As one of the most popular Charlotte wedding planners, this Carolina Wedding Design (CWD) blog will update you on the latest tips and trends we're seeing in the wedding industry. We'll also showcase different client stories along the way to show you what real brides and grooms are experiencing with us! We offer all types of packages to fit your planning/design needs, so feel free to contact us if you'd like...704.541.9100

Friday, February 26, 2010

Congrats Dalton Blair & John Green!

CWD congratulates our clients, Dalton Blair & John Green! The ceremony tomorrow will be at the Gastonia Presby Church and the reception at Gaston Country Club. We can't wait to post pictures on Monday from the wedding and from Dalton's beautiful bridal portrait session!

Congrats to you both!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Gift Ideas for your Bridal Party

Bridesmaids and Groomsmen are the most important women and men in your lives and the people you have chosen to stand next to you on your wedding day. Show your appreciation for them by giving them a well-chosen bridesmaid/groomsmen gift.

Bridesmaid/Groomsmen gifts run the gamut in terms of price, style, and individuality. Some brides spend hundreds of dollars, while others choose to spend only a few, or choose to make something inexpensive yet time-consuming.

You can choose to get everyone the same thing, get variations on a theme, or choose entirely different presents for each person. While shopping, keep each individual maid/men in mind, choosing imaginative and stylish gifts that come from the heart. Try to spend about the same amount on each present, except for the maid-of-honor's and best man’s gift, which is typically more lavish than the other ones. However you chose to celebrate your wedding attendants, make sure they know how much they mean to you by inclosing a personal note with each present. From crafty and tasty to just plain indulgent, here are some ideas to get you started.

A classic bridesmaid gift is something she can wear on the wedding day, but still use later on such as a necklace, earrings, shoes, wrap or shawl.

If you're having a destination wedding a personalized beach towel, beach bag, a gift certificate to enjoy a fun activity during their stay, coffee table book about their destination.

Pamper them with a spa gift certificate, personalized pj’s or robes, a manicure set, gift baskets, a beauty/make-up application lesson.

Personalize it with monogrammed items such as wine glasses with a great bottle of wine, embosser, personalized stationery, monogrammed set of bath towels or robe, or a designer makeup bag.

Play Off Their Passion… She loves to dance so try a gift certificate for dance lessons, fitness nut- go for workout gear or a session with a personal trainer, they cook- think of a hot new cookbook, cooking lessons or an adorable apron, wine lover- enroll them in a wine club, tickets to a musical, concert or sporting event, magazine subscriptions.

Check out Beau coup, Go Wedding Gifts, My Bridesmaids Gifts for more ideas.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

message from a CWD client...

I just had to share this sweet message from one of our Mend the End clients, Sarah Clark.

Her March 27th wedding is just around the corner and this morning we met with her to gather all of her contracts, photos, sketches, etc to execute the Mend the End package for her.

I also had the privilege of being the planner for her sister's wedding in June of 2008....this is an amazing family that loves to laugh and have a good time.

I just adore them and feel honored to be chosen to work with them again.

Sarah and Clark, you're an amazing couple and we can't wait for March 27th to get here!......xoxo HGB

I know you do this on a daily basis and my wedding is on the smaller side, but I have just got to take a minute to say THANK YOU. It was great to see you this morning & hand everything over. I now have a huge sense of relief like okay this is going to be perfect and Heather will take care of it. If I could go back to the beginning of the wedding planning and change anything, it would be to have you be our "full time" wedding planner and not just the last 30 days. But either way, thank you so much. I am so excited that you get to be a part of our special day and have such a peace of mind that it is all going to go smoothly (and if it doesn't, I won't even know!).
I mean thank god, we now will not have a cake on a dollie!

Monday, February 22, 2010

1st dance song?

Happy Monday!

Many of our clients are trying to select that oh-so-perfect music for the wedding reception. Obviously one of the key choices is for the 1st dance. Need some ideas yourself?

Theknot.com recently did a nationwide study and provides the top 50 most popular ones.

We encourage our clients to be DIFFERENT and play whatever is special to them. Don't feel like you're trapped in this small box of options.....be YOU.....be reflective of your love!

Here is the list of the songs from the Knot.......it also includes audio/video to remind you of the tunes!

Hope this gets the creative thoughts flowing!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Chameleon Chairs! CWD Inside Peek!

Ok, we just got home from another fabulous NACE meeting. (National Assoc of Catering Executives). The NACE meetings are held once every month and showcase different venues, caterers, decor, speakers, etc.

Tonight's meeting was at Classic Party Rentals and the spotlight was introducing their new 'Chameleon Chair'!

These chairs are HOT!

They are a trendy item out west in LA, making appearances at all of the Awards shows, and finally have made their debut in Charlotte. Lucky us.

There are so many styles and options to choose from - I don't know which one we will use first! From leather, to animal print, to lace, to ruffles & rosettes.....CWD is IN LOVE.

This is a great option for those brides who want a fabulous chair and want something other than your standard chivari.....which of course we also love.

To all of our girls at CPR, you did a FABULOUS job tonight - the tent and everything else in it looked amazing...great job!

These pics are iPhone uploads so excuse the non-flash.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Need Ideas for Valentines Day?

Girls, if your men are still looking for a last minute Valentines Day gift for you, send them a link to this CWD blog!

Message to guys:
You KNEW this day was coming soon. It falls on the same day every year, so no excuses for not yet having the love of your life her gift yet. Although we frown upon last minute items fellas, CWD has come to your rescue...

Below are ideas that your woman is sure to love.
And whether she says it or not, EVERY woman loves flowers. No need to go overboard with a showy $300 order of long stem roses or anything, just a simple 'thought that counts' type of delivery goes a LONG way. Of course red roses are still the most popular for Cupid's Day...but feel free to go out of the box and order something different! How about a beautiful array of tulips.....or a mixed arrangement of her favorite spring flowers!

Don't feel like you need to plan an over the top dinner or spend hundreds of dollars. Many of us gals just want TIME with our favorite fella. Most of us will settle for a night in with a favorite chick flick (as long as you will cuddle with us and watch it of course)....cook us dinner and clean the house.......take us hiking with a romantic surprise picnic....schedule us a day at the spa.....couples' dancing lessons.......maybe we have been asking for a new Apple product?

Nix the teddy bears and other miscellaneous knick knacks some guys get caught in buying....for items that will REALLY make her happy, check out the images below for inspiration....
and guys.....BUY EARLIER NEXT YEAR! =)

and whatever you do, don't dare forget to buy her a card!


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

CWD Exclusive: Exit Strategy...Get One!

Have you met with a vendor that you knew right from the start you guys weren't a fit?
Have you sat through an hour long consult with a prospective vendor that you had tuned out 10 mins into the meeting because you knew you didn't want to hire them for your wedding?
Were you scared to leave because you didn't know if your significant other, mother,
MOH etc liked them?

Well, you should probably get what we call, your 'exit strategy'.

Here is a little video explaining what it is with an example from one of our very own clients.
They politely had an exit strategy of their own!

I say with a big smile that they didn't need to use it with us, but I'm proud of them for having one! ~ hgb

Monday, February 8, 2010

eSession with Tommy McCart, Georgia & Paul

We recently spent the afternoon with our friend, Tommy McCart as he shot the eSession (engagement session) for one of our March couples, Georgia Hartley and Paul King. CWD highly recommends that couples take advantage of an eSession or add it to their package...here's why:

~ it helps you get familiar with your photog and his/her shooting style
~ it allows your photog to see how you are to work with in terms of level of comfort around the lens
~ most guys do not like having their pictures taken, and this warms them up to the camera
~ it reminds you of angles/poses/looks that you do and do not like to have photographed (perhaps you hate your profile and didn't realize it, now you can fix that problem and shoot around it on wedding day)
~ similar to wedding day, these photos last forever and truly capture a raw love and level of excitement that you won't ever be able to grab again

This young couple is full of love and it shows.
Congrats Georgia and Paul! We're about a month out! How exciting!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

CWD photoshoot with Stikeleather Photography

Last week presented us with lots of busy hours in the CWD office and had us exhausted from full 10-12 hour days of site and vendor visits....but we were able to break for a morning and play =)

CWD was in search of a fabulous photographer to capture our personalities, images, and true selves for our upcoming promotional items and marketing materials. We absolutely adore Laura Stikeleather, owner of Stikeleather Photography, and knew she would be perfect for the job!

Laura has been a talented photographer in the Charlotte area for almost a decade. Her soft personality and keen ability to 'see a shot' makes her a favorite choice for many brides. Laura has a way of capturing every moment without being overbearing and obtrusive. We strongly encourage you to check out her website and work......
she is T A L E N T E D.

So, we packed up our bags and headed down to a few hot (and secret) spots in good ole Waxhaw, North Carolina. This small and quaint town offered so many diamonds in the rough, Laura had endless options for our joint vision...the only problem was making us behave!

Funny little side story......ok, so you'll see the pictures of us on the train tracks. What you don't see is the series of events that happened after those shots. I (Heather) am deathly afraid of trains......so when the train alarm started sounding and the guard arms started to drop, it was a sheer moment of absolute panic for me. Cortenay and I began to sprint (in our heels) trying to run down the tracks, as the steep sides were elevated 10-12 feet and we couldn't 'get out'.....basically we were in a ravine. Just at the moment I could envision a 90 mph train barreling around the corner wiping us out, I proceed to fall. To say I was freaking out is an understatement. So, I pop up and we have safely exited the train path, only to find we still don't see a train. ??? The alarms go quiet and the arms raise allowing traffic to pass....
Yep, you guessed it....WE set off the train alarm sensor somehow as we shot on the tracks. There was never a train.
As you can imagine, this realization led to a solid 15 mins of laughing.

Here are a few shots from our morning with Laura.

Laura, thank you so much for working with us!
We had so much fun and these photos turned out great, minus the difficult and unruly subjects of course ;-)





Monday, February 1, 2010

Wedding Insurance!

As you celebrate the beginning of your lives together, wedding insurance can help protect your financial future if something beyond your control should go wrong. Wedding insurance helps protect all you have invested in your wedding, now and throughout the planning period as you put down deposits, sign contracts and make purchases. Wedding insurance policies are relatively inexpensive, a basic policy costs between $125-$500.

What do wedding insurance policies typically cover (be sure to read the fine print of your policy)? Wedding dress (if lost or damaged), lost deposits (if a vendor goes out of business or fails to show up), lost rings, severe weather (such as a hurricane, forces you to postpone your wedding), transportation shutdown (if you have to postpone your wedding because a commercial transportation shutdown prevents the bride, groom or their parents from getting there), damaged gifts, sudden illness (prevents the bride, groom or their parents from attending), venue requires insurance (can add liability coverage to protect yourself in case a guest is injured or causes damage to property), and more!

Keep in mind that wedding insurance does not cover you for "change of heart." So, if either the bride or groom decides not to go through with the wedding, the people footing the bill will pay out of pocket.

“Considering that the average wedding costs more than $28,000, soon-to-be newlyweds have a significant amount of money on the line and a vendor’s ‘Going out of Business’ sign can be far worse than rain on their wedding day,” said Bill Mitchell, CEO of BBB of the Southland, Inc. “Wedding insurance can provide piece of mind for a couple that their money will be recovered if a vendor or venue falls through at the last minute.”