Winter Wedding Trends, 2014-15

As the holiday season approaches, I’m taking a look at the latest (and recurring) trends that are inspiring winter weddings…

Green & White Palettes

Woodland themes were one of my favorite trends to see for late summer and fall weddings, so I am thrilled to see this trend being carried into winter weddings. Brides are taking advantage of evergreen and other cold-weather plants to incorporate into their wedding flowers and décor. Pair the vibrant greens with white roses, hydrangea, or dahlias to create a fresh, wintery color scheme. My tip for budget-conscious brides: subsitute the expensive flowers for baby’s breath. An abundance of these small, delicate buds literally looks like snow!


Comfort Foods

Let’s face it: this is the season to throw out the diets and indulge in our favorite comfort foods. I love to encourage winter brides to create menus around cozy, comfort foods that we’ve loved since childhood. Many caterers have made these popular foods staples in their wedding menus, and can display them in elegant ways. Your guests will be wowed as they feast on favorites like these mini grilled cheese sandwiches with shots of warm tomato bisque. Yummy!


Embellished Bouquets

I am all for sparkle in unexpected places! Many brides opt out of the typical “blinged out” wedding décor, and are drawn more towards vintage-inspired pieces to add sparkle to their weddings. My favorite trend is bridal bouquets that have brooches and pins added to them. Shop thrift stores and flea markets for inexpensive finds, and then watch you florist create the perfect complient to your bridal look. Added bonus: the less live flowers you use, the easier the bouquet is to preserve.


Fabric Inspirations

Vintage inspiration will always be popular with weddings. This season I’m seeing vintage fabrics being used in much more than the dress and linens. Give guests a glimpse into the vintage feel of your wedding by incorporating lace into your invitations. Or take a sample from your lace veil to your talented confectioner, and watch them create a stunning wedding cake that will be almost too beautiful to eat. However you choose to use vintage fabrics, be assured that the inspiring touches will create a timeless and romantic look that you will cherish long after your wedding.

wintertrends4     wintertrends5

Fall Wedding Trends, 2014

It’s my favorite time of year again! Let’s get inspired by all of the cozy trends being seen in fall weddings…

Warm Color Palettes

Weddings are getting cozier this season, especially when it comes to the color palettes used in flowers and décor. My favorite color to warm things up this season is orange. To avoid the cliché, pumpkin look, go for a lighter, amber shade. I would also suggest pairing this color with something unexpected: try a shade of purple (a hugely popular color this year), or a neutral, like navy blue or gray.

falltrend14 1     falltrend14 2


Romantic, feminine, lace details have been very popular this year. For the daring bride, create an ultra-sexy look by following the “naked lace” trend. These gowns are very form-fitting to follow all of your curves; and the sheer, lacy patterns are done over nude-colored fabics. The most daring is flesh-toned – to give the illusion that it’s your skin showing through, and not fabric – but it can also be done over taupe or ivory. After all, you only want to give your fiancé heart palpitations, not the rest of your guests!

falltrend14 3

Coming Up Roses

My favorite trend this season is rose-gold. The romantic color can be seen in many aspects of the wedding; from shimmery table linens, to flowers, to dishware. I LOVE to see it in jewelry! Rose-gold engagement rings and wedding bands are very popular, and I think they’ll be a trend to stay. The blush color looks beautiful on just about every skin tone. It has just the right amount of vintage and romantic appeal, and it’s a truly unique take on classic design.

falltrend14 4

Flowers Go Natural

Floral arrangements have been taking a more earthy, natural approach this year. From the rainbow of colors used this spring, to the use of wildflowers, I’ve enjoyed seeing centerpieces and bouquets look less tight and contrived. Talk to your florist about loose arrangements. The casual gathering and variety of flowers and greenery result in a look that’s bigger in volume and really a feast for the eyes!

falltrend14 5     falltrend14 6



“Woodland” is the New “Rustic”

Some beautiful inspiration for achieving a stunning, woodland-themed wedding…

woodland theme2

woodland theme3

woodland theme5     woodland theme4

woodland theme6     woodland theme7

woodland theme9

woodland theme1     woodland theme8

Achieving the look:

Look for venues that have natural elements, like greenery and wood. Consider parks, courtyards, gardens, or vineyards.

Instead of incorporating many colors with flowers, focus on neutrals and greens. Talk to your florist about ferns, moss, cedar,and curly willow.

Add lots of sparkle with candles, lanterns, and string-lights around the trees.

Don’t forget natural elements; like wood-patterned invites, fall-inspired food and wine from local growers, and a whimsical tree-trunk cake stand!

Choosing a Wedding Planner


Hiring a professional wedding planner to help plan your special day – or execute you plans during the wedding weekend – adds countless benefits to the wedding process; from connecting you to wonderful and affordable vendors, to giving you the ultimate peace of mind. Choosing the right planner or coordinator to help tell your love story doesn’t have to be difficult. It just requires some thoughtful consideration, and a few of these helpful hints!…

Be prepared:

Even if you are at the very beginning of your planning process, there’s no need to panic. Many couples already have an idea of what they are envisioning for their wedding; but if you have absolutely no idea what you want, it’s quite alright. There are only a few details you will need to have prepared when you look to hire a planner: your wedding date (with an alternate if you are choosing a popular date or month), an approximate guest count, and an approximate budget.

When interviewing planners:

Yes, you MUST meet with a potential planner; don’t hire any wedding professional sight-unseen! It is incredibly important to meet potential planners for the big day. I pride myself on having a complimentary consultation (with no time restraint) for all potential clients. I want a client to feel like they have as much time as they need to get to know me, as they could be entrusting me with one of the most important days in their life. When it comes to interviewing, there are several factors that you should be prepared to discuss with an event planner: Do they have your preferred date available? Do they understand your vision, or can they help you to come up with a vision if you are undecided? Can they work with your budget? Do your personalities mesh?

A planner’s experience:

The experience of a professional wedding planner should be considered in your decision-making process. But I do challenge you to consider the quality of experience, and not just the quantity. A person doesn’t necessarily have to spend twenty years planning weddings to be good at what they do. Sometimes, considering an up-and-coming planner (or any vendor) can bring a fresh perspective to the process. When talking to prospective planners, ask them how many events they book per day. Will your wedding have their undivided attention, or will you have to share them with another event? Do they have assistants that help the day remain organized and flow seamlessly? I do believe that it is important to hire an independent professional that has experience booking and planning their own events. Ask your planner if they have experience planning their own events, or do they only intern under other established planners. Most importantly, how are their communication and problem-solving skills? Anything can happen when it comes to weddings; you want to make sure to hire someone that not only keeps the process organized, but can thrive under pressure and troubleshoot any potential snags without causing you undue stress. As you interview your planner, don’t forget to get references. A reputable planner will be happy to provide references from past clients or other proven vendors in the industry.

Business offerings:

As you prepare to book your wedding planner, make sure you are clear on how they conduct their business. Ask if they provide full-service planning, or day-of coordination options. Never hire someone without a contract. Before you sign, be sure to read it carefully to ensure that you are getting exactly what you pay for. Sometimes the fine-print helps in the decision making: are you getting someone that will help you with the little extras like booking hotel rooms, managing your RSVP’s, and designing a website; or will they just show up on wedding day and leave as soon as your cake is cut? Lastly, make sure they can fit into your budget timeline; ask about payment options, and if a payment plan is available.

Congratulations on your engagement! Please contact me at 336.508.8241, or, to see how I can be of assistance in planning your big day!


3 Wedding Traditions You Can Skip (and 3 to Keep!)


Skip the White Dress

Yes, a traditional white dress is still the most popular choice for brides. But, if a white dress is just not your style, don’t feel pressured to wear one. These days, many couples are opting for more bold colors to showcase their wedding style. Choose an ultra-chic black or platinum dress; or a sexy red one. If you desire a more subtle deviation from white, try colors like taupe, oatmeal, or my favorite – blush.

Skip the Cake-cutting

The cake-cutting ceremony is a time-honored tradition; but I’ve recently seen couples rush through it to get a photograph, and then focus on returning to their party. If you don’t want to be pulled away from socializing or dancing, feel confident in skipping the cake-cutting. Your caterer can still serve it so that guests can partake at their leisure. If you’re not into a traditional wedding cake, but you still have a sweet tooth, try an alternative dessert. Have a cookie and candy bar, or a display table of different varieties like pies or family recipes. I recently did an ice cream sundae bar that everyone loved – the wedding cake wasn’t even missed!

Skip the Favors

Many guests still expect a tangible favor to commemorate your wedding. But I’ve seen many guests leave without one, and many favors get discarded. If you are looking for ways to save some money, and favors aren’t that important to you and your fiancé, it is certainly acceptable to not include them in your reception. As an alternative, I would suggest making a charitable donation to a cause that is important to you. You could also try an edible favor: provide small to-go boxes for your guests to take dessert home with them (since they’ll already be stuffed from dinner)!

Keep the Marriage Vows

This should go without saying, but I will say it anyway: don’t skip over planning your wedding ceremony and marriage vows. Yes, the planning period can often be a whirlwind of tulle, flowers, and cake-tastings. But taking the time to plan your ceremony shouldn’t be overlooked; it’s the reason why everyone is there! Whether you write your own vows or use traditional passages, take your time thinking of the words that you will recite to your beloved. A thoughtful, romantic ceremony will be the very thing to make your wedding story everything you dreamed of.

Keep the Guest Book

Some might not find a guest book to be a significant part of the wedding. I’ll be honest: my guest book gathers dust on a bookshelf. So why is it important? Because, every once in a blue moon, I’ll pull it out and look at all of the signatures of loved ones that helped us celebrate our wedding; and I’m glad I have it. If you’re looking for a cool alternative to a traditional guest book, try including instant snapshots of guests from a photo booth, or having guests write messages on Jenga or puzzle pieces. It might not seem important at first, but you’ll appreciate the sentimental value for years to come.

Keep the Wedding Pictures

It’s more important than people think: your wedding pictures. I am sometimes surprised by some couples who don’t seem to be interested in hiring a great photographer. These are a record of the memories that you will have for hopefully a lifetime; careful attention must be paid! While you should devote an appropriate percentage of your budget to a good photographer, this doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank hiring the most expensive one or purchasing the most expensive package. Use suggestions from your planner, family, and friends to find a professional wedding photographer; then take the opportunity to meet with them. It’s important that you not only love their work, but that you mesh well and feel confident that they will provide the style of pictures that you desire for your wedding.

Summer Wedding Trends, 2014

With Memorial Day weekend upon us, Summer is officially here – and us wedding vendors are getting pretty busy! These next few months are still the most popular time of year for weddings. Let’s face it: the weather is gorgeous (if you can take the heat!), and there’s nothing like a summer wedding to bring out everyone’s super-fun side. But, if you’re planning I-do’s to take place during this popular time of year, don’t feel like your wedding has to be cookie-cutter. Here are some growing summer trends that I’m seeing to add a unique touch to your event….

Mismatched Bridal Party


If you’d like for your bridal party to stand out in a cool, non-traditional way, throw out the idea of everyone looking exactly alike. With each of your girls having different personalities, styles, and body-types, trying to make each one deal with fitting into the same dress may prove difficult. While it is important for your bridal party to respect your wishes, they will love that you thought to give them some more options. Look at dresses in the same color family, with similar materials. You can change up the neckline or length to add variety. You can even invite your bridesmaids to do different hairstyles or accessories; just make sure they show you ahead of time so you can make sure everything looks cohesive.



There are many ways to incorporate Eco-friendly options into your wedding style. Gone are the days when an Eco-chic wedding has to be either ultra-rustic or very expensive. Many vendors are including options that are friendly to the environment, and won’t break the bank. Look for a way to give back to local communities by hosting your wedding in a garden or park – it’s the perfect time of year! Minimize the use of paper, by writing the ceremony program or dinner menu on a large chalkboard. Ask your caterer for options that include locally grown or produced ingredients. Instead of giving favors that people will throw in the back of a drawer, look for options that people will use, like a potted herb plant and pretty wildflower-seed packets. Or, my personal favorite, skip the traditional favor and give a donation to your favorite charity, in honor of your wedding and all of the loved ones that came to celebrate with you.

Summer Cocktails


Margaritas and Mojitos are a staple at summer parties. But why not step outside of the box with your reception cocktails! Try adding liquor or champagne to lemonade for a naughty kick; or try a unique seasonal favorite, like a Mint Julip. My favorite drink to use during the summer… strawberry smoothies! Advantages: with a couple of blenders, you can mix in bulk and they can save a lot of money. To try this delicious and refreshing summer cocktail, simply blend a sweet wine, like Rosado or Riesling, with mulled strawberries and ice.

 Late-night Parties


You may want a outdoor summer wedding, without suffering through midday heat. Or you may just be more of a night-owl. I see many couples that prefer to host their events late into the night. Sounds like a great party to me! If you have a venue with a great outdoor option, try investing part of your rental budget into an open-air tent. Guests will love the being in the gorgeous summer weather, while still being somewhat protected from the elements. Think about starting your ceremony at dusk to take advantage of an amazing summer sunset; then, the party will really begin after dark. Add some fun touches like spicy food, games, and your favorite DJ, and watch your guests have a ball. Nothing beats partying with your new spouse all night, under the stars!

Choosing Your Vendors


One of my biggest responsibilities as a wedding planner is managing vendors. I have couples that seek my guidance in choosing their vendors; others have already hired them. Either way, my experience with vendors in this area often comes into play when helping a couple to plan their wedding.

The balance of hiring vendors and managing the budget can be a delicate task. Yes, your wedding budget is very important, and should always be considered as you go about planning your wedding. But here’s something else to consider: Do you really get what you pay for? In other words, is cheaper always better?

My opinion: you absolutely get what you pay for, and cheaper is not always better. That’s not to say that good vendors can’t be affordable. I just mean that, whether you’re planning your wedding in two years or two months, it is important to take your time and work with your planner to choose the right vendors.

When choosing professionals like your photographer, caterer, or DJ, there are several factors I advise you to take under consideration, besides their price. Do they return your phone calls and emails in a timely manner? Are they on time for scheduled meetings? Do they listen to your thoughts and opinions, as well as offer their own? Do they offer all of the options you want for your wedding/reception? Do they have all of the necessary supplies that are needed? Do they seem to be on the same page as you when it comes to contributing to your special day? It is definitely possible to find amazing vendors at an affordable cost; I have the pleasure of working with them every day! But don’t make the mistake of hiring someone just because they are the cheapest option. I see this issue arise sometimes when brides are trying to hire a family member or friend that will charge less than a professional vendor. Family/friend “hook-ups” can be great, but only if the vendor has proven professional experience when it comes to weddings. Peace-of-mind is priceless these days. You don’t want to worry about whether or not a vendor will honor a contract, meet with you as scheduled, and be professional and reliable on wedding day.

I encourage couples to set priorities at the start of their planning process. Decide what elements of the ceremony and reception are most important to you, and then devote the larger portion of your budget to those things. As a planner, I can be sure to manage the budget to allow you to pick the best vendors for YOU; while making sure that other less-important elements are still accounted for, but not taking a priority financially.

Taking the time to properly research your vendors – and keep an open mind when it comes to cost – will ensure that you hire people that will work hard to make your day everything that you have dreamed of.

Happy Planning!

Spring Wedding Trends 2014

What a wonderful time of year for weddings in this area! This sounds soooo cliché, but during Springtime, love is literally “in the air”. The sappy romantic in me lives for a spring wedding, and I love taking advantage of the abundance of color, beautiful weather, and romantic atmosphere (that seems to be everywhere) to create truly spectacular events.


Soft, romantic, and ultra-feminine are words I would use to describe the spring bridal fashion that dominated the runways at New York Fashion Week. What better time of year to play up your curves, skin, hair, and all things girly than on your wedding day? Bridal designers have included lots of beading, floral details, and lace sleeves into an amazing trend that embodies the romance and beauty that radiates from every spring bride.

springwedding dress


This is the time of year when (almost) anything goes in the way of wedding color. While I do encourage my brides to not become obsessed with just using one or two colors throughout the wedding – you don’t want your reception looking like a high school homecoming – emphasizing your favorite colors, along with others to compliment them, can turn the celebration into a lovely reflection of what’s occurring outside. Take advantage of the blue skies, fresh grass, and colorful new blossoms that are abundant. These are a couple of my favorites this season, including Pantone’s vote for the Color of the Year 2014, Radiant Orchid.

radiant-orchid-wedding-color     coral-wedding-color2

aqua-wedding-color     yellow-wedding-color

Outdoor Festivities

In North Carolina, Spring is the perfect time of year for outdoor weddings (before the summer heatwave strikes)! For the bride that wants to take advantage of the beautiful, mild weather – without sweating through her dress – choose a venue with a beautiful outdoor component; like a park, garden, or hotel courtyard. Work with your planner to come up with a worry-free rain plan, and choose a time of day, like afternoon to early evening, to take advantage of the best outdoor temperatures. With an emphasis on colorful linens, fresh floral centerpieces, and hanging décor, any space can be transformed into a truly magical party. Get your guests in a festive mood with creative touches like acoustic music (no need for excess cords and amps!), lawn games, a caricature artist, and food trucks.

spring wedding decor

Top Romantic Venues in the Triad

No matter what their personal style is, every couple wants to infuse romance into their wedding. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’d like to give my picks for the top five romantic wedding venues in the Triad area. Please keep in mind, these picks are my personal opinion. Feel free to let me know what your favorite romantic venues are. Enjoy!

5. Castle McCullough (Jamestown, NC)

If you’re dreaming about being a princess on your wedding day, there’s no better place than this old-world castle in the woods.

castlemccullough2     castlemccullough

4. Revolution Mill Studios (Greensboro, NC)

This renovated textile mill is the perfect blend of rustic charm with vintage, historic touches.

revolutionmills     revolutionmills3

3. Proximity Hotel (Greensboro, NC)

Even a modern bride can have a super romantic wedding in this glamorous hotel.

proximityhotel     proximity weaver room

2. Graylyn Estate (Winston-Salem, NC)

Magnificent grounds and opulent, 1930’s decor surround you at this stunning country estate.

GraylynEstate4     graylynestate2

1. Weir-Jordan House (Greensboro, NC)

      My top pick for the most romantic venue is this beautiful historic home in downtown Greensboro, which happens to be the venue of my 2010 wedding. Its vintage charm was the perfect backdrop for the intimate, Southern soiree that I wanted (in honor of my very own Southern gentleman, Justin).

weirjordan     ss-871

You Said “Yes”!….. Now, What?

Heart Beach Words

In celebration of all of the couples who became engaged over the holidays, here’s my advice on the FIRST steps a bride should take after the proposal:

Bask in the Glow

Unless you’ve set a date one month away, there is still a little time to celebrate just being engaged. You have a gorgeous new ring to admire every chance you get, and plenty of family and friends that are eager to offer their congratulations (and wedding advice). This period can be as overwhelming as it is joyful. Before you dive head-first, take the time to enjoy being engaged and begin thinking about what you want for your wedding. Have some “just-the-two-of-you” planning sessions. Getting all of Facebook involved may provide some nice ideas, but you run the risk of becoming more focused on impressing others than having the wedding that YOU really want (and can afford). Not to mention that, for some reason, many may think that because you have them as a Facebook “friend”, they are automatically invited. Keeping yourself and your fiancé a priority during this time makes for a happier experience.

Look at Your Budget

It’s definitely not the “sunshine and rainbows” part of the planning process, but it is vital. Before you start putting down deposits and telling the world about your upcoming platinum affair, talk with your fiancé about your wedding budget. This will help you determine when to set your date (a longer engagement may give you more time to save money), and have a clear understanding of who’s paying for what, in case you will be able to have help from family. Please see my post, “Balancing the Budget”, for further tips.

Set a Date (or a few)

You may have particular dates in mind that are significant to you and your sweetie: the anniversary of your first date, a year-to-the-date of your engagement, etc. Choosing such a date is the perfect way to commemorate an event specific to the two of you. However, if you are open to any date, you may want to have several to choose from. I always suggest narrowing down to a particular month or season in which you want to have your wedding; once you begin searching for venues and vendors, you can narrow down to an exact date depending on the availability.  If your heart is set on a particular venue, have a back-up date in case your first choice has already been booked. If you can, try to stay away from major holidays (except maybe New Year’s Eve). Out-of-town family and friends might not appreciate the elevated flight, gas, and hotel rates during a major travel holiday and you run the risk of not having full attendance if many on your guest list opt for family traveling and vacations.

Consider your guest list

Many brides begin making wedding plans – and paying for them – before they’ve even done their guest list! Honestly, not a wise move. It’s my job to advise my clients on ways to make their wedding planning process as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. Stressful situations most likely will come; why not keep them to a minimum with aspects of your planning that you can control? Before you get deep into wedding plans, finalize your guest list – at least within ten to twenty people. Your headcount will help you determine the appropriate venue; after all, why pay for a huge ballroom if you want an intimate wedding of fifty guests? Most importantly, your guest list and your budget go hand in hand, since most vendors work on a “per head” basis. If your budget is $5,000, you may want to think twice about inviting 300 people. Once your guest list is set, try your best to not stray from it. Sure, you may invite an extra here or there; or there may be a few folks that won’t be able to attend. But let’s limit the drama – “You’ve been talking about your wedding for the past year; I assumed I was invited!” – and work on the guest list now, keeping it among your innermost circle.

Set priorities

Lastly, sit down with your fiancé and decide what elements of your wedding are most important to YOU. Whether it’s the unique, historic venue, or the beautiful flowers, or the exotic food, or the fabulous DJ; prioritize which elements you want to focus your budget on, and which elements are not as important. Hiring a wedding planner will help you keep those priorities at the forefront. He/she won’t be biased to a particular venue. They will make sure that you are staying organized and on budget throughout the planning process, hook you up with proven professional vendors, and ensure that you will have the wedding of your dreams.