Sealed with a kiss!

Sealed with a kiss!
Laura & Chris' Wedding at JCRaulston Arboretum

Monday, December 29, 2014

Southern Bride & Groom 2015 Cover Reveal!!

Southern Bride & Groom 2015 Cover Reveal

We are so thrilled to release the 2015 edition of Southern Bride & Groom and reveal our winter-spring cover! We are over the moon for this image, which perfectly captures the classic, elegant style of the Kentucky Derby blended perfectly with a beautiful pastoral NC rustic wedding scene. We hope you love it as much as we do!
Winter Spring 2015 CoverThis gorgeous image was captured by Rachel Red Photography during our Derby Day styled shoot at Portofino, a horse community in Clayton, NC. One of our top local wedding planners, Chelsey Morrison of Gather Together, styled the stunning scene with rustic elements and iconic Derby details like the silver mint julep cups, bourbon barrels from Party Reflections, a dapper groom clad in a custom suit, and a beautiful Southern bride in a Modern Trousseau gown from Tre Bella Bridal. Tre Bella’s floral division, Tre Bella Flowers, created gorgeous arrangements of red, fuchsia, and green blooms that paired perfectly with our model’s bold lips and soft hair and makeup by Makeup for Your Day. Other Derby details included in this styled shoots were themed invitations and table names by Union Press & Paper, a beautiful menu from Donovan’s Dish, and a painted cake by Edible Art Bakery. We’d also like to thank the other vendors involved in this shoot, which is one of our all-time favorites: BelkDiamonds Direct Crabtree, Lore Emelio, Bailey’s Fine Jewelry, Marika Wendelken, and Classy Transportation. A full blog post with all the gorgeous photos will be posted soon!
The magazines arrived today, so we are hitting the road to make our deliveries! We will make sure to get all major distribution points first – such as all of the Belk stores in the Triangle NC area, bridal salons, and venues. As you peruse the Southern Bride & Groom website and resource directory, keep in mind that our entire family of wedding pros carries copies of SB&G. We will also be giving out our new edition at the Forever Bridal show at the NC State Fairgrounds on January 3 and 4.
Southern Bride & Groom 2015 contains absolutely everything you need to know in order to plan a wedding in North Carolina’s Triangle area. This 28th edition of SB&G is full of more content than ever – more inspirational shoots, 12 real weddings, and a slew of articles that outline this year’s hottest trends, etiquette and planning tips that every bride needs to know for her big day – whether it’s here in the Old North State or beyond!
As always, SB&G recommends only the best of the best wedding venues, bridal salons and wedding professionals to our wonderful brides. With the help of SB&G’s magazine, website, and blog, you will be able to plan a Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill or Greater Triangle Area wedding from engagement to honeymoon, and rest assured that each vendor you select is reliable and top-notch.
Be sure to check up on the SB&G blog often, as we’ll be sharing behind-the-scenes action and never-before-seen photos from our various shoots, and releasing the online version of the magazine in just a short while! Give us a shout out with the hashtag #sbgmag when you spot SB&G 2015 at distribution sites, use it in your wedding planning, or get inspired from the pages and pages of Southern wedding beauty!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Perfect Wedding for Cassidy and Chandler at The Stockroom!

I met Cassidy and Chandler in May to plan their December 20th, 2014 wedding at The Stockroom in downtown Raleigh. They are a delightful couple and I knew their wedding would be very well put together and it was. As it turns out, Cassidy and her family are well provided in wedding experience including her mother Betsy who is a nurse but directs weddings for friends on the side.
Cassidy's father Tom built the fireplace and mantel for the altar area.  
Cydney English, who owns The English Garden and has known Cassidy for many years, embellished the mantel beautifully incorporating photos of their family loved ones. Even their photographer, Roxy Penny, is a friend from childhood.
 Love the touch of Scrabble! (Cydney's idea according to Cassidy.) 
 Fire, water and earth represented here. 
The Stockroom is ready for the ceremony and afterwards will be turned into tables and chairs configuration and a dance floor for the reception.
The tables were pushed against the wall and these cleverly decorated napkins reflect Chandler's love of physics and Cassidy's sense of humor! 
 Mike with Morse Entertainment was our DJ and the sound was perfect! Thanks, Mike! 
Cassidy's aunt, Kim Carter, used to be a restauranteur but gave it up to turn her own kitchen into "Cake Compositions" in Erwin NC and has created stunning wedding cakes for family members' weddings. We got to watch her in action putting this one together. She also told us about a 7' one she made for one of her relative's weddings!
 Gorgeous composition!
The wedding party was waiting downstairs at the Mahler's Art Gallery while the guests were arriving so I took this opportunity to get their witnesses to sign the marriage license. This is Victoria, our maid of honor.
 Our pretty little flower girl, Marlee!
Cassidy is ready to do this. She and Chandler did a First Look earlier in the day so there was no "hiding the bride" necessary.
Chandler's father, Gregg, was also his best man. Notice his boutonniere with the G scrabble tile. All the men had their first name initial on their boutonniere!
 Cassidy told me that this is her nickname "IDY" the last 3 letters of Cassidy! 
 Very unique guest book and very appropriate for this couple who are avid bookworms! 
 Waiting for our bride! 
 Cassidy wanted both parents, Tom and Betsy, to bring her in! 
 And here they come!
 After the parents were seated, we began with a warm welcome...... 
  ....and remembrance of those passed on.
 They chose a lovely parents' blessing to honor their parents who are wonderful role models of happy marriages! 
Then their story......Cassidy and Chandler have known each other since freshman algebra class at Triton High School in 2001. They were in a group of friends who hung out together. They were close friends but they never dated. After high school they each went their separate ways until 2010 when their paths crossed again back in NC. It felt like they were meeting for the first time because both of them had grown so much since the last time they had seen each other. So they renewed their old friendship and got to know their new grown-up selves. About a year later they began dating and when they realized their feelings for each other were mutual they officially became a couple. Chandler proposed in December of 2013, almost exactly one year before their wedding. Cassidy and her family then began planning this lovely wedding!
"Chandler, you are one of the most genuine people Cassidy has ever known. She loves your kindness and your willingness to go out of your way to help others and that you don't complain when she volunteers you for these helpful tasks!........"
"Cassidy, you have been Chandler's best friend for a long time and he can't wait to spend the rest of his life with you.........Aside from all these qualities, you are an absolutely gorgeous woman and the funniest person he knows. You always have the quickest wittiest comeback and an endless resource of jokes to draw from......"
Before they exchanged their vows, I invited their parents to step forth and form a circle with Cassidy and Chandler. Then their fathers each said a prayer for them then were seated.
Chandler reads from my book the vows he wrote for Cassidy which began: "Cassidy, I promise to always laugh at your jokes even if only moderately funny......"
Cassidy read her vows to Chandler which began with: "Chandler, I promise to always listen and be engaged when you talk to me about physics!....."
Then they exchanged wedding rings. Their rings are very special because they belonged to Chandler's grandparents whose marriage lasted more than 60 years.
 A closing blessing.....
 The pronouncement of marriage.....
 Yep, the kiss...Chandler had the logistics all planned out !
 Family and friends, it is my delight to present to you the newlyweds!
 They wasted no time getting down the aisle! 
While the guests were getting on the elevator to go down to the art gallery while the staff turned the room into the reception configuration, the wedding party hid in the stairwell. In the meantime, I spotted Cydney English walking around and rarely seeing her at a wedding because the florist has usually come and gone by the time I get there, I grabbed her for a quick photo. It was then that I learned that she had known Cassidy and her family for years.
Roxy was also waiting for the guests to clear out and the wedding party to return so we got a shot of her too. It was then that I found out she has known Cassidy for years too.
Ahhh, here they are! Congratulations, Chandler and Cassidy! You created a fabulous wedding and I know you are going to be very happy together as you carry on your families' legacy! 
To contact me:
Or leave a comment below!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Wonderful Winter Wedding for Jamie and Quinton at the Merrimon-Wynne House!

When Dave and I arrived for Jamie and Quinton's wedding on December 13th, 2014 at the historic Merrimon-Wynne House in downtown Raleigh, the sun was shining and the temperatures comfortable enough for grabbing some great shots of the couple, the wedding party and their families on the lawn before the guests arrived. Adam Brophy was their photographer and they began with a "first look" session where the bride and groom see each other before the wedding. So sweet and romantic!
Jamie is so beautiful in that dress that is absolutely a "YES" for her! She and her bridesmaids and flower girl are awaiting their turn for photos. Not in this picture is the maid of honor, Emily.
All the guys. Included are Jamie's dad, Kenny, on far left and Quinton's dad, Earl--his best man, third from right, and our ring bearer.
Quinton's parents, Earl and Terry are to his right. Jamie's parents, Kenny and Phyllis, her brother Joe and his family--Heather, Josie and Evan, are on Jamie's left!
Got a great photo of me with the couple in the nice daylight rather than after the ceremony when it had gotten dark. Their wedding was at 5 PM.
Beautiful old restored home in downtown Raleigh as the sun is setting.
I bet this house has hosted more weddings than we can even imagine!
The ceremony  was in the back parlor with the guests facing this fireplace.
This pretty cake is by Cinda's Creative Cakes. The flowers for the wedding were furnished by Fallon's Flowers and Posh Nosh was the caterer. Darren Hunnicutt was our DJ.
I included this shot to show you the artful arrangement of wreaths on the wall in front of this mirror. They are grapevine wreaths with greenery interwoven, and every one was a different size.
My husband, Dave, who was my photographer for this wedding got a photo of himself in that gorgeous mirror!
It is almost time to start. Most of the guests are seated. They guys and I are all hanging out in the front parlor from where we will enter. Quinton sure looks happy!
Dawn, in pink, is expecting a baby in January. She is taking those steps very carefully. Emily, our maid of honor, is behind her.
You can see the wreaths on the other wall here. I had such a nice conversation with Jamie's dad, Kenny. He has had some very serious health issues and we are so grateful that he is with us, and although he has some visual difficulties, you would never know it! I love his sense of humor!
Evan and Josie are trying to stay still on the couch while Kaila (the venue director) cues Earl to escort in Terry, then Phyllis will be escorted in by her son Joe. Earl and Joe will join me and the guys in the front parlor from where we will enter.
Earl is with us now and Joe is on his way down the aisle with Phyllis.
We await the lovely bridesmaids!
Heather has entered and now Diana, Dawn....
                                                                      ....and Emily!
Flower girl and ring bearer are on their way!
And here they come! 
Is Jamie a happy bride or what!! Kaila straightens her train.
And so now we begin the ceremony of getting them married!
Jamie was so excited that she was pumping Quinton's hands up and down with joy!
After the Parents' Blessing and Community Blessing, I invited all but the best man and maid of honor to be seated for the remainder of the ceremony. They asked their friend Mary to read "Sonnet XVII" by Pablo Neruda. 
I told their story and now they get to hear what each one told me they love about each other. 
They read the vows they had written secretly to each other from my book.  
Time for the exchange of rings. Jamie goes first.
                                                                       Then Quinton.
The pronouncement is the legal statement that joins them in matrimony!
We know what follows next!
The "after-kiss" moment!
The music started before I introduced them but not a problem! 
So happy! 
A milestone moment, an unforgettable milestone event in their lives! 
Out to the front porch for a few photos. 
I said goodbye to them as I left for another engagement.
"I'll let you know when I get your wedding up on my blog!"

Jamie and Quinton, although we were rushed, I really enjoyed working with you and getting to know you and your families. Your wedding was fabulous and I think everyone enjoyed it. I wish you all the happiness and contentment in the world! 
To contact me:
Or leave a comment below!