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Whimsical + Elegant Charlotte Wedding

Darlings, I cannot wait to share today’s recipe for pretty. Take two Irish Catholic cuties, pair them up with the planning genius that is The Graceful Host, add a dash of whimsy and a dash of elegance and the result is one ridiculously beautiful, classic wedding day. Dressed in kelly green and a turquoise navy, the hues will make your eyes dance in every capture from Lauren Rosenau Photography. See more in here!

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From The Graceful HostHard to believe that just a few months ago this sweet couple, Katelyn and Phillip, were married in a beautiful ceremony in Charlotte, North Carolina. I’ll never forget my first phone call from Katelyn. This busy bride-to-be knew that she needed a planner, and she’d do whatever it would take to get one – even changing her wedding date so that she could book me! Honored and humbled just skims the surface of how I felt when this amazing bride said that she couldn’t imagine getting married without my help.Working with these two was such a blast! There was no shortage of laughter at each meeting. Katelyn came to me with a vision of a vintage romance meets artistic whimsy meets elegance wedding inspiration that had no shortage of personal touches and was big on family traditions. I mean, we’ve got two Irish Catholic families here! Katelyn had gotten her dream dress from Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City. It was a beautiful and timeless lace gown with a cathedral length lace trimmed veil and a jeweled champagne sash for a pop of sparkle. Her dress became a source of inspiration for a number of wedding details. I worked with Katelyn to create something unique and beautiful in a color palette of navy, cream and kelly green keeping accents of vintage charm and whimsical elegance throughout each detail. The centerpieces included unique flowers like green trick, kale, anemone, hostas and bells of Ireland for a bit of an artistic touch. Along the head table we had three tall candelabras with smilax, hanging amaranths, umbrella fern, white stock, and bells of Ireland wrapped and draped around for an ultra romantic look. As with most brides, Katelyn also wanted to create an intimate atmosphere using a lot of candle light. Personal touches were important to this couple, so we included as many as possible: the bagpiper that greeted guests upon arrival to the Catholic Church and lead the couple out of the ceremony was a nod to their Irish heritage, the fire helmet sitting on the front pew of the church with a family rosary was in honor of the brides late grandfather, & the lace detailing on the wedding cake which was inspired by the brides wedding dress – to name a few. The bride and groom danced the night away at the Mint Museum in Uptown Charlotte, NC, and left the reception to a ribbon wand exit on the front staircase. As they got into a pedicab, they waved good night to family and friends and headed off to start their honeymoon.

Photography: Lauren Rosenau Photography | Videography: Brian Bunn Films | Floral Design: New Creations Flower Company | Cake: Wow Factor Cakes | Ceremony Venue: St. Peter's Catholic Church | Reception Venue: Mint Museum Uptown | Brides Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Catering: Something Classic Catering And Cafes | DJ: All The Right Grooves | Bagpipes: Carolina Bagpipes | Chair Rental: Chiavari Chairs Of North Carolina | Hair + Makeup: Who's The Fairest | Wedding Dress, Veil + Belt: Kleinfeld Bridal | Wedding Planner + Designer: The Graceful Host

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Second Chance Wedding Shoot in North Carolina at the VanLandingham Estate

This couples’ story will warm your heart right up this Monday morning. With the help of a talented team of vendors including Taken By Sarah PhotographyWillow Floral Boutique, and Ella’s Celestial Cakes (just to name a few), they were able to create the dream wedding day they never got to have, to the same person they will always love. See the entire shoot here.

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From Taken By Sarah PhotographyWhat started as an inspiration wedding shoot turned into so much more when we found our perfect couple to give a second chance for a wedding.

From The Bride…Some say young love won’t last, that you need to find yourself before you can truly love someone else. But for us, we found love at a young age, and that love grew up together. We met in middle school, and on that day at a mere 13 years old, CR told his best friend that he’d found the girl he was going to marry. At the ripe age of 20 he proposed, and though we had no money for a big fancy wedding, we had more love than one could dream of. My grandparents were our inspiration, they had married at 16 and 19, and were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. They gave us their original rings from 50 years ago, and we all celebrated the lifetime of love they shared, and our wedding on the same beautiful day at a small plantation in Georgia.

We are approaching a decade of marriage, 4 beautiful children, and a hope for the same lasting love my grandparents found. It was wonderful to have a second chance wedding that we could have only dreamed of, and knowing that we would marry each other all over again, with an even stronger love and commitment than we did so many years ago…

Photography: Taken By Sarah Photography | Florist: Willow Floral Boutique | Dress: Fabulous Frocks Charlotte | Cakes: Ella's Celestial Cakes | Stationery: Sweetest Beginnings | Shoes: Kate Spade | Bracelet: Chloe And Isabel | Makeup: Blush Beauty And Makeup | Hair: Glammed And Groomed | Chandeliers: Charlotte Chandeliers | Earrings: Saks Off 5th | Florist/Planner: Lily Bee's Events And Floral | Menswear: Revolve Upscale Menswear Consignment | Private Estate: VanLandingham Estate | Vintage Plates And Flatware: Heirloom For Hire

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Glamorous Spring Wedding in Charlotte

What do you get when you combine a stylish bride and a very dapper Baltimore Ravens football player? One absolutely jaw-dropping glamorous wedding, overflowing with lush florals and sparkling chandeliers, all brought to life by The Graceful Host.  Lauren Rosenau Photography and Brian Bunn Films captured it all and you can soak up every stunning moment right this way.

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From The Graceful Host… On a gorgeous spring afternoon, Whitley Saxton married Baltimore Ravens safety, Darian Stewart, in a beautiful, riverside ceremony in Rock Hill, South Carolina. This sweet couple met one night out in Charlotte, NC a few years ago, while both were out on the town with friends. Whitley is from the Rock Hill, South Carolina area, and although she didn’t envision an outdoor ceremony, she fell in love with the peace and tranquility of the venue Brakefield at Riverwalk. With visions of grandeur in mind, I helped Whitley design and plan for a wedding that would leave guests saying, “wow!”

When Whitley approached me to help her plan and design her spring wedding, she had a specific vision in mind – over the top elegance. And with the help of an amazing vendor team, we achieved her goal and exceeded her expectations! Our bride and groom were all about glamorous style. With centerpieces dripping in crystal, lush floral, and textured custom linens, their vision came to reality.

Melanie Edwards with New Creations Flower Company created gorgeous, ornate centerpieces dripping in crystal. The color palette was ultra-romantic with a base of ivories and pops of pale pinks against soft grey tones. We sourced highly textured linens in the grey color palette to add to the feeling of luxury, elegance, sophistication and romance. I loved the silver and grey rosette linen from Party Tables… it fit the design perfectly! Thanks to Sterling Events Group, the entire venue was draped in ivory panels and accented with blush uplighting, which transformed the reception space … and it left our bride speechless during the reveal. When I spoke to the bride and groom about the most important part of the wedding, she said (without hesitation) the party! So, we went to the number one DJ in town – Split Second Sound – to help us keep the dance party going all night long. Guests had so much fun dancing from everything from old school hip hop and R&B. With Olive Paper, we were able to design custom paper goods – from wedding invitations to place cards to a seating chart to menu cards. Everything was custom made for Whitley and Darian’s special day with their unique vision in mind. Something Classic Cafe and Catering provide an incredible meal and service to guests. Wow Factor Cakes created one of the most gorgeous wedding cakes I’ve ever seen – a beautiful ivory cake with a huge ivory sugar flower cascading down. It tasted just as delicious as it looked! The bride surprised her groom with a South Carolina Game Cocks helmet cake – the team the groom played for in College. He couldn’t wait to dive into the cake! Whitley’s wedding dress came from Nitsa’s Apparel of Charlotte and was from Victor Harper Couture. Her dress could not have been more perfect for her elegant and over the top wedding. It was such a gorgeous and timeless gown – perfect for the bride who wants the fairytale wedding day!

With the incredibly talented Lauren Rosenau Photography and amazing Brian Bunn Films along to capture the day, everything was absolutely perfect! Lauren Rosenau and team captured the incredible personalities of the bride and groom. Her photos evoke the emotion of the wedding day, and tell the story of the day. I can feel this sweet bride laughing and loving life through each photo.

Photography: Lauren Rosenau Photography | Videography: Brian Bunn Films | Event Design: The Graceful Host | Floral Design: New Creations Flower Company | Wedding Dress: Nitsas Apparel - Charlotte | Cake: Wow Factor Cakes | Catering: Something Classic Cafe And Catering | Transportation: The Royal Rides | Ceremony And Reception Venue: Brakefield At Riverwalk | Ceremony Musicians: Charlotte Strings For Events | Event Coordination: The Graceful Host | Linens: Party Tables | Paper Goods: Olive Paper | Pipe And Drape: Sterling Events Group | Reception Entertainment: Split Second Sound | Wedding Dress Designer: Victor Harper Couture

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Elegant North Carolina Backyard Wedding

Backyard weddings have always been my cup of tea. Super intimate and always lovely, they never fail to charm my socks off. Well, Red White And Green Photography gave me yet another reason to love those sweet backyard soirées thanks to this pretty below, and I can’t say that I am surprised that I love every single image sitting in this gallery

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From Red White And Green Photography…Kathryn and Jon have been dating since high school. They have this rich history that seemed to permeate their entire wedding day. There wasn’t a person attending this wedding without a smile plastered on their face. Just a sense that something that was always going to happen was finally coming to life. And I felt so privileged to have documented the joy that unfolded. Even with tons of family and friends surrounding them, there was an intimacy present throughout the entire day. The kind that only comes from knowing each other for a decade. Selfless and truly kind…these two just deserve each other.

They were married in Kathryn’s sisters’ back yard on Lake Norman surrounded by simple and elegant beauty created by Hall and Webb Events. Accompanied by live music and a view of the lake, guests enjoyed cocktails while Kathryn and Jon spent a few sacred moments on the dock being madly in love and recently wed. An incredible dinner party on the lawn gave way to dancing under twinkling lights and Kathryn and Jon were sent off on their next adventure. Two of the kindest souls…joined together on a magical day.

Photography: Red White And Green Photography | Wedding Planner: Hall And Webb | Florist: Place For Flowers | Wedding Dress: Dar-Lynn's | Cake: Cakes By Lisa | Catering: Best Impressions | Lighting: Eye Dialogue | Suits: Belk | Ceremony Music: Key Signature Entertainment | Transportation: T&J Transportation | Venue: Private Residence | Hair And Make-up: Who's The Fairest | Invitation And Program: Seal Design Studio | Reception Music: Walrus | Rentals: Party Reflections

Classic Spring Wedding at Vanlandingham Estate

Soft. Pretty. Delicate. It’s a design inspiration we’ve heard time and time again from brides all over, yet it never seems to get old. And, judging by these beautifully arranged florals, it’s a look Lily Greenthumbs is definitely no stranger to. With The Vanlandingham Estate as the perfect backdrop, this fairy tale wedding is a fresh take on a timeless combination for pretty. Get a glimpse of the gorgeousness (thanks to Jim Trice Photography!) in the gallery here.


From the Bride… My wedding day inspiration didn’t come to me all at once. It developed and transformed into what it was little by little along the way. I knew I wanted to have the overall feeling be very soft and fairy tale-like with delicate textures and colors. It was important to me that nature be a big part of the design– it’s natural beauty doesn’t cost anything! Having the reception outdoors under an open-air, twinkle-lit frame was my first decision. I knew I had to find the right venue to make this happen, but also somewhere to accomodate the dance party that would ensue shortly after dinner.

The VanLandingham Estate was the perfect backdrop. There is something so special about being in an old home that dates back to the 1800’s. The elegant details and nostalgia added a vintage element to my wedding inspiration and the gardens spoke for themselves. I knew the venue would then help with pulling together the other pieces. I focused my attention next on the bridesmaids’ dresses. I knew I wanted to have each girl in their own, unique dress. It was important to me that they be comfortable and feel beautiful. I cringe at spending money on something I will never wear again (aside from my wedding gown!) so I hated the thought of each of them buying a dress and shoes that they would donate or toss shortly after. I told them the color scheme and sent a few examples from the Internet and then left the rest up to them! I wanted them to have different textures and colors so that each one would stand out. And they did– each girl looked so gorgeous.

One of the main resources that I used for inspiration and for purchasing decor items came from Anthropologie’s bridal site, BLHDN. I fell in love with all the sweet, vintage-y decor and accessories. As many of their items can seem outlandishly pricey, I just kept checking their sale page on a weekly basis to see if my favorite things were listed. And many times they were! The first thing I bought from them were my shoes. I was able to get them on sale and they were perfect! From then on I gathered up other items here and there: a birdcage for the cards, a mix of pennants (lace, floral and gold) to use throughout the reception, mini antique cake stands for my bridesmaids, the table number cards, and a chalkboard sign to name a few.

The dress. I’ll never forget how it happened. As I was walking back to the room to try on one of the other five or six I had selected, there it was, hanging all by itself on a random peg- as if someone just hung it there until they had time to figure out where it really belonged. I pointed at it and said, “I think I want to try this one.” I came out, steped on the block, turned around a few times and started to cry. I knew this was the one. I didn’t think that feeling really existed, but for me it did– and it felt really good!

The flowers literally took my breath away. This is the one area of the planning that you really don’t get to see until the day of your wedding, and to me, one of the best parts! I knew I wanted a mix of blush and ivory flowers with soft greenery accents. From the start, Karen Grennoe, owner of Lily Greenthumbs, was able to see my vision come to life– soft, vintage, candle-lit mercury glass, and low profile flowing centerpieces. When I walked into the reception I felt like I was in my own fairy tale.

As my vision was starting to become much more clear, I couldn’t have pulled it all together without the help of my wedding planner, Ginger Hussey, owner of HeyLove Events. Not only did she seemlessly coordinate and execute all the events of the day, I was able to rent several items of hers to complete my look. I rented her beautiful farm tables, vintage china, market street lighting and chandelier, and the old door for the polaroid guest book. The menus, name cards, and invitations were designed by her talented daughter, Lauren Calnin. I was so impressed how perfectly the menus matched my flowers, without having seen them together first. The lace table runners were made by Marilyn, my step mother, and the cork table number holders were made by my mother-in-law, Linda.

Our wedding day wouldn’t be complete without a solid rave party… and so we made sure to throw one! Corey and I love Electronic Dance Music and so we sought out our amazing DJ, Brandon Willett, who tailored the dancing to match our favorite tracks and mash ups. All our guests raved with us adorned in neon glow, head to toe. We wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Photography: Jim Trice | Videographer: Timm Young Films | Wedding Planner: Ginger Hussey, Hey! Love Events | Floral Design: Lily Greenthumb's | Wedding Dress: Vanessa By Watters Wtoo | Cake: For Goodness Cakes | Ceremony Venue: Myers Park United Methodist Church | Reception Venue: Vanlandingham Estate | Catering: Vanlandingham Estate | Make Up: Lovely By Lindsey | DJ: Brandon Willett | Transportation: Ballantyne Limo | Rentals: Party Reflections

Fun-Filled Charlotte Wedding Film

I’m not sure who came up with our modern reception convention, but I’m glad they did. Weddings are full of so much joy and happiness, it’s preposterous to think you could do anything but dance. And as you can see from We Are Caravan‘s video, this couple knows how to throw one heck of a party. This video is so good, it’ll make you want to jump on in with them by the end. So let the toe-tapping begin!

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From We Are CaravanDanielle and Matthew are a beautiful couple we had the privilege to work with this past October, and we loved their idea for a small, intimate wedding ceremony at the Old Edwards Inn in Highlands, NC followed a couple days later by a big reception with all their friends and family at Byron’s Southend here in Charlotte. Isn’t Danielle’s dress AMAZING? Also who doesn’t love a wedding band called Mr. Potato Head and a glow stick send off? Needless to say, I think their reception was a pretty good time. We had so much fun working with all the other vendors for this wedding.

Photography: Charles Bordner | Videography: We Are Caravan | Ceremony Venue: Old Edwards Inn And Spa | Reception Venue: Byron's South End | Reception Music: Mr. Potato Head | Reception Photography: Jim Trice