Posts Tagged ‘raleigh wedding news’
We at Southern Bride & Groom magazine know The Umstead Hotel and Spa best for its elegant weddings and receptions. We’ve featured several Umstead
wedding events over the last few years and you can view a stunning reception in our current edition! The award-winning Umstead is praised for so much more than exemplary events, including its acclaimed Herons restaurant, stellar spa facilities, impeccable service and luxurious guest accommodations. This month I discovered that great things are in the works at The Umstead when I was invited to a wonderful lunch and tour for a small group of area business professionals, hosted by founder and owner Ann Goodnight, General Manager John Beley, and marketing manager Darah Whyte.
We all informally discussed the direction of the Triangle business growth and learned much about the ecological vision of The Umstead Hotel and Spa. Manager, John Beley, is highly concerned and involved with employee workplace satisfaction, and was recognized when the hotel was named one of the “Best Places to Work” by the Triangle Business Journal in 2011. This assures their goal of an elevated guest experience in all aspects of service. The company mindset, the food, the additions and the renovations at The Umstead Hotel & Spa all reflect a renewed and dedicated purpose towards worker and guest happiness, along with conservation of the environment.
GOING GREEN with DINING
The Umstead Hotel and Spaas a whole is moving towards a state-of-the-art eco-friendly system – and I’ll elaborate on that below. But allow me a diversion so I can share our outstanding lunch. I know we are all foodies here in our Triangle area. Seriously, the diners at our lunch were taking pictures of their dishes as they were served before the first bite!
Herons, the (5-diamond AAA, Forbes Five Star, and a dozen more awards) restaurant located in The Umstead Hotel, is the perfect pick for an impressive occasion, but really should be experienced for any special lunch or dinner outing with friends. The restaurant was very busy on our Thursday lunch day in April, but never felt crowded. After enjoying a salad of lovely baby spring lettuces, hoop cheddar and pickled strawberries with white balsamic, some of Chef John Childer’s entrée choices included a Lobster Roll with hand-cut vinegar potato chips, a Hot Smoked Salmon with butter beans, sugar snap peas and arugula, and Grass Fed Beef Sirloin with roasted marble potatoes, crispy broccoli and bacon sauce. I enjoyed a succulent natural chicken breast over Carolina rice that was melt-in-your-mouth tender! For dessert, we chose between a lemony chocolate napoleon in puff pastry or an original Pavlova with strawberries and mascarpone over coconut angel food cake created by pastry chef Daniel Benjamen. With the yummmmm-murmerings of everyone at the table, it was tough not to ask for one of everything on the menu that day, but I vow to return to enjoy more selections.
FARM FRESH, LOCAL and HOMEMADE
We learned that The Umstead has it’s own mini-farm called Maggie’s Farm, named after its manager guru. This organic enterprise freshly supplies nearly all of Herons vegetables, fruits and herbs during the full growing seasons. Herons menu also serves natural and locally-sourced meats plus organic coffee from local purveyor, Larry’s Beans. Even the coffee grounds are being used within their mushroom farming project. Hooray for herb scones and melt in your mouth cornbread and rolls. All breads and pastries are homemade by chef Daniel. Herons is an impressive dining experience to share with your business group, associates, friends or special partner. I hope I didn’t leave anyone out. Herons also hosts Uncorked Wine Dinners every last Thursday of the month to enjoy perfect wine and food pairings along with new taste experiences!
ADDITIONS & RENOVATIONS with ENERGY CONSERVATION
The Umstead Hotel is on their final phase to complete the 150 guestrooms of their original plan when opened in 2007. Guestrooms have been redecorated in a soothing aqua shade and have luxurious new drapery, curtains, carpet, bedding and interactively built-in bedframes. The balconies allow guests to also enjoy the natural outdoor surroundings.
The guest rooms are incorporating an evolve system – a environmentally conscious controlled lighting and energy-savings installation that is personalized for guests. The Umstead Hotel as a whole is moving towards a state-of-the-art eco-friendly system for energy conservation.
Even the captivating artwork that is exhibited throughout the hotel, as well as in each beautiful guestroom, reflects this love of nature. The pieces are mainly by accomplished regional and national artists whose work evokes our area of the country, and reflects the hotel’s wooded North Carolina setting that borders the William B. Umstead State Park.
THE SPA – THERE’S MORE TO COME and ENJOY
My experiences at The Umstead Spa have always been memorable. It’s the ideal place to relax and bond with a friend, or enjoy with the “girls” to celebrate an occasion. I personally love the hot-tub time between massage treatments to unwind. The Spa is currently closed for expansion and design refurb, so stay tuned for the newly enlarged spa news and the slated re-opening in July. We hear (from top sources!) there will be a new coed “current” pool, in addition to the separate men’s and women’s sauna and whirlpool areas, plus a sophisticated new nail salon with more pedicure chairs, which I think may be the most comfortable spa chairs on the planet!
A WORD ABOUT THE WEDDINGS
To the brides who are looking for that perfect wedding weekend location, you’ll be happy to know that The Umstead brides can enjoy the gorgeous wedding garden that overlooks the pine-surrounded lake for their ceremony, then choose between a smaller intimate banquet room or elegant larger ballroom, both with an extensive outdoor patio terrace to use for the wedding of her dreams. Brides will love the spa and its services, and may enjoy a bridal event such as a bridesmaids’ luncheon in the spa or by the pool. The guest rooms have been updated and the service is unsurpassed so this is a hotel that has it all.
We love the greening of The Umstead!
~ Donna Parks, Publisher, SB&G
Their new project, The Mayton Inn, will be a new, 45-room boutique hotel in Downtown Cary on an acre of property on the corner of S. Academy Street and E. Park Street. The Crossmans are working closely with the Town of Cary to develop a project that will blend with the historic character of the area, including the relocation of two historic homes — the Waldo-Rood House and the Mayton House — to the property.
Construction plans have tentatively set the ground breaking for this coming August, and the hotel should be completed by August 2014. The upper floors will consist of 33 spacious rooms and 11 deluxe sweets, while the first floor will boast 13,000 feet of public space complete with a library, a full bar and restaurant, event spaces, an outdoor terrace, a high tech gym facility and a luxury spa. This classically-styled, Art Deco inn will implement green technologies in all aspects of construction.
The inn will offer High Tea, turndown service with port and chocolates and a gourmet hot breakfast for its guests. The Crossman’s original property, the King’s Daughters Inn, is one of the most sustainable hotels in Durham, and is renowned for its luxurious rooms and beautiful event spaces.
This is so exciting for the Triangle area — the inn will add luxury and downtown density to Cary, while also preserving the historic and cultural resources that make the area so special. Follow The Mayton Inn on Facebook for updates on the construction process!
The Wedding Affair is an intimate showcase for both brides and grooms that features Triangle wedding industry leaders that provide superior services — including many members of the SB&G Family.
Attendees will receive a Bridal Swag Bag and are automatically entered to win fabulous prizes! For a list of vendors, check out the North Hills Wedding Affair website, where you can also RSVP and purchase tickets, and see photos from last year’s bash.
While you’re at the show, be sure to stop by the Southern Bride & Groom booth to pick up a free copy of the 2013 magazine!
Above photo courtesy of Photography by Walters & Walters
Check out these photos — some of our favorites from the shoot — by the talented Dara Blakeley Photography. And newly engaged brides, make sure to include Bella Bridesmaid on your list of stops when you and your gals are on the hunt for the perfect dress!
These gorgeous navy chiffon gowns are from the Amsale collection at Bella Bridesmaid. Pair these with nude, metallic, or a fun-colored heel for a little added glam. Brides — love that crystal bracelet? Check out Bel Canto Designs for gorgeous, vintage jewelry to accessorize your big day. Also, thanks to Lore Emelio for custom-designing our girls’ awesome hairpieces!
Say “yes” to yellow in these adorable sunshine dresses by LulaKate, available at Bella Bridesmaid. Let your girls choose different necklines that flatter their specific shape for a funky, but still cohesive mismatched look.
This bright green ensemble is the perfect example of a sweet & appropriate style for junior bridesmaids. Having junior bridesmaids is a fantastic way to include girls who are too old to be flower girls, and too young to be full-fledged bridesmaids.
These two selections, both by Coren Moore from Bella Bridesmaid, showcase some of this year’s hottest trends — color blocking and iridescent coral.
All inspired now? Make your appointment at the Raleigh Bella Bridesmaid and start browsing…remember, it takes three to four months for your dresses to come in, so ordering early is a necessity!
Sunday, January 27th
Join the SB&G Team and a slew of other wedding industry professionals at the upscale Carolina Inn on Sunday afternoon, January 27th, for the 18th-annual Carolina Inn Bridal Showcase. This is a must-attend event for all brides! Browse the Inn’s gorgeous floor plan while sipping on champagne, and then enjoy a buffet and a high-end fashion runway show.
For more information or to register for the event, check out the Carolina Inn Bridal Showcase website. We can’t wait, and we hope that you come say hello if you attend!
Lots of food, entertainment and prizes await you at this fun-filled evening at The Hudson Manor. Tickets are $25 (available for purchase here) and include cake & food tasting, beer & wine, entertainment by DJ Richie, and the promise of a magical night!
Participating vendors include Cinda’s Creative Cakes, Fleuressence, the Hilton Garden Inn at Triangle Town Center, and CE Rental.
Trust us, this is an event you don’t want to miss!
Photo Credit: Taken by Sue Rakes Photography
Just north of Raleigh lies the historic Crenshaw Hall Plantation — a 19th-century homestead nestled on five acres of stately oaks and pecan trees. Crenshaw Hall brides are allowed the full use of the beautifully appointed main house, the wedding gazebo, the lawns and the large reception tent.
Come out on Sunday, January 13th, from 2 to 5pm to tour the lovely grounds of this Wake Forest venue, only minutes from Triangle Town Center! Stop in and see what this gorgeous venue & its wonderful staff have to offer to make your big day uniquely you.
Brides and grooms-to-be are invited to come out and explore the venue — from its manicured gardens overlooking Lake Laurel to the beautifully-lit reception space — and see it “dressed up” as it would be for their big day! Potential customers will also get the opportunity to meet with the venue coordinators on-site to discuss the endless possibilities The Highgrove offers to personalize each couple’s wedding day dreams.
No appointment is needed, as the event is a casual, drop-in style. Don’t miss this opportunity to see a breathtaking venue and get some ideas and tips for wedding planning!
Photo Credit: Photography by Kevin Milz
NC’s longest-running and most popular wedding show is taking place this weekend – Saturday, January 5 (9am-4pm) and Sunday, January 6 (10am-4pm). Run by Forever Bridal Productions, The Wedding Show is a large wedding expo that takes place at the Jim Graham Building at the NC State Fairgrounds. Guests will enjoy fashion previews, food and cake samples, floral and tablescape designs, and of course, meeting dozens of wedding professionals all in one weekend! Get your tickets in advance at foreverbridal.net.
SB&G has been attending these bridal shows for as long as they have been happening here in the Triangle, so we have some thoughts on how to most effectively tackle wedding show season.
THE GAME PLAN
• Decide on the top 3 services you’d like to find before you enter the show, and make sure you schedule enough time to get to all of the professionals in those categories.
• Don’t be shy! These pros are here to answer your questions and tell you about their services.
• Take notes and only take cards and information from your favorite vendors. When you get home, make appointments with those who made the greatest impressions on you.
WHO TO BRING
• Its a great idea to bring one or two helpers but its best to avoid bringing a whole entourage. Too many opinions can backfire.
• Its not always possible, but if it is, you’ll have a more productive day if you can leave the kids at home.
• If you have a chance to print stick-on labels with your name, email and address, it will save you a lot of wrist pain, as you’ll have a chance to enter for lots of fabulous prizes at the shows (including at the SB&G Booth!)
• Wear comfortable shoes, especially at the Forever Bridal show, which is hosting on a concrete floor.
• Make sure your phone is charged or you have your camera to snap shots of favorite tabletop displays.
Have fun – we hope to see you this weekend! Check our WEDDING SHOWS PAGE for more upcoming bridal events!
We are happy to announce that Triangle Catering is opening two new event spaces that will be perfect for wedding receptions! One of the new venues is right around the corner from The Cotton Room, by Durham’s historic train tracks, and is called Belt Line Station. The other is Cardinal Hall at the Wake County Shrine Club in Raleigh, which Triangle Catering has renovated and spruced up to be an elegant wedding venue.
The new Triangle NC event spaces are being celebrated with open house events. There will be an open house for Cardinal Hall in Raleigh THIS Sunday, Oct 28th, from 2-6pm, and one for Belt Line Station in Durham NEXT Sunday, November 4, from 2-6pm.
Come out to check out the venue nearest you, and taste some of Triangle Catering’s amazing dishes. Maybe you’ll book two of your most important wedding venues on the spot!
RSVP by Calling 919-530-83080
Hope to see you there!