north carolina weddings

The Turtle Booth: The Latest in Photo Booth Technology

In the past few years, photo booths have become all the rage at weddings. Love the trend but want to kick it up a notch? Enter the concept of the “Turtle Booth”…a slow-motion video booth of your friends and family being silly. Seriously, how fun is this??

 

The Turtle Booth is a company based out of Raleigh, NC, so it is perfectly accessible for you Carolina belles! Check out their website for more info on packages, booking, etc.

And since I’m sure you’re all wondering….no, this post is not sponsored by The Turtle Booth. I just happened to stumble upon them and knew I had to share with my belles!

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 visitchapelhill.org

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

Southern Winter Bridal Show in Raleigh, NC (LivingSocial Has Discounted Tickets!)

Y’all, I’ve found another wedding-related deal. I should become a professional deal finder (is that a thing? Because I totally would do it.). LivingSocial is currently running a 33% off deal for tickets to the Southern Winter Bridal Show in Raleigh, NC. The Show will take place November 9th (next weekend!) at the NC State Fairgrounds from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This is a great opportunity to find and meet local vendors, including caterers, photographers, florists, and jewelers!

Southern Winter Bridal Show in Raleigh NC - Wedding Belles Blog

Hop on over to LivingSocial and snap up your tickets, belles!

xoxo Laura

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains

Belles and beaus, we have a stunning real wedding to share with you today courtesy of Realities Photography. Brittney and William knew they wanted to get married in Brittney’s hometown and selected Kenmure Country Club because they loved the antebellum-style clubhouse and beautiful outdoor ceremony location. We are absolutely head over heels for Brittney’s elegant Winnie Couture gown and the varying shades of purple in her bouquet and on the cake. Gorgeousness all around!

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

From the bride:
William and I met at our company’s new employee orientation. I noticed him when I was waiting in line to check in and thought he was really handsome. I went into the auditorium and found one open chair between a woman and an empty seat with papers on it. Before I knew it, someone was picking up the papers in the seat beside me. I looked up and realized it was the cute guy from the check-in line. When I got home that night, I told my sister and friends that I met the cutest, nicest guy at work. Just a few minutes later, I got an email from William. He asked me to dinner and we’ve been inseparable ever since. William proposed to me during a trip to Charleston a little more than a year later. In our free time, we like to cook, travel and spend time with our families.

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

We wanted to wait and see each other for the first time when I walked down the aisle, so in lieu of a ‘first look,’ we exchanged notes and held hands around the corner of the house. But because I loved the idea of a first look so much, I decided to do one with my dad. It was such a special moment, seeing my dad’s reaction to me in my wedding dress.

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Our getaway car was William’s grandfather’s Model A. His grandfather has owned the car for more than 40 years, and the two of them used to work on it together when William was younger. It was very special to both William and Papa to have the car as part of our big day.

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

What was the most difficult part of the planning process for y’all?
I think the guest list is difficult for every bride and groom. We wanted to keep our ceremony intimate so we could spend time with all of our guests, and it worked out great in the end.

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles BlogClassic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Our ceremony was short and sweet. Our pastor read scripture from 1 Corinthians 13, and we recited traditional Christian wedding vows. We also had a “love letter” ceremony where we placed letters we had written to each other in a lock box with a bottle of wine. We plan to open the box on our anniversary to read the letters and enjoy the wine.

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

We chose a buffet-style dinner with a prime rib carving station, coriander seared salmon in beurre blanc sauce, herbed rice pilaf, smoked Gouda potatoes au gratin, green beans with bacon and griddled onions, and fresh seasonal vegetables. Dessert was our four-tier wedding cake by the amazing Michelle Fountain of Icing on the Cake. Our cake had alternating tiers of red velvet cake with cream cheese icing and cream cheese amaretto pound cake with buttercream meringue icing.

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles BlogClassic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

What was your favorite detail or moment from the day?
The dancing! Our DJ, Tom Ciaramitaro of Mountain Top Entertainment, was awesome and had nearly every guest on the dance floor. Also, I fell in love with all of the flower arrangements – both the bouquets and the centerpieces – from Occasions by Emily. And I can’t forget my dress – it was a work of art. I just wish I could wear it again!

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Do you have any budget friendly tips for other couples as they plan their own weddings?
While a wedding is such a special event, it’s important to remember that it’s just one day, so there’s no need to break the bank. Know what you want to splurge on – photography, your dress, etc. – and where you can save. Our ceremony and reception venues were so beautiful that we didn’t need many decorations and flowers. If you don’t have any particular favors in mind, I think it’s fine to skip them. We had hand sanitizer as our favors because our friends and family know William and I are both total germaphobes. Plus, we were serving a meal, so they were practical. We also chose to serve beer and wine at the reception in lieu of an open bar. It keeps both the party and your budget in check. Etsy has tons of talented designers and artists – I used the site for our programs, seating chart, signage, wine box, table runners and hand sanitizer label design. I love hair and makeup, so I did my own. If you don’t have the budget for a wedding planner, you can hire a day-of coordinator. Ours was fabulous and made the day run so smoothly.

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

Congratulations, Brittney and William–we wish you a marriage even more beautiful than your wedding!

Photography: Realities Photography
Venue and catering: Kenmure Country Club
Day-of coordinator: Lisa G. Jackson
Bride’s dress: Winnie Couture from Winnie Couture Flagship Bridal Salon
Veil: Winnie Couture
Bridesmaid dresses: Kennedy Blue from The Wedding Shoppe
Groom and groomsmen’s attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Officiant: Rev. Mark Hunnicutt of Mud Creek Baptist Church
Floral design: Occasions by Emily
Cake: Icing on the Cake
DJ: Tom Ciaramitaro of Mountain Top Entertainment
Carolina/Georgia signs: Pink House Press

Interested in submitting a wedding to be featured on the blog? Contact us here.

Wedding Dress Clearance Sale at Anjolique Bridal in Cornelius, NC, October 16-19

Who loves a good deal on wedding dresses? We sure do! Here are the details for a big sale that is starting today, October 16th,  and going through this Sunday the 19th.

Anjolique Bridal in Cornelius, NC, is having their semi-annual inventory clearance sale with gowns up to 70% off! Dresses start at just $149. You can book an appointment online or give them a call; contact info can be found on Anjolique’s website.

Anjolique carries gowns from designers such as Eve of Milady, Ian Stuart, Allure, Berta Bridal, Enzoani, La Sposa, Amalia Carrara, Demetrios, Justin Alexander, and San Patrick.

Happy shopping, belles! Send me pics if you find your dream dress!

Congratulations, North Carolina!

Yesterday, October 10, 2014, some very exciting wedding-related stuff was going on in the Old North State. Amendment One of the N.C. Constitution, which defined marriage as being between one man and one woman, was effectively struck down following a ruling from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over NC and several other Southern states. What this means is that all couples, regardless of sex, can be legally married in N.C. There are a whole lot of marriages going on here, y’all!

Here are some of our favorite photos from the celebrations, marriages, and festivities yesterday:

Tonya and Amy - North Carolina Marriage Equality - Wedding Belles Blog

Tonya and Amy
via WRAL

Chris and Chad - NC Marriage Equality - Wedding Belles Blog

via WRAL

Frank and Brad - NC Marriage Equality - Wedding Belles Blog

Frank and Brad
via Fox 8

Rainbow Flag in Asheville NC - NC Marriage Equality - Wedding Belles Blog

Rainbow Flag in Asheville, N.C.
via WCNC

You can watch the first same-sex marriage in the state take place in this video:

Congratulations to North Carolina and all of the newly married couples!

Because the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals also has jurisdiction over South Carolina, it is very likely that marriage equality will be coming to all of the Carolinas very soon. Hooray for love!

And remember couples, if you’d like to submit your wedding/engagement/portraits/anything love-related to be featured on the blog, contact me here.

Internet Roundup: Barbie’s Wedding, the Most Awkward Engagement Photos Ever, and More!

Oh, y’all. This batch of links I’m loving lately is absolutely top notch. Without further ado:

1. Barbie and Ken’s wedding, complete with getting ready photos, a first look, and more.

Barbie and Ken's Wedding via Loverly - Wedding Belles Blog

 

2. 10 things you should NEVER say to a bride on her wedding day.

Things NOT to Say to a Bride, via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

 

3. 25 incredibly awkward engagement photos. Butt nekkid fiances? Say no more…

Awkward Engagement Photos via Loverly - Wedding Belles Blog

 

Are y’all loving any links lately? Share with me!

xoxo Laura

The Best Bridal Workout Video – Only Takes 5 Minutes and is Completely Free!

Belles and beaus, I am going to share a little secret with you today about what I did to get in shape for my own wedding….Bride Arms!

While we often focus on waistlines when we think about getting in shape, there is another body part that will likely get more attention on your wedding day: your arms. In most wedding dresses, your chest, tummy, and legs will be covered, while your arms will be partially or fully exposed (unless you are wearing a long sleeve dress, of course). Brides with strapless dresses will expose their full arms, shoulders, and parts of their back as well! Seems natural, then, to focus on these areas when toning up for the big day, since they will be the most on display.

I honestly don’t remember how I originally found the Bride Arms video (probably Pinterest), but I LOVE it. It takes less than five minutes to do, can be done anywhere, requires no special equipment, and is free on YouTube! All you need is two cans of vegetables from the pantry. Wes laughed at first about the thought of using something as puny as a can of black beans to do a workout, but changed his mind after I made him attempt Bride Arms. Ladies and gents, this workout is a little tough, especially if you’re like me and have never touched a weight in your life! The burn is well worth it though, and even in just a few days you start to notice a difference. It really helped me be more conscious of my posture (which is important for wedding pictures!), and I definitely felt like it helped me tone my biceps.

So, give it a try, or search for a different workout video on YouTube that better meets your wedding workout needs. There are so many free options out there, it’s a wonder gyms are even still in business!

xoxo Laura

5 LWDs That Would Be Perfect as Your Rehearsal Dinner Dress!

Ladies…how many of you have dreamed about your wedding dress for years, but have never given a thought to what you’ll put on for your rehearsal dinner? Well, you’re in good company…it didn’t occur to me to consider my rehearsal dinner dress until this summer, just a month or so before my wedding! Many brides these days are opting to wear white or ivory for their rehearsal dinner, just in case anyone should forget who the bride is (ha!). I’ve gathered some lovely LWD (little white dress) inspiration for those of you wanting to get on board with this trend (or for brides wanting to go short on their big day!). Behold:

1. Nicolette by Ruche, $68.99

Nicolette by Ruche - Perfect Rehearsal Dinner LWD! - Wedding Belles Blog

 

 

2. Woven Fit & Flare Dress by Alfred Sung, $198.00

Woven Fit & Flare by Alfred Sung - Perfect Rehearsal Dinner LWD! - Wedding Belles Blog

 

3. All lace dress by Rebecca Taylor, $139.00

 

All lace dress by Rebecca Taylor - Perfect rehearsal dinner LWD! - Wedding Belles Blog

 

4. Marilyn by kate spade – This one is definitely a splurge at $428.00!

Marilyn by kate spade - Perfect Rehearsal Dinner LWD! - Wedding Belles Blog

 

5. White crochet cutout maxi dress by Lookbook Store, $33.00

White crochet cutout maxi dress by Lookbook Store - Perfect rehearsal dinner LWD! - Wedding Belles Blog

 

What do you think, belles? Will you be wearing any of these to your rehearsal dinner or wedding? Or maybe for some other special occasion just because?

xoxo Laura

Why I’m Loving Loverly Lately (and Some Hilarious/Helpful Articles)

Y’all, do you know about Loverly? It’s sort of like Pinterest, except exclusively for weddings.  I sometimes get in a groove where I really like it, then other times not so much. They have lots of  beautiful things to add to your various “bundles”, but not quite as much selection as there is on Pinterest (and you can’t upload your own photos as far as I know). My other complaint about it at first was that it mostly just featured upscale, very expensive-looking weddings, but lately it seems like they’ve started to diversify more. But, what I’ve really started to ADORE lately about Loverly are their articles. They have been killing it!! If you read the blog often, you have probably already noticed some Loverly articles linked in my Internet roundup posts. Here is a little sampling of my favorite Loverly posts lately:

1. 10 Awkwardly Awesome Wedding Photos

Awkward Wedding Photos via Loverly - Wedding Belles Blog

 

2. 10 Completely Brilliant Wedding Hacks You Need to Know – seriously, some of these are really good!!

Wedding Hacks via Loverly - Use veil weights! - Wedding Belles Blog

 

3. 10 Reactions Every Bride Has to Her Wedding Gifts – yes yes yes

10 Reactions Every Bride Has to Her Wedding Gifts via Loverly - Wedding Belles Blog

 

Aren’t these articles fabulous? Tell me, belles and beaus–do use Loverly? Likes? Dislikes?

xoxo Laura