Page 1

The Sanford Herald February 28, 2010

Central Carolina Wedding Guide


A Wedding that

Creates Treasured Memories...



... the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center offers your perfect venue. Greet guests in the lovely open lobby. For an intimate gathering, exchange your vows on the stage of the Small 7-PIECE LIVING ROOM WITH DUAL RECLINGING SOFA

Auditorium, with a guest audience of up to 198. For a larger wedding, use the expansive Exhibition Hall, with banquet seating for 500.

Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center 1801 Nash Street • Sanford, NC 27330-6412 Phone: (919) 776-0345 • Fax: (919) 776-8739

Wedding Guide

2D / Sunday, February 28, 2010 / The Sanford Herald

Everything old is new again Mothers’ gowns gain new life at daughters’ weddings By JAMIE STAMM Bridal Guide Editor

SANFORD — When Sanford resident Joni Martin had her wedding gown preserved 27 years ago, it was with the hopes that she’d someday have a child who would wear it on her own walk down the aisle. This past fall, that hope was realized as Martin’s daughter, Claire Martin Butler, exchanged “I do’s” with husband, Sean, while clad in her mother’s redesigned gown. “I wouldn’t have been disappointed if she’d chosen not to wear it,” Martin said. “But it was very flattering that she did. It meant a lot to me.” Butler said she’d planned to wear her mother’s wedding gown for as long as she can remember. But she also wanted to update the simple 1980s gown to make it more modern and to reflect her own personality. “I thought it would be more fun to redesign it (than to buy a new gown),” Butler said. “And it would have a whole lot more meaning.” Butler knew she wanted to remove the pouffy shoulders and long sleeves from her mother’s ivory satin gown and transform it into a strapless dress. She turned to bridal magazines in search of other modern-day touches. “I pulled a little bit from this picture and a little bit from that picture,” Butler said. Once she had a clear vision of her dream gown, Butler and her mother enlisted the help of Sanford seamstress Sandy Williams, who had made dresses for Butler when she was a young girl. The three met once a week for nearly two months, cutting and sewing and adding embellishments until the gown was exactly what Butler wanted. Martin said she cherished the time spent with her daughter in the weeks leading up to the wedding. “Claire was working in Moore County at the time, and we didn’t get to see each other too often,” Martin said. “But I could always count on our time together working on her gown.” The result of their teamwork was a strapless gown with a shirred, hip-length bodice, sweetheart neckline and gathered satin skirt. The dress featured a single,

Photos courtesy of Joni Martin and Claire Martin Butler

Claire Martin Butler (top, left) and her mother, Joni Martin (top, right), worked with local seamstress Sandy Williams to redesign Martin’s 1980s wedding gown (left). Butler is shown wearing the new gown in the photo above. Pictured are (from left) Daniel Martin, Claire Martin Butler, Sean Butler, Joni Martin and Joe Martin. over-the-shoulder, satin strap embellished with ivory, organza rosettes, made by Martin, herself a talented sewer. Butler also wore her mother’s ivory, cathedral-length veil, and her wedding band is a ring that her dad, Joe Martin, gave her

mom on the day Butler was born. “It was all very special. I’m just a big family girl,” said Butler, who was married on Oct. 10, 2009, in the same church as her parents, St. Luke United Methodist, and by the same minister, the Rev. Dr. Edward Gunter. “It was my day,” Butler concluded, “but it was good that everyone else could be involved.”

Sharing her love, marriage

Photo courtesy of Mary Beth Spivey Stec

From left, Audrey Siegner, Carolyn Spivey and Mary Beth Spivey Stec hold handkerchiefs made from Spivey’s wedding gown.

Sanford resident Carolyn Spivey would have loved for her daughter, Mary Beth Spivey Stec, to don the gown that she’d worn for her own wedding 38 years ago. But the dress, which had also been worn by two family friends and not well-preserved over the years, “wasn’t something (Mary Beth) could wear.” So Spivey did the next best thing, surprising her daughter with a garter, handkerchief and purse, as well as a wrap for her bridal bouquet, which were all made from the fabric of her gown. “It was just really special for me because it was like I was able to give her a little piece of our marriage, which has been a great marriage, and a little piece of me and my love for her,” Spivey said. The decision to dismantle her wedding gown wasn’t an easy one for Spivey, but

she was thrilled with the results. Seamstress Mattie Rhodes of Lemon Springs carefully crafted the gown into the gifts for Stec, as well as handkerchiefs for Spivey and her mother, Audrey Siegner. Rhodes also used portions of Spivey’s gown to make pocketbooks for Spivey’s granddaughters, Lindsay Beth Spivey and Addison Lee Spivey, and to fashion them an ankle-length, dress-up gown. Spivey presented Stec with the unique gifts at a bridal shower. “It was emotional,” Stec said. “… I knew how hard it must have been for her to cut up her dress.” Stec was particularly moved by the matching handkerchiefs for herself and her mother and grandmother. “It kind of made me feel at ease while I was up at the altar,” said Stec, who was married at First Baptist of Sanford, the same church where her parents wed. “It was really nice knowing they were there in the church, and they were each holding one, too.” Stec has had her own wedding gown preserved, and though she doesn’t know if she’ll pass it down to her future children, she does hope to share the heirlooms that Spivey has created. “I’d really love to incorporate what my mother gave me into my children’s weddings,” she said.

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Wedding Guide

4D / Sunday, February 28, 2010 / The Sanford Herald

Photos Š Amy Smith Photography,

Tim Blodgett proposed to his now-fiancee Jennifer Hilliard during a photo session in Sanford last November.

‘I will never take a day with him for granted’ Sanford native plans, prays as fiance prepares for deployment By JAMIE STAMM Bridal Guide Editor

WAKE FOREST — For Sanford native Jennifer Hilliard, the hours until her Nov. 13 wedding can’t pass quickly enough. Because, as Hilliard and her fiancĂŠ, Tim Blodgett, buy wedding bands and book the reception venue for the most important day of their lives, they’re also preparing for some of the darkest in the months ahead. Blodgett, who has been training in Virginia and California for the past three months, will deploy for Afghanistan in March and won’t return to the United States until October, just weeks before the couple’s wedding at Grace Chapel in Sanford. “It is most definitely the hardest thing I have ever been through,â€? said Hilliard, 22. “But having the wedding planning to keep me busy and positive has helped a lot.â€?

The courtship Hilliard met Blodgett in August 2007 at a Rascal Flatts

concert in Raleigh. She gave him her phone number, and he called that very night — and every night for the next five days. But Hilliard let all the calls go to voicemail. “I was ‌ scared to call a complete stranger back,â€? said the admittedly shy Hilliard. “I mean, who really finds someone worth getting to know at a concert?â€? A week later, she finally summoned the courage to call Blodgett. They talked for eight straight hours. “I hung up saying to myself, ‘Wow, this guy is amazing!’â€? Hilliard said. “We went on our first date the next day, and we’ve been inseparable ever since.â€? The couple moved in together in Raleigh later that year. In 2008, Blodgett, who had previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps for six years and had twice deployed to Iraq, got called back to the reserves.

on one knee and says, ‘Yeah, get a picture of this,’� Hilliard said. Blodgett pulled out a princess-cut diamond ring and asked Hilliard to marry him. “I hugged him with my head buried in his chest, crying and jumping on him, and finally, after a few minutes, I, of course, said yes,� Hilliard said.

The planning

The proposal With Blodgett’s training and deployment upon them, the couple set up a photo session with Sanford photographer Amy Smith last November. “Tim was acting a little funny,â€? Hilliard said. â€œâ€Ś We get to our photo session, and he’s pacing back and forth. I keep thinking, ‘It’s really not

Jennifer Hilliard and Tim Blodgett will wed Nov. 13, just weeks after Blodgett is scheduled to return from a deployment to Afghanistan. that bad. Just smile.’� After she shot the couple in a few different poses, Smith

asked if they had any more pictures they wanted taken. “Tim then turns to me, gets

While Blodgett’s in training, he and Hilliard have been able to plan some aspects of their wedding, including selecting their venues, rings and menu, through phone and video calls, texts and e-mails. The rest she will do with the help of family and friends. “I’ll be doing the majority of the planning while he’s away, but it keeps me occupied and happy thinking about our lives together after his deployment,� said Hilliard, who works as a patient coordinator for Carolina Dental Arts of Brier Creek. “I’ll also continue to include Tim through phone conversations, e-mails and letters while he’s away,� Hilliard said. “I want this to be the day of his dreams, as well as mine.�


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North Carolina marriage licenses are good for 60 days after they are obtained from a county registrar of deeds. A couple may obtain a license in any county, not just the county where the marriage ceremony will be performed. To obtain a license, couples where each person is over the age of 18 must go to a registrar of deeds office with their Social Security card, a copy of a birth certificate or a photo identification, such as a valid N.C. driver’s license. For those ages 18 or under, the second form of identification must be a certified birth certificate. For couples where one or both of the persons is 16 or 17 years old, consent of a parent or guardian also is required. Persons applying for a marriage license will be required to fill out a form at the registrar of deeds office, which asks for personal information about the bride and groom and their parents. North Carolina does not require a waiting period or blood test to obtain a marriage license. Cost of a license statewide is $50. A couple will not receive a copy of their marriage license unless

requested. Cost is $10 per copy. Following is a list of local registrar of deeds offices: n Lee County Registrar of Deeds, located in the Lee County Courthouse, 1408 S. Horner Blvd., Sanford. Phone: (919) 718-4585. Office is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those hoping to obtain a license should be at the office by 4:30 p.m. n Chatham County Registrar of Deeds, located in the Courthouse Annex, 12 East St., Pittsboro. Phone: (919) 542-8235. Office is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those hoping to obtain a license should be at the office by 4 p.m. n Harnett County Registrar of Deeds, located at 724 N. Main St., Lillington. Phone: (910) 8937540. Office is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those hoping to obtain a license should be at the office by 4 p.m. n Moore County Registrar of Deeds, located in the Registrar of Deeds building, 100 Dowd St., Carthage. Phone: (910) 947-6370. Office is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those hoping to obtain a license should be at the office by 4:30 p.m.

Wedding Guide

The Sanford Herald / Sunday, February 28, 2010 / 5D

Trainer offers diet, exercise tips for brides By JAMIE STAMM

Learn more

Bridal Guide Editor

SANFORD — Every bride wants to look and feel her best as she’s walking down the aisle. And with a consistent exercise routine and well-rounded diet, she can be the picture of health on her special day. Dianne Foushee, manager of Carolina Women’s Fitness Center, recommended that brides-to-be begin a workout regimen at least three months prior to their wedding to see real results. “I mean, I certainly wouldn’t start the week before,” she said with a laugh. “Your body’s going to be more able to keep it off if you do it slowly.” Dianne and her husband, Frank Foushee, have owned Olympic Fitness Club for more than two decades and opened Carolina Women’s Fitness Center in 1996. Dianne is an aerobic personal trainer and yoga instructor and is certified through the National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA).

Consistency is the key With the popularity of strapless wedding gowns, many of today’s brides are seeking exercises that target their upper bodies. Dianne said one of the best activities a bride can do, whether at home or at the gym, is push-ups. Women who can’t perform a conventional pushup can do the same movement while standing against a wall. “Push-ups work the chest and the back and the arms and the shoulders,” Dianne said. “They even work the abs, if you do them correctly.” Other exercises that are good for the upper body include bicep curls and tricep dips, using hand weights or, if you don’t have weights, soup or vegetable cans. Dianne recommends doing three sets, of 15 repetitions each, a few times a week. In addition to toning exercises, brides can benefit from 30 minutes a day of aerobic exercise. “It doesn’t have to be 30-minute chunks of cardio,” Dianne said. “It can be 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there and 10 more minutes later, as long as it adds up to 30 minutes.” Dianne stressed that consistency is the key to long-term fitness success, in addition to establishing realistic goals. “Losing two pounds a week is realistic,” she said. “Losing 10 pounds a week is not.” She also offered the following tips: n Find your own reason for working out. No one else can do it for you. n Choose an activity you enjoy. n Schedule an exercise appointment

Carolina Women’s Fitness Center is located at 999 Center Church Road. Hours of operation are 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday though Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call (919) 775-5811, email info@carolinawomensfitness. com, or visit carolinawomensfitness. com. Olympic Fitness Club is located at 1701 Broadway Road. Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call (919) 258-5188, e-mail, or visit

with yourself, and keep it. n Work out with a partner. It’s more fun and makes the time seem to pass more quickly. A partner also can encourage you to reach your goals. n Weigh yourself only once a week, on the same day at the same time, and record your progress. You’ll see changes and stay motivated.

Watch what you eat Exercise is only one element in looking and feeling your best. Brides also should watch what they eat and drink. “You need to eat about five to six times a day … not full meals but a little something to keep your metabolism going,” Dianne said. She also recommended drinking half your weight in ounces of water, which can prevent dehydration and, if you use the water to replace high-calorie drinks, help you lose weight. “Eliminate just one soda per day, and you could lose 13 pounds over the course of a year,” Dianne said. “… And drinking more water is also good for your skin and makes all your organs work right.” Dianne also provided the following healthy-eating advice: n Give your body a jump start each day with breakfast. n Eat more slowly, and you’ll realize sooner when you’re full. n Serve meals on smaller plates, and your portions will look larger. n Eat fiber-rich foods to reduce the number of calories it takes to feel full. n Choose whole grain pasta, bread, rice and cereal. Refined carbohydrates (white pasta, bread, rice, etc.) are quickly absorbed and converted to fat. n If you overindulge one day, don’t give up. Just do better the next day.

ASHLEY GARNER/The Sanford Herald

Kelsey Tant, 39, takes part in a yoga class on Monday morning at Carolina Women’s Fitness Center.

laughter: the best exercise? SANFORD — Dianne Foushee is a firm believer in the power of laughter. “Laughter is inner jogging,” Dianne says. “The heart rate and blood pressure go up when you’re laughing, and they fall down below your baseline afterward, the same as with exercise.” Specifically, laughter increases your heart rate by 10 to 20 percent and burns approximately 1.3 calories per minute,

Hilliard Continued from Page 4D

The reality Hilliard said living without her fiancé, and knowing that he’ll soon be in harm’s way, is the toughest thing she’s ever done. “Going from spending every day and every night with the most amazing guy in the world to not even knowing where he


Dianne says. “Laugh for 15 minutes every day for a year, and you could drop up to four pounds,” she adds. “The more you laugh, the healthier your heart becomes,” Dianne continues. “And stress floats away when you giggle.” — Jamie Stamm

is, what he is doing, when he will call …,” she said. “… I’ll write him every single day while he is gone. I want him to know he is loved and supported.” Hilliard said she’s relying on faith, particularly the power of prayer, to get her and Blodgett through the months ahead. “Anytime someone asks if there is anything they can do for him or me while he is away, I say pray for him to return home safe and in good




spirits,” she said. As for Hilliard, she’s already counting the days until her fiance comes home. “It will be the most relieving, amazing, sweet day of my life so far,” she said. “… I think that many people take the small things for granted, like hugging their significant other, sitting on the couch watching TV, a simple ‘I love you.’ I will never take a day with him for granted again in my life.”


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C A N P R E V E N T W I L D F I R E S. s m o ke y b e a r. c o m

The Sanford Herald February 28, 2010

Central Carolina Wedding Guide


A Wedding that

Creates Treasured Memories...



... the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center offers your perfect venue. Greet guests in the lovely open lobby. For an intimate gathering, exchange your vows on the stage of the Small 7-PIECE LIVING ROOM WITH DUAL RECLINGING SOFA

Auditorium, with a guest audience of up to 198. For a larger wedding, use the expansive Exhibition Hall, with banquet seating for 500.

Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center 1801 Nash Street • Sanford, NC 27330-6412 Phone: (919) 776-0345 • Fax: (919) 776-8739

Wedding Guide

The Sanford Herald / Sunday, February 28, 2010 / 7D

a sibling sampling

Photos © Amy Smith Photography,

Sanford photographer Amy Smith chose the surrounding photos as some of her favorite engagement and wedding shots.

Kings Mountain photographer Stephen Torrence describes his photography as ‘as candid as possible.’ ‘I really enjoy the raw form of photography,’ Torrence says. ‘… We don’t stage the moment, we just set the stage. We’re not going to be intrusive.’ Photo © Torrence Photography,

Siblings Continued from Page 6D

ness,” he continued. “Being a part of people’s lives is really what’s important to us ... The wedding day is an important part of a couple’s life, and we don’t take that lightly.”

‘Learning from the baby of the family’ Unlike her brother, Smith picked up a camera well before her days at Grace Christian School. “Even as a kid, I had a camera, and I’d take photos of friends and animals,” said Smith, 28. But Smith, who always thought she’d find a career working with children, didn’t consider her photography anything more than a hobby. She said it was her brother’s passion — and his passing down of a good SLR camera when he got himself a new one — that fueled her professional interest. “He helped explain how the camera worked, as far as shooting in manual mode,” Smith said, adding with a laugh, “I’ve been learning from the baby of the family.” Smith started taking family photos — and even shot a wedding — for her friends and

Learn more

Torrence Photography is based in Kings Mountain, west of Charlotte. Contact owners Stephen and C.J. Torrence by phone at (704) 472-7529 or (828) 467-0879 or via e-mail at torrencephotography@ For more information, visit the Torrence Photography website at or the Torrence Photography blog at

was met with positive reviews. So she took her photography professional in May 2009, beginning with shoots at day care centers and for parks and recreation teams. She has shot a handful of weddings in Sanford, Fayetteville and Raleigh, and is willing to travel further if need be. Smith describes her style as “more modern” and “photojournalistic.”

“Some people still like to have some traditional photos, and I take them, too, although I don’t like to pose people,” Smith said. “I like to have photos reflect people’s personality. I try to catch them laughing and having fun with it.” Operating her own photography business gives Smith the freedom to stay home with her sons, Cameron, 7,

and Ryan, who turns 3 next month. She also is heavily involved with teen activities at Central Baptist Temple, where her husband, Josh, has served as a youth pastor for the past three years. Josh also is the advertising director of The Sanford Herald.

rence and Smith cite as one of the best weddings they’ve ever shot. Before the ceremony, they took the couple all around Emma’s hometown of Fort Valley, Ga., shooting photos at her family home, a restored theater and even a Laundromat. “It was kind of cool

Working together

bridal gift 124 S. Steele St

Torrence and Smith have worked together on three weddings, including one where she was the main photographer and he the assistant and another where he was the main photographer and she the assistant. The third was the wedding of their brother, Matt, and his wife, Emma, last December, which both Tor-


to see our minds come together, and the end results being something beautiful,” Torrence said of working with his sister. “I really enjoyed it.” Added Smith, “It’s good to shoot with him because he has so much experience, and I learn a lot from him.”

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Wedding Guide

8D / Sunday, February 28, 2010 / The Sanford Herald

Pros share menu tips for outdoor receptions BY JAMIE STAMM Bridal Guide Editor

SANFORD â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Stay light. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just one piece of advice that Sanford caterer Aaron Gaines has for prospective brides and grooms who are planning outdoor receptions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Instead of a hot pasta station with meatballs, think about a nice, light pasta salad,â&#x20AC;? said Gaines, owner of Fat Juniors Grill and a caterer since 2000. Gaines estimated that half the receptions he caters each spring and summer take place outdoors. He said most of those have an â&#x20AC;&#x153;ants-atthe-picnic, true backyard style,â&#x20AC;? with buffet lines including pulled pork or grilled chicken and â&#x20AC;&#x153;cool sidesâ&#x20AC;? like shredded slaw or potato salad. Another popular side dish is baked beans, â&#x20AC;&#x153;which carries over the smokiness of the barbecue,â&#x20AC;? Gaines said. Beverages often include warm-weather favorites like sweet tea and pink lemonade. Other couples opt for hors dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;oeurve receptions, offering their guests appetizers like stuffed mushrooms, cheeses, skewered teriyaki beef or smoked salmon with wasabi. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It really just depends on what the couple wants,â&#x20AC;? Gaines said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I did a wedding last summer where they asked for a whole hog with the

Photo courtesy of Amy Burns

Sanfordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Amy Burns used fondant and royal icing to cover this cake for a July wedding, where temperatures reached more than 100 degrees. Burns advises against using buttercream icing in the heat of summer.

Learn more

Contact caterer Aaron Gaines by phone at (919) 718-0344.

apple in its mouth. So thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what I gave them.â&#x20AC;?

Let them eat cake Amy Burns, owner of Amyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Confection Company, has created several cakes for outdoor receptions in the South, including a July event

where the temperature topped out at more than 100 degrees. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was quite a challenge, but it worked out,â&#x20AC;? Burns said. The four-tiered cake for that steamy affair was covered in fondant (a matte-smooth icing made of sugar, corn syrup, water and cream of tartar), with accents done in royal icing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Basically the crunchy icing that is used to make the little letters

See PROS, Page 12D

Outdoors Continued from Page 3D

accessible? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Remember, unless you want guests walking through your bedroom, a master bathroom might not be useable,â&#x20AC;? McNeill said. n Parking: Is there enough parking for your guests? And if not, would your neighbors be willing to offer up their driveways? n Noise: If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to have a band or deejay, is there a noise ordinance in your town or even your specific neighborhood? n Officiant: Can your pastor perform a wedding at a private home? Some churches prohibit their leaders from officiating over ceremonies held outside the church. n Accommodations for outof-town guests: Is your home big enough to house visitors while preparations for a wedding are under way? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Personally, I would advise

against anyone staying at the home except immediate family,â&#x20AC;? McNeill said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;because you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to be fighting over a bathroom with a cousin on the morning of your wedding.â&#x20AC;? McNeill said couples planning indoor wedding ceremonies might even go so far as to consider the color of their carpet and the number of breakables they have in their home. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You have to honestly ask yourself if you get upset when something gets broken,â&#x20AC;? McNeill said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because if you have 50 people in your home, something is going to get spilled, something is going to get knocked over, something is going to get tracked in. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inevitable.â&#x20AC;? Despite all the potential drawbacks, McNeill still believes that, for some couples, a wedding at home is the ideal choice. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A home wedding could be so very personal to the bride or the groom,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And they might feel more comfortable in their home setting.â&#x20AC;?


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Wedding Guide

The Sanford Herald / Sunday, February 28, 2010 / 9D

fashion focus: tea length gowns

Photo courtesy of Tony and Lisa Talley

U.S. 1 Chrysler Dodge Jeep employees Tony and Lisa Talley wed at the Sanford dealership on Aug. 9, 2009.

Closing the deal Employees exchange vows at U.S. 1 Chrysler Dodge Jeep By JAMIE STAMM Bridal Guide Editor

Photos © Jimmy Haire Photo Studio,

Irene Harvley-Felder Buckley wore a tea length gown for her August 2009 wedding.

Popular gowns fit to a ‘tea’ SANFORD — Often preferred for destination weddings, tea length gowns are predicted to be one of the hottest trends for all brides in 2010. Falling between the knee and ankle, tea length dresses often have a vintage feel and are known for being flattering on many body types. They have long been favored by spring and summer brides for attiring their bridesmaids and have recently gained popularity among brides themselves, particularly those planning less formal affairs. Modern-day tea length wedding gowns come in nearly every fashion, including strapless, halterstyle and long-sleeved. Brides can find gowns with scoop or sweetheart necklines and corset or button backs. Skirts range from A-lines and silhouettes to bubbles and ballgowns. Sanford native Irene Harvley-Felder Buckley, who now lives in Alexandria, Va., chose a strapless tea length gown for her 2009 wedding. Buckley said she first saw the gown online and thought it was “pretty and summery,” which was ideal for her early-August ceremony at First Baptist Church Chapel. When she tried on the

Irene Harvley-Felder Buckley and her bridesmaids are shown in their tea length gowns. dress, which featured a beaded lace empire waist and button back, Buckley was further convinced that it was something special. “I loved it,” she said. “It was the first dress I tried on, and it was perfect.” “I guess I didn’t think about it being ‘nontraditional’ until a couple of weeks before the wedding, and then I kind of started to panic and had to try it on again,” she added.

The gown was still the one for her. “I guess I kind of wanted something different,” Buckley said, noting that the dress was “light and comfortable” throughout her ceremony and reception. Buckley’s bridesmaids also wore strapless tea length gowns, though theirs were horizon blue. — Jamie Stamm




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SANFORD — When Lisa and Tony Talley told friends and family about their plans to marry at U.S. 1 Chrysler Dodge Jeep, they were met with more than a few raised eyebrows. “We got lots of different reactions,” Lisa said. “Some of them just looked at us like, ‘oh-kay.’” But for Tony, a salesman at the Sanford car dealership, and Lisa, who works there in billing, payables and title work, the decision seemed natural. “We’d each been married in a church before, so we wanted to do it a little different this time,” Lisa said. Tony and Lisa met several years ago through, an Internet dating site for single parents. Tony lived here in North Carolina, while Lisa called Houston, Texas, home. The couple shared a long-distance relationship for nearly eight months before deciding to move in together in Sanford, where Tony has a 13-year-old son. “So he flew to Texas, packed up all my stuff in a U-Haul, and we drove

Call The Sanford Herald at 708-9000.

24 hours straight to get here,” said Lisa, whose has two sons, ages 20 and 22. Two years later, in December 2008, Tony proposed, Lisa accepted, and the two approached the dealership’s owner about having their ceremony there. He said yes, and on Aug. 9, 2009, surrounded by nearly 50 friends and family members — some standing and others seated in chairs pulled from the dealership’s offices — Lisa was escorted across the showroom floor by her youngest son, Johnathan Standley. Tony’s son, Cameron Talley, was best man. Despite the casual setting, the couple was dressed to the nines — Tony in a black tux with tails and Lisa in a white satin and beaded gown with a semi-cathedral train. They exchanged vows under an arch that Lisa had decorated with ivy, white lights and wedding bells. After the ceremony, guests moved on to the nearby VFW for a reception, from which the newlyweds planned to depart in a rented Lincoln Town Car. But one of the Talleys’ regular service customers had a surprise for them, and they were instead whisked away in a white limousine. It was the perfect ending to a day that Lisa sums up in three simple words. “It was awesome.”

Wedding Guide CTCC aims to be â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;wedding destinationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 10D / Sunday, February 28, 2010 / The Sanford Herald

By JAMIE STAMM Bridal Guide Editor

SANFORD â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Two years ago, Sara Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Leary had to make some of the most difficult phone calls of her life. It was just days after a Jan. 31, 2008, fire gutted the Carolina Trace Country Club (CTCC) clubhouse, and Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Leary, CTCCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s director of marketing and sales, had to contact brides and grooms who had planned to hold their wedding receptions there. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everyone was very gracious,â&#x20AC;? said Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Leary, who has worked at CTCC since 2006. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And we were able to work with other local country clubs to get everyone Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Leary a new venue.â&#x20AC;? Today, Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Leary is working under much happier circumstances. With construction crews putting in six days a week, the new clubhouse was finished ahead of schedule, and Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Leary was able to begin booking receptions again by October 2009. The club already has nine weddings scheduled for this year, as well as some in 2011 and 2012. And Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Leary has a brand-new, state-ofthe-art facility that practically sells itself. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You can have a $25,000-plus wedding here, or you can have a $4,000 wedding,â&#x20AC;? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Leary said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;Ś Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re fortunate that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got years of experience to back up our reputation. We can say weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got first-class service, though not necessarily at a first-class price.â&#x20AC;?

A community asset Carolina Trace County Club has been hosting wedding receptions for 20 years. Booking priority is given to club members and their families, but the clubhouseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Grand Ballroom is available to the public for a fee of $1,200 (or $600 for half the room). The rental fee includes use of the ballroomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dance floor and piano, white table linens, set-up and breakdown of the ballroom, and cleaning. The full ballroom is approximately 80 feet by 45 feet and can seat around 150 guests with the dance floor or upwards of 200 without. The room has an elegant feel, with soft yellow walls and a row of six chandeliers. A private patio, overlooking Lake Trace and the Lake Golf Course,

Photo Š Lamb Designs,

The Grand Ballroom in the newly rebuilt Carolina Trace Country Club can seat around 150 guests with the dance floor or upwards of 200 without.

Learn more

Carolina Trace Country Club (CTCC) is located at 2100 Country Club Drive. For more information about wedding receptions at CTCC, call (919) 499-5121, e-mail, or fill out an information request form on the CTCC website at

extends off the back of the ballroom and leads down to a small garden, which will be landscaped this spring. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We really feel that there is nothing like this in Lee County,â&#x20AC;? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Leary said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was really built as a community asset.â&#x20AC;? Those who book an event at the clubhouse are required to use CTCCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s catering services. The banquet menu crafted by Chef Michael Hamby, former executive chef of A Southern Season, offers a variety of hot and cold hors dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;oeuvres, ranging from assorted finger sandwiches and sausage-stuffed mushrooms to chicken liver rumaki and mini crab cakes. Clients also can opt for a buffet line or sit-down

dinner, or they can design their own menu using seafood displays; pasta, fajita or quesadilla stations; or carving stations with turkey, ham or various cuts of beef. The catering division also provides ice sculptures, alcoholic beverage services and wedding cakes, although couples may choose to bring in the latter at a cost of $1 per guest. Clients are free to choose their Photo Š own photographer Sharron Williams and William Artis Jr. chose Carolina Trace and florist; however, Country Club for their upcoming wedding reception. CTCC has preferred vendors in DWA that would be ideal for bridal showers or Photography and Floral Designs by Eddie. rehearsal dinners. In addition to the Grand Ballroom, the â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want the country club to be CTCC clubhouse has smaller facilities known as Sanfordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wedding destination,â&#x20AC;? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Leary said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Choosing the club as your reception site helps the local community because out-of-town guests are going book local hotels, shop at local shops and eat at local restaurants.â&#x20AC;?

A variety of options

Photo Š Lamb Designs,

A back view of the Carolina Trace Country Club clubhouse shows the pivate patio off the Grand Ballroom.

Weddings Are Our Specialty Rental Items

Sanford native Sharron Williams and her fiancĂŠ, William Artis Jr. of Raleigh, chose Carolina Trace Country Club as the reception site to follow their April 24 wedding ceremony at Christian Provision Ministries. Williams said the club was recommended to the couple and that they were impressed with its size, which should easily accommodate their anticipated 210 guests. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very, very nice on the inside,â&#x20AC;? Williams added. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wait until springtime when all the flowers are blooming.â&#x20AC;? Williams said she and Artis chose to do a plated dinner rather than a buffet to allow more room for the dance floor. While the couple has yet to set a menu, Williams said she is very pleased with the options before them. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s definitely a variety to choose from,â&#x20AC;? she said.

Announce your wedding in The Sanford Herald. Celebrations deadline is 2 p.m. Wednesday.



=LL=J.@9F&AF=F.9:D=DGL@K AFF=JO9J=c9C=JQGP=Kc#FNAL9LAGFK Sanford Rent-All 1A;C=J-L -9F>GJ< (c   MD?<GÂą JPLP@O



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Wedding Guide

The Sanford Herald / Sunday, February 28, 2010 / 11D

New bride has visions in white Sanfordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Maggie Cranford launches wedding and event planning business

Learn more

Contact Maggie Ligon Cranford, owner of Visions in White wedding and event planning, by phone at (919) 704-6372 or via e-mail at

Planning the perfect wedding

By JAMIE STAMM Bridal Guide Editor

Photo Š Michele Quick Photography,

Maggie Ligon Cranford recently started Visions in White, a wedding and event planning business.

SANFORD â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Maggie Ligon Cranford is a self-proclaimed romantic. She believes in true love. She believes in happy endings. And, when it comes to weddings, Cranford believes that â&#x20AC;&#x153;Every girl should have the opportunity to have the fairytale experience.â&#x20AC;? But when it came to planning her own August 2009 nuptials, Cranford found herself frustrated at the lack of options available locally. Although she easily found a photographer and videographer, she turned to bridal magazines and the Internet in her search for a wedding gown and veil. It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the experience sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d hoped for. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a hands-on person,â&#x20AC;? Cranford said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I wanted to feel fabrics. I wanted to look at textures.â&#x20AC;? Still, Cranford persevered and worked with her mother, Marsha Ligon, to craft an intimate affair for her and her husband, Lucas, and their closest friends and family members. And now Cranford wants to do the same for other local brides as owner of Visions in White, a wedding and event planning service. Although the business is still in its infancy, Cranford and her mother already are coordinating three weddings, and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re excited to take on more. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been a bride, so I know what to expect,â&#x20AC;? said Cranford, 24. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And I want to give each wedding a personal feel because a wedding isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just an event. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a memory.â&#x20AC;?

Cranfordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own fairytale began last March, when a girlsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; weekend at the beach ended with an unexpected marriage proposal. After asking Cranfordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parents for permission to marry their daughter, Lucas Cranford worked with his future mother-in-law to come up with a unique proposal. The two planned a scavenger hunt, much like one Cranford and her girlfriends had done in their teen years. But this hunt ended with Cranford finding a treasure box on the beach. She read the poem inside and looked up to find Lucas on one knee, asking for her hand in marriage. After such an idyllic beginning, Cranford wanted every aspect of her wedding to be â&#x20AC;&#x153;charmed.â&#x20AC;? And it was, from the ceremony location at Cumnock Union Methodist Church, where her family has gathered for generationsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; worth of weddings and reunions, to the couplesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; personally written vows. Through it all, Cranford said she learned that planning the perfect wedding requires a lot of legwork. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I thought it would be fairly simple,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But you need an army of workers.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;It definitely was a lot of teamwork,â&#x20AC;? Ligon added in agreement. Cranford and Ligon hope to use the knowledge theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve gained to help other couples plan their weddings, from the proposal to the honeymoon. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve familiarized themselves with services available to local brides, and Cranford is eager to share the modern wed-

See CRANFORD, Page 12D


Modern brides choosing â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;daringâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; wedding veils SANFORD â&#x20AC;&#x201D; MagBut perhaps what gie Ligon Cranford of most distinguishes Sanford wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t conthe birdcage is its cerned with being a large gauge netting, trendsetter when she which gives the veils chose to wear a birda vintage 1930s or cage veil for her Auâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;40s feel. gust 2009 wedding. Cranford tried to She just knew when find a birdcage veil she saw the style in locally, but eventua bridal magazine ally purchased a that it would be the custom one online. perfect complement Friends and famto her gown. ily were a little Industry insiders surprised by her and wedding webPhotos Š Michele Quick Photography, unusual choice of sites would likely headwear, including claim that Cranford her mom, Marsha Maggie Ligon Cranford wore a birdcage veil at her was on the forefront Ligon, who laughAugust 2009 wedding in Cumnock. of fashion. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ingly admits that dubbed the birdcage she repeatedly told the hottest trend in wedding veils for 2010, acquaintances her daughter would be wearing describing it as â&#x20AC;&#x153;bold,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;cutting-edgeâ&#x20AC;? and a â&#x20AC;&#x153;bucket veil.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;daring.â&#x20AC;? One bridal website even declares But on Cranfordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wedding day, as she about the birdcage: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Timid, traditional brides walked down the aisle of Cumnock Union need not apply.â&#x20AC;? Methodist Church, most everyone agreed that Unlike classic wedding veils, birdcages fall the nontraditional veil perfectly suited the forward, hanging anywhere from slightly below glowing, modern bride. a brideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eyes to just below her chin. They usuâ&#x20AC;&#x153;They all said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Maggie,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Ligon said. ally are attached to a hair ornament, headband, pin or small hat. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Jamie Stamm

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Wedding Guide

12D / Sunday, February 28, 2010 / The Sanford Herald

on the cover

Photo © Michele Quick Photography,

Marsha Ligon (left) helps her daughter, Maggie Ligon Cranford, get ready prior to Cranford’s August 2009 wedding.

Cranford Continued from Page 11D

ding ideas she’s gleaned from months’ worth of bridal magazines. “She has the youthful ideas,” Ligon said of her daughter. “And she’s got the eye for detail and the eye for what looks right.” Cranford also has the sense of realism to know that it could take a while for her business to get off the ground. In fact, the former Bay Breeze waitress still works full-time as an administrative assistant at Moore’s Machine Company’s corporate headquarters while she

pursues her new career. But she plans to persist because, if all continues to go well, she has big plans for the future. “I’d like to open a full-service bridal salon,” Cranford said, where brides can shop for a gown and coordinate various services, such as photography, catering and even hair styling. “There are so many things that make up the big picture,” Cranford said. And she hopes to be the one who can complete that picture — and make it perfect — for many future Lee County brides. “I want to be a part of their life on one of the biggest days of their life,” Cranford said.

Central Carolina Wedding Guide is a publication of

The Sanford Herald P.O. Box 100 Sanford, N.C. 27331-0100

Central Carolina Wedding Guide is a supplement to The Sanford Herald. No portion of this document may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the publisher.

Cover photo by Amy Smith

Sanford bride-to-be Jordan Lawson will marry fiance Justin Allred of Sanford on May 1 at Central Baptist Temple. Local photographer Amy Smith, herself a former Central Carolina Wedding Guide cover girl, shot Lawson’s cover in Moore County.


Learn more

Continued from Page 8D

your mom may have put on your cake growing up,” Burns explained. While fondant works well in all temperatures, Burns said that once the summer’s most intense heat has arrived, she would advise against using buttercream, an icing typically made from butter and/or vegetable shortening, sugar, vanilla and milk or heavy cream. The veteran cake baker said it’s also essential with outdoor receptions that brides consider where the wedding cake will be placed in relation to the sun.

Amy Burns can be reached by phone at (919) 353-2286 or via e-mail at You can also contact her through the Amy’s Confection Company website at

“A lot of brides don’t think about where the sun will be at the time of day the cake will be in its spot. We mostly think of ‘Where will this look good?’” Burns said. “But (placement of the cake) is so important. It can’t have the blazing sun beating down on it. Even under a tent, in certain spots, the sun can literally melt buttercream.”

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