A Greenery-Filled Tented Wedding at Champagne Manor

It's a happy day today because Alyson + Matthew's Champagne Manor wedding is featured on Style Me Pretty today! I don't know about you, but reliving this gorgeous summer wedding has me so eager for warmer weather!

Alyson + Matthew were married in a family-centered ceremony, with their children by their side and surrounded by close family and friends, on August 12th at Champagne Manor in Monroe, North Carolina.  They have built a beautiful life together with their blended family, and they wanted to create a celebration of their love for one another and their new beginning at husband + wife. Getting to know this sweet family was such a joy!

What you might not know by looking at the photos is that the entire wedding was planned in less than 4 months. That's right - all this came together in just 4 months! Our gorgeous bride, Alyson, has amazing style and incredible taste, so there was no detail was spared. Our design was inspired by Earth tones and organic textures, with a feminine undertone, and it was achieved using a somewhat neutral palette of mauve, peach, ivory, dove grey, and greenery. The atmosphere was chic, yet relaxed, incorporating upholstered lounge areas into their open seating floor plan. One of my favorite details was the 8'x8' hanging installation of greenery and glass orbs with tea lights that highlighted the dance floor and was the central feature in our tent.

Holding on to beautiful weddings like this one is not easy! I've been bursting at the seams to share every little detail with you ... so at long last, here are some of my favorites from Alyson + Matthew's big day!

How absolutely adorable is their daughter?! She is the cutest little thing and my heart just melts looking at these sweet photos of her with her beautiful mama!

Thank you Alyson + Matthew for allowing myself and my team to be a part of this celebration and special time in your lives! And to our wonderful team of talented vendors - thank you for all your hard work to make this day so beautiful and memorable for this sweet couple!
Photography: Perry Vaile Photography
Flowers: New Creations Flower Company
Venue: Champagne Manor
Paper Goods: Pink Toast Ink
Beauty: Lindsey Regan Thorne of Be Pretty
Cake: Wow Factor Cakes
Rentals: Old South Vintage Rentals
Rentals, Lighting, Draping: Crush Event Rentals
Rentals: Party Reflections
Rentals: La Tavola
Catering + Bar: Best Impressions Caterers
Brides Dress: J. Majors Bridal
Bridesmaid Dress: Show Me Your MuMu

XO,
A.

Real Wedding + Featured: Southern Charm at Trump National Golf Course

 

I am just over the moon to see Ellyn + William's wedding featured on Carats + Cake last week! It's about time I finally share photos from this gorgeous spring wedding we had the pleasure to plan + design. Get ready, y'all - you're about to meet two of the sweetest souls on Earth! Ellyn + William met at work, and after hanging out professionally for quite some time, they made it official with a date outside of work. And soon, this workplace meeting turned into an international love story, with William living outside the US. And after years of distance, they're finally together... and finally Mr. and Mrs.!

Charlotte North Carolina Wedding, Trump National Golf Course Wedding, Lakeside wedding, Blush Ivory and Greenery Wedding Design, The Graceful Host

Family is everything to Ellyn + William, so it was really important to make family a priority on their special day. The bridal party was made up of siblings and close friends, and the couples nieces and nephews joined in as (the most adorable!) flower girls and ring bearers. Each guest table at the reception was given a name that held special meaning to the bride + grooms families. And of course, there were special heirlooms incorporated into their love story. The groom now wears his grandfathers wedding band, the stone in the brides engagement ring is from her mother, and the charm on the bride's bouquet is in memory of her late father.

The only way we can describe this wedding style is timeless elegance, with a whole lot of grace and Southern charm. The couple chose a classic color palette of ivory, greenery, and a soft blush. It was absolutely perfect for this spring, lakefront wedding. Ellyn + William actually chose Trump National Golf Club because of it's waterside location, as a nod to their love of being out on the water. And after the wedding, the newlyweds left the reception on the grooms family boat! Working with this sweet family was such a pleasure + an honor! I loved getting to be a part of this fabulous celebration!

Huge thanks to our amazing vendor team, who helped give Ellyn + William the dreamiest wedding day!

Wedding Planner + Designer: The Graceful Host
Photography: Old South Studios
Reception Venue, Catering + Cake Design: Trump National Golf Club, Charlotte
Floral Design: Lily Greenthumbs
Ceremony Venue: Williamson’s Chapel United Methodist Church
Ceremony + Cocktail Hour Musicians: Queen City Ensemble
Reception Entertainment: Atlanta Showstoppers
Hair: Mirror Bomb Studio
Makeup: Erin Ashley Makeup
Lounge Furniture: Old South Vintage Rentals
Draping, Lighting, Staging, Linens: Party Reflections
Rentals: Cooke Rentals
Linens: Nuage Designs
Wedding Dress Designer: Mikaella Bridal
Wedding Dress Boutique: J Majors Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaid Dresses: BHLDN
Groom + Groomsmen Attire: Mens Warehouse

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Thank you Ellyn + William for allowing us to be a part of your special day! It was such an honor to witness your gorgeous day + to celebrate you both! Wishing you a lifetime of happiness as you begin this next chapter in your lives!

XO,
A.

 

Real Wedding: Elegance in Uptown Charlotte at the Mint Museum

 

I had the pleasure of working with the best couple ever last summer! Jana + Jordan are so much fun to be around - it made wedding planning an absolute blast! When I first met with Jana + Jordan, we talked about their wedding being centered around a really great party. And that's exactly what they got! Their wedding day was full of joy and laughter, as they were surrounded by all their friends and family on a beautiful summer North Carolina day. Jana's vision for her wedding was simple elegance with an air of sophistication, in a neutral color palette of champagne, blush, and ivory, with pops of greenery. I love the hanging lampshades over some of the long tables, with a lush garland along the center of the table! It was such a statement piece, and looked incredible in the Grand Room at the Mint Museum Uptown. The cake was absolute perfection, and the definition of simple elegance with textured icing and sweet little flowers clusters on the cake tiers. We had custom monograms created for Jana + Jordan that was incorporated into all their paper goods and details. I really love using monograms (or some sort of symbol) with my clients because it's a fun, memorable keepsake to have after your wedding is over. Plus, it's a great way to really brand your event! We placed their gorgeous monogram on wedding day details like the ceremony program, wedding koozies and cocktail napkins, which is another great way to personalize your special day.

I'm pretty obsessed with theses photos by Crystal Stokes Photography from Jana + Jordan's wedding day, and I'm excited to share with you some of my favorites from this gorgeous summer wedding at the Mint Museum Uptown.

Mint Museum Uptown wedding in Charlotte, North Carolina by The Graceful Host
Mint Museum Uptown wedding in Charlotte, North Carolina by The Graceful Host
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These portraits in a little tucked away courtyard in Uptown Charlotte are my favorites!! How gorgeous are these two?!

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Choreographed first dance for the win! This spin is everything, too!

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Jana + Jordan, being a part of your wedding was such an honor! Seriously, can we do it again? I'm grateful to have had the chance to get to know you both and help you plan for your special day. So much love to you two!

And a huge thanks to the talented vendor team that made this wedding dreamy day so special
Planning + Design: The Graceful Host 
Photography: Crystal Stokes Photography
Floral Design: New Creations Flower Company
Paper Goods: Pink Toast Ink
Cake: Wow Factor Cakes
Videography: Crown Alley Films
Catering: Something Classic
Entertaining: The Retreat via Sam Hill Entertainment
Venue: Mint Museum Uptown
Hair: Mirror Bomb Studios
Makeup: Erin Ashley Makeup
Chair Rentals: Carolinas Luxury Rentals
Linens: Party Reflections  & Party Tables
Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier Bridal from Nitsa's Apparel
Bridesmaid Dresses: J Crew
Brides Shoes: Kate Spade

XO,
A.

 

Real Wedding: Organic and Elegant North Carolina Mountain Wedding

 
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This gorgeous fall wedding at Hawkesdene House in Andrews, North Carolina was the perfect way to close out 2016! At the peek of the fall season, surrounded by beautiful colors of nature, Jessica + Ryan celebrated amongst family and friends. Jessica's inspiration behind her wedding was the natural scenery of the North Carolina Mountains. We incorporated different types of lush greenery among the centerpieces. With rich, vibrant reds and lots of organic textures, we created an elegant evening with an organic inspiration in the mountains.

Jessica + Ryan met thanks to their moms, who were already good friends, and had arranged for Ryan to show Jessica around California, since it was her first time visiting. It was crazy how well their plan worked! The pair had so much in common, and flash forward 8 years later - they finally got married! Since both their families live all over the country, the couple choose the lovely Hawkesdene House, about 2 hours west of Asheville, for their destination wedding.  Our bride said that whenever the couple would visit the mountains, they always leave with such a sense of peace and happiness after getting away from the hustle and bustle of life. So, they wanted their guests to have a similar experience and feel leaving refreshed after a fun weekend away!

I think their plan worked because it was one heck of a wedding weekend. I am so excited to share photos from Jessica + Ryan's amazing wedding day! But first, a huge thank you to our fabulous team of talented vendors who helped create a magical day for our bride + groom.

Planning + Design: The Graceful Host
Photography: Josh Jones Photography
Flowers: New Creations Flower Company
Venue + Catering: Hawkesdene House
Cake: Sugar Cloud Baking Company
Linens: Nuage Designs + Party Reflections
Tent, Draping, Lighting: Classic Event Rentals
Photo Booth: Shutterbooth Charlotte
Live Artist: Wed On Canvas
Paper Goods: Elisabeth Rose
Hair and Makeup: Makeup by Jenny Le
Band: OnLive via Sam Hill Entertainment
Officiant: HeartLight Wedding Ministers
Videography: Five 18 Productions
Dress Designer: Amy Kuschel
Dress Boutique: Bellissima
Mens Attire: Mens Warehouse

I truly believe that wedding videography is such a worthwhile investment. While your photographer will capture your wedding day memories, a videographer will capture it in a way that photography just can't. So many nuances can be captured on video, not to mention your loved ones voices and mannerisms... and maybe some sweet dance moves? These are fleeting moments, never able to be repeated, are now frozen in time. It's a great way to relive your wedding day over and over again long after the wedding high has passed.

Jessica + Ryan, thank you so much for allowing The Graceful Host to be a part of your destination wedding celebration! You two were such a dream and a joy to work with, and the love you have for each other is captivating. I wish you a lifetime of happiness together and memories, just as sweet as your wedding day.

XO,
A.

 

Real Wedding: A Cherry Blossom Inspired Spring Wedding at Foundation For The Carolinas

 
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This couple couldn't be any sweeter. And there is no doubt that they are perfectly matched for each other!  Which makes the story of how they met all the better. Angela + Charlie met during their first year of law school at UNC Chapel Hill. But they didn't exactly hit it off, Angela notes. Angela didn't care for Charlie after their first meeting, when a mutual friend introduced them. Fast forward a year later, after a few study sessions, Charlie finally got the courage to ask Angela out. And Angela accepted after getting to know Charlie a bit better. After their first date, they both felt the spark ...and the rest was history, as they say!

Their April wedding was the epitome of a spring wedding. Angela's inspiration was everything floral, especially cherry blossoms. Beautiful blooming flowers in blush and ivory, with delicate details, made this stunning wedding absolutely eye-catching! Following a church ceremony at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, guests headed to Foundation For The Carolinas where the celebration continued into the night.  We loved working with this sweet couple and helping them create such a dreamy wedding celebration! 

A very special thank you to our vendor team who helped make Angela + Charlie's wedding day perfect!
Planning + Design: The Graceful Host
Photography: Lauren Rosenau Photography
Floral Design: New Creations Flower Company
Invitations, Paper Goods: Elisabeth Rose
Hair: Mirror Bomb Studios
Makeup: Erin Ashley Makeup
Catering: Something Classic
Cake: Wow Factor Cakes
Band: The Business 
Ceremony Venue: St. Peter's Episcopal Church
Reception Venue: Foundation For The Carolinas
Musicians: Charlotte Strings For Events
Linens: Party Reflections and Nuage Designs
Welcome Box: The Graceful Host
Wedding Dress: Enzoani from J.Majors Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaid Dresses: Jim Hjelm from J.Majors Bridal Boutique
Groom and Groomsmen: Jos A Bank

Angela + Charlie, it was such a pleasure working with you both and your families! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your big day. 

XO,
A.

 

Just Married: Classic Glamour at the Mint Museum Uptown

 

I absolutely adore this couple! Everything about them is #couplegoals. It was a rainy and windy Saturday when Brittani and Taylor said "I Do", and Charlotte, North Carolina was feeling the effects of Hurricane Joaquin. But our beautiful bride and dashing groom didn't let the unwelcome storm dampen their wedding day one bit! In fact, you can see how gusty the winds were in one of the photos where Brittani's veil flew right off! Just wait for it!

With classic and elegant style in mind, we used a neutral color palette of navy blue, cream and gold, with a few sparkly touches. The soft details and clean lines were perfect for their modern venue, The Mint Museum Uptown. Brittani's style is effortless, and she wanted to create a day that reflected her personal style. So we focused our design around the fun party atmosphere by adding in lounge furniture for alternative guest seating, where they could enjoy the heavy hors d'oeuvres menu and fabulous live band. The caterer passed around late night snacks like grill cheese - a favorite of the bride and groom - and chicken fingers with fries as the guests partied into the night at one of Charlotte's premier venues. And with a grand streamer exit, the happy couple hopped into a pedicab at the end of the night.

I'm so lucky to get the chance to work with such amazing couples! Brittani and Taylor were such a joy to work with, and it was an honor to be a part of their celebration. I wish we could do it all over again - but maybe with a tiny bit less weather drama! ;)

Huge thanks to our talented vendor team who went above and beyond for our sweet bride and groom:

Wedding planning + design: The Graceful Host
Photography: Lauren Rosenau Photography
Florist: New Creations Flower Company
Catering: Something Classic Catering and Cafe
Wedding dress: Martina Liana from J. Majors Bridal Boutique
Hair and Makeup: Be Pretty by Lindsey Regan Thorne
Rentals: AFR
Rentals: Party Reflections - Charlotte
Rentals: Nuage Designs, Inc
Cake: Wow Factor Cakes
Paper Goods: Salt and Paperie
Calligraphy: The Graceful Host
Venue: The Mint Museum Uptown

Thank you Borrowed & Blue for featuring Brittani and Taylor's wedding! See the full feature, here.

Brittani and Taylor's portraits are some of my favorite in my 5 years of weddings. Wedding days are unpredictable. You never know what is going to happen, despite the hours and hours of careful planning. On this day, weather was not our friend. Hurricane Joaquin was showing affects in Charlotte, and it interrupted our plans for photography. But you'd never be able to tell because Brittani and Taylor look absolutely incredible and so madly in love! The way they look at each other is magnetic. And the photo of Brittani's veil flying away is just priceless! Don't worry - I ran after it! :)

Brittani and Taylor, thanks for letting The Graceful Host be a part of your beautiful celebration! We absolutely loved working with you to plan for your wedding! Lots of love to you both! 

XO,
A.

 

Featured + Real Wedding: A Colorful Wedding at the Mint Museum Uptown

 

We are so excited and fortunate to see not one, but TWO of our clients featured in the recent issue of Carolina Bride! Melinda + Scott's colorful, artful wedding at the beautiful Mint Museum Uptown was one of my absolute favorites from 2015. The gorgeous four page spread is what dreams are made of!

Our color palette was inspired by the beautiful painting in the ceremony location by California artist Sam Francis, Untitled (Seafirst) 1979. Melinda fell in love with the vibrancy of the colors and wanted to incorporate those tones throughout the design. The overall concept was modern structure meets delicate femininity. Melinda and Scott have such a beautiful love story, so we really wanted to embrace it and intertwine those details throughout their day. Starting with their romantic engagement on the iconic Love Lock Bridge - we used the actual key that Scott + Melinda used to "lock in their love" in Paris throughout their paper goods design by Pink Toast Ink. Photos by Capture Me Candid show both Melinda and Scott holding the key on their big day, too! Melinda's dress was one of her favorite details. The intricate bead work of her Monique Lhuillier gown from Nitsa's Apparel was absolutely stunning, and served as inspiration for their wedding cake by the always delicious Wow Factor Cakes. Besides a menu full of delicious food from Best Impressions Caterers, they provided a few late night snacks to surprise guests. Nothing like sliders and maple bacon doughnuts to keep you dancing all night long to Sol Fusion, one of the hottest bands in the Southeast! If your wedding is going to take place in a museum surrounded by gorgeous art - why not have an artist paint on site! Their first dance was captured by very talented live artist, Ben Keys of Wed On Canvas based out of Charleston. Scott + Melinda invited everyone to join in their first dance, and Ben beautifully captured the scene.  Guests loved watching his progress throughout the night, too - he was a huge hit!

It was such an honor to work with this amazing couple. Melinda + Scott are two of the nicest, most down to Earth - not to mention FUN! - people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. Being a part of their wedding day was so wonderful! And our vendor team knocked it out of the park! The details from this wedding will leave your head spinning - I'm so excited to share some of my favorite photos from their beautiful wedding day!

Planning + Design: The Graceful Host
Photography: Capture Me Candid
Flower: New Creations Flower Company
Catering: Best Impressions Caterers
Band: Sol Fusion

Live Artist: Wed On Canvas
Paper Goods: Pink Toast Ink
Rentals: Nuage Designs
Rentals: Party Reflections
Rentals: AFR
Cake: Wow Factor Cakes
Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier

Wedding Dress Boutique: Nitsa's Apparel
Hair and Makeup: Zara Millian
Brides Jewelry: Alexis Bittar
Venues: The Mint Museum Uptown

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Melinda + Scott were engaged on the famed love lock bridge in Paris, France. This is the actual key that they used to "lock in their love". And the key played a role in our inspiration for a good deal of our paper goods design. These cufflinks were a gift from Melinda to her groom and are a symbol of the key.

Did you know that we design and curate welcome boxes for our couples? I love it! Nothing says "guest experience" like an amazing welcome box/bag waiting for your guests, in their hotel room, upon arrival. We help our couples fill their boxes with their favorites goodies - which was the case of Melinda + Scott - order/assemble everything AND deliver on your behalf. Melinda is our champagne girl, and Scott was our Jameson lover. The sweets were favorites of our couple that they wanted to share with their guests. A welcome box is an easy way to welcome your loved ones to your wedding weekend! We loved this one!

Being that this was a second wedding for both Melinda + Scott, they wanted to do something a little more non-traditional when it came to the ceremony procession. Melinda entered the ceremony space alone, and Scott walked to the end of the aisle and met her and escorted her up to the front. They wanted to walk down the aisle together, towards their future. The symbolism of this just gets me every time! I loved that they wanted to do something different!

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Melinda + Scott's first look was the best! 

Do your napkins tell a story? A great way (and inexpensive way!) to personalize your wedding to focus on the little details. These napkins were a great example of how we told Melinda + Scott's story through the details. These napkins represent aspects of their relationship - the key and the monogram from their invitation suite; the place they met and fell in love; and the place where they got engaged.

Melinda + Scott had Ben Keyes of Wed On Canvas do a live painting of their reception. This was something I had done at my own wedding back in 2012 and I can't tell you how much I treasure that painting!! When Melinda + Scott mentioned the idea, I was on board 110%! Once I introduced them to Ben, the search for the perfect artist to capture the moment was over. It was important to Melinda + Scott to have their first dance painted, and they wanted all their guests to join them! It was a beautiful moment, and guests LOVED watching Ben's progress throughout the night! Oh, and having a live artist paint at your wedding reception.... in an art museum?! Talk about an incredible detail!

Okay, and for the record - wedding days are really FUN! And sometimes if you have an awesome photographer, you'll get to see those fun moments! ;) Thanks for the outtakes, Lori! 

And I love when we get to reveal the space to our couples before any of the guest see it! We had that opportunity with Melinda - and it was the best thing ever to see her response! THIS is why I love my job so, so much!!

This wedding was seriously a dream come true - from dream clients to a dream vendor team! It was an amazing celebration and I'm so honored that we could play a role in Melinda + Scott's happily every after. Thank you for letting us in on your celebration! Reliving this day was so much fun! Hope you enjoyed it, too!

XO,
A.

 

Featured + Real Wedding: Garden Elegance at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

We are over the moon and so thrilled to see Christina + Zach's Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden wedding featured in the pages of The Knot Carolinas!

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Working with Christina + Zach last year was such a joy! I loved everything about our time together. This bride is just as sweet as she looks (x's a million!), and the love that they have for each other is so inspiring. Christina + Zach live in Raleigh, but wanted to plan a wedding in the Charlotte area since it was a half way point between their two families. Once they saw Daniel Stowe, they were sold! It was the perfect venue for their elegant garden wedding. When we met, Christina + Zach painted a beautiful picture of a garden wedding where they could bring the outdoors indoors and fill the room with full, lush centerpieces. They also stressed how important it was that they incorporate her Lao and Vietnamese culture into their day. With a color palette of blush, pink, green, and champagne we created a truly magical day for this amazing couple. (By the way, have you seen their inspiration board?)

I can't thank all the amazing vendors involved in Christina + Zach's beautiful wedding enough. It takes a village to pull off a killer wedding y'all, and I'm grateful for the chance to work with this wonderful team of talented vendors!
Planning + Design: The Graceful Host
Photography: Lauren Friday Photography
Floral Design: New Creations Flower Company
Venue: Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Catering: Best Impressions Caterers
Videography: Crown Alley Films
Entertainment: Split Second Sound
Rentals + Draping: Party Reflections
Hair + Makeup: William Henry Salon
Cake: Wow Factor Cakes
Wedding Dress: David Tutera from Savvi Formalwear in Raleigh, NC
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff from Savvi Formalwear in Raleigh, NC
Stationary + Paper Goods: Elisabeth Rose
Calligraphy for the Invitations: Delighted Calligraphy
Magnolia Leaf Calligraphy: The Graceful Host
Escort Card Calligraphy: Family member of the Bride and Groom

Here are some of my favorite photos from Zach + Christina's big day, thanks to the talented Lauren Friday Photography!

The boutonniere (photo on the right) was made of sweet peas, which is a nickname for Zach from Christina. And the turtle pin is a family heirloom from the grooms family. It's the sweet and special touches that make this wedding so unique and beautiful!

This family Bible has been passed down for generations in the grooms family and is traditionally part of the wedding day. 

 I love that their pup Amos was able to be a part of the ceremony! Mom + Dad are married!