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.
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!