Monday, January 30, 2017

Real Wedding: Alannah + Gabriel at The Bradford

I am so thrilled to share pictures from Alannah and Gabriel's wedding at The Bradford this past fall. You may remember this post from the Monday after their event. They were my (Dana's) couple from Hurricane Matthew. 

I loved working with Alannah. She was so easy to get along with and was always so kind and appreciative. I knew when we met and I heard her vision for the day - it was going to be gorgeous. She wanted a very Italian/Tuscany feel with lots of food! They had such fun little touches all over. Guests were welcomed into the house (by the bus load!) and ushered into the ballroom for the ceremony. Guests were then welcomed back into the house for the cocktail hour while the ballroom was flipped for the reception. We did have to separate some guests into the house because of the weather, but guests were pretty understanding. The guests enjoyed a photo booth, a food truck (for drunk food!!), and an endless bar of premium drinks. We ended up extending the night an extra hour to account for time lost during dinner and no one left until midnight! It was such a fun evening and some of my favorite wedding stories have stemmed from this night. 

The wedding aside- it was a tough day for everyone. There was a point where everyone had to mourn for the true vision of the event- but all the vendors pulled together to deliver an event that was the best it could have possibly been during a category 3 Hurricane. The Bradford staff did not stop moving all night. We were all drenched from head to toe, and worked endlessly to flip space after space to accommodate all the guests. No one complained, no one grumbled. It was the most epic of a team I could have asked for. On top of all that -I had a bride that kept it together and smiled, laughed, and had a great time. It was an event that I look at and realize that I love what I do! I love that these two trusted to me with so much. I know on the outside people look at a wedding planner and think it is so trivial. But what they don't see is how much relief we provide people. A wedding day is a day that you start your life with another person. It is a day of pure joy and celebration when you stand in front of your friends and family and commit your life to another human being. It is emotional that fact alone. Add in circumstance beyond your control and it gets downright overwhelming. There is nothing that makes me more satisfied than getting the chance to be the calm in someone's literal storm. 

Alannah and Gabe - Thank you for trusting us. Thank you for being calm. Thank you letting me be your "person" on one of your biggest days. Thank you for letting my console you when you needed it. You two will always hold a special place in my heart. I know the future is bright and full of joy for you both! 

Enjoy the pictures from Caroline Lima

Polaroid Guest Book

The mantle looking awesome 

I loved their simple invitation design. It reflected the event so well

One of my favorite verses!

Donna just knocked it out of the park! 

Not a bad hurricane back up plan!

I loved all the touches of wood 

Such a neat idea! 

Sugar Euphoria a hurricane..with this beauty! 

Ballroom has never looked so awesome!

Menu cards and favors

These smelled amazing!

So many details! 

Isn't she just gorgeous?!

About to see his bride

So sweet

One of my favorites! 

Can't even tell there is a hurricane!

These people- so many awesome people

Love this 

I mean - how cute are they?!?


They were like this all night

Drunk food!!


A "We did it!" Tequila shot at the end of the night. This picture just makes me laugh every single time. I may have it printed out on my desk :)

Thanks to all our awesome vendors!
Venue: The Bradford
Planner: Dana with C&D Events
Rentals: CE Rental
Caterer: Donovan's Dish
 Ceremony and Reception Music:All Around Raleigh DJ
Dessert: Sugar Euphoria
Paper Products: Shutterbooth
Food Truck: Bam Pow Chow
Furniture: Greenhouse Picker Sisters 
Hair and Makeup: Wedding Hair by Liz

Monday, January 23, 2017

Real Wedding: Kelly + Charles: Duke Gardens

Last summer I had the privilege of being a part of Kelly and Charles' wedding at the always beautiful Duke Gardens! They had such a fun, laid back attitude that made planning so enjoyable. We worked with a great vendor team to bring their visions to reality - and they sprinkled in a few fun DIY elements that made the event super unique! I especially loved their giant tissue paper daisies as a photo booth backdrop! What you don't see in these pictures if the night before - when they hosted their rehearsal dinner at the Duke Fencing gym that Charles trained at while in college. The whole weekend was so much fun and unique - which is how I would describe these too!

Thanks to all our awesome vendors!
Photography: Casey Rose Photography
Planner: Courtney with C&D Events
Rentals: American Party Rentals
 Ceremony and Reception Music: Arioso Strings

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Recap of The Top 16 Things We're Excited about in 2016!

Last year we wrote several blogs about The Top 16 Things We're Excited about in 2016To start 2017 off, we wanted to give you a recap of each. 

TOP 16 of 2016
1. Chapel Hill Magazine - not too much here other than it was cool to be in a magazine! 

2. The Knot Best of 2016 - one of our favorite awards! We always feel so fortunate to get this. 

3. NACE - Who doesn't want an excuse to go out on a Tuesday night and have a drink and an awesome meal? But seriously - it has been a great year! We have met so many new people, and tried so many new things! We planned the January event and then the May event. We have loved being a part of this organization. We really love the camaraderie, the networking, and there have been a few meetings where we have completely changed our day to day business based on the speakers and their awesome tips and advice. If you aren't a part of NACE- join. It is so worth it. 

4. Leah - Wow... what a year! I can’t believe that it’s already been almost a year since I wrote my blog post on what I was looking forward to for 2016  – time seems to fly by even faster every year! 

There is so much to reflect back and smile on for the year. From all of the amazing weddings that I was able to be a part of, to getting a promotion at work and taking on more responsibilities, to turning 30!  I achieved my goal of obtaining my Professional in Human Resources certification and my favorite team won the Super Bowl (go Broncos!). But the most exciting thing of all... Adam and I got engaged!

Getting to plan my own wedding has been so much fun, but I often times forget that I’m the one who’s going to be walking down the aisle. This time I’m the bride! It has also given me a new perspective when I’m planning the weddings of my couples. Now that I’m going through the process myself I can understand even more why people feel certain ways when planning. One day you’re thrilled, one day you’re disappointed, one day you’re stressed... and a lot of days you are just OVER IT. I think having planned my own wedding and going through all the steps will only make me a better planner for my couples. Thankfully Adam has been a fantastic planning (and life) partner and we could not be more excited for our wedding in June. We’re down to only 142 days (but who’s counting)!

I know that there were some crazy, sad, weird and downright ridiculous things that happened in 2016, but for me it was a fantastic year and I choose to focus on all of the good that happened!
I’ll tell you what though... 2017 will be EVEN BETTER

5. Pre-Wedding Soiree in Southern Bride and Groom - What a great shoot! We were up for an award- but didn't get it- sad! But we still love it anyways. And the BEST thing that came out of that shoot was our relationship with Casey Rose Photography. We have become such good friends with her even doing my Boudoir session! We love her work so much but love her even more

6. Caroline - Caroline is married!  She moved to Pennsylvania and then promptly moved back 6 months later! She let us know she was coming and on the hunt for a job. Literally a few weeks later Empire Properties was hiring so we put in a good word for her and now you can find her there working with the oh so wonderful Mollyanne. 

7. C and D is in SBG! - What a year! This was our first year in SBG as C and D Events - and we are pretty happy with it. We love the magazine and the community that comes with it. 

8. Bradford Improvements - oh the improvements! We put in TONS of money to fix drainage at the front of the property, add a grander entrance, some retaining walls, and overall just some touch ups to the front. And it has worked great. In the hurricane, the front never flooded! It just kept the water moving!! We were thrilled to say the least. We also added a covered catering deck, a brand new storage building, And finished the walkway from the house to the ballroom. It has been a busy year out here and it will be even busier next year!

9. Dana - Well we did go to Hawaii and it was amazing. It was the trip of a lifetime and we are so grateful we go to go! We have decided not to expand our house and we are currently looking for land to build on. Don't worry we will still be close by within a few miles- but we just felt like we needed our space and truly a better investment for us financially. Courtney is already stressing about her own personal doomsday of when I move off :) Don't worry Court- we will still be "neighbors!" 

10. Weddings Magazine - what a beautiful magazine! It was such an honor to be a part of it last year. We adore the team there and always feel so loved and part of the family. We are SO stoked to show you 2017's issue- it is AMAZING!

11. Courtney - Business: I loved my computer all year - We had very few negative exchanges! I was also right to be excited about expanding our team - and have we ever expanded! We have three planners now - Leah, Kelsey, and newest Whitney - they are all great and booking their own events for 2017! We have a new office manager - Sarah - who is making life more organized in the office! We also have Julie - our bushel and peck manager who is rocking out the conception, organization, and implementation of our client's visions! Lastly we have Bailey - hired officially in May 2016 and she has made the Bradford her baby (she is our new manager) and boy does she take care of it - and we love her for it!
Personally: It certainly has been a year of self discovery and I feel like a stronger person stepping out of 2016 than I did stepping in. I wouldn't say it was easy (Nor is it easy right now) but I totally think it was worth it! I did log a few personal trips too - One to San Antonio for a week with a good friend of mine and another with my Grandmother and Mother  (and sisters and cousin) to Asheville NC and it was wonderful to take the time for myself. 

12. Office Organization - this really should mean we hired Sarah!! She keeps us organized and all our crap together. Lifesaver is not enough of a word to describe her. We still use 17 hats - but she manages it all. She has taken over scheduling, blogging, social media, and accounting. It is the best present I ever gave myself! 

13. Our Clients - 2016 was quite the year for clients! We had some really amazing ones that literally make me still tear up to think about. Some of my favorite weddings were from this year. We are so lucky they trusted us with the most important day of their life. 

14. Becca - 2016 was full of goodness for me personally.  Overall, it was a productive year and probably my most successful as a wedding planner - I was a part of 18 weddings/events/designs total for some really wonderful clients!  I've said before that my favorite part of the job is getting to know my clients, spending time with them, executing their wishes for the most perfect celebration, and then seeing them enjoy their day!  This year was full of those things professionally, and I'm so grateful to have a career that I most definitely enjoy.  I've learned a lot professionally this year - mostly having to do with learning about my strengths and what things really matter in my career/to my clients.

For me personally, I've reached some goals I set like learning to maintain a work/home life balance (still learning too!), enjoy motherhood, and still dating and falling in love with my husband more.  This year we celebrated my daughter's first birthday home, celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary, and found out that we are having baby #2 (coming June 2017!).  

I rang in the New Year with my teammate Dana and a few ladies from our awesome design team (check out if you haven't yet!) - celebrating the marriage of one of my favorite couples this year.  It was a sweet celebration of two friends of mine who have waited a long time to meet their perfect match - and I was reminded throughout the night just how much I love my job.  Really!  I'm looking forward to 2017 - with fresh professional and personal goals and even a little bit of change here and there too (baby!).

15. Vendor Connections - we have loved working with so many new people this year. We especially love the relationships we have started and maintained as well. Going back and reading that post- it is so true!! This was our 2016! We asked so many questions, put ourselves out there, and dug in to these vendors. We have been so rewarded! We adore this industry and even though at times it can feel like high school- we wouldn't trade it. 

16. Bridal Shower Styled Shoot - still one of my favorites. It was such a vibrant shoot! We often refer to it as the pink party- and I mean-  who wouldn't love that! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Real Wedding: Danielle + Phillip at Merrimon-Wynne House

I have been waiting for so long to share this wedding with you! Shortly after we got the pictures, we were told that Style Me Pretty was going to feature it on instagram and in their vault. Then we decided to use this wedding as our feature in Southern Bride and Groom. Yes, it was that beautiful! So we had to hold on until the magazine came out. It was totally worth the wait. The feature is below and it is perfect. Not only did Michael and Carina just do an exceptional job with photos (who are the cutest couple and so easy to work with!)- but I just loved Danielle and Philip and the whole process. I know you probably hear me say often that we have the best clients. But seriously, we have the best clients. 

I met Danielle and Philip almost a year out from their date. We chatted over coffee and I instantly just loved their vibe. I can always tell that the planning process is going to be really great when I get to work with the groom as well. I just love seeing the chemistry in my couples. It helps me understand them so much better and I really feel like I can get a handle on their vision. I enjoyed every bit of planning their wedding. They are the warmest, kindest, most thoughtful people and I loved how much they just trusted me. We always laughed and had the best time at meetings. It was one of those events that I truly, really, was so sad to see put in my "past weddings" folder. 

I was so into this design. I loved every piece and element. I really wanted blush napkin ties - and people seriously need to take a lesson on the color blush. It is one of my biggest pet peeves. All I could find was champagne or baby girl pink. So, I of course, decided to just hand dye some fabric. It was worth it. We picked out a lounge with a hanging dessert table, and I think the pergola at The Merrimon-Wynne was by far my favorite spot! I loved the desserts from all their favorite countries, the trio for cocktail hour, the polaroid guest book, the menu card place mat, and all the small details. It was so much them and who they are. 

It unfortunately decided to rain - but that did not stop this crowd. They were greeted inside the house with a glass of gold sugar rimmed champagne. We left them all in the house until right before the ceremony and shuttled them outside under umbrellas as quickly as possible. The ceremony was held in the pergola of the carriage house. The rain eased up literally almost exactly as they were walking down the aisle. It was perfect. The bridal party then hopped onto The Raleigh Trolley and took some photos downtown while guests enjoyed passed apps and drinks back inside the house. We then got everyone back inside the carriage house for a very yummy plated meal. The party did not want to stop! It was a fantastic group who partied the night away. The sweetest part of all was at the end of the night. We were all lined up getting ready to do sparklers and the bride and groom pulled me aside to give me a gift. It was so sweet that they took the time on their day to do that. It is one of my favorite moments. 

I am so, so, so happy they chose me. It is by far one of my top 5 weddings I have planned. Danielle and Philip- I am so grateful I got to work with you two! Thank you for trusting me, and letting me be a part of your day. If we could do it again- I would in a heartbeat. 

Enjoy the photos from Micheal and Carina

Below is the Wedding Feature in Southern Bride and Groom:

Thanks to all our awesome vendors!
Planner: Dana with C&D Events
Rentals: CE Rental
Specialty Rentals: Greenhouse Picker Sisters
Ceremony Florals: Bushel and Peck Designs
Reception Florals: Tre Bella 
 Ceremony and Reception Music: SPIN
Cocktail Music: Carolina String Society
Dessert: Details Cake Design
Hair and Makeup: Perfection by Patricia