Southern Bride & Groom – a local, family business with a mission of helping Triangle NC couples plan the occasion that marks the beginning of their new family
We’re Donna and Jenna, the mother-daughter team behind Southern Bride & Groom.
While we’re a bridal magazine and trusted wedding planning resource, we’re also a family business. Weddings are about bringing families together, and that’s so much of what we do.
You may have heard that it takes a village to raise a child. Well, we believe it takes a village to get married too! Southern Bride and Groom began as an idea to connect North Carolina brides and grooms with the best services and venues in our community. From the very beginning, we’ve wanted you to have the team you need to make your wedding dreams a reality.
Donna started the magazine in 1986, exactly thirty-one years ago. We’ve been growing ever since – from Raleigh and Durham, to the entire NC Triangle Area and beyond to the Triad and nearby destination wedding cities across the NC coast.
As a child, Jenna grew up watching Donna serve brides and connect them with everything they needed for decades. In her own career, Jenna officially joined the business in 2010 to usher in a new chapter and bring even more support, resources, and inspiration to NC couples.
Today we work together, along with our dedicated staff, to make Southern Bride & Groom better, more personal, and more helpful to you in your wedding planning process. We’re here to bring the village to you, because that’s what family does.
Donna and Jenna
Meet The Southern Bride & Groom Team
Donna Parks, Publisher and Owner
Southern Bride & Groom has been my passion since it was just an idea in 1986. Thirty years ago, I started the first ever North Carolina wedding magazine. Little did we know, it’d become so much more.
We grew from our roots in Durham to Raleigh and to Chapel Hill. Before we knew it – we were reaching across so much of our great state. We’ve gone from a magazine, to a trusted North Carolina wedding guide, to a multi-platform resource with a heart-led mission in mind: helping you have a more joyful and easy journey to your wedding day.
Through the years, my favorite moments have been when I hear from a bride that tells us we were there for her every step of the way. I love seeing couples cut out articles, dog-ear the pages, find their perfect vendors, and with our help, see their wedding vision brought to life. That’s what it’s always been about.
We began as a family business and it’s been my greatest pleasure to watch that tradition continue to this day. I’ve watched my daughter Jenna go from a little girl helping me take issues to bridal shows, to becoming my partner in the business just six years ago. Whether it’s Jenna, or my husband Rick of 44 years, our publishing team, or the community of incredible wedding professionals and small businesses we collaborate with – everything comes full circle with family.
We welcome you into that family and we wish you the most beautiful wedding day you can imagine. We’d be honored to play a part in turning that dream into a reality.
Fun Facts: Donna is a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill. She and Southern Bride & Groom have a 10-year membership with NACE Triangle Chapter (National Association of Catering Executives) and is a charter member of the TBA (Triangle Bridal Association). Her favorite things to do are walking the Eno River with her husband, trying incredible new local restaurants, and spending quality time with her beautiful granddaughter, Cecelia.
Jenna Parks, Content and Editorial Director
I’m Jenna. I’m Donna’s daughter and now her co-publisher and partner in Southern Bride & Groom. For as long as I can remember, I’ve watched my mom passionately build this guide. I’ve seen her and the team create so much inspiration, foster community, and above all – serve so many engaged couples.
As a teen, I pitched in here and there, going to bridal shows and helping my mom. I didn’t imagine then that I’d join the business, but that’s exactly what I did in 2010. After a career in arts fundraising and events in NYC, I returned home to work with my mom on Southern Bride & Groom and to play a part in helping her write our next chapter.
In the last six years, we’ve expanded all we do online and in-person to reach and support brides. Whether I’m meeting with a new wedding business, writing for our blog, or sharing behind the scenes inspiration on Instagram, it’s been exciting to add to all that we offer couples to make their wedding day as amazing as they’re hoping it to be.
I get asked often, “what’s it like to work with your mom?” And the thing is, it’s actually lovely. We each bring something special to the table and we get to represent two generations. As the wedding world changes around us, we find that it’s us working together. It’s us playing to our strengths and partnering with our amazing team that lets us continue to fulfill our mission.
As I think about the future, it comes back to that unexpected partnership between my mom and me. Now when I look at my own young daughter, Cecelia, I wonder – in what ways will she be a part of this story too?
One thing’s for sure, wherever life takes us, Southern Bride & Groom will always be more than just a business – it’s part of our family.
Fun Facts: Jenna is also a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill. She has served on the Board of Directors of Triangle NACE (National Association of Catering & Events), and has been a member of ILEA Greater Triangle (International Special Events Society) and TBA (Triangle Bridal Association). She lives in Durham with her daughter, Cecelia.
Hi, I’m Patricia. I’m our Art Director and Graphic Designer for our magazine and our website. I pull everything together visually – from laying out a styled feature, to ad design, to going to see the physical magazine start production. I collaborate with Donna and Jenna to ensure everything we’re creating and sharing is telling a story that will inspire our brides.
I grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and studied graphic design at Louisiana State University. In my work, I tend to find inspiration in the small details of everyday life–whether it’s the color of a coffee can or the curve of a tree trunk. In my design career, I’m honored to have earned recognition from the Addy Awards, the local level of the American Advertising Federation and the MAME Awards (Major Achievements in Marketing Excellence).
I love what I do at Southern Bride & Groom because we passionately believe in quality. We strive to give our couples and our community inspiration and resources that are extraordinary. And when it comes to the extraordinary, I’m so proud to be a part of a team of exceptional women who I’m lucky to call friends!
Fun Facts: Patricia’s mother, a volunteer art teacher for more than 25 years, was dedicated to making art accessible to children in Louisiana. She inspired Patricia’s love of art, nature and beauty in all things, and showed Patricia that through art, the world can be a better place.
Patricia’s Head Shot by Casey Rose Photography