Wedding Wednesday: Bridesmaid Gifts


1 |  Little Market Beaded Bracelet
2 |  Dogeared Necklaces
3 |  Anthropologie Perennial Garden Robe
4 | GiftShopBrooklyn Mini Makeup Clutch

After being trapped inside by the snow and ice all day yesterday, I just can’t help but let my mind wander to all the sweet things spring will certainly bring us – soon! I will say that I always appreciate the snow.  I especially love the pretty peaceful snow we get here in NC. It sticks for a few icy days and grants you some snuggly time at home.  Before you know it it’s gone, the sun is shining again and you almost feel rejuvenated after a short rest. Part of me wants to think about planning beautiful winter weddings like THIS one but the other part of me wants to think about spring flowers and their gorgeous colors. Since spring is right around the corner (it has to be, right?) I thought it better to head in that direction with a bridesmaids gift round up created with spring in mind.

Jewelry is always a good standby for your special ladies.  Any bridesmaid would love a sweet beaded bracelet from The Little Market and you’re supporting a great organization at the same time.  They come in a variety of colors so you can match your bridesmaids dresses or get them each a different color to match their personality instead.  Dogeared is a go-to for me for gifts whether it’s a small thank you or an occasion like a bridesmaids gift or even for your flower girls.  Thank them all for being the “balance” or the “anchor” you needed on your big day or simply let them know that they are loved and appreciated.

If jewelry is too expected for you, think about what they might need through out the day. This Perennial robe from Anthropologie is perfect for getting ready together the morning of your wedding.  Not only will they love to take it home but how sweet would your pictures be with all of your ladies in this adorable lacy cover up?  (I also love THIS one.) Or perhaps they’ll need a little clutch in which to carry their necessities through out the day.  All of the items from Annie at GiftShopBrooklyn would make perfect gifts.  I particularly like this hand-made, hand-dyed, cotton, mini makeup clutch. It’s the perfect size for all those essentials.

I hope you enjoy my picks.  Happy planning everyone.

Wedding Wednesday: Vogue Weddings

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I wandered in to Barnes & Noble last week looking for something fun for my one-and-only to open on Valentine’s Day.  I went with this sweet little book which now sits on his nightstand. I also snagged this gem on super sale for myself.  I couldn’t help it.  I covet books like this but just can’t bring myself to pay full price – even when they’re as beautiful as this one.  I often put them back telling myself that I don’t need it.  But this was a total score at less than $20.  (It’s also available on Amazon, here.)

While my little one napped during the snow/ice day yesterday, I got the chance to thumb through it’s glossy pages with a big cup of coffee. I almost got through the whole book before she woke up! I’m so glad I didn’t put it back.  It’s page after page of inspiration from historical wedding photos, like Prince William and Princess Kate or John Lennon and Yoko Ono.  It ends with a collection of bridal centric Vogue editorials.  There’s also TONS of inspiration from table top to decor and of course, dresses.  Here are two of my favorites:

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I’m always a sucker for stripes but I also love the use of the green glass with the white clay vases and of course the pop of pink in this rustic setting. How amazing is this tent?! What a great way to add some style to a casual affair.  I bet those lanterns made for some romantic lighting at night – great for pictures! You could exchange them, however, for chandeliers, swap out the greens for fresh white flowers and this tent could be more formal, too. It’s all about the details. Also notice the table placement. Laying them out this way sets up an area for a dance floor without having to rent one!

I’ll leave you with this awesome shot from the book – such rockstars! Here’s hoping you all feel this way on your wedding day.  Happy planning everyone.

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Sneak Peek: C&Q Say I Do

I can’t wait any longer to share some pictures with you from a March wedding.  I’m working on a post with the professional images but in the meantime, here is a sneak peek with images taken from my iPhone. I CAN NOT wait to share the special shots with you soon!

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We made custom welcome bags that included:

  • custom designed map of Durham and schedule
  • local nut butter from Big Spoon Roasters paired with a sourdough pretzel
  • small bag of the bride’s favorite, gummy bears
  • custom goose cookie from Mad Hatter’s Bakery referencing the B&G’s nickname for eachother
  • custom water bottles
  • hangover kits from Etsy

There was a quiet moment when we finished decorating in which I could snap this photo before we ran to the ceremony.  I always hope to give the bride (or the bride & groom together) this moment, too.  They were thrilled with results and I have to say, I was too.  Can’t wait to share their special story and other images with you.

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Genna & Derek


As two good friends celebrated their one year anniversary this weekend, I can’t help but reflect on this gem from last summer.  Genna and Derek wanted to host an elegant spring garden party that welcomed guests to participate in the celebration of their love by showcasing their personalities, interests, talents, and creativity through thoughtful details and purposeful moments.

They had a clear vision from our very first meeting and told me they wanted to be very involved and do much of the work and crafting themselves. Genna is a creative soul with a passion for local food. Derek’s big heart and love for his family and friends ensured we’d have a lively party. Together, with great food and fun music, we created a romantic affair that represented the vibrancy of spring and the natural beauty of a garden.

The barn at the Chapel Hill Carriage House was the perfect setting. The venue’s landscape needed no dressing up and the barn was a fresh compliment to the elegant tables. The weather reports showed a high chance of rain but the couple was determined to hold the ceremony outside. With two back up rain plans in place we forged forward with the plans for outside. Ceremony chairs were placed in a spiral set up to give each guest the perfect view of the couple and their bridal parties.  Early to arrive guests enjoyed local beer while playing corn hole and washers on the green, two favorites of the bride and groom.

Thankfully, the rain held out just long enough for Genna and Derek to tie the knot outside – officiated by their good friend, Justin.  En route to the cocktail hour, friends and family picked up their Mason jar escort cards and filled them with a signature cocktail made with homemade limoncello prepared by Genna’s mom. The cocktail, “The Walter,” paid tribute to Genna’s late Nonno and her Italian heritage.

After cocktails and appetizers from Donovan’s Dish guests found their seats in the barn.  A personalized, handwritten thank you note sealed with a wax monogram from Genna and Derek was set atop the evening’s menu (also designed by the bride and groom) at each place setting.

The garden party reception came alive with the centerpieces. After scouring thrift shops, yard sales, good will stores and dollar stores for glass vases, we spray painted them gold to tie the look together. Early that morning, I filled them with fresh loose stems of peonies, hydrangeas and roses from Flowers on Broad Street.

Upstairs in the loft we created a fun space for guests to offer their best wishes to the couple with a simpler take on a photo booth. With a string of inspirational photos of Genna and Derek, guests used Polaroid camera’s and chalk boards to fill a memory box with messages of congrats. Dancing commenced immediately after dinner and the celebrating was in full swing until the end – when the rain really started to come down, only enhancing the majestic ambiance.

Hailing from Philly and having spent the last 2 years in Raleigh, NC, Genna and Derek wanted to leave their guests with a late night snack representative of both cities.  Guests grabbed a soft pretzel in a mini-brown paper bag sealed with another note from the thoughtful bride and groom: “We tied the “knot!”  To thank you, please enjoy a local “twist” on a Philly favorite.  Love, G&D”

In the end, Genna and Derek came through in every detail from their thoughtful thank you note place cards to the music selection.  It’s weddings like theirs that remind me it’s not always a perfect blue sky that makes a beautiful wedding – it’s loved ones celebrating two wonderful people.


Photographer: Graham Terhune, Chapel Hill, NC
Planner:  Alycia Inserra of MASON Inc., Durham, NC
Venue: The Chapel Hill Carriage House, Chapel Hill, NC
Caterer: Donovan’s Dish, Raleigh, NC
Florist:  Flowers on Broad Street, Fuquay-Varina, NC
Baker: Cup Cake Bite, Fuquay-Varina, NC
DJ:  Randy Bennet of Joe Bunn DJ Company, Raleigh, NC
Bride’s Gown:  Tara Keeley by Lazaro
Pretzels:  Guglhupf Bakery, Durham, NC

Friday Smiles

While wrapping up a week long event today, this video made me smile. You can laugh but I’ve always loved Will Smith. I don’t love him necessarily because he’s handsome or because he’s a good actor but because he does things like dance with his children.  Smile everyone, it’s Friday!   I hope you get to dance today.

Wednesday Weddings – Tis The Season

(originally posted to Gracie Happens Blog)

Last weekend was Mother’s Day, Graduation and the start of the wedding season here in North Carolina.  Restaurants, flower shops and caterers were abuzz all week.  As was Mason Inc. while we planned a small gathering to congratulate the youngest of six siblings graduate from nursing school.  The family requested bright colors for their fun and casual sister who, in their words, “deserved an elegant celebration.”


Knowing it was such a busy weekend in town, I arrived at the Whole Foods Flower Shop early and fought my way to these beautiful white roses and snap dragons.  I originally planned on white tulips with the coral table linens.  When I spotted the snap dragons, though, I knew they’d tie in all of the colors beautifully.  The roses added a level of elegance to the casual feel of the party and I’m glad I changed my mind.  While the family sat in the sun to watch the ceremony, I set up the tables, linens and flowers under a tent at their home.  Later that afternoon, we celebrated with a festive party of fresh flowers, bright colors and a delicious spread from Donovan’s Dish.  As is common in the south, the rain began in the afternoon just as guests were scheduled to arrive and ended just as they started to leave.  The weather certainly didn’t get this family down, though.  They were still celebrating when I left.  Congratulations to all of the mothers, graduates and brides-to-be out there.  Happy Planning!

Wednesday Weddings – Peachy Palette

(originally posted to Gracie Happens Blog)


One of my dearest friends is getting married this June.  Because she’s a graphic designer, I’ve been waiting with anticipation for her invitations!  They arrived this weekend.  She’s always had an effortless sense of cool about her that I’ve admired since we were 7 years old.  Her wedding promises to elude a style incomparable to any other.  As a designer, her taste tends to lean towards the modern side but she’s always been drawn to the ocean.  Her wedding will surely balance her clean graphic style and the romance of the summer beach.  The celebration will be held at Mount Hope Farm in Bristol, RI with a perfect menu from Blackstone Caterers.  I can not wait to share the full wedding with you but in the meantime, below are some images from the Pinterest boards we’ve put together in creating her dream wedding.  I wouldn’t want any less for my sweet and indefinitely cool friend.  Enjoy & Happy Planning!


Wednesday Weddings – Gutsy Proposals

(originally posted to Gracie Happens Blog)

Have you ever stepped back at a happy hour to watch single men muster up the courage to approach a lady?  When I was single, I never envied the opposite sex.  Sure, there are things we ladies can do to assure them that their efforts will be accepted (or rejected).  But it still takes guts!  Not only do we expect men to make the first move at the beginning, but we also have high expectations for a marriage proposal.  With that in mind, I thought I’d share some of my favorite proposals.  They put a huge smile on my face the first time I saw them.  I hope they give you the same reaction!   It doesn’t get better than this, folks.  ENJOY!

Top Favorite (Seriously, I could watch this over and over again).

I’ve seen several “movie” proposals since this and it’s still my favorite.  I just love watching her reaction as her breathing speeds up –  so great!

The last, but not least, is a fellow classmate from high school.  It went viral on both Facebook and youtube!  Kudos to her now husband.  Rumor has it, she didn’t see this coming.  Her face in the still is proof!

Inspirations from the Academy

The Academy Awards ceremony never ceases to fill me with emotions.  Each year I find myself on a roller-coaster from laughs, cries, and excitement to disappointment, joy, and of course inspiration.  Last night was no exception.  I laughed at Billy Crystal, cried with Oprah Winfrey, was filled will admiration for Meryl Streep and was inspired by glamorous fashions.  Black and white seem to be back in red carpet trends.  To be honest, I’m not sure why they ever left.  Both are timeless elegant choices.  Below are my top three favorite white gowns that I hope you’ll find inspiring as you shop for your own glamorous wedding gown.

(all images from google)