Posts Tagged: southern bride and groom magazine

Meet Raleigh Wedding Caterer and Baker, Catering Works

In the 2016 edition of Southern Bride and Groom, we introduced you to the area’s best and most talented wedding caterers! Today, we’re sharing Raleigh wedding cater and baker, Catering Works.

Catering Works, which celebrated its 25th anniversary milestone last year, has truly become a one-stop-shop for brides and grooms. It currently offers full-service catering, customized pastry and wedding cakes, in-house floral design, and party rentals event coordination.

“The turn-key service really appeals to brides, especially those who are from planning from out of town,” says CEO Jill Santa Lucia, “There is simplicity and peace of mind with one point of contact. Not to mention the ease of the logistics and cohesiveness when everything is coming from the same source.” She adds that Catering Works has experts in each division and is also always happy to work with brides on any single aspect of the wedding, such as just the food, desserts, or floral services for their special events.
Catering Works RaleighSanta Lucia, who has a degree from Johnson & Wales University and several local and national awards under her belt, makes her life-long passion for exceptional cuisine the driving force behind Catering Works. She heads up the kitchen team with her talented colleagues Rich Carter and Anthony Calcagno.
Chefs at Raleigh Catering WorksCarter is the Executive Chef. He began his culinary career working at several popular Italian restaurants in NY and worked his way to sous chef and Executive Chef at fine dining restaurants. Carter is dedicated to creating quality food and their entire team relishes his surprising recipes with unique ingredient combinations that make Catering Works menus stand out.

Calcagno, Executive Pastry Chef, began as a pastry cook at Rockefeller Center in NYC and loves Parisian, Austrian and Italian desserts. While working for the Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, he created wedding cakes that surpassed couples’ expectations and quickly gained a reputation as one of the area’s leading wedding cake designers.
Wedding dessert trioEdible wedding favorsRaleigh baker and catererCatering Works is very in touch with the latest trends from “foodie” brides who are well traveled and on the lookout for unique dishes and fine wines. They are equally skilled at creating special Southern comfort dishes that are in demand by many couples in the area.

“A high-end spin on traditional comfort dishes or regional NC-based cuisine is very popular right now – things like coffee braised short ribs with Yates Mill polenta, or NC Berkshire pork shanks glazed with our in-house BBQ sauce,” shares Lucia, “Fine wines from exceptional domestic appellations and French wines are also on trend, as well as local micro-brews. Farm-to-flask incorporates wonderful selections from NC distilleries.”
Lobster scampi catered wedding foodBloody Mary with baconCatering Works is cognizant of those with a gluten allergy or dietary restrictions and they work with couples to customize the menu when needed. While the bride does have to request menu modifications and guest preferences in advance, nearly every recipe can be modified for gluten-free needs as well as presented in its regular form.

Since Catering Works is packed with multiple talents to tie together an event vision, it’s easy to see why they are such a hit with Triangle brides. Check their website to register for bridal tastings, cooking class events and chef dinners hosted at Catering Works in 2016.

Food prepared by Catering Works  |  Photography by Neil Boyd Photography

Wedding Dress Fashion in Wilmington at The Wedding Dress Shoppe and Coastal Knot

Southern Bride and Groom featured two of the NC’s coast’s best bridal boutiques in our 2016 magazine’s wedding dress fashion shoot held at the 21c Museum Hotel in Durham. All images were taken by the talented Dara Blakeley Photography.

The Wedding Dress Shoppe

The Wedding Dress Shoppe was created by Alan Perry of Perry’s Emporium with a passion for providing a fresh approach to the Wilmington bridal experience. Each of the designers has been thoughtfully considered and selected. The 3,000 square foot studio is located in Barclay Commons adjacent to Perry’s Emporium. The Wedding Dress Shoppe is a full-service bridal salon featuring quality, unique, and distinct gowns for the trendy, stylish and fashionable bride and carries all things bridal, including veils, decorative headpieces, jewelry, shoes, bridesmaid dresses, mother of the bride dresses, and even wedding planning packages.
The Wedding Dress Shoppe WilmingtonFeatured top left is a beautiful Eve of Milady gown with a beaded sleeve and drop bodice which flows into a fully gathered tulle skirt.

Top right and below is a soft and romantic chiffon Alvina Valenta gowns with gold embroidered detail.
Goddess wedding dress

Coastal Knot Bridal

Coastal Knot Bridal, which has a location in both Wilmington and Shallotte, NC is a modern bridal salon with carefully curated selections of wedding gowns from top designers. They carry bridal accessories, bridesmaid dresses (now including Jenny Yoo), and they host regular trunk shows at both locations.
Best North Carolina wedding dress shops
A sheer bodice and delicate lace overlay makes the Madison James bridal gown above unique and fitting for the front entrance of the hotel with its art deco charm.

Below is an enchanting Hayley Paige gown with a tiered flounce skirt, crystal straps and chapel train. It shines in the buildings ballroom with restored mahogany walls and towering windows.
Coastal Knot Bridal in Wilmington
If you live close to the coast and are looking to purchase a gown for your beach or destination wedding, be sure to make an appointment to find the dress of your dreams.

GOWNS The Wedding Dress Shoppe and Coastal Knot Bridal | VENUE 21c Museum Hotel Durham | PHOTOGRAPHY Dara Blakeley Photography | JEWELRY Anfesa’s Jewelers | HAIR AND MAKEUP 140 Salon and Dry Bar and Makeup for Your Day | FLOWERS Fresh Affairs

Couture Wedding Gowns in North Carolina from Nitsa’s Apparel

Today, we’re continuing our 2016 fashion shoot series and showing a few captivating couture wedding gowns from Nitsa’s Apparel.

Nitsa’s has locations in Charlotte and Winston-Salem, NC. The full-service bridal salon features classic and couture modern looks from many of the top designers, such as Amsale, Monique Lhuillier, Rivini, and Pronovias. In addition, the shop carries well-known bridesmaids lines and mother of the bride dresses. Brides and the entire wedding party can get everything they need at Nitsa’s, from alterations to cosmetics to accessories. The shop also hosts regular trunk shows.

Take a look below at three featured gowns, all carried by Nitsa’s, from our SB&G 2016 fashion shoot. Fashion and art go hand in hand at the 21c Museum Hotel in downtown Durham – the perfect location to showcase these gorgeous looks. Photographer Dara Blakeley captured our models against at the museum hotels interior and exterior backdrops.
Amsale wedding gown at Nitsa'sThe first look is a trellised Anna Maier Couture lace gown with a hint of golden color beneath that’s sensationally timeless and romantic. Our bride, with jewelry from Anfesa’s and makeup and hair from Makeup for Your Day carried a beautiful bouquet of white orchids from Fresh Affairs.
North Carolina Wedding BoutiquesPictured at right below is a classic Romona Keveza lace gown with a sweetheart neckline and off-the-shoulder cap sleeves. With pearls and diamonds from Anfesa’s and hair and makeup from 140 Salon & Dry Bar, our bride looks extra sweet carrying a bunch of blush pink tulips from Fresh Affairs.

At left, is a fitted and stunning  Amsale gown in flowing crepe, which has an illusion neckline and low illusion back with covered buttons from neckline to hem.
Wedding dresses from Nitsa's ApparelGOWNS Nitsa’s Apparel | VENUE 21c Museum Hotel, Durham | PHOTOGRAPHY Dara Blakeley Photography | JEWELRY Anfesa’s | HAIR & MAKEUP 140 Salon & Dry Bar and Makeup for Your Day | Bouquet Fresh Affairs

SB&G Hosts Raleigh Event to Benefit Carroll’s Kitchen

Local Creatives Gather at The Stockroom in downtown Raleigh for “Chalk Lettering for Charity”

Southern Bride and Groom recently hosted a creative night out at The Stockroom at 230 in downtown Raleigh. The event, “Chalk Lettering for Charity,” brought women from all around the Triangle together to learn a new skill and benefit a great local charity, Carroll’s Kitchen.

The class was led by Maghon Taylor of All She Wrote Notes and all proceeds from the sold out event went to Carroll’s Kitchen, a nonprofit restaurant that is dedicated to ending homelessness by providing opportunities and job training for women coming out of difficult living situations (learn more about it below).

Maghon Taylor is a talented calligrapher and hand letterer who shares her skills with brides-to-be at various locations and events in the Triangle. The Stockroom (and their upstairs venue, The Glass Box) was the perfect intimate and fun venue to hold this chalk lettering event.
Chalk Lettering Event RaleighBridal events by Southern Bride and Groom magazineBridal events RaleighSouthern Bride and Groom KooziesAttendees sat at tables provided by American Party Rentals and Party Reflections adorned with a variety of chalk and personal chalkboards. Throughout the night, guests giggled and nibbled on sweet potato biscuits provided by Lip Service Catering as they followed Maghon’s instructions, drawing out “yay,” “hooray,” and other words in different styles.
Wedding events at The StockroomRaleigh wedding calligraphyThe Stockroom at 230All She Wrote Notes Calligraphy ClassesAll She Wrote NotesCarroll’s Kitchen, the charity for which this event was benefiting, will be located in the former Square Rabbit restaurant space which operated out of that location for 25 years. The food served at Carroll’s Kitchen will be delicious classics like sandwiches, salads, house made soups, baked goods and some surprises that are new to the area. They’re excited to share NC pecan sticky buns and fresh made breakfast sandwiches along with many other treats. The women in the program will share their favorite foods over time and learn to build and create culinary dishes to put on the menu.

The non-profit will be supporting many collaborative partners as well as employing women coming out of homelessness and incarceration. The job-training program will be a year-long program and will include a place to live.
Gold wedding details Events at The Glass Box RaleighVenues with a view in RaleighWhen the class drew to a close, everyone was invited upstairs to take in a sunset view of downtown Raleigh from The Stockroom’s open and airy suite The Glass Box. This room can be rented out for bridal parties, such as showers and small events, as well as used as a bridal suite for those getting married at The Stockroom.
Dessert table at The Glass BoxCupcakes from The Cupcake ShoppeBridal Suite The Glass BoxRaleigh wedding bakeryWedding cake popsThe Cupcake Shoppe in Raleigh bakes from scratch every morning and makes custom cakes and desserts for weddings and special events.
Blanc de BleuBlanc de bleu blue sparkling wineA sunset toast was complete with a glass of sparkling blue wine from Blanc de Bleu, a California based wine that gives brides a unique way to incorporate “something blue” into their wedding day.
Raleigh NC wedding eventsThis creative evening, which raised over $1,600, was a big success thanks to the many vendors, including All She Wrote Notes, The Stockroom at 230, The Cupcake Shoppe, Blanc de Bleu, Lip Service Catering, American Party Rentals and Party Reflections who helped put it on. Carroll’s Kitchen is still seeking donations for equipment and construction, will begin later this month. You can also support their cause by dining at the eatery when it opens!

Raleigh Wedding Pros Compete at Triangle NACE for Best Themed Styled Shoot

What do you get when wedding professionals are given a pile of props and 15 minutes to throw together a styled shoot? Magic!

Wedding-themed styled shoots are all the rage these days. They are a wonderful way for wedding professionals to showcase their talent, creativity, and the latest styles and trends.

Triangle NACE, an organization of local event professionals which SB&G has belonged to for many years, themed their monthly chapter monthly meeting on this subject. The event last week took place at The Stockroom at 230 in downtown Raleigh, one of SB&G‘s favorite venues! Donna and Jenna of Southern Bride and Groom, along with our friends from Weddings Magazine, spoke on a panel to discuss tips on how to get styled shoots published.

Two of our SB&G Preferred Vendors conceived and planned this event – Dana Cadwell from C & D Events, and Triangle NACE Programs Chair Jennifer Buenviaje of Makeup for Your Day.

Soigne Events was the featured caterer at this event and did a beautiful job with the local fare. The University Club provided libations and a signature cocktail, and dessert was from The Cupcake Shoppe and The Freezing Pointe. The Stockroom looked gorgeous with entrance arrangements by North Raleigh Florist and table arrangements by Artfully Arranged, and furniture from Themeworks. Spin provided the production, and Fancy This Photography chronicled the evening’s events.
The Stockroom Raleigh event venueRaleigh wedding professionals mixerNACE Triangle Chapter meetingsWedding inspiration at The Stockroom RaleighLearning about PR Strategy in RaleighSouthern Bride and Groom at NACENACE catering and entertainment professionalsNACE Triangle Chapter in RaleighMix and mingle with wedding planning professionalsGold plates at Raleigh wedding venueLearning about styled shoots for magazinesNACE wedding industry meetingsGhost chairs and white linen for weddingEvents at The Stockroom at 230After the presentation, tables were surprised by the announcement that there would be an on-site styled shoot contest! Each table was sent upstairs to The Glass Box to collect materials and come up with their own styled shoot design in under 20 minutes. There were six teams who tackled three different themes: Bohemian, High Drama and Romantic and Sweet.

Here at SB&G, we viewed the photographers’ images of completed designs from each styled shoot and judged our favorite. We agreed on a bright bohemian themed shoot captured on the rooftop of The Glass Box. What makes this shoot so stunning is the lush colorful floral arrangements, attention to detail on the table including vintage elements, fashion selection and the overall presentation of the theme. It’s fun while still romantic and perfect inspiration for a modern bohemian bride! Check out images from the winning shoot below.

SB&G’s Pick for Best Styled Shoot: Bohemian Wedding ThemeBright flowers in Bohemian weddingThe Glass Box balconyPhotos on the rooftop balcony at The Glass Box RaleighColorful bohemian weddingVintage decor in weddingsWedding styled shoot ideasrustic wedding table ideasBohemian themed wedding styled shootPhotos above by Fancy This Photography

Truthfully, we were impressed with the creative designs all six teams came up with in such quick time frame! Here are a few images of the remaining teams in each category. Great job to everyone who took part!

Bohemian
Bridal shoot on Raleigh rooftopBohemian vintage wedding inspirationGreenhouse Picker Sisters decorPhotos above: Adam Chapin

Romantic and Sweet
Styled shoot at The Glass BoxRomantic wedding inspirationPink wedding colorsPhotos above: Adam Chapin

Romantic and Sweet
Gay wedding inspirationGay weddings RaleighRaleigh NC venues with a viewPhotos above: Red Bridge Photography

High Drama
High impact wedding table designNACE chapter meeting events
Photos above: Red Bridge Photography

High Drama
Gold wedding detailsJewel toned wedding inspiration
Photos above: Fancy This Photography

Styled Shoots Contributors:

Classic Summer Americana Floral Inspiration from Flowers by Gary

Southern Bride & Groom is excited to share some of our favorite photos, including many not seen in print, from the floral designers featured in our 2016 magazine. Today, we’re featuring a classic summer Americana floral display from Flowers by Gary.

Traditional colors of red, white and blue combined with vintage details like classic coke bottles and handmade pinwheels, create a classic Americana theme for this inviting display from Flowers by Gary. It’s a theme that’s perfect for a summer celebration! A tall centerpiece with local flowers, including rich red roses, cute white Gerbera daisies and rustic blue thistle are complemented with a touch of ivory and lamb’s ear in the bride’s classic bouquet. The bride models a sheer-sleeved laced gown from Savvi in front of Bay 7 at American Tobacco Campus in Durham.

Flowers by Gary is a Durham shop owned by Gary Corsi-OConnor, an award-winning, North Carolina Certified Professional Florist through the North Carolina State Florist Association with over 25 years of experience. Gary is also a member of the Society of American Florists and President of the local Northern Piedmont Florist Association. The exemplary staff at Flowers by Gary will work one-on-one with couples to create a gorgeous, custom floral design for their wedding day.
Wedding lights and flowers at Bay 7 DurhamDurham floristsTraditional wedding Flowers by Gary Chapel HillRed white and blue table ideasRed white and blue July 4 weddingAmericana themed partyWedding photos at American Tobacco DurhamFLORAL DESIGN Flowers by Gary | TABLETOP, LINEN & CHAIRS American Party Rentals | RED PLATES Southern Season | MENUS & NAME CARDS Cute Buttons | GOWN Savvi Bridal | JEWELRY Bailey’s Fine Jewelry | HAIR & MAKEUP Mina’s Studio | VENUE Bay 7 at American Tobacco | PHOTOGRAPHY Walters & Walters

SB&G’s Green Wedding Themed Event at The Mayton Inn in downtown Cary

Each spring, Southern Bride and Groom hosts a Customer Appreciation event to celebrate all of our talented preferred wedding vendors.

This year, the luncheon was held at the brand new luxury boutique hotel, The Mayton Inn, in downtown Cary, NC, and the theme was sustainability. Green weddings are a growing trend, and venues like The Mayton Inn follow environmentally-responsible business practices and are built with that very mission in mind.
plantable wedding invitationsWhere to stay in Cary NCThe Georgian-style hotel encompasses a luxury atmosphere along with green technologies in all aspects of the new construction building. The 44 rooms and public spaces are dressed with custom features and furniture that was made in High Point, NC just for the Inn. Green technology, such as solar panels on the roof and a rainwater cistern to keep the landscape lush during a drought, make it a great choice for the eco-concious bride.

The hotel also features a lounge, full bar and restaurant, event spaces, a spa and an outdoor terrace. The Inn offers afternoon tea, as well as turndown service for guests with port and chocolates. A gourmet hot breakfast is served to hotel guests every morning in the full service restaurant.
weddings and events at The Mayton Inn Cary NCDining at The Mayton Inn CaryLunch at The Mayton Inn Cary NCOn our menu was chilled honeydew and basil soup, followed by a choice of three entrees: pan-seared chicken breast with haricots verts & tarragon roasted bliss potatoes; pan-seared mahi with spring vegetable succotash and sautéed spinach, or farmers market vegetables and Anson Mill grits with smoked tomato jus, fennel and sweet onion salad.

For dessert, Edible Art Bakery provided delicious individual-sized key lime pies and fruit tarts that flew off the dessert table in no time!
Fruit tarts from Edible Art Bakery RaleighTo bring out the natural beauty and the clean, crisp look of Mayton Inn’s dining room and event space, Victorian Seasons created simple and elegant white tulip centerpieces (oh so perfect for a spring wedding soiree!). Light pastel blue containers were courtesy of Table of Contents and the stunning silver chargers were from American Party Rentals.
Simple flower centerpiecesCary NC wedding eventsSilver and blue table setting ideasLocal NC honey party favorsEvents at The Mayton Inn Cary NCFrom start to finish, SB&G carried out a green-themed event. We mailed plantable seeded invitations and encouraged our guests to plant them in the garden where they would sprout a variety of herbs! The invites and calligraphy on them (and the menus) was provided by The Obique Pen.

Guests were also encouraged to bring clothes to donate to the Durham Rescue Mission and Dress for Success. Thanks to their kind donations, we made a delivery of very nice clothes to both locations.

At the end of the lunch, our guests parted with sweet small jars of local North Carolina honey from Bumble & Branch. It’s a perfect party favor for both an elegant affair or a rustic wedding with a focus on local goods.
Bumble and Branch honey jarsPhotographs from the day were taken by Casey Rose Photography on film, which give them a gorgeous glow. She’s a hybrid photographer, doing both digital and film, and is very talented at both. We can’t thank her, and everyone else involved, for making this year’s luncheon a successful and enjoyable event. Thanks also to all of our wonderful wedding vendors who make our magazine shine because of the truly great work they do every day!
White and metallic wedding colorsSouthern Bride and Groom Magazine publisherswedding planning vendors RaleighSouthern Bride and Groom wedding industry eventBest wedding vendors in NCwedding vendors in RaleighCustomer appreciation luncheon at The Mayton Innoutdoor event space in North CarolinaSouthern Bride and Groom Magazine teamPhotos: Casey Rose Photography

Southern Bride & Groom Magazine Summer-Fall 2016 Cover Launch

Southern Bride & Groom is thrilled to share the release of our Summer-Fall cover, a captivating bridal portrait from Walters & Walters Photography featuring a rich and stunning bouquet created by Raleigh florist Eclectic Sage.

This image is part of our yearly floral shoot, which appears on the pages of our 2016 magazine. Eclectic Sage created the most enchanting outdoor display under the wrought-iron gazebo at The Pavilion at The Angus Barn. One would expect elves and fairy nymphs to make an appearance in this magical woodland wonderland. The sweetheart table is adorned with a floral and moss chandelier and reindeer pelt, surrounded by plush garden flowers in shades of bright pink to rich purple. Each glass bubble holds a perfect lavender rose and our bride reigns as queen of the forest adorned with a flower crown also designed by Eclectic Sage.

With floral embellishments on the straps and bodice of the free-flowing Monique Lhuillier gown from Nitsa’s Apparel, the bride has a naturally elegant look that stands out, yet still blends into the scenery around her. Her hair and makeup, in shades of blush and plum, done by Bella Trio, also matches the bounty of flowers. The slim gold pendant necklace around her neck is from Bailey’s Fine Jewelry, which also supplied the silver branch candleholders and vase under the gazebo.

Check out our newest cover below (which you can find distributed at these locations and making its big debut at the Forever Bridal Show on May 1, 2016) along with additional images of Eclectic Sage’s inspiring floral design.
Southern Bride and Groom coverRaleigh, NC florist Eclectic SageRomantic woodland themed wedding decorPink and gold table settingsPink and purple wedding bouquetEclectic sage woodland wedding decorFlorals by Eclectic Sage of RaleighHanging flowers wedding decorOutdoor wedding at The Angus BarnFLORAL DESIGN & ACCESSORIES Eclectic Sage | TABLETOP, LINEN & CHAIRS Party Reflections | SILVER VASE & CANDLEHOLDER Bailey’s Fine Jewelry | FLORAL CHANDELIER Eclectic Sage | GOWN Monique Lhuillier from Nitsa’s Apparel | JEWELRY Bailey’s Fine Jewelry | HAIR & MAKEUP Bella Trio | VENUE The Pavilion at the Angus Barn | PHOTOGRAPHY Walters & Walters

White Wedding Flower Fantasy from Raleigh Florist Fresh Affairs

Southern Bride & Groom is excited to share some of our favorite photos, including many not seen in print, from the floral designers featured in our 2016 magazine. In this shoot, Fresh Affairs sets a wedding table with a hand-crafted fresh flower-encrusted linen that sweeps across the tabletop to the patio floor for an opulent and sophisticated statement. The unencumbered glass top over the flowers opens a panoramic view of the glimmering lake at the Angus Barn Pavilion. Such an imaginative floral masterpiece could serve as a wedding altar before it becomes the reception centerpiece!

Fresh Affairs is an award-winning florist located in Raleigh, NC. Owner Lyn Graves has made flowers his life’s passion, and his portfolio includes over 11,000 weddings and events in more than 14 states! Fresh Affairs has won many accolades, including over 75 state and national design competition wins. They’ve done designs for the Governor’s Inauguration, President Clinton’s Inauguration, and even been inducted into the North Carolina State Florist Association Hall of Fame. Fresh Affairs’ designers work one-on-one with brides to create stunning floral arrangements for every budget.
White flowers from Raleigh wedding floristWedding at The Angus Barn Pavilion RaleighDimensional flower displays by Raleigh florist Fresh AffairsWhite wedding flower ideasFLORAL DESIGN Fresh Affairs | GLASSWARE, CHINA & CHAIRS Party Reflections | GOWN Pronovias from Nitsa’s Apparel | JEWELRY Bailey’s Fine Jewelry | MAKEUP Jodi Galeazzo of Bella Trio Day Spa | VENUE The Pavilion at The Angus Barn | PHOTOGRAPHY Walters & Walters

Recently Engaged? Here are 3 Easy Steps for Wedding Prep

You are engaged and you want to shout it to the world…or at least to everyone you know! And you may be ready to hit the ground running with appointments for gowns and venues. There’s no harm in that and it’s very exciting to get started on wedding ideas, but the following three steps are a good springboard to getting prepared together as an engaged couple with a plan.
Proposal PhotographyPhoto: Halftone Studios

Step One should certainly be an honest discussion between you and your fiancé about the type of wedding event you would both like to have. If one of you wants to include a super long list of all the relatives and friends for a memory-making extravaganza, and the other wants to run away to a secret island for a private affair, then you may each have to compromise.

And compromise can be just the ticket. Having a small family-only ceremony followed by dinner at a great restaurant or including just the closest loved ones on a destination wedding may satisfy both partners. Hosting a larger reception gathering sometime soon after an intimate ceremony is another way to share the joy and make both sides happy. (See this Real Wedding in Durham for inspiration.)

Hopefully, if you are planning either a semi-formal or formal wedding and reception, both of you are in agreement. While you are talking over the type of event, choose a best time of year and month that will work well for your schedules.

Step Two is equally as important and is all about budget. Chat honestly with your fiancé or fiancée about how much in savings you will have available to put into the wedding day expenses.

If you feel like your families will be interested in helping out with your wedding and reception, make a time when you can talk with them about this. Gone are the days when the bride’s parents hosted everything as a traditional obligation. Many parents still do follow the custom of the bride’s folks hosting the full wedding and reception and the groom’s family taking care of a rehearsal dinner and a few wedding day costs. And in many cases, both sets of parents contribute an amount towards the wedding of their children, just as many couples host and pay for their own special day.

In all likelihood, you already know whether the wedding will be up to the two of you or a fully involved family affair.

Step Three is immensely important and again, involves you and your wonderful spouse-to-be being in sync. It’s time to make a guest list of all the people who are important to each of you and your parents.

So far, you know what type of affair the two of you would love to host. You also know a close proximity of the budget that you have to apply to the day or will have saved by the date you’ve selected.

The number of guests are divided between both the bride and groom’s families. If one side has more people to invite than their half of the decided total guest number, they can offer to pay for the extra guests. The newer etiquette considerations also allow that both sets of parents are indicated as hosts of the wedding (on the invitation) if they share the expenses, rather than just the bride’s parents.

Usually, only close friends and family are invited to weddings. Business acquaintances who are not personal friends are usually not invited. Only spouses, betrothed or significant others of those on your invitation list must be included. But certainly, if you have an ample budget, you may invite co-workers and allow every single friend to bring a guest! Your guest list may shorten or lengthen as you continue shopping for your wedding depending on your venue selection, food choices and other amenities for the day (remember to hold on save-the-dates until the list is finalized).

With these three major steps, you’ve done the basics to prepare for the exciting part of planning a wedding that is just right for the two of you!
Wedding photso taken by dronePhoto: Joe Payne Photography