It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the holidays are in full swing and we’re in full ‘reflect and celebrate’ mode in the SW office. It probably surprises no one that the Southern Weddings V9 Launch Party is near the tip-top of our grateful list for 2016. Gathering together with friends and family from near and far on an exceptionally enchanting evening in early November is nothing short of magical. Add in a few gorgeous Paper Crown dresses, some carnival-inspired fair food, and a wall full of love letters and you have something straight from a Southern Weddings (Notebook-inspired) fairytale.
Big hugs to A.J. Dunlap for these gorgeous images! We’re also tremendously grateful to ZimZoom Photobooth for helping guests capture their very own memories in our always-popular photobooth, and to the Carolina Inn for being the sweetest host in Dixie.
A little BTS secret: we always take a few quiet minutes before the party commences to soak in the room before we throw open the doors to start the celebration. For us, this party is more than just reveling in the launch of a magazine: it’s about honoring all of the MANY friends who play a role in helping make Southern Weddings happen, year after year. To guarantee everyone feels right at home, we make sure there is plenty of cozy seating (thanks Paisley & Jade) and fresh and fabulous floral arrangements (big hugs Serendipity Designs).
As has become tradition, the Southern Weddings gals gather together with our gents for one big group photo to commemorate the occasion; after all, the entire group together in one room (minus Amber’s sweet husband: we missed you Brandon!) is quite an accomplishment and it only happens once a year. Of course, all the gents were looking extra dapper in their High Cotton bow ties and the gals got some serious glam support from the ladies at Parlor Dry Bar and Lula Hair & Makeup. Our dear friends at Kendra Scott helped finish off our looks with some fabulous jewels (I don’t think I’ve taken my pearl bracelet off since the party).
I spy a sweet little June Thomas making her inaugural launch party debut and making sure her mama didn’t forget to sign our cover print and grab a party-favorite button from our sweet friends at Belle & Union. The gal behind that great teal desk is none other than the wonderful Jessica of Simply Jessica Marie, former SW Intern and master watercolor artist. She graciously hand-lettered everyone’s nametag (!!!) as they were checking in and added her artistic touch to many other party details, including the beautiful invitations and all the food signage.
The doors opened and the hugs started flowing!! It was an extra special treat to have Davy Whitener (our V9 cover photographer) and his darling wife Lydia travel up from Georgia to celebrate with us! So many friends traveled from so far and we were humbled and honored to be able to spend the evening with a collection of such talented and inspiring folks.
Taking a nod from Ali and Noah’s carnival run-in, our friends at Ashton Events helped us create our very own fair booth: pick a duck and win a prize! It was a pretty fun way to claim your swag bag or win a custom canvas from our friends at CanvasHQ. Too bad we couldn’t figure out how to put a Ferris wheel in the parking lot ;)
The Carolina Inn spoiled us rotten with their menu, inspired by the delicacies found in the pages of V9 – we nibbled on everything from miniature hot dogs to hot chicken sliders. And it wouldn’t be an SW party without pimento cheese, ice cold Cheerwine, and a feast of miniature Southern-inspired sweets. Our friend Randi of Sugar Euphoria brought her famous homemade macaroons and miniature cupcakes. Everything was so delicious, it was gobbled up before I made it over to the table to snag a treat.
Noah & Allie’s love story is an SW office favorite and we could think of no better way to honor their legacy than to create a love letter wall with help from our friend Leigh of Leigh Pearce Events. Party guests spent the evening crafting notes to other party guests and pinning them to the wall. Popping by to pin a note or check for your name was a highlight of the evening!!
It’s such an honor to stand up on the stage, look out into the crowd, and see ALL the faces of the friends who have gathered together to celebrate. Our sweet Lara was a bit under the weather the night of the party, but she said she couldn’t miss the chance to share gratitude with all our friends who gathered both in person and virtually. Speaking of our virtual friends, our hostess-with-the-mostess, Maghon Taylor of All She Wrote Notes (and her precious “Baby Tay” bump) made sure everyone who couldn’t join in person got an extra special party experience via Facebook Live! We wrapped up our speeches with a celebratory dance, and our favorite local DJ, Joe Bunn, kept the music flowing all night via a compilation of 40’s and 50’s tunes as another nod to our friends Noah & Ally.
We couldn’t be more grateful for all y’all who traveled from far and near (and fought through the crazy traffic) to join us in Chapel Hill to celebrate. I feel like we’re a broken record, but your love and support of V9 and the Southern Weddings mission means so much to us. We love y’all more than all the sweet tea and biscuits in the world!
A.J. Dunlap Photography, Serendipity Designs, High Cotton Ties, ZimZoom Photogbooth, Paisley and Jade, Simply Jessica Marie, and Sugar Euphoria are all delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory.