Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Beautiful Bridal Portraits by Nancy Ray

We had the pleasure of working for the first time last Saturday with Nancy Ray and her photography team on the wedding of a beautiful couple, English and Will, at Will's family home in Cary, NC.  Here's a link to English's bridal portraits by Nancy.

The Autumn is such a gorgeous time to get married in North Carolina.  The leaves are turning and there is a crispness in the air, but the sun is still shining (for the most part - it's been crazy rainy here lately!) and there is an amazing glow in the sky at the end of the day.  I can't wait to share the wedding day photos that Nancy took at English and Will's wedding that reflect this amazing October feeling.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Cake Pulls

Today I'm thinking a lot about my dear friend from New Orleans who recently left North Carolina to move back home.  Ironically, today I also came across this article from Southern Weddings about a "cake pull", a Southern tradition most popular in New Orleans and surrounding areas.  This is the first I've heard of it, but it sounds like so much fun and a special way to include your single friends in your reception and make them feel special.  Rani, can we work this into your wedding one day?  Is this remotely related to finding a baby in a King Cake?  I clearly need a lesson on New Orleans wedding culture!


Friday, August 10, 2012

Barbara and Douglass's Romantic Rainy Day

Here is a wonderful post from HeartLoveWeddings about Barbara and Douglass's rustic, rainy wedding day in April.

The fabulous Cindy of Cuppa Photography captured the jewel tones the warm feeling of the day (despite the cold rain) in only the way she can.  We were lucky that day to also work with Durham Catering Company, Classic Party Rentals, Inkspot Crow Films, Tre Bella, Miel Bon Bons, Eastcoast Entertainment (and the Shimmer band), Arioso Strings, Get Lit Special Event Lighting, McLaurin Parking, Leah Achey, Pam Hung of On Lokation Makeup Artistry and the Paperhand Puppet Intervention.

Enjoy and Happy Friday!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Are we there yet?

It seems like not matter where you live, you are probably suffering from heat stroke this summer.  We can't catch a break!  In the south, it's an unfortunate circumstance due to the humidity that we have to spend so much time in air conditioning.  Gone are my days in Colorado when at least we could keep the windows open and hope for a draft of hot, dry air.

All this heat has me thinking about the winter and that wonderful feeling of having on jeans and boots and big sweaters.  Or more importantly, having on a black dress, black tights, black heels and a wrap as I execute a winter wedding.  Those days will be here before we know it!  And to all of you winter brides: Brilliant planning on your part.  You won't have to blot your forehead one single time!

Here are a few photos from a gorgeous winter wonderland we did last December.  Hope they help cool you off.


*Thank you to Natalie Hyde of Aesthetic Images Photography for the beautiful photos!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Five-Ring Love

It’s about that time again and I’m positive all of y’all are as excited for the 2012 Olympic Games as I am.  What better way to bring nearly every nation together for the whole world to watch and cheer on?  I love it!

The saying “you’ll find love when you’re least expecting it” dates back to the ancient Olympic Game days I’m sure.  When preparing to participate in the Olympics you’re head is in the game, not in the game, and love is probably the last thing on these athletes minds.  However, some lucky Olympians brought home more than a gold, silver, or bronze medal; they came home with a diamond.   

·      Marc Seliger and Maureen Heagany
During the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics, Seliger was the goalie for the German National Hockey Team.  Heagany at the time was a college student volunteering at the Olympics as a barista in a coffee shop.  One morning, Seliger went down for some coffee and mentioned that he liked the music that was playing.  Heagany offered to burn him a copy of the CD (this must be before iPods existed) and on that CD she wrote her email address.  It wasn’t before he got back to Germany that he played the CD and realized there was something written on it.  They started emailing, talking on the phone, and before you knew it wedding bells were ringing!

·      Kristi Yamaguchi and Bret Hedican
Yamaguchi and her hubby Hedican met at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France.  Yamaguchi was a gold medalist in figure skating, and Hedican was an Olympic hockey player.  They married in 2000 and clearly had a lot more in common other than being exceptionally skilled on the ice!

·      Olga Fikotová-Connolly and Harold Connolly
Connolly, an American Olympian took the gold in the hammer throw in Melbourne 1956, where he met Fikotová who was a discus thrower.  Their romance caused an immense amount of international controversy because Fikotová was from the Communist-controlled country Czechoslovakia (say that ten times fast).  In 1957 Connolly received assistance from the U.S. State Department and traveled to Prague to make a personal appeal to the Czech president for permission to marry Fikotová.  His permission was granted and there were over 30,000 people at their nuptials.  Sad to say that their marriage ended in divorce in 1974, but Connolly definitely gets an A for effort in my book!

Hope y’all enjoyed this little Olympic love history lesson as much as you will the actual Games!

Until next time,

Monday, July 23, 2012

Blame it all on my roots, I showed up in boots

About five years ago I bought my first pair of cowboy boots and it seems like I haven’t been able to take them off since.  My boots are 110% my favorite shoes I have ever owned and definitely money well spent.  They are perfect for any season and are very versatile.  In the fall and winter you can slip them on over your skinny jeans and in the spring and summer they are great with a sundress.  Since they stay in style all year round, they are obviously perfect for any wedding no matter what the season.  

I love both the bride and bridesmaids in cowboy boots.  If you have ever been a bridesmaid or known anyone that has, you know that in the end this can be a very expensive duty.  The least you can do is cut the cost by at least $100 on a pair of shoes that they could very possibly only wear once.  Most girls I know especially the ones living down here in the south already own a pair of boots.  Well, at least all my future bridesmaids do. :)  Having your bridesmaids in their own cowboy boots can also add a bit of flair.  Chances are your girls don’t have the same pair of boots as another and some could also have colored boots, which looks great in photos.

My dream wedding is a fall country chic wedding and the boots add the perfect touch.  My girls and myself will be in boots and mismatched dresses for that little extra mmph.  

Until next time,

                                                          (photo by
                                                 (photo by Photos by Natalie)
                            (photo by Derek Wayne Lee Photography)     

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Save the Date

Face-book [feys-book]

1.  Social-networking website created in 2004
2.  The single most depressing or exciting social media site on the Internet

Facebook can be depressing if you log on every day, as I do, and you see that another one of your old childhood friends is engaged.  As you sit with their engagement on your screen staring at you as hard as it possibly can, your ever so single mind starts to wonder…maybe I will be invited to their wedding…that’s when it turns exciting.

Shortly after you receive news of the engagement you start checking the mail daily to see if you were lucky enough to make the cut, and hope that your save the date will be sitting in your mailbox when you return home from work.

I am trying to understand my obsession with save the dates, but I cannot put an exact finger on it.  My best guess is that it is the first impression (other than blowing up everyone’s Facebook mini-feed) your guests will receive of your big day.  Save the dates can really set the mood and theme of your wedding day.  Below are some of my favorites. 

The “tie the knot” save the date struck my attention because it is so clever and I have never seen anything like it before, and I’m sure your guests haven’t either.  The second one is adorable because the groom was compliant in having a photo shoot.  It is cute they wore football jerseys because we all know that was probably his idea! I love the third one because she is wearing cowboy boots and that is my favorite shoe of all time, and it sets the tone that this will probably be a country chic wedding.     

P.S. An easy way to kill two birds with one stone, and to keep your hubby happy with only one photo shoot, would be to hold off on the engagement photos until you pick the date of your wedding and have the photographer take a save the date shot as well.

Until next time,

                                                    (photo by More Design Please)
                                                       (photo by The Minimalist)
                                       (photo by Wedding Chicks)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

To Mason Jar or Not To Mason Jar: That is the question!

There's an article on Martha Stewart today
( about whether the mason jar trend is still tres chic, or so yesterday. Here in the South, the summer is hot and we like our lemonade cold and in a mason jar! Especially at a gorgeous farm wedding. Dress it up with classic monogrammed cocktail napkins in a fun color like these:


Friday, July 13, 2012

Thank you, thank you very much

The very first thing I’m going to say about this post is, my mother will be happy.  Ever since I can remember she has been a stickler on manners.  Whether it was table manners, politeness, or the hated by every child, tween and teen on this planet – the dreaded thank you notes. 

When my brother, sister and I were young we thought my mom was the strictest woman ever when it came to this.  We were never allowed to go play or do anything until our thank you notes were written.  We thought it was so ridiculous at the time but in retrospect, all I can say to my mom is, THANK YOU!

The one thing I hate more than anything in the world are bad manners.  Especially, especially, ESPECIALLY at a formal event such as a wedding.  At the very minimum you should have your napkin in your lap and your mouth should be closed while chewing.  I won’t even get into holding your fork and knife properly.

Alongside perfect wedding etiquette are thank you notes.  Some guests travel cross country to attend your special day, so thank you notes are absolutely mandatory.  Not to mention your day would not be the same without every one you wanted in attendance, nor would your kitchen without the fabulous crock-pot you received, so you need to thank them!

Wedding photography is so huge these days that after the ceremony is the perfect time to snap an adorable shot for a thank you note.  I prefer photographed thank you cards because it is a visual reminder to all of your guests about a month after your wedding of how amazing your day was.  And if the photographer is there snapping away anyways, you might as well put the photos to good use right?

Until next time,

                                                   (photo by Weddingbee)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Teacher, Teacher!

I'm excited to share with you all that I will be teaching a class in the fall at Duke Continuing Studies for their Event Development Certificate Program.  The class is called Planning A Celebratory Event and will take place on Friday, November 2nd.  For those of you who are local and interested in learning more about how to plan various kinds of events and perhaps even how to one day become an event planner, this is a great opportunity.  There are some great courses being taught on various topics, and I'm the only one teaching on social event planning!  Come spend a Friday morning with me and we'll have fun, I promise.

Please check out this link for more information.  Hope to see you!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Cupcake Wars

 If my future hubby wants to see me go from 0-Bridezilla in .2 seconds, he could smear cake all over my face at our reception.  This is my number one pet peeve during the cutting of the cake.  Some brides may be down with having their perfectly done make up ruined by cake, but not this girl!

We all know that men can promise over and over that they won’t do something, but in the end they do it because they think it would be “funny” and they “didn’t think you would really get that mad.”  This is definitely one of those instances and I can absolutely see it happening to me.  I have decided that the way I can avoid this awful situation at all costs, no questions asked, is to not even have a cake at my wedding.

Cupcakes are super trendy at weddings right now and I think they are fabulous.  I am sure that the tradition book states somewhere that you should have at least a three-tiered cake at your wedding, and that the DJ or band should stop all the music and dancing to announce that the bride and groom are cutting the cake.  But, as I said in my last post and it still reigns true, times are a changin’. 

Cupcakes will be at my wedding for a few reasons.  The number one reason is stated above, and the second reason is that cupcakes are more convenient.  You don’t need a plate and a fork for a cupcake and you can take them at your leisure.  The DJ does not need to make an announcement for guests to take a cupcake, as he would for a cake.  I have been to weddings where there is just a cake and no cupcakes, and also weddings where there are only cupcakes, and I have observed that guests tend to eat more cupcakes than they do cake.  After all, the goal is for the guests to eat the dessert right?  Leftover cake will not be making the flight to the honeymoon! 

Until next time,

                                               (photo by FairCake)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Love at first…look

I was recently introduced to the term “first look” wedding photos.  Being that I am blonde and very traditional in my ways, I knew that it could not mean what I thought it meant.  My mind was wandering and straying far away from the reality of this concept, and I came to the conclusion that it had to be photos of the bride once she was in her dress with her hair and make up freshly done.  A first look at the total package of the bride…kind of makes sense, right?

WRONG!  We all know that the traditional practice is for the groom to not set eyes on the bride before she walks down the aisle.  Well, times are a changin’.  First look photos are a booming new trend in the wedding world. 

I’m sure everyone who is reading this is slowly putting the pieces of the puzzle together on this foreign idea.  But, for those of you who are just as confused as I was, let me break it down for you.  First look wedding photos are a photo op for the bride and groom before the ceremony.  The way it typically works is the groom is standing in a picture perfect area with his back facing the bride.  The bride walks up to him (almost as if she is walking down the aisle), and once she reaches her man destination, she taps him on the back, he turns around, and BOOM – first look at each other as bride and groom and the camera snaps away.

While your grandmother and mother probably frown at this idea, I think it is fantastic.  When I attend weddings, I always try to remind myself to look at the grooms face once he takes the first glance at his bride.  This is very hard to do.  My eyes are always fixated on the bride, analyzing her dress, hair, make up…you know.  Then when I realize that I wanted to be looking at the groom I look like a crazy person with my head twisting back and forth.  With first look photos, it is all captured.  Another reason why I think this idea is great, is because you get to share the intimacy of just the two of you, not in front of anyone else, seeing each other for the first time.  Yes, the photographers are there but they are too busy doing their job snapping away, and I think that we can all agree it would be less awkward saying what you wanted to say in front of a photographer than it would be an officiant…            

Until next time,

                                   (photo by Platinum Touch Events)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Wed-ique [wed-eek]

1.     existing as the only wedding
2.     having no like or equal wedding
3.     incomparable to other weddings : Wow, that was wedique!
4.     unique wedding

Reflecting on all of the weddings you have attended in your lifetime, I am sure we can all agree that we have been to the standard cookie-cutter wedding.  I’m talking church ceremony at 5 pm where the church looks like a Sunday mass just let out, followed by a minimally decorated reception at a venue down the street.  Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this wedding, but also nothing spectacular about it.  If you can’t remember any amazing detail that stood out to you at the wedding or reception (and not because of the open bar), then we’ve got a problem.  There are tons of simple ideas that won’t break the bank that you can incorporate into your wedding to make it memorable and wedique!  

o   Guest book.  When I go to a wedding one thing I can count on for sure being there is the guest book.  Honestly deep down, I loathe this part of the event.  My brain is picked for some sappy sentimental sentence of well wishes to write to the couple.  All of the postings end up sounding very alike, and then the bride and groom are stuck with a huge book of well wishes to do….what with?  A great alternative to a guest book that I found on Pinterest (of course), is purchasing a plain colored puzzle.  At the reception, have the puzzle pieces broken up scattered all around a table.  Have each guest sign a piece of the puzzle, and after the wedding frame the completed puzzle and hang it in your home.  Ta da…wedique!
o   Wedding favors.  What was the wedding favor you received from the last wedding you attended?  Better yet, where is it?  Good question… Wedding favors are another cost in your budgeted wedding, so if you are going to spend valuable money on them you should give something memorable.  I came across these perfect koozies on Pinterest that say “To have and to hold and to keep your beer cold”…wedique!
o   Bathrooms.  They always say that the two biggest memories from an event are the food and bathrooms.  Was the food good and did you have to walk a mile to get to the nearest porta-john?  This is a cute idea that everyone will remember from your wedding, since every one will visit the restrooms at least once throughout the duration of the event.  Put an old picture of the bride under the “Ladies” sign, and an old picture of the groom under the “Men” sign…wedique!

                                                          (photo via Jesi Haack Design)
                                                          (photo via Pinterest)
                                                   (photo via Luminaire Foto)

Until next time,

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Zig to my Zag

My chevron stripe obsession started about two months ago when I was satisfying my shopping addiction in the trendy boutiques of Cameron Village.  I saw the perfect black and ivory striped long-sleeved dress paired with a chunky turquoise necklace.  I knew immediately I had to have that dress, AND the necklace for that matter.  My love for the stripes didn’t end there.

There is no better word to describe our beloved chevron stripes right now other than “IN.”  Incorporating chevron stripes can put a modern twist on a classic summer wedding.  The ideas for using chevron are endless, but I would recommend using them sparingly since it is one of the boldest looks you can go for. 

If I were getting married tomorrow (taking deep breaths…), I would have sent out chevron save the dates and invitations to ensure my guests are excited for my summer wedding.  To keep the chevron theme in tact, I would have chosen either chevron table runners or napkins for the perfect pop of classy color.  With a sweet tooth as large as mine, I hope you didn’t think I forgot about dessert.  I would top it all off with this cake.  How fabulous is it?!

(Photo creds - yep, you guessed it, Pinterest)

Until next time,

Happy Summer!

I've obviously not been very good about writing regular posts since I've been figuring out how to balance my work life and my new life as a mama.  It's been crazy, but so much fun and now I'm ready to get this blog up to speed!  We have a lot of great things going on at GLE and have had some amazing events this spring (see photo below!), so please keep checking back.

I want to also "introduce" you to Elise Cranford, a fabulous Durham gal who will be writing frequent posts about wedding tips and trends.  Always nice to have someone else's unique style and taste in the mix...  Her first post will be up shortly!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Deena and Brad's December Wedding in High Point!

Hi Friends,

I hope you'll forgive me for staying away for so long.  I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy (if I do say so myself) on November 23rd, and have been enjoying every moment with him since he arrived.  It was a bit crazy getting through those last winter weddings when I was 9+ months pregnant and then when I had a new baby, but I did it with the help of some AMAZING women and I am very grateful to Katherine Hollander, Samantha Kozub, Elise Bruce, and Amanda Scott for their incredible help, support and dedication.  I absolutely could not have kept my business going without them!

Here is a link to the Southern Weddings blog, which over the weekend posted the video from Inkspot Crow Films of Deena and Brad's gorgeous winter wedding in High Point, NC.  Check it out to see the amazing work of all of the fabulous vendors involved (who are listed in the blog) and to see the gorgeous couple and family, and exquisite wedding day.

Thank you to MacKenzie at Inkspot Crow Films for sharing!