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Downtown Wilmington is full of stunning locations to take engagement photographs all year long. A stunning location that is extremely popular with brides-to-be is the Wilmington Riverwalk along the Cape Fear River. The Wilmington Riverwalk is a roughly one mile boardwalk that allows couples to stroll along the path getting gorgeous shots with the river flowing in the background. The talented photographer, Megan Dickerson, submitted these stunning downtown engagement photos highlighting this gorgeous couple’s love for each other along the Wilmington Riverwalk. Below is her recap of the engagement session:

“This gorgeous downtown Wilmington engagement session is one of my favorites to date! Taylor contacted me right after Cory proposed to her and wanted to do their engagement session as soon as possible. Taylor and Cody wanted to announce their engagement with photos and I thought this was such a cool idea! We had to reschedule from their original date due to the snow we had in Wilmington – yes snow in Wilmington, can you believe it!? Although the wind chill was 20 degrees, all of their photos turned out amazing! I am so happy they those me to photograph their sweet engagement! Congratulations again Taylor & Cory!!”

 

 

 

 


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Image: Kate Supa Photography

We’re excited to be learning from Jana from Design a Dream Events today about unexpected wedding expenses you need to know:

Budgeting for a wedding may seem like a piece of cake to a wedding professional, but to the couples who have never been married before, sometimes it’s the big elephant in the room that doesn’t want to be discussed. It’s very easy to go over budget due to the unexpected wedding expenses that most couples don’t take into account. As a wedding planner, we are able to provide insight to our clients in order to help keep them on budget for their big day!

So what are these unexpected expenses you ask? Let us help break down the top 10 unexpected wedding expenses you should know about!

 

1. PRE-WEDDING BEAUTY

Image: Anna Holcombe Photography

When prepping for your wedding day, you’ll want to take into account gym memberships, tanning, trail runs for your hair and makeup, mani & pedis, hair trims and color touch ups, etc. The beauty goes far beyond just the day of, so make sure keep track of them all.

  2. STATIONERY

Image: Magnolia Photography

Of course most couples know they need invitations, and even save-the-dates, but there are many other paper goods to think about. Here are a few that may not be on your radar: postage, place cards, menu cards, escort cards, programs, and especially thank you cards post wedding.

  3. GIFTS

Image: Tie That Binds Weddings

Gifts are commonly remembered for the bridal party. It’s tradition to give a small gift to show your appreciation to your bridesmaids and groomsmen, but did you consider other types of gifts?  Here are some other options typically left out of this category: Party favors for your wedding guests, welcome gifts or bags for traveling guests at the hotels, and even sometimes gifts for the parents.

  4. GRATUITIES

Image: Bed Bath & Beyond

Some companies, for example transportation or catering, will include gratuity on their invoices, but that’s not always the case, so make sure you double check.  Although it’s not a necessity to tip your vendors, it is a great way to show your appreciation to the vendors who have worked hard for your special day. There isn’t a magical number that each vendor should receive, but there are ways to determine how you would like to tip. You can tip based on a percentage of the total cost owed, a flat rate, or even a gift.

5. PRE-WEDDING EVENTS

Image: KMI Photography

You’ve budgeted for all aspects of the big day, but many times the couples forget about all the other festivities leading up to the wedding. There’s the bachelor and bachelorette parties, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, and sometimes even a post wedding brunch the day after. These hidden fees can add up very quickly, especially if the couple doesn’t have the luxury of receiving financial help from their families.  

  6. SALES TAX & SERVICE CHARGES

Image: Anchored In Love

In the moment of agreeing to proposals and quotes, sometimes it’s easy to forget about the infamous sales tax and service charges that may not be on the initial quotes you’ve received. Some of the service charges to consider are: delivery and set up fees, carving fees, cake cutting fees, bartender fees, and even cork fees. Remember to ask about any additional service fees ahead of time.

  7. BRIDAL ACCESSORIES

Image: Anna Holcombe Photography

You searched high and low for your perfect dress for your perfect wedding… but what about all the accessories that MUST complete your look?! Don’t forget to budget for shoes, a veil and/or any extra headpieces, jewelry, and alterations.

  8. VENDOR MEALS

Image : Magnolia Photography

It’s very considerate to provide vendor meals for the vendors who are working your entire wedding reception, especially the ones who are there for 8 to 14 hours. Vendor meals are provided by your caterer and should be cheaper than your guest meals. This expense can add up though if you have multiple photographers, videographers, planners, and a band. So this is something to keep in mind.

  9. EXTRA RENTALS & DECOR

Image : Magnolia Photography

When budgeting for your rentals, it’s easy to remember tables, chairs and linens, but sometimes the detailed decor falls under the radar until you’re closer to the wedding date and the budget seems to be busting at the seams. Here are some examples of rentals and specialty decor pieces you want to make sure you don’t forget about budgeting for… Candles, votives, dance floor, uplighting, outdoor lighting, glassware, dinnerware, flatware, specialty linens, decorations for the tables other than floral centerpieces, outdoor spaces, lounge furniture, decorative items for the bar, fireplace mantles, and food tables.

10. OVERTIME HOURS

Image : Kate Supa Photography

There’s nothing like yelling “ONE MORE HOUR” when you’re in the moment and having one of the best nights of your life. Keep in mind that there’s always a cost to extended the fun. Most vendors have a base rate for additional hours requested, but most will expect to be paid in full on the spot, so make sure you know what those costs are and that you’re ready to fork up the fees to continue the party.

There you have it! 10 of the most unexpected and hidden wedding expenses to keep in mind while budgeting for your big day. We hope by educating you on some of these surprising expenses you will have a better understanding of how to budget for your wedding and the festivities surrounding it.  

Thank you to our fabulous Guest Blog Contributor, Jana Ingraham with Design A Dream! Please be sure to check her out for all of your wedding planning needs!


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This past Sunday, Wilmington Weddings and Events hosted the 1st Annual Wedding Dress Sample Sale with three Wilmington bridal boutiques at the stunning Wrightsville Manor. The three boutiques that supplied these amazing dresses were Camille’s of Wilmington, Coastal Knot Bridal Boutique, and The Wedding Dress Shoppe.  A wedding dress sample sale is where boutiques bring in dresses they have had in store and mark them down by upwards of 60-70 percent off retail cost. They are usually trying to make room for the new season of dresses and this allows brides to shop for their dream dress at a fraction of the cost! It’s especially perfect for brides who don’t have time to order a dress. The dress boutiques brought in hundreds of dresses for the brides-to-be and their families to look through in the hunt for their perfect dress! L&L Tent and Party Rentals aided in the event by creating seven dressing rooms for the brides to try on their picks. Over the course of the three hour event over two dozen ladies left with their dream wedding dress! We felt thrilled and honored to help these ladies find their dream dresses! We can’t wait to do it again! And be on the lookout for our Bridal Swap event coming up this July!

Venue//Wrightsville Manor
Dress Boutique//Camille’s of Wilmington
Dress Boutique//Coastal Knot Bridal Boutique
Dress Boutique//The Wedding Dress Shoppe
Rentals//L&L Tent and Party Rentals


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A major trend in the South is to be married in an outdoors southern style setting, usually with a barn that exudes southern charm. Native Wilmington couple, Alex and Jordan, choose to be married at The Barn at Rock Creek located in Leland, North Carolina for their dream southern wedding. The Barn at Rock Creek is a local wedding venue that provides an authentic barn with space for a reception or ceremony downstairs and bridal suite upstairs for the bridal party to get ready. They also have ample outdoor space for the ceremony and entertainment. They included many local vendors who kept in theme with their southern charm wedding to make it a magical day for the couple.

Alex and Jordan’s happily ever after started in high school as told by the bride: “Jordan and I met in ninth grade at New Hanover High School. We were in the same English class and quickly became good friends. We were both seeing other people at the time. Summer came and went, and when school started back that fall we ended up becoming “boyfriend and girlfriend”. It’s such an amazing feeling being married to my best friend!”

The wedding was submitted to us by the incredibly talented Erin Costa with Erin Costa Photography.


 

Venue//The Barn at Rock Creek
Photographer//Erin Costa Photography
Florist//Creative Cuisine
Bride Hair Stylist//Bangz Hair Salon
Bride Makeup Artist//Flawless Make up by Isla
Bridesmaid Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist //Bombshell Brides
Live Wedding Event Painter//Shelia Donahue
Caterer//Middle of the Island
DJ//DJ Professionals
Officiant//Rudy Sheppard – Peace Baptist Church
Wedding Dress//Coastal Knot Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaid Dresses//Weddington Way
Groom and Groomsmen Suits//Jos. A. Bank
Cake//Creative Cuisine
Cupcakes//Melissa Rodenberg and Crystal Fraizer
Rentals//L & L Rentals and Martha My Dear
Wedding Coordinator//Lesley Taube from The Barn at Rock Creek


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Here in Southeastern, North Carolina a huge trend in weddings is to have a country chic affair. So when guests get invited they are all left with the burning question of “What am I to wear to a country wedding?” Well luckily Wilmington Weddings and Events is here to answer your question and provide you with many style options.

Gentlemen: We will start with the easiest person to dress for any occasion: the guys. For a country wedding, there is no need to wear a tuxedo, but simply a dressier version of casual wear.  Dress slacks, such as khakis or gray pants, with an ironed button up shirt and deck shoes will usually do the trick. This is a universal look for all seasons. Jeans and flip-flops, though, are a no-no unless specified on the invitation.

Image: Ali Harper, Southern Weddings

Image: The Portos, Junebug Weddings

Image: Alixann Loosle Photography, Style Me Pretty

Women:  Your look is a little more diverse then the gentlemen’s but that means more options to make your look unique!

  • Spring and Summer: Short dresses that hit at the knee, or a little above, are the way to go. They will allow you to look nice but also not sweat to death in the southern heat! Your dresses can either have short sleeves, be sleeveless, or have long billowy sleeves, but never be strapless. Strapless dresses belong more at a backyard affair than a wedding. The dresses can then be paired with ankle booties, sandals, or wedges. Keep in mind if you’ll be walking around on grass. You may want to avoid wearing heels!

Image: Rose Gal


Image: Jose Villa PhotographyStyle Me Pretty

 

  • Fall and Winter: Here is where the most options come into play. You can do a long sleeve, short dress with tights and boots, for a simple pulled together look. Or you can wear a long dress with a pair of dress shoes. However, if dresses are not your style, you can always wear a long skirt and nice blouse combo. All these outfits can be put together with heels or boots, but no sandals or flip-flops during these cooler seasons.

Image: Lulu Gal

Image: Mila Couture

  • Jewelry, Hair, and Makeup: Since jewelry, hair, and makeup are universal for all seasons, they should be kept simple and polished. Your hair should either be tastefully down or in a simple up-do. You may be glad you wore your hair up, depending on the time of year it is! Jewelry can include statement pieces such as earrings, but the rest of the pieces should be kept minimal to compliment your look. Makeup should also be kept simple, especially in the warmer months due to the heat and humidity in the south. Live by the motto “Less is More”.

Image: Stay Glam

Image: Chronicles of Frivolity

Image: OMG Outfit Ideas

With these simple style tips you are your date are ready to make your way to a country wedding. Simplicity is key to pulling off your look with ease.  If you are still left with any questions please feel free to reach out to us. Our website is www.wilmingtonweddingsandevents.com  and we are a free wedding resource for brides getting married in the Wilmington, NC area.


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One of the great things about living in Wilmington is the Historic Downtown area that it is full of amazing backdrops for stunning engagement photographs. Kristina and Christian began their engagement session at one of their favorite local breweries, Flytrap Brewing, located in the Brooklyn Arts District of Historic Downtown Wilmington. After beginning the session with one of their favorite brews, they took a stroll down the ivy lined streets, while Kate Supa Photography captured their love and laughter in the gorgeous photographs below.

 

Photographer//Kate Supa Photography 

Venue// Flytrap Brewing

 


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A trend taking the wedding world by storm this year is planning a beautiful wedding on a budget. Brides want their wedding to look like a million bucks without the hefty price tag. With the average cost of a wedding in the United States costing over $35,000, it is easy to see why brides are looking to save money where ever possible. Wilmington Weddings and Events, along with some of our fabulous vendors, are here to help with some money-saving tips that will still leave you with a wedding that looks like it came straight out of a fairytale!

DRESS: Many brides are quick to realize your wedding dress can turn into a large budget item. However, did you know that many wedding dress boutiques have sample sales? A sample sale is where a boutique marks down their stock of dresses by a huge discount in order to make room for new stock. These dresses have been tried on before but are usually in very good condition. This route may take more time, as you will have to hunt to find a dress in your size and style, but if you find the dress to say “Yes” to, you can save a lot of money. One happening in the Wilmington, NC area soon is :

Wilmington Wedding Dress Sample Sale
Date: Sunday, March 26, 2017
Time: 1-4pm
Place: Wrightsville Manor
Boutiques: Camille’s of Wilmington, Coastal Knot Bridal Boutique, The Wedding Dress Shoppe

Image Credit: Coastal Knot Bridal 

FLOWERS: Flowers can be a huge expense at a wedding and most brides on a tight budget think they can’t afford flowers. However, this is not the case. These tips by June Sweeny, the owner of Beautiful Flowers by June, can help save brides money and still have beautiful flowers at their wedding.

1. Use your bridesmaids bouquets as table arrangements. This way you get double the use out of them.
2. Have someone pick up your flowers instead of paying for delivery. This is an easy way to save!
3. If budget is extremely tight, I suggest not having any corsages and perhaps just one boutonniere for the groom only.  This way your floral money can be spent on your bouquet and centerpieces.

Image Credit: Beautiful Flowers By June

Image Credit: Beautiful Flowers By June

FOOD: Have you thought about a plated dinner at your reception? You might think it would be more expensive than a buffet style meal, but it can actually be cheaper and more convenient to you and your guests. According to BRIDES.com, some of the pros to a plated dinner include:

1. Your caterer will know exactly how much food to purchase since the meal is preselected by your guests.
2. Everyone will get their food at the same time.
3. You can spread out activities (dances and toasts) between courses.

Image Credit: Fairytale Pursuits

Image Credit: Bubbly Events

DESSERT: With so many dessert options available, by a wide variety of caterers, there is a dessert option for every budget.

1. Tammy Hodge, Owner of Creative Cake Design by Tammy Hodge, recommends trying cupcakes instead! “For brides that are wanting to be sure to feed their guests a sweet treat but do not necessarily want the look of a traditional tiered cake, our Wedding Topper Cake and cupcakes are a fun and beautiful alternative.  Not to mention economical.  For example. a 100 serving traditional tiered cake can begin at $4.50 per serving and up to $7.00 per serving for more intricate looks ($450/$700).  Whereas, a topper cake, for the couple to cut, and 100 cupcakes are generally priced around $55-$75 for the topper plus $2.00 per cupcake, totaling approximately $255/$275 for wedding sweet treats.”
2. Cindy, Owner of Imaginary Cakes, recommends asking about “kitchen cakes” or “fake tiers”. “Kitchen Cakes are usually sheet cakes that are hidden in the back kitchen where none of your guests can see. They are sliced and plated in the kitchen and then brought out for serving. These cakes can be half the price per serving (or cheaper) than the tiered wedding cake on display and can save you tons. Especially if you have a very large guest list. And fake tiers are styrofoam tiers that are made into the wedding cake just like a real tier of cake and could potentially save you money if you need or want a bigger cake on a budget. Keep in mind that these fake tiers still need to be created just like the rest of the cake, so depending on the overall cake design, you may not save much money if there is intensive design time involved.”

Image Credit: Creative Cake Design by Tammy Hodge

Image: Anna Holcombe Photography, cake by Creative Cake Design by Tammy Hodge

Image: Cynthia Rose Photography, cake by Imaginary Cakes

Image: Imaginary Cakes

CENTER PIECES: We love Pinterest here and have boards filled with fabulous DIY center pieces for your budget needs. One of our favorites is the Mini Vase Sets by Weddingstar.com.

1. All you need are some mini vases available at your local dollar store or Hobby Lobby, some modpodge, spray adhesive, and a little glitter!
2. After you gather your supplies, you just apply whatever design you want (dots, strips, etc..) to the vase with modpodge and cover with glitter.
3. After wiping the excess glitter off, seal with the spray adhesive and you’re finished! It’s that easy!

You can then put these in the center of your tables and add simple flowers in the vases for a finishing touch!

Image Credit: Wedding Star

We hope you find these DIY decorations and tips to save money helpful with planning your special day! Feel confident that with a little research and crafting, you can have the wedding of your dreams on you budget. If you have any questions, always feel free to reach out to us at info@wilmingtonweddingsandevents.com.


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Congratulations on your engagement! Now the fun begins with planning your dream wedding day! Where many brides start in the planning process is the hunt for the perfect dress to compliment their special day. With most salons carrying hundreds of gowns by different designers and in many cuts, colors, and styles, the process can seem overwhelming. However, with a little knowledge going in and an excellent consultant, you will find the right dress to say “Yes” to!

With women coming in all shapes and sizes the wedding dress industry has a wide variety of dresses perfect for all body types. Here we will give you a quick overview of the most popular styles and what body type that they fit best. However, remember this is your special day and whatever dress you feel the most beautiful in is the perfect dress for you! And one thing we’ve learned is that the dress ALWAYS looks different on you than on the hanger, so it never hurts to try it on! The information provided below is from The Knot’s article “The Best Wedding Dress for Your Body Type” and The Bridal Guide “Wedding Gowns 101: Learn the Silhouettes”.

Ball Gown
Definition: The “fairy tale” dress, with a fitted bodice, flairs at the waist with a full skirt
Looks Best On: This style looks best on average to taller sized brides since the full skirt can sometimes “swallow” a shorter bride. It also looks great on brides that have a “boyish figure”.

Image: Anchored In Love

Image: Anchored In Love

Image: Anchored In Love

Mermaid
Definition:Fitted on the body from the chest to the knee, then flares out close to the knee.
Looks Best On: This style looks best on brides with hourglass figures that like to show off their curves.

Image: Erin Costa Photography

Image: Treasured Moments Photography

Image: Erin Costa Photography

Trumpet
Definition: Fitted through the body and flairs mid-thigh. The cut is between a modified a-line and a mermaid cut.
Looks Best On: This style looks best on curvy brides who are looking for a formfitting dress that’s slightly easier to move in.

Image: Treasured Moments Photography

Image: Erin Costa Photography

A-Line
Definition:Fitted bodice through the waist and flows out to the ground, resembling the outline of an uppercase “A.”
Looks Best On: This style is super flattering on all body shapes.

Image: Anchored In Love

Image: Anchored In Love

Image: Anchored In Love

Image: Erin Costa Photography

Drop Waist
Definition:This silhouette is exactly as you would imagine—it drops and flares out slightly below the waistline around your hip area.
Looks Best On: Looks best on brides that like to flaunt their trim mid-sections.

Image: Erin Costa Photography

Image: Magnolia Photography

Image: Magnolia Photography

 

Tea-Length
Definition:Skirt falls in between the ankle and the knee.
Looks Best On: This style is super flattering on all body shapes.

Image: The Knot

Image: The Knot

Image: The Knot

We hope you found this helpful! Wedding Dresses in these styles can be found at the following local Wilmington, NC boutiques: Coastal Knot Bridal, The Wedding Dress Shoppe, and Camille’s of Wilmington. What’s your favorite style of dress?


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Wilmington Weddings and Events 1st Bridal Fashion Show took place on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at 6p.m. at the Brooklyn Arts Center in Historic Downtown Wilmington, North Carolina. The event showcased bridesmaid and wedding dresses from three dress boutiques in the surrounding area: Coastal Knot Bridal Boutique, The Wedding Dress Shoppe, and Camille’s of Wilmington. The gowns chosen for the models to wear highlighted the current trends in bridal wear for potential brides and other guests to aid in the planning of their nuptials. The photographs of these gowns have been provided by the talented Chris Brehmer Photography.

After the dress showcase concluded, guests had the opportunity to mix and mingle with the vendors who aided and showcased their talent in the Bridal Fashion Show. These included but not limited to sampling of hors d’oeuvres curtesy of Diamond Food Enterprises, the floral décor by Designs by Amber Lanier, and jewelry of Melissa Tyson Designs. Each guests of the fashion show left the show with a swag bag filled with information and goodies from Wilmington Weddings and Events preferred vendors and a wealth of knowledge going forth in their planning processes. Wilmington Weddings and Events 1st Bridal Fashion Show was a huge success and the team at Wilmington Weddings and Events are already looking forward to planning the next show!

 

Venue// Brooklyn Arts Center
Bridal Fashion// Coastal Knot Bridal BoutiqueThe Wedding Dress Shoppe, and Camille’s of Wilmington
Beauty// Silverceiling
Floral// Designs by Amber Lanier
Food + Drink// Diamond Food Enterprises
Jewelry// Melissa Tyson Designs
Lighting// Event Excellence
Music// DJ Brian Hood
Rentals// L&L Tent and Party Rentals
Photography// Chris Brehmer Photography
Transportation// Azalea Limousine Service


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A trend in weddings is to incorporate the natural surroundings in which the ceremony is being held. In eastern North Carolina, specifically Wilmington, this means many weddings are coastal inspired. With touches of beautiful ocean colored hues, natural floral accents, and a ceremony on the serene ocean front in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina Amy Barbera and Brian Walker provided a prime example of a coastal inspired Wilmington, NC wedding. They utilized local vendors in their wedding to establish the coastal community ties since both Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington, NC have important significance to the couple. This lovely wedding was submitted to us by Tiffany Abruzzo Photography. Below, Tiffany gives us a bit of insight into Amy and Brian’s special day:

“Amy and Brian met as teenagers. Brian wanted to ask Amy out but was so nervous, so his friend left a message on Amy’s family answering machine pretending to be Brian, asking Amy on a date. Amy’s dad immediately said she was too young to date! Amy’s Mom worked her magic on her father, and the rest is history! Amy & Brian were wed at one of their favorite spots, Wrightsville Beach. The ceremony was followed by a gorgeous reception at downtown Wilmington’s Coastline Convention Center. Their decor featured ocean watercolor hues, succulents and beautiful floral arrangements by Design Perfection of Wilmington.”

Ceremony Venue//Wrightsville Beach Oceanfront
Reception Venue//Coastline Convention Center
Photographer//Tiffany Abruzzo Photography
Dress//David’s Bridal
Makeup//Meraki Beauty
Hair//Christie Drummond of Meraki Beauty
Flower//Design Perfection of Wilmington
Cake//Apple Annie’s
Catering//Hieronymus Seafood
Music//Jason of Absolute Best DJ Service