Posts Tagged: nc wedding venues

Spirited NC State Themed Wedding

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today, we’re excited to share Cara and Dan’s spirited NC State themed wedding that is just as fun as it is beautiful.

Cara and Dan met through mutual friends while attending NC State University, hence their enthusiasm for the NC State Wolfpack! During the last home football game of the season, the couple was tailgating with family and close friends when Dan popped the question in front of the scoreboard. Cara and Dan’s families, who were in on the surprise, were back at the RV ready with champagne, gifts and a “She Said Yes!” cake. It meant a lot to the couple to get engaged at Carter-Finley stadium – one of their favorite places to be. They carried the Wolfpack theme through to their fall wedding as well.

For Cara, the venue (The State Club, also the NCSU Alumni center) was an easy choice. She had visited as a teenager with her grandparents to reveal the hand-painted portrait of the bell tower than hangs over the fireplace in the ballroom (a gift from her grandfather’s class of 1959). “The second I stepped into that building, I knew I would one day get married there,” said Cara.

Cara wore her grandmother’s wedding dress from 1958 with help from Elizabeth’s Alterations. It was truly an honor for Cara, as both her grandmother and grandfather were able to attend the wedding and see her marry in the wedding dress that blessed their special day over 50 years ago. Pictures of Cara’s grandmother in the dress were set out at the wedding beside her bridal portraits so that guests could see the amazing, one-of-a-kind transformation.

The couple built their wedding around their love for NC State and the gorgeous fall colors of North Carolina. Since they were getting married in the fall, they picked a Friday night wedding so as not to interfere with football season on Saturdays (Wolfpack fans through and through). They chose colors that incorporated red, orange, yellow, and touches of purple and green, mimicking the fall North Carolinian leaves. They even added personal touches that showcased their fan pride: bridesmaids wore various shades of red dresses (NC State’s color), Cara wore an NCSU garter, and the groomsmen wore NC State argyle socks and cufflinks. They even had Mr. Wuf (NC State’s mascot) show up at the reception!

As you can see from the lively photos captured by Jagg Photography, Cara and Dan’s wedding was a perfect blend of their interests, their love, and their school spirit!Bridesmaids and bridal bouquets in NCRaleigh bride wears grandmothers wedding dressGarter from alma materFirst look in the State ClubWedding at the State Club at NCSUState pride weddingBeautiful wedding at The State Club in RaleighFamily wedding gownElegant wedding at The State Club NCSURainy day wedding photography in NCWedding in Raleigh at NC StateRaleigh NC groomsmenShades of red bridesmaids dressesFall wedding with a trolleyRainy day wedding photographyUpcycled window seating chartNorth Carolina fall wedding receptionFall wedding table settingNCSU mascot appearance at weddingOld car at wedding by Jagg PhotographyAlma Mater themed wedding in RaleighVENUE The State Club | PHOTOGRAPHY Jagg Photography | PLANNER Stephanie Cisko, Viva L’Event | ALTERATIONS Elizabeth’s Alterations | SHOES Betsey Johnson | JEWELRY Kate Spade | FORMALWEAR VIP Formal Wear | HAIR & MAKEUP The Hair and Face Lounge | FLORIST Viva L’Event | CAKE The Cake Parlour | MINISTER Shadra Shoffner | CEREMONY MUSIC Marc Hoffman | RECEPTION MUSIC The Perfect Beat DJ Company | PARTY RENTALS Party Reflections | TRANSPORTATION Raleigh Car Club

Artful Event Space in the New 21c Museum Hotel Durham

On Monday, March 16, doors opened and the public was welcomed inside one of the most uniquly renovated buildings in downtown Durham. 21c Museum Hotel Durham and it’s onsite restaurant, Counting House, are now fully functioning and open for overnight guests as well as to the public for dinner and tours.

Perhaps one of the coolest things about this new boutique hotel is that it’s actually a very old space transformed. The building itself has a lot of history – the old Hill Building was built in 1937 and served as a bank for many years. The space still retains elements of its former life, including an old vault on the lower level (now a one-of-a-kind lounge), original terrazzo floors, and wood paneling in the former bank lobby (now a ballroom). The rooms and galleries, however, are thoroughly modernized with all the latest amenities, contemporary artwork everywhere you turn, and other art deco elements. Free guided docent tours are offered every Wednesday and Friday at 5 p.m.

There is plenty of artful event space in the new 21c Museum Hotel Durham – perfect for small gatherings of 20 or for receptions of over 300 people. From the grand ballroom on the ground floor to the large open galleries upstairs, where tables can be set up among the art, to the small private and semi-private spaces in the restaurant, there are many unique and flexible spaces that would be perfect for a wedding, rehearsal dinner, reception or cocktail party. The hotel has 125 guest rooms total, and offers luxury room blocks for out-of-town guests. Convenient valet parking is available for $15 a day. The best part is, you’re right in the middle of all the action in downtown Durham.

For those who want to show out-of-town (or even local) guests a good time in Durham, this location is ideal. Situated just up the road from DPAC, American Tobacco Campus, and plenty of great restaurants and bars, 21c Museum Hotel couldn’t be in a better spot. The views from the guest rooms are amazing – overlooking the city and well-known landmarks from all different angles.

Of course, there is also plenty to keep guests entertained inside the hotel itself, including an in-house spa, over 10,500 square feet of art-filled event space, and a beautiful restaurant to lounge and dine. Chef Josh Munchel and the culinary team at Counting House oversee event catering at 21c. They work to showcase the rich heritage of North Carolina’s seafood, delivering dishes that celebrate artisanal products and sustainable farming. The restaurant can seat up to 160 people.

For modern brides seeking a truly unique day, 21c is a venue worth considering. It’s a fantastic one-stop shop, offering an all-inclusive, full-service venue in the heart of downtown Durham.21c Museum Hotel check in desk in Durham NC21c Museum Hotel Durham as event space21c Museum hotel guest room21c Museum Hotel Guest BathWedding at 21c Museum Hotel Durham21c Museum Hotel and art gallery in DurhamPhotos courtesy of 21c Museum Hotel

Celebrating Marriage Equality in NC

Today, we’re sharing an upcoming wedding that celebrates a historic moment for many couples across the state. North Carolinians were privileged to have experienced the making of history last October, with the new legislation making same-sex marriage legal in our state. It’s an important milestone and SB&G celebrated marriage equality in NC by featuring couples who were engaged or married around the time of the legislation in our 2015 magazine.

Chad Biggs and Chris Creech were the first to make history in North Carolina. You saw them all over the news when the legislation passed – they were the first gay couple to legally wed in the state! But their story did not begin or end that day.

Chad and Chris live in Raleigh and are both Wake County Deputies, as well as own Chad Biggs Event Planning & Design. Chad is also the exclusive planner at Babylon in Raleigh.

Friends introduced the two in 2006. On their very first date, laughing with one another and relishing in Chad’s daughter playing with Chris’s two new foster sons, they knew were meant to be a family. The men became a couple sharing home and child-rearing duties. They soon welcomed their foster children’s three additional siblings into the bunch, making a six-child household! Eventually, the foster children were returned to their parents, but Chad and Chris’ lives have been forever impacted, and they have stayed in touch with the children they helped raise. They still have a full house today with their daughter, Sabre, and two dogs.

When October 10, 2014, arrived, Chad and Chris stood together among dozens of couples and supporters outside of the Wake County Register of Deeds office where upon learning legalization had passed, Chad surprised Chris and asked him to marry him at the courthouse that day. Shortly after, they rushed inside and purchased their marriage license – the first in the state – and were married by Chief Magistrate Judge Dexter Williams, a long time friend.

Following the legislation, Rochelle Johnson, co-owner of The Cookery, an event venue and culinary incubator in downtown Durham, reached out to Chad and Chris and offered to donate their venue for a formal reception event.

“The Cookery is in the business of hosting ALL weddings,” said Rochelle Johnson, owner of The Cookery. “We are so happy to have Chad and Chris here to celebrate such a special and historic day.”

This September, Chad and Chris will have the wedding they have been waiting for – with a ceremony in Duke Gardens followed by a wedding reception at The Cookery’s Front Room. In addition, The Cookery has secured donated services from a variety of wedding vendors. All vendors listed below have offered generous discounts to help this couple have a very special day. Some went above and beyond to fully donate their services, including  Donovan’s Dish, American Party Rentals, Union Press and Paper, Focus Media, Spin, Harpist Laura Byrne, Calligraphy by Carrie, Simply Cakes, and Babylon.

“We are overwhelmed by the generosity that The Cookery and other vendors have shown us. This is not only a huge day for us, but also a huge day for the state of North Carolina,” said Biggs.

Enjoy these beautiful engagement photos that were taken at American Tobacco Campus and Duke Gardens, photographed by SB&G Preferred Photographer, Southern Love Studios. We can’t wait to see the images he captures on their upcoming wedding day. Congratulations, Chad & Chris, and happy planning!

Silver mens engagement ringsEngagement session at Duke Gardens in Durham NCSame-sex North Carolina engagement by Southern Love StudiosSame-sex wedding photography by Southern Love StudiosEngagement shoot at American Tobacco Campus in Durham NCCAKE Simply Cakes | CATERER Donavan’s Dish | STATIONERY  Union Press & Paper | CEREMONY VENUE Sarah P. Duke Gardens | PHOTOGRAPHY Southern Love Studios | RECEPTION VENUE The Cookery | REHERSAL DINNER VENUE & FOOD Babylon | FLOWERS Expressions of Love Florist | VIDEOGRAPHER Focus Media / Zach Stamey | TENT and LINENS American Party Rentals | TRANSPORTATION Classy Transportation | DJ Spin | MUSIC Laura Byrne Professional Harpist | CALLIGRAPHY Calligraphy by Carrie | HAIR Manuel Eason at 6 Salon | MAKE UP Maria Arellano

Elegant Fall Garden Wedding

It’s Wedding Feature Wednesday at Southern Bride & Groom! Today we’re excited to share Rachel and Daniel’s elegant fall garden wedding at Duke Gardens in Durham.

Rachel and Daniel began dating sophomore year as Duke undergrads and they loved spending time in the beautiful Duke gardens, walking through them to get to class junior and senior years from central campus. When Daniel got down on one knee, this is where he chose to do it. It was the perfect place for a proposal…and for a wedding! A little over a year after becoming engaged, Rachel and Daniel came full circle with a gorgeous wedding in the Gardens in September 2014. It was followed by an indoor reception in the Doris Duke Center, which is located on the property. Local wedding planner, Sally Oakley provided day-of coordination so that Rachel and Daniel could sit back, relax, and enjoy every moment.

The wedding colors – eggplant, green, with a touch of orange – complimented the natural setting very well. It was a beautiful fall day and photographer Anna Kirby captured the jovial mood of the couple and their guests against many of the wonderful backdrops and hidden gems among the Gardens.beaded wedding gownBridal wedding shoesFall wedding bride and bouquetGlamorous wedding ringSweet first look between the bride and groomRaleigh bride and groom embrace captured by Anna Kirby PhotographyWedding ceremony at the Duke GardensOutdoor wedding ceremony in Duke GardenOutdoor wedding ceremony at the Duke GardensOutdoor fall wedding at Duke GardensCandid moments between bride and groom by Anna KirbyDurham bride in lace and bead gownGorgeous black & white wedding photographyWedding reception at Doris Duke Center in DurhamFamily moments during wedding reception
SB&G PREFERRED VENDOR TESTIMONIALS

Wedding Planner
“We hired our wedding planner, Sally Oakley, once I realized that I really couldn’t do everything myself on our wedding day,” Rachel admits. “Sally was amazing – I wish we had hired her sooner. She was technically a ‘day of’ planner, but she helped us so much throughout the entire process, creating our timeline and making sure all of the vendors were in place.”Durham bride and groom cut the cakePhotography
“Our wedding photographer, Anna Kirby, did an incredible job – our pictures are beautiful! She was also very easy to work with prior to the wedding and she always responded promptly to questions,” shares Rachel.North carolina outdoor wedding venueVENUE Duke Gardens – Doris Duke Center | PLANNER Sally Oakley | PHOTOGRAPHER Anna Kirby |CATERER Durham Catering | RENTALS American Party Rentals | TENT Classic Party Rentals | FLORIST Ninth Street Flowers | HAIR & MAKEUP Ashley Mooney | GOWN Alfred Angelo | RING Tacori | DJ Steve with Joe Bunn | OFFICIANT Barbara Lodge | CEREMONY MUSIC Arioso Strings | TRANSPORTATION Eco Style

Chic Chanel Avant-Garde Styled Shoot

Today, Southern Bride & Groom is thrilled to feature a chic Chanel Avant-Garde styled shoot full of couture inspiration, encouraging fashionista brides to be daring and not cliché when it comes to their wedding day.

The concept was created by Raleigh based wedding planner, Monica Noa of Nouveau Events who has been obsessed with the iconic Coco Chanel and her glamorous style since she was old enough to read fashion magazines and wear perfume! Her love of the restructured silhouette, tailored style, and Chanel’s signature look sparked the inspiration for this chic Chanel Avant-Garde photo shoot, a stylish collaboration with Embellished Blooms and Pretty in the Details. Monica really wanted to take the signature color palette of Chanel and give it a modern twist. On the other hand, she still wanted to preserve Chanel’s luxurious elegance. The end result merges the structured French style of the 1920s with the romanticism of a modern bride.

Monica worked with a team of North Carolina’s top-notch wedding professionals to bring her vision to life in this styled photo shoot at the Virginia Dare Ballroom in Raleigh, and Renee Sprink Photography captured every amazing detail. This Chanel Avant-Garde shoot shows brides that you can take couture inspiration and easily apply it to your big day.Virginia Dare Ballroom in Raleigh North CarolinaGuests sign book at weddingFashion and Jewelry
When doing any type of tribute to Chanel, the fashion is one of the most important pieces in creating the look. The bride wore a lovely Alyne “Patricia” gown made of a satin organza with a lace and ruffled mermaid skirt provided by Traditions by Anna. The dress maintained the Chanel essence of the feminine silhouette. The overall style of the dress was reinvented by adding the bold contrast through a black satin sash with sparkle embellishments. Charlotte’s provided the jewelry for the bride. The bold black embellishments and the statement necklace was intended to accompany the luxurious fabrics while adhering to Chanel’s affinity for dramatic costume jewelry.Stunning black jewelry from Charlotte's

Wedding style shoot in the Virginia Dare Ballroom RaleighDiamond wedding and engagement ringChanel perfumeThe dapper groom’s attire was reminiscent of the 1920s gentleman. The black suspenders and black bow tie gives the sense of  being back in Paris. Bernard’s Formalwear provided the black Ike Behar Black Notch Lapel tuxedo. With cufflinks and argyle socks, this retro groom’s look was complete.Raleigh groom in a classic black tuxedo

Chanel cufflinksHair and Makeup
For this concept, Chanel makeup was only appropriate. Makeup for Your Day provided a modern and fresh approach to Chanel’s timeless aesthetic. Inspired by Chanel’s often used muse, the camellia flower, the bride’s face was kept natural and dewy with a sultry eye palette and bright rosy pink lips. The whole look came together when paired with a textured up-do reminiscent of Chanel’s classic quilted purses and tweed jackets. The ensemble looks elegant and refined…just like everything Chanel!
Striking elegant bridal veil and bouquetBrides shoes with bowsDesign Elements
Gorgeous touches like various Chanel perfume, his and her signature drinks, Parisian postcards, a Chanel guestbook, cigars, champagne and sparkle add a contemporary take on vintage accoutrements.Chanel PerfumeHis and hers cocktails at weddingChanel wedding guestbookBride romantic letter to groomStationery
The stationery suite was intended to merge the boldly feminine Chanel color palette with the delicate camellia flower. The miniature Chanel bottles make the perfect couture place cards for the Bride and Groom.Chanel inspired wedding details and stationary

Flowers
The floral selection is made up of timeless classics with a hint of modern style: roses, lilies, hydrangea, ranunculus and some fabulous black and white anemones! In keeping with the luxury and extravagance of Chanel, Embellished Blooms styled an arrangement that poured over the sides of a gilded candelabra and flowed down to a puddle of flowers on the table.Elegant and extravagant wedding floral inspirationGorgeous wedding flowers

The Cake and Favors
Pretty in the Details knew exactly how to translate Chanel into this gorgeous, three-tiered wedding cake through the use of the signature Chanel black and white striped pattern. The pink and gold foil accents give the cake a modern flair with the softness reflected in the anemone and roses. The cupcake favors feature black bows and gold foil and provide a stark contrast to the black and white stripped custom table runner provided by CE Rentals.
Chanel inspired wedding cakeElegant black and gold placesettingGold and black cupcakesChanel inspired gold black and pink cakeBride and groom share wedding cakeBlack and gold tablesettingThank you cupcake wedding favorsWedding Ceremony Backdrop
Pretty in the Details took a quote that Monica adapted from one of Chanel’s famous one-liners and created a bold wedding backdrop combined with modern calligraphy and the bold Chanel font. The backdrop sets the scene for a stylishly simple wedding ceremony between the two lovebirds.Chanel Wedding Style ShootBride and groom toastRaleigh North Carolina bride and groomWEDDING PLANNER & STYLIST Nouveau Events | PHOTOGRAPHER Renee Sprink PhotographyCAKE, CALLIGRAPHY, CUSTOM PROPS Pretty in the Details | FLORAL DESIGNS Embellished Blooms | GOWN Traditions by Anna | FORMALWEAR Bernard’s FormalwearMAKE-UP & HAIR Makeup for Your DayRENTALS CE Rentals | PLACE SETTINGS Bailey’s Fine JewelryJEWELRY Charlotte’s | VENUE The Virginia Dare Ballroom | MODELS Elizabeth Safrit (Miss United States) and Thomas Roach

Win Tickets to the Outer Banks Wedding Showcase at Sanderling Resort

Brides-to-be, here’s your chance to WIN tickets to the popular Outer Banks Wedding Showcase at Sanderling Resort in picturesque Duck, NC, next month.

Southern Bride and Groom is giving away two sets of two tickets with an overnight stay at Sanderling Resort to engaged couples to attend the Wedding Showcase on March 14, 2015.

Sanderling Resort is nestled on 13 acres of North Carolina’s Outer Banks offering beach and sound front paradise and offers the true destination beach wedding experience.

To enter, comment on our Instagram post with the following, and we’ll pick a winner on Monday (2/22) by tagging the winners in a comment:

- Tag your fiancé, and, your wedding date (or time frame), AND,

- Tell us why you want to get married in OBX!

Wedding Showcase at Sanderling ResortHere is a look at what the Outer Banks Wedding Showcase has to offer (it’s a lot!):

Guests will find premiere OBX wedding professionals eager to answer questions and provide expertise. Lighting specialists will be on hand to offer design expertise; ceremony officiants will be available to answer questions; videographers and photo booth vendors will showcase their talents, and the most talented Outer Banks wedding photographers will be onsite showcasing their work and style. And, don’t forget the music! This year, the OBX Wedding Showcase will feature a fabulous live band. Six Stylez is a professional wedding band that hails from the Greensboro-Winston Salem area, and will have you jamming as you mix and mingle with the wedding pros and take in the scenery of the Sanderling Resort!

Outdoor Beach Wedding OBXIn the Pavilion, rental companies, transportation services and florists will be gathered, and out on the lawn, brides will enjoy plenty of visual inspiration, including a spectacular display by a floral and event designer, live music, and refreshing gourmet Italian Ice.

Beach Wedding CeremonyJust across the street, the Spa at Sanderling is the perfect place to explore your bridal look, with quality products and advice from experts in the field—ladies, take advantage of this!

Beach Wedding DecorFinally, meet the expert wedding planners of Sanderling Resort in the Beach House Lobby while enjoying decadent handcrafted chocolates. Planners will be available to answer questions about the resort, venues, and the options offered at Sanderling.

Dove ReleaseNo matter what venue you might be considering to host your special day on the Outer Banks, attending this one-of-a-kind experience with the first-rate wedding professionals of the Outer Banks is an essential on your wedding checklist! Don’t miss the Outer Banks Wedding Showcase on Saturday, March 14 from 11- 4pm at Sanderling Resort. Enter now for a chance to win!

Photos: Brooke Mayo and Beach Productions

Romantic Floral Inspiration by Tre Bella Flowers

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. This shoot, featuring soft and romantic floral inspiration by Tre Bella Flowers, is fitting for just after Valentine’s Day – it’s filled with romantic light pink, coral and white roses, accented with hydrangeas, orchids, and queen anne’s lace. The table is set with subtle touches of gold, including gold mercury votives and light grey lanterns. Small bunches of flowers tied to the backs of chairs with ribbon add a touch of whimsy.

Tre Bella Inc. of Durham, N.C. is unique in that it provides gorgeous flower arrangements as well as bridal gowns and accessories. Tre Bella grew quickly from a small boutique florist run out of one of the founder’s homes to two locations and three stores! The design studio on Broad Street in Durham helps brides create the wedding or event flowers of their dreams. The headquarters on Main Street assists with finding the perfect dress, bridesmaids gowns or mother-of-the-bride dress, and the boutique offers salon services and trendy clothing, jewelry and gifts.

The bride in this shoot is wearing a romantic flowing gown with lace cap sleeves by Jenny Packham from Tre Bella Bridal. The gown goes well with the soft pastel shades in her bouquet.

The Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club is the perfect setting for a romantic wedding affair. With lush outdoor landscapes and elegant grand ballrooms, such as the President’s Ballroom pictured here.Soft touches of coral and white flowers by Tre BellaJenny Packham wedding gown from Tre BellaTable setting with lanterns and gold accentsCoral and gold accents for wedding tableElegant wedding tablescape with coral white and goldSoft romantic wedding bouquet by Tre Bella FlowersRomantic table setting at the Washington Duke InnFLORAL DESIGN Tre Bella Flowers | TABLETOP, LINEN & CHAIRS CE Rental | PLACE CARDS Calligraphy by Carrie | GOWN Dentelle by Jenny Packham from Tre Bella Bridal | JEWELRY Bailey’s Fine Jewelry | HAIR & MAKEUP Bella Trio Day Spa | VENUE President’s Ballroom at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club | PHOTOGRAPHY Walters & Walters

Triangle Area Valentine’s Day Event Round Up

Wondering what to do with your sweetie on Valentine’s Day? There are plenty of options for Triangle Area Valentine’s Day events, including fun relaxed gatherings, intimate romantic dinners, and special celebrations all weekend long.

Videri Chocolate Factory Truffles

Pre-Valentine’s events

Enjoy a fun evening of conversation and bubbly at the The King’s Daughters Inn’s annual sparkling wine tasting on Feb. 12 from 5:30-7:30pm. Cost is $25 per person or $45 per couple. For reservations call (919) 354-7000.

Join Diamonds Direct Crabtree Raleigh for a Christopher Designs Inc. signature event Valentine’s weekend! Enjoy sparkling drinks, dazzling jewels and a free gift with any Christopher Designs purchase. Plus, one lucky customer will win a beautiful Christopher Designs pendant.

Leading up to Valentine’s Day, Videri Chocolate Factory in downtown Raleigh will be selling confections gift boxes (containing truffles and caramels) and on Feb. 14 they will be staying open until 11pm serving complimentary champagne for guests 21 and up.

Photo above left: Videri Chocolates by Walters & Walters 

Basan sushi restaurant Durham

Valentine’s Day dinner options

Enjoy an exceptional four-course dinner and share a romantic champagne toast in one of the quaint dining rooms at Carolina Crossroads at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill.

Dean’s Seafood Grill & Bar in Cary, which is owned by the renowned Rocky Top Catering, will feature a multi-course Valentine’s Day Package for $100 per couple from Feb. 12-15. On Feb. 12, receive a complimentary bottle of house wine and dessert to share with the package.

Inside Il Palio at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill, guests are transported to another place and time. This year, Il Palio is offering a special Valentine’s four-course prix fixe dinner menu for $78 per person plus tax and gratuity.

Love is in the air at Weathervane Restaurant in Chapel Hill, which will be serving a three-course prix fixe menu featuring locally sourced ingredients and artisan selections for $49 per person with a $15 wine pairing.

La Residence in Chapel Hill offers an American inspired twist on classic French food and is the perfect setting to wine and dine on a special Valentine’s aphrodisiac menu for $55-$65 per person plus tax and gratuity. Meal includes tea or soda and a complimentary glass of champagne.

Lantern in Chapel Hill is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a special three-course meal featuring lots of local and regional delicacies for $68 per person, not including tax, gratuity or beverages.

Valentine’s in Iris at the NCMA includes a champagne cocktail upon arrival, a four-course prix fixe menu featuring local ingredients, romantic music, and gallery guides directing you to depictions of love and passion in the Museum collection. You and your love will depart with a rose, chocolate, and cherished memories! Cost is $100 per person.

Second Empire Restaurant & Tavern in uptown Raleigh is listed as one of Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America by OpenTable. Enjoy a meal with your loved one in this elegant, yet relaxed atmosphere.

The Nasher Museum is partnering with two Durham restaurants and hosting special Valentine’s Day dinners at Parizade and Nana’s. Patrons will enjoy a delicious meal and receive complimentary Nasher branded champagne flutes.

If you are looking for somewhere completely new to take your date on Valentine’s Day, check out new Durham restaurants Basan or Dashi.

Basan, which is known for high-quality sushi and modern Japanese cuisine that is tastes as good as it looks, is the first Durham-based restaurant from Eschelon Experiences.

Dashi is owned by the same team that runs The Cookery, a unique event venue and kitchen in Durham. Dashi serves warm bowls of ramen featuring fresh noodles, local meat and produce.

Photo above left: Basan sushi by Tommie Watson

Do something different this Valentine’s DayTaste the Event Valentines Day Top of the Hill

This Valentine’s Day, have a date with your beau that you’ll BOTH enjoy, or make it a fun occasion with friends! During the Taste’s Indoor Tailgate co-sponsored by Southern Bride & Groom, enjoy a winter lunch with TOPO beer and liquor tastings at Top of the Hill’s Great Room. Watch UNC men’s basketball take on Pitt on the big screen while girls get pampered and enjoy Videri chocolate, flowers, artisan coolers and more!

Make your special someone fall head over heels with our Valentine’s Day Package at the Doubletree by Hilton’s Mansion on the Hill in Durham. The package, which starts at $299 includes a five-course Valentine’s Day dinner, an overnight stay, one bottle of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, breakfast in bed, live entertainment, a romantic atmosphere, and a 2pm checkout.

Get creative with your love and take a stroll through The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, which will be open for visitors on Valentine’s Day. Get a glimpse of Miró: The Experience of Seeing before it closes soon after.

Are you looking to attend a “killer” Valenetine’s Day event? If so, join the Highgrove in for their Murder Mystery dinner. The show will be performed as you dine by a professional troupe of seven experienced actors. They will bring to life exciting characters with colorful backgrounds and questionable motives. The sophisticated plot that ensues will provide you with clues to help you pin down the perpetrator…or perpetrators of a dastardly deed.

Anna Kirby - SBG Invitations-12

Keep celebrating with post-Valentine’s events

Catering Works in Raleigh is hosting an “After Valentine’s Day” Cooking Class. The menu includes scallops dusted with fennel in a champagne cream sauce, asparagus with balsamic tomatoes, and chocolate passion mousse. The menu is featured with sparkling wines.

On Feb. 21 from 10:00am – 1:00pm come mix, mingle and get ideas for your big day at Paperbuzz, your go-to shop for wedding paper, stationery and gifts in North Hills! This event will feature some other fabulous wedding pros including All She Wrote Notes (calligraphy artist); Ashley Cakes; CE Rentals; Fresh Affairs florist; Rocky Top Catering; and A Southern Soiree (wedding planning). Plus, enter to win 50 percent off of your wedding invitations!

Photo above left: Paperbuzz wedding invitations by Anna Kirby

Glamorous Winter Wedding at The Cotton Room in Durham, NC

We’re thrilled to share some of the beautiful real weddings from the pages of the 2015 edition of Southern Bride & Groom! Today, we’re sharing Marion and Bryan’s glamorous winter wedding at The Cotton Room in Durham, NC, photographed by Walters & Walters.

Marion met Bryan when he took a job as a soccer coach at Duke, where her father worked in the athletic department. Marion’s mother, a “serial matchmaker and lover of all things love,” instantly spotted a spark between the two, and did everything in her power to ensure they would meet again. She gave Bryan her daughter’s phone number, and the two decided to go on a casual date. Marion said that they soon realized that, as she was with most things, her mother was right!

After two years of dating long distance, Marion moved back to North Carolina just in time for Bryan to propose the night before Thanksgiving. The couple was able to celebrate with both of their families over the holidays before Marion’s mother passed away. “It meant the world to both of us that she had such a significant part in our meeting,” the bride said.

Marion knew she wanted to follow in her parents’ footsteps and marry at Duke Chapel, and she and Bryan chose a reception venue that captured the downtown Durham warehouse vibe — The Cotton Room. Their January wedding date inspired a glamorous, warm winter scene complete with hues of white, purple, and a touch of sparkle, brought to life with long tables covered in sequined linens, mirrored runners, and lush centerpieces.

The couple incorporated many personal details into their wedding day that made the occasion not only a special experience for their guests, but also paid homage to their families, including a musical performance by four of Marion’s aunts during the ceremony. They also found ways to express their unique personalities, like having mini bottles of BBQ sauce from their home states — Texas (his) and North Carolina (hers) — in the welcome bags, and distributing koozies with an original cartoon sketch of them and their golden retriever.

These images, courtesy of Photography by Walters & Walters, tell the story of this lovely winter wonderland affair.

Winter Wedding Bridal AccessoriesBride and Father at Duke ChapelBride and Groom Inside Duke ChapelMirrored Calligraphy SignWedding Reception at Cotton RoomWinter Wedding at Cotton RoomWinter Wedding CenterpiecesCandles at Wedding ReceptionPersonalized Koozie FavorsFirst Dance at Cotton RoomSparkler Exit at The Cotton Room

Wedding Consultant: Erin McLean Events  |  Bridal Luncheon and Guest Accommodations: Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club  |  Ceremony: Duke Chapel  |  Reception: The Cotton Room  |  Photographer: Walters & Walters  |  Videographer: Twenty-One Films  |  Bridal Gown: Monique Lhuillier from Nitsa’s Salon  |  Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale from Nitsa’s  |  Bridesmaids’ Gifts: Fur stoles and Jenny Packham earrings from Tre Bella Bridal    Florist: Tre Bella Flowers  |  Reception Signs: Calligraphy by Carrie  |  Reception Musicians: Live funk band  |  Makeup: Makeup for Your Day
Wedding Favors: Donation to charity in honor of Marion’s late mother

New Orleans Wedding Inspiration for NC Brides

The South is known for its church-going, salt-of-the-earth folk. But we Southerners certainly also know how to throw a celebration, and a wedding is the occasion of all occasions to blend reverence with the joys of life! Our ode to the New Orleans wedding is in honor of NOLA with its deep Southern charm, grit, glam and knack for festive fêtes – a perfect theme for a formal wedding affair.

The Story Behind the Shoot

Local NC wedding videographers, Twenty-One Films, captured behind-the-scenes footage and chatted with us and our stylist, Erin McLean of Erin McLean Events, about the concept of this styled shoot. We’re so excited to share the film from the photo shoot:

A Reason to Celebrate

The Hudson Manor, set on 23 verdant acres, sets the picture perfect scene. The onsite chapel is flanked by giant magnolia, oak and pecan trees and leads to the estate’s covered lake view terrace and ballroom. The estate, with its grand white columns, wrought iron accents and brick pathways, is so Southern it could be set in Louisiana itself, which made it the perfect location for our New Orleans themed wedding day styled shoot. The onsite grounds, gardens and chapel, make a lovely backdrop for bridal portraits, and even staging a scene for a painting by local artist and live wedding painter Tesh Parekh.

After the “I Dos,” the couple and brass musicians from John Brown Entertainment Group lead the main line parade followed by a second line of dancing and waving guests to ring in the newlyweds. This is New Orleans – their style, tradition and cultural heritage.

Enjoy these gorgeous images by Brian Mullins Photography!

The Hudson Manor Chapelbridal portrait - bouquetCeremony Reception SignageBride and Groom at ChapelTesh Live Weddings and Events PaintingTesh-Live-Painting-Hudson-ManorFirst Line WalkNOLA-First-Line-Wedding

Chasing the Light

From the chapel, the party marches to the courtyard for group photos and on to the The Hudson Manor where the massive white columns lend an “Old South” charm to their portraits. Our couple and wedding party are dressed in attire from Savvi Bridal and Savvi Formalwear, located in Raleigh near Crabtree Valley Mall, with jewelry from Diamonds Direct Crabtree and specialty bowties from local fashion designer Natty Neckware.

Portraits at The Hudson ManorThe Hudson Manor at twilightNOLA-Wedding-PartyMasquerade-Wedding-Bride-Groom

A Masquerade Party

The covered terrace glows with street lamps and market lights as the sun begins to set on the estate. In contrast to the elaborate ballroom, the terrace is set with cocktail tables in a bold black and white with New Orleans street signs. The theme is carried even into the specialty music note bowties by local company Natty Neckware, seen below paired with invitations designed by Paperbuzz.

The ballroom of The Hudson Manor has an open feel with ample glass doors and windows, beautiful chandeliers, wall sconces, and a mirrored wall. ThemeWorks added the specialty lighting and faux boxwood hedges behind the wedding party table, bringing more of the outdoors inside, while elegant gold accented table decor from American Party Rentals added to the formal evening theme.

Julie Williams, owner of Blossom Artistry, is originally from Louisiana, and worked with Erin McLean, our stylist, to create a floral palette of elegant soft ones with pops of purple and gold as a nod to New Orleans. The mix of tropical plants included are all native to her home-state. Magnolia leaves are woven throughout the decor, from the chapel doors, to arrangements and to the base of the stunning cake by Sugarland. And of course, beautiful masks from local decor rental shop Table of Contents, complete the masquerade party!

NOLA-Themed-Invitations-BowtiesJazzy New Orleans WeddingBourbon Street Cocktail TableMagnolia Table NameWedding-Party-Elegant-DinnerNew Orleans Themed Table WeddingBride with MaskTable-flowers-yellow-purpleGold-themed-wedding-table-settingMasquerade-Wedding-NOLA-themeGold-Pink-Wedding-Cake

Stylist Erin McLean Events  |  Venue The Hudson Manor  |  Photographer Brian Mullins Photography  |  Fashion Savvi Bridal and Savvi Formalwear  |  Bowties Natty Neckware  |  Florist Blossom Artistry  |  Live Wedding Painting Tesh Parekh  |  Jewelry Diamonds Direct  |   Musicians John Brown Entertainment Group  | Market Lights, NOLA Themed Accents and Hedge backdrop ThemeWorks  |  Linens, China & Table Settings American Party Rentals  |  Invitations & Menus Paperbuzz  |  Cake Sugarland  |  Masks Table of Contents  |  Bride & Groom Elevate  |  Wedding Party Models for Charity  |  Hair & Makeup Erin Doak and Danielle Duarte for Douglas Carroll Salon  |  Behind-the-Scenes Video Twenty-One Films