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A few weeks ago, the SW gals gathered for a favorite Southern Weddings’ tradition–our annual Gingerbread Barn Building Competition. This was the sixth year inviting our friends to join us for a night of barn-building and hot cocoa-drinking at the Carolina Inn!

Big thanks to Ally and Bobby for spending the evening with us and capturing these wonderful images you see below!

If you can’t tell from above, Christmas at the Carolina Inn is simply magical! So magical, in fact, that our very own Kristin couldn’t miss out on a second Gingerbread Barn Building event in a row! She surprised us with her lovely face and ooh and ahh at the Christmas decor alongside us!

We are grateful for our dear friend and Blue Ribbon Vendor, Randi of Sugar Euphoria, for providing the icing everyone used on their barns! This stuff was barn building gold, and it made for some of the tallest and most structurally-sound barns we’ve seen yet (three story structures!)

Each team dove right in when the competition began, and you could feel the excitement in the room as we strolled around to see plans, blueprints and designs begin to unfold! I must say, being a judge certainly takes some of the pressure off!

I wouldn’t be a true UNC alum if I didn’t mention the lovely replica of the UNC bell tower. Between KNW and myself, we must’ve taken three dozen photos to send to our beaus who are fellow UNC grads. If you look closely enough, there was even a Ramses made out of marshmallows. Be still my heart!

This group may have been some of the most creative builders we’ve seen yet! Herringbone pathways, pretzel chandeliers, and beautiful hand-letting covered in sprinkles–the ideas seem to get better each year!

We loved hearing the story behind our Honorable Mention Best Story winner’s barn below! Each tiny home was created by a different member of their team, and had a matching story to go with it!

Each creation we saw was not only beautifully executed, but had a darling story to match it! After much deliberation, we handed out the grand prize award to a sweet group of ladies who created the beautiful snow-covered creation you see below, complete with a sweater-wearing reindeer!

We also passed our four Honorable Mentions–Most Festive, Most Architecturally Creative, Most Creative Story, and Most Structurally Sound–to other builders! Y’all certainly didn’t make deliberations easy this year!

Thank you so much to all our friends who joined us at this year’s competition, and to The Carolina Inn for hosting us all–we can’t wait to see what y’all come up with next year! Happy holidays!

Written with love by Jess Metcalf
1 Comment
  1. avatar Bri A reply

    These are so beautiful! I think I need to up my gingerbread game. And the marshmallow Ramses — consider this UNC alum in love!

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Are y’all ready? Sweet V9 hits newsstands in less than four weeks and we’re planning to pour big glasses of sweet tea and toss the confetti. We’re also thrilled to formally and officially invite you to the Southern Weddings V9 Launch Party!!

We’ll be celebrating the launch of our new issue at The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, NC on November 10, starting at 7:00 P.M. There will be toe-tapping music, sweets a plenty, snacks inspired by our latest issue, and a few more surprises inspired by our cover that our all-new for this year! But as always, there will be lots of fun swag, a fantastic photo booth, and some of the sweetest folks in Dixie. Rumor has it the Duke/Carolina football game will also be streaming live for the Tar Heel and Blue Devil fans in the house!

The party is open to everyone, but you MUST RSVP and purchase a ticket ahead of time in order to attend. Our last four launch parties (see them here, here, here and here!) have sold out quickly, and we know this one will too, so if you want to join us, please pick up a ticket ASAP!

We like to get a little fancy, so don’t be afraid to wear your Sunday best! In celebration of V9’s cover (which we’ll be revealing really soon!), we invite you to come dressed in your finest light blues, whites, and creams (with a peach accent if you so choose!). Good news for both our gals and guys in the fashion department:

— Our friends at Parlor Blow Dry Bar are opening their doors to any gals looking for a little Southern glam support. You can hop over to any Raleigh-area location and use the code SOUTHERNWEDDINGS for a 10% discount on all products and services the day of the party! You might just see the SW gals at the new Cary location :)
— Any gent looking for a spiffy new bow tie for the party can grab one from High Cotton Ties (may we recommend the SW collection?). Use code V9LAUNCHPARTY for 25% off.

We’re honored that we get the chance to celebrate another love-story filled issue with y’all. We can’t wait to see you in a few short weeks to toast nine wonderful years of Southern goodness!!

P.S. If you are one of our many friends traveling in from out of town, there are plenty of options in the area, including the lovely accommodations at The Carolina Inn. We’d also recommend checking The Franklin Hotel and the Aloft Chapel Hill, both of which are nearby.

P.P.S. Can’t make it to the party? We will be broadcasting live that night! Tune in over on our Facebook page for our welcome and speeches around 8:15 P.M. EST.

kristin Written with love by Kristin
4 Comments
  1. avatar Janna reply

    I won’t be there, but at a friend’s wedding who as an engagement gift I gave a copy of v.8 and she used as part of her wedding inspiration! :) Have fun and can’t wait for v.9 to come out for a gift for one of my besties who just got engaged this past weekend!

  2. avatar Mary Kay reply

    This looks like so much fun!

  3. avatar Ashlie Muller reply

    One day, I say one day I’ll come to the launch party. I literally Googled mapped where it is and it’s over 5 hours away from where I live, near Atlanta. I’m sure it will be lots and loads of fun!!!!

  4. avatar Friday No. 3 – Kyla Mary reply

    […] Weddings announced the details of their V9 Launch Party yesterday and I spent about an hour trying to find a financially feasible way to visit North […]

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We’ve photographed all of our editorials, filled almost all of our real wedding slots, and sold almost all of our ads. That can only mean one thing: it’s almost time to celebrate the next issue of Southern Weddings at the V9 launch party!

This year, the V9 launch party will be the same day the issue hits newsstands: November 10! We could not be more excited to return to our perfectly Southern party location, the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, for this fun and festive evening. We’re hoping YOU will join us, so pull out those planners and mark this date down!

And, if you’re traveling in, we recommend you book your hotel room EARLY. Our launch party just so happens to be on the same day as a Duke-Carolina football game (rest assured, there will be a live screen at the party!), so hotel rooms at the Carolina Inn are going to move faster than butter melting on a biscuit. To book yours at our discounted rate of $179, click here. This rate will only be available until September 11, or until rooms sell out!

MUCH more information to come soon, including our color scheme once we decide on a cover (!!!), but if you’re interested in signing on as a sponsor of V9 or a sponsor of our launch party, email Marissa (marissa at southernweddings.com) lickety-split. We would all love to hear from you!!

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Janna reply

    Yay! The same day one of my best friends marries her soon to be hubby! :) I gave her a copy of V8 as part of her engagement gift when he popped the question! :)

  2. avatar Dana reply

    I wanna go!!! So much fun last year!

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