Wedding inspiration

Wedding Inspiration: Purple + Pink

I've been in love with this design since the moment this sweet bride approached me with these gorgeous colors - hello Pantone color of the year, radiant orchid! The design that we've created for Rachel + Mike's October wedding at the Mint Museum Uptown is without a doubt full of romance and chic style. I love every single detail we have planned, from the vibrant color palette of pinks and purples to the mixing of metallics to the floor plan! This couple is so great and we're having a blast planning for their big day, which will be here so soon and I cannot wait! Here is a little peek at our inspiration!

Rachel + Mike - Wedding Inspiration Board


Wedding Inspiration: The Colors of Sunset

I'm so excited to share a little inspiration for Lindsay & Ben's October wedding at Vesuvius Vineyards with y'all today! This adorable couple fell in love with the natural Southern charm of Vesuvius Vineyards and knew immediately that this was the place where they'd exchange I Do's. We are putting the final touches on some really amazing plans for this sweet couple's wedding - I can't wait to see everything come together! When we first sat down to talk about design, Lindsay mentioned being inspired by the colors of sunset. What could be better inspiration?! Drawing from the colors of a gorgeous cotton candy sky, we've created a vibrant organic inspired wedding incorporating elements like birch wood, natural wood, full color textured floral arrangements, pumpkins, and kale. Take a peek!

Design Inspiration - Bachner Lehman Wedding

It's going to be a gorgeous fall wedding, that is for sure! I can't wait to celebrate this sweet couple!


Featured: Glamour Magazine Weddings

I am simply over the moon to see this image from Whitley and Darian's gorgeous wedding featured on Glamour Magazine's "Old Hollywood" wedding inspiration for style icon Scarlett Johansson!! This wedding will always be one of my favorites - mainly because this couple is so absolutely amazing - but I'm honored to see this design featured for Glamour readers to enjoy! Many thanks to New Creations Flower Company for this gorgeous centerpiece and Lauren Rosenau Photography for being so amazing at capturing all the beauty. Be sure to check out the full feature, here.

The Graceful Host - Glamour Weddings - Feature

Happy Friday, y'all! Cheers to the weekend!


It's All in the Little Details

I'll admit that I have a special appreciation and love of the little details.  After all, it's the little details that make life special, and the special moments in life personal.  With each new wedding design, my goal (always) is to make those little details, that are so important to brides and grooms, come to life! I've had the opportunity to create a lot of things over the years for brides and grooms. And, after finishing some watercolor creations for a wedding at Daniel Stowe, a Chuppah for two spring weddings, and lots and lots of escort cards, programs, and favor tags, I thought "I really need to gather up all these little projects and share them!" So, without further adieu - here are some of the things I've created for weddings so far in 2014 that I wanted to share! A few have been complete surprises, and revealing those surprises to my sweet clients brings me so much joy!  Just a warning: the photo quality is not that great - actually it's down right awful! - and is courtesy of my trusty iPhone. (Thank God for real photographers!) So, please excuse my photos... I'll just stick with wedding planning and leave the photography to the pro's! 

Custom table runners for Katie & Eric's Mint Museum Uptown wedding


Prop pillows and ring bearer pillows for Katie & Eric's Mint Museum Uptown wedding

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Sashes for the draping to match the runners and pillows for Katie & Eric's Mint Museum Uptown wedding


Floating frame display for Katie & Eric's Mint Museum Uptown wedding


Watercolor table numbers for Mia & Alex's Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden wedding


Watercolor seating chart for Mia & Alex's Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden wedding


Chuppah and organza draping for Mindy & Brett's Biltmore wedding (Okay, confession: I can't take all the credit for this one. My amazing husband actually built this chuppah for two weddings this year, and has come to both weddings to help me assemble it on-site. So grateful to have such a supportive and super crafty husband!!) 


Ceremony programs for Mindy & Brett's Biltmore wedding


Calligraphy favor tags for Mindy & Brett's Biltmore wedding


Acrylic table numbers for Whitley & Darian's Brakefield at Riverwalk wedding


"Here Comes The Bride" sign for Veronica & Chip's Mint Museum Uptown wedding


Travel-themed escort card display for Veronica & Chip's Mint Museum Uptown wedding


Travel-themed table numbers for Veronica & Chip's Mint Museum Uptown wedding


Citrus-themed escort cards for Taylor & Kyle's Byron's South End wedding


I hate to even share all of these terrible iPhone quality photos, but I'm really proud of the little details that leave my office each weekend to make their way to the amazing brides and grooms wedding days. I'm honored to have the opportunity to be creative and give priority to the special touches of a wedding day!  And believe me when I say that each has been an absolute labor of love.  But it makes me so happy to see my brides and grooms smile with excitement over these details they never expected!


Featured: Southern Simplicity Wedding Ideas

Oh my goodness! I am SO excited and honored to see my "beauty in simplicity" wedding inspired design was featured on the amazing Ruffled Blog! Y'all, I had way too much fun designing this wedding inspiration. And, the incredible photographer capturing all the details was the oh so talented Crystal Stokes of Crystal Stokes Photography  - what an eye this gal has!  For a long time now, I wanted to plan a shoot that celebrated simplicity because I am a firm believer that less is more.  It's easy to get caught up in the tiny details when planning for a wedding, and often times brides get lost along the way, loosing the bigger picture and feeling like they need to keep adding and piling on detail. But, there is so much beauty in simplicity, and I think this is an idea that is often forgotten and overlooked. So, we wanted to take a chance to really celebrate simplicity and show brides how beautiful, sophisticated and elegant simplicity can be. Ruffled Blog - Simplicity - Screen Shot


I am so excited to share with you some of my favorite detail shots. But, hop on over to Ruffled Blog to see more of the feature!

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Absolutely LOVE colored glassware! And how perfect are these ruffled plates?! I want to steal them so badly! View More: More: More: More: More: More: More: More: More: More: More: More: More:


Have you ever seen a more perfect cake?! I am in love with naked cakes, y'all. This is so stunning! And, how adorable are the little tarts? Sweets tables are my favorite.

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The bridal bouquet was out of this world gorgeous! I love the "wild flower" look and the gorgeous jewel tone colors that popped perfectly against the natural decor and landscape.  Such a beauty - I absolutely LOVE this look! View More: More: More:


You guys - this is an actual a real couple!  Our models were such troopers… and, talk about good lookin'!! Ow! Ow! Gorgeous hair and makeup by Erin Ashley Makeup and Mirror Bomb Studios - perfectly captures the look and feel of the design.

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The paper goods were out of this world beautiful! I love the addition of lavender - such a treat for the senses and it works perfectly for our natural and simplistic design. Even the response card envelope was made of seeds and could potentially be replanted! How cool is that?!

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This ceremony arch made of garland and driftwood is one of my favorite details! SpringVine Design did an incredible job crafting this on-site for the photo shoot. I wish I could have one of these at every wedding! It's really stunning!

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One of my favorite photos from the day. Oh … be still my heart! So gorgeous!

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Oh man, I could go on and on and on! I'm a total sucker for these details, y'all. And, our entire vendor team was absolutely incredible - I'm so honored to have had the opportunity to work with each of these talented wedding pros: Crystal Stokes Photography, SpringVine Design, Elisabeth Rose, Sky's The Limit Custom Cakes and More, Erin Ashley Makeup, Mirror Bomb Studio, Party Reflections, J Majors Bridal Boutique, & The Laboratory Mill. A big, big thank you for donating your time and talent to this shoot! And a huge thanks to RuffledBlog for featuring my design!


XO, A.


Wedding Inspiration: City Chic

Foundation For the Carolinas Wedding, Wedding, Pink and Grey wedding, Fuchsia Wedding, Uptown Charlotte Wedding, Charlotte Wedding, Wedding Inspiration
Foundation For the Carolinas Wedding, Wedding, Pink and Grey wedding, Fuchsia Wedding, Uptown Charlotte Wedding, Charlotte Wedding, Wedding Inspiration

I just love a good uptown Charlotte wedding! So, when Jacquelyn and Daniel approached me about a chic wedding design at an uptown Charlotte venue - my mind immediately went to Foundation For The Carolinas. Oh this place is beyond stunning!  We have wrapped up our design plans for their Labor Day weekend wedding, and y'all… I cannot wait to share this one with you!  Big, bold, fun pops of fuchsia mixed with sleek gun metal grey.  I love the playful mix of feminine and masculine details.  Beyond the design, we've infused creativity with each turn to keep guests entertained and guessing all night long.  But, I won't give it all away - I have to save some surprises for the big day, right!?  Take a peek at our inspiration.

August 30 can't come soon enough!

XO, A.

Featured: Mardi Gras Wedding Inspiration

I'm so ecstatic to share our big, big, big news! Our Mardi Gras Wedding Inspiration shoot is featured on Southern Weddings - and on Mardi Gras Day, Fat Tuesday!  Oh, be still my heart.  It is an absolute dream come true to see my work featured by a publication that I admire and love so dearly! I'm humbled to think that brides from the Carolinas to the great state of Louisiana will be inspired by the unique and fabulous culture of New Orleans.  Really, I feel like someone should just pinch me! You never know why certain people are placed in your life.  And, I do truly believe that God does place people in our paths.  Julie Staley of Old South Studios and I met at a wedding earlier this year - and it was our first time working together, too.  At the end of the night Julie says, hey do you want to design a Mardi Gras wedding for an inspiration shoot? The rest is history, of course, and I just can't help but believe that we were meant to work on this project together. In that moment, I was thinking YES!, YES!, YES!, and later told Julie that I was actually born and raised in New Orleans.  I had a million ideas to share for the shoot!

First and foremost, the most important aspect of the design was to infuse the energy of Mardi Gras and unique characteristics of traditional New Orleans weddings.  I wanted this wedding inspiration to be as authentic as possible, so we incorporated real New Orleans wedding traditions - a second line complete with boa-lined umbrellas and a jazz band, and cake pulls to name a few.  To me, New Orleans is full of life in every way. It's people full of personality and passion; It's architecture full of character and poise; It's landscapes expressing charm and a rich history; It's food full of flavor; It's creativity expressing the unique voice of its' artist; and it's celebrations full of energy - Each element is beautiful in it's own way.  So with that inspiration in mind, I started to pull together a design plan. With the idea of Southern elegance, we choose to have the shoot at the stunning Separk Mansion - a renovated venue full of natural light, gorgeous chandeliers, and rich wood floors.  Chelish Moore of Chelish Moore Flowers took my vision and ran with it, incorporating gold candelabras, vibrant flowers and candles upon candles.  I love the sophistication and luxury of the floral design! Best Impressions Caterers provided a delicious menu, influenced by the incredible food and unique flavor palette of New Orleans.  The chef had all of starving by the end!  And, of course they provided us with a creative signature drink that was naturally N'awlins.  Elisabeth Connolly of Elisabeth Rose created all of the amazing paper goods, and incorporated the grace of New Orleans weddings.  The incredible cake was crafted by Mandie Miller of Got What It Cakes.  I love how she captured the grandeur of Mardi Gras through her design.  I just had to include a welcome box designed to greet guests upon arrival full of Louisiana goodies - Abita Root Beer, Tabasco chocolates, and Mardi Gras-inspired chocolate doubloons - tucked within a glittery gold box from Paper Source.  Stephanie and John, our bride and groom for the day, are actually a real married couple - which I just thought was so perfect!  The gorgeous bridal gowns were both by Modern Trousseau from their Fall 2014 collection ("Tate" and "Teacup") and came from Hayden Olivia Bridal. I am absolutely obsessed with these ultra glam dresses!  They couldn't have been more perfect for the shoot.  And our bride and groom looked picture perfect thanks to Erin Ashley Makeup and Adrian D. Howe Esthetics & Beauty.  All of the rentals came from Party Reflections of Charlotte - Sara Shelor you are amazing!  It is always a team effort to pull together a shoot like this, and I'm so grateful to each of the talented vendors that helped make my dream a reality.  Especially Julie Staley of Old South Studios who allowed me to design every detail.  Julie is so insanely talented, and her eye for capturing emotion and storytelling is incredible!  I can feel her passion for the art of photography and the love of her job with each photo - I am so lucky she asked me to work with her on this project!

I hope you grab a big slice of King Cake and stay a while - come celebrate New Orleans on the Southern Weddings blog! Happy Mardi Gras, y'all and laissez les bon temps rouler!

Here are some of my favorite shots from this fun shoot!


Inspiration: Neutral Tones

There is something so peaceful and beautiful about a neutral color palette.  And, lately, I've been so inspired by these neutral colors and the elegance that they can bring to almost any wedding style!  I love the effortless feeling of this inspiration board - lush greens, soft peaches, beautiful ivories and earthy beige.  A perfect palette for an outdoor Southern wedding under the oak trees!  This inspiration board incorporates the one of the Pantone 2014 trending colors - sand.  What do you think of neutral tones for wedding colors?  

Sand and Green Wedding Inspiration


Wedding Inspiration: Vivid Love

Y'all know how much I love a bright color palette. Well, can you image how excited I am for Taylor and Kyle's sunny, citrus-inspired wedding full of beautiful yellows, oranges, pinks, mints and greys?!  The vivid colors fit Taylor to a tee - this girl is about a sweet as honey and can light up any room. We've been having so much fun planning for her May wedding at Byron's South End, and I want to share a bit of our inspiration with you!  Our bride's style is clean and classic, but with a funky twist.  So, we're pulling in some unique and fun details to mimic their lighthearted personalities. I just love these two, and cannot wait to see everything come together in a few short months!

Taylor and Kyle - inspiration


Inspiration: All That Glitters

There's something about glitter and sequins that just makes a girl feel special, you know?  I think it goes back to iconic characters like Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz and her gorgeous ruby red glittery shoes.  Lately, I've been drawn to sequin-adorned anything!  From my usual browsing of Pintrest, I came across this amazing dress from Free People, and I was instantly flooded with snapshots full of glittery party details.  This adorable dress is the source of todays glitzy wedding inspiration. When it comes to wedding design, using a little sparkle and shine can go a long way.  Gone are the days when glittery details were solely reserved for holiday and New Years Eve parties.  No ma'am!  We can see a little shimmer in linens, paper goods, glassware, cake design, bar accessories, bridesmaids dresses, and of course, wedding shoes year round.  For the girl that wants to be truly dazzling on her wedding day, this is the inspiration for you!

All That Glitters
All That Glitters



Inspiration: A Touch of Modern + Vintage Glamour

With so many gorgeous weddings to look forward to in 2014, we've been busy, busy, busy creating a lot of beauty.  And, this wedding design is definitely one of my favorites! I met Whitley over the summer, and although she lives in St. Louis with her fiancé, we managed to nail down all her wedding details  and vendors within 4 months! This bride was determined to be done with wedding planning by the holidays. Well, mission accomplished!  I've had so much fun working with Whitley - I can't believe the big day will be here in 3 short months!

For her March wedding at Brakefield at Riverwalk, we're mixing elements of modern and vintage glamour.  Crystal adorned centerpieces, lush ivory floral, bold silver and charcoal textures will give our bride and groom the luxe and romantic wedding they've been dreaming of.  Oh, and her wedding dress - holy moly!!  I cannot wait to see this gorgeous wedding unfold!  Until then, I want to share some of our inspiration photos. Enjoy all the pretty!

Glamorous Silver, Grey and Ivory Wedding Inspiration
Glamorous Silver, Grey and Ivory Wedding Inspiration

XO, A.

Inspiration: Navy, White + Green

You may remember this wonderful couple from their engagement session over the summer with Lauren Rosenau Photography. Katie & Eric are set to wed next April at the Mint Museum Uptown - and, I seriously cannot wait to see these two get married!  Our first consult was actually one year from today. (I swear I'm not a creepy stalker ... I'm just a good note taker! And I was reading some pervious notes last week, when I realized our "one year anniversary" is today!)  From that very first meeting, we just clicked.  This post is starting to sound like I'm in love with these two - and, you'd be totally right to make that assumption. This girl is just so amazing, and we've had an absolutely blast planning for her wedding.  I thought today would be just perfect for sharing their wedding design inspiration. Katie can only be described as a Kate Spade bride. She loves clean lines, effortless style and chic patterns in all the right places.  With a color palette of navy blue, ivory and kelly green, I think even Kate herself would love what we've come up with.  I love the use of elements like geometric patterns and architecturally-inspired flowers mixed with clean and simple lines.  Brides often ask about mixing themes - and I say why not?!  I encourage taking elements or inspiration from a theme and, in some cases, altering it a bit to fit into a design plan in a cohesive way.  For this wedding design, we've taken a pretty traditional color palette and classic ideas but we infused a little modern flare in the execution through pops of graphic patterns and fun textures.  I always appreciate brides that are willing to take a few steps outside the box, and stretch their design comfort level to reach a whole new level of "wow".  I cannot wait to see this wedding unfold!  Take a peek at our inspiration, and let me know you what you think.


XO, A.

2014 Wedding Trend Predictions By The Graceful Host

It's hard to believe, but the 2014 wedding season is just around the corner. Each year trends emerge in fashion, which usually spills over into other areas such as home decor and weddings. After Bridal Market in NYC in October, we saw tons and tons of trends emerging through so many talented ateliers! In addition, Pantone has published their fashion color report for 2014. This report usually dictates color palette trends in the wedding industry, as well. I cannot tell you how much I love good design. Each fall I pay attention to each of these event and read up on industry predictions for 2014. Oh what a dream it would be to actually attend bridal market! I wish. But, for now, this wedding planner and designer is going to layout my favorite trends and predictions for 2014.

Wedding Dress Details

Laser Cut Detail

Probably one of my favorite trends for 2014 is the laser cut detailing. I think it's a very sexy and feminine detail. It's been all over fashion lately, and we've seen this amazing detail make its way over to weddings through paper goods, bridesmaids dresses, wedding dresses, and linens.

2014 Wedding Trends - Laser Cut Details

Pure Romance

I'm sure you could assume that weddings are a romantic affair by nature ... and it's true, they are. But, the colors trending for 2014 just scream romance! We can expect pastels to take the forefront in spring weddings for 2014. Although pink is a very common pastel (and wedding color), I think we'll see more dusty blue, lavender and pale green emerge over the traditional pink romance. The more vibrant colors brought to us by Pantone, such as dazzling blue, cayenne, and freesia, are gorgeous color staples that will complement their pastel counterparts perfectly. At the 2014 Fall Bridal Market we also saw shades of pastel all over from designers like Vera Wang, Romona Keveza and Watters.

2014 Wedding Trends - Pure Romance

The Wedding Dress - details, details, details

Speaking of wedding dresses - the wedding fashion from 2014 Bridal Market was nothing short of stunning! This is my absolute favorite topic to talk about - I love, love, love bridal fashion! This fall, we saw a huge increase in the use of beading and ornate details, along with gorgeous back detailing. I couldn't get over all of the incredible detailing from these designers! I love the use of illusion necklines and back openings with incredibly ornate details. Brides are also going for statement head pieces to create a truly romantic bridal look. Designers also showcased more halter silhouettes than years before. And, of course, we also saw some laser cut/lace detailing from many designers.

2014 Wedding Trends - Head Pieces


Weddings should be an expression of the bride and groom. There are tons of themes brides can choose from when beginning their wedding design plans - vintage, couture, classic, clean ... the list can go on forever! We'll see a continuation and emphasis on personal details like custom monograms, creative uses and displays of photos, personalized decor, and one of a kind invitations. I love finding out what makes a couple tick and what experiences we can use to infuse into design elements.

Personalized Wedding Details

Lush Floral Design

I believe that flowers are essential to wedding design. It is the main source of visual interest, provides color and texture for a space. Due to economic conditions, we've seen many brides scale back their floral design, opting to keep designs more simple, and/or go in the direction of DIY. In 2014, I think that we'll see an increase in more elaborate floral designs. Lush and full centerpieces, both high and low, along with uplighting and draping are making a huge comeback with brides who are looking for a "WOW" look. I think we'll see bouquets and centerpieces with a variety of textures, shapes and dimensions trending. Think of lush greens, full flowers and textured, unique blooms.

2014 Wedding Trends - Floral Design

Styled Grooms

Think this post is just about the brides and decor trends? No worries, grooms - TGH has you covered! Based on all that is trending with fashion, I think we'll see a big surge in styled grooms. Don't get me wrong. The bride will always be the main focus of a wedding and will always steal the spotlight. But, we're seeing more and more grooms wanting their time to shine on their big day. We'll see more of an emphasis on the groom's attire than in years past.

2014 Wedding Trends - Styled Grooms

If this is any indication of next year, then it is going to be beyond beautiful! I just can't wait! But, tell us what you think. What are some of your trend predictions and/or favorite trends for 2014?


Inspiration: Ivory + Blush

Ivory and blush wedding inspiration

There is nothing more romantic than a sweet, soft, timeless color palette like ivory and blush, with some metallic touches of course.  Ya'll know how much I just love love love metallic!  But, oh my goodness, I cannot wait for Keely and Hill's gorgeous Southern wedding at Boxwood Estate next May!!  We've wrapped up some design plans recently - and I just couldn't wait to share!  I'm in love with Keely's amazing simplistic, yet glamorous style.  Take a peek at a few of our inspiration photos for the big day!

XO, A.