2015

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!

I love all the heirloom pieces - and here's another one! The coop champagne glasses that the bride and groom toasted with are from the grooms parent's wedding day. 

Part of Christina's Vietnamese culture is to welcome each guest with a shot of cognac. Dressed in traditional Laos attire Christina welcomed her family, then changed to welcome into a traditional Vietnamese dress to welcome the other side her family with Zach by her side.

Christina + Zach it was an honor to be a part of your special day! Love you both! 

XO,
A.

Valentines Day Inspiration: Blush and Bashful

Valentines day is drawing near - if you didn't already know by the absurd amount of chocolates every where you go! I'll admit, I used to fight my love of the color pink for a long, long time. But I've accepted that I'm a girl who loves the color pink - and it feels great! All jokes aside, pink is a really beautiful color to add into your wedding color palette. In fact, it's one of the two Pantone colors of the year! Lets face it, nothing says fairytale love full of floating hearts and romance like a little infusion of pink into your wedding day. It's a versatile color that can easily take center stage in a design, or serve in more of a supporting role letting other colors shine. Here are a few examples of how our sweet brides have embraced the color pink and incorporated it into their wedding day!

Sophisticated Luxury at Ritz Carlton Urban Garden

Kendra and Randy, April 2015
Lauren Rosenau Photography
New Creations Flower Company

English Garden Party at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Danielle + Sam, June 2013
Rachel Fesko Photography
New Creations Flower Company

Secret Garden at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Adrianna + Terrell, August 2014
Richard Israel Photography
Chelish Moore Flowers

Elegance in Nature at Morning Glory Farm

Megan and Tyler, August 2015
Alicia White Photography
New Creations Flower Company

Chic and Modern at Foundation For The Carolinas

Jackie + Daniel, August 2014
Smitten and Hooked Photography
New Creations Flower Company

Sweet Southern Love at Boxwood Estate

Keely + Hill, May 2014
Lauren Friday Photography
New Creations Flower Company

Playful Vintage Elegance at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Mia + Alex, April 2014
Lauren Rosenau Photography
New Creations Flower Company

Sweet and Glamorous at Mint Museum Uptown

Rachel and Mike, October 2014
Lauren Rosenau Photography
New Creations Flower Company

Lush Garden Romance at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Christina and Zach, June 2015
Lauren Friday Photography
New Creations Flower Company

Let us know what you think! How will you incorporate pink tones into your color palette?

xo,
A.

Featured: Elegant Southern Irish-Inspired Wedding

Get ready to meet the most adorable couple ever! Megan and Tom were married in a sweet celebration in July of 2015 at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Dilworth, followed by a reception at Charlotte Country Club. We infused so many details inspired by their lives and love story - read all about it here, on Style Me Pretty!

Here are a few of our favorite photos from Megan + Tom's wedding day!

Check out this amazing highlight video from videographer, Shamus Coneys Film!

Aren't they the cutest?! I am so, so, so thrilled to be able to share Megan + Tom's wedding day with the readers of Style Me Pretty and of course, you! This day was just as magical as it looked, and we have a team of talented vendors to thank for giving their all for Megan + Tom's big day!

Event Planning + Design: The Graceful Host
Photography: Lauren Friday Photography
Cinematography: Shamus Coneys Film
Floral Design: New Creations Flower Company
Stationery: Elisabeth Rose Stationary
Ceremony Venue: Cathedral Of Saint Patrick
Reception Venue: Charlotte Country Club
Makeup: Makeup By Jenny Le
Hair: Sara Egri
Band: East Coast Entertainment
Bridal Boutique: Bellissima Of Salisbury
Catering + Cake: Charlotte Country Club

Megan + Tom it was an absolute honor to be a part of your wedding day. I truly enjoyed getting to know you both and being a part of your celebration! 

XO,
A.

Featured: Simple and Chic Foundation For The Carolinas Wedding

We are over the moon to see Shelby + Jordan's beautiful wedding at Foundation For The Carolinas featured on Carats and Cake! Our lovely bride, Shelby, dreamed of a clean and elegant wedding in a color palette of neutral cream, white and grey. With modern and feminine touches, we created a timeless design with endless details inspired by Shelby + Jordan. Check out the full feature, here.

Here are a few of our favorite images from Shelby + Jordan's beautiful wedding day!

We absolutely LOVED working with Shelby and Jordan (and their families!) to help them celebrate their amazing wedding! These two danced well into the night and enjoyed a little late night pizza delivery from Fuel... it was such a fun party with Split Second Sound keeping the energy going strong all night. Shelby, thank you so much for allowing us to be a part of your special day - it was an absolute pleasure getting to see you two say I do! 

Huge thanks to all the vendors who made Shelby + Jordan's day so fantastic!
Planning/Design: The Graceful Host
Photography: Smitten and Hooked Photography
Floral Design: New Creations Flower Company
Catering: Best Impressions Caterers
Venue: Foundation For The Carolinas
Entertainment: Split Second Sound
Paper Goods: Pink Toast Ink
Cake: Sky's The Limit Custom Cakes
Makeup/Hair: Makeup by Jenny Le
Wedding Dress: Alvina Valenta from J. Majors Boutique
Grooms Attire: Vera Wang from Mens Wearhouse
Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Oh, and this just might be my favorite room reveal of all time... Shelby you're the best!

xo,
A.

Recap of 2015

It's been a wild and exciting year for The Graceful Host! We feel so honored and lucky to have worked with so many amazing couples over the past few months. With styles ranging from glamorous to organic, we've loved helping out brides + grooms bring their dream wedding to life! To celebrate a fabulous year - and our 3rd anniversary! - lets recap this gorgeous year!

Kendra + Randy
Ritz Carlton, Urban Garden
April 18, 2015
Photos by: Lauren Rosenau Photography

Ritz Carlton Urban Garden Wedding - The Graceful Host - Charlotte, NC Wedding

Melinda + Scott
Mint Museum Uptown
May 30, 2015
Photos by: CaptureMe Candid

Mint Museum Uptown Wedding - The Graceful Host - Charlotte, North Carolina Wedding

Christina + Zach
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
June 6, 2015
Photos by: Lauren Friday Photography

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden - The Graceful Host - Charlotte, North Carolina Wedding

Shelby + Jordan
Foundation For The Carolinas
June 13, 2015
Photos by: Smitten and Hooked

Foundation For The Carolinas Wedding - The Graceful Host - Charlotte, NC Wedding

Megan + Tom
Charlotte Country Club
July 11, 2015
Photos by: Lauren Friday Photography

Charlotte Country Club Wedding - The Graceful Host - Charlotte, NC Wedding

Cassie + Hunter
Mint Museum Uptown
August 8, 2015
Photos by: Lauren Friday Photography

Mint Museum Uptown Wedding - The Graceful Host - Charlotte, NC Wedding Planner

Megan + Tyler
Morning Glory Farm
August 15, 2015
Professional photos by Alicia White Photography to come! iPhone snap shots by yours truly for now.

Morning Glory Farm Wedding - The Graceful Host - Charlotte, NC Weddings