Elizabeth and Phil's Romantic Outdoor Celebration

From the moment I first met Liz and Phil I knew right away this was going to be a fun wedding!! With a focus on the experience for all of their out of town family and friends, and priorities being the band and food, we planned an amazing affair that included a 6 piece band, Southern buffet, and many individualized touches from the couple.

Liz was absolutely stunning in her lace gown surrounded by her best friends in a variety of blush pink styles. Phil and his groomsmen wore navy, the perfect compliment to the more casual rustic setting of Beaver Dam and backdrop of lush greenery and florals. The bride's father officiated the ceremony and guests were treated to a funny poem about the couple, read by the bride's brother and the groom's sister.

After the ceremony, guests were treated to a delicious Southern-style buffet, yard games, and an ice cream sundae bar with sports team hats as bowls (a must-have for the groom). Liz and Phil's guests never took a seat after dinner as The Royal Suits got the party going with upbeat songs and dancing! After a late night snack of pizza, the guests lined up for an epic sparkler sendoff!

What an absolutely beautiful day for such a beautiful couple! All the best to Liz and Phil!

Planning and Coordination: 13 Cedar Events

Photography: Sunshower Photography

Venue: Beaver Dam Historic House

Florals: Chelish Moore Flowers

Bridal Gown: Lily Rose Bridal

Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes

Catering: Armin's Catering

Entertainment: The Royal Suits

Hair and Makeup: Beauty Asylum Charlotte

Invitations: Minted

Restrooms: The Plush Flush

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Bettye and Jim's Intimate Langtree Plantation Wedding

Bettye and Jim are the most adorable, loving, and fun couple!! These two were set up by a mutual friend a while back and they hit it off right away! We planned their wedding amidst Jim working out of town and the building of their new home on the lake. Their wedding at Historic Langtree Plantation was beautiful, despite a little rain, and I've never seen a happier bride and groom!

Bettye looked gorgeous in her navy strapless gown with lace jacket. She and her daughter, Juliana, both carried bouquets of white peonies, daisies, and roses, with green berries and blue hydrangeas. Jim and his best man were dashing in their navy suits and green ties. The ceremony was held in the rustic Langtree Boulder Room where Jim and Bettye said "I do" among their closest friends and family. The reception began in the elegant Langtree Pavillion with a saxophone entrance by the best man, Bob, and a swing band singing "This will be an everlasting love"! It was a grand entrance and set the stage for a night of dancing and fun under twinkle lights! Guests were treated to an amazing dinner and late night "make your own" crepe station - a favorite of the groom.

Cheers to the Rollers as they begin their amazing journey together!!!

Planning and Coordination: 13 Cedar Events

Photography: Jessica Arden Photography

Venue: Historic Langtree Plantation

Florals: Willow Branch Flowers

Bridal Gown: Classic Bride and Formals

Cake: Nona's Sweets

Catering: Family Catering Service

Liz and Dave's Naval Yacht Club Celebration

These Elon grads didn't date in college, but met after the fact at homecoming where the chemistry started immediately! Many of their friends predicted that Liz and Dave would marry well before they said "I do"!

Liz and Dave chose the Peninsula Yacht Club for their big day, a fitting venue as Dave is a Navy pilot and a nautical theme seemed like a perfect fit for these two. Liz was stunning in her lace gown with her best gals all in blush pink. Each of the girls had a bouquet made of each type of flower in Liz's bridal bouquet as a special nod to each of her best girlfriends on her wedding day. Dave, of course, wore his dress whites, along with several of his groomsmen. The two said their vows on the back lawn overlooking Lake Norman and exited through a sword arch. This long-standing tradition, welcomed Liz into the Navy with a bop on her bum and a kiss with her groom!

The evening was gorgeous and guests were treated to a delicious dinner and cake cutting by sword by the bride and groom. Liz and Dave danced the night away with their closest friends and included many Depman family and Navy traditions in the dance party. It was such a fun night for all!!

I know Liz and Dave will be dancing and laughing together forever, and I wish them all the best as Mr. and Mrs. Depman!!!

Wedding Coordination: 13 Cedar Events

Photography: Erin Kranz Photography

Florals: Willow Floral Boutique

Hair and Makeup: Lovely By Lindsey

Venue: Peninsula Yacht Club

Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes

DJ: Patrick Ryder, Carolina DJ Pros

Bridal Gown: Ladies of Lineage

Transportation: T&J Transportation

 

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Spring Bridal Brunch Inspiration At Separk Mansion

When the Charlotte Wedding Collective founders, Amy and Stefanie, reached out to me about collaborating on a Spring bridal brunch styled shoot it took no time to exclaim "YES!" These two ladies are some of my favorite photographers in the city! 

We drew inspiration for this shoot from the elegant style of the venue, Separk Mansion, in Gastonia, NC. It features so many vibrant colors with a focus on classic clean and modern details. Such a beautiful and fun styled shoot that could be the perfect inspiration for any bridal shower or brunch!! Thanks to the following vendors:

Planning and Styling - 13 Cedar Events

Photography - Charlotte Wedding Collective

Venue - Separk Mansion

Florals - Jimmy Blooms

Cake - Ella's Celestial Cakes

Rentals - CE Rentals

Bride's Attire - Classic Bride and Formals

Guest's Attire - Dressed CLT

Romantic Southern Style Meets Modern Sophistication at Historic Ritchie Hill

Ritchie Hill in Concord, NC, is one of my favorite venues in the Charlotte area. So when Kevyn Dixon Photography contacted me about collaborating on a styled shoot at Ritchie Hill I was totally game!

The initial inspiration for this shoot came from Ritchie Hill’s historic charm with its original details preserved and giant wraparound porches. It’s not hard to fall completely in love with the front porch - it’s big enough to seat 150 guests and overlooks the beautifully manicured grounds and giant oaks! I wanted to first give a nod to the classic style of the house, but then bring in modern details and lots of cool neutrals to give it a modern twist. The rest is history!

Our models, Karla and Jon, were the cutest, sweetest married couple. They eloped several years ago, so this shoot was extra-special for us as we were able to give them some fresh new married couple photos of them all dolled up!

 

See the beauty for yourself and thank you to the below vendors who all contributed to this lovely shoot!

 

Planning/Styling: 13 Cedar Events

Photographer: Kevyn Dixon Photography, http://www.kevyndixonphoto.com

Venue: Ritchie Hill, http://www.ritchiehill.com

Vintage Rentals: Evermore Event Company, http://www.evermoreeventcompany.com

Cake: Cake Expressions by Lisa, https://www.cake-expressions.com

Florals: Bookout Blooms, https://bookoutblooms.com

Hair and Makeup: Sweet Magnolia Beauties, http://www.sweetmagnoliabeauties.com

Dress: The Lily Rose Bridal, http://lilyrosebridal.com

Models: Jon and Karla Cavaleri

Stationary: Elle Dee Designs, http://www.theelledee.com

Jewelry/Accessories: The Bead Lady, http://www.thebeadladyinconcord.com

Linens: Cooke Rentals Lake Norman, http://cs.cookerentals.com

 

 

Sabrina and Andrew's Rustic Fall Celebration

Sabrina and Andrew were already dear friends of mine and I was thrilled to be able to assist them with their wedding!! Set in the beautiful countryside in Cedar Grove, NC, these two said "I Do" in style, surrounded by their closest friends and family.

Sabrina was gorgeous in her soft lace gown with the perfect sparkly touch in her ribbon belt. The bridesmaids in navy made the perfect backdrop for the wildflower and lavender bouquets they carried. Andrew and his guys were dressed up in gray and navy to complement the girls. The ceremony and reception were held at the beautifully rustic, Iron Horse Events. The ceremony was so special, featuring many personal touches from the bride and groom, and their officiant Amanda, a long time close friend of the couple. 

After the ceremony guests were treated to a Cajun-style buffet dinner and local brews. The couple's first dance was under the shimmering string lights as guests looked on. The night was full of dancing and celebrating this amazing couple!

All the best to the Hagarty's as they begin their new chapter together!!

 

Wedding Coordination: 13 Cedar Events

Photography: Michelle Gunton Photography

Hair and Makeup: Haven Salon

Venue: Iron Horse Events

Catering: La Place

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Does "day-of" coordination really exist?

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Often times, wedding planners get calls from potential couples looking for a "day-of coordinator" for their wedding day. The truth is this service, simply does not exist as the name would have you believe. A more appropriate name for this option is “wedding day management.”

Let's be honest for a second – there are no details, plans or anything that can all be done in one day for a wedding:

A couple does not plan their wedding in one day.

An officiant does not slap together a ceremony plan in one day.

A floral designer does not wing it on your wedding day.

A wedding dress alteration pro does not have your dress ready in one day.

At a minimum your, wedding day manager starts working with you typically anywhere from four to six weeks prior to your wedding day (sometimes earlier). A wedding day manager will provide you with recommendations and advice; assist you with all the final details of the ceremony processional and recessional; check (and recheck) that catering rentals are correct; create timelines; answer vendor questions; manage set up and breakdown details; and so much more. Calling this weeks-long (or more) preparation “day of” seems to reduce the scope of the value and hard work that will be put in to make sure your big day is flawlessly executed.

If you've decided that a "day-of coordinator" is the best option for you, remember there is a lot more that goes into executing your wedding day than the name would imply.

This article was featured on Bustld, a great resource for curating your perfect team of vendors in the Charlotte area! 

5 Things To Ask When Hiring a Photographer with guest blogger, Erin Kranz

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The typical wedding will involve 10 separate vendors or more so it's important when interviewing these vendors that you know a few specific questions to ask going in. For the third installment of "Things To Ask When Hiring A Wedding Vendor," we take a look at hiring your photographer. These 5 tips come to us from my friend, Erin, of Erin Kranz Photography - an amazing wedding photographer in the Charlotte area!

 

I can’t tell you how many times brides have told me how fast their wedding day went by! Your wedding is one of the most special days of your life – Not only is it the start of your new marriage and family, but when else is everyone you love all in one place? Hiring a great photographer is the best way to ensure that your story and memories are preserved for a lifetime and beyond. As the lead photographer and owner of Erin Kranz Photography here in Charlotte and having photographed weddings now for 6+ years, here are a few questions that I know brides would find helpful to ask during the initial consultation with myself or other photographers:

1. How would you describe your style?

There are many different styles of photography out there, so it’s important to choose someone who naturally matches your own vision for how you want your day to be captured. We get that you may not be a photographer yourself, so being able to articulate exactly what you’re looking for isn’t nearly as important as being able to recognize it in a photographer’s work. Spend some time looking through their portfolio and recent weddings on their blog and try to imagine your own story told that way. Then when you meet in person, asking this question can help confirm their vision and if it matches yours.

2. What's your favorite part of the wedding day to shoot?

This may seem like a fluff question, but you probably spend more time with your photographer than anyone else not in your wedding party on your big day. Not only does this let you get to know them a little bit better, but it also gives you a deeper glance into that photographer’s specialties and what they care most about.

3. Do you have any suggestions for our ceremony start time?

This is definitely a question I wish we were asked more often. Photography literally means “drawing with light.” An experienced photographer should be able to work with any lighting situation, but there are definitely certain times of day that naturally produce better and prettier light than others. For example, having an outdoor ceremony at noon is not the best idea not only because of the heat, but the sun is also directly above then and will cast some very unattractive shadows on your faces. In contrast, the hour before sunset is lovingly referred to as “golden hour” by photographers because of its soft golden glow and is actually the ideal time for portraits. Your day does not have to revolve around the photography, but if the photos are especially important to you then this is definitely a helpful one to ask.

4. Should we consider doing a first look? If we don’t want to do one, how much time should we plan for photos after the ceremony?

One of the fun things about weddings today is that you really get to do whatever you want and make the day your own. Traditionally the bride and groom would not see each other until the bride walks down the aisle, but more and more couples are opting to do a first look instead. Not only does this help calm wedding day jitters and allow you to actually talk to each other the first time you see each other, but it also gives you a lot more time to capture some great portraits before the ceremony even starts. There are also times that doing a first look is the only way to get any natural-light portraits, such as if you’re doing an evening ceremony during the winter and the sun is setting early. If you’re on the fence, ask your photographer about the potential benefits for you and your fiancé. It’s completely a personal decision, so if you opt to stick with the traditional route make sure to ask about how much time is needed so you can still get the portraits you’re hoping for.

5. What types of lighting are you comfortable with?

While a lot of photographers now proclaim natural light as a specialty, it’s most likely not going to be daylight during your entire wedding. This means that a good knowledge of both on- and off-camera flash is essential to tell your story both well and beautifully. If there aren’t any examples of flash in a photographer’s portfolio, ask if you can see some of their night or reception images also.

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Photo by Erin Kranz Photography