Today indigosilver studio is here to help inspire us with the 2017 Pantone color of the year and show how you can incorporate it into your wedding!

“Every year, Pantone (considered THE authority on color), chooses their Color of the Year. Each year’s color is chosen based on understanding cultural trends and influences. For 2017, Pantone has announced “Greenery” as the color of the year, drawing on our need to incorporate nature into our modern lives. Already, we are seeing tons of greenery being used throughout wedding decor. This gorgeous wedding trend allows nature’s beauty to shine in a very simple and organic feel. The most obvious ways to use Greenery are in literal greenery – leaves, vines, and other plants — but not always! Here are a few ways to use Pantone Greenery in your wedding — both natural greenery and otherwise.

Wedding Locations

Perhaps the best way to incorporate lots of greenery at your wedding is to simply get married somewhere green! Check your local gardens, parks, and marshes. Consider a ceremony at the golf course or country club. Or, if it doesn’t fit your timeline or location to go green on the wedding day, go on a day-after session with your photographer and explore beautiful fields and meadows a bit further from your ceremony site.

The Boutonnieres

Traditional wedding boutonnieres are small floral displays pinned to the groom and groomsmen’s coats. To add an influence of Greenery, consider using unbloomed white flower, seeded eucalyptus, or for a surprising twist, air plants or succulents. Here are some of our favorites:

The Bouquets

The most popular floral color to combine with greenery in a bouquet is white. The simplicity of the white flower really lets the Greenery shine through. To add complexity and depth to your white-and-greenery bouquet, consider using multiple types of white flowers in different sizes, shapes, and stem lengths. You can also use green flowers, like the green hydrangea shown below. Hydrangea leaves, dusty miller, hypericum berries, and seeded eucalyptus are modern 2017 updates to the traditional fern greens. Want a little more color in your wedding bouquet? Try faded or lightly colored florals like a pale blush Sahara rose.

Ceremony Decor

Your wedding ceremony is another place to incorporate some greenery. Go minimal with simple floral arrangements as aisle markers, or go big with chair bows and parasols! You can even include greenery in the small details, like your unity candle or sand ceremony.

The Centerpieces

Centerpieces are a great way to add greenery to your wedding decor! Whether you’re using greenery as a color theme or simply as “Nature’s neutral”, there are lots of ways to go green. Of course, actual greenery is always one way to go. Or you can use other green items — green apples, limes, napkins, and tablecloths are all great green centerpiece ideas. For a look that’s very on-trend, consider using green hydrangea in your vases, or trailing the table with seeded eucalyptus or vines.

The Wedding Cake

Let’s not forget the wedding cake! When considering wedding cake ideas with greenery, you can again go with live greenery and flowers, or even green frosting!”

And these are just a few ideas! Check out indigosilver studio’s full blog post on how to incorporate the Pantone color of the year into your wedding even more, including vine walls, escort cards, guest favors, groom fashion and more!

brunch spotsImage: Bakery 105

A big trend we see happening after the wedding is couples allowing themselves more time at home together before they have to leave for their honeymoon. And with that trend, they are finding themselves spending additional time with family and friends while they’re all in town for the wedding. And what better way to do this than with a post-wedding brunch! Wilmington has some amazing brunch locations and I dare say that Wilmingtonians love their brunch! Just in case you’re thinking about hosting a post-wedding brunch, our local wedding vendors chimed in with their favorite spots to brunch below!

brunch spotsImage: Bakery 105

  1. Sweet and Savory
  2. Boca Bay
  3. The Famous Toastery
  4. Pinpoint Restaurant
  5. Spoonfed Kitchen + Bakeshop
  6. Jester’s Cafe
  7. Surfhouse Cafe
  8. Cast Iron Kitchen
  9. Ceviche’s
  10. Basics
  11. Hops Supply Company
  12. Oceanic
  13. Bluewater

Be sure to call ahead and let them know you’ll be bringing in a large party (usually 8 or more) and if they even have a separate dining room for you to sit in. Most places are more than willing to accommodate you as long as they know you’re coming!

Image: Bakery 105

If you’re planning the brunch ahead of time, something as casual as an Evite can be sent out to those who are invited. You don’t want to be doing a last minute, unorganized head count right after the wedding! And this will allow you to make a reservation somewhere if needed. Generally the bride’s parents or the newlywed couple pays for the brunch but make sure it’s clear in your invite if everyone is expected to go dutch!

Where are your favorite brunch places around Wilmington? And do you plan on having a post-wedding brunch?

We have another great guest post for you today from Kelly Lienhop, owner of Provision Design Methods. She’s here to tell us all about the latest 2017 wedding trends when it comes to decor!

“Fascinating is an understatement when it comes to describing being in the wedding industry. Coming in contact with and getting to know so many different people with all kinds of styles, tastes and preferences is nothing less than ‘keeping your job interesting’. The best part to us is that not every event we do is necessarily going to be our style, what would be our choice or even anything that we have seen or heard of before. Learning about people you have just met through listening to the vision they have for the biggest day of their life is a feeling that nothing compares to. When you know someone, even if the event isn’t your ‘style’ it becomes perfect, because it is their perfect. What I am going to break down for you is the top trends that have shaken the 2017 wedding industry as well as some of my favorites from this year!

CASUAL AFFAIR.  This is one of those dance like no one is watching types of receptions.  There is nothing like all of your friends and family surrounding you, all of their arms up in the air while singing and dancing. This is more of a mood rather than a decoration top trend, but let’s be honest, we all hope for a wedding that every detail gets remembered…most likely the one thing that will be remembered is the time that was had by all<3

Image: Will Page Photography

STUNNING SIMPLICITY.  We all know that the details are what captures our eye, but there is something about the simplicity of clear glass, candles and white and black décor that screams elegance.

Image: Matt McGraw Photography

SUCCULENT SOIREE.  A newer but ever growing trend in the wedding world. Dress them up, dress them down…use them alone or in a trinket or bouquet.  You cannot go wrong with these cactus cousins.

Image: Kam Goodrich Photography

CLASH-NO-MORE SILVER AND GOLD GALORE.  Why did we ever have to choose between these two oh-so-different but equally beautiful tones?  Raise your hand if you are LOVING the mix we are seeing in all aspects of décor!

Image: Will Page Photography

VINTAGE GLAM, THANK YOU, MA’AM.  Whoever said that you can’t have it all has CLEARLY never been to an event with more than one style. Take vintage, take rustic, take boho or ANY other casual-ish event, add a pop of sequin or glitter and have the best of both worlds.

Image: Will Page Photography

ALL PATTERNS WELCOME.  Stripes and polka dots? Floral and solid? Why not??? Mix match china is one of the hottest trends this year. The mix of color, shape and layers is giving brides a look that is literally all their own! Not only is this a gorgeous way to exert color and texture into your night but it also entertains guests. The different patterns and styles not only exercise the eyes but some may even strike a memory or two from their past.

Image: Provision Design Methods

SET THE MOOD, EDISON!  There is just something about a string of lights that turn any event, indoor or out, into an intimate affair.

Image: Will Page Photography

GEOMETRIC BEAUTIES.  Well, geometry finally has a leg to stand on in my everyday life! OBSESSED with terrariums. You can do so many different things with these beauties. Centerpieces, accent pieces, hanging décor, chandelier staging. It is safe to say that you will NEVER go wrong with these complex beauties!

Image: Matt McGraw Photography

IT’S NOT JUST A FORK.  It is that piece of the table-scape that just seals the deal. Believe it or not, your guests actually pay attention to the details. I don’t see anyone leaving an event complaining that they had silverware and the décor called for gold….but I do see people noticing that extra little detail that completed the table setting.

2017 wedding trendsImage: Will Page Photography

ALL THE GREENS.  Brides are taking the greenery to new level this year. Its edgy, its elegant, its natural and it doesn’t break the bank! Runners, arbors, centerpieces and even bouquets. You have endless options going this direction for any event.

2017 wedding trendsImage: Will Page Photography

I HOPE YOU DONUT PLAN TO COUNT YOUR CALORIES.  I have to say that I am really hoping that the donut trend sticks around for the long haul. Not only are these delicious pieces of heaven a popular choice, but creating the display for them is SO exciting!!!! We are seeing more and more spreads of different desserts rather than the usual wedding cake option!

2017 wedding trends

BOHO.  Take all of these trends and put them in a blender and hit YES PLEASE. The year of nothing matching, nothing symmetrical and absolutely NO norm says, do what you want. Not only is it entertaining, beautiful, unique to every bride, colorful and FUN…it is YOURS.”

2017 wedding trendsImage: Will Page Photography

After the all the time and energy that goes into planning wedding most couples like to take a honeymoon to have a week to themselves to unwind and spend time one-on-one as newlyweds. However, these trips can sometimes get overwhelming with the cost of hotels, food, and travel. Traveling by plane for example you have to not only factor in the cost of round-trip airfare but the cost of getting to and from the airport and also getting around the city your decided to spend your honeymoon. For this reason we will be sharing some of our top honeymoon destinations that are all within an 8 hour drive from Wilmington!

1.Asheville, North Carolina

An easy five and a half hour drive with bring you to Asheville, North Carolina home to America’s largest home, Biltmore, and Asheville Glamping! For the couple that loves the outdoors this is the perfect location to celebrate married bliss! Asheville Glamping offers a variety of camping options that include a vintage airstream, romantic dome, and boho tipi! After getting settled into your glamping site of choice, you can venture a short drive into downtown to eat at one of the fabulous restaurants and stop for a cold brew at one of the many local breweries. During the day there are many outdoor activities such as hiking a trail on the Blue Ridge Parkways to see a waterfall!

Image: Trek and Bloom Photography

Image: Trek and Bloom Photography

2. Charleston, South Carolina

A quick three and a half hour drive to the South will bring you to one of South Carolina’s most gorgeous and historic port cities, Charleston. According to U.S. News and World Report Travel Guide, Charleston is ranked #1 for weekend getaways, with its stunning port views and cobblestone streets it is easy to see why. To get a full emersion into this historic charm of Charleston there are many historic homes that function as Bed and Breakfasts locations to create as a home base for your stay. Once settled there are many activities around the city to do such as carriage ride tours, delicious seafood restaurants, and of course beautiful beaches! Whatever activities you and your spouse decide to do we are sure you will love your honeymoon in Charleston!

Image: Lindsay A. Miller Photography

3. Savannah, Georgia

A four and a half hour drive down the Atlantic coastline will find you in the heart of Savannah, Georgia.  Savannah like Charleston is known for its downtown historic charm with its beautiful tree lined streets. AirBnb’s and other Bed and Breakfasts will allow you to get the whole Savannah experience during your stay with being able to interact more with locals and the possibility of being located closer to local attractions. A few of the places to visit during your stay include the Mercer Williams House which was made famous by the book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and Forsyth Park. After a day of exploring you can continue your day to River Street to eat some delicious local cuisine and a tasty beverage!

Image Credit: Anchored In Love 

4. Nags Head, North Carolina

A quick drive four hours to the north will find you at one of North Carolina’s greatest treasures, the Outer Banks.  The Outer Banks is a chain of barrier islands that stretch the North Carolina coast line.  With Nags Head being near the central part of the island chain it is a great place to set up your base camp for your Honeymoon. Once settled you can plans trips to see and climb the lighthouses and hunt for seashells if you are more of an outdoorsy couple. If you are a couple interested in history be sure to check out Kitty Hawk and learn about the Wright Brothers or visit “The Lost Colony”.

Image: Anchored In Love


5. Atlanta, Georgia

Looking to adventure to the big city? Look no further than one of the South’s largest cities, Atlanta.  The farthest drive at roughly six and a half hours of our honeymoon ideas the city offers something for every type of couple. If you are a couple that loves sports this is the perfect city for you! Atlanta is home to three major league sports teams with the Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Falcons, and Atlanta Braves, so a night cheering on your favorite sports team is at the top of our must-do’s!  For the couple that loves to sight see we recommend exploring Atlanta’s downtown area where you can ride the SkyView and get a birds eye view of the city and afterwards take a walk through Centennial Park.

Image: Jaimie Dee Photography

We hope you love these cities and activities as much as we do! If you have more ideas for fun things for other couples to do in these cities be sure to leave comments below. Happy Honeymooning!

You may find yourself caught up in the business of life after the wedding. But we want to remind you to plan date nights and take time out together as a couple. Here are some fun dates ideas for you and your spouse to keep the spark alive and make time for the two of you to enjoy each other’s company. Most are free or ideas while the others cost a minimal fee.

  1. A Couple’s Massage

Is the stress of your jobs taking a toll not only on your relationship but on your body as well? A couple’s massage could be just what the doctor ordered! Coastal Massage and Bodywork has a variety of massage types that last anywhere 60-90 minutes to help you unwind from the stress of work and bond with your spouse while being pampered!

Image: Coastal Massage and Bodywork

  1. Dinner at the Little Dipper

A neat idea for a date night out could be to try a new restaurant. A cozy, intimate fondue place in historic downtown Wilmington is The Little Dipper. Here you and your spouse can learn how to eat fondue from their expert staff while taking in a new experience. Since The Little Dipper stays busy during the summer months it is recommended to call ahead for reservations!

Image: The Little Dipper Fondue

  1. Night at the Movies

When was the last time you and your spouse went out to the movies? The Pointe 14 is Wilmington’s newest movie theater located off of South 17th Street and has great specials including all tickets for only $5 on Tuesdays! Meaning you can splurge for the giant popcorn to share!

Image: Star News Online

  1. Take an Art Class

Want to try your hand at painting but having a hard time convincing the spouse to go along? Try a Paint and Sip Class! These are studios where you bring your own beer or wine to sip on while learning to paint a picture on a canvas. There are several studios in the Wilmington area and they cost between $30-$35 will all the materials provided besides whatever you wish to drink. These classes are also a great date night idea because the classes are meant for painters with any skill level to participate!

Image: Carolina Beach Sip and Paint, Island Gazette


5. Fishing on the Pier

Take some time to enjoy living at the coast by grabbing your fishing pole and heading out to the pier to fish for the latest catch! You also have the option of renting fishing rods at the pier and buying bate at the shop for around $20-$30 depending on if you choose Johnnie Mercer Pier in Wrightsville Beach or Kure Beach Fishing Pier.

Image: Eric Burke Design, Yellow Swan Photography


  1. Netflix and Chill

Pick a night of the week to set aside to turn off your phones and sit down on the couch and turn on the movie on Netflix you have been dying to watch! You can also stop by the store and pick up a bottle of your favorite wine to sip on while enjoying a peaceful night at home with your love.

Image: Dana Laymon, Focus on the Coast Weddings


  1. Walk on the Beach

Sometimes with living near the beach you do not go as often as you would like. Pick an afternoon to drive to the beach and take in one of the amazing walking trails. Wrightsville Beach has “The Loop” which will take you on a 2.5 mile long stroll around the island. In Fort Fisher you can take a hike on the Fort Fisher Hermit Trail and explore the old World War II bunker that used to be home to the Fort Fisher Hermit!

Image: Kate Supa Photography


  1. Sunday Afternoon Bowling

Want a date that has some friendly competition? How about going bowling! Cardinal Lanes on Shipyard Blvd has “Dollar Sundays” which is great for a budget friendly date! From 7pm until they close they have $1.50 games and $1 shoe rentals, beers, drinks, nachos, sliced pizza, and hot dogs!

Image: Glamour


  1. Sports Night

Looking to win some brownie points with the spouse? Have a sports night! Make your favorite homemade pizza or wings and grab some beer and turn on your favorite game! You can even make a friendly bet by each of you choosing a team to win and the loser has to clean up dinner!

Image: The Style Ref’s Wedding


  1. Wine Tasting

A perfect Saturday afternoon date could be to drive up I-40 to the Duplin Winery or down Hwy 17 to their North Myrtle Beach satellite location. Duplin Winery is one of North Carolina’s most famous wineries and offers free tours and tastings on the top of every hour up until one hour before they close. They start off by taking you on a tour of the distillery where they process the grapes and turn them into wine. They provide excellent information not only about the process but the history as well. You then travel back to the main building where you are given samples of the different types of wine they process. You can then buy a bottle of your favorite flavor to bring home to remember your prefect day date!

Image: Duplin Winery

We hope you and your spouse will enjoy making some time for each other and enjoy the lovely date ideas that the Wilmington area has to offer!

Have you heard of the new trend coming up in the wedding world called a Pop Up Wedding? We love this idea and were excited to hear that there would be one in our area! Read all about how Martha My Dear Rentals is offering this cool new option to Wilmington brides below.

pop up wedding wilmington nc

“Some people run marathons or read books in their down time, but I daydream about transforming a space for a wedding with my furniture.

This happened when we first dropped off furniture at Terra Sol Sanctuary for a magazine photoshoot for Focus on The Coast Weddings. When we arrived at the yoga studio, located in the antique district of Wilmington, we weren’t sure that we were at the right place because we saw what we thought was a little old church. When I opened the doors, the first thing that caught my eye was the bright fuchsia stained glass window in the middle of the room. Then I caught sight of the platform right underneath the window that had just enough room for a couple to stand underneath. By the time my husband and I came back home, I decided that the space was the perfect spot for the Pop Up wedding I had been daydreaming about for almost a year.

pop up wedding wilmington nc

What is a Pop Up Wedding?

A Pop Up Wedding is an intimate wedding of about 20 of your closest friends and family held at a location that is not usually used for weddings. It is planned, decorated and executed from start to finish by Martha My Dear Rentals. We thought that if we could find a beautiful space and add our gorgeous rental collection, we would have the ability (with a little help from our wedding vendor friends) to put together a wedding ceremony and small celebration in many spots in Wilmington.

Pop-Up weddings allow couples to marry quickly, worry-free, and at a fraction of the price of traditional weddings because they are in fact sharing the costs with other couples. Each couple that chooses to marry at the Pop Up Wedding will be given a time slot to arrive with those that are nearest and dearest to them. We will also be sure to have some of their favorites on hand to make the day personalized like music, food and wedding cake flavors. And it will all be captured by an amazing local photographer. We like to think it is a new, cooler and more memorable alternative to a civil courthouse wedding ceremony. We will be offering 2 elopement packages for couples to choose from and will host up to 3 separate and individualized weddings on the same day.

pop up wedding wilmington nc

pop up wedding wilmington nc

pop up wedding wilmington nc

pop up wedding wilmington nc

Why Couples are Choosing Pop Up Weddings

Traditional weddings aren’t for everyone! While discussing the concept, I have spoken to couples who like the idea for different reasons. Some are shy and don’t feel comfortable with being the center of attention; Others just bought their first home and would rather put the money into renovations for their fixer upper. And one couple would rather put their savings into an epic honeymoon where they travel from Disneyland to Yosemite park for a few weeks and visit everywhere in between!

Whatever the reason, we believe that all couples deserve a beautiful celebration of love, even if it is on a smaller scale. And we are happy to now offer Pop Up Weddings through Martha My Dear Rentals. We are calling this project “The Coastal Wedding Project” because we are hoping to be able to marry many couples who wouldn’t have thought of having a wedding like this in our little coastal town. Rather than just daydream about beautiful weddings in secret locations in my downtime, I would rather make it happen and spread the love with others.

The idea is that our Pop Up Weddings will look and feel as though the couples planned and designed their wedding for months, but really all they had to do was choose from a few of our options and show up for their special and oh-so-stylish time slot.”

pop up wedding wilmington nc

pop up wedding wilmington ncImages by Neal Petrosky Creative

The first Pop Up Wedding will take place on July 1, 2017 at Terra Sol Sanctuary located in the antique district of Wilmington, NC. Follow along on Instagram at @thecoastalweddingproject Please contact or for more info or visit their website at

Today we’re getting some expert advice from Coastal DJ & Video when it comes to picking your wedding music! Thank goodness for the experts! As long as you hire great professionals for your wedding, you’ll be in good hands!

“Aside from the dazzling bride and dapper groom, wedding music is one of the most important parts of any celebration. Whether your wedding is formal, funky or laid-back and casual, music is the main aspect of everything from walking down the aisle to cutting the cake and mingling with guests. You can incorporate your personality into your wedding by choosing music and song selections that are important to you, your significant other and both of your families.”

Image: Dana Laymon Photography


There are a couple of common wedding customs that call for background music to set the tone and express your sentiments.

Processional – This is the song playing while the bride walks down the aisle. Classical selections include “Canon in D” by Pachelbel or Handel’s “Water Music Suite.” Show your fun and modern side with “Marry Me” by Train, James Taylor’s “How Sweet It Is”, or Vitamin String Quartet and The Piano guys are very popular in the contemporary category for ceremony songs.

Recessional – The newly married couple walks back down the aisle and out the door. Time-honored tradition calls for Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” or Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” Ray LaMontagne’s “You are the Best Thing” or “It had to be You” by Harry Connick Jr. give the recessional a unique touch.

First dance – The bride and groom enter the reception and dance. Think about songs that have special meaning, express your sentiments for each other or that you just simply like. Popular choices include “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, “Die A Happy Man” by Thomas Rhett, “All of Me” by John Legend, “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray Lamontagne.

Father/Daughter – When it’s time for that special dance with your father, here are some great song choices. “I Loved Her First” by Heartland, “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw, “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle, or “My Girl” by The Temptations.

Mother/Son – Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind”, Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” or Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” are popular choices for the groom to dance to with his mother.

Cake Cutting – “Cake by the Ocean” by DNCE, “How Sweet It Is” by James Taylor, “Sugar Sugar” by The Archies, “Smile” by Uncle Kracker or Sugarland’s “Stuck like Glue” have all been chosen for cake cutting ceremonies. Some couples also choose to smoosh cake in each other’s faces, but that’s entirely up to you.

Bouquet Toss – Always a fun event, this is where the bride tosses the bouquet to her single guests. You can display your sweet or sassy side with songs like ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna have Fun” or “This Girl is on Fire” by Alicia Keys. A recent classic is by the queen Beyonce, with “Single Ladies” – always a smash hit.

Garter Toss – If your hubby is excited to perform this really cool part of the ceremony, suggest  “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen, “Rocky Theme” by Bill Conti, or “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard.

Image: Coastal Shots Photography

Cocktail Music Hour

You’ll want to provide your guests with music to listen to while the wedding party smiles pretty for the photographer. You can let your DJ set the mood, or you can come up with a low-key and entertaining playlist of your own. Remember, you haven’t arrived yet, so you don’t want your guests getting too wired up before you even arrive.

Reception Music

This is what will be playing while you’re eating, drinking and socializing with your guests. Choose some of your favorite wedding reception songs and genres in a mix of ballads and dance tunes. Rock, pop, country, R&B and even rap, hip-hop and reggae make fun mixes. Your DJ can take your favorites and come up with an entire playlist to match your personalities and wedding theme.

Along with all of the wedding songs you do want, it’s a good idea to define songs you definitely don’t want. Suggestive lyrics, vulgar language and relationship topics such as devastating break-ups and extramarital shenanigans could drop a few jaws. We know your friends are all hip and current, but we wouldn’t want to send Great Aunt Martha into cardiac arrest on your wedding day.

The End-Of-Reception Selection

Few couples realize just how crucial it is to end the reception on a high note. It’s usually the last impression your guests will have of your wedding, and you want them to leave with that rocking fun memory lingering. Here are some song suggestions:

  • “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey
  • “I’ve Had The Time Of My Life” by Dirty Dancing
  • “Save The Last Dance” by Michael Bublé
  • “Shout” by Isley Brothers
  • “Last Dance” by Donna Summer

Image: Coastal Shots Photography

Keep It Simple

Picking four or five hours’ worth of music can be a truly stressful task. It doesn’t have to be. Break it down into small and easily accomplishable tasks. For example, just concentrate on choosing the first dance song. Next, move on to the mother/son dance song. By the end of the week, you’ll have all of the main songs out of the way. This is also a great time to include your parents. Ask them what songs they like. They’ll feel like part of the planning, and you’ll end up with unique and meaningful choices.

As far as the wedding reception playlist goes, start with the tunes you and your significant other listen to every day – at the gym, while running, on road trips or at work. Your DJ can help you add to these songs to come up with a complete wedding music playlist.”

Music plays such an important part in a wedding and sets the tone for the entire celebration. How did you and your significant other choose your wedding music? Did you have a DJ? Let us know in the comments.

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About the Author

George Wainwright has been a DJ since 1988 and is the owner of Coastal DJ & Video, a team of DJs and videographers serving Wilmington, the Outer Banks, and most of NC. His music favorites include Beach Classics, Old School, Disco, Top 40, and Club.


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!



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.


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.


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.


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.  


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!

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  and we are a free wedding resource for brides getting married in the Wilmington, NC area.

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, 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

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