Thanksgiving may be over, but we still have a whole lot to be grateful for in the Southern Weddings office, especially as we look back on a sweet evening from a few weeks ago! Right after Southern Weddings V8 hit shelves, we gathered at The Carolina Inn for a magical night of celebrating with friends and family from near and far. As impossible as it may seem, the launch party gets better year after year after year. And this year, between the bacon bar and Bloomsbury Boys, I think we succeeded in making it the best party yet!
Big hugs to Theo Milo for all of these amazing photos! We’re also so grateful to Handspun Cinema for capturing the night on film (keep an eye out for the video soon!), to Hot Dog Photo Booth for providing the photo booth so that guests could capture their own memories, and to Eliza Gwendalyn who provided some fun photo booth props!
These behind the scenes photos might be my favorite snaps from the whole day! This is real life, y’all–SW gals (with big hair blow outs from Parlor and makeup by Lula Hair and Makeup) sitting on the floor in between a million cardboard boxes, putting all the amazing swag bags together a few hours before the party. Our little helper (Marissa’s girl, EK) was a big fan of the koozies, and helped make sure every bag got at least one ;)
The gals over at Fiore Fine Flowers really outdid themselves. They road-tripped from Wilmington with the most gorgeous florals in tow, and even managed to lend a hand with stuffing the final swag bags and moving tables to get everything just right before the doors opened. I still can’t get over that gorgeous garland that spiffied up the magnificent chalkboard bars from Paisley & Jade. Big hugs to our friend Maghon from All She Wrote Notes, who loaned us both her handwriting for the bars and her hospitality for our LiveStream/Periscope feed.
All our guests, as well as a certain SW mama-to-be, were very thankful for beautiful places to sit, rest their feet, and nibble on treats. Paisley & Jade‘s rentals were a perfect fit in the Hill Ballroom, and their pretty peach sofa was the talk of the evening. And it wouldn’t be a Southern Weddings party without a few buckets of ice cold Cheerwine–the perfect toasting beverage, in my humble opinion!
The Carolina Inn blew us away with their menu of delicious savory bites–we munched on everything from miniature chicken pot pies to bite-sized pimento cheese sandwiches. I think I had half a dozen mini BLTs from the bacon bar (yes, bacon bar!!!), and I heard that the chicken and waffles were a party favorite.
Being a part of Southern Weddings is a family affair, and watching our SW family grow over the last few years has been so much fun! Joshua (Lara’s newest little guy) and EK (Marissa’s sweet girl) had a miniature photo shoot before the doors opened. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that there were bows and bow ties aplenty between the two of them!
Biggest hugs to Rachel Simpson for our pretty and practical footwear, and to Jane Summers for our most fabulous frocks–the epitome of fun Southern glam! Our friends at Kendra Scott also helped us pick out the most perfect baubles to complete our outfits. Meanwhile, the High Cotton Ties team made sure the gals weren’t the only ones gussied up for the party. All of the SW gents sported High Cotton bow ties, and dapper party guests were able to “rent” a bow tie for the evening. James also offered some free tying lessons!
When the doors opened, we were standing there with open arms, ready to hug each and every guest as they walked in. So many people help make V8 happen, and being able to celebrate some of those friends in person was such a joy. It was an extra special treat to have Alexandra (our gorgeous cover girl) and her precious family join us. We were also blown away by the number of friends from out of town (including our cover photographer Eric Kelley) who traveled to Chapel Hill to be with us. Y’all are the bee’s knees!
Part of the magic of each issue is welcoming reader models and friends to be a part of our pages. It is even more magical when some of those friends travel back to NC to celebrate with us at the launch party! Big hugs to our flower girls from Love Preserved and Kimberly from the Southern Belle shoot!
Our sweet Lisa got engaged at the V6 launch party a few years ago, so it was extra special to have some her family at the V8 celebration (especially since they make an appearance in the pages of this issue in her wedding feature!). We have said it before, but it bears repeating: being a part of Southern Weddings is a family affair.
Being on that stage, looking out into the sea of faces as we share our gratitude is always a highlight of the evening. It comes as no surprise that Grace stole the show again this year with her speech, but it was the tender words that her mama, Lara, shared that brought the room to tears. There is so much heart and emotion that goes into making each issue, and Lara’s words summed all of it up perfectly.
I have it on good authority that the sweets tables were busy all night long, and many of the treats disappeared before I could get over to sample them. Our friend Randi of Sugar Euphoria made Emily’s mini sweets dreams come true with a spread of everything from mini peach cobblers to blueberry hand pies to every Southern flavor of cupcake you can imagine! All the lovely signage and other paper products. including party invitations, were designed by our friend Scotti of Scotti Cline Designs.
The Chic Sweets sweets table, complete with the most darling bow tie backdrop, was back, and so were Natalie’s famous cake pops and chocolate-dipped Oreos!! No one can say they left this party hungry. I managed to snag a chocolate-dipped Oreo before they were all gobbled up, and may have helped myself to two cake pops–one of each flavor. Yum!
At the end of the evening, the Southern Weddings gals gathered together with our gents (minus Lara and Ari, who had headed home to put the newest SW gent, Joshua, to bed) for one final photo. There was so much laughter and joy as we linked arms and squished together to capture one more memory for the V8 yearbook. We couldn’t be more grateful for all y’all who celebrated with us from near and far. Your love and support of the Southern Weddings mission and of V8 blew us away. This party was definitely peachier than cobbler!!
To top this sweet post off, please enjoy the highlight film from the party created by our friends at Handspun Cinema!
Chic Sweets, Fiore Fine Flowers, High Cotton Ties, HotDog! Photogbooth, Paisley and Jade, Scotti Cline Designs, Sugar Euphoria, and Theo Milo are all delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory.