Friday, December 31, 2010

Kathryn and Chris Tie The Knot at Figure 8 Island

Here's a link to a gorgeous slideshow by the very talented Natalie Carter Hyde of Aesthetic Images of our last wedding of the season at Figure 8 Island, North Carolina.  What a perfect day.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A sneak peak at our Figure 8 Island wedding...

This past weekend Samantha, Katherine and I had the pleasure of working on a wedding at Figure 8 Island in Wilmington, North Carolina that I had been planning for about 8 months or so.  The couple was absolutely adorable and so in love and everything about the day from the weather to the decor, food, music and guests, was absolutely picture perfect.

Here are a few photos for a sneak peak and what the day was like.  The black and white shot was taken by Katherine on her phone, and I think it's absolutely beautiful.  The others were taken by my phone and aren't great, but they give you a sense for the style and colors and let you see the gorgeous bride!!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Andi and Mike Tie The Knot

On Saturday, we had the great opportunity of helping coordinate the wedding "day of" for Andi Kravitz and Mike Weiss.  The wedding ceremony and reception took place at the beautiful Marriott North Hills in Raleigh, where they do a spectacular job!  Thanks to Ann and Christy and all of the hard working people in the catering department there.

Shane Snider took amazing photos, as always, as you can see in the slide show below.  Blair from Reel Life Productions shot video, while the fabulous band 10 Spot got people to dance the night away.  Cupcakes from The Cupcake Shoppe in Raleigh were a huge hit, and Andi's Vera Wang gown from Alexia's Bridal in Cary was absolutely stunning.  Thank you to all of those who were involved and helped to make Andi and Mike's Big Day such a smooth and fun celebration!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Simply Eyelet

I have a beautiful bride friend who is getting married on a prairie next summer and is looking for
a simple, lovely, eyelet wedding gown.  I did some research and found this gown, among others,
but am wondering if any of you have any ideas for my friend of gown designers who've recently made an eyelet gown?  If so, please post your ideas!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

California Dreaming (and Visiting)

 I just returned from a brief but LOVELY trip to a gorgeous place called Stinson Beach.  It's just 20 miles
North of San Francisco (up a very long, winding road...) but feels a world away from the city.
                   Here are some photos of the coastline and the water taken from our Cali convertible...
                                                                      The beach.
                                                              And the magnificent sunset.

Also a beautiful, domestic idea for a honeymoon!  We rented amazing houses and cooked every night,
which was cozy and delicious and gave us all a really good opportunity to spend time with one another.
I hope you have a vacation in your future sometime soon, too.

Just a reminder to us all that it's important to take a break every now and again and to make time for yourself, your family, and the ones you love.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Wish Upon A Wedding

A good friend of Grace Leisure Events, Ivy Robinson is also the President of the inaugural board for the Carolinas' Chapter of a wonderful organization called Wish Upon A Wedding, that creates weddings for people who otherwise would not be able to afford them.

Please read below for more information and to attend this great event on November 12th!
Hi Friends, Family, Clients and Industry Neighbors!

Today I am  emailing about an important cause. I serve as the President on the inaugural board for the Carolinas' Chapter of Wish Upon a Wedding. (  Personally seeing family and friends who have  been directly connected with terminal diseases, this is a cause in which I  am quite passionate.

We would like to formally invite YOU and ALL of your friends and family to attend the 1st annual
Fundraising Gala at the Ritz Carlton on Friday, November 12th in Charlotte.
Tickets can be purchased here:
In order to attend or participate with WUW, you do NOT have to be connected in any way with the wedding industry.
You just need to be a caring person who loves a charitable cause and wants to give back.

What is WUW?

Wish Upon a Wedding is the world’s first nonprofit wish granting organization providing weddings and vow renewals for couples facing terminal illness and serious life-altering circumstances regardless of sexual orientation. Our organization offers couples a chance to enjoy a very special day, without any thoughts of existing health or other serious issues, while surrounded by their closest family and friends.  By celebrating the courage & spirit of these couples, we help create lasting memories that will be cherished for years to come. It is our hope that others facing similar situations will find hope, strength, and the promise of eternal love.  Officially launched in January of 2010, Wish Upon a Wedding currently has over a dozen chapters to serve Wish Applicants. We service couples residing in or wishing to get married within 300 miles of any one of our chapter locations.

Ticket Information:

Tickets for the gala are $100 and include the following: entry ticket, cocktail hour, plated dinner, wine service with dinner (full bar avail), swag bag, & silent auction.  We also have a discounted rate with the Ritz Carlton and only $179/night. Wow.  Also, $37 of the ticket are tax deductible.

P L E A S E consider attending this year's gala. Many companies are considering having this gala be their Holiday Party, and are sponsoring a table. Please email me at if you are interested in buying a table sponsorship.

We also are thrilled that Sasha Souza, WUW national President and event planner Extraordinaire   will be attending our Gala! There are 10 seats at her table for $150 a seat AND includes an autographed copy of her new book!  Email me for details on sitting with Sasha!


Monday, September 27, 2010

Duke University Wedding

Thanks to Danielle Freedman and her District Weddings Blog for posting a great piece about one of our favorite couples from last year, Caitlin and Kevin.  They are Duke graduates who met in undergrad and as you'll see in the post, had a beautiful ceremony reception at their alma mater.  Thanks again to Rachel Garrison of Tamara Lackey Photography for the stunning photos!  We hope you can't help but be inspired by this.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Simply Silhouettes

I know I may be late to the party on this one, but I am currently obsessed with silhouettes!
They are so fresh and chic right now, 
and such an innovative and cool thing to add to your wedding look.  See the photo above
by Hannah Suh of an artist cutting out silhouettes of wedding guests.  How fun!  What a great
souvenir for them to take home from your wedding and save forever.
Here's a great idea: add silhouettes to your cake!  Here they've used a chandelier motif along
with a couple dancing, but you could do your two faces looking at one another, or the outline
of your entire bodies holding hands.  So cute and different.
Here's a gorgeous wedding invitation that has incorporated silhouettes.  Why not begin the theme with your invitations and carry it all the way throughout your event, to your cake and your favors?  I love the idea of threading a concept all the way through the wedding and a silhouette theme is a perfect choice for this.  Get inspired!  Look for silhouette artists in your neighborhood.

Happy Weekend!


Monique Bliss

For those of you who don't already know, Monique Lhuillier has a new line called Bliss that is a bit less expensive than her original line.  This gives you and your budget savvy self an opportunity to wear a gorgeous Monique gown and feel as if you're wearing couture!  I just fell in love with one from the 2011 collection with a beautiful lace bodice and lace straps.  When I was shopping for a wedding gown in 2004, there was nothing to be found but strapless, strapless, strapless.  It's so nice to see that there are more silhouette options out there now and Monique is certainly leading the way.



Friday, September 24, 2010

Fifi Cheek - Blogs We Love!

I'm feeling so inspired this morning by my good friend LC's Blog called "Fifi Cheek".
Her posts are fresh and feminine and I totally connect with her love of all things French
and beautiful.  Her home is a true reflection of the style that she adores and what's more,
she designed it all herself.  If only you could see it!  Get a glimpse inside her world

Happy Weekend!

Monday, August 16, 2010

June Wedding

The Bride and her father walking down the aisle...

Beautiful detail photos by Tammy Wingo.

This event was designed by Premiere Catering & Events, Fresh Affairs, Jeff Simpson Lighting,
and CE Rental.  We were the "day of" coordinators and were so happy to be a part of it!
The gorgeous and elaborate head table.
Pre-set first course with place cards.
It's all about the details!
A different perspective of American Tobacco's Bay 7 warehouse.
The bouquet toss.
The happy couple.  Congratulations, Jessica and Graham!

Thank you to everyone who helped make this day so successful: Heather Irvin, Vicki Phaneuf, Jeff Simpson,
Lyn Graves, Tammy Wingo, Samantha Kozub and others.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Inspiration from Style Me Pretty

Check out our good friend Lindsey Cheek and her adorable husband in this over-the-top beautiful
inspiration piece on Style Me Pretty.  You still make a gorgeous bride, Lindsey!


Monday, August 9, 2010

The Girls

Here's a photo of Katherine and me taken this weekend at a wedding in Asheville.  We were lucky enough to help my good friend Ivy Robinson with a wedding of hers that she couldn't be there for.  It was a great experience and a fabulous time was had by all!  Ivy ordered boas to be handed out during the party and needless to say, they were a huge hit.  Hopefully I'll have some photos of the wedding to share later was gorgeous!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Real Wedding featured in The Knot!

Here's a link to a wedding we did in March of 2009 that is currently featured in The Knot. My first job in New York City in 1999 was at The Knot when only 25 people worked there. It's amazing to me how sometimes life comes full circle! Enjoy.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Color Theory

I am so inspired by this table by Eddie Ross! He is a genius and you should look up his work at along with another fabulous and inspirational blog called "Absolutely Beautiful Things", which I adore. Find it here at:

Sometimes all it takes is one photo to inspire a room or to inspire an entire event! To me, this photo shows a table that could be set in someones gorgeous home or at a club for a bridesmaids' luncheon or a restaurant for an ultra chic baby shower. Whatever the occasion, you can see that Eddie is not afraid of color and neither should you be.

The way Eddie plays the pinks and corals off of the turquoise goblets, candlesticks and napkins is bold and brave and unexpected. The various runners offer a different option than just placing one down the center of the table. The bunches of peonies add an incredibly soft and feminine touch and of course, the pink chiavari chairs do too. They are to die for!!! I cannot wait until the day that we can get chiavaris of all colors in North Carolina...I envy you New Yorkers who can wash a room in color with the choice of chair.

Don't be afraid to mix and match tones! You can see how well it has worked here and what a fun, lively, lovely and lady-like yet tailored look he has created. Look at these two sites for inspiration for your home and your event - I guarantee you'll find something that will set your wheels in motion.


Jenny and Tomas

I want to share with you a photo of my latest couple to get hitched, Jenny and Tomas. They were wed on Saturday at Duke Chapel and then had a gorgeous blow-out celebration afterwards at Bay 7 in Downtown Durham. I'll share some photos with you when I get them from Azul Photography, because it was absolutely beautiful! It was my first purely Latin wedding and I just loved the flavor of the food, music, people and culture. Such a good looking crowd and they danced like it was their last night on earth - I love that!! Enjoy and I'll be back in touch soon with more.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Moment of Truth

I was recently telling a friend a story about a wedding I did on June 26th, and she said to me: "You need to blog about that!!!". It made me realize that there are so many wonderful moments that I experience and that I fail to share with all of you. It's not that I take them for granted, don't get me wrong. Nothing is missed on me. I need to remember though, that it's these types of stories that are inspirations for brides and planners alike; they are the reason we focus so much time, energy, money, anticipation and emotion on the wedding day.

The story is of a bride and groom who met in college. The groom is in the military and has spent the past year in Afghanistan, making it difficult for them to see one another on any regular basis - much less plan the wedding together. Finally, the big day arrived. They were to be married in a church by the bride's childhood pastor, and have a big bash at a converted warehouse later on.

From the outside, everything looked to me to be "normal" - meaning that all of the vendors were lined up, the timeline was set, the key players were in place, the ceremony was ready to start.

Once I got everyone down the aisle, I felt the same exhileration and relief that I normally feel. My former boss in NYC once said to me, "Once the ceremony starts, pop the Champagne. You've done it." And that is really how it feels to get the ceremony going...a big "WHEW" overcomes you.

When the ceremony is over and the family and wedding party recess, I am on the end of the aisle greeting them with the requisite "Congratulations!" and ushering them into the room or hallway where they wait until the guests leave and they can return to the sanctuary for photos. Today was like any other day where I would greet and usher. First to recess were the bride and groom. "Congratulations!", I exclaimed. Normally, the bride and groom are beaming with smiles and casually say thank you and brush by me, full of excitement.

Today was different. When I first saw the bride and groom once they recessed down the aisle, I gave them my familiar greeting. But I noticed that something was different about this couple. They were more in the moment than I've ever seen two people. They were fully aware of what they had just done, and their joy and overwhelming sense of gratefulness to be bound together was palpable. The bride looked at the groom, and she burst into tears. Beautiful, love-filled, elated tears. The groom, usually the strong, masculine force trying not to show too much emotion, returned her look with tears of his own. They had no awareness of what was around them, where they were going, or what was to happen next. They only saw one another in that moment.

To say the very least, I was incredibly moved by this moment. I choked up and stepped back, trying my best to give them space and to allow this special moment together. They made their way into the church's library and they hugged and cried. "We did it", they said quietly to one another. "We did it." And then came some laughter.

This moment said more and meant more than any flower arrangement, any band, any piece of filet, slice of cake, or wedding favor. It meant everything. This moment was why they were getting married, and how they would remember it. It is how I will remember their wedding, to be sure.

Why are you getting married? How will you remember your big day? My advice to you is to keep this sweet couple in your heart and your mind and to really be aware of the giant leap you are taking into a marriage with your partner and your best friend. You are, after all, getting married...not wedding-ed. Try and remember that.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Keep Calm And Carry On

There's a very special and specific kind of anxiety that can arrive on a wedding day. And the anticipation and excitement that a bride feels is unique to what anyone else will be feeling at that same moment. Having been a bride myself, I can tell you that it's very difficult to even try and describe how it feels to wake up and know that you are getting married that day. There is the feeling of joy that the day has arrived, the overwhelming sensation that you'll be walking down an aisle with all eyes on you, and the palpable feeling of elation that you finally get to call this person your partner for life.

As a bride, I never felt terror. The worst thing I felt was exhaustion, because I had too many nights of parties leading up to my big day and not enough sleep. (Read: get a few really good nights of sleep before your wedding because you'll be up most of the night the night before with butterflies in your tummy!). As a wedding planner however, I see many, many brides feel and experience something close to fear when they are about to leave for the church or temple or take that first step down the aisle in the garden or under the tent.

How can we alleviate this, I've thought to myself? It's very difficult in that moment to take away the feeling of being scared. What I've learned is that it is the behavior leading up to the wedding day that paves the way for how a bride will feel in that moment. What I mean by this is that if you take care of yourself in the weeks leading up to your wedding and practice certain behaviors, you will be more likely to wake up on your wedding day feeling refreshed, ready and BRAVE. And believe me, you need a certain amount of "chutzpa" to face the day!

Follow these simple steps in the weeks leading up to your special day and I can guarantee that a great deal of your anxiety, fear and stress will disappear. You have nothing to be afraid of. No one is judging you. You will undoubtedly be the most beautiful woman in the room (even if, God forbid, you get wine on your dress), because you will be glowing. You'll feel peaceful, refreshed, excited and most of all, calm.

*Drink plenty of water. Sounds trite, but it works for your skin, your body, and your overall well being.
*As I said above, sleep, sleep, sleep! It's the best gift you can give yourself.
*Pass off ALL wedding plans and details to someone else on the Wednesday before your wedding (or three days before). You have worked hard on your planning for months; you deserve three days of relaxation. Believe me, if you've planned well, those three days won't make a difference in the world.
*Have a night out (or in) with girlfriends in the week before your wedding, with no more than three cocktails involved. You don't want to be hungover, you just want to have an opportunity to release some tension, complain about your mother in law, and above all else, LAUGH.
*Make a list and check it twice. Put all of your important ceremony and reception items in one place and put someone else in charge of them! Someone you trust implicitly.
*Journal daily. It's incredible the amount of stress this simple act can relieve.
*Exercise regularly. See above.
*If all else fails, have a good cry.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Food, Glorious Food!

I want to share some beautiful photos with you from the April rehearsal dinner that I posted about earlier. Food is such an important and significant piece of an event and it's wonderful to see some examples of when there is a lot of thought and expertise put into it.

These gorgeous photos were taken by Cindy of Cuppa Photography. She does amazing things with light, as you can see. The fabulous Columbian-style menu is courtesy of The Catering Company of Chapel Hill. Those of you who are familiar with them know that they do extraordinary work, and this is a prime example of them taking a theme and running with it and making it extra beautiful and detailed.

When you're planning your event, really take time to think about the menu and everything that goes into it: the passed hors d'oeuvres, the appetizer, the entree, the stations, the buffet...whatever style of menu. Regardless of the type of meal, you want to choose a variety of colors and flavors, as well as items that are in season. And as I am talking about so frequently these days, do your best to choose locally grown items; this helps make your menu friendly on the planet, your wallet, and while literally adding a bit of local color, can also help to make the food that much fresher and more vibrant and palatable.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Check out our guest blog!

Josie from was nice enough to ask us to be a guest blogger on her site. Here's the link! Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rehearsal Dinner, Colombian Style

On a pristine April Friday night in North Carolina, we had the pleasure of putting on a fabulous rehearsal dinner for a wonderful couple, Rachel and David. Since David comes from Colombia, the couple thought that the perfect way to honor his heritage during the wedding weekend would be to have a Colombian-infused affair the night before they got hitched.

Thanks to The Catering Company of Chapel Hill, Tre Bella Florist, Party Tables Linens, DJ Brian Clonaris, and Classic Party Rentals, we were able to put together a beautiful and fun party on the bride's family's absolutely gorgeous farm.

I hope these photos will serve as inspiration to you to carry a theme throughout your event with the music, food, and overall feel, and to not be afraid of color to create atmosphere; you can see here how it really set the tone for an unforgettable evening. The guests danced the night away...long after the sangria and arepas were gone.



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New York Times, Baby!

I'm VERY proud and excited for my darling husband, who is featured in today's New York Times Dining Out section. I had to share! Hope you enjoy it...and hope that many of you can make it out to Six Plates soon.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Love this idea!

I don't know about you, but we are always looking to find fun, delicious and innovative ways of doing dessert at weddings and events. I just fell in love with this crepe cake from Charleston Crepe Company. It's absolutely beautiful with its thin layer of powdered sugar. Even better, it is off the beaten path from your standard wedding cake and it's always nice to have an alternative for the gal who plays to her own drummer (or who happens to love crepes).

From today's Daily Candy weddings:

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Cut Through the Layers
In lieu of a traditional cake, opt for Charleston Crepe Company’s brand new tiered wedding treats, available with chocolate or vanilla cream between layers of crepe.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

From Ivy's Blog To You!

This is a post from my good friend Ivy Robinson's Blog, where she reminisces through pictures about the crazy and fun time we had working on the CW Network's wedding reality show, "Hitched or Ditched" in 2009. Enjoy and thanks, Ivy!

Flashback: CW Network Filming