So Many Colors, So Many Choices

Hello there everyone! Can we take a second to talk about the gorgeous weather we are experiencing here in Charlotte?? Starting to feel like fall. 🙂 I spent the weekend playing on the lake with my husband and puppy – it was glorious. I hope your weekend was just as fabulous!

This fall-like weather has made me very excited for the upcoming season! Besides the amazing weather, my favorite aspect of fall events is the color selection. So many gorgeous options! Because I love these colors so much, I decided to create a few inspiration boards. It’s also no secret that I love gold, so I used that as my coordinating neutral, along with ivory.


Plum and Gold Colors

How gorgeous is this color combination? Plum is such a pretty color, without being too feminine. I envision these colors in an outdoor setting – what a great way to dress up a rustic barn?

Plum and Gold Inspiration________________________________________________


Grey and Gold Colors

Anyone who has been to my house can attest to the fact that I love grey. A lot. So, obviously it had to be included in my color choices. 🙂 I think this look would be beautiful for a fancy occasion, I’m picturing a country club or ballroom.

Grey and Gold Inspiration



Green and Gold Colors

This fabulous color combo was inspired by our own Erin’s anniversary party earlier this year! She’s pretty creative, I guess. 🙂 These colors spell F-U-N to me, so I think they would look best in a more out-of-the-box venue – maybe a rooftop party?

Green and Gold Inspiration

I don’t know about you, but these colors are definitely inspiring me to throw a great party this fall! I hope that they served as inspiration to you as well! 🙂

Thanks for reading!


Eat Your Heart Out

I’ve definitely said this before but I love when an event includes something unique and personalized. Last week, we looked at how a monogram can play this role and this week we will be looking at desserts! So, if you are reading this at your desk before lunch time – you have been forewarned. 🙂

Obviously the traditional choice for a wedding dessert is a tiered wedding cake. This is always lovely and is definitely a great way to go. If you are searching for a way to make your event uniquely yours though, different dessert options can be so fun! One of our fabulous couples served Cold Stone Creamery at their reception and it was AWESOME. There are endless options when it comes to serving some special sweets at your event!



Talk about a crowd pleasing treat! Who doesn’t love donuts? And bonus – it makes for a very cute display!

Mini Individual Cakes

If you still love the idea of cake but want to do something different, why not individual cakes?! These look so elegant … and yummy!

Banana Pudding

Banana pudding is one of my favs so obviously I’m loving this idea! How great would these be for a truly Southern wedding? Serve up some pig and then indulge in this sweet treat!


If you want to serve different kinds of dessert, shooters are a good idea! Your guests will have multiple options to choose from when being served!


Umm, seriously?! How fun is this? I love this idea!

Now that I have sufficiently given you a sweet craving – go enjoy a little treat!

Thanks for reading!


Erin Takes Over “Simply Southern Says”!

First off, I want to give a HUGE thank you to my wonderful assistant, Colleen! We had a L.O.N.G. day yesterday preparing and designing an AH-MAZING styled shoot that I could not have done without her!  I cannot wait to share all of the photos with you guys (they are pure gorgeousness)! In the meantime, here we are in all our exhausted glory at the end of the day: (not bad for 6 hours of hustle and bustle)


 THANK YOU COLLEEN – I OWE YOU ONE! (Bouquet by the fab Chelish Moore)

I am giving Colleen the day off and I have taken over her “Simply Southern Says” blog! One of the first things my brides usually ask me is ‘”what are the top must -haves or must-dos of a wedding?” While each wedding is different, there are some things that remain the same!  Today, I am dishing out my Top 7 (Must-Have or Must-Do) Ideas for Planning Your Wedding – Seriously ya’ll – these are awesome!

1.   Have An Unplugged Wedding – Thinking of letting your guests take pictures during your ceremony? Might want to think again! Let your professional photographer capture the moments, not photos of everyone else’s iPhones! Example of a plugged-in ceremony: Amber-Wilkie-Photography

2.   Limit Your Vendors – Don’t overwhelm yourself with vendor meetings. Pick your top 2 (3 at the max) for each category and meet only with them. If none of them are perfect – your can add more!

3.   Remember The Meaning – While your wedding is important, remember that you are planning for a marriage. Take time to close the Pinterest board and put down the wedding magazines and connect with your future spouse!

4.   First Things First – Vendors who can only book one wedding a day (ex: venue, photographer, wedding planner, music) should be your main priority. No sense in stressing about centerpieces when you have not selected a venue!

5.   Add A Personal Touch – Your wedding should be about you and your fiancĂ©. Love the Tar Heels? Use Carolina blue for a color. Horseback rider? Get married on a farm and have horses in your photos.  Those little touches are what make it meaningful to you! The groom of a 2013 wedding we did is a BIG hunter – so the bride surprised him with this cake:

Hunt Cake

6.   Let The Experts Do Their Job – You wouldn’t tell your dentist how to fill a cavity – so don’t tell your florist how to arrange a bouquet. Given them guidance and inspiration, but then trust them to bring your vision to life – it is their profession!

7.   Hire A Planner – At the risk of a shameless promotion, planners will keep you on track, provide the best referrals (and discounts!) and relieve stress so you can enjoy your BIG DAY!

Let me know if you think I missed something! Have a great week y’all!


The Ugly “B” Word – Part 3

Money, Money, Money, Money…Money!

Every time I hear that song, all I can think about is this:


Any other Celebrity Apprentice fans?? My love for reality TV is in full force today!

Anyway, now that you have a budget set – how do you divide it out? Let’s work with the law of averages. Below is the average breakdown of the percentage of money from your budget that should be given to each category:

Reception (includes venue, food, drink, cake and rentals) – 48%

Rings – 4%

Invitations – 2%

Flowers – 5%

Bridal Apparel – 6%

Music (ceremony & reception) – 5%

Photography & Videography – 10%

Hair & Makeup – 1%

Transportation – 2%

Ceremony/Officiant – 2%

Miscellaneous (wedding planner, gratuities, hotel, etc) – 15%

Remember this is just an average and your individual wedding budget might differ. Before you go booking everything, I recommend going back to your “What Matters Most” list and take a look at your top 6 items. Those MOST important things is where you should be spending your money. Maybe a videographer is most important? Or maybe you don’t want any flowers? Adjust your budget accordingly, but keep the averages in mind!

Next post – 7 Ways to Save Money!! Who doesn’t love to save a buck??


The Ugly “B” Word – Part 2


Budgets – we all hate them. Work budgets – stink. Personal budgets – miserable.

Wedding budgets – worst of the worst.

We have already determined the average cost of a wedding here and some of you might have cried a little at the thought! Dry those tears and follow these steps to prepare your individual wedding budget.

STEP ONE: WHO PAYS? Some weddings are fully funded by the parents of the bride. Others receive money from both parents of the bride and parents of the groom. And a few are either partially or fully funded by the bride and groom themselves. Sit down individually with each set of parents, (brides – talk to your parents, grooms – talk to yours) and ask them how much (if any) they are willing to contribute to the wedding. Then decide whether you and your fiancĂ© are going to use some of your own money. After this is done, you will have a comprehensive list of how much your wedding budget will be.

STEP TWO: WHO’S INVITED?  Get the guest list ready!  The number one way to save or spend extra money on your wedding is based on the number of guests you have. The more guests, the more money. Determining your guest count will tell you how much you can spend per person.

STEP THREE: WHAT MATTERS MOST?  Make a list of the top 5 things that are most important to your wedding. Is it a one-of-a-kind custom wedding dress? The best band in town? Over the top decorations? Food that makes your mouth water? Photos that are editorial worthy? Once you have chosen these items, this is where the majority of your money goes.

Remember, whether your budget is $5,000 or $50,000, the concept is the same: ask who will contribute money, write out your guest list and determine what matters most.

By |January 21st, 2014|Categories: Tips & Trends|0 Comments

The Ugly “B” Word

It happens to every bride. You get engaged. You get giddy and begin dreaming of your perfect day. Gorgeous dress, flowers everywhere, fabulous food, beautiful decorations, handsome groom, and dancing until your feet hurt. Then the boom comes down, (imagine the Jaws theme song) duuun dun, duuun dun, dun, dun, dun, dun…BUDGET!

Nobody likes to talk about it, but the type of wedding you will have is determined by it. I have been married almost 7 years and I can still remember squirming in my chair when I had the “B” word conversation with each of my parents. While it is not the most magical part to a wedding, it is a necessary evil.  If you have never been a bride before, you probably have no clue what a wedding costs. To help, The Knot did a great job of putting the average wedding costs into perspective:

Wedding Budget

Don’t have $28,000 for a wedding? Don’t know where to start in planning you own budget? Don’t sweat – the Wedding Ninja is here to help! In this week long series, I will help you to determine your budget, talk about how much you should spend for each category, and give you tips and ideas to save money. Can’t wait to see you tomorrow for Part 2 of The Ugly “B” Word!










By |January 20th, 2014|Categories: Tips & Trends|0 Comments