1. 5 Wedding Planning Sites You Need to See

    Sites like Wedding Wire and the Knot are popular for helping brides and grooms-to-be plan and research ideas for their upcoming nuptials. While these amazing sites have endless bounds of information, we have located a few sites that are unique in their ability to help plan some of the important parts of your wedding night.

    1)      Wedding Spot - On Wedding Spot, you are able to search and locate potential venues, compare prices and amenities, plus it makes you eligible for exclusive discounts. If you are in the process of considering a few different venues, you will love Wedding Spot!

    2)      All Seated – If you are struggling with seating arrangements and guests lists, All Seated may be able to help! Using digital representations of the room, All Seated allows you to see where you are placing each guest (without using post-it notes and large charts). Once you log your guest list, you can arrange seats and move guests as necessary in order to create the best seating plan. Plus, it’s printable and free!

    3)      Brideside – It’s certainly hard to please all of your bridesmaids with your dress decisions but Brideside can lend a helping hand. Utilizing a personal stylist, each of your bridesmaids will be fitted with dresses to their specifications. The Brideside stylist makes sure each Bridesmaid is styled and dresses are ordered on time, you can even monitor shipping progress. Bridesmaid dress shopping just got that much easier!

    4)      BevMo – Stocking the bar for the reception can often amount to a large reception expense. Using BevMo, couples can calculate just how much beer, wine and/or liquor will be needed to meet guests needs on the big night. BevMo also help you design a signature drink and provide ideas for the best wine pairings.

    5)       Postable – A site dedicated to helping you send out thank you notes will come in handy after the reception! Postable allows you to digitally personalize thank you cards using an easy-to-use interface. The site even supplies fonts that look like natural handwriting so that your thoughtful note will still appear handwritten.  The site sends the cards for you so you don’t have to worry about making it to the post office.

    Of course you can always ask a professional for their advice with specific questions but using some (or all) of the sites above can certainly help you in the right direction when planning the big day!


  2. 5 things to take advantage of on your wedding day

    1. You are the center of attention – you’ve been waiting all your life for this amazing day; relish in the fact that all eyes are on you when the moment finally arrives.
    2. Having an entourage – with a gang of bridesmaids and flower girls taking you from the salon to the venue and everywhere in between, you will likely appear as quite the celebrity. Plus, you will always appreciate that all your favorite people are together to celebrate your nuptials!
    3. PDA – at this point, people expect some public displays of affection between you and your new spouse! Give the people what they want and lay it on thick for the big day.
    4. Being waited on – think: someone assisting you to the bathroom, being zipped into your dress and served in every way possible. Being waited on hand and foot is not going to last forever so soak it all in while you can.
    5. Eating and drinking only the best – the big day is finally here, the wedding diet is out the window and you deserve to enjoy every detail that you helped bring together including a first class meal and incredible drinks.

  3. Trend We Love: Vintage Themes

    This week’s trend is classic and absolutely beautiful. With hints of style from the 20’s and 30s, this antique-look provides a romantic design for your wedding day. There’s a reason this simple yet fashionable theme is making waves in several celebrity and high-profile weddings.

    From Anne Hathaway to Natalie Portman and Blake Lively, these young stars are celebrating in their nuptials with delicate lace, pearls and modest color palettes. 

    The vintage theme uses inspiration from another era to create an elegant event that truly transports you and your guests for just one day. 

    (Photo via Memorable Wedding


  4. Trend we love: Rustic themes

    Recently, some old-school trends have been making appearances and we love theme. One to highlight is the simple but beautiful rustic theme. We recap the style below with some stunning photos so take a look and hopefully be inspired by this re-emerging trend rooted in romance!

    No longer just for those living in the country, this chic theme has been popping up everywhere lately (most notably, one of our very own weddings – Emily Maynard!) The rustic trend includes nature-inspired décor with plenty of wood and branch accents and a down-home feeling.

    (Photo credit: Purple Tulips)


  5. Trends We Love: Pinks & Palettes

     We love the trending colors for this wedding season:  rose gold and the Radiant Orchid! The latter is a purple hue that has been named the Pantone Color of the Year for 2014 and we see why…

    Pantone announced Radiant Orchid as 2014’s go-to colorlate last year and it has shown up in weddings and events ever since. We love the bright statement color, it can be used in practically any element!


    (Picture via: Mazel Moments)

    Rose gold  is also making quite the appearance in weddings this year. We’ve seen it used in the rings, dresses, cakes… and everywhere in between. Contrasting from the other trending color of the year, Radiant Orchid, it’s a warmer, subtler color that can still make a statement.


    (Picture via: Wedding Institute Blog)

    Whether you go for the brighter-hued Radiant Orchid or the classic Rose Gold depends on your style and personality. We say, you can’t go wrong with either choice!


  6. The Power of Pinterest


    Charlotte Wedding Insider is proud to promote all things ‘wedding’ through educational resources like our bridal panels. One reoccurring topic that brides and grooms frequently question our experts about at the panels is design elements or event ideas that they see popping up all over sites like Pinterest.

    Often these creative concepts are ‘do-it-yourself’ and the source of deep discussion since brides want to include several of them into their wedding day.

    If there is one piece of advice our professionals focus on when it comes to this topic, it is: use Pinterest as inspiration, not a catalog of all the elements you should work into your reception.

    Trying to combine too many components will often make a wedding reception appear overwhelming both for you and your guests.

    Our advice? When finalizing which details to toss out and which ones to include, be sure to consult the professionals with all the wedding experience needed to make sure your event flows just the way you envision it!


  7. Trend We Love: Instagram Hashtags

    Social media has become an integral part of our communication so why not use it to your advantage? One trend we love right now is creating an Instagram and Twitter hashtag for your wedding! Post a sign at the entrance of your wedding stating your designated hashtag and let the fun begin.


    Via Party Favorites

    Guests and vendors alike can use the hashtag to post pictures you may never have had the opportunity to see (think pre-reception set-up and party selfies from your best friends).

    While we love this idea, it is so important to let the professionals you hired do their job. A bunch of guests snapping photos with their cell phones out in every photo does not make for a pretty picture.

    It is great to have a ton of extra photos to remember your day but keep in mind, you hired the professional to get great shots and you wouldn’t want to interfere with their great work!


  8. splitsecondsound:

    Split Second Sound recently spent an exciting evening with our good friend, Ivy Robinson of Ivy Robinson Events at Emily Maynard’s beautiful wedding.

    Ivy Robinson, known for her unique design skills and for adding her personal touch to each event, originally from Elizabeth City, NC, is the…


  9. 4 Rules for Avoiding Bad DJs

    Trust us – we’ve heard it all! From ‘my DJ cancelled at the last second’ to an inexperienced ‘club DJ’ who thinks weddings are the next step, these scary situations  can definitely be avoided by following just a few rules when selecting the entertainment for the big day.

    Do they have a reputation? This question is two-fold: if the answer is yes, then is it overwhelmingly positive or is it averaging 2.5 out of 5 stars? Good DJ’s will have good reputations and if they are proven over time then you won’t have to worry if they’ll be out of business by the time your wedding arrives.

    Do they have insurance? There’s a misconception that MCing or DJing a wedding is a lot like DJing a club which couldn’t be further from the truth. Club DJs are not familiar with how to execute the flow of a wedding while wedding DJ’s have the knowledge and skill to run a reception. Legitimate wedding DJs often run their own businesses which means there are regulations and safety precautions to keep them in check. At the top of that list: liability insurance.  Every valid DJ company should come with liability insurance.

    Do you connect?  Great vendors will be willing to understand your vision and you should feel a connection with them. As the person taking control of your reception night, your DJ should understand what you want while giving you helpful suggestions.

    You get what you pay for. Do you ever come across a deal you are thinking is too good to be true? Selecting a DJ (or any vendor for that matter) holds the same principal. Consider which wedding details are of the utmost importance to you and make sure you don’t cut corners with those vendors.


  10. Selecting your Vendor Dream Team

    Research: Sites like Wedding Wire and the Knot are great resources for all things wedding-related including local vendors. This is the go-to spot for Brides and Grooms to both locate vendors and post their reviews after the big day. Take a look at the testimonials each vendor has on their profile, it’s an excellent way to get a real-world view of past experiences.

    Experience: If your co-worker just got married and you remember an awesome party courtesy of the DJ, then ask them who they used and inquire about their services leading up to the day. If your co-worker says the overall service was as a great as the party they had that night then you’re in good hands!

    Other Vendors: Your venue will often provide a list of preferred vendors but many other vendors have similar favorites as well. It’s usually a good sign when you see repeated names on several of the lists. This means that many different vendors find working with that company easy, which is of the utmost importance for your wedding day!

    After getting top references, be sure to sit down with your potential vendor. By having a meeting, you will be able to identify their style, ensure it’s similar to your vision and make sure you have a connection.

    The right vendors will make the path to your big day simple and seamless so that you can focus on what’s really important: getting married!


    Image via WedAlert


  11. Our 4 Favorite Little Wedding Details

    Unique Cake Tops

    While the traditional bride and groom cake topper may provide a classic element to the wedding cake, we love this sweet, unique cake top. There’s just something about making the little details ‘uniquely you’ that will have people remembering your big day.

    via Etsy

    Engraved Rings

    You and your future spouse may already have a unique phrase that summarizes your love for each other but even if you don’t, carving your words into your wedding band is a permanent reminder and an incredibly sweet touch.

    Via LifeStyle

    The Last Dance

    There’s a ‘new’ tradition that we absolutely love! The last dance for the bride and groom only after the rest of the wedding party clears out of the reception room and is the perfect opportunity to share one last special moment.

    via OnceWed

    A Light Send-Off

    Whether it’s a glow-wand send-off or these floating balloons, creative send offs like these make your goodbye to your big day memorable and they make a beautiful picture as well!

    via Wed 101


  12. Cocktails & Conversations: Educational Bridal Panels in Charlotte


    Charlotte Wedding Insider was founded on the principals of educating both vendors along with brides and grooms via our information-based bridal panels. With vendors on one side and clients in the audience, brides and grooms are given the unique opportunity to ask all of those questions about industry secrets and learn from vendors who have been in the industry for years. This unique method of bringing vendors and clients together in a strict non-sales environment is the primary motivation for Founder, Diane Esposito:

    “Brides get their questions answered in a non-sales environment and the vendors get to understand what ‘today’s brides’ are thinking. We pride ourselves on bringing the industry together for the betterment of everyone involved.”

    CWI is an advocate for vendors in several ways; often hosting seminars and other educational opportunities to build upon the success of Charlotte’s wedding industry.

    Through the bi-monthly panels, brides and grooms receive the equivalent to thousands of dollars in information for planning their weddings directly from the top vendors in Charlotte. This approach offers an exclusive educational experience in all things wedding related for the bride and groom who don’t know where to start or simply want to learn more about what to do before and during the big day.

    Interesting in attend the next panel? Find more information on CharlotteWeddingInsider.com or visit EventBrite to purchase tickets!


  13. 4 Adorable Ways to ‘Pop the Question’ to your Bridesmaids:

    4 Adorable Ways to ‘Pop the Question’ to your Bridesmaids:

    After the man of your dreams pops the BIG question to you, one of your first wedding-related duties should be asking a few questions of your own as well.  Here are a few ways to “pop the question” to those special ones in your life, your bridesmaids.

    :Get Crafty: this embroidered handkerchief is a classy yet crafty way to give all the girls something they can hang on to for life.

    Photo credit: via Etsy

    :Get Sweet: if your girls are as sweet as sugar you may just want to bake a little something up… you know, to butter them up!  Slipping in a personalized note is sweet and crafty.

    Photo credit: via Pinterest

    :Get Clever:  if you aren’t the best with words but you still need to get the message across…give your BFF’s a puzzle instead!

    Photo credit: via Etsy

    :Get Glam: this ‘tie the knot’ ring is not only charming but perfectly-themed when asking your girls to have your back while you say ‘I do’!

    Photo credit: via Etsy

    After you conquer the challenge of :getting your girls: you are on your way. Sharing your big day with those you love is special so be sure to make them feel equally appreciated when you invite them on your journey to the altar!


  14. 6 Must-Have Wedding Shots

    Even those not getting married on the big day will see these shots and remember just how much nervous excitement was in the air. From the bride’s hair and make-up to the groom having a drink with his groomsmen, the perfect prep shot will capture every ounce of emotion before walking down the aisle.

    First Look
    The moment when the groom catches sight of his bride is like a real-life motion picture that everybody cannot wait to see. We all know it is coming and when it finally happens, we would love to have it on film forever. We also love the first look shot when the father of the bride sees his daughter in her dress or when a planner debuts the reception room to the couple!

    The Kiss
    *Sigh* It’s the moment when your mom starts crying… along with everyone else in the room. The first official kiss as husband and wife starts fairytale’s in every guests head with “and they lived happily ever after…”

    Packed Dance Floor
    Remember what an awesome party you threw? The go-to packed dance floor picture will make sure you don’t forget any time soon. 
    *Bonus points if the crowd has split into a circle while a solo dancer tears it up.

    Last Dance 
    This shot is bound to bring tears to your eyes every time you see it. It’s the last chance during your reception when you can stop and think. All of the time you spent bringing this momentous occasion together is about to end and the rest of your life is beginning with your new spouse. While everyone else is filing out to prepare for your exit, catching one last dance with just the two of you creates both a beautiful moment and a beautiful picture.

    Grand Exit
    Let’s be honest, it’s not an ‘Exit’ unless it’s a GRAND exit. Everyone sending you off to your awaiting getaway vehicle, decorated with bubbles, sparklers or similar…You absolutely need that last photo as you ride off into the night. 


  15. Friends Don’t Let Friends Run Their Wedding Day

    Want one reoccurring piece of expert wedding advice from just about any vendor?


    Your friends are your friends for several reasons – they may be easy to talk to or throw a heck of a party but chances are they are not an experienced wedding professional. Nearly every vendor we talk to says they’ve seen this mistake happen first hand in one capacity or another and it’s always heartbreaking.

    Reality is, even if your co-worker is a really great baker… do you really want your one and only wedding cake in the hands of someone who has never actually served their cake at a wedding before?

    Your roommate may have recently photographed a couple of weddings in her spare time but will ruined pictures of your big day also ruin your friendship?

    And even if your friend is a great club DJ…BEING A WEDDING DJ IS MUCH DIFFERENT. Friends don’t let friends run their wedding day!

    These are risks you just shouldn’t be willing to take. Hiring a professional with years of wedding experience under their belt will take the pressure of the big day off both you AND your friends who think they are trying to help. Let your friends be your guests! Invite them to celebrate with you but stay away from asking them to provide you with wedding services that only a professional can offer.