classically carolina

Classically Carolina: Cheerwine

Try talking to someone outside of the Carolinas about Cheerwine and you’re likely to get some blank stares. This fizzy red beverage, which originated in Salisbury, North Carolina (not too far from Charlotte), is truly a Carolina classic. If Cheerwine is one of your favorites, or if you want to create a signature drink that reflects the local beverage scene, include this soda in the mix!

For a cost-effective signature drink option, ask your caterer or bar tending service to mix Cheerwine and vodka (about 1 oz of vodka to every 6 oz of Cheerwine should do the trick…experiment at home until you get the ratio the way you like it) to serve up to guests. Be sure to give the beverage a clever name. I am partial to “Southern Cheer” or “Carolina Cheer” for this one. If you really want to kick it up a notch, garnish the drink with cute straws or lime wedges. You could even serve it up in glass Cheerwine bottles for a vintage feel.

If you’re a cocktail connoisseur or have a larger bar budget, you can get more creative in the mixology. Take for example this creative “Cheershine” cocktail, which includes Cheerwine, moonshine, and Campari:

What do you think, belles and beaus? Any Cheerwine lovers out there?

xoxo Laura

Classically Carolina: College Football and Basketball

It’s officially that time of year in North Carolina when you can smell ACC basketball fever in the air! Here in the South, we tend to take college sports pretty seriously. Whether you’re painting your chest orange in Death Valley during the fall or freezing your tail off in Krzyzewskiville waiting for tickets come winter, chances are you have a loyalty and you’re sticking to it. Why not incorporate your love for your alma mater or favorite team into your wedding? Here are some ideas about how:

1. Your venue: Many colleges and universities have beautiful outdoor areas if you’re getting married during the warmer months, and oftentimes alumni centers, performance halls, and university-owned chapels can be rented as venues as well. Nothing shows your love for your school like saying your vows on sacred ground!

Wedding at Wait Chapel at Wake Forest University - Wedding Belles Blog

Wedding at Wait Chapel at Wake Forest University via WedShops

Wedding at UNC's Forest Theatre - Wedding Belles Blog

Wedding at UNC’s Forest Theatre via

Wedding at the Emmett Robinson Theater at College of Charleston - Wedding Belles Blog

Wedding at the Emmett Robinson Theater at College of Charleston via Offbeat Bride

2. Your cake: Traditionally, the groom’s cake is where a couple might give a nod to their favorite sports team. You can also just go ahead and deck out your wedding cake, or add a more subtle touch with a college-themed cake topper.

Clemson-themed groom's cake - Wedding Belles Blog

Clemson-themed groom’s cake via Pinterest

UNC Wedding Cake - Wedding Belles Blog

UNC wedding cake via Pinterest

ECU wedding cake topper - Wedding Belles Blog

ECU wedding cake topper via Pinterest

3. Your bouquet: Color coordinate your bouquet to match your favorite team’s colors, or tie on a lovely little bouquet charm like the pretty ASU bauble below.

USC Gamecocks Wedding Bouquet - Wedding Belles Blog

USC Gamecocks wedding bouquet via Accents and Petals

Appalachian State wedding bouquet charm - Wedding Belles Blog

Appalachian State wedding bouquet charm via 3CsJewelrySupply on Etsy

4. Your garter: This will be a fun little surprise for your guests (and your partner!) when they realize what you’ve been wearing the whole day under that big dress.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons Garter - Wedding Belles Blog

Wake Forest Demon Deacons garter via StarBridal on Etsy

Appalachian State garter - Wedding Belles Blog

Appalachian State garter via GartersByMadison on ArtFire

5. Pull in a mascot: Nothing gets the party started like your favorite mascot jumping around with you on the dance floor!

Mr. and Mrs. Wuf join the bride and groom in the photo booth - Wedding Belles Blog

Mr. and Mrs. Wuf join the bride and groom in their photo booth via brittanypelegrin

Cocky the Gamecock dances with wedding guests - Wedding Belles Blog

Cocky the Gamecock dances with wedding guests via Emily Chappell

6. Your accessories: Pull out your class ring or accessorize your wedding look with your alma mater’s colors: think shoes, socks, bow ties, jewelry, etc.

Clemson Heels - Wedding Belles Blog

Clemson heels via Clemson Girl

Citadel Rings - Wedding Belles Blog

Groom and groomsmen with Citadel rings via Pinterest

NC State cuff links - Wedding Belles Blog

NC State cuff links via Southern Weddings

7. Your favors: The possibilities are endless here…just pick anything you can personalize and go for it. Y’all know I love some good ol’ cookie favors…and they can be crafted to reflect any sports loyalty! Koozies are another great customizable favor.

ECU cookie favors - Wedding Belles Blog

ECU wedding cookie favors via Cookie Connection

UNC-themed koozie wedding favor - Wedding Belles Blog

UNC-themed koozie wedding favor via The Lovely Find

8. Your exit: Pass out pom poms, foam fingers, or rally towels to your guests to wave during your ceremony or reception exit. One of our 2014 couples pulled this idea off perfectly and even included state-themed signs beside the pom pom buckets. Too cute!

Duke University wedding exit with pom poms - Wedding Belles Blog

Duke University wedding exit with pom poms via Erin McLean Events

Foam finger wedding exit - Wedding Belles Blog

Foam finger wedding exit via Pinterest

What do you think, belles? Will you be borrowing any of these ideas?

xoxo Laura