorite local North Carolina caterers and are sharing some of the top Summer wedding catering trends!
If you are anywhere near the North Carolina coast you know that seafood is a must have. We have some of the best and freshest catches around! Donovan’s Dish shared with us this casual seafood boil that is sure to bring together any family. Having such an informal yet stunning way of presenting a classic meal is perfect for any North Carolina bride and groom!
Seafood Fine Dining
In the other spectrum is a more traditional presentation of a classic seafood meal. Parizade put a mediterranean spin on this seafood dish and made a summer dish just that much more summery. For the bride and groom that doesnt want to get their fingers dirty, this option is just what you are looking for!
Rocky Top Catering transformed a cold weather dish, curry, into a Summer favorite. They created an amazing shrimp curry to go with the season and accented it with bright colors to perfectly blend in with a Summer wedding. You can easily turn any dull dish into a bright plate with the help of some sauces or seasonal flowers.
Sliders are no new trend, but pulling together colorful sliders like these pork belly, portobello and crab cake bites from Southern Harvest Catering, give a non exciting dish a Summer overhaul. Using vegetables that are in season and fresh only grow your guests hunger when they see them coming around at your wedding!
Salads are a common item on the wedding menu. Spice things up by having a not-so-traditional type of salad. Catering Works created this frisee salad with a shrimp cocktail and pistachio vinaigrette. Not only is it aesthetically beautiful, it is the perfect light Summer dish.
Oysters are really hitting their stride right now. New oyster bars are popping up left and right and we just can’t get enough of them! Rocky Top Catering took their oyster presentation to a new level with these oysters in 6 different ways. These are perfect for cocktail hour at any formal wedding. You can also have raw oysters for a more casual reception.
Photography by Riley MacLean Photography
Amber & Deon
Amber & Deon may be traveling the world, but they returned to the state their love began, North Carolina, to exchange vows in front of their loved ones. With the help of Nouveau Events, the couple was able to create a unique yet intimate setting for their guests at Graylyn Estate. With blushes, golds, creams and a pop of rose gold, the wedding was a feminine fairytale, which was fitting since their relationship is a true fairytale romance.
Amber and Deon met in an English class at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After two years of friendship they began dating and seven years later Deon popped the question.
Deon, a starter on the 2009 National Championship Tar Heels basketball team, has been playing professional abroad since college. Amber has been along with him for this exciting ride as he has played in Europe, China, Israel, and now Istanbul. These world travelers were on a vacation to Zanzibar, Tanzania, when Deon proposed and they embarked on their biggest adventure yet!
Although this bride is a natural planner, she was beyond pleased that she chose to enlist Nouveau Events as her coordinator. She told us that, “Monica is an exquisite wedding planner and an even better person. She handled all the unnecessary tasks that I did not need to worry about on my wedding day, and helped bring my wedding together like the perfect bow on a present.”
“From the moment I met Brandon from Southern Love Studios, I knew I made the right choice for a wedding photographer. He is an amazing artist with a keen eye,” expressed Amber.
Stunningly Unique NC Outdoor Ceremony
Amber and Deon’s friend and pastor from their time living in Jerusalem held the honor of marrying the couple. It meant the world to them to have friends from coast to coast in the U.S., as well as from the other side of the world, in one setting to witness their love and spiritual faith in God.
Old Estate Home Reception
The guests experiences different nooks of the castle-like Graylyn Estate as they moved from the garden for the ceremony to various rooms indoor for cocktails, dining, and dancing. They even utilized a balcony for the cake cutting.
SB&G PREFFERED VENDORS
Rehearsal Dinner: Fratelli’s| Videographer: Indatainment Media Consultants | Bridal Gown: Traditions by Anna, Matthew Christopher Gown | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Rent the Runway, Badgley Mischka | Men’s Formalwear: Calvin Klein | Florist: Green Bee Floral Designs | Cake: Regi Originals | Invitations & Wedding Papers: Wedding Paper Divas | Ceremony Musicians: Elegant Ensembles | Reception Music: (live or DJ) K9 Productions | Transportation: Fantasy Limo | Hair & Makeup: Updo’s Studio | Wedding Favors: BeauCoup and One Stop Wine Shop | Bridal Registry: Crate & Barrel, Target
Leslie & Jon
A beautifully intimate courthouse elopement, a super fun celebratory photoshoot, and one of our very own from Southern Bride and Groom – What more could you ask for? We here at Southern Bride and Groom are so excited to share with you that our very own Leslie has wed the love of her life, Jon, in an intimate elopement! Of course, it wouldn’t be a SB&G wedding without breathtaking photographs by Jamie Blow Photography and a fun photoshoot to celebrate the nuptials!
Leslie and Jon met while listening to a band on Ocean Isle Beach. He asked her to dance and the rest is history for these two. Jon proposed on Christmas Day at Leslie’s family’s holiday party with the same ring that her grandfather used when he had proposed – three times! – to her grandmother.
Leslie and Jon knew they wanted a small and untraditional wedding. While they were discussing the many options that comes along with planning a wedding, they also purchased their first home as a couple. Leslie joked, “I was looking more at WayFair for the perfect dining room table instead of wedding gowns! I knew then that my focus was more on “nesting” with my husband-to-be than the usual bridal searches.”
They decided on eloping to the courthouse in Nashville, NC and having a party to celebrate with family and friends at a later date. Just because they eloped, doesn’t mean they didn’t get to include everything they wanted.
Leslie’s gorgeous bridal bouquet, hair flower, and flower crown for her step-daughter, Taylor, were made by SB&G Preferred Vendor, Bowerbird Flowers. “Her whimsical, yet polished look is exactly what I pictured when Jon and I were thinking of planning our wedding day. Working with her was a pure joy!”
Leslie and Jon opted for a stunning natural light look for their photos. While the wind picked up the day of, you would never know from the beautiful photographs. Leslie said, “Jamie Blow has the best energy! She made everyone around us so comfortable. She went with the flow of the day and never missed a beat.”
Celebratory Elopement Photo Shoot
Moon & Lola‘s cake topper on top of the beautifully designed cake and fun cupcakes by Winde Jackson Cakes were the perfect addition to the celebration! “Winde with Winde Jackson Cakes is a local Rocky Mount sweetooth aficionado! Her delectable cakes and treats are just as beautiful as they are amazing to eat! I called her last minute and she was so on board. She was especially excited about our cupcakes. She even made them vegan for me, without me even asking. That’s just Winde – she really knows her brides,” shared Leslie.
A beautifully special moment for Leslie was It was sharing with Jon and his daughter Taylor the note she had authored to them. While it was her words that carried the message of loving each of them individually and as a family, she trusted Jessica Yee of The Oblique Pen to put her words into a beautiful memento.
“Jessica Yee went above and beyond with her calligraphy. She artfully wrote my words in her breathtaking calligraphy on beautiful textured paper, and even illustrated a simple flower at the bottom,” shared Leslie. “Her attention to detail is just uncanny.”
Leslie had her hair and makeup done by the one and only, Makeup For Your Day.”I only had two requests: a flower in my hair and a bold, red lip,” said Leslie. “This was a spontaneous elopement, so there was no trial-run, and their team nailed it!”
Between the stunning florals, pretty dresses, fun cupcakes and props, and beautiful photographs to remember the day, it was a picture perfect celebration. When asked if she would do it over again – she immediately answered, “100% yes!”
Leslie used nearly all Southern Bride and Groom vendors for her elopement and celebration.
“Working with SB&G has been such an amazing experience! I have the opportunity to see different weddings, styled shoots, and vendor collaborations. There are Real Wedding and Editorial Shoots that have stuck in my mind. I feel like I’ve seen it all – high-budgets and small, intimate events.
Some brides-to-be and couples may not know this, but SB&G has a vetting process for every single vendor that is invited into the upcoming annual publication. The newly-engaged couples have trusted SB&G for reliable, professional, and impressively creative vendors 30 years, and our small, local team takes that to heart. We love LOVE, and no matter how big or small the celebratory events surrounding a couples’ engagement, the SB&G Team wants to be sure we are an essential, helpful source to make their day that much more special.”
SB&G Preferred Vendors
PHOTOGRAPHY: Jamie Blow Photography | HAIR & MAKEUP : Makeup for Your Day | FLORIST: Bowerbird Flowers | CALLIGRAPHY: The Oblique Pen | CAKE & CUPCAKES: Winde Jackson Cakes | JEWELRY & CAKE TOPPER: Moon & Lola | SPARKLE DRESS: Coastal Knot | GROOMS WEAR: Belk of Crabtree Valley
VENUE: Nashville, NC Courthouse | COURTHOUSE DRESS: Bevello Boutique | PINK DAUGHTER’S DRESS: Francesca’s | MANICURE: Paintbase | BRIDE’S RING: Heirlooms (Grandmother’s engagement ring & Mother’s anniversary band) | SHOOT VENUE: Rocky Mount Mills Historic Bridge
Cara and Corey
With a bride from Durham and the couple meeting here, you could say it is a special city for Cara and Corey. The couple wanted to keep their ceremony and reception locally sourced. Not only did they choose renowned Durham locations, but kept their flowers, food and more, local! This locally infused Durham Wedding was seamlessly executed by Sally Oakley Weddings & Events.
Cara chose a classically beautiful lace dress from Tre Bella Bridal with a transparent back. “The ladies at Tre Bella Bridal were so wonderful to work with,” said the bride. “The consultant really paid attention to what I wanted.”
“Bronwyn Duffield Photography took beautiful shots. She is the best! We loved that she helped us to look very natural and not posed,” said Cara.
Ceremony at Duke Chapel
Since the couple had met in Cara’s hometown of Durham while attending physical therapy school at Duke University, getting married at Duke Chapel was a natural fit. They built on that by choosing a local wedding theme, sourcing from virtually all in-state vendors.
Reception at The Cookery
Cara and Corey wanted their wedding reception to feel warm and inviting, and their planning team made that come to life with locally-grown flowers, silver and gold candle accents, and the warm brick walls of their venue.
“The Cookery was a beautiful and interesting space that allowed us to have the intimate celebration we wanted while still having over 100 guests. It’s use of artifacts and upcycled materials from Durham in the architecture and décor was also important to us since this is the city we met and I grew up in. We also loved meeting Tammy and her team at The Cookery and felt very confident that they could help us navigate the planning process,” shared Cara.
A special NC touch of Cheerwine and local pecans, candied by the bride herself, were given as favors to the wedding guests.
“Hiring Sally was one of the best decisions we made for our wedding,” shared Cara. “She made a custom service package for us according to what we needed, and provided invaluable advice for every aspect of our wedding throughout our 18-months engagement. On the day of the wedding, Sally made our lives stress-free and no task was too small – she and her team took care of us, our families, and our wedding party.”
SB&G Preferred Vendors
WEDDING CONSULTANT Sally Oakley Weddings & Events | PHOTOGRAPHER Bronwyn Duffield Photography | RECEPTION The Cookery | REHEARSAL DINNER Parizade | CATERER Donovan’s Dish | GOWN St. Patrick from Tre Bella Bridal | PARTY RENTALS American Party Rentals | ACCOMMODATIONS Durham Marriott City Center
Ceremony: Duke University Chapel – Durham, NC | Minister: Pastor Chris Pappalardo | Bridal Shoes: Betsy Johnson | Bridesmaids’ Dresses (designer and salon): David’s Bridal | Florist: Pine State Flowers-Durham, NC | Cake: Details Cake Design-Cary, NC | Stationer: Reaves Engraving – Laurinburg, NC | Calligrapher: Marika Wendelken (chalkboard artist) | Ceremony Musicians: Jordan Prescott, Duke Chapel Organist | Reception Music: Bunn DJ Company – Frank Meldau-Raleigh, NC | Party Rentals (linens, tables, chairs, tent, etc): CE Linens | Transportation: Ecostyle Transportation-Raleigh, NC | Hair for Bridal Party: Makeup by Ashley Mooney-Raleigh, NC | Make-Up: Julie Robbins Makeup-Raleigh, NC | Engagement Ring: Heirloom from Nana of the Bride | Wedding Favors: Cheerwine and NC pecans candied by Bride
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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!”
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
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)
Romantic Floral Inspiration
The captivating design perfectly meshes with the charm of The Merrimon-Wynne House. We love that Fiore Fine Flowers mixed florals you might grow in your home garden like blush and cream dahlias and roses, with gorgeous and exotic white phalaenopsis orchids. The bounteous bundles are enhanced with special touches like silk ribbon chair embellishments, watercolor place cards and mixed golden vases. This soft extravagant mix is as romantic as it gets.
Fiore Fine Flowers adorned the beautiful antique fireplace of The Merrimon-Wynne House with green leaf runners, blush and cream dahlias and roses, and candles. They added a mix of gold lanterns and vases to pull together the classic gold and blush color theme.
Fiore Fine Flowers created a large cream and blush bridal bouquet with dahlias, roses, and draping white phalaenopsis. A gold satin sash tied together the gorgeous bouquet to compliment the gold accents of the scenery.
Watercolor blush menus and place cards from If It’s Paper add a whimsical and artistic touch that perfectly pairs with the elegant tall gold vases with white and blush shaded blooms from Fiore Fine Flowers.
SB&G Preferred Vendors
FLORAL DESIGN: Fiore Fine Flowers | CHAIRS, GLASSWARE, CHIND & LINEN: Party Reflections | MENU & PLACE CARDS: If It’s Paper | GOWN: Hayley Paige from Coastal Knot Bridal | JEWELRY: Bailey’s Fine Jewelry | HAIR & MAKEUP: Bella Trio Day Spa | VENUE: The Merrimon-Wynne House | PHOTOGRAPHER: Katherine Miles Jones Photography
North Carolina Outdoor Wedding Inspiration
There is a good reason so many North Carolina couples desire an outdoor wedding. When the weather is on point in our state, the open air surroundings are nothing short of mild and magical. And indeed, all is aglow with romance in this spring outdoor wedding with a pastel color palette. The end result was an intimate industrial, garden chic wedding designed around geometric shapes and a soft feminine palette of mint, copper and pastels. This modern NC wedding in a country setting was designed by local wedding planner team, A Southern Soiree.
This formal affair is designed to feel intimate and casual. The ceremony was adorned in wood elements and florals to bring out a garden chic feel. The outdoor dining area defined by market light poles is intentionally cozy, and is set with a mix of table groupings, all conducive to sharing food and good company.
Fashion & Beauty
Smart suits in soft grey pair handsomely with bridesmaid dresses, each unique and in complementary shades of the palest blue. Mismatching bridesmaid dresses gives the opportunity to add a variation of colors while still staying in one palette and theme.
To photograph the classic beauty of the venue, Casey Rose Photography chose film photography for its unparalleled ability to capture rich textures, depth and dynamic range in soft, natural colors and soft light.
Flowers & Décor
The English Garden created naturally styled floral bouquets and arrangements in a feminine palette of mint and mixed pastels. Adding mixed metals created an industrial look that perfectly paired with the feminine beauty of the scenery. “We blended texture, metal and pastels to create an unexpected design,” says Megan Gillikin of A Southern Soiree.
A formal affair designed to feel cozy and casual, the perfect setting for guests to enjoy the outdoors and good company.
Elegant passed hor d’oeuvres adds an easy, delicious touch to the guest’s experience. Edible Art Bakery produced geometric garden chic cakes to incorporate the events themes.
MEET THE SB&G VENDORS
STYLING A Southern Soiree | PHOTOGRAPHY Casey Rose Photography | FLORALS The English Garden | RENTALS American Party Rentals | PAPER Paperbuzz | BRIDAL GOWN Theia from Lana Addison Bridal | BRIDESMAIDS GOWNS Bella Bridesmaids Raleigh | FORMALWEAR Bernard’s Formalwear | HAIR & MAKEUP Bella Trio Day Spa | JEWELRY Moon & Lola | LIGHTING & CEREMONY DRAPER Get Lit Special Event Lighting | CAKES Edible Art Bakery
NC Brides on a Budget can opt for Friday and Sunday Night Events at Local Wedding Venues
Big Saturday weddings are not likely to lose their luster anytime soon, but more couples are considering alternate days or months outside of spring or fall as a way to save money or make travel more attractive to visiting guests.
Such flexibility is essential if you are determined to have your wedding at the Carolina Club during football season. Event planner Elizabeth Rubio will pencil in a bride for a hoped-for fall Saturday with the option to switch to another date if it proves to be a UNC game day.
Photo: Neil Boyd Photography
“The rest of the year is easy, but we’re right next to Kenan Stadium so we can’t book private events until the football schedule comes out,” Rubio says, citing a practice used by other venues affiliated with college campuses. “Honestly, a lot of brides would rather be anywhere but Chapel Hill on a football Saturday. Traffic is terrible and it makes everything more expensive, including room rates – if you can even get rooms.”
Many venues offer a price break on Fridays and Sundays to make the choice more enticing. Prestonwood Country Club in Cary has lower food and beverage minimums those days, making a dreamy ballroom reception available to some brides who assumed it was a budget buster.
Sondra Johnstone, Prestonwood’s director of catering and sales, says Friday nights are increasingly popular with couples who want to be married in a Catholic church.and have their party immediately after. “Catholic churches usually do Saturday weddings only in the morning or early afternoon, but many will do a Friday ceremony in late afternoon, making it perfect for a Friday night reception,” Johnstone says.Photo: In His Image Photography
Choosing off months, including the heat of summer or chill of winter, typically helps if a couple is set on a Saturday wedding. But if your preferred venue is open-air, there are only so many temperate Saturdays. If you simply have to have one, planners say you need to inquire about that hoped-for date right away.
“A lot of our brides like getting married down by the lake, surrounded by the woods. It’s best when it’s not too hot or cold,” says Sarah Leach, coordinator for Angus Barn’s Pavilion event space. The rustic Raleigh banquet hall, built with the original stones from Fayetteville Street and timbers salvaged from Sherman’s March through the capitol during the Civil War, already was booked for several in-demand 2018 wedding dates by fall 2016.
“The majority of our brides are flexible about the day because they want to get married with us,” Leach adds, saying that Fridays can be an easy sell when a desired Saturday is already claimed. “Maybe they’ve been to a wedding here before or another event. It becomes the standard they want.”
Some couples opt to forego any semblance of traditional wedding standards by “flipping” their celebration. They’ll have a large rehearsal dinner with friends and family anight or more before the wedding, then opt for a more intimate reception following the ceremony.
Photo: Graham Terhune Photography
“We’re seeing a lot of Thursday rehearsal dinners for folks getting married elsewhere on Fridays,” says Jessie Koppenhaver of Bridge Club, Chef Ashley Christensen’s event space in downtown Raleigh. “On a Thursday, you can have your pick of bands, flowers, you name it.”
Dashi, Durham’s exceptional ramen house, typically does not make the restaurant available for private parties. However, its stylish upstairs bar, a Japanese gastropub setting known as an izakaya, is favored by food savvy couples who want to treat guests to an umami-rich, small-plate feast. If you want it on a Friday or Saturday, however, you’ll pay much more than what it costs earlier in the week.
“I think that renting Dashi’s izakaya is a steal and a wonderful experience for private celebrations,” says partner Rochelle Johnson, noting the bargain rental of $500 Monday-through-Wednesday compared to $900 for Thursdays or $1,200 on Fridays and Saturdays. The tempting bar menu features an exotic array of fried and grilled nibbles and snacks complemented by sake, sochu and especially creative cocktails. Distinctive settings like the izakaya also are hot for wedding after parties.
Photo: Joe Payne Photography
Carolina Club’s Elizabeth Rubio says she’s seeing an uptick in non-Saturday after parties for local couples who get married elsewhere; in the bride’s hometown, for example, or at a destination wedding.
“A lot of times, parents will throw them a second party so more friends can attend, or the couple might even do it themselves,” Rubio says. “Some are as elaborate as weddings while others are much more low key. Either way,” she adds, “the stress is off and everyone enjoys it more.”
So, if you’re looking to pinch some pennies, or perhaps redirect dollars for unimagined splurges, flexible scheduling could make your budget sufficient to realize the reception of your dreams.
Article contributed by Jill Warren Lucas