Heart of NC Weddings 2022

Page 1

Your Triangle Wedding Guide

destinations from the mountains to the


To celebrate your engagement, Bailey’s donates 250 meals to the Food Bank of North Carolina. When you purchase an engagement ring at Bailey’s, you’re feeding a North Carolina family in need for an entire month. Say “I Do” and Share the Love!


Village District


Every Woman Wants a
Box Raleigh’s
& Crabtree Valley Mall | Rocky Mount | Greenville |
Angeles www.baileybox.com | QE Follow us on social @BaileysFineJewelry
does more than just sparkle!
Tiffany L. Johnson Photography
L. Johnson PhotographyTiffany L. Johnson Photography “A Place Like No Other” with acres of picturesque gardens and unparalleled sunset views. Just 35 minutes from downtown Raleigh VisitRoseHill.com | 252-459-4058
Johnson Photography Adelyn Boling Photography Tiffany L. Johnson Photography Whitney Gremaud Photography


Jillian Knight Photography captured a joyful moment during golden hour between Trevor Thomas Wilson in a polka dot tuxedo from Bernard’s Formalwear and Rheanna Reid in a Rita Vinieris wedding dress from White of Raleigh at the Heights House Hotel in Raleigh.

To view the entire styled shoot, turn to page 128.

Your Triangle Wedding Guide

The reproduction of any photography, artwork, articles or copy prepared by Triangle Media Partners or Heart of NC Weddings and contained herein is strictly prohibited. Editorial material may not be reproduced without written permission. We have sought to ensure accuracy of the content herein, but Triangle Media Partners does not assume responsibility of any errors, inaccuracies or omissions. We reserve the right to refuse advertising.



2022 • VOL 35 HeartofNCWeddings.com

Publisher and Editor

Jenna Parks

Executive Managing Editor

Amanda MacLaren

Managing Editor Marie Muir

Editorial Shoot Director

Becca Taylor

Production Manager

Ashlin Acheson


Renee Ambroso, Hannah Lee and Jessica Stringer

Editorial Interns

Charlotte Goto, Kaylee Layman, Anna Louise Pickens, Rachel O’Hare, Emily Pack, Rylee Parsons, Megan Tillotson, Jada Vyrene Hester and Caitlyn Yaede

Creative Director Kevin Brown

Graphic Designers

Patricia Campbell, Jean Carlos Rosario-Montalvo, Khadijah Weekes-Nolan and Lauren Wilkinson

Digital Operations Manager

Lizzie Jones

Digital Customer Service Specialist

Brian McIndoo


For information, contact info@heartofncweddings.com

Account Executives

Melissa Crane, Chris Elkins, Kem Johnson, Lauren Phillips and Lucinda Poole

Chief Operating Officer

Rory Kelly Gillis


Dan Shannon

Vice President of Planning & Development

Ellen Shannon

Vice President of Finance & Administration

Amy Bell


Caleb Rushing

Heart of NC Weddings is published by Triangle Media Partners (formerly Shannon Media Inc.) 1777 Fordham Blvd., Ste. 105, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 tel 919.933.1551

4 heartofncweddings.com
   HeartofNCWeddings.com
plus destinations from the mountains to the coast
Fabiana Skubik Photography 211 Pittsboro St. Chapel Hill, NC 27516 • 919.918.2715 • carolinainnweddings.com

Back in a Big Way

ongratulations on your engagement!

We are delighted that you are reading our wedding guide. This 2022 magazine has a special place in my heart, as it symbolizes a phenomenal survival story. In the midst of a global pandemic, weddings may have looked a bit different, but it’s clear we are not giving up on celebrating love!

Once event guidelines eased up in the summer of 2021, a “wedding boom” ensued. This comeback is monumental for couples like you, who can feel confident in hosting a safe gathering with all of your loved ones; it’s also a joyous time for the thousands of creative professionals in the wedding industry who are passionate about helping couples design their own unique wedding experience.

This recent marriage boom has turned our old wedding planning protocols inside out. It’s changed everything from how far in advance couples must book their vendor teams to estimating the number of guests and determining costs of product-based services. You and your partner are not alone: 2022 will see more weddings than any year in nearly four decades.

This new edition of Heart of NC Weddings is filled with strategies to make your wedding weekend special, safe and smooth. Be sure to check out page 28 for suggestions from a local wedding planner on how to tackle the wedding resurgence. Also note our updated timeline and budget tips that open each chapter. Because we know there is no one-style-fits-all, we’re sharing an array of inspiring photo shoots and real weddings throughout the magazine. On page 228, peruse ideas on how to elevate four different venue types using florals and specialty rentals. As you read, we hope you’ll flag the incredible North Carolina event professionals who are behind each and every image that catches your eye within these pages.

The last two challenging years have reinforced just how important it is to gather together and celebrate life’s milestones. We are so grateful to be a part of a world that enriches the lives of families and friends in our community by creating and sharing in new beginnings.

Warmest wishes on your wedding planning journey!

6 heartofncweddings.com
Jenna Parks  @JennaLovesLocal  jenna@heartofncweddings.com Letter from the Publisher
THE UMSTEAD.COM | CARY, NC | 866.877.4141 2021 ART. NATURE. LOVE

1 Natelege Bryant, owner and executive chef of Durham-based catering business Virginia & Co., holds a pretty plate of cold curry lobster salad with arugula, mint, watermelon and garlic vinaigrette.

2 Reign Beauty Director Adrienne Duterte styles Hannah Murdock’s hair at Heights House Hotel. Photo by Jillian Knight Photography.

3 Heart of NC Weddings Editorial Shoot Director Becca Taylor straightens the sleeve of a Thornbury Brides dress on model Jennifer Pelliccia. Photo by Jillian Knight Photography.

Behind the Scenes

Real weddings, styled shoots, editorials

wedding showcases

8 heartofncweddings.com
1 32

4 Gilded Bridal Owner and Creative Implementer Susan Langford ties the bow of a Tara LaTour wedding dress on UC Models’ Mikayla AnnaBelle at Lavender Oaks Farm. Photo by Arika Jordan Photography.

5 Jillian Knight captures a bird’s-eye view of Becca Taylor lifting the train of an Eddy K Couture gown from Thornbury Brides on model Chermere Carr at Heights House Hotel.

6 Heart of NC Weddings Editorial Shoot Director Becca Taylor, Managing Editor Marie Muir and Publisher Jenna Parks. Photo by Fancy This Photography.

7 Meagan Culkin, owner of Magnolia Collective event planning company, and Jesse Smith, event planner with C&D Events, at Raleigh Union Station.

8 Jewelsmith designer and sales team member Tiffany Landers assists model AnnaLaura Erickson in selecting earrings for a fashion editorial shoot at Heights House Hotel.

9 Heart of NC Weddings’ Marie Muir, editorial interns Alana Askew and Faith Dickinson, and Publisher Jenna Parks tend a vendor booth at the Forever & Co. wedding showcase.

heartofncweddings.com 9
4 6 7 5 8 9
Spring Lake, North Carolina a ndRUSTIC ELEGANCE SOUTHERN CHARM Visit TH ECarolinaBAR N .com and book your tour, today. Photo credits: Chelsea Allegra Photography & Morgan Caddell Photography


modern elegance classic luxury

12 heartofncweddings.com DEPARTMENTS 6 Letter from the Publisher 8 Behind the Scenes 289 Venue Guide 292 Directory of Resources CHAPTERS 18 Venues 22 Piedmont Planning Tips 28 How to Plan During the Wedding Boom 38 Love at Lavender Oaks Farm 50 Celebrate Sustainably 58 What’s New with Venues 68 Wild Romance 80 Bespoke Barn Wedding 92 Royal Wedding Reimagined 100 Here to Stay: Microweddings 110 Coastal Planning Tips 118 Ceremony Certainty 124 Mountain Planning Tips 92 Fashion Editorial 154 Bridesmaids Guide 160 All About the Tux 164 Best Dressed 166 Look Good, Feel Good 170 Wedding Planners 172 No Worries 174 Real Weddings 201 Plan Your Mini-Moon 38 38
To plan the wedding you’ve always imagined call one of our wedding specialists 919-467-2566 www.prestonwoodcc.com 300 Prestonwood Parkway, Cary, NC Vesic Photography





Andrew Berghorn






Danielle Marquardt & Milap Mehta

Tyler Thomas

Janice Yang

Ashley Cirone

Chris Pearlman

Austin Harbison

Mark James

Emmie Tkach

Isaiah Whitley

Katy Dow

Chris Feifs

Brandon Johnson

Jennifer Padavic

14 heartofncweddings.com 202 Photo & Motion 204 Photography: What to Expect 208 Party Paparazzi 212 Real Weddings 224 Press Rewind 226 Flowers and Decor 228 Set the Scene 244 Paper & Gifts 246 Meet Your Local Stationers 252 Gift Guide 254 Reception 256 Meet Your Local Caterers 271 Entertainment 272 Strike a Pose 274 Don’t Stop the Music 276 Let the Good Times Roll 278 Cakes & Desserts 280 Meet Your Local Bakers 284 Newlyweds 284 I’m Married, Now What? 174 Katelyn
& Chad Whitaker 178 Andrew
& Mackenzie Williams 180 Shirlette
& Laura Ritchie 184 Virginia
& Woodie Williams 186
& Claudia
190 Jemima
& Stephen
192 Taylor
& Sarah
REAL WEDDINGS 196 228 180 192 228
Learn more and request information at ncartmuseum.org/weddings photo , top : kivus & camera | photos , left to right : aj dunlap photography , kivus & camera , briana brough photography
A RALEIGH VENUE WITH unmatched DOWNTOWN views Inside AC Hotel Raleigh Downtown thewillardraleigh.com Photos by Fancy This Photography


RENTAL COMPANY Passionate Professionals. Unparalleled Products. Photo: Julie Livingston Tents Specialty Linens Tables & Chairs Dance floors Tabletop Stages & much more


18 heartofncweddings.com


The cost of venues in the Triangle vary based on popularity, in-house inclusions, location and time of year. For example, a venue that is located in the heart of downtown may cost more than a farm or barn venue that’s an hour outside of the area. Expect to pay somewhere around $7,500 for your event space. However, cost can vary between $3,000 and $11,000.


Book the venue first. Couples who get engaged in 2022 will face extra competition especially when booking prime wedding dates (Saturdays in the spring or fall) due to rescheduled pandemic weddings. Decide if you want the ceremony and reception to be held at the same venue, and remember that non-Saturday dates can be booked at lower rates.


Finalize your budget before touring venues that are outside your price range. Guest count and date will be the two biggest determinants of cost. Ask about vendor-specific policies, payment schedule, cancellation protocol, overtime fees, insurance, liquor policies and other add-on costs.

Hayfield at Murchison Farms Photo by Becca Rizzo Photography
heartofncweddings.com 19
COUPLE Photography by Alaina Ronquillo Photography Managed by Chad Biggs Event Planning & Design TheDistilleryNC.com  |  919-391-8350  |  Info@TheDistilleryNC.com

Cassie Vondrak and Jess Hirschbuhl were married at Walnut Hill wedding venue in Raleigh on Oct. 22, 2021.

Photo by Fancy This Photography.

Piedmont Planning Tips

Local pros share their best Piedmont wedding advice

Recently engaged and ready to start planning your North Carolina wedding? The Piedmont region has plenty of diverse venues and vendors to offer and is a great location to say “I do”. Whether you are choosing to tie the knot in central North Carolina because it’s home or because you recently moved to town, here is some insiders knowledge:

• Venue styles range from farm and barn to industrial-chic to clean and contemporary in this region of the state. It would not be unusual for a couple to host an outdoor ceremony in the countryside followed by an indoor reception in a skyscraper downtown, with both locations being just a 10 or 15 minute drive away from one another.

• Even though all seasons are beautiful, North Carolina weather can be unpredictable. In general, summer tends to be hot and humid while winter is short and cold. Spring months offer perfect temperatures, but beware of heavy pollen and bugs that bite! No matter the season, be sure to have a back-up, indoor event space for an outdoor wedding.

• With tons to do in the Piedmont region, your guests could have an agenda full of local activities to keep them occupied in between wedding festivities. Whether it’s the museum, farmers market or beloved minor league baseball stadium, give guests a list of you and your partner’s favorite local spots so that they can get to know why you chose to get married in this special place.

• Weddings in the Piedmont region typically cost between $25,000 and $50,000

• Raleigh-Durham International Airport is located at the center of the Piedmont region, providing easy and affordable travel for outof-state guests

• With N.C. State University in Raleigh, Duke University in Durham and UNC in Chapel Hill, there are a lot of college sports fans in the Piedmont area. Try to choose a wedding date that does not coincide with any of these team’s major games to avoid increased hotel rates and traffic.

• Give your out-of-state guests a taste of the Piedmont region by filling their welcome bags with mouthwatering Chapel Hill toffee, vinegar-based barbecue sauce from The Pit Authentic Barbecue or a bag of fresh Counter Culture Coffee.

The Triad is a region in the north-central part of North Carolina composed of three cities: Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point.

The Triangle is a common nickname for a metropolitan area in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, anchored by three major research universities: N.C. State University, Duke University, and UNC at Chapel Hill, located in the cities of Raleigh and Durham and the town of Chapel Hill, respectively.

22 heartofncweddings.com Venues

Walnut Hill

Walnut Hill A
family run estate steeped in love for all couples Photography by: Fabiana Skubic
www.walnuthillnc.com Raleigh, NC
309 N DAWSON STREET, RALEIGH 910-315-9968 MELROSEKNITTINGMILLRALEIGH.COM KELSEY NELSON PHOTOGRAPHY Contact Jessica Tilton at jessica@southernoakevents.com


THE HISTORIC 12617 Old Falls of Neuse Road, Wake Forest, North Carolina 910.315.9968 HISTORICWAKEFIELDBARN.COM A hidden gem in Raleigh and part of the National Registry of Historic Places. This century old, 3-story dairy barn stands on 11.5 acres with towering silos and a unique grandeur of its own. Contact Jessica Tilton at jessica@southernoakevents.com


Downtown Raleigh’s largest full service venue featuring an American-Southern Menu. Now providing two rooms for a separate indoor ceremony and reception up to 300 guests plus two full size getting ready suites. 984-232-8661 • HISTORICMARKETHALL.COM • 214 E. MARTIN STREET, RALEIGH PHOTOGRAPHY CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: MORGAN CADDELL PHOTOGRAPHY; ANCHOR & VEIL; F8 PHOTO STUDIOS; F8 PHOTO STUDIOS

How to Plan During the Wedding Boom

Planning a wedding should be fun, right? What you didn’t expect was you would be entering into the ongoing wedding industry boom. Couples who couldn’t get married in 2020 due to the pandemic tied the knot in 2021 or will get married this year, and newly engaged couples are securing vendors – all at the same time. This has caused a vendor booking frenzy! Here are our tips for planning during this matrimony mania:

28 heartofncweddings.com
Hair and Makeup The Beauty Tribe Planner Katharine Mann Wedding & Event Planning
Our Best Tips


Wedding planners are your buffer between chaos and calm. A professional planner will help you secure the best and most reliable local vendors to ensure your wedding weekend goes off without a hitch.

“Seasoned professionals are going to take this wedding influx in stride and have a larger network of vendors at their disposal to lend a hand where needed,” says Meagan Culkin, owner of event planning company Magnolia Collective. “I have had several clients who became too stressed and literally stopped trying to book vendors, so I had to reach out to vendor friends two to three weeks before the wedding to find things like rentals, photographers and, in one case, a band.”

No. 2: DO NOT WAIT, BOOK YOUR PRIORITY VENDORS ASAP. Delaying will only move you further down the waiting list. Focus on securing a venue for your ideal date and shopping for your dress – orders for wedding dresses are arriving later than usual due to warehouse shortages and shipment delays. This will also impact bridesmaid dresses and anything else that you need to order.


This is something you should always do, but it is especially important now. Know and understand all of your vendors’ cancellation and rescheduling policies. Ask questions, and make sure you know exactly what you are signing up for! If this sounds like a dreadful task, see tip No. 1.


Keep your guests in the loop electronically in addition to your beautiful, custom-made wedding stationery. When it comes to communication, more is always better, especially if you need to reschedule any of your wedding events due to booking issues or COVID-19 guidelines.


Create a wedding boom backup plan. Give yourself options. Just because one vendor is unavailable or several details must change does not mean that your wedding will be anything less than meaningful and beautiful.


The pandemic has taught us many big-picture lessons on keeping things in perspective and focusing on what truly matters. Make your wedding day a personal experience for your guests. After all, they love you, and are choosing to attend and support you on your big day.

heartofncweddings.com 29
Rentals The Prettiest Pieces Venue WinMock at Kinderton Florals Green Bee Floral Design


Understand that vendor prices are likely to be higher due to shortages, high-demand and money lost due to COVID-19.


The rule of thumb used to be that approximately 85% of your invited wedding guests would attend. Today, couples are seeing 90%-95% of their invited guests RSVP. This is happening for several reasons: People took weddings for granted throughout the pandemic, people are ready to attend events again and more people are getting vaccinated. Note: Do not forget to account for guests’ plus-ones if you have invited them or allowed for it.


In general, give yourself more time than you think you’ll need for each part of your wedding planning journey. Doing this will help close the window on panic and stress. Expect for vendor communication to be slower. This can be difficult for couples who booked before the pandemic and are now seeing slower communication patterns.

No. 10: USE OUR WEDDING PLANNING RESOURCE GUIDE. We have created a long list over the past 35 years of some of the best vendors in the state. Visit our vendor guide at heartofncweddings.com/vendors to easily find more information about local professionals who we would personally recommend to you.

30 heartofncweddings.com
Our Best Tips
Dress Bellissima Photography Danielle Flake Photography
NOW BOOKING WEDDINGS AND EVENTS FOR 2023! HISTORIC BARN WEDDINGS | STUNNING FLORAL DESIGNS barnofchapelhill.com • 919.590.0955 Photo by Nato Tuke Wedding Collective
by Wilder Wedding Collective, Carolyn MarieKrystal Kast Photography Kasey Smith Creative
a space to celebrate, nestled along the falls of the Tar River at the Rocky Mount Mills and River & Twine Tiny House Accommodations 252-801-6528 | thepowerhousenc.com
All Photos by Tiffany L. Johnson Photography
All-Inclusive & Farm to Table Styled Wedding Packages morganfarmsnc.com @eventsatmorganfarms hello@morganfarmsnc.com Fancy This Photography PHOTOGRAPHS BY STEPHANIEPHOTOGRAPHS BY STEPHANIE SAMANTHA COUICK PHOTOGRAPHY Fancy This Photography Art Deco Historic Theater in Downtown Oxford, NC theorpheumatoxford.com @theorpheumatoxford info@theorpheumatoxford.com



THE 12TH FLOOR OF THE CAPITAL CLUB BUILDING IS FULL OF POSSIBILITIES: • Beautiful ballroom space • Glowing natural light • Panoramic views of downtown Raleigh • Versatile ceremony & reception options
heartofncweddings.com 35 PHOTOS: BECCA RIZZO PHOTOGRAPHY • Classic ceremonies & receptions • Bride & groom dressing rooms • Restored elegance & beauty • Vintage decor amenities RESTORING SOUTHERN CHARM 984.212.8111 CROSSANDMAIN.COM 201 E MAIN ST YOUNGSVILLE, NC EXCLUSIVELY CATERED BY: 984.212.4651 1705EAST.COM 1705 E MILLBROOK RD RALEIGH, NC CONTEMPORARY CHARM • On-site ceremonies & receptions • Separate cocktail & bar area • Gorgeous bride & groom suites • SPRING ’22: New 200-seat, beautifully landscaped outdoor space EXCLUSIVELY CATERED BY: PHOTOS: CARLY HINSON PHOTOGRAPHY, TIERNEY RIGGS PHOTOGRAPHY
Since 1993, The Carolina Club has been a home for our members, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of The University of North Carolina. George Watts Hill Alumni Center | Stadium Drive at Ridge Road 919.962.1101 | carolina-club.com THE CAROLINA CLUB - A Chapel Hill TraditionKristine Dittmer Photography Photographs by Caroline Lima except otherwise noted WEDDINGS | RECEPTIONS | REHEARSAL DINNERS | BRIDAL LUNCHEONS | ANNIVERSARIESSamuel Holt Photography


The NC Museum of Natural Sciences doubles as one of the most striking event spaces in downtown Raleigh. With indoor spaces that are able to accomodate up to 2,200 people between both wings and on-site, custom, chef-prepared dining options by Rocky Top Catering, this venue suits your needs for a wow-factor wedding. naturalsciences.org/events/rentals 919.707.9845 PHOTOS - TOP: ERIC KNISLEY, NCMNS STAFF; MIDDLE: LEROY HICKS PHOTOGRAPHY, SOUTHERN LOVE STUDIOS, DANIELLE DEPKE PHOTOGRAPHY; BOTTOM: KENDALL LYNNETTE PHOTOGRAPHY
WORLD of memory making on your wedding day…

Lavender Oaks FarmLove at

usan Langford, owner of Raleighbased wedding dress store Gilded Bridal, lifts the train of a Tara LaTour gown for a model as she makes her way through rows of purple plants toward a farm table set with doilies and Antoinette Bleu china. A chorus of harmless, albeit drunk, bees hum happily above fields of lavender, interrupted only by an occasional squeal of joy from one of the styled shoot’s participating vendors.

38 heartofncweddings.com
Heart of NC Weddings Vendors Venue Lavender Oaks Farm / Photographer Arika Jordan Photography / Florals Bowerbird Flowers & Apothecary Rentals American Party Rentals / Dress Gilded Bridal / Formalwear Bernard’s Formalwear / Hair and Makeup Pinup Studio / Caterer Beau Catering / Stationer Ashley Triggiano
heartofncweddings.com 39

ABOVE Mikayla AnnaBelle Marshall’s enchanting hair and makeup by Pinup Studio beautifully complements whimsical earrings by Gilded Bridal.

RIGHT Travis Cotton and Mikayla AnnaBelle, both of UC Models, share a dance underneath the farm’s fairy-tale gazebo.

In the fading sun, the scene looks as if it were in the south of France. But North Carolinians may be surprised to learn that Lavender Oaks Farm is nestled in the countryside forests of Chapel Hill. Karen Macdonald and Robert Macdonald purchased the property to start their own lavender farm in 2015 following an inspirational trip to Provence.

Today, Lavender Oaks Farm is a local wedding and event destination sought out for its refurbished historical barns, enclosed forest setting and on-site shop filled with farm-made goods. The venue’s design and amenities were carefully planned by the Macdonalds to meet a couple’s needs on their wedding day, from luxury suites for getting ready to comfortable outdoor gathering spaces. There’s even a white folly gazebo, named for its decorative structure, that invites vows or intimate dances to be shared beneath its curving limbs.

Arika Shelest of Arika Jordan Photography captured Diane Joyal and Lily Joyal’s vision of a late June wedding at Lavender Oaks Farm. This mother-daughter duo is the heart and soul behind Bowerbird Flowers & Apothecary. They created floral arrangements with movement and organic composition that accentuate the natural beauty of the farm. Shades of mauve, blush, buttery yellow, pops of pink and, of course, lavender, consumed the camera – a perfect palette for Arika, who is admired locally for her bright,

40 heartofncweddings.com Venues
Ashley Triggiano created this illustration of Lavender Oaks Farm.
heartofncweddings.com 41
42 heartofncweddings.com

ABOVE Ashley Triggiano dropped lavender petals into the wax seals on these circular dinner menus.

RIGHT UC Models’ Mikayla AnnaBelle in a Tara LaTour wedding dress from Gilded Bridal with a bouquet by Bowerbird Flowers & Apothecary.

BELOW Antoinette Bleu China from American Party Rentals party suppliers.

LEFT Bowerbird Flowers & Apothecary and Beau Catering created a sweetheart table inspired by the south of France at Lavender Oaks Farm.

colorful photography style. Spanish pottery, taper candles and antique linens enhance the rustic-chic ambiance of the overall design.

Dressed in a cornflower blue suit from Bernard’s Formalwear in Durham, the groom raises a glass to toast to his bride, whose hair and makeup look effortless thanks to Pinup Studio. Meanwhile, Arika’s camera captures a colorful spread prepared by Beau Catering. Vibrant dishes like grilled peach crostini, stuffed peppers and steamed mussels from Carteret County, North Carolina, add flavor and fun to the

heartofncweddings.com 43 Venues

ABOVE Glassware from American Party Rentals.

RIGHT Beau Catering’s steamed Carteret County mussels, grilled peach salad and heirloom tomato salad.

BELOW A Lavender Oaks Farm-inspired invitation suite by Ashley Triggiano.

44 heartofncweddings.com Venues

tabletop. But before any of the imaginary guests can dig into this delicious meal, they must take a moment to read a line from the poem “Union” by Robert Fulghum on a circular dinner menu designed by Ashley Triggiano.

“Look at one another, and remember this moment in time.”

As the sun sets and market lights begin to glow, this group of vendors gathers to celebrate the styled shoot’s success with Champagne and camaraderie. Each vendor’s skill set is remarkable individually, but truly magical memories are made when they come together.

RIGHT Hillsborough-based Beau Catering creates dishes that are both aesthetically pleasing and appetizing.

BELOW A beautiful tabletop design by Bowerbird Flowers & Apothecary with linens and tableware from American Party Rentals.

heartofncweddings.com 45 Styled Shoot
A Timeless Setting for Exclusive Weddings & Events 3833 Millard Whitley Road Chapel Hill, NC info@lavenderoaks.farm 919-909-7417 2021 PHOTOGRAPHY BY ADELYN BOLING PHOTOGRAPHY. www.lavenderoaks.farm
theoaksatsalem.com 919.387.4158 JP Pratt Photography Anchor & Veil Photography Maggie Mills Photography Becca Rizzo Photography JP Pratt Photography A Year Round Wedding Show
Book Now! 2317 Enon Rd, Oxford, NC 27565 @highrockfarms highrock-events.com Autumn Harrison Photography Photos by Jocelyn and Ryan Photography unless otherwise noted
Styled ShootWeddings by HILTON 3415 Wake Forest Rd. Raleigh, NC 27609 | 919-719-4932 | www.raleighnorthhills.hilton.com Where small details become the start to your grandest adventure. Full Service Wedding & Event Venue with Luxury Suites available.

Celebrate Sustainably

10 ways to plan an eco-friendly wedding

Engaged couples today have many modern and beautiful options for hosting an eco-friendly wedding. Reducing waste on your big day will add to the feel-good vibes of your big day. Discover both affordable and accessible tips, from booking vendors to selecting favors, below.

No. 1: SKIP UNNECESSARY PAPER AND PLASTIC PRODUCTS. One of the best ways to host an eco-friendly wedding is to rent reusable products and decor. Say goodbye to single-use items such as paper plates or water bottles and hello to reusable rentals such as fine china and glassware. Look to your local party rental company like Petal & Oak and CE Rental, which offer a number of gorgeous wedding rentals to choose from.

50 heartofncweddings.com
The Barn of Chapel Hill at Wild Flora Farm has an on-site flower farm. Photo by Morgan Caddell Photography
Our Best Tips


Located on the southern shore of Lake Raleigh, The Dorothy and Roy Park Alumni Center is an exclusive destination venue for weddings and receptions.

The 59,000 square-foot building features Italian marble flooring, double curving staircases and a grand reception room, crystal chandelier lighting, walnut-trimmed fireplaces, a breathtaking patio for outdoor events, an expansive view of the lake, and private parking.

The Park Alumni Center is conveniently nestled on NC State’s beautiful Centennial Campus near the Lonnie Poole Golf Course, and StateView Hotel and Conference Center. It is also close by to downtown Raleigh, The Village District, the State Farmer’s Market, I-40, Midtown, and North Hills.


Renowned for North Carolina’s most refined weddings and events, Mitchell • Casteel is now the exclusive caterer for the Park Alumni Center.

When you choose the Park Alumni Center for your wedding celebration, you’ll experience the world-class service and refined, exquisite cuisine that Mitchell • Casteel has delivered for more than 40 years.

Mitchell • Casteel also offers wedding and event coordination and management services from our experienced, creative staff.

To learn more about wedding celebrations at the Park Alumni Center, contact us at 919-847-0135 or sales@mitchellcasteel.com. www.mitchellcasteel.com/park-alumni-center

 @parkalumnicenter  @ParkAlumniCenter

No. 2: BOOK A SUSTAINABLE VENUE. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could say “I do” at a venue that is both beautiful and sustainable? As you search, keep an eye out for venues that come fully stocked. For example, The Barn of Chapel Hill at Wild Flora Farm has an on-site flower farm. Or check out Lavender Oaks Farm, a fully functioning lavender farm with refurbished historic barns. Pick a venue that is already beautiful and doesn’t need single-use decorations. Couples who choose a venue close to family and friends will also limit pollution from transportation exhausts.


Shopping locally is always a good idea. Again, when couples hire vendors who are located close to their venue, they decrease an excess of carbon emissions. The same goes for buying local flowers and food. Ordering exotic flowers from elsewhere in the country or beyond will result in a massive carbon footprint due to the shipment and delivery carbon emissions. Plus, hiring local vendors will give your guests an authentic feeling of the area.

No.4: AVOID FOOD WASTE. Throwing away untouched food is the worst, whether it’s your wedding or a regular day at home. Here are some helpful questions to ask the caterer: How much food do you recommend for this number of guests? Which foods are most popular during the season I plan to host my wedding? Where are your ingredients sourced from?

If you still end up with wedding leftovers, call a local food bank and ask if you can donate!

No. 5: ASK YOUR FLORIST NOT TO USE FLORAL FOAM. Floral foam, or Oasis, is the green styrofoam material that many florists use as the base of their floral arrangements. This is a non-biodegradable plastic that contains toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and carbon black that can be harmful when handled. Ask your florist if they use a version of floral foam that is biodegradable or if they have any other eco-friendly alternatives. Don’t want to buy flowers that will eventually die? FauxReal Flowers rents out gorgeous bouquets, centerpieces and other decorative items.

No. 6: ASK YOUR STATIONER TO USE RECYCLED PAPER PRODUCTS. Sending invites is one of the first tasks on your planning timeline. This is also an easy element to make sustainable. Ask your stationer to use recycled paper for your custom designed wedding

invitations. Odds are that you won’t be able to see a difference in the paper products. The paper used for invitation suites, ceremony programs and reception menus add up quickly.


ECO-FRIENDLY FAVORS. Give your guests the gift that keeps on giving. Here are a few fun and creative favor ideas: A packet of flower or plant seeds, local charity donations in your guests’ name, repurposed mason jars filled with homemade treats or personalized reusable glassware that your guests can take home. Eco-friendly favors send a message to your guests about being environmentally conscious and may inspire them to do the same.

No. 8: BUY USED OR RENT YOUR WEDDING FASHION. The adage says it all: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” Global over-production of clothing is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, and so buying a vintage or used dress is a recent wedding trend. Or rent your wedding outfit – stop by Bernard’s Formalwear in Durham to shop suit and tuxedo rentals. Modern couples also love to incorporate family heirlooms into their wedding day. Ask your grandmother if you can try on her gorgeous vintage bridal gown, or ask your dad if he still has the cuff links he wore at his wedding. Repurposing clothing items on your wedding day is not only eco-friendly, it also adds a sentimental touch.

No. 9: REUSE AND RECYCLE ALL OF YOUR WEDDING PRODUCTS OR DECOR. Do not throw them away. Save some items for future use. You never know when you might be able to reuse those elegant white drapes or boho accent lanterns. Maybe your future children or a neighbor might want to borrow all of those glass vases and votives for their own event. Reducing waste by saving, donating or reselling your wedding products is an easy way to protect the environment.

No. 10: SAY NO TO SPARKLERS AND CONFETTI. Yes, sparkler exits look fun and cool in photographs, but there are alternatives that are just as amazing. Skip the harmful waste that comes with sparklers or confetti (or try biodegradable confetti!) and instead opt for bird seeds, flowers or even bubbles, which look incredible on camera and don’t remain on the planet for a thousand years. Rice and confetti can harm birds and other animals who ingest the leftovers. Bird seed is as adorable as rice and is also healthier for nature’s critters.

52 heartofncweddings.com
Our Best Tips
Mitchell•Casteel A Fine Catered Affair Photo by Heba Salama Photography CE Rental and Virginia & Co. Photo by Brett Seay Photography
EFFORTLESSLY BEAUTIFUL Nestled in a cozy corner of downtown Cary, this historic events venue offers a Greek Revival mansion, manicured grounds, and a grand ballroom for gatherings large and small. Let us host your unforgettable and unique event experience. 317 West Chatham Street Cary, NC 27511 (919) 467-1944 matthewshousecary.com @thematthewshouse @TheMatthewsHouseCary PARTNER PHOTOS by AZUL PHOTOGRAPHY / CAT NGUYEN PHOTOGRAPHY / KEVIN PUGH PHOTOGRAPHY / ONE STUDIOS
110 S. East Street, Downtown Raleigh · 919.459.3212 ALLSAINTS1875.COM
Photo by AJ Dunlap Photo by Jillian Knight Photography
230 Fayetteville Street, Downtown Raleigh 919.459.3212 THESTOCKROOMAT230.COM GLASSBOXRALEIGH.COM !"#$#%&'%()*)"%+,--.-' !"#$#%&'%/0110).%2.03"$%!"#$#3*)4"' !"#$#%&'%+05%6##$%!"#$#3*)4"' 7)$)8")%/#".8#.

Hall at Chatham Mills is a stunning venue for weddings and special events.

unique venue in an historic restored mill, offers outdoor ceremonies in a lush forest setting, while the interior event space boasts high ceilings, exposed brick

beams, original oak floors and expansive windows with beautiful natural light

views. Come and experience Forest Hall at Chatham Mills and let us make your special day a memorable one!

Morgan Caddell Photography 480 Hillsboro St, Pittsboro, NC 919.533 0145 info@foresthallnc.com Ellie McKinney Photography Arika Jordan Photography Three Region Photography Forest
heartofncweddings.com 57 Historic chapel and reception sites are available for wedding ceremonies, receptions, and other events. 900 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, N.C. | 919-424-4000 | www.sms.edu Photo Credit: Lindsey Laughlin Photography, Almond Leaf Photography For more information or to get a glimpse inside Saint Mary’s historic chapel, visit www.sms.edu/wedding

What’s New with Venues

Discover new or recently updated North Carolina wedding venues

Venues book quickly, so they should be considered early in the planning process. The location is the base for your event’s tone and sets the stage for your overall wedding theme. Heart of NC Weddings is proud to share one of the most comprehensive resource guides of the best wedding venues in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary and Apex, as well as some special venues on the coast and

58 heartofncweddings.com
This gorgeous ceremony scene at The Distillery in Garner came together with the help of American Party Rentals, White of Raleigh, The Black Tux, Mews Floral Designers, Mena Garcia Beauty and Chad Biggs Event Planning & Design. Photo by Autumn Harrison Photography

in the mountains. Overwhelmed by the options? Turn to page 289 for our venue directory, which will help you sort venues by seating capacity, overnight accommodations and more. Below, discover new venues or recently updated mainstay venues that might have availability – even for prime dates in 2022 and 2023.

Even though Hayfield at Murchison Farms opened in summer 2021, this 150-year-old barn and farm wedding venue in Liberty makes you feel right at home. At 6,000 square feet, the venue can fit up to 300 guests. There are picturesque ceremony sites outdoors – a 2,000-squarefoot terrace, two covered open-air verandas, plus a built-in bar, fire pit and paved on-site parking. Imagine taking photos with your soul mate at sunset with a backdrop of pastures filled with Black Angus cows and hay bales. Can’t quite picture it? Turn to page 18.

The Distillery opened its doors in downtown Garner in May 2021. This 8,300-square-foot event hall has three luxury gathering spaces filled with gold metal accents, polished concrete floors and urban light fixtures. For an indoor ceremony or reception, the White Room can accommodate up to 300 guests. The Distillery also offers an outdoor patio for cocktail hour or smaller ceremonies, and its urban garden is a beautiful setting for photos.

Inspired by their daughter’s flower farm, Don Neal and Joann Neal turned their dream of building a family-owned venue into a reality. Construction of The Cornealius Properties wrapped up in fall 2021. This rustic-chic venue is located on 90 acres of farmland and forests in Goldsboro and has an open-air church, Birdsong Chapel, gettingready houses, natural areas, front

porches and the Carriage Hall – a 3,000-square-foot heated and airconditioned space designed for dining and dancing.

Tar Heels and Blue Devils alike got a new luxury event venue conveniently located between both campuses. The newly renovated Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel can host up to 350 guests in its state-of-the-art, 6,900-square-foot ballroom, 2,000-square-foot outdoor terrace and cozy-chic rooms. Your wedding guests will enjoy access to an outdoor pool, 24-hour fitness center and its new in-house restaurant Blue Corners Bistro & Bar.

The Hibiscus Event Space is a newly renovated venue in Raleigh that can host 500-plus guests and offers a catering kitchen, getting-ready suite and ample on-site parking. Centrally and conveniently located on Gresham Lake Road, the venue is 20 minutesBirdsong Chapel at The Cornealius Properties in Goldsboro.

heartofncweddings.com 59
The newly renovated Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel can host up to 350 guests in its 6,900-square-foot ballroom, 2,000-square-foot outdoor terrace and cozy-chic guest rooms.

from downtown Raleigh, 20 minutes from Raleigh-Durham International Airport and is surrounded by a number of restaurants and hotels. Hibiscus also offers backdrops, linens, centerpieces, throne chairs, event lighting and more.

If you’re looking for a venue with unbeatable views of Raleigh’s skyline, put The Willard Rooftop Lounge at the top of your list. The Willard offers multiple modern indoor and outdoor event spaces located on the seventh floor of the brand-new AC Hotel Raleigh Downtown. Say “I do” next to a double-sided fireplace on the terrace or raise a glass to new beginnings in the Horizon Ballroom – a contemporary room with floor-toceiling windows and the city backdrop of your dreams.

Bluebird Meadows Farm is a barn and farm venue fantasy with multiple ceremony and reception event spaces nestled on 100 acres. Roughly one hour north of Raleigh in Louisburg, this venue offers wideopen countryside views, wooded trails, ponds and fields overflowing with wildflowers. Get ready in a midcentury farmhouse with original hardwood floors, and take portraits in the blueberry patch, where you can pick fresh blueberries that you’ll find in homemade blueberry cobbler after dinner in the greenhouse.

Discover The Kinsleeshop Farm – a 50-acre venue with beautifully restored barn event spaces, a historic farmhouse and lush green fields in Statesville. This country-chic farm recently added another space for wedding parties to get ready and spend time together before the ceremony. The Bro Barn includes six large-screen TVs, a full wet bar, a pool table, pinball, foosball, a loft lounge and a patio deck that is 27 feet off of the ground and offers sweeping views of sunsets on the farm.

The Upchurch is now booking 2022 weddings and events. Cara Powell, a recently retired wedding photographer with decades of experience, poured her heart, soul and knowledge of events into preserving the historic home and property in Apex. The

Conservatory, a newly constructed greenhouse-esque event space, perfectly complements the restored Southern home.

Chapel Hill welcomed a new venue with an old soul in 2021. The Story, named after the tale of the nine young men from the town’s all-Black Lincoln High School who sat at a booth for equal rights in the Colonial Drug Store, building’s former occupant, on Feb. 28, 1960, is now owned by Mediterranean Deli, Bakery & Catering. The Story will capture the hearts of the Carolina fans among your wedding guests with its multiple industrial-chic event spaces that span three floors and rooftop views of Franklin Street.

The Oaks at Salem already features a historic home, rustic barn, oak trees and rolling fields – it’s hard to believe that the Apex-based venue could include more, but its newest addition takes the location above and beyond. The appropriately named Overlook is a 1,000-square-foot patio that overlooks the property’s serene pond and grounds. It features a cozy fire pit and a modern pergola – perfect for cocktail hour, cigar-rolling stations or after-dinner s’mores.

Belt Line Station, an open-air venue connected to The Cotton Room in Durham, recently received some major updates. The former train station now has a fully finished interior with a large bar, a patio with market lights and a train platform with retractable sides so that guests can enjoy the breeze of a refreshing day or enclose themselves and use heaters in chilly weather.

Overlook Barn in Banner Elk has also received some new amenities and renovations. Couples can now enjoy comfortable outdoor gatherings at the Pavilion and Cliffside Barn thanks to added heaters, and newlyweds can rent either the House or the Honeymoon Suite for overnight accommodations on their wedding day. The three-bedroom House features a large wraparound deck, a wood-burning fireplace and a spa-inspired primary bathroom. The Honeymoon Suite, designed with couples in mind, is a studio-style getaway with modern amenities and a bed with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

60 heartofncweddings.com
The Kinsleeshop Farm Photo by CORE Digital Design The greenhouse at Bluebird Meadows Farm. Photo by Amber Rhodes Photography

Love…Set The Scene

theupchurchvenue.com | info@theupchurchvenue.com | 919.205.3036 | @theupchurchvenue
Featuring the historic Upchurch-Williams House, stunning wedding lawns and conservatory-inspired pavilion OPENING SPRING 2022 Painting by One + Only Paper

Paramount Event Venue, a hidden gem located in Morrisville, recently renovated its getting-ready suites. This family-owned venue has state-of-the-art lighting, elegant ceiling drapery and amenities that can be customized to meet your wedding-day needs. Paramount can accommodate weddings and events of varying sizes, with a seating capacity of 250 in the Dogwood Ballroom and 144 in the Pine Room

The Plant at Chatham Beverage District has been many things – a flower farm, an aluminum smelting factory, an abandoned building – but today, it is a multiuse eco-industrial park for sustainable small businesses, artists, events and more. Located on 17 acres of land in Pittsboro, this industrial-chic venue can seat up to 300 guests outside and 100 inside. Take wedding photos beneath the circus lights hanging above The Plant’s main street or have an intimate dinner reception in an art gallery. The venue will be repaved for better aesthetics and stormwater drainage in January 2022.

Farmhouse and barn venue Union Grove Farm in Chapel Hill received some updates: Modern bathrooms, barn heat and air conditioning, a freshly painted deck and gazebo, 200 tables and chairs, rustic benches for ceremony seating and fresh landscaping. Stay tuned for a new ceremony event space in the works.

Raleigh-based barn and farm venue Walnut Hill has a new getting ready space - a thoughtfully renovated house that sleeps 13 guests and overlooks the venue’s lake and pastures. The house is available as an addon rental for the day in 2022 and is included in the overall rental in 2023. Another improvement includes a fresh coat of white paint inside the barn, and venue owner Amanda Peoples is already planning the construction of a new ceremony space. “Yes, I know I said I was done building, but I can’t help it,” Amanda says. She plans to knock down two structures beside the lake and build an open-air chapel in their place.

The Upstairs at Jiddi Space & Courtyard, a hidden gem of a venue in the heart of downtown Raleigh, was recently elevated with new decor and signage. Tucked behind restaurants Sitti and Gravy, Jiddi is a warehousestyle venue with a large open-air courtyard and a secluded indoor event space that can seat up to 140 guests. Its sister venue, The Glass Box at The Stockroom at 230, also received fresh look and the addition of a coffee bar.

The Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary renovated all 150 of its guest rooms and suites. New carpeting, drapery, beds, desks, chairs and more have given the rooms a spacious, updated look. All of The Umstead’s corridors and elevator landings were also updated with new carpet designs and wall coverings. The Bar & Lounge and Herons restaurant were completely renovated as well. Make

a reservation for dinner served on custom-made chargers and bread plates by local artisan Ben Owen III and peruse artwork commissioned by Carol Knapp.

The Mayton, a boutique hotel in downtown Cary, opened a new on-site restaurant called Peck & Plume. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, Peck & Plume’s menu includes a wide variety of dishes such as bone-in braised short ribs, roasted cauliflower with harissa hummus and creme brulee French toast. The bar also offers premium cocktails, approachable wines and North Carolina craft beers.

One of Raleigh’s most romantic venues got a new on-site catering and event management team. Mitchell•Casteel A Fine Catered Affair’s staff have elevated the experience that couples can expect to receive at the Park Alumni Center on N.C. State’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh. Whether you are a Wolfpack fan or not, the center’s elegant ambiance paired with Mitchell•Casteel’s food and service make for an excellent choice in venue.

A few more of our favorite venues have also gotten new on-site catering and event management teams. Rocky Top Catering, a Raleigh-based catering team with a reputation for exquisite cuisine, is now the exclusive catering company for The Cannon Room, Rose Hill Estate and The Power House at Rocky Mount Mills

Speaking of a powerhouse, North Carolina Museum of Art now partners with Catering Works as its catering company. The draw of the venue’s contemporary architecture, light-filled galleries and outdoor sculpture gardens are made all that more appetizing now that it has a professional event catering staff on-site. To see wedding inspiration at NCMA, turn to page 232.

62 heartofncweddings.com
The gazebo at Union Grove Farm in Chapel Hill is the perfect location for a first look. Photo by Cirque91 Photography
THERE’S A PLACE IN CARY where you’ll always feel welcome... Make memories of a lifetime on our Terrace, dance the night away in our private event space, and enjoy connecting with family and friends in our 44 guest rooms and suites located in the heart of historic downtown Cary. Sincerely, THEMAYTON.COM ANNA ROUTH PHOTOGRAPHY 53 guest rooms • seasonal food & drink highlighting local ingredients • mid-century design in downtown Durham • thedurham.com ART BY COURT WINTERRADIAN PHOTOGRAPHYHER HUES
Memories grow here. hayfieldmurchisonfarms.com @hayfieldevents Located in Liberty, NC Photos by Becca Rizzo Photography & Jodi Gray Photography

know the mantra: location, location, location. Just steps away from Raleigh’s Five Points, Person Street and Mordecai neighborhoods, Whitaker & Atlantic takes industrial chic to a new level with mile-high ceilings and exposed pipes too pretty to hide. Owner Coleen Speaks opened the event space in fall 2017 after watching the energy surrounding the area unfold for some time

bars within

68 heartofncweddings.com ou
(there are three breweries and several
walking distance to keep the party going). 
Heart of NC Weddings Vendors Venue Whitaker & Atlantic / Photographer Fancy This Photography / Dress Vow’d Weddings / Hair & Makeup Pinup Studio Formalwear Bernard’s Formalwear / Caterer PoshNosh Catering / Stationery Taylored Script Co. / Florals Sweet Love Blossoms / Rentals CE Rental Cake & Desserts Sugar Euphoria / Entertainment ZimZoom Photo Booth / DJ Stylus S.E.
heartofncweddings.com 69
The couple photographed in this editorial, Hannah Lee and Brendan Marks, wore two looks: a tulle dress from Vow’d Weddings and a black tuxedo from Bernard’s Formalwear.

“I wanted to create a wedding day design that mixed both the romantic and luxe with the industrial modern,” says Heart of NC Weddings Editorial Shoot Director Becca Taylor.

This styled shoot, designed by Heart of NC Weddings Editorial Shoot Director Becca Taylor, romanticizes the 3,500-square-foot indoor room and its adjoining three-season porch with velvety textiles, sexy suede linens and the emergence of spring’s most delicate floral varieties. The butter yellow, dewy gray and eggshell tones that grace these thoughtful design details elicit a delicate theme that’s trending this season. Complementing the soft, poetic mood, Justine De Angelo of Sweet Love Blossoms created fresh, tender blooms and bouquets that spill over every frame. This cheerful story was captured by Fancy This Photography’s Nikki Whitt Belch, and we are wholeheartedly moved.

“I wanted to create a wedding day design that mixed both the romantic and luxe with the industrial modern,” Becca says. “To pull in the romantic and luxe nods, I selected more neutral colors in our floral and linen designs. To pull in the modern and industrial vibes, I used matte textures in our linens … [and] emerald green velvet napkins to allude to a more formal look.”

70 heartofncweddings.com Venues
heartofncweddings.com 71

Brendan Marks and Hannah Lee pose together in a ZimZoom Photo Booth. The pair got engaged in August 2021, less than two months after this styled shoot took place.

A wedding can be planned in any number of ways, but it’s this seemingly simple act of gathering – in its many meaningful forms – that makes a story come to life. The couple photographed in this editorial, myself and Brendan Marks, wore two looks (we’re poring over these classic vintage styles): an embellished and embroidered short-sleeved tulle dress from Vow’d Weddings (Raleigh’s newest wedding dress shop!) and a black tuxedo from Bernard’s Formalwear as well as a ballgown dress with a deep plunging V-neckline and a white tuxedo with black full satin shawl lapel. Pinup Studio’s Adena Stowe chose a smoky bronzed eye with nude lipstick and a boho messy updo – an ideal look for any dress, really.

72 heartofncweddings.com Venues

LEFT Savory appetizers by PoshNosh Catering.

BELOW LEFT Fine china, flatware, glassware and a hunter green napkin from CE Rental and a dinner menu by Taylored Script Co.


A warm marble wedding cake by Sugar Euphoria.

heartofncweddings.com 73

Sweet Love Blossoms artfully adorned a copper wedding arch with creamy-colored floral varieties, which transformed the historical warehouse into an old-world garden escape – highlighting the chameleon character of this charming, unique space. The head table was dressed in tuscany dawn blue linens and then decorated with flatware, glassware and dishware from CE Rental before finishing the tablescape with embossed menus, calligraphy place cards and an elegant banner (with lyrics from Taylor Swift’s “Invisible String,”) by Taylor Siler of Taylored Script Co.

Seeing the day unfold with effortless elegance and every corner flanked with breathtaking installations gave me and Brendan plenty of ideas to plan our own local wedding. Of course, the end-of-day photo-ops with ZimZoom Photo Booth and dancing with DJ Spencer McAvoy of Stylus S.E. definitely raised the bar on expectations for our big day.

74 heartofncweddings.com
Heart of NC Weddings Editorial Shoot Director Becca Taylor repurposed a ceremony arch by Sweet Love Blossoms and calligraphy banner by Taylored Script Co. as decorations for a Stylus S.E. DJ booth.
heartofncweddings.com 75 Where your DAY turns into your WEEKEND and your Memories last a lifetime IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN RALEIGH In His Image Photography KATHERINE MILES JONES PHOTOGRAPHYOLIVIA SURIANO PHOTOGRAPHY 1053 East Whitaker Mill Road Raleigh, NC whitakerandatlantic.com 919.301.8587 AVERY WOOTEN PHOTOGRAPHY A MODERN SPACE FOR ALL OCCASIONS
A family-run farm with a 4,000 square foot air conditioned post and beam barn with newly completed restrooms. The venue is surrounded by vineyards, orchards, waterfalls and gardens just minutes outside of Chapel Hill. events@uniongrovefarm.com uniongrovefarm.com / uniongrovefarm PHOTOGRAPHY BY LIVE VIEW STUDIOS
BRIDAL LUNCHEONS / REHEARSAL DINNERS / WEDDING CEREMONIES & RECEPTIONS 3100 Tower Blvd., 17th Floor Durham, NC 919.493.8099 www.universityclubnc.com Sponsorships available. Nancy Ray Photography Halftone Studios Walters & Walters Walters & Walters In His Image UNIVERSITY CLUB in the Penthouse Suite of University Tower in Durham
heartofncweddings.com 79 Luxury Wedding Venue in the Heart of Downtown Raleigh 500 N. Blount St., Raleigh, NC 27604 MERRIMONWYNNE.COM PHOTO BY JORDAN MAUNDER PHOTOGRAPHY SIX FOOT PHOTOGRAPHY TIFFANY JOHNSON PHOTOGRAPHY TIFFANY JOHNSON PHOTOGRAPHY oaklandfarmvenue.com events@oaklandfarmvenue.com 919.352.8247

any couples refuse to host a summer wedding in North Carolina due to the sweltering heat and humidity. Addie Thompson, owner of Dogwood Gatherings and Events, gladly accepted the challenge. On July 11, 2021, Addie and a team of event professionals brought the cool elegance of a garden-style party inside Oakland Farm to create refreshing summer wedding inspirations. Located on 18 acres of forest and pastures in Bear Creek, North Carolina, Oakland Farm has multiple indoor and outdoor event spaces that can accommodate up to 400 guests. Couples can opt to celebrate with friends and family on one of the farm’s two patios, or say “I do” in either the grand outdoor pavilion or inside the heated/air-conditioned barn. Oakland Farm’s exposed wood and rustic stone fireplace looked lush on this hot summer day, with flowers and decor in soft peaches, muted oranges, textural whites and bright lime green - a color palette not often selected for barn venues. 

80 heartofncweddings.com
Heart of NC Weddings Vendors Planner Dogwood Gatherings and Events | Venue Oakland Farm | Photographer jHagan Photography Rentals CE Rental | Dress White of Raleigh | Cake Edible Art Bakery & Dessert Café
heartofncweddings.com 81
Real-life couple Chelsea Tucker and Brittany Tucker, who’ve been married for three years, got to play newlyweds a for a second time as models for this styled shoot.

“We specifically wanted to bring a modern/elegant style to this shoot to show couples the versatility of a barn wedding - it doesn’t have to be all rustic and burlap,” Addie explains.

Another one of Addie’s goals was to assemble a team of vendors and models who celebrate diversity and inclusion. After three years of marriage, real-life couple Chelsea Tucker and Brittany Tucker got to play newlyweds for a second time as models. Chelsea looked stunning in a fitted, lace wedding dress designed by Angel Rivera from White of Raleigh. Her bouquet, designed by KatieDid Florals, popped when held in front of the dress and a modern five-piece backdrop from Revel NC. Brittany wore a bespoke vest and pantsuit by Joseph Abboud - a classy and comfortable outfit for an outdoor summer ceremony. Jennifer Hagan of jHagan Photography captured the

82 heartofncweddings.com

couple’s chemistry on camera as they strolled from the outdoor ceremony to the indoor reception.

Green floral linens, rose gold flatware and white fine china, all provided by CE Rental, adorned tables inside the barn. Additional details included Champagne napkins twisted into the shape of a rose, greenery dripping off an antler chandelier and a neon sign that read “Better Together” hung above the fireplace. Last, but certainly not least, a five-tier wedding cake by Edible Art Bakery & Dessert Café featuring a gold lattice design on the first tier and a waterfall of peach and vendela roses flowing down the top two tiers was the icing on top of this styled shoot’s garden theme.

Additional Vendors Curve Beauty Design, Poppy & Co., Joseph Abboud, Revel NC, Minted, Decoraciones Sonia, Vintage Scoops, KatieDid Florals, Something Tousled

heartofncweddings.com 83 Venues
84 heartofncweddings.com

ABOVE The couple enjoys sweet treats from Vintage Scoops ice cream trailer.

BELOW Addie Thompson, owner of Dogwood Gatherings and Events, sets the table for the styled shoot at Oakland Farm. KatieDid Florals designed the flower arrangements and CE Rental provided the flatware, china and linens, including Champagne napkins twisted into the shape of a rose.

LEFT The five-tier wedding cake was created by Edible Art Bakery & Dessert Café.

heartofncweddings.com 85 Venues
86 heartofncweddings.com
Chelsea Tucker stands in front of the stunning fireplace at Oakland Farm in a fitted lace dress designed by Angel Rivera from White of Raleigh.
SOUTHERN. MODERN. INDUSTRIAL. 964 Marvin Hedrick Road Lexington, NC 27292 boardandbattenevents.com 336.793.1155 estled on 60 acres of rolling hills, Board & Batten is a wedding and event venue near High Rock Lake, NC. From the moment you book an event you will be treated like family. Hospitality is at our heartbeat, so we take care of every detail in order for you to enjoy an enchanting evening that you and your guests will remember for years to come. Jessi Caparella Photography Natalea Kelly Photography Cheyenne Kidd Photography
510 West Martin St., Raleigh NC 27601 919.645.2762 unionstation@raleighnc.gov yorkproperties.com Raleigh Union Station Make a Statement with this Downtown Raleigh Architectural Landmark. Photos by: Richard Barlow Photography Make a Statement with this Downtown Raleigh Architectural Landmark. ALL PHOTOS BY ARIKA JORDAN PHOTOGRAPHY
heartofncweddings.com 89
90 heartofncweddings.com Your venue for the well-curated guest list. 100 or less
ENHANCED BY SINCERE CONNECTIONS THAT CULTIVATE AN ELEVATED GUEST EXPERIENCE IN A RARE AND UNIQUE PIECE OF HISTORY colonialinn-nc.com 984.789.4455 153 W. King Street, Hillsborough, NC LOCATED IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN HILLSBOROUGH Destiny Clayton, Clayton Made Media award-winning on-site accommodations wedding planner & two nights in the honeymoon suite included Photo Credit

styled wedding that embraces modern luxury and showcases Black event professionals took place at Carolina Grove in Hillsborough in June 2021. Natelege Bryant, owner and executive chef of Durham-based catering business Virginia & Co., collaborated with several women- and minority-owned vendors from the Triangle to create what she described as “magic.”

Her goal was to flip the traditional concept of “royal weddings” on its head. She says she intentionally selected models –including her friends, husband-and-wife duo Olufemi Adeniyi and Jamecia Adeniyi – who represent the diverse spectrum of beautiful Black skin that she sees in her daily life.

Heart of NC Weddings Vendors Planner Virginia & Co. | Venue Carolina Grove | Rentals CE Rental and American Party Rentals / Cake Sugar Euphoria

92 heartofncweddings.com
heartofncweddings.com 93
Husband-and-wife duo Jamecia Adeniyi and Olufemi Adeniyi model at wedding and event venue Carolina Grove in Hillsborough.

In honor of Olufemi’s Nigerian heritage, Chef Natelege Bryant’s catering menu from Virginia & Co. included classic Nigerian dishes like crab and yam pepper soup, and jollof rice.

In honor of Olufemi’s Nigerian heritage, Chef Natelege’s menu included some classic Nigerian dishes such as jollof rice, and crab and yam pepper soup. She elevated the soup by presenting it in a squash bowl with a crab leg for garnish.

Sugar Euphoria owner Randi Smith designed a multitiered cake with different shapes, patterns and hues of green to represent the diversity and lushness of Africa, Chef Natelege says. Small layers of edible 24-karat gold were the icing on top of this regal cake (literally), which was displayed on an emerald velvet linen with black taper candles, tropical flowers and palm branches.

Floral designer Shannon Hill of Élan House used tropical greenery of varying heights to add to the luxurious theme. Leaves from monsteras, a popular house plant, served as charger plates while palm fronds and banana leaves crowned peacock chairs as a symbol of Black culture and royalty, Chef Natelege says. Fresh basil, mint and rosemary were woven into the floral arrangements, which added to the food-centric story of this styled wedding.

94 heartofncweddings.com Venues
heartofncweddings.com 95


This was Chef Natelege’s first time working at Carolina Grove. She says that venue owner Melissa O’Hara was amazing to work with and that she understood the vision for the styled wedding.

“One of the venue team members, Aya Cuenca, worked with us for the two days we were at Carolina Grove,” says Chef Natelege. “She was so hands-on and was cheering us on from the sidelines! It’s a gorgeous venue, but I think the true reason it is a gem is because of the owner and team members.”

All three bride models wore dazzling black gowns – an eyecatching, modern look. Black elbow-length gloves added to the royal-chic wardrobe theme. The groom wore a green jewel-toned suit. Stylist Sia Gattis of Sia DeKarle Style & Design found fabric with an African print to drape around him, which added a regal touch. Instead of a boutonniere, they used a jeweled brooch.

“I believe that representation matters, and I know that readers everywhere are people of color and will love seeing this beautiful Black couple and see themselves in them,” Chef Natelege says.

“I believe that representation matters, and I know that readers everywhere are people of color and will love seeing this beautiful Black couple and see themselves in them,” Chef Natelege says.

96 heartofncweddings.com
Additional Vendors Brett Seay Photography, Élan House, BooHoo, Sia DeKarle Style & Design, Robyn Mitch Hair Studio, Amber Lynne Beauty, JM Creative Designs, Amber Majette, B-Bar Farm & Tack Shop and Greenhouse Picker Sisters PHOTO BY AJ DUNLAP PHOTOGRAPHY
WEDDING RECEPTIONS • CELEBRATIONS • CORPORATE EVENTS • BAR & BAT MITZVAH’S • CELEBRATIONS OF LIFE Venue Capacity of 350 with 3 Levels including Ballroom, Rooftop, Game room and elegant Bridal Room All caterers welcome • 450 W FRANKLIN STREET | CHAPEL HILL | 919-914-6032 • www.thestoryvenue.com FOR THE TIMELESS CHAPTERS in your life
heartofncweddings.com 99 2200 W. MAIN ST. DURHAM I 919.286.9712 WWW.PARIZADEDURHAM.COM rehearsal dinners I ceremonies I receptions Mediterranean Flavors at Play Megan Morales Photography Megan Morales PhotographyMegan Morales Photography thehibiscusraleigh.com �: @thehibiscusraleigh � @thehibiscusraleigh 3209 Gresham Lake Rd, #146 Raleigh, NC 27615 919.727.9354 The Perfect Venue for Every Event Host Up to 550 guests Photos by Elegant Invites

Here to Stay: Microweddings

Small-scale events aren’t going anywhere. Learn why and where to host them.

Microweddings – weddings with fewer than 50 guests – became a popular alternative at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many couples who downsized their weddings were happy with the intimate event they hosted. Some couples even said that they would not have had it any other way.

As COVID-19 continues to be a factor in event planning, local wedding professionals have accepted that smaller shindigs are here to stay ... and maybe that’s not a bad thing. Here’s why:

“When you have a microwedding, you have more options for your event,” says Joye Speight, owner and chief event designer at Virtue Events. “You have the ability to make sure that all your guests are safe and

100 heartofncweddings.com
Host an intimate wedding at Durham’s Belt Line Station. Photo by Kivus & Camera
Our Best Tips
Situated under Raleigh’s iconic oak trees, our Mediterranean Rooftop has received many accolades for it’s romantic, relaxing, and inviting atmosphere. TavernaAgora.com A unique VENUE FOR YOUR unique LOVE STORY Cynthia Viola Photography Keep our other downtown Raleigh event space in mind for your special events: Email Events@VidrioRaleigh.com for private event inquires. VidrioRaleigh.com | 919.803.6033 | 500 Glenwood Ave. Suite 100, Raleigh, NC

you have more opportunities to craft a unique experience by adjusting your budget to include custom features, like the tabletop you always dreamed about. … The best designs are when the couple is intentional about telling their story through every part of their event, including food and beverage displays, decor and entertainment.”

“If there is one thing we have seen an increase in within the last year and a half, it’s more intentional decision making in terms of guest lists,” says Meagan Culkin, owner of Magnolia Collective Weddings + Events. “We even had several couples who chose to have a small

wedding in 2020, and when it came time to reschedule their larger celebrations, they opted to skip them, since the smaller celebrations were more in line with what they had wanted in the first place.”


“One of our favorites is the use of family china for place settings,” says The Parlour at Manns Chapel co-owner Aimee Flynn. “With a smaller guest count, a grandmother’s dishes can add a level of intimacy and is a perfect way to honor someone. We love seeing this sweet detail.” 

102 heartofncweddings.com
Our Best Tips
Sally Oakley Weddings & Events planned this Raleigh wedding at Saint Mary’s Chapel. Photo by Azul Photography
Photos by Radian Photography

“We had one couple who chose to host their wedding and reception at the bride’s parents house with a total of 19 people,” Meagan says. “Because they had such an intimate guest list, we were able to serve a four-course meal complete with a personal chef. They hired a string quartet and a sommelier for the reception, and the entire evening was spent sharing stories about the couple and just enjoying time with their favorite people. In almost 10 years of business, it remains one of my favorite weddings we ever had the privilege of planning.”


“Let’s debunk the myth that intimate weddings are less expensive,” Joye says. “The more custom your event gets, the more you will spend. Remember that most caterers have a guest count or minimum spending limit (a 20-person minimum or a $2,000 minimum, for example). You will still have to pay your vendors their rate based on the amount of time you have them engaged.”

“People are much more in tune with their mental health these days, and it is simply not enjoyable for every couple to be placed at the center of attention in a room full of 200-plus people who they may or may not have a close relationship with,” Meagan says. “If your wedding day is something that you need to ‘make it through’ because you are too uncomfortable being the center of attention all day, a more intimate celebration with your closest family and friends is an excellent option!”

“The biggest challenge for couples seems to be an obligation to invite everyone they know, or they feel duty-bound to add friends and coworkers of their parents,” Aimee says. “Cutting guests may seem tough at first, but if 2020 and 2021 taught us anything, it’s that the list of those who are most important to us became clear. We counsel our couples to find the courage to consider this and create an event that is all their own. We encourage them to examine their lifestyle. When they aren’t required to subscribe to the traditional expectations, the challenges fall away, and the inspiration begins.”

104 heartofncweddings.com
This intimate June 2021 wedding took place at The Parlour at Manns Chapel. Photo by Krystal Kast Photography
Our Best Tips
Sheraton Chapel Hill One Europa Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 919.968.4900 Hampton Inn & Suites Chapel Hill/Durham 6121 Farrington Rd Chapel Hill, NC 919.403.8700 Hampton Inn & Suites Carrboro/Chapel Hill 370 E Main Street Unit 100 Carrboro, NC 919.969.6988 Holiday Inn Express Chapel Hill 6119 Farrington Rd Chapel Hill, NC 919.489.7555 Courtyard by Marriott Chapel Hill 100 Marriott Way Chapel Hill, NC 919.883.0700 Tru by Hilton Chapel Hill 1742 Fordham Blvd Chapel Hill, NC 984.322.5601 Newly Renovated!
4500 MARRIOTT DRIVE, RALEIGH, NC 27612 919-571-5345 | RALEIGHMARRIOTT.COM Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley
Sam Jasper
Peter Nguyen Photography
Joe Payne Photography
4100 Main at North Hills Street, Raleigh, NC 27609 (919) 571-8773 renaissanceraleigh.com TRULY MIDTOWN. TRULY RALEIGH. TRULY RENAISSANCE. In His Image Photography Megan Kerns Photographyf8 Photo Studios
Morgan Caddell Photography Morgan Caddell Photography Missy Loves Photography
Fancy This Photography

Ben and Sandra celebrate their May 2021 wedding with a honeymoon photo shoot at the Outer Banks. Photo by Mark Maya Photography

Coastal Planning Tips

Local pros share their best beach wedding advice

Imagine walking down a sandy aisle toward your soul mate during the golden hour, with the Atlantic Ocean as your backdrop. If having a wedding on the North Carolina coast is your dream, find out what local experts have to say about planning the perfect day.

• Planning an intimate beach wedding with 50 guests or fewer?

Ask venues and vendors if they offer elopement packages. Keep in mind, the number of guests who accept your wedding invitation will most likely be higher than normal. People are ready and willing to safely celebrate you!

• Send save the dates early so that your wedding guests have extra time to make travel arrangements.


• North Carolina hurricane season runs roughly from June through the end of November. Don’t let this stop you from planning a coastal wedding within that time frame. Create a backup plan within an indoor event space where you can smoothly move the ceremony/reception in case of rain.

• Most beach access points on the Outer Banks are public and not available to rent for private use. One way to secure a spot is to set up early. If someone is a bit close for comfort, politely ask if they mind moving farther away so that you can begin setting up your decor and chairs if you are having a seated ceremony.

• There is no maximum or minimum number of people who can attend your ceremony on public beaches.

• However, we encourage booking a venue with private beach access to ensure that you’ll have a private and romantic beach wedding.

• Remember: you are competing with local and out-of-state couples who view the North Carolina coast as a destination. Book your venue and priority vendors ASAP.

• The latest beach wedding trends: Flowy dresses, jewel tones, natural elements with bright pops of color and a mix of patterns.

“Think of having a shoe valet or shoe station and/or a de-sanding station (you could even do personalized flip-flops that people can wear for the beach portion)! Check to see if you need a beach permit and also consider the number of people and noise levels.”

Cara Cartee, CMC Events & Travel

“Visit New Bern’s team has the ability to work with local venues, hotels and bed and breakfasts as well as caterers to streamline the wedding planning process. This service ensures that your special day is one that both you and your guests will remember. New Bern’s spring and fall seasons are ideal for couples who desire an outdoor wedding. One of New Bern’s strengths is its variety of venues, which enable couples to tie the knot throughout the year.”

Melissa Riggle, Visit New Bern

“Depending on what you are comfortable with, every season is perfect for a beach wedding! People automatically assume that summer would be the best time for a beach wedding because that’s when most people take vacations. However, unless you are getting married in a swimsuit, it can be quite uncomfortable for the wedding party and guests to be in the blazing North Carolina heat while in formal attire, with makeup and everything else going on. Once you get into late September and October, the weather mellows out so that you can have a beautiful beach wedding without sweating through your clothes.”

Nate Roberts, Outer Banks Wedding Association

110 heartofncweddings.com
Outer Bank s Where the sun sets perfectlyon weddings every season plan your perfect day... sanderling-resort.com/ido or email weddings@sanderling-resort.com Photo Credit: Digital Wunderland

the Luxury you deserve

Affordable Dream Weddings 8 Venue Spaces - 60,000 Square Foot Clubhouse - Riverfront Amenities Two Top 40 Golf Courses - Luxury Suites & Cottages On-Site Catering Prepared By Award Winning Chef - & So Much More R IV ERLAND IN G.com
AXTELL Photography
heartofncweddings.com 113 (800) 975-9565 | ORIENTAL, NC | RiveRDunesWeDDings.com Celebrate Forever on the Coast Fall in love with this picture-perfect coastal destination and let forever begin on the shores of NC. The harborside setting, quaint chapel and luxurious accommodations are only the beginning. Photography: Cynthia Rose Photography & River Dunes Planning your destination wedding begins here. obxwa.com @obxwa hello@obxwa.com Request a Free Magazine Browse Local Vendors Attend Annual Expos The Outer Banks of North Carolina KASEY POWELL WEDDINGS



As the
sets on your special day, you and your
can continue the celebration in New Bern. Our vibrant downtown is lined with trendy boutiques, restaurants, and a beer district. Try On New Bern to experience the event of a lifetime. www.VisitNewBern.com
You’re Invited...To make your memories of a lifetime in a timeless setting, at a place like no other. • Historic Elegance • Picturesque Gardens • Southern Charm Cynthia Rose Photography 252-288-3820 tryonpalace.org/weddings RSVP

Wedding at


• Breathtaking waterfront views of the Neuse and Trent Rivers—perfect for outdoor ceremony or reception • Accommodations available for large and/or small guest lists • Walking distance to hotels and downtown restaurants and shopping • Experienced vendors provide turn-key planning • Flexible facility provides both formal and casual decor options Reasons to Book Your
THE VIEW at New Bern Riverfront Convention Center Call (252) 637-1551 to schedule a site visit and start planning the wedding of your dreams! www.RiverfrontConventionCenter.com Introducing




the heart of

Inns, has four well-appointed



of which


2,000 square foot outdoor patio, main interior

220 Pollock St. New Bern, NC 28560 All Photos by Cynthia Rose Photography The perfect
wedding weekend awaits you at
beautifully restored historic home in
downtown New
NC. The
at 220 is a part of Select Registry’s Distinguished
bedrooms and
spaces, including their
and speakeasy-style pub –all
are available for your upcoming special event. info@thejarvisat220.com 252.631.1452 thejarvisat220.com @thejarvisat220 @thejarvisat220

Ceremony Certainty

Advice on how to plan a meaningful wedding ceremony

Options for a personalized reception are endless, but don’t forget about all the ways you can personalize your ceremony! You may be hesitant to add your own touch for the sake of time or for the fear of public speaking, but a meaningful ceremony better communicates your love story to family and friends. Here’s some advice on how to do just that, from writing vows to incorporating cultural rituals:

Our top recommendation is to select a local wedding officiant who is committed to representing and honoring both you and your betrothed together in one ceremony. Professional officiants have the experience and knowledge to make your ceremony unique to your relationship.

118 heartofncweddings.com
The Dogwood Ballroom at Paramount Event Venue in Morrisville. Photo by Missy Loves Jerry Photography
Our Best Tips

Rev. Katherine Dupree

specializes in ceremonies for all couples and values genuine conversations about love, family and spirituality. She aims to create ceremonies true to the couple’s backgrounds and beliefs by approaching each client as a friend and building a real relationship with them. “I take a connection-first approach,” Katherine says. “I spend however long it takes with a couple to get an understanding of the kind of ceremony that will feel meaningful and authentic to them.”

Rev. Katherine Dupree officiated a styled wedding with real-life couple Lindsey Tripp and Molly Robinson. Photo by Wendy Jade Photography

Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant Gwen Downs moved from New Jersey to North Carolina and has crafted and officiated wedding ceremonies since 2014. “As a celebrant, I use my specialized skills in ceremony creation and rituals to design a unique

Jayme Wappel and Clancy Mullan shared vows at The Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary. Photo by Morgan Caddell Photography

and memorable wedding ceremony reflecting the couple’s personalities, love story, beliefs, values and cultural backgrounds,” Gwen says. “I will customize every element of their ceremony with their collaboration, assist them on the traditional elements they’d like to include, write their love story, ask family and friends for their input, and tell it the way it happened to the delight of everyone in attendance.”

heartofncweddings.com 119
Ceremonies as unique as your love story Serving Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill & the surrounding areas raleighofficiant.com • 919.446.3388 • gwen@raleighofficiant.com Photos (left to right): Merritt Chesson Photography, Laney Logan Photography & Amelya Jayne PhotographyEl Pictures
The Cornealius Properties
NC • Home of the Birdsong Chapel thecornealiusproperties.com


unforgettable hospitality

EXPLORECHARLESTON.COM ANDELL INN andellinn.com WILD DUNES RESORT wilddunesresort.com LOWCOUNTRY CONFERENCE CENTER lowcountryconferencecenter.com HOTEL BENNETT hotelbennett.com THE MILLS HOUSE millshouse.com THE DEWBERRY thedewberrycharleston.com KIAWAH ISLAND GOLF RESORT kiawahresort.com EMELINE hotelemeline.com BELMOND CHARLESTON PLACE belmond.com
Charleston, South Carolina’s award-winning accommodations exemplify a timeless devotion to service, delivering on romance, nostalgia, and the delights that often only come with age and experience. Discover unforgettable hospitality in Charleston.

In Charleston, hospitality is part of our culture, part of our heritage. It’s who we are, as reliable as the rhythm of the changing tides. Like you, we’ve had to take a break from the world beyond our homes. But now we’re rediscovering everything anew, and we invite you to join us. From full-service resorts to inviting waterfront cottages, Charleston offers something for every travel style. Find everything needed to plan your special day at CharlestonWeddingGuide.com.

Mountain Planning Tips

Local pros share their best mountain wedding advice

North Carolina’s beautiful Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains are a dreamy setting for couples looking to have a nearby destination wedding. With an amazing climate, jaw-dropping views and unique, local vendors, the mountains provide endless event options. To make planning a mountain wedding a breeze, read our tips below.

• North Carolina’s mountains have some hidden gem small towns that make perfect wedding weekend destinations. Towns like Highlands, Cashiers, Sylva, Banner Elk and Blowing Rock have small-town charm and sweeping views of the picturesque scenery. Couples looking for a bigger city or industrial-style venue might enjoy the City of Asheville’s downtown, with bars, restaurants and shopping galore.

• Each season in the North Carolina mountains provides unique weather and is important to consider when planning a wedding in any region of the mountains. Fall is a popular tourist season for the region. Aside from the cool temperatures, the beautiful gradient of changing leaves will leave you and your guests speechless. Be aware that booking travel and stays during the fall should be done far in advance to secure your spot among leaf enthusiasts! Winter is cozy and quaint in the mountains.

Holiday lights and snow flurries will have you wanting to cozy up to the fire or venture out to the many ski slopes in the area. Springtime brings cool temperatures and beautiful bright greens across the mountain ridges. Lastly, summertime in the North Carolina mountains is a well-kept secret. With elevation keeping humidity and temperatures at bay, the summer months rarely see weather above 85 degrees. Your guests will enjoy local attractions like swimming in rivers and lakes, mountain biking and touring wineries during the summertime. Dance the night away at an outdoor mountain wedding in the summer without the heat of Central and Eastern North Carolina!

• Venue options in western North Carolina vary depending on your personal style and location choice. You’ll find rustic and renovated barns, quaint inns and chapels, summer camps, mountain lodges, beautiful mountain chateaus, ski lodges and downtown warehouses.

• Interested in highlighting the flavors of Western North Carolina? Food and drink in this region have a heavy focus on local, farmto-table fare. Enjoy fresh trout, organic fruits and vegetables and Southern classics like biscuits and grits. As for alcohol, take your

124 heartofncweddings.com Venues
Downtown Asheville’s chic new property, The Foundry Hotel offers hot air balloon microweddings for adventurous couples. Photo by Fancy This Photography.

pick of many regional wineries and breweries - Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Asheville is a destination within itself! Some of these wineries and breweries even make great venues for rehearsal dinners and receptions. Check out Banner Elk Winery and Grandfather Winery in the High Country if you’re looking specifically for a winery venue.

• Are your guests looking for things to do in the region? In Western North Carolina, you’re never far from amazing trails, freshwater swimming spots, ski slopes, or shopping. The Blue Ridge Parkway runs the length of most of North Carolina’s mountains, providing beautiful views from the car and access to some of the most popular hikes in the state. Guests can also enjoy access points on the Appalachian Trail or the iconic Grandfather Mountain, Mt. Mitchell, or Chimney Rock parks.

• Want to run away to the mountains for an intimate ceremony or elopement? Popular locations include Wiseman’s Overlook,

Beacon Heights and Rough Ridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Inquire about permits for small ceremonies or elopements at local scenic overlooks.

• Planning a mountain bachelor or bachelorette weekend? Consider a unique local excursion like rafting or hiking. Or inquire with a local rafting guide about tubing, they even throw in an extra tube for your drink cooler! Feeling more adventurous? The region also offers amazing climbing, fly fishing and kayaking tours. Maybe your idea of getting outside is shopping or lounging by the pool? Don’t worry. Quaint small towns offer incredible downtown boutiques and outfitters, while Asheville offers bigger name retailers and unique, bohemian shops scattered through downtown.

In need of a beautiful, romantic stay after the big day? Choose from hundreds of charming inns, restored motor lodges, or upscale hotels, lodges and resorts.

heartofncweddings.com 125
Rebecca Johnson and Ryan Davis share a kiss atop Beech Mountain at Overlook Barn wedding and event venue. Photo by Fancy This Photography.

Overlook Barn is a uniquely chic wedding venue atop Beech Mountain, North Carolina with breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With the stunning 7000+ squarefoot Overlook Barn, elegant 1000 square-foot Cliffside Barn, and multi-acre Mary’s Meadow, we have endless possibilities for indoor/outdoor celebrations ranging from elopements and microweddings to 250-person seated events. Overlook Barn is a sought after destination venue with infinite possibilities in our own state!

Ashley Olson Photography Michelle Lyerly Photography Richard Barlow Photography Perry Vaile Photography Amanda Sutton Photography Richard Barlow Photography


128 heartofncweddings.com


Wedding dresses, on average, cost about $2,500, but can range from $500 to $20,000. Tuxedo/suit rentals average out at $175 and include the coat, pants, shirt, vest, tie and shoes. Expect to pay $275+ for a suit or tuxedo purchase, which comes with the coat and pants. Hair and makeup for the bride can range from $200 to $500 with a trial run. Hair and makeup for bridesmaids typically costs $100 to $250 per person.


Purchase your wedding dress one year to 10 months before the big day. Have your first fitting two months out and a final fitting one week out. Purchase or rent your tuxedo / suit four to six months out. We recommend that your wedding party members follow the same timeline due to high demand and shipping delays.


Don’t forget to budget for shoes, accessories, jewelry or additional self-care treatments such as nails, hair removal, skin care treatments and spa services. 

heartofncweddings.com 129
Model Chermere Carr in a dress from Vow’d Weddings, jewelry from Jewelsmith, and hair and makeup by Reign Beauty, holds a bouquet by Folie à Deux Events at Heights House Hotel.

ome people know exactly what they want to wear on their wedding day – perhaps you prefer satin and sleeveless, or lace and sweetheart necklines – and some people don’t know until they try it on. Either way, you want to look and feel your best for one of the biggest milestones in your life. Discover local wedding dress boutiques, formalwear stores, jewelers, beauty experts and event professionals within the pages of this fashion editorial. 



THIS PAGE: Dress Alto from Vow’d Weddings

Bridesmaids Dresses Jenny Yoo from Bella Bridesmaids


TOP LEFT: Bailey’s Fine Jewelry in Vow’d Weddings ring boxes

AT LEFT: Jewelsmith Models

AnnaLaura Erickson, Hannah Murdock and Rheanna Ried with UC Models.

AT RIGHT: Dress Annie by Truvelle from Gilded Bridal

Formalwear Bernard’s Formalwear

Jewelry Bailey’s Fine Jewelry Models

Carter Riley and Ashley McIntyre

130 heartofncweddings.com Fashion
Venue Heights House Hotel Photographer Jillian Knight Photography Florals Folie à Deux Events Hair & Makeup Reign Beauty Videographer Thomas Blake Films
heartofncweddings.com 131
132 heartofncweddings.com Fashion



Heights House Hotel


Jillian Knight



Folie à Deux


Hair & Makeup

Reign Beauty


Dress Kamala by Savin London from White of Raleigh, with matching veil Jewelry Jewelsmith Model Chermere Carr

THIS PAGE: Formalwear Bernard’s Formalwear

Jewelry Gemstone pendant from Jewelsmith


McCae Henderson and fiancé Ike Edwards

Heart of NC Weddings Editorial Shoot Director Becca Taylor led this styled shoot at Heights House Hotel alongside enthusiastic creatives wearing face masks. In the weeks leading up to Sept. 7, 2021, our team carefully planned timelines, discussed color palettes and studied the Heights House Hotel’s floor plan. Walk through the front gate, down the brick pathway and right into this magical venue through Jillian Knight Photography’s digital and film photos.

When you see a dress, tuxedo, accessory or style that speaks to you in these pages, book an appointment with the vendor to find out if it’s the perfect fit for you.

heartofncweddings.com 133


134 heartofncweddings.com Fashion
Venue Heights House Hotel Photographer Jillian Knight Photography Florals Folie à Deux Events Hair & Makeup Reign Beauty THIS PAGE: Dress Kelly Faetanini from Thornbury Brides Formalwear Bernard’s Formalwear Jewelry Bailey’s Fine Jewelry Models Daniel Pelliccia and wife Jennifer Pelliccia AT RIGHT: Dress Eddy K Couture from Thornbury Brides Jewelry Diamonds Direct Model Chermere Carr
heartofncweddings.com 135

The hair and makeup team, Reign Beauty, were amazing. They were a super friendly, professional, and talented group. I loved how my overall hair and makeup look came together. My favorite bridesmaid dress was the Dahlia Gemma Satin designed by Jenny Yoo from Bella Bridesmaids. The dress was so stunning and super flattering. In addition to all that, I was super comfortable the whole time while wearing it!”



Heights House Hotel


Jillian Knight Photography


Folie à Deux Events

Hair & Makeup

Reign Beauty


Marchesa for Pronovias from Thornbury Brides

Bridesmaids Dresses Jenny Yoo from Bella Bridesmaids


BRIDE: Jewelsmith BRIDESMAID IN CHAMPAGNE: Bailey’s Fine Jewelry BRIDESMAID IN GREEN: Jewelsmith

136 heartofncweddings.com Fashion
Models Hannah Murdock, Jennifer Pelliccia and AnnaLaura Erickson Hannah Murdock, model
heartofncweddings.com 137

My biggest piece of advice would be to not shop online! I hear women all the time say that they ordered over a dozen dresses online and none of them worked. It is always better to go into a store, to touch and feel the dress and to actually see it in person before purchasing.

Mary-Kannon Jefferson, assistant manager at Kannon’s Clothing


138 heartofncweddings.com Fashion
Venue Heights House Hotel Photographer Jillian Knight Photography Florals Folie à Deux Events Hair & Makeup Reign Beauty Dress Jovani from Kannon’s Clothing Formalwear Bernard’s Formalwear Jewelry Kannon’s Clothing Models Melany Paden and husband Antoine Paden
heartofncweddings.com 139



Venue Heights House Hotel

Hair & Makeup Reign Beauty

THIS PAGE: Dress Alexandra Grecco from Gilded Bridal Earrings Folie à Deux Events


Rheanna Ried, UC Model

AT RIGHT: Dress Romona Keveza from White of Raleigh Jewelry

Diamonds Direct

Model Chermere Carr

140 heartofncweddings.com
Photographer Jillian Knight Photography
heartofncweddings.com 141
142 heartofncweddings.com Fashion



Heights House Hotel


Jillian Knight



Hair & Makeup

Reign Beauty

Dress Keen from Vow’d Weddings

Bridesmaid Dress Gabriela by Jenny Yoo from Bella Bridesmaids Formalwear Bernard’s Formalwear

Jewelry Bailey’s Fine Jewelry


AnnaLaura Erickson and husband Scott Erickson and Jennifer Pelliccia, bridesmaid

For the bridesmaid look, I loved the deep, rich green color. The details of the burnout satin were amazing! That dress with the vintage estate jewelry from Bailey’s Fine Jewelry made for a perfect pairing. All of the vendors were fabulous. Jillian Knight Photography even made me feel comfortable and confident while in front of the camera.”

Jennifer Pelliccia, model

heartofncweddings.com 143
Floral Jewelry & Corsage Folie à Deux

All of the Gilded Bridal dresses I got to wear were so pretty, comfortable and easy to wear ... I’ve never tried wedding dresses on before and I think part of me wondered if trying on dresses would feel like theatre costuming - like I was dressing up and pretending to be someone else. But each gown was a delight to wear and I felt very much like myself in each one! I’ve spent a lot of the last year in house dresses and sweatpants, so getting dressed up and posing in beautiful clothes and jewelry with my favorite person, surrounded by beautiful florals and the stunning decor of the venue was such a fun and refreshing change of pace.


144 heartofncweddings.com
Fashion Venue Heights House Hotel Photographer Jillian Knight Photography Florals Folie à Deux Events Hair & Makeup Reign Beauty THIS PAGE: Dress Sienne Gown by Alexandra Grecco from Gilded Bridal Formalwear Bernard’s Formalwear Jewelry Bailey’s Fine Jewelry Models Carter Riley and Ashley McIntyre AT RIGHT: Formalwear Bernard’s Formalwear Boutonnière Folie à Deux Events Models McCae Henderson and Ike Edwards
heartofncweddings.com 145
146 heartofncweddings.com Fashion



Heights House Hotel


Jillian Knight



Folie à Deux


Hair & Makeup

Reign Beauty

Dress Ellis by Rose+Williams from Gilded Bridal


Bernard’s Formalwear

Diamond Ring Diamonds Direct


Scott Erickson and wife

AnnaLaura Erickson

Look at wedding dresses, hair and makeup as an extension of your personal style and try to pick a few descriptive words that align with your personal style and the overall vibe of your wedding. Specifically for dresses: Stay away from filtering by silhouette when choosing inspiration! I believe that if you go in with a vibe or style, the fit will choose you.

heartofncweddings.com 147

The Reign Beauty team was spot on and created a different beauty experience for me. I totally loved my hair and the makeup was flawless. I felt like a princess in the White of Raleigh layered, bubble tulle dress and the flow of the dress allowed me to move with comfort.”

Rheanna Ried

UC Models



Heights House Hotel


Jillian Knight Photography


Folie à Deux Events

Hair & Makeup

Reign Beauty


Rivini by Rita Vinieris from White of Raleigh

Formalwear Bernard’s Formalwear Jewelry Bailey’s Fine Jewelry

UC Models Trevor Thomas Wilson and Rheanna Ried

148 heartofncweddings.com Fashion
heartofncweddings.com 149


150 heartofncweddings.com Fashion
VENDORS Venue Heights House Hotel Photographer Jillian Knight Photography Florals Folie à Deux Events Hair & Makeup Reign Beauty Dresses Thornbury Brides Jewelry 1 Bailey’s Fine Jewelry 2 Bailey’s Fine Jewelry 3 Jewelsmith 4 Diamonds Direct Models Chermere Carr and Jennifer Pelliccia 1 2 3 4

Bridesmaids 101


It means that you are an invaluable person to your friend or relative who’s getting married. You have impacted their life in a positive way and, whether you realize it or not, you have helped them find love by being a good companion. On the surface, this is a glam role in which you get to sip bubbly and play dress up. But you need to be aware of the small-print details beyond the fun of this job. Here are 10 tips to help you be the best bridesmaid.



Follow the celebrant’s suggestions in selecting your dress. Expect shipping delays due to the pandemic. Order your dress at least three months in advance if you anticipate alterations.


Wedding planning is stressful on an ordinary day; add in pandemic-related problems and the wedding boom, and you could have one anxiety-ridden marrier on your hands. Our advice? Be there when your friend or relative comes to you, and help out however you can.


Two of a bridesmaid’s biggest responsibilities are planning the shower and bachelorette party. Don’t leave the maid of honor hanging – be a team player.


Follow requests for selecting shoes, jewelry and a purse for the wedding. That includes color, size and style.


Make sure your skin looks and feels good for all those wedding photo shoots! If you have tan lines, try to find a self-tanning product to help you create a no-line look.


Talk to the celebrant or the maid of honor one week out to ensure that you are prepared. Triple check the day, time, location and transportation for each event.


Get mani-pedis, facials or even waxed with the entire “I do” crew to look and feel your best on the big day. This is also a great opportunity to catch up with fellow bridesmaids.


Be the celebrant’s keeper of small items for touch-ups. This could include lipstick, extra eye makeup, blotting papers, the bride’s phone, mints and snacks!


If your celebrant has a large dress or a long train, help hold the dress when needed: bathroom breaks, bustling the dress for the reception and outfit changes.


Set the mood and keep the party alive! This wedding is important to someone who means a lot to you, so maintain the good vibes and make it a day to remember.

154 heartofncweddings.com
Bella Bridesmaids / Vow’d Weddings / Jewelsmith / Reign Beauty Folie à Deux Events / Heights House Hotel Photo by Jillian Knight Photography
Fashion &
heartofncweddings.com 155 2425 Kildaire Farm Rd., Suite #305 Cary, NC 27518 Be inspired. Experience a Bella Bridesmaids showroom for the largest selection of bridesmaids dresses. Franchise Opportunities Available By Appointment Only: Tuesday - Saturday Closed Sunday & Monday 919.594.1845 raleigh@bellabridesmaids.com bellabridesmaids.com Love. Family. Friends. Anchor & Veil Photography Texture Photo Liz Grogan Photography
At Pinup, we pride ourselves on creating an unforgettable experience with professionals who specialize in all looks from classic elegance to full on glam. Our full service salon is located in North Raleigh, and our mobile bridal suite is available to serve the Triangle and beyond. PINUPSTUDIONC.COM BRIDAL@PINUPSTUDIORALEIGH.COM INSTAGRAM: @PINUP_BRIDAL ALL PHOTOS BY CHERIE LYNNE PHOTOGRAPHY
PHOTO BY: AMANDA CASTLE PHOTOGRAPHY | GOWN DESIGNER: ROMONA KEVEZA | HAIR & MAKEUP: MENA GARCIA BEAUTY Comfortable, personal and all about you... whiteofraleigh.com 919.977.6008 311 Blake St., Raleigh @whitebridalboutiques
233 Middle St., New Bern, NC 28560 • info@thornburybrides.com • 252.631.5140 • @thornburybrides Book an Appointment Online at ThornburyBrides.com PHOTOS BY MEL O’BERRY PHOTOGRAPHY

A different kind of wedding brand

We believe every bride deserves an artisan quality dress at an honest price, and a shopping experience that’s uncomplicated and fun.

Now Open in Raleigh & Charlotte


All About the Tux

How to find the perfect wedding suit or tuxedo

There are a lot of details to consider when selecting a suit or tuxedo for yourself, friends or family members. Where do you shop? Are you buying, renting or looking for something custom? Keep reading to make sense of it all.


Keith Smith, operations manager of Bernard’s Formalwear in Durham, encourages clients to distinguish themselves from their wedding party. “For some, it’s a different tie or vest,” he says. “Others, a different style and color. Never has this trend been stronger. We are seeing people who want to stand out for their wedding.”

Opt for a suit with a pop of color, interesting fabric or non-traditional structure – a popular and trendy choice for modern weddings. Dusty rose and white suit colors have increased in popularity. Fabrics such as velvet and Jacquard can also elevate the traditional tuxedo in a classy way. Earth tones like olive and terra cotta are in style for more alternative nuptials, and linen makes for a crisp and lightweight summer wedding look.

Think about the setting of your wedding and how formal you want to dress when deciding between a suit and tuxedo. Go with a lightweight suit or a nice jacket and khaki pants for a laid-back wedding. A formal tuxedo or velvet suit jacket and black pants will set the tone at a black-tie affair. Of course, at the end of the day, you want to remember your wedding attire as something that was uniquely you! Choose a fabric or style that will make you feel comfortable and confident. Be sure to also think about what kind of neckwear and shoes will polish off your look and complement your style.


The lower cost of suit or tuxedo rentals may lead you to rent instead of buy. However, couples might be surprised to learn that owning a beautiful suit is a realistic option that won’t eat up your entire budget.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, people want to make investments in consumer products that are made to last. This includes suits and tuxedos! Owning a suit does not have to be an expensive ordeal. If you’re going to wear one in future formal events and weddings, you might as well find the perfect one! Rental suits usually cost around $175, off-the-rack suits sell for between $275 and $1,200, and custom suits are typically $800-$1,200, depending on fabric, style and detail.


We recommend that suits or tuxedos are rented or purchased four to six months before the big day. Get an idea of what you’re looking for and styles you like before going shopping. Consider what your significant other is wearing so that you don’t clash at the altar! Planning in advance will give you ample time for alterations – experts

160 heartofncweddings.com
Yakima Clifton in a suit from Bernard’s Formalwear. Hair and makeup by Posh The Salon; bouquet by Bloom Works. Photo by Morgan Caddell Photography
Fashion & Beauty
Fabiana Skubic Photography bernard’s FORMALWEAR 734 ninth street | 919-286-3633 | bernardsformalwear.com Tuxedos & Suits “...itissimply necessary tolove.” ~Monet

recommend having them done two months before the wedding –and for your wedding party to get fitted, too.


The exceptional staff at Liles Clothing Studio in Raleigh can find your style, customize your fit and coordinate accessories to your wedding colors, all within your budget.

“Consider the wedding venue, whether it’s formal, informal or a destination wedding,” advises Becky Bell, Liles Clothing Studio’s chief financial officer and office manager. “Also, if the person wears suits on a semi-regular or regular basis, they should go with a tuxedo to stand out from their typical attire. Look timeless as you look back in pictures years from now!”

With 25-plus years of experience in made-to-measure clothing, Liles Clothing Studio has gained the trust of Raleigh’s most respected local leaders and professionals. Customization has become a significant part of its business and reputation.

“It’s better to spend a little more than you plan to, rather than less than you should,” Becky says. “Stretch your given budget to get the best quality you can. Allow room for accessories that we can color match to your wedding, and leave something in there for some great wedding party gifts.”


Reign Beauty was created with YOU in mind. We provide luxury and professional on location beauty services for your big day or special occasion. Our artists come with years of experience and training to give you only the best in modern hair and makeup. Let us take care of your wedding day beauty from “Yes” to “I Do”. Our goal is to provide you with a memorable getting ready experience all while making you look and feel like your best self. Proudly serving Raleigh, Wilmington, Charlotte and Beyond.

162 heartofncweddings.com REIGNBEAUTYNC.COM
We can outfit you and your groomsmen for your special day! Our exceptional staff can find your style, customize your fit and co-ordinate your accessories to your wedding colors all within your budget lilesclothingstudio.com | 919-510-5556 4350 LASSITER AT NORTH HILLS AVE., STE. 106, RALEIGH, NC 27609 CAROLINE LIMA PHOTOGRAPHY / WINN SEAY

Fashion & Beauty

Best Dressed

Wedding fashion do’s and don’ts for parents of the couple

It’s almost time for your child to walk down the aisle. As their parent, you want to look and feel your best in pictures taken during this milestone moment. Don’t let the stress of choosing a perfect wedding-day outfit bring you down. There are no written-in-stone rules, but here are a few tips to help guide you:


The mothers of the couple should match the formality of the wedding party. Consult with your betrothed children on what to wear – after all, it is their big day. Start shopping three to four months in advance to find your ideal dress with plenty of time. Mothers usually wear a color that is within the selected palette. It’s important that the color is a different shade than the bridesmaids’ dresses. The goal is for the mother to stand out without clashing. Some mothers wear the wedding party’s color within accessories or shoes as an outfit accent. If you aren’t sure what color is best, go for a neutral outfit. Remember to wear comfortable shoes for a long day of standing, walking and dancing!

According to traditional wedding etiquette, the mother of the groom selects her dress after the mother of the bride. We recommend that mothers use this occasion as a chance to get to know each other and bond. Consider collaborating together on length, style and formality. Wear complementary colors so that you both shine! For example, if one mother’s dress is blue, the other mother could wear a dress that is the same color in a different material or style, or a color like silver, black or other color that complements blue and is also in the couple’s selected wedding color palette. Still unsure? Ask your child, because he, she or they will likely have an idea of what you should wear. Select a dress two to three months before the wedding.


The formality of the wedding will determine what the father of the couple should wear. Dress pants and collared T-shirts with a tie or bow tie is appropriate at less formal weddings. If the wedding is semi-formal, select a darkcolored suit and collared button-down shirt, and coordinate your tie with the wedding colors. If the wedding is a formal event and groomsmen are wearing tuxedos, fathers generally wear the same tuxedo with a different color tie.

164 heartofncweddings.com
Kannon’s Clothing / Reign Beauty Heights House Hotel / Jillian Knight Photography



the Salon has set the standard for

Designer, Brittany Dunagin, is trained

provide a flawless look that is sure to

bridal team

on all looks from boho,

in salon services, including makeup, as well as out of the salon

ourselves on creating an unforgettable experience

wedding parties.

team is always ready to make your


heartofncweddings.com 165 A Century of Excellence Enjoy a warm, friendly atmosphere from one of the oldest family-owned businesses in NC, and discover carefully selected designer styles for every special and social occasion. A Century of Excellence Enjoy a warm, friendly atmosphere from one of the oldest family-owned businesses in NC, and discover carefully selected designer styles for every special and social occasion.
Cameron Village 2015 Cameron Street • Raleigh 919-365-7074 kannonsclothing.com
Cameron Village 435 Daniels Street • Raleigh 919-366-6902 Village District Village District Brittany Dunigan Bridal Artistic Designer & Master Stylist West Village: 610 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham 919.683.2109 • poshthesalon.com Since getting our
in 2010, Posh
bridal beauty. Our Bridal Artistic
on the most current techniques, that
last all day. Brittany keeps her
modern, vintage to the timeless classics. We offer
services. We pride
for all of our
wedding day hair and makeup dreams come true. @PoshTheSalon  @HairByBDunagin Monisa J. Photography

Look Good, Feel Good

Tips for achieving a beautiful, healthy wedding glow

166 heartofncweddings.com
Don’t forget to invest in skin care and find the perfect hair and makeup style to let your natural beauty shine on your big day. 
Model Emely Gonzalez shows off a look by Pinup Studio and Simply Blush Bridal. Photo by Cherie Lynn Photography
Fashion & Beauty

Meet the team who can get your skin

Picture Perfect

Dr. Chris G. Adigun, a board certified dermatologist, is known for her expertise in cosmetic dermatology and laser treatment. Dr. Adigun and her team of top notch, highly-trained professionals create a personalized approach to facial and body rejuvenation.

Your wedding day is coming up, and all eyes will be on you! Want your skin to look as flawless and glowing as possible? Our cosmetic dermatology team can prep your skin for your big day, so you can look and feel stunning. Trust your skin to DLC’s dermatology experts in preparation for the most photographed day of your life!


Chapelton Court, Suite 120 Chapel Hill, NC

Chris G. Adigun, MD, FAAD

Wagoner, ANP-BC Leighanne McGill, PA-C Jennifer Jahoo, LME

Voted Best Of Chapel Hill every year since opening in 2016.

919.942.2922 • dlcofchapelhill.com
! 2021


Getting your skin ready for your wedding is a process that starts months in advance. Begin by visiting a dermatologist like Dermatology & Laser Center of Chapel Hill to talk with an expert about getting a proper regimen in place to take care of your skin.

“Start your skin care routine three to six months before your day,” advises Marissa Davis, owner of Reign Beauty “Everyone’s skin and hair is different, so we recommend seeing a professional who can assess your skin and hair and recommend the best products for you.”

Consider factors that might affect the health of your skin during the months leading up to the wedding. Stress and lack of sleep can wreak havoc on even the most well-tended epidermis. If your body still needs a little TLC, visit a spa like The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary or Posh The Salon in Durham for a facial.


We highly recommend that you take advantage of the wedding hair and makeup trial run as an opportunity to pin down a style that suits you. Know the following details before inquiring with a beauty salon: date and ceremony time, venue, getting-ready location and the number of services needed.

“While some brides struggle to find time for a trial run, most are planning on doing engagement or bridal photos, so this is a

great opportunity for them to have their trial done then,” says Brittany Gooch, bridal stylist at Posh The Salon.

Save images of bridal looks to give your stylist an idea for what you like and don’t like, regardless of whether you plan to do a trial run or not.

“We always ask how the neckline is on their dress and if there is anything they want to try and hide or embellish. For example, some women don’t want their ears to be fully out, some hate having their hair all the way up, and some want to keep front pieces down to cover their forehead,” explains Christina Kirkey, owner of Pinup Studio. “We then ask for the theme of their wedding and where the wedding is taking place. If you are doing a beach wedding, you are going to want the majority of your hair up, as it will be pretty windy.”

SCHEDULE, AND SHOW UP READY Book appointments for nails, threading, waxing and/or spray tans for the last few days before your wedding. Avoid using heat on your hair the week leading up to the wedding to prep it, and then wash your hair the afternoon or evening before your wedding (instead of on the morning of the big day).

If the idea of planning your beauty appointments is daunting, take a deep breath! Using these steps to care for your skin and self in the months before your wedding will ensure you are that much more radiant the day of!

168 heartofncweddings.com
Real-life couple Jose Nuñez and Kaylin Ridge at The Cannon Room with florals by Anchored Floral. Kaylin’s hair and makeup are by Pinup Studio. Photo by Rosey Shell Photography
UNPARALLELED ARTISTRY EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY DR. FINN, MD | DR. ELKINS-WILLIAMS, MD COSMETIC SURGERY | INJECTABLE TREATMENTS | SKINCARE | LASERS 1390 ENVIRON WAY, CHAPEL HILL, NC | 919.933.9522 | finnplasticsurgery.com | @finnplasticsurgery Finn Plastic Surgery is a comprehensive aesthetic practice serving patients seeking a variety of services, from minimally invasive treatments and physician-prescribed skincare to surgical procedures. In their fully accredited, on-site, surgical suite, Dr. Finn and Dr. Elkins-Williams perform a full complement of facial, breast, and body plastic surgery procedures. At Finn Plastic Surgery, only fully trained plastic surgeons perform injectable treatments like Botox® and fillers. Drs. Finn and Elkins-Williams offer unparalleled artistry, extensive experience, and innovative technology. Voted “Best of Chapel Hill” 8 years in a row, Finn Plastic Surgery will help you look and feel your best on your big day!


170 heartofncweddings.com


Full-service, month-of and day-of wedding planners vary in price based on experience, skill and location. Full-service planning service costs range from $7,500 to $12,000. Partial services range from $4,000 to $6,000, depending on the size and scale of your event. Month-of and day-of planning service costs range from $2,000 to $3,000. Some planners charge a base fee plus percentage of overall budget.


Wedding vendor costs have increased across the board due to high demand, which means that a professional planner can help you navigate the wedding industry boom and save time and money in the long run. Hire a planner as early as possible in order to work through the potential costs of the rest of the wedding.


It’s important to know your wedding month, total budget, guest count, priority vendors and style before inquiring with a planner, who will help you stick to the budget, thereby saving money. Ask yourself: How much is my time and mental health worth?

heartofncweddings.com 171
The Anthem House planning team designed this tabletop at The Bradford with the help of CE Rental and Meristem Floral. Photo by Perry Vaile Photography

Wedding Planners

No Worries

Wedding planners share how their services – from the first consultation to an unforgettable reception – leave clients stress-free on their big day

The thought of planning a wedding is thrilling for many couples. But as the big day approaches, juggling vendor communication, party rentals and setting up the venue on top of the anticipation that comes with getting married can be overwhelming. This is why many couples hire a professional wedding or event planner to ensure that their wedding day or weekend runs seamlessly.

Don’t just take our word for it. C&D Events co-owner Dana Kadwell has worked in the event planning industry for 16 years. Atimeline is set after the first consultation to best accommodate the needs of the couple. Dana explains that wedding planning comes in waves – her job is to identify peak stress times in her clients’ personal and professional lives and plan around them.

172 heartofncweddings.com
Erica Greenwold Reisen of Folie à Deux Events tends to a wedding flower installation in 2020. Photo by Kivus & Camera

Magnolia Collective owner Meagan Culkin shares a similar perspective. Meagan has been in the industry for 14 years, and she offers event planning services for weddings across North Carolina and Virginia. She sees herself as a resource provider – giving couples recommendations and introducing them to preferred vendors who fit their budget and style. “They’ve got a Staples help button in their back pocket for when they need us,” she says.

Addie Thompson has been in the business since 2014 and is the owner of Dogwood Gatherings and Events. She offers one package to clients – a partial planning package – which allows her to be available to the couple as much as they need or want. Communication starts immediately after the consultation as Addie and her team send simple layouts of the ceremony and timelines – all the useful things that couples may not necessarily know how to create themselves.

Becca Taylor is an event planner and designer for Anthem House, and she compares a wedding planner to a contractor. She says you wouldn’t build a house without one – they manage subcontractors and take on scheduling and coordinating. A wedding planner does the same thing when they manage vendor communication, host mock-ups and attend meetings with their clients. With a planner, work won’t fall on the shoulders of family members or the wedding party.

The best part of hiring a professional planner is there’s no pressure to relinquish control over your big day. Couples can and will have plenty of input, but without the stress of actually executing those choices. Meagan says she is helping to realize a vision more so than planning every detail of a client’s day. Dana describes hiring a wedding planner as hiring someone

to go to bat for you. Contacting vendors, overcoming obstacles and coordinating timelines are the job of the event planner.

“We just sort of ride the waves with them and then protect them from anything that may come crashing in,” Addie says.

Becca agrees and says Anthem House makes sure to get to know the client and what they expect their wedding journey to looking like. Then they create wedding festivities that reflect who they are as a couple.

For those who are concerned about the costs associated with hiring a wedding planner, Addie tells us that event planning pays for itself. She says that she dedicates more than 300 hours to her clients and is constantly providing suggestions on how to keep to their budget along the way.

Planners know all the budgetfriendly life hacks – for example, repurposing bridesmaid bouquets as centerpieces to cut floral costs. And when the big day comes around, Meagan says she wants couples to “set it and forget it.” The pandemic hasn’t been without last-minute challenges for her clients, but she has found ways to relocate vendors and book last-minute venues when plans fall through.

Dana says she is the first to arrive and the last to leave on wedding days, ensuring that everything moves smoothly and as planned. For Addie, the most rewarding part of the process is when the couple walks into their reception and it is exactly as they imagined.

Investing in a wedding or event planner upfront can be daunting, but as Meagan says, don’t be afraid to phone a friend early in the process. From the first consultation to the celebratory exit, a wedding planner has the expertise and care to leave couples with no worries.

heartofncweddings.com 173
C&D Events planned a Palm Springs-inspired styled shoot and brunch at Raleigh Union Station for local wedding and event professionals in August 2021. Photo by Fancy This Photography Florals designed by Bowerbird Flowers & Apothecary captured the Palm Springs party theme with tropical colors, greenery and miniature pineapples. Photo by Fancy This Photography


Katelyn Messier + Chad Whitaker

Chad Whitaker booked a cabin in the mountains outside of Asheville to celebrate his 10-year anniversary with high school sweetheart Katelyn Messier He popped the question at sunrise, Katelyn said yes, and the couple took a hike with their puppy, Lady, to celebrate.

Katelyn and Chad wanted to have a small wedding at one of their favorite places –the lake! After seeing a beautiful wedding planned by C&D Events, the couple connected with C&D’s sister company, Anthem House – a luxury planning team that specializes in high-end and multiday events. Anthem House’s Caroline Placey helped Katelyn and Chad design a romantic outdoor wedding with a neutral color palette, greenery and pops of dusty and stormy blue.

“We felt like we were working with a friend and were at ease during the whole process knowing that we had Caroline and Anthem House by our side,” says Katelyn.

On Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, Katelyn and Chad said “I do” beside Lake Gaston, North Carolina, at the Whitaker family home. A family friend officiated the ceremony before 40 of the bride and groom’s closest loved ones. Local artist Ashley Triggiano wowed guests with a live painting of the waterfront vows.

After the ceremony, photographer Nikki Whitt Belch of Fancy This Photography joined the newlyweds for a sunset boat ride and portrait session.

The reception took place under a clear-top tent set aglow by bistro lights and filled with stunning florals and furniture.

For dessert, the newlyweds gave guests their favorite pints of ice cream from Two Roosters Ice Cream.

174 heartofncweddings.com
Heart of NC Weddings Vendors Planner Anthem House | Photographer Fancy This Photography | Caterer & Cake Rocky Top Catering Rentals CE Rental | Live Painter Ashley Triggiano
Real Weddings

“We felt like we were working with a friend and were at ease during the whole process knowing that we had Caroline and Anthem House by our side,” Katelyn says.

heartofncweddings.com 175
Additional Vendors Cottage Luxe, Wayward North Films, Bunn DJ Company, Meristem Floral, Marie Bullock Makeup, The Black Tux,
Rosemont of Virginia, Maggi Bridal, Kendra Scott, Azazie, Modern Alchemy, Two Roosters Ice Cream
ANTHEM HOUSE Your story told through artful design + intentional details. A team of professional planners with a combined experience of 50+ years partnered together to give you an all-inclusive luxury planning experience. (919) 705-4301 | hello@anthemhousenc.com 523 Pea Ridge Road, New Hill, NC JILLIAN KNIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY | MERISTEM FLORAL


Full service wedding professionals serving North Carolina.

provide a service that is authentic, curated, distinctive, and connected to our clients. our goal is always to provide you, our client, with an experience that leaves you refreshed, relaxed, and overjoyed. We know everyone is unique and so is your wedding!

WEDDING ARE OUR PASSION - LET US PLAN YOURS! (919) 656-0627 | info@canddevents.com 523 Pea Ridge Road, New Hill, NC CALLIE DAVIS PHOTOGRAPHY

Heart of NC Weddings Vendors


Mackenzie Williams and Andrew Wasilick’s friendship grew into a love story in 2013. The couple attended East Carolina University, where they quickly became close as their sorority and fraternity partnered for annual events. After six years of dating and a homemade dinner, Andrew popped the question.

The couple entrusted Whitney Davis of C&D Events with the planning of their wedding.

“Our coordinator, Whitney, made planning from Washington, D.C. – where we lived for our engagement – a breeze,” Mackenzie says. “She blocked off entire days where we could come to town and knock out as many planning tasks as possible.”

The couple tied the knot at Sacred Heart Church with the reception hosted at Mia Francesca, the restaurant attached to the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel, on Aug. 29, 2020. “We loved how the history and intricacy of the cathedral for our ceremony complemented the warm interior of the restaurant for our reception,” Mackenzie says.

With a palette of white and black and touches of green, Mackenzie’s bridal jewelry incorporated a vintage emerald ring gifted by her aunt and a gold-andemerald bracelet. Each bridesmaid chose a white dress in their own style and wore white clay dogwood earrings.

Despite changing reception venues and switching rentals with less than a month until the big day with the help and planning of Whitney, the couple was able to celebrate their love in a timeless fashion.

178 heartofncweddings.com
Planner Whitney Davis with C&D Events | Rentals CE Rental Cake Edible Art Bakery & Dessert Café | Accommodations Renaissance Raleigh
North Hills
Real Weddings

“Our coordinator, Whitney, made planning from Washington, D.C. –where we lived for our engagement – a breeze,” Mackenzie says. “She blocked off entire days where we could come to town and knock out as many planning tasks as possible.”

heartofncweddings.com 179
Additional Vendors Bunn DJ Company, Bushel and Peck Designs, Brooke Newton, Triangle Video Productions, Ruggero Piano, Key Elegance featuring Steve Shoaf, Lifestyle Limousine Company, Mia Francesca, Sacred Heart Church, Themeworks, Coastal Knot Bridal, Men’s Wearhouse, Reliable Jewelry Company, Shuler Studio


Shirlette Ammons + Laura Ritchie

A passion for art connected Shirlette Ammons and Laura Ritchie, sparking a friendship when they met as co-workers at The ArtsCenter. The pair mutually decided to tie the knot, but Shirlette still managed to surprise Laura after their original date was postponed, presenting her with a custom ring made by jeweler Emily Triplett.

The ceremony on Oct. 16, 2021, was orchestrated by Joye Speight of Virtue Events. “[Joye] really brought our whole vision together,” Shirlette says. “She braced us for unexpected turns and prepared us for the well of emotion and joy that marked our magical day.”

Evvie Rumsey of Arrow Studio, Laura’s longtime hairstylist, matched an updo and makeup to her flowing Willowby gown. Floral arrangements by Lee Crawford of Hana Lee adorned the altar at the Saxapahaw River Amphitheater, while singer Kamara Thomas was accompanied by Chris Boerner on guitar. Photographer Jim Lee officiated as they exchanged vows.

Guests danced the night away to The Shakedown at Haw River Ballroom. “Every part of the event was very personal and special to us,” Shirlette says, from a poem shared by North Carolina’s poet laureate Jaki Shelton Green to Shirlette’s custom maroon suit designed by Glenwood South Tailors.

“For us, this event was about sharing our love with our community,” Shirlette says.

Photography by Carly Romeo & Co.

180 heartofncweddings.com
Heart of NC Weddings Vendor Planner Virtue Events
Real Weddings

“[Joye Speight is] cool and calm under pressure and held our hands through the entire event” Shirlette says. “She was braced for unexpected turns and prepared us for the well of emotion and joy that marked our magical day.”

heartofncweddings.com 181
Additional Vendors Saxapahaw Outdoor Amphitheater, Haw River Ballroom, Matt Kelly, Jim Lee, WildBride, Glenwood S. Tailors Mens Shop, Arrow Studio, Evvie Ramsey and JadaSkyy, Lee Crawford of Hana Lee Design, Kamara Thomas of Aquarian Devils accompanied by Chris Boerner of the Hot at Nights on guitar, The Shakedown, Greenway Transit Services, River Takada

We are Virtue Events

We are the Triangle’s premier event planning and consulting team. As the largest minority woman-owned event planning team, we bring creativity, experience and intentionality to every wedding, corporate event, social event, project and client.

Our goal is to be a strategic partner and to provide exceptional event management skills and service in an effort to ensure the desired outcomes for our clients. Our designs are a true reflection of our clients’ style, personality and vision.

3rd iPhotography LET US HELP YOU PLAN YOUR NEXT EVENT virtueevents.com

Heart of NC Weddings Vendors


Virginia McMillan and Woodie Williams’ New Year’s Eve wedding ceremony at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church and reception at The Merrimon-Wynne House was a celebration to remember, from a toast with all of their closest friends to a romantic kiss at the stroke of midnight. Every vendor went above and beyond to create a festive evening complete with a Champagne tower, New Year’s Eve props and espresso martinis.

Virginia and Woodie grew up down the street from each other and attended the same high school in Raleigh, but it wasn’t until several years after college that they reconnected. They attended separate universities, and two close friends set them up after both Virginia and Woodie moved back to their hometown. They hit it off right away, and the rest is history. Woodie’s proposal brought everything full circle, as he took Virginia on a scavenger hunt to all of their favorite places in Raleigh, including her grandfather’s house and where they had their first date.

Choosing to work with Sally Oakley Weddings & Events was an easy decision for the couple, as she came recommended by several people they knew who had worked with her before. And Sally went above and beyond the pair’s expectations. “[She] was wonderful to work with!” Virginia says. “She was creative, supportive and made our vision come to life.” The couple says that they felt like a king and queen the whole night.

184 heartofncweddings.com
Planner Sally Oakley Weddings & Events
Venue The Merrimon–Wynne House Caterer Rocky Top Catering
Rehearsal Dinner Market Hall Photography by Anagram Photo
Real Weddings

“[Sally] was wonderful to work with!” Virginia says. “She was creative, supportive and made our vision come to life.” The couple says that they felt like a king and queen the whole night.

heartofncweddings.com 185
Additional Vendors Hayes Barton United Methodist Church, Parlor Blow Dry Bar, Petal Pushers, Ashley Cakes, Reaves Engraving, Mason Dixon Designs, The Great Raleigh Trolley, Capital City Party Bus & Tours


Claudia Kostich and Andrew Berghorn are New York City natives who relocated to Wake Forest, North Carolina, where they planned their dream wedding with the help of Erica Greenwold Reisen of Folie à Deux Events. The couple shared their vows in Chapel Hill at St. Thomas More Catholic Church on May 8, 2021. Afterward, they hosted an intimate reception filled with family traditions at The Parlour at Manns Chapel in Chatham County.

Claudia and Andrew gave Erica creative freedom when planning and designing their big day. They asked for a classic white wedding, and Erica went above and beyond to match this aesthetic with the design of The Parlour, mixing in floral accents along the way to create a style that was both modern and vintage.

Beau Catering kept guests well-fed, and worked alongside the couple and Folie à Deux Events to make their amazing day special, seamless and savory. “The Beau Catering team was extremely kind, creative and delightful to work with,” the couple says. “Beau’s food was wonderful and matched only by his joyful personality and gift for storytelling.” Another unique touch was a pisco sour as their featured cocktail – a tasty nod to Claudia’s Peruvian heritage.

186 heartofncweddings.com
Heart of NC Weddings Vendors Planner Folie à Deux Events | Venue The Parlour at Manns Chapel | Caterer Beau Catering Photography by Java Rose Photography
Real Weddings

Claudia and Andrew asked for a classic white wedding, and Folie à Deux Events matched this aesthetic with the design of The Parlour, mixing in floral accents along the way to create a style that was both modern and vintage.

heartofncweddings.com 187
Additional Vendors Grand Rental Station, St. Thomas More Church, Ryan the DJ, Royal Cheesecake and Varieties, The Makeup Artist, Triangle Corporate Coach, New York Bride & Groom, Jos. A Bank, Zazzle
Arika Jordan Photography
You are welcome here. idomagnolia.com | 919.307.7882 | magnoliacollectiveco@gmail.com | @magnoliacollective.co You are welcome here.
Amber Robinson Photography Autumn Harrison Photography
Windsor Grey Photography
Rose Trail Images


Stephen Vance and Jemima Philip have perfect timing to thank for the start to their love story. They met when both lived in Iowa City for a brief stint during the summer of 2018. When Stephen left Iowa, the couple dated long distance for a year and a half, developing their relationship through FaceTime calls and monthly weekend visits. Stephen proposed over Thanksgiving 2019, and the couple said “I do” in December 2020 at The Bradford

“Little did we know how important it would become with the pandemic coming about, because the space and accessibility that The Bradford afforded us helped us make this a safe and truly celebratory experience,” Jemima says.

The planners at Magnolia Collective were a much-needed support system for Stephen and Jemima. They coordinated vendor meetings to accommodate the bride’s travel dates, juggled plans A, B and C, and were crucial in smoothing over last-minute mishaps.

The wedding day color palette of burgundy, blush and gold as well as evergreen boughs in the florals and bouquet hinted at the spirit of Christmas, which was just a couple of weeks away.

Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe was also a meaningful part of Stephen and Jemima’s big day. The authentic South Indian and Southern cuisines reflected the marriage of the Southern and Indian cultures and harmoniously celebrated the joining of the two families.

Heart of NC Weddings Vendors

190 heartofncweddings.com
Planner Magnolia Collective | Venue The Bradford | Rentals CE Rental
Real Weddings

“Planning a wedding was stressful enough, but make it long-distance during a pandemic, and you need to make sure that you have the right people supporting you and reminding you that our love was the reason we are doing all of this,” Jemima says. “Meghan is such a great communicator and shot straight with me the entire [time]. From budget management to day-of jitters, she kept us on the straight and narrow through it all.”

heartofncweddings.com 191
Additional Vendors Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe, Rev. Carl Parsons, Caffé Luna, Sottero & Midgley, I Do Bridal, Azazie, Swarovski, Hugo Boss, Wedded Kiss, Wrinkled Blanket Media, Fresh Affairs, Wicked Sweet Cakes, Minted, Split Second Sound, Greenhouse Picker Sisters, Royal Limousine


It was a given that Sarah Hardin and Taylor Gustafson would have a church wedding, as they have both been faithful churchgoers their whole lives. They knew they were on the same page about what they wanted in life after the very first messages they exchanged on the dating app where they met. They then met in person, and it wasn’t long before they began regularly attending church together.

On Jan. 23, 2021, Taylor and Sarah were pronounced husband and wife at Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral. Their wedding colors were burgundy and navy blue with accents of blush. The patriotic shades of red and blue celebrated Sarah’s career in government affairs and Taylor’s experience in baseball.

Sarah and Taylor’s relationship was built on intentionality and sincerity, and it was only fitting that each detail of their special day was meaningful enough to reflect that. Sarah wrote out each escort card by hand, and her father custombuilt the box in which the guests’ cards were collected at the reception. The couple opted for a smaller guest list, as it was important to them to spend quality time with everyone who attended. They also chose a wedding planner who shared their values.

Addie Thompson at Dogwood Gatherings and Events is a genius!” Sarah says. “Our wedding could never have happened so flawlessly without her.”

Heart of NC Weddings Vendor

192 heartofncweddings.com
Planner Dogwood Gatherings and Events
Real Weddings

Hiring Addie Thompson at Dogwood Gatherings and Events was a great gift to themselves, Sarah and Taylor say, because she completely took care of everything behind the scenes, which allowed the couple to enjoy the day.

heartofncweddings.com 193
Additional Vendors Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, Father Alex Gonzalez, Caffé Luna, Maggie Sottero, Cole Haan, Make Made, The Bardot, Whole Foods
@aceweddingplanning @raleigh_aceweddingplanning Follow us! Hispanic Woman-Owned • Bilingual Planners Available • Now Booking through 2023 • Offering In-House Decor Rentals and Floral Services info@aceweddingsplanning.com Charlotte Office 980.288.4468 Raleigh Office 919.812.3680 aceweddingplanning.com Let's Make It HAPPEN We combine your ideas with our innovation to give you ACED planning solutions. We offer luxury full-service planning and wedding management services as well as corporate and special occasion planning in the Carolinas and beyond. We love to travel! William Avery Photography Mazzucco Photography Elizabeth Marie Photography

Heart of NC Weddings


Milap Mehta and Danielle Marquardt met online, as many modern love stories go. After their first date, Danielle was initially hesitant to agree to a second. But, agree she did, and the couple got engaged almost three years later. On a trip to Greece, Milap got down on one knee at sunset and promised Danielle a forever of adventure and fun.

“We were so nervous about planning a wedding, let alone a multicultural one, from out of state,” Danielle says. “ACE Weddings & Events made the planning process painless, seamless and they executed all of the details to perfection.”

The couple said “I do” in Charlotte, North Carolina, at The Ivey’s Hotel, and the reception was held at Sophia’s Lounge on April 3, 2021. To keep the wedding intimate, the guest count was capped. “We also started the celebration on Thursday – typical for Indian culture – which aided in days rather than a few hours of celebration, which we loved,” Danielle says. Personal touches such as signature cocktails named after their dogs and charms on Danielle’s bouquet with a photo of her brother and grandmother who passed away made the day especially memorable.

Both ceremonies were livestreamed to ensure their families across the world were able to witness their union. “[ACE Weddings & Events] are professional, detail oriented and aided in our cultures blending together in the most tasteful way,” Danielle says.

196 heartofncweddings.com
Vendor Planner ACE Weddings & Events
Real Weddings

“We were so nervous about planning a wedding, let alone a multicultural one, from out of state,” Danielle says. “ACE Weddings & Events made the planning process painless, seamless and they executed all of the details to perfection.”

heartofncweddings.com 197
Additional Vendors The Ivey’s Hotel, Sophia’s Lounge, 5Church, Jenny Le Makeup, Sweet T Flowers, LoSo Sound, CLUX Inc, Party Time Rentals, Carolina Wedding Belle, Carolina Sound, Stage & Lighting

Heart of NC Weddings Vendors


Tyler Thomas and Janice Yang tied the knot at The Maxwell in Raleigh on April 23, 2021. The couple met after Janice transferred from Stonybrook University to N.C. State to be closer to her family in Cornelius, North Carolina, and they were introduced through mutual friends. Tyler surprised Janice by popping the big question while on a beach trip with friends.

Tyler and Janice decided on The Maxwell for its white brick interior, high ceilings and the clean, modern vibe that Janice desired. They worked with Diane Wolk of Bustled Events to assemble the white- and rose-toned wedding they envisioned.

Janice was given a copy of Heart of NC Weddings, which led her to find some of the amazing vendors who made her dream wedding a reality, including Catering Works and The Maxwell. “Chelsea Hand and her venue staff were a joy to work with,” Janice says. “They were super understanding and flexible when we encountered some hiccups along the way. The food was delicious, and Kelli Harrison and her staff were so kind and helpful from beginning to end.”

Putting together a wedding posed its challenges, but the couple and their vendors flawlessly executed a perfect big day. Janice says her favorite moment was when she and Tyler got to sit in The Maxwell’s getting-ready suite after the reception and take it all in.

198 heartofncweddings.com
Planner Bustled Events | Venue The Maxwell | Caterer Catering Works | Cake Edible Art Bakery & Dessert Café Photography by Rachel Hotong Photography Tyler Thomas + Janice Yang
Real Weddings

“Diane Wolk is hands down the most efficient person I have ever met,” Janice says. “I knew I wanted her to be my planner when we met for our initial consultation. She is extremely knowledgeable about the wedding industry and truly saved me a lot of time, money and stress!”

heartofncweddings.com 199
Additional Vendors Austin Parsons and Matt Harris, Dave Turner, City of Raleigh Museum, Pronovias, JJ’s House, Lulus, Azazie, Men’s Wearhouse, Yuna Kim, Nicole Tie and Logan Maloney, Elevation Entertainment, Party Reflections
bustledevents.com 919.589.7244 info@busledevents.com @bustledevents Rachel HoTong Photography

Our Best Tips

Plan Your Mini-Moon

Save money and stress by postponing your dream honeymoon

Exhausted by planning, err ... re-planning your wedding? Nervous to splurge on a once-in-alifetime honeymoon experience when your dream destination is not open or just opening? Take a deep breath and think outside of the box with a minimoon. CMC Events & Travel founder Cara Cartee

an expert in designing and planning the ultimate honeymoon and trips with a “wow” factor. Here are her reasons why you should consider a mini-moon within the U.S.:

Back to basics. What do you truly want out of your honeymoon and why? Thinking through hobbies and what you enjoy doing

together allows your travel planner to offer this in unique and special ways throughout your trip.

The U.S. has it all. Romance, adventure, water, mountains … it’s time to explore. Mini-mooning in the states is an excellent way to support small business and the tourism industry. No passport required!

Affordability. You don’t have to postpone that Instagram-worthy honeymoon forever. But with a little ingenuity, you can probably do both and make them special in different ways.

Familiarity with COVID-19 updates and safety protocols. While it still varies greatly from state to state, knowledge of what’s most current is easier to track nationally.

Cara is Heart of NC Weddings’ recommended travel planner. She was awarded Top Travel Specialist 2021 by Conde Nast Traveler for her ability to always pull off the impossible and spare her clients on the logistics. Cara is known for being all about details in the experiences she cultivates – leisure vacations, action-packed honeymoons, bachelorette parties and more.

heartofncweddings.com 201 When it’s time to relax... Call CMC Travel — for the perfect honeymoon made easy! cmc-events.com cmc_travels 919.397.4141


202 heartofncweddings.com


Average wedding photography and videography packages range from $3,500 to $7,000 for full-day coverage. Rates for luxury photographers and videographers begin at $10,000. Elopement packages are based on shorter time frames and cost less.


Book a photographer / videographer at least a year in advance or as soon as you’ve set the date. Peruse real wedding galleries or films (the more, the better!) on the vendor’s website or via gallery links so that you can see how they capture the day from start to finish. It can also be helpful to see how they’ve shot your venue or weddings in the season when you’re getting married.


Many photographers / videographers offer packages that include engagement sessions, photo albums, bridal portraits, trailers and more. Don’t forget to budget for these add-ons. Ask about contract policies, second-shooter packages and how quickly images or film will be turned around after the wedding. 

heartofncweddings.com 203
Brides Charli Randolph and Lisa Armstrong at The Barn of Chapel Hill. Photo by Morgan Caddell Photography

What to Expect When Working With a Professional Wedding Photographer

Atalented wedding photographer has the ability to tell your love story over and over. That’s just one of the reasons why you’ll never regret hiring a professional. If your next step in the wedding planning process is finding the person who’s going to be responsible for capturing all of the memories on your special day, consider this your ultimate guide for what to expect and how to prepare to work with your photographer.

204 heartofncweddings.com
Reko Daye and Nyema Heyward at Market Hall. Photo by Morgan Caddell Photography
Photo & Motion


With so many talented photographers out there, how do you pick the right one for you? The first questions you’ll want to knock out are ones concerning availability and pricing. Is your wedding date available for the photographer of your choice? Does your budget match their prices?

Once you’ve answered these essential questions, you can start to get a feel for the photographer’s style and personality and if they will be a good fit for you. Take a look at their portfolio and chat with them about their style so that you know what to expect from the end result. Danielle Flake, a North Carolina wedding photographer and founder of Danielle Flake Photography, will tell you that she uses an authentic approach and captures images as naturally as possible so your photos remain classically beautiful even years down the road.

Next, consider if you’ll get along with your photographer since you will both be spending a considerable amount of time together. An initial consolation is a wonderful way to do this and get a feel for their personality.

“You also aren’t going to invite a guest to the wedding if you don’t vibe with them, so treat your photographer the same,” says Morgan Caddell, a Raleigh-based photographer and founder of Morgan Caddell Photography. “Meet them or at least chat with them on the phone or a Zoom call. The happier you feel with your photographer, the better your photos will be because you trust them to get what you want.”


Durham-based wedding photographer

Nikki Whitt Belch of Fancy This Photography gives a lot of thought to timing when planning a shoot. If you’re getting married outside, Nikki recommends that your ceremony starts right before the golden hour – the last hour and a half before sunset. For example, the sun sets at about 7 p.m. in September, and so she suggests a 5 p.m. ceremony start time so that she and her team can photograph everyone during these pivotal moments when the sun casts a beautiful glow across every scene. But it is still perfectly okay if your ceremony is not in the evening. When you’re working with a great photographer, they can make any lighting conditions work.

Nikki also schedules a phone call with the couples she works with to go over the list of family formal photos so that she can plan out all of the necessary shots, including the large group photographs as well as smaller groupings with parents, siblings, grandparents and more. She says that unless you have a rather large family, family formals typically take around 20 to 30 minutes.


On the wedding day, a professional photographer will capture all of the shots that you communicate are important to you, and they will also use their creative eye to capture unique precious moments.

Danielle Flake likes to start the day with the bride and the people who mean the most to her when she’s getting ready and anticipating the day ahead. She also spends time with the welcome party, photographing the couple mingling with their guests. She feels honored to hear kind words and stories that guests tell about the couple’s accomplishments during this time. Danielle and Morgan also share a love for the sweet looks on the faces of parents as they watch their child get married. Morgan also tries to capture the emotions of guests during the ceremony, such as a bridesmaid wiping a tear away.

Durham-based wedding photographer and videographer Mark Maya’s can’tmiss photos are primarily the emotional reactions of the bride and groom during the first look, ceremony, toasts and dances. “I am obsessed with capturing the climax of those moments in the most beautiful way for the couple so they can go back in time and re-experience their day through photos and video,” says Mark, the founder of Mark Maya Photography. He also takes pride in capturing the little moments that happen right after the big ones, like at the conclustion of the ceremony or after a dance ends.

Nikki’s favorite moments are the interactions among guests and family members during toasts. “The subtle and boastful laughs from the couple are some of our dearest moments,” she adds. “Having the couple look at each other in awe as they hear from their closest friends of memories made together [is] definitely a fan favorite of ours to photograph.”

206 heartofncweddings.com
Layna Fox and her bridesmaids at The Carolina Inn. Photo by Danielle Flake Photography
Photo & Motion
Stephanie Shannon and Dan Pascale in New Bern. Photo by Fancy This Photography
jhaganphotography.com @jhaganphotog 919.924.7601

Party Paparazzi

Your “last hoorah” before you say “I do” should get the spotlight it deserves, whether you’re out on a tropical vacation, vineyard hopping or glamping. And by spotlight, we mean the flash of a camera.

It’s a no-brainer to hire a photographer for your wedding and, naturally, you probably want someone to be there to capture the life-changing moment that is your proposal. So, why would you overlook the opportunity to have high-quality photos taken

Photo & Motion

of your bachelorette party? Like most other aspects of your wedding, you’ve probably spent a good amount of money on the party, so it’s important that it is captured well.

Why should I hire a photographer for my bachelorette party?


You and your friends are going to take pictures regardless. Don’t waste your energy taking turns with your iPhone or trying to squeeze everyone into a self-timed photo. Let a professional take the wheel. The photos will be a million times better than anything you can snap on your phone. Professional photographers know what they’re doing with a camera as well as how to capture your best look.

NO. 2: THE MEMORIES WILL LAST A LIFETIME. Your bachelorette party is an exciting part of your wedding journey. Let the complete story come to life and become something tangible to look back on and treasure. The photographs taken during your party will exist long after the celebration to remind you of every single detail – from boozy brunches with your best buds to dinner downtown with your dynamos.


If you ever wanted a reason to have a personal paparazzi follow you around for a day, this is it. Your bachelorette party should be all about you and your friends. So go all out. Act like stars, dress up and dance your heart out. The photographer will be right there cheering you on, capturing every moment and bringing the party to life.

NO. 4: IT MAKES THE PERFECT GIFT. Prints of the gorgeous photos are a great gift to send to your bridesmaids as a thank you for their support after the wedding. You can print pictures to frame on your wall, add to cards or even place in photo albums.

“I truly feel my sessions are as much (if not more) about the experience as they are about the resulting photos,” says Richard Barlow of Barlow Boudoir, who upholds his clients’ comfort and trust so that they can enjoy the moment. “Time and time again, my clients have told me that.” Richard is a published and award-winning photographer based in Raleigh and has 10 years of experience with boudoir photography. He knows how to create an atmosphere that gives the wedding squad the confidence to be themselves. The results are stunning because he creates and captures pure joy. Richard’s goal is to empower you to celebrate your best self.

208 heartofncweddings.com
Friends celebrate a bride-to-be on The Dillon’s rooftop in downtown Raleigh. Photo by Richard Barlow of Barlow Boudoir
danielleflake.com | danielleflakephotography@gmail.com @danielleflake | 252.341.9634



Ashley Cirone and Chris Pearlman’s love story began when Chris asked to walk Ashley to a class they shared at UNC. They attended fraternity and sorority events together, and one thing led to another – Chris proposed at Cherry Grove Beach, South Carolina, on July 3, 2019.

After celebrating nearly eight years together and having to postpone their July 2020 wedding due to the pandemic, Ashley and Chris got married on March 13, 2021, at Newman Center Catholic Church, with a reception at The Carolina Inn

“The Carolina Inn was always our dream reception venue, and we couldn’t have imagined a more perfect celebration,” Ashley says.

The couple incorporated Carolina blue accents to their light gray, white and silver decor, and the bridesmaids’ bouquets were adorned with blue hydrangeas. Heba Salama Photography captured every detail of their big day.

“[Heba] got through all of our photos efficiently, and the finished products are stunning!”

After almost a yearlong delay, the couple wouldn’t change a thing.

“Our team of vendors took care of everything in the days leading up and day-of, so Chris and I could just relax, and that made all the difference.”

212 heartofncweddings.com
Heart of NC Weddings Vendors Photographer Heba Salama Photography | Venue & Caterer The Carolina Inn | Rentals CE Rental
Real Weddings

“Heba was amazing to work with and captured our day perfectly,” Ashley says. “She came to Nashville in late 2019 to shoot our engagement photos, and we knew from that moment that we’d found the perfect photographer. She gave great advice leading up to the wedding day and was a calming presence through the entire process.”

heartofncweddings.com 213
Additional Vendors Newman Catholic Center, Friar Tim Kulbicki, A Southern Soiree, White Dresses Boutique, The Black Tux, Ashley Mooney Hair and Makeup, Teacup Floral, Guglhupf Bakery, Busy Bee Gift & Stationery, Spare Change
morgancaddellphotography.com (704) 678-2406 Serving Local and Destination Weddings

Heart of NC Weddings Vendors


Austin Harbison and Mark James’ love story began in the mountains of North Carolina, where they met as students at Appalachian State University. A few years later and halfway across the globe, Austin popped the question while they watched an Italian sunset in Naples. A week later, Mark pulled out an engagement ring for Austin while strolling along a beach in Barcelona.

The couple married on June 16, 2021, on their sixth anniversary. A color palette of maroon and navy, with pops of green and white florals complemented the industrial style of Durham-based venue

The Rickhouse. Austin’s suit was custom made in just the right shade of deep red by Liles Clothing Studio, creating “the best bespoke suits that we could have asked for … they matched it perfectly. This was after going to over 15 other shops,” Mark says.

The big day was captured by Morgan Caddell Photography. “Looking back on our wedding, we keep reliving all our laughs we had with Morgan and her assistant,” the couple says. “They made us both feel so comfortable and natural.” A unique sunset photo shoot echoed Mark’s proposal and was his favorite moment of the day.

Harpist Andrea Blanchfield added elegance to the ceremony before Austin, Mark and their guests let loose on The Rickhouse dance floor to tunes provided by All Events DJs.

216 heartofncweddings.com
Photographer Morgan Caddell Photography | Venue The Rickhouse | Suits Liles Clothing Studio
Real Weddings
heartofncweddings.com 217
“Looking back on our wedding, we keep reliving all our laughs we had with Morgan and her assistant,” the couple says. “They made us both feel so comfortable and natural.”
Additional Vendors Southern Harvest Hospitality Group, Blair Berry, Mediterranean Deli, A Swanky Affair, Mary Luz Makeup Artistry, Addy Holmes, Andrea Blanchfield, All Events DJs

Heart of NC Weddings Vendors


As childhood friends, Emmie Tkach and Isaiah Whitley were already part of each other’s lives long before a romantic relationship sparked during their senior year at Davie County High School. After five years of dating, when Isaiah planned a proposal at Emmie’s family lakefront property, she wasn’t surprised, but still elated.

When it came to choosing a venue, the couple found their perfect fit in WinMock at Kinderton after one look through the grand white-and-red refurbished barn and outdoor terrace. “It only made sense for us high school sweethearts to get married somewhere that felt like home,” Emmie explains. The elegant venue complemented a fallinspired palette for the wedding, with bridesmaid dresses in dusty rose, and other accents in beige and cream.

WinMock helped the couple’s rehearsal dinner take place smoothly despite power being knocked out by a tropical storm and made the big day as worryfree as possible on Oct. 3, 2020. “I truly felt like I didn’t have to lift a finger on our wedding day,” Emmie says.

The bride and groom’s large wedding party was captured by Danielle Flake Photography. While guests and close friends surrounded the couple in a bear hug on the dance floor, Danielle caught the moment of joy on a film camera. “To have that picture … is totally priceless,” says Emmie after enduring the stress and uncertainty of planning the nuptials during the pandemic.

218 heartofncweddings.com
Photographer Danielle Flake Photography | Venue & Rehearsal Dinner WinMock at Kinderton
Real Weddings

“Danielle is so talented! I was drawn to her by the uniqueness of her film photography. Her photos were soft and subdued, yet the colors were vibrant. She was also such a calming presence on the wedding day.”

heartofncweddings.com 219
Additional Vendors Providence Catering, Rev. Robert Garrett, Ringham Events, Nitsa’s Apparel, Revelry, Face Forward, Dahlia’s Floral Design, Maddie Cakes Bakery, Jenny Jones, On Target DJ, Party Reflections


Katy Dow first met the love of her life in 2015 on the right side of Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery, third stool from the end. Coincidentally, Katy and “the one,” Chris Feifs, grew up ten miles apart from each other in Durham and were both fans of UNC Chapel Hill, where she completed undergraduate and graduate studies, and he coached lacrosse for seven years. Five years later, Chris surprised Katy by proposing at Lake Champlain on Aug. 15, 2020.

The Cotton Room was an easy venue choice for the couple. Located in their beloved hometown, the venue’s exposed brick walls and warehouse ceilings were the perfect backdrop for a couple who feels Durham in their bones. They found a friend and a fellow Durhamite in Nikki Whitt Belch of Fancy This Photography

“There is no other,” Katy exclaims. “Nikki is the best, hands and feet down, all day and every day. Our entire family is absolutely in love with her. I want to hang out with her forever and have her capture every special event of our lives!”

On July 2, 2021, Nikki documented Katy and Chris’ entire wedding day from getting ready to the sparkler exit. The bride’s brother, Robby Dow, performed an acoustic guitar rendition of the song “River” by Leon Bridges during the ceremony. The Cotton Room’s warm interior looked elegant with candlelight, a neutral color palette and an undertone of blush.

Additional Vendors Triangle Catering, Phillip Wimberly, Alyssa Kristin, Indochino, Olive + Piper, Adrianna Papell, After Midnight Jewelers, Ashley Mooney Hair and Makeup

220 heartofncweddings.com
Heart of NC Weddings Vendors Photographer Fancy This Photography | Venue The Cotton Room | Planner Heather Schaffran Rentals Petal & Oak | Accommodations The Durham Hotel | Rehearsal Dinner The Pit Durham
Real Weddings


Brandon Johnson and Jennifer Padavic’s love story feels meant to be. After swiping right on a dating app, they realized they lived only a half-mile apart from each other on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. They met in the middle for their first date, and the rest is history. On Jan. 2, 2021, Brandon and Jennifer kicked off the new year with a hike to the top of Bear Mountain in New York’s Hudson Highlands. While admiring the sunset, they discussed their goals for the upcoming year, and Brandon popped the question.

The bride and groom hired Durhambased photographer and filmmaker Mark Maya to document the precious moments of their North Carolina mountain wedding. Mark captured the beauty of the big day through photos, drone images and videography.

“From our very first interaction, Mark was incredibly organized, warm and inspiring to speak with,” says Jennifer. “I knew immediately and was confident that my photos would be incredible – and seriously, they are breathtaking.”

Brandon and Jennifer tied the knot at Earthshine Lodge in Lake Toxaway, North Carolina, with their closest loved ones. The intimate weekend was filled with scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, stargazing and sparklers. Their color palette of lavender, peach, ivory and moss was inspired by nature and the rustic venue. Brandon and Jennifer are grateful for their family and friends who made the mountain getaway of their dreams a reality. The photos and video by Mark will serve as a fond reminder of their perfect day.

222 heartofncweddings.com
Heart of NC Weddings Vendor Photographer Mark Maya Photography
Real Weddings

Photo & Motion

Press Rewind

Two brides share why they hired a videographer

Courtney Whaley knew she wanted a videographer and a photographer to capture precious moments during her wedding in September 2020. She wanted to hire a videographer who would notice all the small details as they happened. She says she loved seeing the Snapchat videos her friends took at the wedding, but she will forever hold onto the professional video created by Thomas Whited of Thomas Blake Films, who she met at a Forever & Company Wedding Show in Raleigh.

“From our very first conversation, everything just seemed so genuine,” Courtney says. “Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect video,” she says of the final product. “From the voice-overs to capturing all of the emotion to the pivotal moments in the day – toasts, speeches, celebration –everything was pure magic!”

Older family members who were not able to attend due to risks from COVID-19 were able to experience and relive the special day through the wedding video. One of Courtney’s favorite parts of the video is an aerial view of her dad walking her down the aisle. “I am a daddy’s girl and have always hoped and dreamed my daddy would still be alive to give me away,” she says. “That clip will always be so special to me, and it shows just how much thought [Thomas] put into creating the video.”

Kathryn Zoutewelle reflected on how Thomas caught every special scene throughout her and Shep Zoutewelle’s wedding

in November 2020, some of which she was not able to witness herself. From when Shep’s twin brother, J.P. Zoutewelle, helped Shep put on his tuxedo to seeing Shep cry when she walked down the aisle. Thomas also captured some of the smaller parts of Kathryn and Shep’s big day that proved to have a lot of meaning to the couple: As Kathryn and Shep sat on the back of a pickup truck and drove away from a crowd of family and friends waving sparklers in the air, Kathryn yelled “bye” to everyone and says that “it truly captured all of the giddiness, craziness and lovely chaos I was feeling!”

224 heartofncweddings.com
Groom Shep Zoutewelle sheds a tear at the sight of his bride, Kathryn Thacker, at their wedding on Nov. 21, 2020. Photo by Brett Seay Photography
heartofncweddings.com 225


226 heartofncweddings.com


Floral expenses average around $3,500, but many florists will work with couples who have smaller or larger budgets. Some high-end floral designers have a minimum of $6,000, and rates go up from there. Party rental costs range greatly, from flatware and linens to entire tent build-outs.


Plan for flowers and decor 10 months to a year in advance. Begin with party rentals, then floral design and finish with accents such as lighting and lounge areas. Keep in mind that lighting and flowers can completely transform an event space.


Standard party rental items to budget for: linens, chairs, china, flatware, chandeliers, drapery, lounge furniture, lighting and, when necessary, a tent and dance floor.

Florals to discuss and budget for: bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, ceremony arrangements, centerpieces, escort table display, entryway displays and fireplace mantles. A smaller budget may include bud vases, bouquets or à la carte orders.

heartofncweddings.com 227
Florals by Sweet Love Blossoms and tableware from CE Rental, planned by C&D Events. Photo by John Branch IV Photography

Set the Scene

How to elevate your venue with flowers and decor

especially if you’re tying the knot at a scenic destination like the mountains or a historic home. Maybe your venue is perfect in terms of location, budget and availability, but lacking in landscape or character – florals and decor can transform the space into your dream setting.

Flower costs depend on venue location, season, guest count and the number of people in your wedding party. More bridesmaids equals more bouquets! Decor costs vary greatly depending on venue location, event duration and date, the types of light fixtures, and the time it takes to set up and take down. Start with the decor essentials: tables, chairs, tableware, glassware, china, linens and napkins. From there, elevate your event with drapery, lighting and lounge furniture. You’ll definitely want bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces. But don’t forget about corsages for special family members or floral arrangements for the ceremony altar and aisle, escort table or entryway. Lastly, consider adorning statement areas of your venue such as fireplace mantles, spiral staircases, outdoor pergolas or the bar.


ou wouldn’t leave a newly purchased house undecorated, and the same goes for your wedding venue. Flowers and decor are next on the I-do list once you’ve locked in the location and date. Luckily, most venues are versatile –meaning this is your opportunity to take a blank canvas and paint it with your story and style. Or, you might want flowers and decor to only lightly enhance the venue’s natural beauty,

Let this be your foundation, not your finish line. Our recommended party rental suppliers have showrooms filled with inspiration and impressive inventories. If the cost of flowers and decor makes you balk, consider their multiple uses –bouquets could double as table centerpieces, and a ceremony arch could also function as a fun photo backdrop for guests at the reception. Our best advice for selecting flowers and decor: Pick one color palette, theme or style, and stick to it. The season in which your wedding is set to take place will weigh heavily here. Keep reading to see how local vendors elevated four distinct venue styles with flowers and decor.

228 heartofncweddings.com
Real-life couple Yakima Clifton and Destiny Gyant wear two looks at the North Carolina Museum of Art: a white ensemble from Bernard’s Formalwear and a sparkly gown from Gilded Bridal. Hair and makeup by Posh The Salon with florals by Bloom Works. Photo by Morgan Caddell Photography
Flowers & Decor
Choose from our large inventory of high-quality faux flowers - all types & colors - customize & RENT your dream look! fauxrealflowers.com @fauxreal_flowers | @fauxrealflowersNC 723 W. Johnson St., Raleigh 27603 984.201.1919 | contact@fauxrealflowers.com your Dream Flowers EZER PHOTOS ASHLEY STONE PHOTOGRAPHY VMA STUDIOS HERNDON WEDDINGS RENT

Clean and Contemporary

One of Raleigh’s newest luxury venues, The Maxwell features modern architecture and beauty in its simplest form. Its minimalist vibe is the closest a couple can get to a blank slate. Flowers and decor of any color or style can be added to The Maxwell’s lounge, lawn, patio and, of course, The Great Room, which can seat up to 300 guests. The possibilities are endless, so let’s see how FauxReal Flowers and CE Rental chose to The Maxwell. Lisa Smith and Amber Holmes saw a need for affordable wedding flowers in North Carolina, so they launched FauxReal Flowers – a rent-and-return, custom faux flower company. Unlike many flowers-for-rent, FauxReal offers a high-quality aesthetic. Your wedding guests will not know that your flowers are fake! Even at the touch, these silk blossoms feel incredibly real. All FauxReal floral arrangements are completely customizable –couples can choose the color, flower type, style and size of each arrangement they order. If you thought there’s no chance of getting peonies out of season, think again. FauxReal carries all flower types year-round.

Lisa and Amber showcase a variety of floral arrangements in sizes ranging from small to extra large. This table would make for a stunning head table because it is placed perfectly before The Great Room fireplace. Moody florals take the eye on a journey from ground-level to tabletop to fireplace mantle. Champagne roses combined with eucalyptus and Italian ruscus are accentuated by black pampas grass and gold berries. White

230 heartofncweddings.com Flowers & Decor
Heart of NC Weddings Vendors Florals FauxReal Flowers / Rentals CE Rental Photographer Fancy This Photography/ Venue The Maxwell Dress White of Raleigh / Hair & Makeup Pinup Studio

dinner plates and gold flatware look striking atop a Casablanca Midnight linen because they are stacked on clear Orizzonte Gold Rim chargers. An 8-foot-long “swag” rests atop the fireplace mantle. FauxReal offers swag floral arrangements that can be draped almost anywhere, priced $50 per foot (2-foot minimum).

The model, Anna Haddock, is a local lifestyle and travel blogger. Raleigh-based beauty salon Pinup Studio gave Anna

an elegant updo with soft tendrils of hair on either side of her face to frame glamorous makeup. This wedding hair and makeup pairs effortlessly with a dress designed by Dany Tabet from White of Raleigh, an independent bridal gown salon that has a photo-worthy ambiance. White of Raleigh’s thoughtfully curated selection of wedding dresses come in a wide range of prices, from some of the most sought-after designers.

heartofncweddings.com 231

Whimsical Warehouse

The Cotton Room is a warehouse-style venue on the third floor of a restored textile factory. Located in the historic Golden Belt District in Durham, The Cotton Room can host more than 400 guests. Belt Line Station and Lucky Strike Suite, on-campus sister venues, offer more intimate event spaces for smaller celebrations. Natural light, authentic exposed brick walls, wood floors and timber framing make The Cotton Room one of the most sought after wedding venues in the state. In addition to on-site catering and event staff, The Cotton Room is owned by the same team behind Petal & Oak – a flower and decor company based in Raleigh. This partnership makes styling easy and attainable, as the Petal & Oak designers know exactly what makes the venue shine.

For this styled wedding, Petal & Oak used whimsical gardenstyle flowers and decor to soften the industrial-chic interior

232 heartofncweddings.com Flowers & Decor
Heart of NC Weddings Vendors Florals & Rentals Petal & Oak Venue The Cotton Room / Photographer Morgan Caddell Photography Dress & Jewelry Gilded Bridal / Formalwear Bernard’s Formalwear Hair & Makeup Posh The Salon
heartofncweddings.com 233

of The Cotton Room. Two asymmetrical floral installations composed of greenery, pampas grass and white and pink blossoms mark the altar. A single gold chandelier adds to the cottagecore design. The sweetheart table is crowned with flowers at the center of two head tables. Petal & Oak set this sweetheart table apart by selecting a textured Eyelash Gipoor Gold linen and two King Louis XVI chairs — named for their oval back, soft upholstery and regal style. The head tables adjacent to the sweetheart table are decorated by Xtreme Crush Ivory linens, greenery, candles and succulents in textured bronze and gold vases. A luxury lounge area for guests to relax and take pictures in completed the design.

Lauren Wilkinson and Everett Pendergrast have been together for eight years. Lauren thought that they were only participating as models in this styled shoot. Little did she know, Everett had a family-heirloom ring hidden in the pocket of his dark navy suit from Bernard’s Formalwear. Everett waited for his queue while Lauren twirled in a WTOO by Watters wedding dress from Gilded Bridal. When the first few verses of “Forever Love” by Dolly Parton played, Everett expressed his love to Lauren and got down on one knee to pop the question. Simultaneously, Lauren and Everett’s moms stepped out from their hiding spot behind drapes to witness the surprise proposal. Everyone toasted Champagne after Lauren said, “Of course.”

Morgan Caddell Photography captured it all on camera. Lauren says that Morgan made her feel natural and at ease in front of the camera, “We felt like it was just the two of us in a room because she didn’t make it feel uncomfortable at all.”

234 heartofncweddings.com Flowers & Decor

Modern Museum

Heart of NC Weddings Vendors

Florals & Event Design Bloom Works

Venue North Carolina Museum of Art Photographyer Morgan Caddell Photography / Hair & Makeup Posh The Salon / Dress & Jewelry Gilded Bridal Formalwear Bernard’s Formalwear

North Carolina Museum of Art brings modern and ancient art, as well as visitors, from around the world to our state’s capital. Light-filled galleries and outdoor sculpture gardens make the museum a versatile venue choice. Couples enjoy taking wedding portraits in each of the museum’s art-inspired areas. As an added bonus, NCMA’s on-site event staff and partnership with Catering Works make event planning stress-free.

EW Fulcher, lead florist of Catering Works’ sister floral division Bloom Works, added romance and warmth to the museum’s clean interior with a chromatic spectrum of pink, white and green flowers. Floral arrangements with height and texture define the North Courtyard ceremony aisle in clean white boxes. Two ombré hydrangea arrangements placed on gold pedestals mark the altar, set up in front of a lily pad-filled reflecting pool. For the reception, Bloom Works decorated circular tables and the bar with low centerpieces — a classy style that allows guests to easily converse with one another over dinner and take in the entire West Building Great Hall.

Emerson white chairs enhance the modern ambiance of the outdoor ceremony space, while ghost chairs, named for their transparent structure, complement colorful reception tables inside. These party rentals are from CE Rental and can

heartofncweddings.com 235 Flowers & Decor

be the focal point or easily blend into any space. Blue- and goldpatterned Amalfi China pop against suede Casablanca Blush linens. These decor elements add visual interest to the overall tabletop design. Bloom Works did not need to decorate the walls of the West Building Great Hall because they are already adorned with amazing artwork.

The brides and real-life couple, Yakima Clifton and Destiny Gyant, have been together since 2014. Morgan Caddell Photography captured their love and laughter on camera as they moseyed through NCMA’s indoor and outdoor exhibits / event spaces. Destiny sparkles in a Dear Heart Bridal wedding dress from Gilded Bridal in Raleigh while Yakima sports a chic white suit from Bernard’s Formalwear in Durham. Together they look radiant with hair and makeup by Durham-based beauty parlor Posh The Salon.

236 heartofncweddings.com
heartofncweddings.com 237 Flowers & Decor

Top-Notch Tents

Heart of NC Weddings

Backyard or private-residence weddings require party rentals, and lots of them. Think about it, you’re turning an exposed, outdoor location into a refined event space where people can comfortably eat and dance. By bringing the inside out, tented weddings offer the best of both worlds. They have become an even more popular alternative to enclosed venues due to the ongoing pandemic. Read our tent tips below.

Budget more than you think. A tented wedding also requires lighting, draping, flooring, outdoor catering space, a generator for reliable power access, heating/air conditioning, restrooms and

“Expect to pay about the same amount that you would pay for a venue of similar size,” advises Alyssa Ruth, senior sales executive of Raleigh-based party supplier CE Rental.

Book your tent about a year in advance. Find out if you can have the tent set up a few days before / broken down a few days after the wedding. If these dates are flexible, you may have better luck securing a tent on prime dates. Also consider on-site parking, power and restroom availability, and the location’s local sound ordinances.

For smaller events, Alyssa recommends a white-top frame tent for its variety of sizes and configurations. Clear-top or sailcloth tents are more suitable for large-scale events. There are a variety of tents that you can choose from, but be sure to ask your party rental supplier which tent they recommend for the number of guests who are attending:

238 heartofncweddings.com Flowers & Decor
Vendors Tent &
C&D Events Florals Sweet
Love Blossoms
Lit Event
Lighting Additional
Vendors Barn at
Valhalla /
Photo by
heartofncweddings.com 239 (LEFT) DAKOTA HERSEY PHOTOGRAPHY; (RIGHT) ART BY COURT WINTER & JL EVANS FLORALS petalandoak.com 919.618.0525 info@petalandoak.com original chandeliers custom lighting design 919.257.8736 getliteventlighting.com hello@getliteventlighting.com

• Pole Tent – features unique peaks created by center poles and are vinyl or sailcloth.

• Sailcloth Tent is a type of pole tent that uses sailcloth material - a translucent fabric that adds a unique glow to the tent.

• Marquee Tent or Pop-up Tent has the peaked ceiling of a pole tent without the center poles (smaller, often used to create covered walkways or cocktail hour spaces.)

• Frame Tent is a classic option that comes in varying sizes and can support heavy equipment. It’s freestanding with no poles.

• Clear-Top Tent offers unique views of the surrounding landscape and guests can dance under the stars (unsafe in extremely warm or cold temperatures.)

• Pagoda Tent offers the option of creating multiple “rooms” within your tent.

Your Final Checklist

• Sound check to ensure guests can hear from any point within the tent.

• Create an entrance for your guests to walk through to enter the tent.

• Decorate the poles with draping, greenery or flowers.

• Have a Backup Plan in case rain or severe weather threatens to cancel your tented outdoor event.

Lighting 101

Terri Watson and Dave Watson, co-owners and operators of Get Lit Event Lighting, have provided luxury lighting and decor to couples since 2007. Shop their inventory of chandeliers (like what you see pictured left, photographed by Fancy This Photography), strand lighting, lanterns and more to find your perfect fit. If Get Lit doesn’t have the lighting or decor that you’re looking for, their innovative team might build it for you! Get Lit Event Lighting services typically start at $1,200.

“Create variability in your lighting design,” says Terri. “Have points of interest at different heights and in different areas. This may mean a ceiling installation of strand lighting or chandeliers with spot lighting of floral arrangements placed at different heights and lounge areas washed with an amber glow. I love seeing a dimly lit space with pools of light highlighting the band, wedding cake, food and beverage service areas and table decor. Creating a wall of light can be as much of a wow factor as a ceiling installation. This can be especially helpful in a tent where clients sometimes hope to mask the tent hardware.”


Create drama with a large statement piece like a crystal chandelier or encourage intimacy under a collection of industrial-chic fixtures.

Strand Lighting

This is the most versatile lighting. Opt for single strands, or a ceiling blanket of twinkling lights.


Line a pathway, showcase a staircase, or use as tabletop decor with live flame or LED pillar candles.

Wash Lighting

Dramatic architecture, glowing landscapes and soft candlelight ambiance are all achieved with wash lighting. Create a mood with colorful wash lights.

Spot Lighting

Flower arrangements and cake displays deserve to be noticed. Spot lighting will help draw attention to the details.


From functional to fanciful, decor pieces such as signs, screens, stage surrounds and wall backdrops have been designed and fabricated by Get Lit Event Lighting.

240 heartofncweddings.com
BloomWorksNC.com | 919-602-7783 | 2319 Laurelbrook Street, Raleigh, NC 27604 Innovative Floral Designs and Décor, Bringing Your Vision to Life. LIVE VIEW STUDIOS ALINA LIGIA PHOTOGRAPHY
invited to the best weddings Linens | China | Glassware | Flatware | Tables | Chairs 3633 S. ALSTON AVE., DURHAM, NC • (919) 544-1555 AMERICANPARTYRENTALS.COM Photo by Katherine Miles Jones Photography


244 heartofncweddings.com


On average, 100 DIY invitation suites (invitation, insert cards and envelopes) costs about $500-$750. Etsy sellers who offer 100 semi-custom invitation suites can run you around $850$1,250. For 100 fully custom invitation suites, expect to pay somewhere between $1,000 and $3,000. Many stationery designers have a starting minimum of anywhere from $2,000$3,000. A full, classic suite includes an invitation, envelope, envelope liner, RSVP card and matching envelope, and a details card. The price changes when you add or remove elements.


Remember, invites are per household and not per person. When you order invitations via a mainstream designer, you will not receive guidance on wording or etiquette. Book a fullservice stationer six months to one year in advance for a custom design. Send save the dates one year to six months in advance and invitations eight to 10 weeks in advance. You may also require a response card, directions or map to the venue, ceremony programs, reception place cards and menus.


Elevate invitations with calligraphy, wax seals or other customizable elements. Ask your stationer about additional costs associated with monograms, crests, venue illustrations and day-of signage. Maximize your investment and create cohesion in your event design with artwork on both your invitations and day-of pieces. Budget in gifts for your partner, wedding party, parents, vendors, welcome bags for your guests and wedding favors for all.

heartofncweddings.com 245
Invitation suite and The Bradford illustration by Ashley Triggiano. Photo by Images by Amber Robinson Photography



Taylor Siler, owner of Taylored Script Design Co., launched her business after studying graphic design in college and creating stationery and signage for her own wedding. It’s her personal goal to provide couples with all of their design needs in one place. Taylor’s custom stationery is the kind that you’ll want to frame and display as a meaningful memento. She also offers semi-custom save the dates, invitations and day-of details that are elegant and affordable.

What can a couple expect when working with you?

During the complimentary one-on-one consultation I offer my clients, I ask them to describe their style and wedding-day vision in detail. Every couple is unique, and I always aim to design pieces that suit them perfectly.

What are the latest wedding stationery trends?

Custom monogram crests and wax seals are popular and two of my favorite stationery trends. These elements add extra flare to invitations and can be incorporated throughout wedding day paper goods and signage as well.

What advice do you give couples who want personalized stationery but have a tight budget?

Working with a stationer is still possible! Many artists, like myself, have semi-custom designs to choose from, which are more affordable than a completely custom invitation suite.

246 heartofncweddings.com
Meet Your Local Stationers
Stationery Taylored Script Design Co. Linen CE Rental Photographer Fancy This Photography



Ashley Triggiano creates custom invitations, venue illustrations, couple portraits, favors and more that combine details from her client’s love story and wedding journey into one beautiful, cohesive design that meets their price point. Does your venue have a gorgeous front door? Ashley can replicate the experience of opening that door as guests open your illustrated invitation. Entertain your wedding guests with Ashley’s live painting services at cocktail hour or during the reception. Your friends and family will marvel at her talent, and you will also receive a stunning keepsake to take home and hang on your wall.

What are the latest wedding stationery trends?

I’m seeing a lot of requests for handmade paper, which definitely comes at a higher price point. A more budget-friendly but beautiful alternative is traditional cotton paper that’s been hand torn for those romantic, deckled edges.

What other advice can you give couples who want custom stationery but have a tight budget?

Often clients are interested in custom invitations but might not have room for it in the budget. It’s for that very reason that I’ve created an entire line of semi-custom suites based on past work I’ve done for custom clients. Couples are able to customize the existing designs with their colors and style, and choose print methods and paper that fits their budget, all while getting the custom look and avoiding “cookie-cutter” designs.

248 heartofncweddings.com
Meet Your Local Stationers
Paper Ashley Triggiano Linen CE Rental Model Anna Haddock Hair & Makeup Pinup Studio Dress White of Raleigh Photographer Fancy This Photography


Ashley Triggiano Fine Art tells your love story through custom artwork, inviting your guests to walk alongside you and experience your joy through tangible works of art.

Tiffany L Johnson Photography



This family-owned stationery and gift shop is run by motherdaughter duo Sherrie Stewart and Elizabeth Stewart Belk. Located in Greensboro and Raleigh, each store has gifts, paper, ribbons, stationery and wedding specialists who can help you. Their team will guide you through the many paper options and styles, from modern to bohemian to rustic-chic. Some couples want the invitation to be center stage while others want their day-of details to shine. If It’s Paper encourages clients to consider all of the elements they may want to include so that they can budget accordingly for each piece.

What are the latest wedding stationery trends?

We are seeing clients customize more special details for the weekend than ever before – cups, napkins, matches, etc. Hand illustrations, custom crests and monograms are popular elements we see our clients carry through from save the dates and invitations to cocktail napkins, cups and other accessories.

What’s one wedding paper or art detail that most couples forget about, but you love to include?

Some couples initially think they don’t want to have wedding programs, but we think they are one of the most valuable pieces of the wedding paper trousseau. The wedding program guides your guests through the ceremony and gives information about the wedding party or family that they may not otherwise know. You can read the origins of family names or the connection of members of the wedding party. Knowing the hymns being sung or the verses being read helps guests participate. It is also a good place to include directions to the reception or ask people to silence their cellphones.

250 heartofncweddings.com
Meet Your Local Stationers
Stationery If It’s Paper Linen CE Rental Photographer Fancy This Photography
ne stationery and invitations curated gifts and accessories 445 daniels street raleigh | 919.615.4333 1220-d battleground ave greensboro | 336.379.9874 www.ifitspaper.org photos by julia wade photography

1 Pamper your wedding party with a round tin travel candle, Nate Cotterman barware, a colorful box of matches and more from Small Batch Gallery + Goods, with locations in both New Bern and Raleigh. Your loved ones will swoon over the adorable belly basket that hold the gifts, too.

2 Curl up in a cozy blanket with this teainspired gift assortment of Vena’s Fizz House flowers bitters and aromatic-infused sugar cubes and Elana Gabrielle tea towels from Bowerbird Flowers & Apothecary, with locations in Durham and Chapel Hill.

Wedding Gift


Giving gifts is an extension of Southern hospitality, and we think it’s a nice touch to leave a welcome bag with some local and personal items for each guest who is traveling from out of town.


Etiquette calls for you to give a gift to each of your wedding party members. They have, after all, gone above and beyond for your big day.


Show your parents that you appreciate all they’ve done to help with your wedding by presenting them with a sentimental gift.


We might be biased, but we love the idea of thanking your wedding vendors for all they’ve done with a gift and a tip for service vendors.


A gift exchange between you and your soul mate is also a tradition. Discuss this as a pair and decide if you’d like to exchange presents (or if a love letter will suffice).

3 Say thank you with a self-care package from Bowerbird Flowers & Apothecary. This herbal assortment comes with The Magick Makers ritual bath soaks, a Minor Thread eye pillow with lavender and a Moon Valley Organics herbal lotion bar.

4 Deliver this gift to the daydreamer in your life. They will adore the SWAY dry body oil, a Tops Malibu wish capsule bracelet and a crystal geode with a hidden surprise from Bowerbird Flowers & Apothecary.

5 Small Batch Gallery + Goods offers unique gifts made by local artisans. Pamper your party with detoxifying apothecary bath salts, a soy wax votive and a decoupage oyster shell made by New Bern native Tony Embrey.

252 heartofncweddings.com
1 2 4 5 3 Photography by Fancy This Photography

Opening in JanuaryRaleigh 2022

From your bridal party to your wedding guests, Small Batch makes gifting easy. We offer exclusive gifts for the home + special occasion.


254 heartofncweddings.com


Expect $40-$100 per guest for food. Budget using this rule of thumb for the bar: One to two drinks per guest, per hour.


Book your caterer as soon as you secure your date and venue, or nine to 18 months in advance. Determine what dinner style is best for your wedding: buffet, stations, plated or family style. Consider guests with special diets who will need vegetarian, vegan and/or gluten-free options. Don’t forget about signature cocktails and late-night snacks!


Remember that prices will increase when labor gratuities and taxes are added to the final cost. We suggest budgeting at least $50 per guest. Be sure to include meals for your photographer, videographer, catering staff and any other vendors who will be actively present at your reception. 

heartofncweddings.com 255
Cold curry lobster salad with arugula, mint, watermelon and garlic vinaigrette by Virginia & Co. Photo by Heba Salama Photography


1 Chickpea cakes with tomato jam

2 Braised short ribs with creamy mascarpone grits

3 Puff pastry with fresh blackberries and blackberry jam, rosé crystals, sliced almonds and ricotta spread

Chef Natelege Bryant and her elevated soul food have taken the delicious Durham food scene by storm. Her name means “joy,” and that’s exactly what your wedding guests will feel when they take a bite of her cuisine. Chef Natelege founded Virginia & Co. in 2017, naming the company after her grandmother who let her play in the kitchen as a child. Choose from her many catering options, which include carving stations, grazing tables, plated dinners, family-style meals or a buffet.

What sets your team apart within the local catering industry?

The experience, beauty and flavor of our food. When we see people pulling out phones to take photos of their food, we know that we’ve done a good job.

How do you help couples plan food for their reception in the middle of a pandemic?

People are a little bit more budget-conscious right now. We’re trying to be artful in the ways that we can work within a couple’s budget. We’ve also reimagined our grazing tables by having more attendants serve and offering individual cups and mini charcuterie boards.

What is your signature dish?

Grazing table covered with artisan cheeses, cured meats, handbaked bread, seasonal fruit and indulgent accompaniments.

256 heartofncweddings.com
Chef Natelege Bryant.
Meet Your Local Caterers VIRGINIA & CO.
Photographer Heba
Salama Photography


Plated 1 Late summer tomato and corn salad

2 Vegan seared sweet potato with black bean puree, pico de gallo, lime broccoli and chorizo walnuts

This “above and beyond” team is adored by vendors and couples alike. They have more than 20 years of experience catering events in the Raleigh area, and they believe that delicious, creative cuisine and exceptional service are essential ingredients in making an occasion memorable. Bottom line is that Rocky Top Catering presents restaurant-quality wedding food at an affordable price.

3 Roasted beet crostini with whipped goat cheese and grape jus; Buckwheat blini and salmon lox salad with dill cream cheese; Strawberry-basil tartlet with white balsamic syrup

4 Pecan, chocolate, blueberry, sour cherry and apple pies and tarts

What can couples expect from a tasting and who should they bring?

Once we get a client’s proposal perfect, both budget- and selection-wise, we offer a private tasting for the couple to sample the menu that has been selected. This is a great way for us to get to know everyone better and really get a feel for the priorities on your special day.

We will make dietary notes and tweak items to suit taste through this process. If the couple has parents helping to fund the reception, they’re invited, too.

What are your suggestions for serving styles when it comes to receptions?

• Stations – free flow, guests eat at different times, no assigned seats or releasing of tables;

• Buffet – most budget friendly, but still gives guests lots of options;

• Plated – most elegant and formal

258 heartofncweddings.com
Meet Your Local Caterers
Photographer Heba Salama Photography
1 3 4 2


heartofncweddings.com 259 CREATING MEMORABLE EVENTS FOR OVER 20 YEARS: • Locally fresh & customized menus • Deliciously seasonal & creative cuisine • Experienced & refined service • Exclusive & preferred caterer for dozens of venues throughout the Triangle: 1705 EAST, BLUE ZONE, C ANNON ROOM, CROSS+MAIN, MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCES, POWER HOUSE, ROSE HILL, THE UPCHURCH



This female-owned-and-operated family business has been a Raleigh mainstay for more than 30 years. Sisters and owners Jill Santa-Lucia and Lorin Laxton have a passion for the art of entertainment. Catering Works offers more than just food: They have a wedding dessert team called Pastry Works and a floral division called Bloom Works (see page 242). Catering Works has racked up many positive testimonials from its ability to serve events both on- and off-site.

Plated 1 Asian tuna with marinated vegetables

2 Tomato salad with chevre, green goddess and balsamic pearls

3 North Carolina catfish with collards, okra and field peas

4 Offerings from Catering Works plus flowers by Bloom Works

Photographer Heba Salama Photography

What sets your team apart within the local catering industry?

The Catering Works chef and owners are dedicated to superior quality with food and service. Our core team is long-standing and dedicated to making sure every event goes off without a hitch while serving delicious food.

How can you upscale traditional, casual Southern faves such as barbecue?

We focus on creating a twist on the classic. With our barbecue station, we feature smoked turkey, barbecue and brisket with a plethora of house-made barbecue sauces and sides. Chef Rich Carter likes to call himself the Bubba Gump of barbecue sauce!

What’s your signature dish?

Our varieties of stuffed chicken.

260 heartofncweddings.com
Meet Your Local Caterers
2 4
SHANE SNIDER PHOTOGRAPHY FABIANA SKUBIC PHOTGRAPHY AMANDA KAY PHOTOGRAPHY Say “I do” to the perfect menu! CateringWorks.com | 919.828.5932 | Greatfood@cateringworks.com




Hillsborough-based Beau Catering has a reputation throughout North Carolina for exquisite food and exceptional service. Its namesake and beloved chef, Beau Bennett, passed away last year, leaving behind a passionate team of professionals who are dedicated to carrying on his legacy. Known for classic Southern cuisine with fresh Californian influence, Beau Catering believes in simple recipes that allow the ingredients to shine. From crispy fried chicken dipped in rosemary gravy to pistachio-encrusted eggplant, everything on Beau Catering’s menu tastes like heaven and is made with love.


1 Sweet corn pudding with a pea and shiitake sauté topped with a pea tendril salad and Parmesan

2 Duck with red plum chutney served with polenta cake and ratatouille

3 Cornbread crostini BLTs, melon gazpacho with a Gouda grilled cheese and seared North carolina scallops with mango salsa

What sets your team apart within the local catering industry?

Our focus on local food and personalized service.

What are your suggestions for serving styles when it comes to receptions?

For small- to medium-size weddings, we suggest a plated or family-style meal. For larger weddings, we recommend a buffet.

What is your signature dish?

Crabcakes with red pepper remoulade.

262 heartofncweddings.com Meet Your Local Caterers
Photographer Heba Salama Photography In loving memory of Jarred Beau Bennett, Nov. 27, 1975 - Oct. 8, 2021.

“We had such a great time at our individual tasting. It really felt so much more personal than the other tasting we attended which probably had 300 people in attendance. The food on the day of was outstanding and we were blown away!”

Exquisite Cuisine paired with Southern Hospitality

a full-service catering

Triangle area for over a



attention is given to the menu as well as additional services

can customize for you. Drop-off catering also available at BeauCateringMarketplace.com.

Bring Beau Home

Beau’s family meals offer you a healthy, stress-free solution for weekday meals including free delivery.

a party and let Beau Catering do the cooking with Build-Your-Own Catering Packages – featuring some of Beau’s all-time favorite dishes.

orders at: BeauCateringMarketplace.com

BeauCatering.com • 919.296.9039 • Hillsborough, NC beaucateringco beaucatering Beau Catering is
company – impressing the greater
decade. We
dinners, parties and corporate events. Special
“I could rave about the food and the staff for hours.
can’t imagine working with any other catering company…”
~ Sarah ~
~ Jenny ~
Photo by Heba Salama Photography Photo by Fancy This Photography

With a reputation for fresh food and cutting-edge presentations, HL Catering offers popular displays and interactive stations, and is all about custom menu building. Chef Houston Loper has extensive experience at the Atlanta Fish Market in addition to his culinary school training, which he utilizes to provide a fine dining touch and unparalleled creativity.


1 Bacon wall featuring coffee and cocoa bacon, candied bacon and maplechipotle bacon accompanied by bacon jam, pimento cheese and freshly made biscuits

2 Osso buco with grilled zucchini and roasted carrots

3 Mini bloody mary cocktails with shrimp in a cucumber cup

4 Tomato-ricotta cone made with lemon chutney

What sets your team apart within the local catering industry?

We often are asked what our company’s food “personality” is, and when it comes to weddings, our goal is to let the personality of the couple shine through the menu –after all, it is supposed to be all about them and not us. We spend a significant amount of time learning about our couples’ food taste and curating a unique menu for their big day.

How can you upscale traditional, casual Southern faves?

Upscaling food is all about presentation! For example, one of our most popular stations is a fried chicken carving station. By adding a chef and a heat lamp, the presentation of the chicken is significantly elevated. Throw in some spiced honey, scratch-made buttermilk biscuits and our pimento cheese and bacon jam, and you can’t lose! We also try to avoid chafers as much as possible and serve hot food in enamel pots with lids, cast-iron skillets or other creative alternatives.

264 heartofncweddings.com
Meet Your Local Caterers HL CATERING
Photographer Heba Salama Photography
1 4 3 2

Memorable Moments

For The
in Life www.hlcatering.com RALEIGH, NC • 919-675-1854 Photo from top-right clockwise: Jamie Vinson Photography; Anagram Photography; Jamie Vinson Photography; and Adelyn Boling Photography.



This brand has been synonymous with utmost class and excellence in weddings and social occasions for more than 40 years. This Raleigh catering company always cooks onsite, which allows them to travel statewide for events. And now, for the first time in 20 years, a woman is leading their team. Born and raised in North Carolina, Chef Chelsie Mueller is carrying on the Mitchell•Casteel legacy of serving fantastic food. “We don’t want to be the biggest, we just want to be the best!”

CEO David Casteel says.

What are your suggestions for serving styles when it comes to receptions?

For smaller receptions, we love when our clients choose to do a passed three- to fourcourse dinner that can be served on small plates. It is an entertaining service style to present to your guests in an intimate setting!

How can you upscale traditional Southern faves?

People like to put a regional flair on their menus. For example, take Eastern pulled pork and present it on a roasted corn cake, top with a touch of coleslaw and finish with a field pea and tomato salad, and a Western-style North Carolina barbecue sauce.

What’s your signature dish?

Joyce Farms goat-cheese-and-herb-stuffed chicken breast with wild forest mushroom vinaigrette.

Plated 1 Jumbo shrimp, bloody mary cocktail and chermoula sauces

2 Pecan-crusted rack of lamb, with roasted and mashed Johnston County sweet potatoes and butter bean ragout

3 Maple-glazed North Atlantic wild salmon roulade, coarse ground mustard mashed potatoes, Chinese long beans and ginger hollandaise

266 heartofncweddings.com
Chef Chelsie Mueller.
Meet Your Local Caterers MITCHELL•CASTEEL
Photographer Heba Salama Photography
1 2
heartofncweddings.com 267 To begin planning for your wedding contact us at 919-847-0135 or sales@mitchellcasteel.com. www.mitchellcasteel.com photos by Jodi Gray Photography and Reel Local CREATING CLASSIC, TIMELESS WEDDINGS FOR MORE THAN 40 YEARS.  @mitchellcasteelcatering  @MitchellCasteelCatering


1 Risotto balls from Gravy.

2 The Pit’s signature buffet: barbecue chicken, chopped barbecue, collard greens, coleslaw, mashed sweet potatoes and mac and cheese

3 The Pit’s pimento cheese biscuits

4 Shrimp and grits from The Raleigh Times Bar

The company – which also owns several local restaurants –operates on the belief that great food and great hospitality are all it takes to make someone feel at home. We love that the group intentionally focuses on taste, rather than trends. It also offers variety, since favorite menu items from so many of its local restaurants are offered. Empire Eats Catering provides quality service, whether you’re trying to please guests who are vegetarian, have a Southern palate or appreciate comforting Italian nosh.

What sets your team apart within the local catering industry?

Our catering team is part of our restaurant family –

Gravy, The Pit, Sitti and The Raleigh Times Bar – and we want everyone to feel the same level of hospitality and comfort at their events as they do at one of our restaurants. Hospitality is the cornerstone of all that we do.

How can you upscale traditional, casual Southern faves such as barbecue?

You can enhance the decor and the fine china that it is served on, but in the end, if you want barbecue, you want the whole hog cooked low and slow over charcoal and wood like they have done here in North Carolina since the 1700s. No need to put lipstick on our pigs!

268 heartofncweddings.com
Meet Your Local Caterers EMPIRE EATS CATERING
Photographer Heba Salama Photography
1 2 3 4
heartofncweddings.com 269 Photo credit: f8 Photo Studios Catering Partner of YOUR FAVORITE FOODS FOR YOUR SPECIAL DAY www.empireeatscatering.com · 919.582.9470 · catering@empireeats.com

If you want to hear friends and family rave about how good your wedding food was long after the big day, hire PoshNosh Catering. Founded by Chef and Restaurateur Coleen Speaks, PoshNosh is one of North Carolina’s finest catering and gourmet takeout spots. Their delicious cuisine showcases seasonal ingredients and each dish PoshNosh presents is as appetizing as it is attractive. Coleen’s 20-plus years of catering experience has also led to Hummingbird, a café and cocktail bar located next to her industrial-chic wedding and event venue Whitaker & Atlantic at Dock 1053 in Raleigh (see page 75). Enjoy a family-style dinner, a seated, formal dinner, or keep it simple with heavy or light hors d’oeuvres (food stations or served on trays) from this flavorful, full-service catering company.

270 heartofncweddings.com
Photo by Elizabeth Galecke Photography



Wedding ceremony musicians typically start around $300 for a soloist, and the price increases for duos and trios.

Upper-tier DJs start around $2,000 and can go up to $6,000 with add-ons. Middle-tier DJs start around $1,000 and lower-tier DJs charge about $200 to $400 per hour.

On average, live bands cost $3,000 to $7,000. Photo booths start around $500 and can go up to $1,000.

A Stylus S.E. DJ spins at a North Carolina Museum of Art wedding.


Local DJs are professionals with modern setups – think custom leather white booths, slick backdrops and even video screens and light shows that can transform your reception into a dance club. Talk to your DJ about including one of these preferred setups in your package. Alternatively, if you want your live band to have a snazzy stage, you’ll need to work with your rental company to get the gear. Also consider other nontraditional forms of entertainment: live painting (see page 248), cigar rolling, live poetry, bourbon tasting, s’mores station, tarot cards, yard games and more.


For both practical and aesthetic reasons, you want the size of your musical entertainment to complement the size of your reception. For example, if you are having an intimate backyard wedding, you may want to swap the 10-piece live band for a three-person bluegrass band. Or if you’re hosting a reception for more than 150 people, you might hire an experienced DJ who will keep the party going all night long. Check to make sure your reception venue has the infrastructure for the music or entertainment you desire. 

heartofncweddings.com 271

Strike a Pose

Your wedding guests will probably snap selfies and take pictures on their phones throughout the big day. But how many of those guests will actually print the pictures they take? Zero is the most likely answer. That’s just one of the many reasons why we recommend having a photo booth at your event.


Entertainment for guests of all ages. Photo booths are a great way to get guests out of their chairs at an event.

Quality technology and professional studio lighting/ camera equipment. Your guests will cherish the beautiful aesthetic of these printed photos.

Personalization depending on the theme of your event. ZimZoom Photo Booth offers 90-plus backdrops to choose from and has a graphic designer on staff who can customize your template.

Wedding favors in the form of high-quality printed pictures. The booth can print up to 800 photo strips per roll, and then a friendly ZimZoom attendant will refill it so that the fun can start all over again! Your guests will leave the event with pictures to remember the day.


Select a photo booth package:

• Pro Booth Package – DSLR camera and studio lighting, attendant, custom photo template design, unlimited and instant prints, 4-by-6 prints or 2-by-6 strips, animated GIFs, text and email instantly, quick setup and breakdown, curated and personalized props, designer backdrop, real-time online gallery and postevent online gallery.

• Lite Booth Package - Modern kiosk with ring lighting, custom photo template design and start screen, unlimited digital photos, GIFs and boomerangs, instant text and email, photo filters, real-time online gallery, livestream slideshow and quick set up and breakdown.

An open-air ZimZoom photo booth requires an 8-by8-foot floor space for the kiosk and backdrop that’s out of the way of major walkways. Power supply access needs to be within 25 feet of the booth.

Guests step up to the touch screen and press “start.” At the end of the countdown, a flash goes off, and the photo is taken. Depending on the layout, the ZimZoom booth can snap one to four photos per session.

Add-ons include a green-screen experience, roaming photography, 5-by-7 or 6-by-8 prints, metallic prints, coffee table book, retro photo keychains, custom-printed props, custom-printed backdrops, custom-engraved scrapbook and custom photo experience.

272 heartofncweddings.com
Trevor Thomas Wilson and Chandler Couillard – in her Vow’d Weddings dress –look like they are ready to embark on a tropical honeymoon at Raleigh Union Station thanks to ZimZoom Photo Booth and planner C&D Collective. Photo by Fancy This Photography

Don’t Stop the Music

Why do most event planners and venue directors rate the DJ or emcee as one of the highest wedding vendor priorities for couples, even though most couples don’t initially prioritize music or entertainment? Let’s look at the math:

• Wedding DJs are responsible for 75% to 80% of the average reception.

• 92% of couples say that their wedding’s success or failure depended on the DJ.

• Within one week of their wedding, 99% of couples wished they invested more money in entertainment.*

So, to put it plainly, nearly 99% of couples wished that 80% of their wedding was different after the fact. How can we put this in perspective?

Research tells us that the average couple in North Carolina spends just under $32,000 on their wedding and somewhere between $1,200 and $2,000 on their DJ. That means local couples spend 3%-5% of their budget on a vendor that heavily impacts the reception and controls the flow of 80% of their wedding. That’s a big deal, right? When you think about it this way, it’s hard to comprehend how anyone would skimp here or consider an “iPhone wedding DJ.”

The entertainment category is much more than just dancing. It can include dramatic lighting, enhanced narration, special performances, games or unique custom entertainment elements. Professional DJs can help with all of these factors.

If the party portion of your event is something you value, then consider what value you give to your DJ or emcee and prioritize them early on in the planning process. Our advice: Don’t wait to choose your entertainment vendor(s) last, when your options and budget are both significantly limited. The impact entertainment will have on your wedding day is immense. We understand that it may be hard to fully appreciate its scope until the day of, but we guarantee, once the big day arrives and the vibe is set, the reception is flowing smoothly and the DJ is effectively reading the crowd to keep folks on the dance floor, you will be happy that this aspect of your wedding day leaves you with zero regrets.

“I really believe that your DJ carries the energy of the reception party,” says Heart of NC Weddings Editorial Shoot Director Becca Taylor. “It’s so important to hire a professional DJ – a professional will work with you prior to the event to establish a timeline for your reception. Professional DJ services also have the capability to provide options for your ceremony, including microphones, music and livestreaming. Most importantly, your DJ really provides the environment for a celebration!”

“Your DJ is the most important vendor you bring in for your wedding,” says Rachel Kendrick, owner and lead designer at The Refinery Consulting & Design.

* Statistics found in this article come from St. Louis Bride magazine, Brides magazine, USA Today, National Bridal Service, The Knot and Simmons University.

274 heartofncweddings.com
Sweet Love Blossoms / Taylored Script Co. / Whitaker & Atlantic / Stylus S.E.’s Spencer McAvoy Photo by Fancy This Photography

Let the Good Times Roll


ou’ve secured a date, locked down your dream venue and planned your menu. Now it’s time to think about one of the most popular elements of your wedding: the bar.

You can either hire a professional to handle all of the details when creating your wedding bar packager or go the DIY route. Brewmasters Mobile offers the best of both worlds: It works with couples to customize a selection of drinks and services while taking the stress off their hands by coordinating and supplying all of the necessary elements of the bar.

Brewmasters is a locally owned and operated restaurant specializing in craft beer and made-to-order sandwiches that opened its doors to the Wilson, North Carolina, community in 2013. Today, the company offers mobile bar services for weddings and events with Brewmasters Mobile. This extension of the business supplies alcohol, unique bar setups (including the iconic Heidi the Hopbox, a blue horse trailer that was converted into a bar), cups, napkins, ice and more to create the ideal bar for your perfect day. Brewmasters Mobile can even help with the selection of bartenders – one of the only vendors that your guests will interact with throughout the evening. Hiring a professional, fun and experienced bar team is extremely important, explains Brewmasters Mobile’s bar manager, Molly Youssef

Molly recommends starting the process of selecting the drinks for your reception by considering: your favorite options; what appeals to a wide selection of guests; and last, but not least, a drink that has a meaningful connection to your love story. Was your first date at a local brewery? Did you drink a specific wine on the night that you got engaged? While you

want your guests to enjoy themselves, your wedding should also be all about celebrating you! That being said, if you love a specific beverage, but know it isn’t widely popular, Brewmasters Mobile can provide a small stash of that option just for you and your spouse.

Another way to infuse your personality into your wedding bar is to offer signature cocktails. Molly encourages selecting “cocktails that pair well together, aren’t too similar in flavor, fit with the season of the wedding and that the couple loves.” You can offer a signature mocktail if you’d like a non-alcoholic option. A sparkling lemonade or simply making the signature drinks without liquor are sure to please your guests.

276 heartofncweddings.com
ABOVE Brewmasters Mobile’s strawberry jalapeño margarita. LEFT Anna Haddock sips an elderflower gin fizz made by Brewmasters Mobile. Her hair and makeup were done by Pinup Studio, and her dress is from White of Raleigh. Photography by Fancy This Photography



Brewmasters Mobile provides full service alcohol catering for wedding receptions and private events with a huge selection of craft beers, wine, and cocktails. With a variety of indoor and outdoor mobile bars including a unique horse trailer bar, Brewmasters Mobile takes all the stress out of planning your bar! Proudly ABC licensed to serve Eastern NC, The Triangle and beyond.

Three Region Photography
www. brewmastersmobile .com/brewmastersmobile /brewmastersmobile
Toujours Photography Ellie McKinney Photography Annie Timmons Photography


278 heartofncweddings.com


a vision board of inspiration imagery


a tasting with your partner –make it a date night!


a consultation with your top bakery choice BOOK

your wedding cake / desserts six months to one year in advance


$6 to $12 per slice for cake; cost varies for dessert bar items

CONSIDER guests with special allergies as well as gluten-free or vegan options

ENTERTAIN guests with beautiful dessert displays or interactive stations

Model Anna Haddock, in a White of Raleigh dress with hair and makeup by Pinup Studio, poses next to a cake and display by Sugar Euphoria at The Maxwell.

heartofncweddings.com 279
Photo by Fancy This Photography


This family-owned cafe and bakery has created exquisite wedding cakes and desserts for its customers since 1982. Schedule an in-person, phone or Zoom consultation to discuss your inspirations or sketch a vision with the sister duo Mindy Davisson and Pastry Chef Erin Seabolt (whose sweet twins are pictured above). Sample a slice of Edible Art’s famous almond pound cake with amaretto filling at your first tasting and schedule a second tasting if you need a “flavor reminder” before the big day. Other popular flavors include lemon with raspberry mousse, a chocolate chip cake with cookie dough mousse, a Champagne cake and a pumpkin- or cinnamon-swirl cake with vanilla buttercream. Choose from miniature dessert options such as individual piekins, macarons, cookies and parfaits to build a dessert buffet.


What tips do you have for couples on how to “wow” guests with their cake/dessert display?

Have stands that are various heights so that each dessert sits at different eye levels. This will make your guests’ eyes wander across the whole table. This gives the display depth and can be done with multiple cakes or miniature dessert items.

What’s your favorite part of a wedding?

The actual wedding day when we get to work with all the vendors to make the couple’s day extra special. We love when photographers share photos so we can see how all the details and services were put together in the end. Especially when we are fortunate enough to see the ceremonial cutting of the cake between the newlyweds.

280 heartofncweddings.com
Cakes & Desserts
Cake Edible Art Bakery & Dessert Café Linen CE Rental Photographer Fancy This Photography
EdibleArtNC.com • The Circle at North Hills, Raleigh • 919-856-0604 Vesic Photography by Hooman Bahrani


Randi Smith, owner and director of Sugar Euphoria, has garnered a reputation in Raleigh for fabulous wedding cakes and dessert bars. Couples fill out a questionnaire to help her team better understand their unique style and taste. Popular flavors include Jamocha Me Crazy (chocolate cake, espresso buttercream and dulce de leche) and Tea Time (chai cake, spiced cream cheese frosting and local honey). All of the sweet treats on Sugar Euphoria’s menu can be customized in a variety of ways to fit your wedding’s theme. Don’t forget to order a groom’s cake or let your guests have fun selecting dessert shooters of lemon blueberry cheesecake, tiramisu or pistachio and white chocolate pastry cream from a tiered stand.

What should factor into a couple’s decision between a traditional white or an alternative wedding cake? There’s no right or wrong answer, but the cake should be an extension of a couple’s overall wedding design ... Pick a cake design that you’ll still love 30 years later.

What’s your favorite part of a wedding? I love the moment right after the officiant presents the new couple to guests – everyone cheers and the couple looks so jubilant and triumphant!

We help you create the sweetest wedding day, ever.

282 heartofncweddings.com hello@sugareuphoria.com | sugareuphoria.com PERRY VAILE PHOTOGRAPHY
Cakes & Desserts
HEART OF NC WEDDINGS VENDORS Cake Sugar Euphoria Linen CE Rental Photographer Fancy This Photography



Stephanie Richardson’s art education has served her well as a one-woman baker. She first stumbled upon her passion for cake decorating while working at a bakery after college. Today she bakes and decorates every single confection ordered from S. Richardson Cakes; her repertoire includes chocolate mousse, Southern red velvet, funfetti, summer citrus, Mexican hot chocolate and many more flavors of cake. Or you can choose to mix and match a variety of desserts and create a bar covered in cupcakes, cookies and parfaits. “Personally, I would love to see a mini dessert buffet at a wedding since cake is my least favorite dessert,” Stephanie confesses. Decide for yourself with a take-home tasting box.

Do you have any wedding dessert display tips for couples?

I think going with a dessert buffet and small personalized boxes or bags is a great idea for guests who don’t want to leave the dance floor. They can pack up something sweet on their way out the door.

heartofncweddings.com 283
Cakes & Desserts
HEART OF NC WEDDINGS VENDORS Cake S. Richardson Cakes Linen CE Rental Photographer Fancy This Photography Photo by Fancy This Photography

I’m Married, Now What?

SAVE KEEPSAKES FROM THE BIG DAY. Preserve your wedding dress, dry or press your bouquet, and freeze your cake. These are things you can look back on (and snack on) from your wedding day.


Here’s how to do it:

• Certify your marriage license;

• Go to your local Social Security office to change your name on your Social Security card;

• Head to the DMV to update your driver’s license or state ID;

• Change your name on other important documents – your passport, credit cards, bank accounts, etc.

SEND THANK-YOU NOTES TO GUESTS. Show your appreciation for their attendance and gifts by handwriting thoughtful thank-you’s.

GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR WEDDING PHOTOS. Start a scrapbook, blog or photo album full of memories from your big day. Be creative – there’s no wrong way to put your pictures on display.

SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY. Whether this is quality time with your spouse or dinner with your new in-laws, wash your hands of wedding planning and enjoy those closest to you.

THANK YOUR VENDORS. Whether you leave a positive review online or write a note, it’s always thoughtful to thank your vendors. They helped to keep your big day running smoothly!

TAKE A DEEP BREATH. All the planning that goes into your wedding is over – it’s time to pause and enjoy this joyous time in your life.

Have a spa day, take a trip or practice some selfcare. You deserve it.


284 heartofncweddings.com
Siera Nie and Michael Sturdivant stroll through downtown Durham. The couple plans to tie the knot on June 26, 2022. Photo by Fancy This Photography
Our Best Tips


We asked our readers what they used most and least from their wedding registry – here’s what they had to say:

Theresa Choudhury didn’t register for fine china but her mother-inlaw gifted it to the couple after their 1996 wedding and they love it. “Forget about things that wear out like towels and sheets. You can get those at Marshall’s,” she says. Good registry gifts are the ones that stand the test of time. “Good pots and pans, you’ll have them forever.”

Lucy Dioguardi, a 2016 bride, says she regrets registering for an ice bucket – it hasn’t been of much use when she hosts parties. Quality dishes, on the other hand, Lucy says she uses daily and loves.

Amanda Wood, 2011 bride, advises couples to stay away from decor or kitchen gadgets when making their registry. “I never used the waffle iron… maybe one day,” she says. “Registering for a honeymoon seems brilliant to me.”

Kathryn Zoutewelle got married in 2020 and she says a bar cart

was the best addition to her registry. “We have a place to put all of our nice new glasses. It’s so functional and cute!” Rethink a wine decanter, though. “I loved the idea of it but never use it,” Kathryn says. “And it takes up so much space! But I’m holding out hope that I’ll use it for a fancy dinner party at some point in my future.”

Kelsey Erin Stirzel tells us about the kitchen tools she put on her registry. A cast iron skillet gets the most use. Her sushi-making kit? Not so much.

For 2021 bride Emily Hull Cassidy, a LeCreuset Dutch Oven is the most used item from her registry. Her least used gift is fine china.

2021 bride Alexia Hutchison says silverware was her most used item. Her least used gift? “Everything that was not on the registry,” says Alexia.

Meaghan Dowdy Rafiee says dinnerware and silverware are the most used wedding gifts, while an electric griddle is her least used gift. “It’s still in the box,” she admits.


BridesCarolina HAVE IN COMMON?


Let the experts at A Cleaner World clean and preserve your wedding gown. It’s a gift your family can share from generation to generation.

heartofncweddings.com 285

Build a life you love, together.

We are a North Carolina credit union that can help you build a solid financial foundation, together. Our resources blend knowledgeable people with digital tools to help you save more, spend better, and grow your money. At Civic, you are a member and our priority. Because your team is our team. *Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the payer's submission of deposits. We generally post such deposits on the day they are received which may be up to three days earlier than the payer's scheduled payment date. Meet Civic. Low-Interest Loans Cashback Rewards Credit Card Bonus Checking with Early Deposit* Visit civicfcu.org/wedding to learn more Federally insured by NCUA

Wedding & Reception Venue Guide

Find a venue that matches your wedding needs.

Visit heartofncweddings.com to use our wedding venue guide online.

1705 East / 984-212-4651

Raleigh / page 35

All Saints Chapel / 919-459-3212

Raleigh / page 54

Barn of Chapel Hill at Wild Flora Farm, The 919-590-0955 / Chapel Hill / page 31

Beaufort Hotel / 252-728-3000

Beaufort / page 121

Belt Line Station / 919-530-8380

Durham / page 66

Bluebird Meadows Farm 919-568-1999 / Louisburg / page 63

Bradford, The / 919-542-2467

New Hill / page 20

Board & Batten / 336-793-1155 Lexington / page 87

Cannon Room, The / 984-212-4708 Raleigh / page 34

Carolina Barn, The / 910-495-9909 Spring Lake / page 10

Carolina Club, The / 919-962-1101 Chapel Hill / page 36

Carolina Grove / 919-213-1652 Hillsborough / page 97

Carolina Inn, The / 919-918-2715 Chapel Hill / page 5

Colonial Inn, The / 984-789-4455 Hillsborough / page 91

No 260 325 No Yes Porch, Lawn

No 200 140 YesG Yes No

No 200 250 YesG No Garden, Lawn, Flower Fields

Yes 220 inside 300 outside 500 No Yes

Open-Air Pavilion, Pool, Lawns, Waterfront

No 100 inside 200 outside 150 YesG Yes Patio, Open-Air Covered Room

Yes 120 200 Yes No

Wooded Trails, Ponds, Wild flowers, Meadows, Greenhouse

YesG 275 400 Yes No Terrace, Garden, Field

No 225 225 No Yes Rolling Hills

No 130 90 Yes Yes No

No 350 350 Yes No

Mountain Views, Covered Patios, Terrace, Lawn

No 400 1,000 No Yes Terrace

No 240 300 Yes No Covered Porch, Al Fresco Grove

Yes 350 650 YesG Yes Terrace, Courtyards, Lawns for Tenting

Yes 115 inside 159 outside 115 inside 159 outside Yes Yes Wraparound Porch, Lawn Cookery, The / 919-908-8974 Durham / page 77

Cornealius Properties, The 919-920-8061 / Goldsboro / page 120

Cotton Room, The / 919-530-8380

Durham / page 66

Cross + Main / 984-212-8111

No 330 500 YesG No Private Garden, Courtyard

Yes 200 200 Yes No

Trails, Natural Areas, Pond, Farmland, Woodland

No 350 440 No Yes No

No 200 225 No Yes No Distillery, The / 919-391-8350

Youngsville / page 35

Garner / page 21

Durham Hotel, The / 919-768-8830 Durham / page 64

No 284 340 Yes No Outdoor Patio, Urban Garden

Yes 150 150 No Yes Rooftop, Garden Terrace

heartofncweddings.com 289
Room Accommodations Seating Capacity
Cocktail-Style Reception
Choice of Caterer Catering Provided Outside Area

Wedding & Reception Venue Guide

Find a venue that matches your wedding needs.

Visit heartofncweddings.com to use our wedding venue guide online.

Forest Hall at Chatham Mills 919-533-0145 / Pittsboro / page 56

Glass Box, The / 919-459-3212

Raleigh / page 55

Governors Club / 919-933-7500

Chapel Hill / Inside front cover

Hayfield at Murchison Farms Liberty / page 67

Heights House Hotel / 919-594-1881 Raleigh / page 65

Hibiscus, The / 919-727-9354 Raleigh / page 99

HighRock Farms / (919) 270-9096 Oxford / page 48

Hilton North Raleigh / 919-719-4932 Raleigh / page 49

Historic Wakefield Barn, The 910-315-9968 / Wakefield / page 25

House at Gatewood, The / 919-241-4083 Hillsborough / page 105

Jarvis at 220, The / 252-631-1452

New Bern / page 117

Jiddi Space & Courtyard / 919-592-7176 Raleigh / page 103

Kinsleeshop Farm, The / 704-980-0631 Statesville / page 296-297

Lavender Oaks Farm / 919-909-7417 Chapel Hill / page 46

Market Hall / 984-232-8661 / Raleigh page 26-27

Matthews House, The / 919-467-1944

Cary / page 53

Maxwell, The / 919-213-0059 Raleigh / page 11

Mayton, The / 919-670-5000 Cary / page 64

Melrose Knitting Mill / 910-315-9968

Raleigh / page 24

Merrimon-Wynne House, The 919-906-1026 / Raleigh / page 79

Morgan Farms Oxford / page 33

No 250 300 Yes Yes Lawn, Garden, Forest

No 30 45 YesG No Private Outdoor Balcony

No 250 350 No Yes Terrace, Lake Views, Driving Range

No 200 200 Yes No

Cow Pastures, Ponds, Rolling Hills, Terrace, Verandas, Fire Pit

Yes 149 149 Yes No Lawn, Historic Neighborhood

No 375 500 Yes Yes No

No 300 300 Yes No Pastures, Ponds

Yes 840 840 Yes Yes No

No 250 250 No Yes Historic Dairy Farm

No 150 150 No Yes Pond, Lawn

Yes 100 200 Yes No Patio, Historic District

No 140 140 No Yes Outdoor Courtyard

Yes 150 200 Yes No Patio, Fireplace, Rolling Fields

YesG 250 250 Yes No Wedding Gazebo, Lavender Fields, Outdoor Pavilion

No 350 450 No Yes Awning, Street Closure

Yes 160 160 Yes No Terrace, Garden, Porch

No 300 500 Yes No Open-Air Patio, Lawn

Yes 80 inside 150 outside 120 inside 150 outside No Yes Terrace, Park

No 180 180 No Yes Garden Courtyard

No 200 250 Yes No Lawn, Garden

Yes 125 125 Yes Yes Oak Lawn, Field

290 heartofncweddings.com
Room Accommodations Seating Capacity Cocktail-Style Reception Capacity Choice of Caterer Catering Provided Outside Area

Wedding & Reception Venue Guide

Find a venue that matches your wedding needs.

Visit heartofncweddings.com to use our wedding venue guide

New Bern Riverfront Convention Center 252-637-1551 / New Bern / page 116

North Carolina Museum of Art 919- 839-6262 / Raleigh / page 15

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences / 919-707-9845 Raleigh / page 37

Oakland Farm / 919-352-8247 Bear Creek / page 79

Oaks at Salem, The / 919-387-4158 Apex / page 47

Orpheum, The Oxford / page 33

Overlook Barn / 828-414-1156 Beech Mountain / page 126

Park Alumni Center 919-847-0135 / Raleigh / page 51

Paramount Event Venue / 919- 893-4943 Morrisville / page 109

Parizade / 919-286-9712 Durham / page 99

Parlour at Manns Chapel, The Chapel Hill / page 90

Plant and Chatham Beverage District, The 919-444-9300 / Pittsboro / page 66

Power House at Rocky Mount Mills, The 252-801-6528 Rocky Mount Mills / page 32

Prestonwood Country Club 919-467-2566 / Cary / page 13

Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley 919-571-5345 / Raleigh / page 107

Raleigh Union Station / 919-645-2762 Raleigh / page 88

Renaissance Raleigh North Hills 919-571-8773 Raleigh / page 108

Rickhouse, The / 984-244-7662 Durham / page 77

River Dunes / 800-975-9565 Oriental / page 113

No 1,000 1,000 Yes Yes Neuse River, Patio, Veranda, Lawn

No 150 200 No Yes Courtyard

No 400 625 No Yes No

Yes 300 400 Yes No Outdoor Pavilion, Forest, Fields, Patios

No 300 300 YesG No Pond, Fountain, Courtyard

No 175 175 Yes No No

No 250 300 Yes No Ceremony Platform, Mountain View, Meadows

No 150 150 No Yes Lake Raleigh, Gazebo, Lawn

No 250 250 Yes No Patios

No 80 120 No Yes Courtyard, Garden, Water Feature

No 100 100 YesG No Courtyard, Patio, Woodlands









Yes Yes Meadows, Trails, Farmland, Gazebo, Courtyard

G Yes Outdoor Terraces, Tar River

No Yes Covered Veranda

No Yes Courtyard, Terrace

No Civic Plaza, Rooftop Views

Yes Terrace

No Balcony


Marina, Waterfront Views, Lawns, Natural Areas, Docks, Front Porches, Pool, Fire Pit Areas

heartofncweddings.com 291
400 200 Inside Unlimited Outside
280 400 Yes
350 1000
800 1000
700 700 Yes
550 550 No
200 200 Yes
150 150 Yes
291 heartofncweddings.com
online. Guest Room Accommodations Seating Capacity Cocktail-Style Reception Capacity Choice of Caterer Catering Provided Outside Area

Wedding & Reception Venue Guide

Find a venue that matches your wedding needs.

Visit heartofncweddings.com

venue guide

use our

River Landing, The Village at 910-285-1016 / Wallace page 112

Rose Hill Estate / 252-459-4058

Nashville / pages 2-3

Rumbling Bald Resort / 828-694-3000 Lake Lure / page 127

Saint Mary's Chapel / 919-424-4000 / Raleigh / page 57

Sanderling Resort / 855-412-7866

Duck / page 111

Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel / 919-968-4900

Chapel Hill / page 106

Sheraton Raleigh Hotel / 919-834-9900 Raleigh / page 75

Stockroom at 230, The / 919-459-3212 Raleigh / page 55

Story, The / 919-914-6032

Chapel Hill / page 98

Summerfield Farms / 336-515-6051

Summerfield / page 89

Tryon Palace / 252-288-3820

New Bern / page 115

Umstead Hotel & Spa, The 866-877-4141 / Cary / page 7

Union Grove Farm / 919-265-3420

Chapel Hill / page 76

University Club / 919-493-8099

Durham / page 78

Upchurch, The / 919-205-3036

Apex / page 61

Vidrio / 919-803-6033

Raleigh / page 101

Walnut Hill / 919-295-6284

Raleigh / page 23

Whitaker & Atlantic / 919-301-8587

Raleigh / page 75

Willard Rooftop Lounge, The 919-803-5200 / Raleigh / page 16

WinMock at Kinderton / 336-397-2010 Bermuda Run / page 30

Yes 300 1,000 No Yes Grounds with River Lodge, Pool

YesG 425 425+ No Yes Gardens, Gazebo, Pool, Lake, Porches

No 200 200 No Yes Lakeside Gazebo, Covered Terrace, Mountain Views

No 250 250 No No Landscaped Grounds

Yes 180 180 Yes Yes

Beach Access, Decks, Fire Pit Areas, Lawn and Games, Waterfront Views, Gazebo, Natural Areas

Yes 400 650 No Yes Outdoor Terrace, Pool

Yes 350 600 No Yes No

No 175 275 YesG Yes No

No 350 350 Yes Yes Rooftop Terrace

Yes 300 300 Yes No

Rooftop Terrace, Garden Fire Pit, Reception Tent, Front Porch, Pastureland, Pond, Natural Areas

No 250 300 Yes No Gardens, Lawns, Courtyards, River Views

Yes 360 300 No Yes Lawn, Terrace, Garden

Yes 200 300 Yes No

No 180 200

Lawns, Vineyard, Garden, Pond, Gazebo, Orchards


Lawn, Porch, Greenhouse, Forest

Open-Air Loft

Porch, Lawns, Patio

Covered Patio


Lawn, Patio

292 heartofncweddings.com
No Yes
No 225 225+ No Yes
No 200 250 No Yes
Yes 200 225 Yes No
No 150 300 Yes Yes
Yes 112 250 No Yes
No 275 275 Yes No
online. Guest Room Accommodations Seating Capacity Cocktail-Style Reception Capacity Choice of Caterer Catering Provided Outside Area

From first steps to last details, Forever & Co is your best wedding resource. We bring together a curated collection of trusted professionals and planning inspiration.


create your day

heartofncweddings.com 293



1705 East

All Saints Chapel 54 Barn of Chapel Hill at Wild Flora Farm, The 31

Beaufort Hotel

Belt Line Station 66

New Bern Riverfront Convention Center

North Carolina Museum of Art 15 North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences 37 Oakland Farm


Dermatology & Laser Center of Chapel Hill

Finn Plastic Surgery


Pinup Studio 156

Posh The Salon

Bluebird Meadows Farm

Board & Batten

Cannon Room, The


63 Bradford, The


Carolina Barn, The 10 Carolina Club, The

Carolina Grove 97 Carolina Inn, The

Colonial Inn, The 91 Cookery, The....................................................77 Cornealius Properties, The 120 Cotton Room, The

Cross + Main 35 Distillery, The

21 Durham Hotel, The

64 Forest Hall at Chatham Mills 56 Glass Box, The................................................ 55 Governors Club inside front cover Hayfield at Murchison Farms

67 Heights House Hotel 65 Hibiscus, The.................................................. 99 HighRock Farms 48 Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown.................. 49

Historic Wakefield Barn, The 25 House at Gatewood, The

105 Jarvis at 220, The

Jiddi Space & Courtyard

Kinsleeshop Farm, The

Lavender Oaks Farm 46 Market Hall

26-27 Matthews House, The 53 Maxwell, The

Mayton, The 64 Melrose Knitting Mill

Merrimon-Wynne House, The 79 Morgan Farms

79 Oaks at Salem, The 47 Orpheum, The

Overlook Barn


Beauty 162

Umstead Hotel & Spa, The

Paramount Event Venue

109 Parizade

99 Park Alumni Center 51 Parlour at Manns Chapel, The

90 Plant at Chatham Beverage District, The

Power House at Rocky Mount Mills 32 Prestonwood Country Club

13 Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley 107 Raleigh Union Station

88 Renaissance Raleigh North Hills 108 Rickhouse, The

River Dunes

River Landing, The Village at

Rose Hill Estate

Bald on Lake Lure

Saint Mary's Chapel......................................

Sanderling Resort

Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel

Sheraton Raleigh Hotel

Stockroom at 230, The

Story Venue, The

Summerfield Farms

Taverna Agora


Hotel & Spa, The

Union Grove Farm

University Club

Upchurch, The


& Atlantic

Willard Rooftop Lounge, The



A Cleaner World


Edible Art Bakery & Dessert Café 281

Richardson Cakes

283 Sugar Euphoria 282




Beau Catering


Catering Works 261

Eats Catering


Catering 265

A Fine Catered Affair

PoshNosh Catering

Top Catering 259

& Co.


Bella Bridesmaids

Bernard’s Formalwear

Gilded Bridal

Kannon’s Clothing

Clothing Studio

Thornbury Brides

Vow'd Weddings

of Raleigh




294 heartofncweddings.com
........................................................ 35
...................................... 34
....................................... 36
............................................ 5
......................................... 66
......................................... 117
.......................... 103
..................... 296-297
.................................. 24
............................................... 33
......................................................................... 116
............................................... 33
............................................. 126
........................................................................... 66
............................................2-3 Rumbling
..................... 106
................................ 55
...................................... 89
................................................23 Tryon
.................................................115 Umstead
.......................... 7
.............................................. 78
61 Vidrio ............................................................ 101 Walnut
23 Whitaker
..................................... 75
16 WinMock
Kinderton ................................. 30
.......................... 7
......................................... 285
..................................... 270 Rocky
................................................ 151
165 Liles
.................................. 163
.......................................... 159 White
Bloom Works ................................................ 242










heartofncweddings.com 295 Bowerbird Flowers & Apothecary 241 FauxReal Flowers ........................................ 229 Folie à Deux Events 188 Petal & Oak ................................................. 239 Sweet Love Blossoms ............................... 241
Ashley Triggiano 249 If It's Paper ................................................... 251 Small Batch Gallery + Goods 253 Taylored Script Design Co. ........................ 247
Bailey’s Fine Jewelry 1 Diamonds Direct .......................... back cover Jewelsmith ............................................. 152-153
Ashley Triggiano 249 PHOTOGRAPHERS
VIDEOGRAPHERS Arika Jordan Photography 210 Barlow Boudouir ........................................ 209 Danielle Flake Photography 211 Fancy This Photography ........................... 221 Heba Salama Photography 214 jHagan Photography .................................. 207 Jillian Knight Photography ...................... 205 Morgan Caddell Photography ................. 215 Mark Maya Photography & Videography 223 Thomas Blake Films .................................. 225
Stylus S.E. 275 ZimZoom Photo Booth .............................. 273
American Party Rentals ............................ 243 CE Rental ........................................................ .17 Get Lit Event Lighting 239 Petal & Oak ................................................. 239 PLANNERS ACE Weddings & Events 195 Anthem House ............................................. 176 Bustled Events 200 C&D Events ................................................... 177 Dogwood Gatherings and Events 194 Folie à Deux Events ................................... 188 Magnolia Collective ................................... 189 Sally Oakley Weddings & Events ........... 183 Virtue Events ............................................... 182
Gwen Downs ..................................................119
Charleston Area CVB ........................... 122-123 CMC Events & Travel 201 Johnson Volvo of Durham ........................288 Outer Banks Wedding Association ..........113 Visit New Bern ...............................................114
& RESOURCES Civic FCU..................................................286-287 Forever & Company .....................................293 Visit HeartofNCWeddings.com for local wedding showcase listings ..................... 295 ALL LOCAL! ALL FOR YOU! HAPPY PLANNING! WALK DOWN THE AISLE WITH US The dedicated resource guide for vetted vendors in the NC Triangle heartofncweddings.com

The Wedding Barn Chapel at The Kinsleeshop Farm

Photo by Madison Snedeker Photography


Start your
story here. We view a wedding event as more than just an evening gathering. We believe that it is an opportunity to take a step back and celebrate life. thekinsleeshopfarm.com | @thekinsleeshopfarm Photos by Jordan Vines - Overton Vines Studios & Katie Brooks Event Co.
4401 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27612(919) 571-2881www.diamondsdirect.com Official Jeweler of the Carolina HurricanesProud Sponsor of NC State Athletics

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook

Articles inside

Don’t Stop the Music

pages 276-277

Meet Your Local Caterers

pages 258-272


pages 256-257

Gift Guide

pages 254-255

Meet Your Local Stationers

pages 248-253

Flowers and Decor

pages 228-229

Paper & Gifts

pages 246-247

Set the Scene

pages 230-245

Press Rewind

pages 226-227

Brandon Johnson & Jennifer Padavic

pages 224-225

Katy Dow & Chris Feifs

pages 222-223

Austin Harbison & Mark James

pages 218-219

Emmie Tkach & Isaiah Whitley

pages 220-221

Photography: What to Expect

pages 206-209

Party Paparazzi

pages 210-213

Photo & Motion

pages 204-205

Plan Your Mini-Moon

page 203

Tyler Thomas & Janice Yang

pages 200-202

Danielle Marquardt & Milap Mehta

pages 198-199

Taylor Gustafson & Sarah Hardin

pages 194-197

Jemima Philip & Stephen Vance

pages 192-193

Andrew Berghorn & Claudia Kostich

pages 188-191

No Worries

pages 174-175

Andrew Wasilick & Mackenzie Williams

pages 180-181

Wedding Planners

pages 172-173

Look Good, Feel Good

pages 168-171

Virginia McMillan & Woodie Williams

pages 186-187

Best Dressed

pages 166-167

Coastal Planning Tips

pages 112-119

Ceremony Certainty

pages 120-125

All About the Tux

pages 162-165

Here to Stay: Microweddings

pages 102-111

Royal Wedding Reimagined

pages 94-101

Mountain Planning Tips

pages 126-129

Bespoke Barn Wedding

pages 82-93

Bridesmaids Guide

pages 156-161

How to Plan During the Wedding Boom

pages 30-39

Love at Lavender Oaks Farm

pages 40-51

Wild Romance

pages 70-81


pages 20-23

Piedmont Planning Tips

pages 24-29

Celebrate Sustainably

pages 52-59

Letter from the Publisher

pages 8-9

What’s New with Venues

pages 60-69
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.