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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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

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)

Welcome to Mason Design, Inc.

Welcome to Mason Design, Inc.  We believe in the importance of the personalized special event.  It is the small details that make your party unique and memorable to you and your guests.  As we post fun finds and things that inspire us, we hope you continue to stop by for your daily inspiration as you plan your special event.  Please see our list of services and feel free to contact us with any questions.