wedding

Internet Roundup: Navigating Name Changes, Holidays, & Thank You Notes as Newlyweds

Today’s Internet roundup is all about what happens after the wedding. After all, a marriage is what the wedding is all about in the first place! Here’s what I’m loving lately:

1. The Newlywed’s Guide to Navigating the Holidays. Yup. This has been a challenge for me and Wes, simply because we love all of our family so much and wish we could be in 10 different places at once!

The Newlywed's Guide to Navigating the Holidays via Loverly - Wedding Belles Blog

via Loverly

2. Tips for Navigating the Holidays and In-Laws. Because this topic is important enough to read two different takes on it!

5 Tips for Holidays and In-Laws via mywedding - Wedding Belles Blog

via mywedding

3. Yours, Mine, Ours: Deciding Which Married Name Option Works for Your Relationship. Go ahead and talk about it NOW so you aren’t sitting around three months after your wedding still unsure about what the heck your name is…not pointing any fingers or anything…

Yours, Mine, Ours: Deciding Which Married Name Option Works for Your Relationship via mywedding - Wedding Belles Blog

via mywedding

4. 5 Wedding Thank You Note Tips. I’ve already shared my own thank you note tips, but I think these are worth a read, too! (Except don’t overthink tip #5…just go to TJ Maxx, buy some cute cards on sale, and call it a day).

5 Wedding Thank You Note Tips via mywedding - Wedding Belles Blog

via mywedding

Belles, what are you loving lately on the Internet? Share with me!

xoxo Laura

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details

Y’all, I have the sweetest NC wedding to share with you today. Allie and Robert wanted their September wedding to be a meaningful time of worship, and their photos are radiant with love, joy, and friendship. I teared up as I read their story and browsed through their beautiful photos by Wendy Yang Photography.  Enjoy!

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

Natalia by Wtoo - NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

From the bride:
The wedding venue was a gorgeous farm out in the country sitting atop a hill. A friend of ours owns the property, and I’ve always loved it since the first time I saw it. Even before we were considering marriage, I knew I would love to get married there. We love the mountains, and this venue had a mountain vibe! There was a small A-frame lodge where dinner was served and a barn for dancing and dining.

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

Our ceremony was very God-oriented, and we wanted His name to be proclaimed throughout it. We had a lot of scripture readings that we love along with music during portions of the ceremony. We decided to write our own vows, which was very special and something we look back on regularly.

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

Probably the most meaningful part of the ceremony was the unity time. My oldest brother had made a cross for us to put together. Since my dad passed away two months before the wedding, we wanted to incorporate him throughout the day. The base of the cross was steel, which was from his shop, and the wood that formed the cross was from the ranch he practically built with his own hands. My dad was there with us in spirit and it meant so much to have his hand in our wedding.

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

Don’t y’all love this post-ceremony selfie? Such an excited groom!

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

My pearl necklace was my mom’s – she wore it on her wedding day. My something blue was my grandma’s ring. It’s a 60+ year-old aquamarine on a gold band with little diamonds on the side. 

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

For both of us, our favorite part was having all our family together and celebrating. They all live in many different states, so it’s a struggle to get everyone together. Also, I loved dancing with all of my brothers. We did this due to Dad not being with us. It was a very beautiful and emotional moment.

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

 

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

The shoe game we played was a total surprise our DJ planned. She would ask questions such as who was the better driver, who cooks more, etc. If I thought (or knew) I was the better driver, then I would raise my shoe. Robert cooks more, so for that question I raised his shoe. We had our backs to each other so we couldn’t see our partner’s answer. Very fun game!

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

The most difficult part of the planning for me was probably choosing a theme and sticking with it. I love so many different colors and themes, so I kept changing my mind on what I wanted everything to look like. Also, keeping the budget to a minimum. Since we had a tiny budget, about 90% of the wedding was DIY. The ceremony doors and chandelier were found at antique places, and I repainted them.  I recommend searching for your own decor depending on what your style is…it can be cheaper than renting, and then you can sell your decor on wedding sites and such. My invitations were also DIY. I found a graphic I liked online and designed with it, then I was able to print it for free at work…that was a huge blessing. All I had to pay for was postage!

The bride’s family and friends also did all of the food and beverages themselves – wow! What a talented group of people.

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

NC Countryside Wedding: Worship, Family, and Meaningful DIY Details - Wedding Belles Blog

Wasn’t this such a beautiful and joyful day for Allie and Robert? Congratulations, you two!


Photography: © Wendy Yang Photography
Venue: Carolina Country Weddings in Mount Pleasant, NC
Rings: Jared
Bride’s dress: Natalia by Wtoo; purchased at The Lily Rose
Jewelry: Family heirlooms; Belk
Hair/Makeup: Friend of the bride
Bridesmaid dress: “when the night comes dress in smoke” from ModCloth
Groom & groomsmen attire: Belk
Officiants: Pastor John Black and Pastor Jerry Martin
Premarital counseling: Pastor Jerry Martin
Floral design and linens: Chelish Moore Flowers
Catering: Bride, bride’s family, and friends of the bride
Cake: Enchanted Creations by Melissa
Table and chair rentals: Albemarle Party Rentals
Bride’s departure dress: Hope’s Bridal

Internet Roundup: Let’s Talk Food, Dancing, Favors, & How To Scout Eligible Men at Wedding Receptions

Today’s Internet Roundup post is centered around all things reception-related. Here’s what I’m loving lately:

1. 8 Foods NOT to Serve at Your Wedding

8 Foods NOT to Serve at Your Wedding via Loverly - Wedding Belles Blog

via Loverly

2. How to Choose a First Dance Song

How to Choose a First Dance Song via mywedding - Wedding Belles Blog

via mywedding

3. How to Spot Eligible Bachelors at the Wedding Reception

How to Spot Eligible Bachelors at Weddings via Loverly - Wedding Belles Blog

via Loverly

4. 5 Easy and Edible Wedding Favor Ideas

5 Easy and Edible Wedding Favor Ideas - Wedding Belles Blog

via Loverly

What are y’all loving on the Internet lately? Share in the comments!

xoxo Laura

My Wedding Photos

I have a treat for y’all today…my very own wedding photos! Truth be told, I’ve had them back for over a month now, but just hadn’t gotten around to posting them yet. There’s something very personal and intimate about sharing your own wedding day with the whole world, you know? At any rate – Emily March Photography did an amazing job, if I do say so myself, and it was absolutely the most perfect day for me and Wes. I will just go ahead and unabashedly tell you that I am about to share far more photos than I should, but it’s way too hard to cut photos from your very own wedding. Hope you enjoy….

Ecru Invitation Suite - Wedding Belles Blog

Oval Aquamarine Engagement Ring - Wedding Belles Blog

I always get lots of compliments on and questions about my engagement ring. The center stone is an aquamarine, my birth stone. My mother, father, and late grandmother picked it out for me on a family vacation when I was about 6 years old. Wes had the diamond halo setting designed for it. It is so special to me – my most prized material possession.

Bow Tie Car Decoration - Wedding Belles Blog

Hats off to my mom and sister, who sewed all of those bow ties onto the white ribbon for the getaway car decoration!

First Look - Wedding Belles Blog

First Look - Wedding Belles Blog

First Look - Wedding Belles Blog

Jones Chapel in Raleigh, NC - Wedding Belles Blog  Church Door Wreaths - Wedding Belles Blog

Classic Church Wedding Ceremony - Wedding Belles Blog

Bridesmaids - Wedding Belles Blog

Y’all, I just love that picture of my ladies as they wait for their turn down the aisle.

Father and Mother Walking Bride Down the Aisle - Wedding Belles Blog

Wedding Ceremony - Wedding Belles Blog

Wedding Belles Blog Wedding Belles Blog

Wedding Belles Blog

Wedding Belles Blog Groom in Tan Suit and Navy Bow Tie - Wedding Belles Blog

Groomsmen in tan suits and navy bow ties - Wedding Belles Blog

Wedding Belles Blog

Seersucker bridesmaid dress - Wedding Belles Blog Seersucker bridesmaid dresses - Wedding Belles Blog

Yes sir/ma’am, those bridesmaid dresses are seersucker! I am SO happy with the way they turned out.

Seersucker bridesmaid dresses and white bouquets - Wedding Belles Blog Seersucker bridesmaid dresses - Wedding Belles Blog

The Garden on Millbrook in Raleigh, NC - Wedding Belles Blog Wedding Reception signage - Wedding Belles Blog

My sweet sister designed all of the reception signage herself…isn’t she talented??

Navy Wedding Reception - Wedding Belles Blog

Sweetheart Table - Wedding Belles Blog

Navy linens, hydrangeas, floating candles - Wedding Belles Blog Navy linens, hydrangeas - Wedding Belles Blog

 

White Wedding Cake Display - Wedding Belles Blog

Wedding Cake Flavor Sign - Wedding Belles Blog "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You" Cake Table Sign - Wedding Belles Blog

Bar on the Patio with Twinkle Lights - Wedding Belles Blog

Bar Signage - Wedding Belles Blog "Lemon Kiss" Signature Cocktail - Wedding Belles Blog

Navy Cocktail Tables - Wedding Belles Blog Custom Monogram Cornhole Set - Wedding Belles Blog

One of my favorite parts of the night was when Wes and I led the pre-buffet blessing. We said a childhood favorite of Wes’s (the Moravian blessing), and many of our guests joined hands and chimed in. So special!!

Unique wedding tip: The bride and groom lead the pre-dinner blessing. This makes it so much more personal! - Wedding Belles Blog

Our first dance song was “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show. As usual, Wes swept me off my feet!

Bride and groom first dance - Wedding Belles Blog

While getting ready earlier that day, Wes and his fellas received this gift from me…a painted cooler complete with lyrics from our first dance, snippets of our vows, and little mini versions of me and Wes. And it was full of their favorite beers of course (and water – it was a hot day!). The cooler joined us at the reception.

Wedding Day Painted Cooler - Wedding Belles Blog

Our band, Flashback, was absolutely incredible and kept the dance floor packed all night long! We have so many great photos of our guests dancing.

Wedding Belles Blog

Wedding Belles Blog Wedding Belles Blog

Sparkler Sendoff - Wedding Belles Blog

All I can say is that it was the sweetest, sweetest day. (And I did a good job not sharing all 800+ photos, am I right??)

Please feel free to comment below or contact me privately if you have any questions about where we got things, how we selected our vendors, what our experience was like with our vendors, etc….I love hearing from y’all!!

xoxo Laura

The Most Comprehensive Vendor Credits Ever (seriously, look how much goes into a wedding when you’re planning yourself!):

Photography: Emily March Photography
Invitations: David’s Bridal (Seriously!! And they were thermography!)
Invitation addressing: Bride and groom’s family and so many friends
Invitation ribbon: Ben Franklin Crafts
Programs: Designed by the bride, printed by Allegra, ribbon from Michael’s
Bow tie car decoration: Created by bride’s family
Groom’s ring: Kay Jewelers
Bride’s rings: Duncan Design in Raleigh, NC
Ceremony venue: Jones Chapel
Officiant: Matt LeRoy of Love Chapel Hill
Organist: Bride’s uncle
Ceremony coordinator: Marc Dabagian from The Garden on Millbrook
Floral design: Fresh Affairs
Bride’s dress: Mori Lee, purchased at Hope’s Bridal Boutique, alterations by Hope’s Bridal Boutique and Olga’s Bridal and Formal Couture
Bride’s veil and shoes: Hope’s Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaid dresses: Custom made by Kimberly Glass
Hair and makeup: Ginger Mullins
Groom/groomsmen suits: Jos. A Bank
Groom/groomsmen bow ties: Macy’s
Reception venue, catering, rentals: The Garden on Millbrook
Reception signage: Sister of the bride
“Bride” and “Groom” signs: Michael’s
Signature drink swizzle sticks: sticks from Amazon, ribbon from Ben Franklin Crafts, several hours of tying done by bride’s patient family.
Cakes: The Cupcake Bar
Cake stands: Handmade by bride’s father (talk about talent!)
Cornhole boards: Cornhole Express
Band: Flashback
Custom-painted cooler: PrintsFromAPrep
Sparklers: Wedding Sparklers Direct

Not pictured vendors:

Videographer: Good Earth Films
Bride/Bridesmaid getting ready robes: MaySilk
Mother handkerchiefs: Wedding Chicks
Reception pianist: David Omer
Favors: Made With Love Bakery
Photo book guest book: Shutterfly
“Just Married” car magnets: eBay for the win.
Hotel block: Hyatt Place North Raleigh/Midtown
Welcome cupcakes: Gigi’s Cupcakes
Rehearsal dinner venue and catering: Carolina Country Club
Save the dates: Design by Wedding Chicks, printing by Vistaprint

8 Bouquets That Are Perfect for a Fall Wedding

It is no secret to those who know me that fall is my least favorite season. Yep, I said it. All of you scarf-wearing, cool weather-loving, pumpkin spice latte-drinking belles and beaus can just go ahead and be horrified. I recently began thinking about why it is exactly that I feel grudgingly toward fall, and I’ve decided that it’s because fall signals the end of my favorite season (summer) and also brings the promise of colder weather to come (I live for 85 degree days). BUT, these bouquets might just make me change my outlook a little on the season du jour. The stunning shades of oranges and reds and browns and deep purples and all of that texture makes me feel warm and happy and cozy inside. Without further ado, here are eight fall wedding bouquets that I just adore:

1. This orange and yellow bouquet made of ranunculus, celosia, pom-pom dahlias, Vendella roses, gilded eucalyptus leaves, and ruscus foliage.

Fall wedding bouquet of ranunculus, celosia, pom-pom dahlias, Vendella roses, gilded eucalyptus leaves, and ruscus foliage - Wedding Belles Blog

via Brides

2. This rustic bouquet made of cotton, pinecones, and dusty miller, accented with pieces of burlap.

Rustic fall wedding bouquet of cotton, pinecones, and dusty miller, accented with pieces of burlap - Wedding Belles Blog

via Brides

3. This vibrant red bouquet with flowing white ribbon wrap.

4. This plum and yellow bouquet made with ranunculus, antique garden roses, helleborus, parrot tulips, godetia, astilbe, silver dollar eucalyptus, sea star ferns, sword ferns, and jasmine vine.

Yellow and plum wedding bouquet made with ranunculus, antique garden roses, helleborus, parrot tulips, godetia, astilbe, silver dollar eucalyptus, sea star ferns, sword ferns, and jasmine vine - Wedding Belles Blog

via Brides

5. This wispy and whimsical bouquet made with orange cymbidium orchids.

Fall wedding bouquet made of orange cymbidium orchids and greenery - Wedding Belles Blog

via Brides

6. This vision of a bouquet in shades of purple (all that texture!!!).

7. This bouquet featuring shades of dusty pink, made of garden roses, hydrangeas, hibiscus foliage, dahlias, hypericum berries, silver brunias, dusty miller, stock, seeded eucalyptus, and spray roses.

Dusty pink wedding bouquet made of garden roses, hydrangeas, hibiscus foliage, dahlias, hypericum berries, silver brunias, dusty miller, stock, seeded eucalyptus, and spray roses - Wedding Belles Blog

via Brides

8. This colorful yellow, orange, and red bouquet made of calla lilies, mums, billy balls, and greenery.

Fall wedding bouquet of calla lilies, mums, billy balls, and greenery - Wedding Belles Blog

via Brides

Do you love any of these gorgeous bouquets, belles and beaus? Are you planning a fall wedding? Comment, comment!

xoxo Laura

Three Awesome Websites That Will Help You Save Money on Your Wedding

As you all know, we here at Wedding Belles are all about saving money when it comes to planning your big day. As one of our smart real brides put it, “it’s just one day, so there’s no need to break the bank.” We recently stumbled across these three money-saving websites and can’t wait to share:

1. Bravo Bride: Looking to recoup some of the money you spent on 200 navy crinkle linen napkins that you’ll never, ever use again? Or perhaps you’re interested in purchasing a worn-once designer wedding gown to get more bang for your buck? Look no further–Bravo Bride provides a space for past and prospective brides (and grooms!) to buy and sell wedding attire and decorations. We love the feature that shows how much of a discount you’re getting based on the original list price!

Jim Hjelm 8159 via Bravo Bride -  Wedding Belles Blog

2. SaveOnCrafts: This site features DIY supplies for 20-70% normal retail price. You’ll find everything from cake stands to silk flowers to burlap bunting.

White Dessert Table via SaveOnCrafts - Wedding Belles Blog

3. Recycle Your Wedding: The name says it all…this site is very similar to Bravo Bride! Run by popular wedding blog Ruffled, Recycle Your Wedding allows you to buy and sell attire, decor, and paper goods. We love that there is also a “wanted” section on the site where you can post what you’re looking for.

Metal and Burlap Flower Girl Basket via Recycle Your Wedding - Wedding Belles Blog

Share with us, belles…have you used any of these websites (or similar ones) to score great deals for your wedding?

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

Elegant Halloween Wedding Inspiration in Black, White, and Silver (and a Touch of Quirky)

Y’all, I started daydreaming about this wedding earlier in the week and couldn’t get it out of my head. I’ve never considered myself a creative person–quite the opposite, actually–but I do have these moments when the wheels start turning. And then I steal a bunch of other people’s ideas and mash them all together. At any rate, if you love Halloween, or if your high school goth phase never did totally disappear, this wedding is for you. Here in the South, we love old-fashioned elegance; this wedding takes a classic black and white color palette and elegant estate backdrop and adds just a touch of quirky (can you say black wedding dress and vampire fangs?). Without further ado, good friends, let’s kick this wedding off with classic black and white invites and a sneak peak of our bridal party getting ready:

Bridesmaids in black tulle…

Elegant Halloween Wedding Inspiration in Black, White, and Silver (and a Touch of Quirky) - Wedding Belles Blog

via ouma on Etsy

…with these incredibly stunning/sexy black lace gloves.

Elegant Halloween Wedding Inspiration in Black, White, and Silver (and a Touch of Quirky) - Wedding Belles Blog

via geranum on Etsy

The gentlemen. White dinner jacket is always an elegant choice!

Since late October can still be fairly warm here in the Carolinas, our ceremony is going to take place outside. Let’s take a peek at the aisle decor:

The newlyweds. That dress!! That black fascinator!!

Now, for the reception…guests are greeted with their escort cards when they arrive in the ballroom.

Elegant Halloween Wedding Inspiration in Black, White, and Silver (and a Touch of Quirky) - Wedding Belles Blog

via onewed

I adore this elaborate cake for our elegant fete. The ruffles are reminiscent of the wonderfully textured layers in the bride’s dress.

Are you digging this Halloween inspiration, belles and beaus? Would you get married on a holiday? Comment, comment, comment!

xoxo Laura

Internet Roundup: MOB Duties, Ways to Ruin a Wedding, and More!

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done an Internet roundup, and I do have some fun/informative links to share. Without further ado, here’s what I’m loving on the Internet lately:

1. 5 Things Mothers of the Bride Can Take Off Their Daughter’s Plate – yes yes yes yes yes

5 Things Mothers of the Bride Can Take Off Their Daughter's Plate via Brides - Wedding Belles Blog

via Brides

2. 3 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding Dress – we’ve talked about #3 on the blog before, but the other two are new!

3. 10 Ways to Ruin a Wedding – mostly common sense, but apparently some people still do these things or we wouldn’t have to write an article about it…

4. Fun Group Activities to do Before Your Wedding Rehearsal – I LOVE the idea of #7. So unique!

Tell me belles…what have you been loving on the Internet lately? Found any inspiration or helpful tips? Share with me!

xoxo Laura