Cozy Signature Drinks

With Fall in full swing, and winter quickly approaching the weather is much cooler and it's time to sip on a drink that tastes like fall! Whether you are getting married, throwing a holiday party, or just are in the mood for something festive these drinks will be the perfect option for you throughout these next few months! Here are some fun inspirations of holiday drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) that will be perfect for any event during this festive season!

Warm Apple Cider

Pinterest Apples, spices, cinnamon, and more! You could even add some alcohol for a jazzed up version of this delicious drink!

Pinterest

Apples, spices, cinnamon, and more! You could even add some alcohol for a jazzed up version of this delicious drink!


Hot Chocolate

Pinterest Warm milk and chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream. YUM!Hot Chocolate can easily be jazzed up with Nutella, peppermint, caramel, or any of your favorite flavors to make this classic drink even more delicious! 

Pinterest

Warm milk and chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream. YUM!Hot Chocolate can easily be jazzed up with Nutella, peppermint, caramel, or any of your favorite flavors to make this classic drink even more delicious! 


Harvest Fall Sangria

Pinterest Apples, pears, oranges, cinnamon, cider, club soda, vodka, white wine, and cranberries. All you need to make this delicious spin on a cool refreshing drink!

Pinterest

Apples, pears, oranges, cinnamon, cider, club soda, vodka, white wine, and cranberries. All you need to make this delicious spin on a cool refreshing drink!


Spiced Pear Margarita 

Pinterest If you want a little more kick in your drink this one is for you! This tasty cocktail is comprised of tequila, pear brandy, lime juice, and simple syrup. Served frozen or on the rocks!

Pinterest

If you want a little more kick in your drink this one is for you! This tasty cocktail is comprised of tequila, pear brandy, lime juice, and simple syrup. Served frozen or on the rocks!


Pumpkin Pie Moscow Mule

Pinterest A tasty fall treat that would be perfect for a crisp autumn wedding or for Friendsgiving!  Vodka, Pumpkin Ginger Syrup, lime juice, club soda, and happiness is what all that goes into this fun cocktail!   

Pinterest

A tasty fall treat that would be perfect for a crisp autumn wedding or for Friendsgiving! 

Vodka, Pumpkin Ginger Syrup, lime juice, club soda, and happiness is what all that goes into this fun cocktail! 

 

|| Carrie ||

 

Thanksgiving Table Styles

Okay now that Halloween is over can we all admit how excited we are for Thanksgiving? Bring on the yummy food and family gatherings. One of my favorite parts about Thanksgiving is not just the food but the music, the love, and the DECOR. Whether you are having a small get together, or a huge party, there are plenty of simple ways to decorate and set your table that leaves you and your guests smiling when the day is over. 

This table just screams Happy Thanksgiving! The linen, the plates, and the centerpieces are perfect for that warm and cozy charm. And look at those cute corn on the cobs as a decor piece! 

I absolutely adore this modern twist on thanksgiving decor. Succulents are really popular right now and this is a great way to incorporate them into your holiday spirit. The plate setting is so simple and elegant with the napkin flowing perfectly with the green succulents in the center. 

This pumpkin is definitely an eye catching centerpiece. You can pick up all the supplies at your local craft store and tie them together the way you want. All you'll need is a pumpkin! 

This is a very fun and simple way to add a little spice to your place settings at the table. The colors are perfect for the fall season and keeps all the silverware together. 

Photo: etsy.com 

Photo: etsy.com 

How unique and awesome are these apple candles?? You will be sure to charm your guests with this table setting. All you need is some apples, little candles, and wood bases! Maybe an apple pie too :) 

Holiday Pop-Up Market

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!! 

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On December 3rd, The Bradford is hosting a holiday pop-up market from 1:00pm to 5:00pm! This will be a great opportunity to come out with your friends and have a fun day of shopping at a beautiful location! We will have beverages (beer and coffee) available for purchase during the event while you are shopping among many of the wonderful vendors that will be out here during the event!

Some of the wonderful vendors include: 

Shop Wind Blown - handmade jewelry
Ten Acre Paper - art prints, stationary 
Greenhouse Picker Sisters - vintage decor
Caballorojo Coffee - coffee beans 
Naturally Chic Gifts - customized wine glasses, champagne flutes, etc.
Shop Stevie - women's clothing
ViaUrban - pillows and baskets
Posh Soap Co. - handmade soaps and candles 
Southern France - French macarons
Bea + Company - refinished decor/furniture

AND MANY MORE!!!!

We can't wait to see you all out here for this fun evening! 

|| Carrie ||

Lovin' your bridesmaids & their dresses

A bridesmaid is so important at a wedding. She is the one who has been by the bride's side through the ups and downs and gets to stand next to her on the biggest day of her life...she NEEDS to be looking good.

 

Not only does she provide the bride with the best support needed before she walks down the isle, but a bridesmaid is crucial for setting the mood of a wedding. Her dress alone reflects the color scheme, the season, and the bride's taste in her wedding.

Carolina Lima

Carolina Lima

We like to think that bridesmaids are the picture frame, while the bride is the picture. They surround her, love her, and make her stand out. Some brides want that picture frame to look the same with one dress in one color, giving her wedding party a traditional and uniform look. Other brides like to spice it up a bit and have a variety in the style of her bridal party. How she does that, you ask?

Here are a few mix and match bridesmaid dress ideas that not only reflect the bride's personality, but also the bridesmaid:

1. One color - different dresses

Blue Barn Photography

Blue Barn Photography

A popular trend with today's bridal parties is to pick one color for the bridesmaids to wear, but let them pick their dress. That way you can stick to the color your heart desires all the while letting your besties show their style with the dress of their choice. You can also go with the popular wrap dress and let your bridesmaids wrap it however they like so they are all in one color but the style is different. This mix and match madness is cute, fun, and appealing to the eye! 

2. One dress - different colors

Can't decide on one color for the bridesmaid dress? Don't worry, just pick three...or four...or five... Seven bridesmaids, seven colors! Having one dress for your     bridesmaids still gives you that uniform look, but the different colors will give your bridal party variety. This also lets your bridesmaid wear a color that really compliments her skin tone. Plus all your girls will look FABULOUS.

3. Different color - different dress

Blest Studios

Blest Studios

We know, decisions are hard. If you can't decide on a dress OR one color...then don't decide! Have your bridesmaids wear different dresses of different colors! Many of our Bradford bridal parties have taken this route and looked like show-stoppers. These dresses are bursting with the bridesmaid's personality but also have a taste of the bride's.

Whatever you decide on, whether that's a different color with a different dress or the same all around, your bridesmaids will serve as the perfect picture frame for you on your special day!

Jordan Maunder

Jordan Maunder

// Audrey

Pizza Party

What better way to bring friends together than with food and wine? When I think of pizza, it brings back a very nostalgic feeling for me. I reminisce about all the sleepovers I had in high school where I invited all my besties over for pizza and movies. Are you ready to amp up those previous pizza parties with a build-your-own pizza party?

Here is what you need to do... gather up some topping ideas from your guest. See whether they are a Hawaiian pizza lover or a spicy chicken pizza lover. Go to the grocery store pick up some toppings such as peppers, lots and lots of CHEESE, pepperoni, dough, tomato sauce, and don't forget the wine. 

Get some sides like a veggie tray to have ready for your friends to munch on while they are building their own pizza. Cut up the toppings and put them in some simple bowls for your guest to have easy access for perfect sprinkling. Set up some wine glasses and get the wine bottles set next to them in a cute bucket with some ice. 

Invite your lovely ladies over to gossip and indulge in the cheesy deliciousness. 

 

 

Bachelorette Party Ideas

Are you trying to decide what you should do for your Bachelorette Party? Well we have some fabulous ideas for you! I'm sure you will be able to find the perfect theme for your party in the list provided below! Now, let's get creative!
 

 

1. Bachelorette Brunch: Who doesn't love brunch? Pick your favorite local brunch place (ie. Tupelo Honey, Brigs, or Parker and Otis) for fantastic food complimented with mimosas or Bloody Mary's. Make sure to call ahead to make a reservation so you are guaranteed a table. Or if you want to stay in, bring the party to a bridesmaids place! Omelettes, waffles, fruit salad.. the list of yummy and affordable breakfast food is endless. Set up little stations in your kitchen for each lady to pile on the plate with their favorites.

2. Weekend Getaway: Plan a trip to nearby mountains, beach, or fun town. Airbnb is a great resource to use when finding a local and affordable spot. From Asheville to Wilmington, Charleston to Atlanta, there are plenty of fun nearby places for the squad to meet up. While there, make sure to checkout local cuisine, activities, shopping, and dancing! 

Koral Blue Photography

Koral Blue Photography

Nikki Fancy This 

Nikki Fancy This 

3. Fiesta Night: (My personal favorite) Host a zesty night with some delicious Mexican food, margaritas, salsa music, sombreros, karaoke machine and a piñata! Or if you want a night out, go to a Mexican restaurant with a bar and bring your party there! No clean-up for this option... BONUS!

4. Fondue Night: Melt, dip, and dunk! The perfect way to indulge guilt free and with your favorite people. You can make your own fondue and ask everyone to bring something fun to dip. Provide the chocolate and cheese and let your guests do the rest. In the cheese some good ideas for dippers include bread, apple, vegetables, and chicken. Some fabulous chocolate dippers we recommend are brownies, fruit, marshmallows, rice krispy squares, and pretzels. This messy but delicious night will be one to remember. 

Caroline Lima Photography

Caroline Lima Photography

5. Bachelorette Spa Day: What better way to treat the bride-to-be and bridesmaids than with a spa day! Attend a spa and get pampered with spa services such as massages and facials. You'll leave feeling relaxed and refreshed for the wedding. Another fantastic idea would be to throw together a little goody bag for each lady including a sleep mask, nail file, nail polish, and even some comfy slippers. 

- - -

Whatever you decide, make sure your bride-to-be loves the idea since it is in lieu of her big day!

 

 

Well the boys 'round here...

Brides these days get super creative with their gifts to their bridesmaids. Necklaces, robes, personalized everything...why can't it be that easy for the groomsmen gift? Well not to worry! Here are a few groomsmen gift ideas that will make your groomsmen even more glad to be standing by your side on your big day.

What is it with men and socks? It seems like men have a special attachment with socks and what they look like. They could be wearing a nice tailored suit and then lift up their pants to expose the brightly-patterned sock hidden underneath. Needless to say, socks are a great gift for your groomsmen because you know they'll love it AND you can coordinate it with the color scheme of the wedding. You could even add a personal touch to the gift by adding the groomsman's initials or pairing it with the bowtie they'll wear in the wedding! This is a gift that would rock their socks off!

Six Foot Photography

Six Foot Photography

We all know that there is that little boy inside every man that still loves superheros. Just like every little girl secretly wants to be a princess even when they get older, it's the same with men and superheros. So why not let their inner child shine a bit with a superhero T-shirt for a groomsmen gift! With each groomsman being a different superhero, you're sure to take on your wedding like the avengers...but do it with style.

Joanna Sue Photography

Joanna Sue Photography

Although they might be a kid at heart with superheros, give him some bourbon and he'll be a man. Your groomsmen will definitely appreciate their favorite bottle of bourbon as a groomsmen gift. Or go a bit further and make it their favorite liquor in general. Bros, bourbon, and your soon-to-be bride - that's all you really need right?

Blue Barn Photography

Blue Barn Photography

Whether it's socks, a superhero or a sip of somethin' smooth, your groomsmen will love anything you give to them! You've already asked them to stand beside you on the biggest day of your life and that is the best gift of all.

 

Ohhhh shoot!!

We all know that The Bradford is a beautiful place to have your special event such as a wedding or baby shower, but it is also the perfect place to have a photoshoot! The beautiful front drive entrance, the stunning terrace, the enchanting pergola in the side garden, and the open fields behind the tree line are just a few of the many beautiful settings to be the perfect background during a photoshoot at The Bradford. 

Although any time of the year makes for great photos here at The Bradford, there is an exciting package deal going on this month just in time for holiday cards, or just as a fun way to get some new family pictures! On October 29th, Radian Photography will be out here along side Amanda Blair By Design to help capture your wonderful poses in a beautifully staged setting at The Bradford. Wink Hair and Makeup will also be available with options to help you complete your look! 

We are so excited, and can't wait to see how your pictures turn out for this wonderful event! If you are interested contact us here at The Bradford, or head on over to Radian Photography's "Journal" page on their website to find out more information and sign up!

 

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                                                                                                                                                                     || Carrie ||

 

                                                                                                                                                                   || Carrie ||

Sweet Sweetheart Table Styles

There's nothing sweeter than watching our bride and grooms sit down at their special table after their ceremony. There's a romantic elegance that comes with sweetheart tables, and multiple different ways to style yours. Greenery is one of our favorite decor ideas for sweetheart tables. It's a great way to take a simple table, and make it extra charming. You can also add candles or any type of centerpiece you would like.

Don't forget about the back of the chairs too! If you have enough in your budget, it's a really awesome idea to show off your chairs with more greenery or signs. You can also get tasteful, sophisticated chairs. Your sweetheart table should be extra fun to plan and super comfortable for you two. You can be sure your photographer will be taking lots of photos of you guys here so make it one to remember! Below are a few different sweetheart tables we've seen here at The Bradford. 

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Photography: Live Light Photography

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Photography: Annie Watts  

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Photography: Evan Moore

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Photography: Blest Studios

Fall Trends

Crisp cool air, colorful leaves, and the smell of pumpkin spice... Mmmm, bring on the fall season! 

Fall brings a warm and tasteful experience like no other season. Pumpkins are becoming a popular decor item as well as simple autumn shades such as sage green, slate grey, and blush pink for bridesmaid dresses. Plum and burgundy have also been on the rise to incorporate into your fall season wedding. We've had so many beautiful fall weddings here and we hope that the pictures below will give you a few great examples of how to spice up your enchanting day! 

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Photography: Blest Studios

Colors SchemE

The florals, the bridesmaid dresses, the arbor: everything about this is wedding is picture perfect. And how wonderful  is the natural sunlight coming through the greenery in the back? What a day to remember!

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Photography: Anderson Shore

Cake Design

This cake is so simple, yet so beautiful. The rustic icing look has become more popular in the past year. Adding a little greenery is all you need and your naked cake is ready to go! 

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Photography: Caroline Lima

 Table Settings

This wooden sweetheart table is perfect for a fall wedding. The glossy wood with the burgundy chair cover, a lacy table runner, and those simple green and white florals make this whole set-up unforgettable. 

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Photography: Blest Studios

Bride Attire

We cannot get over how gorgeous Stephanie was on her wedding day! The rustic gold hair piece with the fur coat was everything, and more! There are so many different ways you can add simple pieces to your wedding attire to add a special touch your guests will continue to talk about even after the wedding. 

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Photography: Blue Barn Photography

// Sarah

Pergola Perfection

One popular trend that has been hitting the wedding scene recently has been a giant statement front in center during the ceremony, which are pergolas. This is a perfect way to add something extra for a beautiful setting during the ceremony that can tie in floral designs from the rest of the wedding, or just a simple arbor with drapery flowing down the sides. Anyway one decides to decorate a pergola will add that final touch to make the day even more special!

At the Bradford, you do not need to look any further of ways to incorporate an arbor into your wedding day because we have one permanently located in the side garden perfect for any ceremony! The location of this pergola is breathtaking for pictures during a late afternoon ceremony with it backing up to lush greenery as the sun is setting behind the trees!

Here are a few examples from past weddings here to get inspiration flowing for your amazing day here at the Bradford, or wherever your life journey begins with your special someone!

Radian Photography

Radian Photography

Johanna Dye Photograpy

Johanna Dye Photograpy

Blue Barn Photography 

Blue Barn Photography 

Anna Taylor Photography

Anna Taylor Photography

Richard Barlow Photography

Richard Barlow Photography

Christina Forbes Photography

Christina Forbes Photography

Annie Watts Photograpyhy

Annie Watts Photograpyhy

Although this is not the pergola that lives in the side garden, this is a perfect example of how you can bring in an arbor or display piece if you decide to get married on the terrace, or just want a fun accent piece on the property during the reception!

 

Evan Moore Photography

Evan Moore Photography

Finally, this is another beautiful image of a pergola for a wedding inside the ballroom! The simplicity of the space makes for this breathtaking shot with the floral garland draped on top.

 

|| Carrie ||

Unique Food Bars

Step aside cocktail bar, food bars are making their way into the wedding scene. Having various food bars is a great way to have guests customize exactly what they want with all the different options. Couples are able to create personalized menu options that are interactive and fun for guests. From a brunch wedding with a waffle bar or biscuits and jam, to an ice cream sundae bar at the end of the night, the options are endless. 

Here are some creative ideas of food bars that will make any wedding special!

 

Potato Bar

Louisville Catering Company

Louisville Catering Company

If having customizable potatoes sounds irresistible, the most difficult decision will be to choose if the potatoes should be mashed or baked. This tasty food option is a savory one that is perfect for a wedding or event! Guests could have the option to choose from a variety of toppings such as cheese, sour cream, chives, different meats and sauces, and of course BACON. 

 

Fondue Station

whatitcosts.com

whatitcosts.com

The next interesting food table that could make a for a memorable night would be a fondue station. This could mean either having a savory cheese fondue selection, having creamy and dreamy chocolate fondues, or both! If you decide to have melted cheese at your wedding then some creative dippers to accompany it would be bread, grapes, apples, crackers, veggies, bacon, or anything that sounds good to you! On the other hand, dippers like graham crackers, marshmallows, brownie bites, rice crispy treats, fresh fruit, or pound cake would be the perfect compliments to the delicious chocolate!

 

Popcorn Bar

Johanna Dye Photography

Johanna Dye Photography

Pop! Pop! This inviting sound can be heard as guests munch on this late night snack at your wedding! This is one of the easiest food stations that can be served either hot, or pre-made in advance. Guests could be able to choose from flavors of popcorn such as salted, butter, caramel corn, candy coated, or even unusual flavors such as dill pickle! With the popcorn, fun toppings such as candy, melted butter, salt, cinnamon sugar, caramel, chocolate sauce, and any other sweet or savory topping to satisfy your palate!

 

Breakfast Food Bar

Blue Barn Photography

Blue Barn Photography

Another fun option for unique food to serve guests is perfect for an early wedding, or just a southern bride who loves breakfast food! This tasty option can showcase different kinds of biscuits or perhaps maybe even your grandmas homemade waffle recipe. The options are endless for this food bar, and will be one of the most creative ways to eat one of the tastiest early morning treats! Different types of butters, jams, jellies, country ham, bacon, cheese, and more are just some of the many items to jazz up your biscuit. Waffles, Sausage, bacon, grits, hash browns, and even cinnamon rolls can add to this fun food station!

 

Sushi Station

dearpearlflowers.com

dearpearlflowers.com

One of the more popular yet fun food stations to have at a wedding would be a sushi station. This is perfect for a couple who loves to travel and wants to incorporate cultural aspects into a wedding, or just loves some sushi! As a couple, you could choose your favorite sushi rolls for guests to munch on with soy sauce, ginger, and wasabi. To make this an even more interactive station, you could have a sushi roller actually preparing the sushi in front of the guests rather than having it pre made. 

 

S'Mores Bar

Anna Taylor Photography

Anna Taylor Photography

Last but not least, a s'mores bar is the perfect way to wrap up the end of a wedding on a summer's night by a fire, or to warm you up on a chilly night in the fall! These desserts are such a classic, but can easily be twisted up to accommodate different palates! The traditional graham cracker, chocolate, and marshmallow is a must, but other combinations with Reese's peanut butter cups for the chocolate, shortbread cookies with fruit and a marshmallow, or Nutella and strawberries between two chocolate graham crackers make for the perfect sweet treat!

 

 || Carrie ||

 

 

Say Hello to Our Newest Intern

Hey y'all! My name is Carrie Godbold, and I am a senior at Meredith College graduating in May of 2018. I was born and raised in Wilmington, North Carolina right down the road from Wrightsville Beach! I am currently studying Business Administration with a minor in Human Resource Management. I am extremely passionate about anything involved with Meredith College, so most of my free time is spent staying active on campus! Although I have a special place in my heart for Raleigh, my favorite place in the world is being at the beach soaking up rays, and enjoying the waves! After graduation, I plan on pursuing a career in the wedding industry. I have experience interning with a wedding planning and coordination company, but I am extremely thrilled to have the opportunity to work along with the amazing staff at the Bradford to gain even more experience in this field. I am so grateful for this opportunity to help every client of the Bradford with their special day!

Hey y'all! My name is Carrie Godbold, and I am a senior at Meredith College graduating in May of 2018. I was born and raised in Wilmington, North Carolina right down the road from Wrightsville Beach! I am currently studying Business Administration with a minor in Human Resource Management. I am extremely passionate about anything involved with Meredith College, so most of my free time is spent staying active on campus! Although I have a special place in my heart for Raleigh, my favorite place in the world is being at the beach soaking up rays, and enjoying the waves! After graduation, I plan on pursuing a career in the wedding industry. I have experience interning with a wedding planning and coordination company, but I am extremely thrilled to have the opportunity to work along with the amazing staff at the Bradford to gain even more experience in this field. I am so grateful for this opportunity to help every client of the Bradford with their special day!

 

 

2016 National Average Spending Part 3

Cake : $582
Groom Attire : $280
Photography : $2,783

Let's be honest, we all get really excited about cake!

On your wedding day, the flavor and appearance of your cake is important. The wedding cake is a such a sweet moment to taste and experience. It is the first activity for the bride and groom at their wedding, and together they cut and share this charming moment. We've seen so many different wedding cakes here at The Bradford so the options to create your dream cake are endless. The average spending on a wedding cake in 2016, according to The Knot, was $582. A lot of brides during the spring and summer will chose to do fruity cakes such as lemon or citrus flavored, as well as strawberry buttercream with fresh strawberries inside.. Yum! During the fall and cooler wedding seasons flavors such as pumpkin, apple spice, chocolate, and red velvet are more popular. You can go simple or you can go all out, either way your guests and their stomachs will be happy!

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 Photo: Blue Barn Photography

People sometimes get so caught up with the brides and their beautiful dresses, but we can't forget about our handsome grooms! Picking out the perfect suit for the groom is also a process that must be considered. Color options include (but are never limited to) navy, black, gray, and cream. Grooms also can think about vintage suspenders, unique socks, tie or bow tie, etc. According to The Knot, the average money spent on groom attire was $280. Though we might not think that grooms are involved in much of the planning process, they do have a job of looking their absolute best on their day full of love and laughter. Leon's attire looked spectacular here at The Bradford and we loved spending their wedding day with them! 

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Photo: Blest Photography

We all know how important it is to capture your big day and keep these moments that last a lifetime! Average money spent on photography for 2016 was $2,783. I promise it's money well spent.. Below are a few photographers we love here at The Bradford!

Anna Taylor Photography

Anna Taylor Photography

Anderson Shore Photography

Anderson Shore Photography

Blest Studios

Blest Studios

Radian Photography

Radian Photography

 

 

2016 National Average Spending Part 2

Wedding Invitations : $426
Wedding Dress : $1,564
Catering : $71/person

Wedding invitations give guests a first look at all the excitement that will come on the couple's big day. The importance of the invitation is to accordingly invite, inform, guide, and show off style. According to the knot, the average amount spent on wedding invitations in 2016 was $426. Wedding invitations can be customized to fit all of the desires of the bride and groom. Now, before you start to pick out your invitation, you should have a couple ideas in mind. For example, will your ceremony be formal, semi-formal, or informal? Formal invitations typically have white cotton paper with black inscription. Invitations with colored paper and ribbons, usually indicate a more informal wedding. Just remember, a wedding invitation is made up of these key characteristics; paper type, formatting style, and printing method. 

Photography: Blest Studios

Photography: Blest Studios

Now let's look at wedding dresses! 

Most will agree that one of the best things about planning a wedding is picking out the beloved wedding gown. Yes, it can be a stressful moment, but here are a few things to help ease the shopping process. First, understand the silhouettes of different gowns. Figure out which silhouette fits best with your body type. Here's a list of all the types of silhouettes; Mermaid, Ballgown, A-Line, Sheath, Tea-Length, Mini, and Trumpet. Once you've figured out which silhouette works best for your body type, choose the fabric you want. The most important factor when choosing the best fabric for your gown is how you want it to fit and feel on your body. For example, silk is great for a lightweight and resilient gown. Chiffon is great for those who want a sheer and delicate gown. Chiffon is typically used in making sheer sleeves, and skirts. The national average spending for a wedding dress for the year 2016 was $1,564. The process might seem overwhelming, but once you are happy in your dress it will all be worth it! (and beautiful) 

Photographer: Christina Forbes Photography

Photographer: Christina Forbes Photography

Let's talk food! 

Picking your caterer is an important decision for your wedding because not only will you and your family be eating the food, but all your wonderful guests too! And we all know people love food! According to The Knot the average costs was $71 per person. It is especially important when choosing the food to be aware of what guests have certain allergies, and vegetarian options for guests if they do not eat meat. These are things guests can notify you of when they RSVP. The food can also go along with the season and the theme of your wedding. Such as, if you are having a summer wedding then lots of fruit can be incorporated into the salad or even the main entree. It adds a colorful light addition to the hot summer air. Cooler weddings sometimes have warmer foods such as soups, roasted vegetables, a smores bar, hot chocolate, etc. Here at The Bradford we have a list of our recommended caterers that we love to work with. A new trend that has started with weddings are food trucks. Not all venues will allow it, but they can be an awesome unique touch to your wedding. This can also offer a variety of different foods for people to chose from. Below is an example of a few food trucks that came here to The Bradford. 

Photographer: Evan Moore Photography

// Sarah 

2016 National Average Spending Part 1

The Knot just released the National Average Spending on Weddings this past 2016 year. We are doing a 3 part series of blogs to fill you in on some of the main spending categories and all the beautiful ideas behind the price tag!

Engagement Rings : $6,163
Wedding Favors : $268
Flowers : $2,534

Let's start with engagement rings, because that is when all the magic begins right?

The average money spent this past year on engagement rings was $6,163. Engagement rings have flourished significantly over the past few years and keep getting more and more elegant. In 2016, popular engagement rings contained more color, as some bride's received colorful diamonds and gems, instead of just the traditional diamond. Rose gold bands and floral incorporated diamonds were also popular in this category. Whether its vintage or new, exquisite or simple, each ring is unique and beautiful in it's own way (there just might have to be a lot of pretty pennies spent to get it!)

Photography and ring: Etsy.com  

Photography and ring: Etsy.com

 

Another fun filled idea for your guests that is also a popular spending topic are wedding favors. Average money spent on wedding favors was $268. These can include coffee mugs, glasses, bubbles, candy boxes, cookies, a photo booth, etc. This is a great way to incorporate your own personal style and give your guests something to take home to remember your special night! 

This little jar of honey is a unique sweet gift for guests to take home, props to Stephanie and Blake's wedding for a perfect guest favor idea here at the Bradford.  

Photography: Blue Barn Photography

Photography: Blue Barn Photography

And of course.. Flowers! It is so ideal to have the floral decorations and bouquet that you want on your wedding day. Here at the Bradford we've seen bright flowers, to pastel, to dark florals, and all color schemes work beautifully for each bride's wedding day. According to The Knot, in 2016 the average money spent on floral decorations was $2,534. Floral decorations are a perfect way to take a blank space and make it colorfully stunning! 

Photography: Jennifer Haywood Photography

Photography: Jennifer Haywood Photography

Stay tuned for part 2 and 3 of our 2016 National Average Spending for your wedding day! 

Meet Our New Interns

Hello! My name is Sarah Horne and I am a senior at NC State University majoring in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management with a focus in Event/Program Planning. I am graduating in December 2017 and after, plan to further my career within event planning. I am from the small town of High Point, NC but Raleigh became my home two years ago when I transferred schools and started at NCSU. I absolutely love living in Raleigh, and being from the lovely south. If I am not busy working, then you can find me out exploring nature at one of the many beautiful parks in the Raleigh area. You can also find me at TJ Maxx snagging some great deals, or at Barnes & Noble with my face pressed in a poetry book. I am more than thrilled to be apart of the Bradford team, and cannot wait to see the joy brought to each and every bride while they are here!


Hey everyone! My name is Emmy Snead, and I will be a rising senior at North Carolina State University. I am a Parks, Recreation & Tourism major, and I aspire to be an event coordinator. I am a southern belle from the beautiful state of North Carolina. I absolutely love the summer and fall time here in NC. When I am not at work or studying, I am either filming YouTube videos for my makeup and beauty channel, or I'm at the gym exercising. Family is everything to me, so I enjoy spending lots of quality time with my parents and two sisters. I hope to further pursue a career in the field of weddings and special events after graduation. I am so thankful to have gotten the opportunity and privilege to intern at The Bradford.

Bridal Suite Update: A Lovely Getaway

After hours spent staining the stairs, carrying a porcelain tub up two flights of stairs, and putting together furniture, the Bridal Suite at The Bradford is ready for our brides! The hard work definitely paid off after seeing the face of the first bride who stayed there. Although there are a few small finishing touches left, the Bridal suite is still a girly getaway.

Anderson Shore Photography

Anderson Shore Photography

Anderson Shore Photography

Anderson Shore Photography

Need to relax before the chaos begins? Take a nice long bath in the Bridal Suite's clawfoot tub. Don't forget to take that pre-wedding power nap on the comfy day beds followed by a hot cup a coffee from the kitchenette. Once relaxing is over, then you can start the fun stuff: getting ready in the Bridal Suite!

 

Alaina Ronquillo Photography 

Alaina Ronquillo Photography 

Between the soft blush walls to the fluffy white pillows, everything about the space is designed to make our brides feel pampered. The wall of vanities (coming soon!) provide a perfect space for bridesmaids to do their hair and makeup while sipping on mimosas. The large windows give our brides a great view the venue all set up for their special day, plus the windows flood the suite with natural light!

 

We are so proud of our Bridal Suite and are excited for our brides to experience the loveliness! 

93 Days of Summer

Oh sweet summertime!

Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and have a little fun in the sun. The official day of summer is June 21st! These wonderful 93 days can include outdoor cookouts, road trips to the beach, snagging cute new clothes for your summer wardrobe, and of course here at The Bradford, beautiful bright weddings. Below are some delicious summer cookout ideas on how to make your summer one you won't forget! 


Grilled Strawberry and Basil Dessert Pizza

Pizza and strawberries, count me in! This dessert is perfect for a summer cookout with grilled pizza crust, cream cheese spread, and fresh strawberries tossed with honey and basil. YUM!  Photography and recipe found at: readyseteat

Pizza and strawberries, count me in! This dessert is perfect for a summer cookout with grilled pizza crust, cream cheese spread, and fresh strawberries tossed with honey and basil. YUM! 

Photography and recipe found at: readyseteat

Zesty Salsa Burgers

These burgers will give you a spicy summer kick! Spicy tomatoes and green chilies are cooked right in the burger and then topped with pepper jack cheese, tomatoes, and fresh avocado slices.  Photography and recipe found at: readyseteat

These burgers will give you a spicy summer kick! Spicy tomatoes and green chilies are cooked right in the burger and then topped with pepper jack cheese, tomatoes, and fresh avocado slices. 

Photography and recipe found at: readyseteat

BLT Pasta Salad

A BLT can be just as yummy without the bread and here is how! This colorful dish includes bacon, lettuce, tomato, pasta, and ranch dressing.  Photography and recipe found at: life-in-the-lofthouse.com

A BLT can be just as yummy without the bread and here is how! This colorful dish includes bacon, lettuce, tomato, pasta, and ranch dressing. 

Photography and recipe found at: life-in-the-lofthouse.com

Slow Cooker Pineapple Pulled Pork Tacos

These tacos are the perfect summer comfort food! From sweet to salty, and a little spice this meal will have your mouth watering. Toppings include cilantro, goat cheese, green onions, and pineapples of course!  Photography and recipe found at: glutenfreewithlb

These tacos are the perfect summer comfort food! From sweet to salty, and a little spice this meal will have your mouth watering. Toppings include cilantro, goat cheese, green onions, and pineapples of course! 

Photography and recipe found at: glutenfreewithlb


Trust me your taste buds will thank you for these awesome summer recipes!! 

 

 

 

Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

Wedding planning is such a busy time, that the rehearsal dinner is often one of the last things on your mind. Rehearsal dinners are a special time for family and friends to get together one last time before the wedding to celebrate the couple in a smaller, more intimate setting. So we want it to be special, thought-for, and fun! Here are a few rehearsal dinner ideas that are unique and very tasty!

1. Food Truck

There have been many Bradford Brides who have brought in food trucks for their rehearsal dinners or weddings. Food trucks are a unique way to feed your guests by spicing up a traditional sit-down rehearsal dinner. Why have one truck, when you can have three? Give your family and friends some fun options with the food trucks you choose. One can be BBQ, one can be seafood, and why not throw in a grilled cheese food truck!

Evan Moore Photography

Evan Moore Photography

2. Food Stations

Magnolia Photography

Magnolia Photography

Food stations are another way to give your family and friends options for the rehearsal dinner, and this time it's not on wheels! Setting up food stations around the room gives your guests easy access to all the different types of food. From a taco bar to a sushi station, there are endless options for individual stations. Don't forget about dessert! How about a fun s'mores bar or a cookies and milk station?

3. Sit-down Dinner

If you're more traditional, there is nothing wrong with an intimate plated dinner! Let your family and friends relax after the rehearsal as dinner and dessert is served to them. This limits the distraction of guests getting up to get seconds, so all the focus can be on you and your soon-to-be spouse!

Caroline Lima

Caroline Lima

With full bellies and full hearts, your family and friends will raise their glasses to the soon-to-be man and wife!

Live View Studios

Live View Studios

//Audrey