Posts Tagged: nc wedding trends

New Wedding Etiquette – Who Pays For What?

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.Who Pays for What in a Modern Wedding Engagement Ring photo by Jamie Blow
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
-Wedding favors

The Groom or His Family Pay for:
-The bride’s engagement and wedding rings
-Marriage license
-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
-Honeymoon trip
-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
-Rehearsal dinner

The Bride:
-Groom’s wedding ring
-Groom’s gift
-Gifts for the bride’s attendants
-Thank you gift for parents
-Bridesmaid’s luncheon (optional event)

Other Expenses:
-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 partySouthern bride and Groom Modern NC wedding by Jamie Blow Photography

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!

How To Honor The Father of the Bride at the Wedding

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.

Father daughter at wedding Fancy This Photography
Father Daughter Moment Fancy This Photography

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.

father daughter moment erin costa

Photo by Erin Costa Photography

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!

Father Daughter Dance 2Washington Duke Riley Maclean

Photo by Riley Maclean Photography

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 Wedding Catering Trends

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!

Summer Wedding Catering Trends Seafood boil by Donovans Dish Riley MacLean

Seafood Casual

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!

Summer Wedding Catering Trend Seafood in Mediterranean Flavor by Parizade Riley MacLean

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!

Summer Wedding Catering Trends, bright accents by Rocky Top Catering, Riley MacLean

Bright Accents

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.

Summer Wedding Catering Trends Sliders by Southern Harvest Riley MacLean

Summer Sliders

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!

Summer Wedding Catering Trends Unique Salads by Catering Works Riley MacLean

Unique Salads

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.

Summer Wedding Catering Trends Oyster by Rocky Top Riley MacLean


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

Feminine Fairytale NC Wedding at Graylyn Estate

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.



Bride and groom in nc wedding venue at Graylyn Estate, Southern Love Studios

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!

simple and classic wedding invitation from wedding paper divas at Graylyn Estate, Southern Love Studios

Getting Ready

Bridal shoes and jewelry with delicate blush bouquet, Southern Love Studios

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.”

Traditions by Anna Matthew Christopher Gown hanging at Graylyn Estate Southern Love Studios
Gold Sequin Bridemaids dress from Rent The Runway Badgley Mischka Southern Love Studios

Bridesmaids in floral robes at wedding at Graylyn Estate, Southern Love Studios

Bride in strapless gown with blush and white bouquet at NC wedding at Graylyn Estate, Southern Love Studios
Bride in strapless gown from back at Graylyn Estate, Southern Love Studios

“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.

Stunning bride in straples gown going down staircase at Graylyn Estate, Southern Love Studios

Bride and Groom first look at Graylyn Estate, Southern Love Studios
Emotional moment at first look at Graylyn Estate, Southern Love Studios

Stunningly Unique NC Outdoor Ceremony

Wedding welcome sign with leaves and gold font at Graylyn Estate, Southern Love Studios

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.

outdoor ceremony at NC wedding venue with flower petal aisle at Graylyn Estate, Southern Love Studios

Wedding party in black suits and gold dresses at Graylyn Estate, Southern Love Studios

Bride and groom in beautiful photograph at Graylyn Estate, Southern Love Studios
Bride and Groom in enchanting moment at Graylyn Estate, Southern Love Studios

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.

Wedding Paper Tablecards displayed on moss wall at Graylyn Estate, Southern Love Studios

Table numbers on live moss wall at Graylyn Estate, Southern Love Studios

Wedding tablescape with tall floral arranagements at Graylyn Estate, Southern Love Studios
Classic table decor with glitter table numbers and pink florals at Graylyn Estate, Southern Love Studios

Outdoor reception in NC wedding venue at Graylyn Estate, Southern Love Studios

White classic wedding cake by Regi Originals at Graylyn Estate, Southern Love Studios

Grand Exit

Grand exit at NC wedding at Graylyn Estate, Southern Love Studios

Bride and groom walking in golden hour at Graylyn Estate, Southern Love Studios




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

Intimate Courthouse Elopement of SB&G’s Leslie

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.”

intimate elopment ceremony in NC with red statement flowers by bowerbird, jamie blow

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!”

young girls flower crown with pink ribbon by nc florist bowerbird, jamie blow
bridal bouquet wiht red and pink roses by bowerbird, jamie blow


Police office groom and bride in intrimate elopement ceremony, jamie blow

bride and groom holding hands at elopment ceremony at courthouse in NC, jamie blow
exchaning rings intimate elopment ceremony in NC with red statement flowers by bowerbird, jamie blow
Bride elopment at courthouse with bowerbird bouquet and bevello dress, Jamie Blow
Police office groom and bride first kiss elopement ceremony, jamie blow

special moment after i do at elopement ceremony with police office groom and bride in bevello dress with bowerbird flowers, jamie blow

Bride embraces her new daughter at elopement ceremony with nc flowers by bowerbird, jamie blow

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.”

Police office groom and bride in intrimate elopement ceremony, bride wearing bevello white midi dress with statement red bouquet and hair flower by bowerbird, jamie blow
Bride and groom walking hand in hand after elopement ceremony in nc, jamie blow

Police office groom and bride first kiss at elopement ceremony, jamie blow

large bridal bouquet with red rose accents by nc florist bowerbird, jamie blow
Bride and groom kiss on steps of courthouse after eloping in nc, jamie blow

family heirloom ring on uniformed groom at elopment, jamie blow

Police Officers hold cake for elopement intimate ceremony at courthouse, Jamie Blow

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.

Gold glitter cake and monogram by Winde Jackson Cakes in NC with Congrats topper by Moon and Lola, JAmie Blow
Lets Make Babies cupcakes from Winde Jackson Cakes, alternative desserts, Jamie Blow

cotton candy and sunglasses for cute elopment photoshoot, jamie blow

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.”

calligraphy letter by The Oblique Pen for letter on wedding day, jamie blow
Bride and daughter kiss cheeks of groom during elopment shoot, jamie blow

special moment with family after elopement in nc, jamie blow

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!”

bride in wedding day vibes dress from Coastal Knot and groom in pastel pink and blue shirt from belk for elopment shoot, jamie blow
Bride in tassel earings and statement lipstick after elopement, jamie blow

family heirloom rings on bed of cotton candy, jamie blow

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 

Other Vendors:

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

Locally Infused Durham Wedding at Duke Chapel

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.

Bridal party in classic black suits and mauve dresses at NC venue Duke Chapel, Bronwyn Duffield

Getting Ready

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.”

Bride in classically beautiful St Patrick gown from Tre Bella in Raleigh NC at NC venue Duke Chapel, Bronwyn Duffield

Back of St. Patrick, Tre Bella Bridal gown at Duke Chapel wedding, Bronwyn Duffield

Succulent and floral boutonniere by Pine State Flowers for Duke Chapel wedding by Bronwyn Duffield

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.

Bride and groom tender moment photo op at NC venue Duke Chapel, Bronwyn Duffield
Bride and groom embrace, must have wedding photo, at NC venue Duke Chapel, Bronwyn Duffield

Bride and Bridemaids in lavendar mauve mini dresses at NC venue Duke Chapel, Bronwyn Duffield

Classic NC Bride in veil and gown by St Patrick from Tre Bella, Bronwyn Duffield.
Bride with unique bridal bouquet by Meristem Floral, pop of color with dahlias and green, at NC venue Duke Chapel, Bronwyn Duffield

Bride in veil and gown by St Patrick from Tre Bella, Bronwyn Duffield

Groom in classic black leading bride down Duke Chapel stairs, Bronwyn Duffield

Brides with laughing bridesmaids in lavender mauve midi davids bridal dresses at Duke Chapel by Sally Oakley Events Bronwyn Duffield Bridemaid in light purple lace overlay dresses from Weddington Way at NC venue Duke Chapel, Bronwyn Duffield

NC Bride in blowing veil and gown by St Patrick from Tre Bella at Duke Chapel Bronwyn Duffield.

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.

Calligraphy table number displays with floral arrangements of dahlias at Durham NC Venue The Cookery, Bronwyn Duffield
intimate and romantic reception decor for wedding reception at Durham NC Venue The Cookery, Bronwyn Duffield

Neutral Table linens and simple romantic tablescapes for wedding reception at Durham NC Venue The Cookery, Bronwyn Duffield

The Cookery tablescape with locally grown NC flowers from Pine State Flowers planned by Sally Oakley, Bronwyn Duffield

Tablecapes with floral from Pine State Flowers planned by Sally Oakley, a NC wedding planner, with floral table runners at Durham NC Venue The Cookery, Bronwyn Duffield
Simple white wedding cake with florals by Cupcake Shoppe, a Raleigh Bakery at Durham NC Venue The Cookery, Bronwyn Duffield

Bride and Groom first dance at wedding reception at The Cookery in Durham, Bronwyn Duffield

A special NC touch of Cheerwine and local pecans, candied by the bride herself, were given as favors to the wedding guests.

NC Wedding Favor Ideas with Cheerine at Durham NC Venue The Cookery, Bronwyn Duffield

“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.”

Southern Bride and Groom Spring 2017 Cover

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 

Other Vendors

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

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)


Mixed Golds and Blush Wedding Florals

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 Floral Tall Floral Table Decor with Blush theme by Photographer Katherine Miles Jones

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.

Fireplace floral wedding display with blush palette by Fiore Fine Flowers at The Merrimon Wynne House in North Carolina Katherine Miles Jones Photography
Blush and White Floral Arrangement at Merrimom Wynne House on fireplace by Fiore Fine Flowers, Katherine Miles Photography

Bride in Hayley Paige gown from Coastal Knot Bridal holding large blush bouquet from Fiore Fine Flowers in front of fire place at Merrimon Wynne House, Katherine Miles Jones Photography

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.

Bride in gown from Coastal Knot Bridal holding large blush bouquet from Fiore Fine Flowers Katherine Miles Jones Photography
Blush bouquet with hanging orchids

Fiore Fine Flowers Floral Blush colored Table Decor with Tall floral vase by Photographer Katherine Miles Jones

Fiore Fine Flower Green and Gold Accent Chair Decor, Katherine Miles Jones Photography

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.

Raleigh based papergoods from If Its Paper menu cards with blush watercolor designs and gold accent tablesetting by Party Reflections, Katherine Miles Jones Photography
Tall Blush and White Floral Display in gold accent vase from Fiore Fine Flowers by Katherine Miles Jones Photography in NC

The bride wore a classically elegant Hayley Paige gown form Coastal Knot Bridal and a vintage inspired necklace from Bailey’s Fine Jewelry.

Bride in Hayley Paige gown from Coastal Knot Bridal holding large blush bouquet from Fiore Fine Flowers Katherine Miles Jones Photography

Blush white and green Floral Arrangements with mixed metal accents at Merrimom Wynne House on fireplace by Fiore Fine Flowers, Katherine Miles Photography

Blush white and green Floral Arrangements with mixed metal accents and lanterns on fireplace at Merrimom Wynne House on fireplace by Fiore Fine Flowers, Katherine Miles Photography
Fiore Fine Flowers Floral Blush colored Wedding Display with Tall floral vase by Photographer Katherine Miles Jones

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

A Modern NC Outdoor Wedding Peppered with Geometric Shapes and Mixed Metals

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.

Just Married Outdoor North Carolina Wedding Ceremony by A Southern Soiree and Casey Rose Photography


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.

Wood Welcome Sign with Calligrapghy at Outdoor Wedding Ceremony by Casey Rose Photography

Ceremony Arch with Draping white fabric and white and green flowers by English Garden, photography by Casey Rose Photography

Open Air NC Wedding Reception with Market Lights by Get Lit Special Event Lighting, photography by Casey Rose Photography


Wedding party at NC outdoor wedding during cocktail hour by Casey Rose Photography

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.

Gray suits for groomsmen in NC Outdoor Wedding Ceremony by Casey Rose Photography
Mismatched Bridesmaids in blue with southern bouquets A Southern Soiree and Casey Rose Photography

A romantic look for all, with the bride in a Theia gown from Lana Addison Bridal and her ‘maids in mismatched dresses varying in shades of the palest blue from Bella Bridesmaids Raleigh.



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.

Full Skirt Wedding Dress Theia from Lana Addison Bridal Salon in North Carolina by Casey Rose Photography


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.

Spring inspired North Carolina Outdoor Wedding Centerpieces with Pastel Blue and Gold Votives from American Party Rentals, English Garden, A Southern Soiree by Casey Rose Photography
Spring Wedding Open Air Tabletop display designed by A Southern Soiree and American Party Rentals by Casey Rose Photography


geometric shape wedding menus by Paperbuzz a Raleigh NC stationer, casey rose photography
Spring inspired North Carolina Outdoor Wedding Centerpieces with Pastel Blue and Gold Votives from American Party Rentals, English Garden, A Southern Soiree by Casey Rose Photography

A formal affair designed to feel cozy and casual, the perfect setting for guests to enjoy the outdoors and good company.

Southern Wedding Reception on Open Air Porch Inspiration with Photography by Casey Rose Photography

Southern Wedding Flowers with Magnolia Accent at North Carolina Outdoor Wedding, Florist English Garden by Casey Rose Photography

Southern Bride and Groom with Big Garden Style Bouquet in Pastel Pink, Coral, and Lavender from English Garden at North Carolina Wedding by Photographer Casey Rose

Reception Must-Haves

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.

Colorful wedding hors doeuvres, casey rose photography, 12 oaks, north carolina wedding

Groomsman holding hors doeuvres, casey rose photography


Handpainted gold on petite white modern wedding cake by Edible Art bakery in raleigh NC, photography by Casey Rose Photography
Modern Wedding Cake Geometric Shapes with pastel and gold from Edible Art in Raleigh NC by Casey Rose Photography

Southern Bride and Groom with Big Garden Style Bouquet in Pastel Pink, Coral, and Lavender from English Garden at North Carolina Wedding by Photographer Casey Rose

Sparkler Exit with Bride and Groom by Casey Rose Photography



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

Other Contributors

VENUE 12 Oaks Country Club | LINEN CE Rentals | BOWTIES High Cotton | CALLIGRAPHY Kelley Ann (of A Southern Soiree)

Skip Saturday Weddings to Save Money

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.
UNC theme weddingPhoto: 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.Prestonwood Country Club in Cary NCPhoto: 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.
Angus Barn wedding receptionsPhoto: 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.
Mandolin restaurant Raleigh 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