Posts Tagged: nc wedding venues

Proposal Inspiration from the NC Hot Air Balloon Festival

It’s that moment that changes your lives forever and marks the start of two becoming one – full of the most joyful emotions. If you have a groom who is organized enough to plan documentation of this occasion, lucky you! If not, you can always reenact the scene at your engagement session.

Last spring, WRAL sponsored the first hot air balloon festival at Bennett Bunn Plantation in Zebulon, just a few minutes outside of Raleigh. This picturesque country property with historic tobacco barns, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, beautiful pastures and a gazebo, hosts weddings and events in their rustic stone and timber lakeside lodge. The festival hosted dozens of hot air balloons in Bennett Bunn’s expansive fields, and made the perfect photo-opp for a proposal picnic-styled shoot that SB&G put on with the help of Erin McLean Events, featured in our 2016 magazine.

The day was mostly beautiful, but blustery winds grounded the balloons while our now newlywed couple, Brooke and Jason McDowell, enjoyed the time together with the picnic fare. For a proposal or engagement shoot, include pretty details for the photos, such as food, flowers or a favorite quote on a mirror or a chalkboard – along with a picturesque location. The beautiful diamond ring from Diamonds Direct Crabtree sparkles on a summer day.

Enjoy the colorful and fun images captured by photographer Jamie Blow below, and take note of ideas for your own creative proposal or engagement shoot!
Hot air balloon engagement photos in NCPink peony bouquetBennett Bunn Plantation NC wedding venueHot air balloon festival in north carolinaDiamonds Direct engagement ringsChalk board signs in weddingsNorth Carolina engagmenet and wedding photographyCute engagement photo ideasOutdoor picnic engagement sessionsPicnic engagement session by Jamie Blow PhotographyPink engagement and wedding inspirationPastel and pink color pallette for summer weddingVENUE Bennett Bunn Plantation | PHOTOGRAPHER Jamie Blow Photography | STYLING & FLORALS Erin McLean Events | CHALKBOARD SIGNAGE Pen Pointed Calligraphy | EARRINGS & ENGAGEMENT RING Diamonds Direct Crabtree

Thank you to the other shoot participants: Hot Air Marketing, producer of the WRAL Freedom Balloon Festival; and Ramey Rhodes, local fashion designer of the bride-to-be’s dress.

Vintage Chic Wedding at The Sutherland

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today we’re excited to share Beth and George’s vintage chic wedding at The Sutherland in Wake Forest, captured by one of Raleigh’s top wedding photographers, Dara Blakeley Photography.

Beth had been living in NC with her aunt and uncle and working as a school teacher while George was working from home. Since neither had ample opportunity to get out and meet people, they joined and it wasn’t long before Beth noticed his profile and chose to have their first date at the Milltown in Carrboro.

One evening, George took Beth to one of her favorite restaurants and the place where they first fell in love – Acme restaurant in Carrboro. He hired a photographer to capture the special moment and even secretly packed Beth’s makeup bag knowing she would die if her makeup was running in public! They shared a celebratory bottle of champagne and then went to see the Broadway show Beauty and the Beast. It was an all-around magical evening.

With help from SB&G’s venue guide, Beth and George found The Sutherland – the perfect place for a vintage chic Southern wedding! Beth is from NJ and George from PA, but the met and fell in love in NC. They wanted to share some of that Southern charm with their guests who flew in from many different states.

Beth spent a lot of hours perusing Pinterest boards to get the exact look she was trying to capture: an outdoor wedding with a vintage feel. She rented vintage items from Themeworks and bought other items from Etsy, local antique shops and Pottery Barn. Blush and white flowers and a classic buttercream cake with roses added to the elegant look.

Beth’s dad is her best friend and she knew there were two things she wanted to remember forever: his reaction to seeing her in my dress and their choreographed fast dance. They had a blast breaking it down on the patio!

At the end of the night, the couple was whisked away in an old-fashioned Excalibur and treated like royalty at The Umstead Hotel and Spa, enjoying a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. After the party, it was a nice treat to walk the trails and enjoy the calming atmosphere as husband and wife.

Not only did Dara Blakeley Photography capture stunning images of the bride and groom, but she also portrayed every vintage-inspired detail of this gorgeous wedding in the images below.
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The Sutherland exceeded our expectations. Getting ready in the bride and groom quarters was breathtaking,” says the bride. “We had both the ceremony and reception outside at The Sutherland and Ashlee covered it all! She ensured our guests were comfortable and that I was calm. She took care of everything.”

Dara is the most soothing person you want at your wedding,” shares Beth. “She was able to make me laugh when I was nervous; she just has a special charm about her. I didn’t meet her prior to the wedding, but when I did, it was like I had known her for years. She was so fun! Kathy works with Dara and she is the perfect partner to this dynamic duo.”Black and white wedding photographyCaterer
“Of course, we did our homework before picking a caterer. Donovan’s Dish bends over backwards for their clients. Most caterers have group tastings, but they decided to do a private tasting. Everything was delicious. They also set themselves apart at the unveiling of the pavilion at The Sutherland, serving some of their famous shrimp and grits and guests loved the pasta station. While we didn’t get to eat much of our dinner at our wedding, Donavan’s ensured that we had a meal to enjoy in our getaway bag. They also heard that I was donating my flowers to the Ronald McDonald House and helped pack our leftovers for us to donate,” Beth noted.

Edible Art Bakery let us come in for more than one tasting to ensure that we were set on the flavors of our cupcakes and cake. Their cupcakes are huge! We had ordered a little extra and ended up passing them out to family and friends, along with neighbors the next day. Our cake had one tier of almond and the other lemon and both flavors were to die for!” the bride says.
Classic white wedding cakesVENUE & PLANNING The Sutherland | PHOTOGRAPHY Dara Blakeley Photography | CATERER Donovan’s Dish | REHEARSAL DINNER Over The Falls in Wake Forest | BRIDESMAID LUNCHEON Sergio’s Pizza | GOWN Pronovias from I Do I Do in New Jersey | SHOES Blue by Betsey Johnson | JEWELRY Nadri from Nordstroms | WEDDING RINGS Diamonds Direct | BRIDESMAID DRESSES Jenny Yoo | GROOMSMEN GIFTS Oakley sunglasses | HAIR Manhattan Hair and Nail in NJ | PERFUME Versace Bright Crystal perfume | | MINISTER Michael Mullins | CEREMONY MUSIC Save The Date (cello and violin duo) | RECEPTION MUSIC Brian Pate Entertainment | CAKE Edible Art Bakery | FLORIST Embellished Blooms | VIDEOGRAPHER Wrinkled Blanket | PARTY RENTALS CE Rentals and Themeworks | VINTAGE DÉCOR | INVITATIONS Winkflash & American Wedding | FAVORS Sweet Water Italian Ice | TRANSPORTATION Classy Transportation | BRIDE & GROOM ACCOMMODATIONS The Umstead Hotel & Spa

Rustic Fall Wedding at the Piazza at Portofino

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today, we’re excited to share Meagan and Christopher’s rustic fall wedding at the Piazza at Portofino in Clayton, NC.

Meagan and Christopher are high school sweethearts who dated through college and were engaged during Meagan’s last semester of graduate school. Chris proposed at their favorite vacation spot on Lake Gaston, NC.

With a vision to have a very rustic, yet natural theme to their wedding, the couple were immediately drawn to the beautiful views and rustic setting of Portofino – a residential community, equestrian center, and event piazza located in Clayton, NC. “We loved the fact that the ceremony and reception could be held on the same property but in a different location,” says Meagan, who also appreciated having the upstairs of the barn suite to get ready and stay in the night of the wedding.

To top it off, they were very impressed with the help they received from Sandra Thompson, the event coordinator at Portofino. “She was so welcoming and inviting the first time we met her, we couldn’t imagine working with anyone else,” Meagan shares. “She went above and beyond to make sure our wedding day was perfect and something we would never forget. We are very fortunate to have crossed paths with such as caring and genuine person.”

The color palette was classic – rich navy blue, cream and white. The flowers were prepared by a florist from Harris Teeter in Cameron Village in Raleigh and the bride was thrilled with how the white hydrangeas and roses added elegant accents to the barn-like setting.

Of course, the equestrian center and the ground of Portofino provides many beautiful backdrops for photographs. Diane McKinney’s gorgeous photos below tell the story of this adorable, long-time couple and their joyous fall wedding.

There is no doubt this family knows how to have a good time – they even have a family tradition of throwing the groom in the pool at the end of the reception!
Bride with white headband and veilRaleigh wedding photographersWhite bouquets for weddingsMonogrammed bridesmaid clutchesOutdoor weddings in North CarolinaUnique outdoor wedding venues in NCOutdoor fall weddings in NCPiazza at Portofino in Clayton NCRustic wedding venues in NCRustic barn wedding decorWedding ceremony at Portofino equestrian centerRustic wedding at Portofino equestrian centerTriangle area wedding venuesWedding receptions around Raleigh NCSmall cupcakes at weddingWhite classic wedding cake with cake topper monogramNorth Carolina fall weddingsThe Piazza at PortofinoFamily wedding traditionsThrowing groom in pool after receptionBlack and white wedding photographyVENUE The Piazza at Portofino | PHOTOGRAPHY Diane McKinney Photography | BRIDAL LUNCHEON Café Luna | REHEARSAL DINNER Lonnie Poole Golf Course | MINISTER Eric Beavers, Hope Fellowship Church at Hope Café | CATERER Unforgettable Food Affairs | BRIDAL GOWN Maggi Bridal | BRIDESMAIDS David’s Bridal | FORMALWEAR Men’s Warehouse | FLORIST Harris Teeter at Cameron Village | CAKE Sister Sweets | CEREMONY MUSIC Lauren Solomon | RECEPTION MUSIC Anything Music | PARTY RENTALS CE Rentals | LIGHTING Table Toppers | TRANSPORTATION White Horse Transportation | HAIR Scott Anderson | MAKEUP Fiquet Swain | ENGAGEMENT RING Bailey’s Fine Jewelry

Sweet Southern Outdoor Wedding at the Burke Manor Inn and Pavilion

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today, we’re excited to share Aprille and Joseph’s sweet Southern outdoor wedding at The Burke Manor Inn and Pavilion in Gibsonville, NC.

Joseph went looking for an apartment one day, and along with finding a place to rent, he found his soulmate. Aprille was working as a leasing consultant at the complex. She and Joseph soon became close friends and chatted while they were both there, but when Aprille left the job, she thought that would be the end of it. Luckily, they reconnected on Facebook have been together as a couple ever since.

Because they both have children from previous relationships, Wednesday nights were set aside as their official date nights when they were both free. Joe had his heart set on proposing to Aprille on April Fool’s Day 2015 which fell on a Wednesday night. He planned to take her out to a nice restaurant and have an evening to celebrate, but on that night, Aprille’s son was sick so they stayed home. They ended up watching a movie after putting her son to bed and Joe proposed right there on the couch. Sometimes the best things come out of the worst situations!

The Burke Manor Inn had everything Aprille and Joe wanted in a wedding venue: A beautiful ceremony garden, a covered reception pavilion in case of a late summer afternoon thunderstorm, and the Inn had enough room for both families to stay for the whole wedding weekend!

During the planning process, Aprille swore by Pinterest. “The best thing that we did was write everything down in detail with what we wanted at the wedding and I provided pictures for the vendors. It allowed each vendor to know exactly what we wanted,” she shares.

All the kids were a part of the wedding, of course, including Joe’s two sons as the “best men” and Aprille’s son, the ring bearer. In the photos below, Spotlight Photography captures the close bond they all share and the jovial mood of all the wedding guests. The smiles on everyone’s faces tell it all!

With the help of the staff and team at Burke Manor Inn, which provided an experience their wedding guests are still talking about, along with the mother of the bride’s handy work (she altered Aprille’s wedding gown and made all the tablecloths for the ceremony and reception), Aprille and Joe enjoyed a beautiful Southern summer wedding.The Burke Manor Inn in NCwedding ring boxLace wedding gownCute first look photosWhite bridal bouquetWedding ringsRoses at weddingSouthern weddingsNorth Carolina brideWedding photographyPink wedding bouquetsPink and lace bridesmaidsGroomsmen socksWedding venues in NCWedding decorPink corsageWedding programsOutdoor wedding ceremonyRing bearerOutdoor wedding at Burke Manor InnSouthern bride and groomPink and white wedding flowersBurke Manor Inn PavilionSugarland wedding cakeNorth carolina weddingMonogramed wedding favorsTan suites on groomsmenGetting married at the Burke Manor InnReception at the Burke Manor InnReception in the Burke Manor PavilionBurke Manor Inn weddingVENUE & CATERER Burke Manor Inn & Pavilion | PHOTOGRAPHY Spotlight Photography | REHERSAL DINNER Buffalo Lanes bowling’| MINISTER Ken Tilley | GOWN Romona Keveza from Bridals by Lori | SHOES Boston Proper | BRIDESMAIDS David’s Bridal, Greensboro | MOB Dillard’s | HAIR Stephanie Beaver | MAKE UP Brooke Miles | JEWELRY Jason’s the Art of Jewelry, Reeds Jewelers, and Perry’s Gold Mine | BRIDESMAID GIFTS Cross necklaces with personalized charm | FORMALWEAR Men’s Wearhouse, Burlington | GROOMSMEN GIFT Golf Outing at Shamrock Golf Club | FLORIST Sedgefield Florist | CAKE Sugarland | STATIONER Juliepatoolie’s | FAVORS Mini fans from Quality Logo Products | DJ & LIGHTING K2 Productions | ACCOMODATIONS Burke Manor Inn

A North Carolina Wedding that Marries Duke and UNC

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today we’re excited to share Joanna and Shenduo’s stunning North Carolina wedding that marries Duke and UNC – the couple’s alma maters. Joe Payne Photography captured the lovely couple in these two iconic settings.

Shenduo and Joanna met while he was studying at Duke University and she was studying at UNC-Chapel Hill. Their relationship officially began on a starry night in the forest of the Great Smoky Mountains, surrounded by thousands of fireflies – a romantic night Joanna says she will cherish in her memory forever. As two young students in love, they spent a lot of time studying together in almost every library of the two schools.

A year later, Joanna graduated from UNC and moved to New York and their long-distance relationship began. It was on Joanna’s birthday, soon after the move, that Shenduo flew to visit her and showered her with gifts, including two best-seat tickets to one of the most popular Broadway musicals, a lavish dinner at a three-star Michelin restaurant, but the best gift of all was still to come!

After dinner, Shenduo suggested going to Brooklyn Bridge Park to enjoy the night view of the Manhattan skyline. When they arrived at the riverside, he said he had another gift for Joanna – a handmade photo card, on the front of which was a picture taken by him showing the tennis court near his apartment where they used to play tennis together. In the center of the court in the photograph, there were hundreds of tennis balls, which were placed in the shape of “I [heart] Jo.” On the inside of the card was a handwritten love note and some letters in bold red that spelled out, “Marry Me.” It wasn’t until that moment that Joanna realized this night of surprises had all been part of an elaborate proposal! It was the most picturesque scene as Shenduo got down on his knee in front of the sparkling Manhattan skyline.

It’s no surprise these Duke and UNC alumns chose the iconic Duke Chapel in Durham and The Great Room at Top of the Hill restaurant in Chapel Hill as ceremony and reception venues – a tribute to their relationship that bloomed on both campuses. They knew they would be leaving North Carolina after Shenduo graduated, so they wanted to make their last romantic memories there.

Joanna chose pretty pastel colors in shades of pink, worn by her bridesmaids and in the elegant bouquets by Tre Bella Flowers, for her late April wedding. As a nod to Duke and UNC, they chose Duke blue for the groomsmens’ ties and Carolina blue for the reception table linen. Other personal details included a backdrop wall decorated with with gold alphabet letter balloons spelling their names and vintage heart-shape marquee lights. They also ordered a customized cake topper from Etsy and Chinese favor boxes that represented “double happiness,” along with customized M&Ms.

Even though it turned out to be a rainy spring day, photographer Joe Payne captured stunning images, showcasing the tranquility of the day, the closeness of the couple, and the breathtaking beauty of the setting.Durham brideJoe Payne Wedding PhotographyBridal tierraChinese wedding in AmericaDiamond wedding bandsRed wedding shoesRaleigh wedding photographersWhite boutonniereDurham bride at the Duke ChapelRainy day weddingBride and groom at Duke ChapelPink and white bouquetsDurham bride at Duke ChapelRainy day wedding picturesBlack and white wedding photographyMarried at the historic Duke ChapelDuke Chapel CeremonyDuke Chapel wedding photographyDuke and UNC weddingDurham NC wedding venuesCustomized cake topperChapel Hill receptionWhite wedding cakeChinese wedding favorsTop of the Hill reception venueChinese wedding traditionsSparkler exit after receptionSB&G PREFERRED VENDOR TESTIMONIALS

“We were very impressed by Joy Payne’s professionalism, efficiency, humor, and most of all, amazing photos! He has the great ability to capture the important moments without letting you realize he exists. On the wedding day, Joe really devoted the whole day to us. He even came earlier than the time we had asked him to, in order to catch every tiny moment. Joe gave all the photos to us in a very timely manner. You can tell he really put a lot of effort into digital editing – editing each photo individually based on the subject, light, atmosphere, etc., while many other photographers only use one or two pre-settings for all the photos. We really had a great time with Joe, and we felt very lucky to have him as our wedding photographer,” says Joanna.

” We feel blessed to have found The Great Room at Top of the Hill as our reception venue. The staff there are very professional, thoughtful, and experienced. What I liked most about them on our wedding day was that they took care of every detail without us having to worry about anything. We were thrilled when we saw the wall decor they did for us – it was even more adorable than what we could imagine! We also got a lot of compliments about the food and drinks. Thanks to their great work, we were able to fully enjoy every moment of that beautiful night with our guests and it left such an unforgettable memory in everyone’s mind,” Joanna shares.

“We chose Tre Bella Flowers because they were quite responsive and gave us a clear price breakdown quickly when we were doing inquiries. Everything about them is professional and efficient and the price is also very reasonable. I couldn’t have love my bridal bouquet more! I really appreciate their work,” Joanna states.

VENUE Duke Chapel | RECEPTION The Great Room at Top of the Hill Restaurant | PHOTOGRAPHER Joe Payne Photography | BRIDAL SHOES Badgley Mischka & Salvatore Ferragamo | FLORIST Tre Bella Flowers | CAKE Guglhupf | INVITATIONS Grapevine Print & Design | GUEST ACCOMODATIONS Arrowhead Inn Bed & Breakfast | TRANSPORTATION Classy Transportation & Smith Luxury Limousines

Sweet Southern Summer Wedding at the Carolina Country Club

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today, we’re thrilled to share high school sweethearts’, Colin and Elizabeth’s, Southern summer wedding at the Carolina Country Club in Raleigh, captured by Renee Sprink Photography.

Colin and Elizabeth’s story began at age 15, when the two met as summer camp counselors in Oxford, NC. They shared an instant connection, and even though they wouldn’t admit it for years, they were crushing on each other big time!

During high school, they became close friends and the two left Raleigh for college in 2007, both heading to the University of South Carolina in Columbia. While in college, their friendship continued to grow and they (finally) starting dating.

During a trip to Atlantic Beach, Colin took Elizabeth to their favorite dinner spot in Beaufort. While taking a stroll on the river walk, he stopped, got on one knee, and asked Elizabeth if she would be his wife.

As you can see by the intimate and adorable photographs captured by talented NC photographer, Renee Sprink, their wedding had a classic yet modern Southern summer feel, from the soft pastel colors of the dresses and the flowers to the lush green backdrop and elegant ballroom at the Carolina Country Club.

Elizabeth carefully selected each piece of wedding jewelry she wore on her wedding day, including a pearl necklace her husband gave her while they were dating, a sapphire ring that belonged to her grandmother as her “something blue,” and a pearl bracelet her other grandmother gave her, which was made from a pearl necklace she had growing up. Elizabeth’s pearl earrings were the “something new,” and underneath her gown, over her heart, she had her sorority badge/pin from Phi Mu. Many years worth of moments and memories culminated in a beautiful wedding day for Colin and Elizabeth!
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“Renee Sprink was AMAZING!” Elizabeth remarks. “She didn’t just take our photos; she was with me through any part of the wedding I asked her to be. I felt like she really got to know Colin and I as a couple. I can’t wait to use her in the future!”Wedding photography by Renee SprnkInvitations
“Everyone at Paperbuzz was great! They did everything from the thank you notes to the save the dates to the wedding invitation and made everything similar, but different enough to stand out. I use them for everything!” Elizabeth shares.

“Second Empire was especially special for me as a luncheon location; it is one of the oldest houses in Raleigh and was built by my great-great grandfather,” shares Elizabeth. “The food was fantastic; there was something for everyone and the staff was very helpful.”

Wedding Cake
“Our cake was so good! We had a mimosa layer and a strawberry layer. It was light and perfect for an afternoon summer wedding,” says Elizabeth. “We had a personalized ‘dougram’ done instead of using our monogram. It was on the cake, ceremony program, and koozies. I love monograms, but the ‘dougram’ made our wedding different and personal. We plan on using it in our home!”White wedding caake and pink flowersCEREMONY VENUE Hayes Barton United Methodist Church | RECEPTION & CATERING Carolina Country Club | MINISTER Rick Clatyon | REHEARSAL DINNER Caffe Luna | WEDDING PLANNER Brenda Whitley | PHOTOGRAPHER Renee Sprink Photography | BRIDESMAID LUNCHEON Second Empire | BRIDAL GOWN Traditions by Anna | SHOES Lilly Pultizer | BRIDESMAID JEWELRY Pearl & diamond earrings from Kate Spade | BRIDESMAID DRESSES J. Crew | MOB DRESS Nordstrom | GROOMSMEN GIFTS Bow Tie and Cummerbund from High Cotton | FLORIST Kelly Odom Flowers | CAKE Sugarland | INVITATIONS Paperbuzz | CEREMONEY MUSIC David Witt | RECEPTION MUSIC Joe Bunn DJ Company | WEDDING FAVORS Personalized koozies.

Valentine’s Day Wedding at The Grand Marquise Ballroom

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today, we’re excited to share Rebecca and John’s glamourous Valentine’s Day wedding at the Grand Marquise Ballroom, in Garner, NC, captured by one of Raleigh’s top wedding photographers, Neil Boyd Photography.

Rebecca and John met through an online dating Website six years ago. Their first phone conversation lasted three hours, after which they knew they had to meet in person! Their first date was at the North Hills Shopping Center where they enjoyed a casual meal at Fox and Hound Bar and Grill followed by a date at the movies.

Fast forward five years; John and Rebecca were celebrating their anniversary in Washington, D.C. and John knew it would be the perfect time to propose! He wanted to find a spot Rebecca hadn’t been to before and knew Hillwood Estate, Museum & Garden would make the perfect proposal location. After touring the gardens for a little more than half an hour, they arrived at the spot where John planned to pop the question – a little curved Japanese bridge, crossing over a small stream. There were lots of tears of joy when John asked Rebecca to marry him that day! They enjoyed a beautiful post-proposal picnic in the gardens with a glass of wine as they called each family to share the good news!

When it came time for the wedding planning, Mike Morse, owner of Morse Entertainment, and Lindsay Morse, owner Made-Up Special Events by Lindsay Morse and coordinator for Forever Bridal, recommended the Grand Marquise Ballroom. John had originally seen pictures of the Grand Marquise on SB&G. When he went to look at the venue in person, he knew instantly that it would be perfect for their Valentine’s Day wedding!

The theme was modern glam with a winter feel. Flowers from Fresh Affairs and rentals from Party Reflections helped create the look. Photographer Neil Boyd captured every stunning detail of the evening and was one of the bride and groom’s top rated vendors.

The newlyweds now both reside in the Triangle. Rebecca, who has a real passion for helping others and making a positive impact in the community, works as a senior community engagement officer for Coastal Federal Credit Union and is involved in various Triangle non-profits as she works to finish her MBA in finance at Devry University. John works for Cary Reconstruction Company, LLC and enjoys traveling, going to shows, and catching up on favorite television series with Rebecca.

Take a look at their stunning winter wedding in the photos below!

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“Meredith at The Grand Marquise Ballroom was absolutely amazing and helpful every step of the way!” says John. “I have now gained a good friend in Meredith from choosing such an amazing venue.”

“Lyn Grave from Fresh Affairs really helped transform the room and captured exactly what I had imagined a modern glam wedding with a wintery feel would look like,” shares John.Winter wedding near Raleigh NCWEDDING CONSULTANT Sarah Shumay, Sweet Sarabell | REHERSAL DINNER Caffe Luna | CEREMONY & RECEPTION The Grand Marquise Ballroom | CATERER Unforgettable Food Affairs | PHOTOGRAPHER Neil Boyd Photography | VIDEOGRAPHER Twenty-One Films | RENTALS Party Reflections | BRIDAL GOWN & BRIDESMAIDS Maggi Bridal | FORMALWEAR Men’s Wearhouse | FLORIST Fresh Affairs | CAKE Cinda’s Creative Cakes | INVITATIONS The Green Kangaroo | CEREMONY MUSIC Udeshi Hargett | RECEPTION MUSIC Morse Entertainment and DJ Rang | TRANSPORTATION Raleigh Dream Events & Limousines | HAIR & MAKEUP Lindsey Morse | JEWELRY Anfesa’s Jewelers and Swarovski | WEDDING FAVORS Event Espresso, SweetWater Ices (Italian Ice), Cherished Creations (Koozies), and Total Wine

Southern Bride & Groom Releases Whimsical Summer-Fall Cover!

With the change in seasons comes a new look for SB&G magazine! It’s out with the old and in with a new whimsical and elegant summer-fall cover! Dara Blakeley Photography captured this playful moment from SB&G’s 2015 fashion shoot at the Merrimon-Wynne House in Raleigh, NC.Southern wedding magazineWhen deciding on covers, we absolutely fell in love with this striking image of our bride with floral garland in classic white and green; it seemed to us it would make a perfect cover to usher in the summer months. We love that it’s dramatic, yet still soft, elegant and modern.

Raleigh bride at Merrimon Wynne HouseThe cover bride is wearing a gorgeous Monique Lhuillier bridal gown from Nitsa’s Apparel, which has locations in Winston Salem and Charlotte. On this gown, a Chantilly lace corset bodice with drop waist flows to an embroidered layer over feather-light tulle. Makeup for Your Day enhanced the bride’s look with subtle tones in blush and mauve, and created both a relaxed up-do/bun as well as a soft look with flowing waves as appears on the cover. Wade Designs Jewelry provided the pretty pearls to complete the look.

The ensemble pairs perfectly with a classic combination of white roses and leafy greens, such as eucalyptus, shown in the garland draped over our bride. These whimsical floral touches were created by Fresh Affairs in Raleigh, NC.

Monique Lhuillier wedding gown Nitsas ApparelThe setting for this shoot was the stunning Merrimon-Wynne House, a restored historic property in downtown Raleigh. As you enter the Merrimon-Wynne House, you step into its distinguished past and its present glory. The elegant rooms are softly bathed in natural light from nearly floor-to-cieling windows, and carefully restored post-Cival War architectural details abound. Owner Jodi Strenkowski bought the vacant house in 2013 and renovated with weddings in mind. In keeping with the National Register of Historic Places, and as a Raleigh historic landmark, Jodi guided her architects in preserving the original home, and has added the perfect antique accent pieces.

Merrimon-Wynne House RaleighKeep an eye out for our new summer/fall cover in stores and boutiques across North Carolina. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

PHOTOGRAPHER Dara Blakeley Photography | VENUE Merrimon-Wynne House | FLOWERS Fresh Affairs | BRIDAL GOWN Monique Lhuillier from Nitsa’s Apparel | JEWELRY Wade Designs Jewelry | HAIR & MAKEUP Makeup for Your Day

Brides and Vendors Mingle at Triangle Events

Today, we’re highlighting a few recent events that showcased everything we love about weddings in the South, from charming wedding venues to creative caterers to bridal shows! We love that there are so many opportunities for brides and vendors to mingle at Triangle events. Whether you are searching for the perfect backdrop for your big day, getting a taste of an appetizer you want to have at your reception, or picking up a copy of Southern Bride & Groom at a bridal expo in Raleigh, we have you covered!

Open House at The Bradford
With renovations finally complete at The Bradford, a beautiful new venue located off the beaten path in New Hill, NC, it was ready to make its debut to vendors and brides during a special open house in April. Amanda Scott from A Swanky Affair helped coordinate and plan the event, which showcased all the new improvements made to The Bradford, including new rooftops and balconies. People were really “wowed” by the newly painted and updated ballroom as well!

Not only did brides get a chance to tour The Bradford and envision their wedding in this one-of-a-kind space, but they also got to mix and mingle with area vendors, who were there to show off their skills, including talented members of the SB&G Family! Brides-to-be received great tips and advice for their weddings in a stress-free environment, and entered fun giveaways. The champagne bar, provided by On the Rocks bartending, along with delicious bites, made for a relaxing afternoon. Tre Bella brought beautiful gowns to showcase and a wonderful selection of wedding day jewelry that were a big hit.

The Bradford’s next open house will be held in July. Thank you to Casey Rose Photography for the lovely photos!The Bradford wedding venueBride at NC wedding venue open houseOpen House at the Bradford wedding venue in NCWedding gown and jewelry from Tre Bella BridalVintage couch at The BradfordSouthern bridal wedding magazineWedding food served at The Bradford Open HouseGold white and purple wedding colorsPurple and white wedding paletteWhite and green wedding cake and cateringBride and Groom chalkboard signsPhotos: Casey Rose Photography

Taste the Event 2015
For the second year in a row, local chefs and foodies came together for a food and drink festival that centered around North Carolina cuisine. Taste the Event is a multi-day festival curated by our friends at Durham Magazine and Chapel Hill Magazine. The signature event, The Grand Taste Experience, was held at the Durham Armory on April 23, 2015.

After interviewing several SB&G preferred caterers on the blog, we were anxious to try their creations at Taste! Chef James Clark of Carolina Crossroads/The Carolina Inn fed us well with chilled sweet corn soup with tomato relish and flavorful smoked shrimp. Chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio/The Siena cured fresh Alaskan salmon paired with warm homemade focaccia bread. We got our sushi fix from Chef Toshio Sakamaki of Basan (an Eschelon Experiences restaurant), who served a chili ginger garlic and soy marinated salmon hand roll. Chef Devereaux Greene at Herons/The Umstead Hotel & Spa showed off a creative technique by pouring warm violet potato soup over a white chocolate ball filled with caviar, which melted into a sweet and savory treat.

Guests mixed and mingled while listening to music from Mint Julep Jazz Band and tasting food from some of the very best chefs, caterers and restaurants in the area.

If you missed out on all the foodie fun this year, keep it on your calendar for next April.Taste the Event DurhamGreen and white rustic flowersDurham magazine and Southern Bride and Groom at Taste the eventDurham NC food festivalChef Teddy Diggs of Il PalioChef Clark catering from The Carolina InnTaste 2015 Durham NCPhotos: Emily Toth Photography and Kristin Prelipp of KPO Photography

Forever Bridal Show
Each season, Forever Bridal Productions hosts a Southern Bridal Show and Expo at the Raleigh State Fairgrounds. Southern Bride & Groom loves attending the showcases to meet brides in person and to connect with great local wedding vendors!

At the April show and expo, brides-to-be enjoyed fashion previews featuring the latest trends in bridal wear, bridesmaids gowns, and tuxedos. They also got to meet and connect with talented Triangle wedding caterers, florists and consultants, as well as Raleigh, Durham, and Cary wedding photographers and videographers. Venues from small local chapels to wineries to beach resorts were also there with useful information.

Thanks to American Party Rentals and University Florist for making our table pretty!

The next Southern Bridal Show and Expo will be held August 8-9, 2015.Southern Bridal ExpoTeal Wedding Colors

Peonies in Shades of Pink Floral Inspiration

Southern Bride & Groom is excited to share some of our favorite photos, including many not seen in print, from our floral designers featured in the 2015 magazine. Today’s floral inspiration includes peonies in two shades of pink, a gorgeous arrangement designed by Floral Dimensions of Durham, NC. Along with the surprise accents of Echeveria and grass loops on the lower arrangements, these tree-shaped clouds of blossoms allow for easy table conversation in a beautiful setting overlooking The Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club Terrace on the Green.

Floral Dimensions at Academy Court has been serving Durham County and surrounding areas since the early 80s, and under the watchful eye of Bea Miller since 1986. Her attention to detail, along with an award-winning design team, has allowed Floral Dimensions to provide brides and their families with beautiful and memorable wedding florals and invitations. Floral Dimensions appreciates and enjoys the long term relationships established with former brides and their families. “It is a real pleasure to have a bride of twenty years ago come in to the studio and ask for assistance with her daughter or son’s prom corsage or boutonniere,” says Miller.

In addition to wedding and event designs, Floral Dimensions is a full service florist and provides the finest floral arrangements, gifts, and invitations for individuals and corporations. An array of green, blooming plants and orchids is a welcome sight upon entering the studio, followed by a walk to the display cooler filled with beautiful flowers grown locally as well as throughout the world. Floral Dimensions at Academy Court also designs and provides custom invitations, programs, announcements and stationery. In fact, the menu cards and coordinating place cards in this photo shoot were proudly designed and produced by Floral Dimensions. A layered collection of ivory linen stock over taupe complements the overall table design perfectly.Outdoor wedding at the Washington Duke Inn and Golf ClubPink and ivory wedding paletteIvory menus and placecards from Floral DimensionsPink wedding flowersDurham Bride at the Washington Duke Inn and Golf ClubPink peony wedding flowersTall pink wedding centerpiecesIvory colored table settingPink centerpieces for wedding tablesPink and white wedding bouquetFLORAL DESIGN Floral Dimensions | TABLE, TABLETOP, TABLE RUNNER & CHAIRS American Party Rentals | MENUS & NAME CARDS Floral Dimensions Stationery Studio | GOWN & JEWELRY Savvi Bridal | HAIR & MAKEUP Bella Trio Day Spa | VENUE The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club | PHOTOGRAPHY f8 Photo Studios