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Two brand new babies and all the horses in Georgia couldn’t keep me from hitting the pause button on maternity leave to recap the most magical night: our celebration for the launch of our special tenth-anniversary issue a few weeks ago. Of course, we did it in high style at the Carolina Inn, with 300+ of our favorite friends and family, lots of fancy dresses and tuxedos, and a menu that would make your grandmama beam with pride.

The launch party is one of our favorite nights year after year, but we knew we wanted to pull out all the stops to make this tenth-anniversary celebration one for the record books. The night started with a signature cocktail for each guest and ended with a dance party that I’m confident we will be talking about for years, maybe decades, to come.

Biggest hugs to our dear friends McLean Events for pulling together all the details and to Brent from Live View Studios for all of these amazing photos! Our friends at Reel Special captured video coverage of the whole evening (don’t miss it at the bottom of this post!), and the Bourbon Booth made sure everyone left with legendary photobooth memories.

Our darling Marissa wasn’t able to celebrate in person since her little fella, BDK3, was only hours away from making his grand debut, so we had to improvise to ensure she didn’t miss out on all the fun (and photos). Speaking of babies, I know I’m a bit biased, but I think all the miniature party guests stole the show.

Lara started Southern Weddings in her tiny apartment on a PC computer nearly 10 years ago, and here we are, all these years later, with 9 team members (did I mention that we all missed Marissa like crazy) and all our families for an iconic tenth-anniversary team photo to commemorate the evening. Interested in a little Southern Weddings trivia? The SW babies and kiddos now outnumber the SW ladies. I’d also be remiss to not give all the kudos to Lindsey Regan Thorne and her Be Pretty squad for their help beautifying the whole Southern Weddings team and doling out some serious curls and lashes.

We’re big believers in good ol’ Southern hospitality, so we greeted guests by name thanks to All She Wrote Notes‘s gorgeous hand-calligraphed nametags, and offered everyone a place to rest their tired feet compliments of furniture from Cottage Luxe. And what’s more hospitable than lovely fresh florals? Our friends at Tre Bella made all our pink-floral-loving hearts swell with gorgeous arrangements sprinkled all over the room, and Jessica with Empress Stationery outdid herself with the party invitation.

As we say in our Sweet Tea Manifesto, “we believe that beautiful things have value simply because they make the world a more lovely place”. It’s such a joy to see this proclamation come to life with beautiful linens from CE Rental and gorgeous ‘walk down memory lane’ chalk signs from the Chalk Shop.

Getting to hug Anna and David Shackleford, our cover photographers, along with so many other friends, including many dear vendors who helped us bring our tenth-anniversary issue to life, was such a gift. We’ve said it over and over, but we could not do this work without the help and support of so many talented friends.

So many hugs!

I told y’all that the food would make any Southern grandmama proud. We love to use the issue for inspiration for the menu, and the Carolina Inn chefs pulled out extra tricks this year. The shrimp po’boys went fast, and I personally enjoyed five or six miniature soups and grilled cheeses as well as my fair share of treats from the biscuit bar (who can say no to pimento cheese). And it wouldn’t be a Southern Weddings party without plenty of Cheerwine, who, coincidentally, is celebrating a big anniversary this year too.

We were treated to amazing live music in the early phases of the evening, thanks to Bounce from EastCoast Entertainment and then an unforgettable dance party thanks to Joe Bunn DJ later. Whitney Houston’s iconic “I wanna dance with somebody” will be an instant flashback memory. And of course, the toasts are always a highlight. It’s such an honor to stand on the stage and raise a glass of thanksgiving to all the friends who helped make our latest issue happen.

It never fails that the photobooth is the most popular spot for the whole evening. The line was never-ending as friend after friend piled into the Bourbon Booth to capture a few memories. Looking back at my first launch party where we proudly piled all five Southern Weddings gals in for a picture, I might have to admit that one of the hidden SW team talents is cramming more and more of us into the photobooth each year.

Before leaving, all our party guests grabbed their very own copy of Southern Weddings and some treats to help them relax the rest of the evening — pralines from Loose Sugar Bakery and a Milk Bath from Southern Traditions Home. Not a bad way to end a wonderful party.

There’s something so special about having your memories captured on video, so thank you to Reel Special for allowing us to relive this sparkling evening over and over again.

I’m going to go on record and proclaim our tenth-anniversary celebration the best one yet. Thank you so much to everyone who celebrated with us, from near and far, for your love and support of the Southern Weddings mission and our special tenth-anniversary issue. We love y’all more than all the biscuits in the world.

Venue and catering: The Carolina Inn | Planning and design: McLean Events | Photography: Live View Studios | Videography: Reel Special | Music: Bounce via East Coast Entertainment | DJ: Bunn DJ Company | Flowers: Tre Bella Florist | Linens: CE Rental | Lounge furniture: Cottage Luxe | Sweets: The Cupcake Shoppe Bakery | Chalkboard Art: Chalk Shop Events | Photo booth: Bourbon Booth | Signage: All She Wrote Notes | Invitations: Empress Stationery | Hair and makeup: Lindsey Regan Thorne | Pralines: Loose Sugar Bakery | Milk bath containers: Southern Traditions Home

East Coast Entertainment, Bourbon Booth, McLean Events, Bunn DJ Company, Live View Studios, Reel Special, Chalk Shop, and Cottage Luxe are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory

kristin Written with love by Kristin
1 Comment
  1. avatar Ryan Worthen reply

    It was such an awesome celebration and we were SO honored that you asked us to film the launch party! Congratulations on 10 amazing years, and here’s to many more!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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For our tenth anniversary issue, we chose to do something we’d never done before: stage and shoot an editorial themed around an anniversary instead of a wedding day. Though we’d never done it before, few things could be closer to our heart: after all, we’re always reminding you that planning for a wedding is about more than just planning to walk down the aisle, and that the best is yet to come!

For this piece, we imagined a couple gathering their nearest and dearest to celebrate ten years of growing together. Our friend Rhiannon Bosse, a consummate celebrator, was the perfect person to pull the details together and infuse them with heart. She also wrote a short essay for the magazine sharing why celebrations of all stripes are important, so do pick up a copy to read that!

Thanks to Jake + Heather for capturing this evening to perfection, and to all of the vendors who brought this look to life!

Stunning in its simplicity, this suite by A Fine Press is one of my favorites we’ve ever featured in the magazine. I love how the X design subtly references ten years!

Maybe you’d wear your wedding dress again in a heartbeat, or maybe you’re confused why you ever chose it — either way, an anniversary celebration is another happy opportunity to wear a white dress, if you’d like! Rock a poufy tulle skirt if that’s your style, or opt for a sleek, chic lace number like this Watters dress.

Isn’t this pocket square boutonniere stunning? I’d never seen one before this shoot! That Rhi — always innovating :)

While a city location is different from our usual fare at Southern Weddings, cities are a part of the South’s landscape, too! I love that we were able to show off the beautiful skyline of Raleigh with this celebration.

Yep, that’s our beautiful Editor-in-Chief Kristin and her sweet husband Kyle! We couldn’t think of anyone better to stand in for our couple celebrating many happy years of marriage :)

Y’all, the food at this shoot. SO GOOD. Belle’s Catering blew us (and our guests!) away with their modern interpretations of Southern classics. The menu included Dixie Poutine and Sriracha fried chicken and pickle biscuit sliders to start, pickled shrimp salad, and plates of braised short ribs, chicken and waffle skewers, and hoppin’ John blackeyed pea cakes to pass family style.

This is one of my favorite ideas we featured, for an anniversary party or any other special sit-down meal. Lead your guests to their seats with personal notes enclosed in glassine envelopes. Use it as an opportunity to tell them how much they mean to you — you can never hear or say those words enough!

Totally dreamy!

In honor of ten years, Ashley Cakes whipped up ten petite cakes, each with a different white-on-white look. We displayed them beautifully on a piece from Cottage Luxe, whose aesthetic is a perfect fit for this editorial!

See more from this editorial in Southern Weddings 10, in our shop and on newsstands now!

Planner, Stylist, and Florals: Rhiannon Bosse Celebrations | Photography: Jake + Heather | Film Processing: PhotoVision | Venue: SkyHouse Raleigh | Stationery: A Fine Press | Caterer: Belle’s Catering | Cakes: Ashley Cakes | Rentals: Cottage Luxe | Linens: La Tavola Linen | Hair and Makeup: LULA Hair + Makeup | Bride’s Dress: “Lenora” by Watters | Clutch and Shoes: BHLDN | Jewelry: Bailey Banks & Biddle | Groom’s Attire: Bonobos

Rhiannon Bosse Celebrations, Ashley Cakes, Cottage Luxe, and LULA Hair + Makeup are lovely members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Rhiannon reply

    It was an absolute honor and pleasure spearheading this project with you, Emily and team SW! What a beautiful end result, and perfect way to celebrate a gorgeous 10th anniversary issue!

    • avatar Catherine reply

      We couldn’t love your work more, Rhi! Thanks for being an SW gal with us. :)

  2. avatar On Cloud Ten :: Rhiannon Bosse reply

    […] concept behind our efforts? A tenth year anniversary vow renewal with a couple that more than anything values marriage, tradition, celebration, and legacy. The […]

  3. avatar Shana Adams reply

    This is incredible!! Bravo Southern Weddings!

  4. avatar Stephanie Shaul reply

    What a breath of fresh air this editorial is! The celebration of marriage is simply beautiful, and I adore all of the subtle nods incorporated throughout. You can tell each and every detail is so thoughtfully curated and meaningfully chosen… and what really shines through is the JOY and focus on love + community. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!

    • avatar Catherine reply

      Thank you so much, Stephanie! This is beautifully articulated. This is what we aim to achieve in everything we do! We’re so thankful to have you in the SW family. :)

  5. avatar Au Revoir 2017 :: Rhiannon Bosse reply

    […] brought the release of the 10th issue of Southern Weddings Magazine! And I was very honored to have our editorial featured in a special back of the book piece […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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We have had the thrill of traveling to so many iconic Southern destinations in ten years of publishing our magazine, but still, some stand apart. There are few destinations that hold as much history as North Carolina’s Biltmore Estate, and though staging an editorial shoot there was not without its difficulties (ahem, 4:00 AM wakeup time to begin shooting before guests arrived on the property!), all of the negotiations and accommodations were more than worth it.

With a love for history, literature, and the mountains, the couple we dreamed up looked right at home on the Biltmore’s terraces and grounds. We truly couldn’t have pulled it all together without our planner and stylist, Rebecca Rose Events, and our photographer, Henry Photography — we’re so grateful to both of them!

Each Southern Weddings gal has her own not-so-secret favorite V10 editorial, and this, my friends, is mine. Pride and Prejudice is our bride’s (and also my) favorite book, and our couple fell in love in a literature class in college. Though I did not meet my sweet husband until law school, my Jane Austen class happened to be one of my very favorite courses as well. If there’s anything dreamier than escaping to a countryside estate through reading, it’s bringing the whole scene to life and toasting to a real love story on the Biltmore’s terrace!

The lines on these beautiful ribbons (penned by Simply Jessica Marie) are from favorite Southern novels, but there are so many meaningful ways you could use this idea! You could write special notes to each of your bridesmaids on ribbons tied around their bouquets. Or, you could include meaningful phrases, song lyrics, or inside jokes you share with your future husband on your own bouquet ribbons!

Amber Housley and I were both tiara-wearing brides, and I support this particular accessory wholeheartedly. But if you want to add a little glamour without going over the top, this Emma Katzka headpiece is the ideal bohemian middle ground.

It doesn’t get much more romantic that this! These are the shots that made us happy to have that 4am wake-up call! One thing to consider if you fall in love with a venue that may be a bit over-budget: if you have a backdrop and setting that is simply gorgeous on its own, you can really save in your floral and decor budget! Some venues need little additional adornment, and the Biltmore is definitely one of those venues!

Escort card displays are a great opportunity to get creative and let your personality and love story shine. This vintage escort card display is a collection of thrift-store books wrapped in coordinating paper to create a romantic, literary station for guests to find their table numbers! The seating assignments themselves were calligraphied in large coffee table books guests could peruse to find their names.

The Biltmore is the largest privately-owned home in the United States, and the 8,000 acre estate grows beef, lamb, eggs, vegetables, herbs, and fruit on site to create their delicious menus. The Estate also hosts its own vineyard, creating the (very) local wine your guests can enjoy at your reception!

This couple’s unique, historical and literary wedding cake is ringed by a line from Henry James: “It has made me better, loving you.” Heirloom cake toppers were displayed around the cake table to celebrate the couple’s personal history as well.

For more from this story, pick up your copy of our tenth anniversary issue in our shop and on newsstands around the South!

Planner, stylist, and florals: Rebecca Rose Events | Photography: Henry Photography | Film Processing: PhotoVision | Venue and caterer: The Biltmore Estate | Hair and makeup: Lindsey Regan Thorne | Wholesale flowers: Fifty Flowers | Silk bouquet ribbon: Adorn Company and Of the Earth | Bouquet ribbon calligraphy: Simply Jessica Marie | Head chairs and vintage rentals: The Prettiest Pieces | Candlesticks and cake serving set: BHLDN | Chairs, glassware, china, and flatware: Professional Party Rentals | Linens: Nuage Designs | Chargers: Wayfair | Wooden sign: Rebecca Rose Events with lettering by Sarah Hanna Calligraphy & Design | Invitation suite, menu cards, and bookmarks: Bella Figura, Envelope calligraphy: Sarah Hanna | Seating chart calligraphy: Calligraphy by Carole | Chocolate favors: Sugar Cloud Baking Company | Welcome basket contents: French Broad Chocolates, Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn, Vanderbilt Reserve Wine | Vintage cake toppers: Patricia Minish Designs, Over the Top Studios, and Dorothy Kinghorn Huggins | Vintage car: Air Haven Limousine | Bride’s gown: “Andie” by Carolina Herrera | Crown: “Camellia” by Emma Katzka | Bride’s earrings: Bailey Banks & Biddle | Red heels: “Cirrus” by Jessica Simpson from Amazon | Clutch: Ted Baker London from Nordstrom | Bridesmaid dresses: “Madison” in Dusty Rose by Katie May for BHLDN | Groom’s pants and vest: Bonobos | Groom’s jacket: ASOS | Tie: The Tie Bar

Written with love by Catherine
1 Comment
  1. avatar 2017 in Review | Columbus Wedding Photographers | Destination Weddings | Fine Art Film reply

    […] We had Four weddings, one a destination wedding, lots of Scout guide shoots, our tenth anniversary, The Southern Weddings BILTMORE shoot and much more. We stretched ourselves so much that month but I as so thankful to get to celebrate […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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