The Atrium by Ligon Flynn

As I posted earlier in the year, we recently moved into an amazing new space downtown.  It is a dream location, and every single day I am still amazed that I get to work here.  Millie Holloman and I discovered the space when scouting a location for the shoot below, and we fell in love with it instantly.  The shoot led us to Mrs. Susan Flynn, the architect's wife, who was trying to find the perfect people to occupy the space.  She let us shoot in the garden that day and then later, let us occupy the space for offices.  It was fate!

We have been here since April and have been allowing wedding ceremonies in the space.  As of this week, we have more exciting news.  The space is now available for wedding ceremonies and receptions.  Stop by and see the space at 15 South Second!  We can't wait to show you around!




Photography: Millie Holloman Photography

Chandelier: High Performance Lighting

Cake: Nicki's Cakes

Bon Bons: Flower and Flour

Glassware: The Fisherman's Wife



Rebecca + Matt

We have become notorious for our rustic, natural approach to weddings and while I still adore these types of events, it is great to break outside of that niche once in a while.  Rebecca and Matt were the perfect couple to push us outside of the rustic into the modern.  They wanted something clean and contemporary with a simple white and green palette.  The wedding took place at the Commons at Bald Head Island and the reception at the pavilion.  Amazing photos by none other than the wonderful Millie Holloman herself!

We hired a graphic designer, Brent Holloman, in April and he has been a great addition to our staff, widely expanding our paper abilities!  Rebecca and Matthew wanted us to design everything including invitations, welcome bags, programs, favors, etc.  We started with these awesome letterpress invitations designed by Brent.  

When getting to the island for the wedding, guests received these welcome bags, which included lots of custom graphic elements-- bag, stickers, water bottles, flags, and information packets.

Golf Carts all use the same key at Bald Head Island, so we created custom stickers where guests could write their names.

As we started working with the design, this green square pattern continued to come into play.  On the wedding day, we were so excited when the groom had even worn a green checked tie and pocket square!

Rebecca's favorite flowers were tulips and hydrangea and we added stock and ranunculus to the mix. 

The ceremony location was a beautiful sunken garden with a gazebo.  It was a stunning place for a wedding.


For the programs, we created fans and brought the pattern back into the design on the back.


Adorable get away golf cart!

On of my favorite spots on the island is the front lawn of the Harbourside Pavilion.  We used it for the cocktail hour, with its gorgeous view of the harbor.

I am loving the high table and barstool trend-- really a cool effect for a lounge style reception.

We draped all of the tent walls, which while a huge undertaking certainly helps to soften the tent.

Flower and Flour made some amazing desserts!  This might be my favorite dessert bar we have done with them-- the design was so clean and pretty.


The back lawn of the pavilion is another amazing spot overlooking the marsh and lighthouse. 

Groovetown-- one of the best bands in the area!!

End of the night snacks-- sweet tea and chicken and biscuits.  


No sparklers at Bald Head, so we have to settle for glow sticks-- still a neat effect!

Thanks so much, Rebecca and Matt, for giving us some modern inspiration!  You were such a joy to work with!!


Anna + Trey

It is said the people who will change your life usually find you when you are not even looking.  We opened Salt Harbor in December of 06' and designed our first wedding in '07.  Shortly after that wedding, Ashley at Party Suppliers mentioned that she had a friend whose daughter really wanted to work in the industry.  A few weeks later, Anna met us at The Balcony to help set up what was at that time a big wedding.  I had never been a boss before and was probably a little in over my head.  When I arrived onsite, Anna had already figured out what to do and was putting cushions on all of the chairs.  I remember being so grateful that I did not even have to delegate, she instinctively knew just what to do.  And luckily she never left.  She was with me when we were working in the garage behind my house, she was with me in the little warehouse studio, and now in our new space, she sits across from me every day.  She has become one of the most essential pieces to Salt Harbor Designs and she continues to work on events with the confidence and ability of someone who has been doing it forever.

This spring we were given the pleasure of designing her wedding to Trey!  The ceremony and reception took place on a lovely piece of waterfront property and the day was simply gorgeous!  Photography curtsey of the great Millie Holloman.

Anna had her flowers picked out since her first season with us-- she loved viburnum and kumquats.  We added anemones and ranuculus to her bouquet.

There were married under a huge tree on the property.

Boutonnieres were a combination of kumquats, greens, and rope--one of my absolute favorites!

Amazing cake by Nicki's Cakes!

Their getaway was on a boat and somehow Millie managed to get this amazing shot even in the pitch dark.

Anna, it was so great to be a part of your big day, as you are such a big part of my every day!  I look forward to lots of wonderful wedding seasons with you!    


Bellamy Mansion's Art of the Table

Each spring, the Bellamy Mansion hosts an event called "Art of the Table," where local artists, decorators, and event planners can purchase and decorate a room or table.  It is a great opportunity to both raise funds for the mansion and to allow artists to feature their work.  We usually buy a table, but this year we teamed up with Estelle from A Fisherman's Wife and purchased a whole room.  We discussed possible themes and developed the idea of Women Gardeners in the South.  We interviewed five local women gardeners and Millie from Millie Holloman Photography took their photographs.  The project grew into a great experience, where we were able to recognize the many different approaches to gardening and listen to the stories of some amazing women.  I loved working with Estelle to take these ideas and transform a room in the mansion with its patterned carpet and plain walls into a space that looked, felt, and even smelled like a garden.  

We covered the entire floor with moss and brought in lots of live plants, which made the whole room smell like earth. 

We hung photographs of each gardener on the wall with a short bio of their gardening history.  

I found these seed packets online from Roudabush seed store in Wilmington.  They were purchased here in the 1920's by a traveler who took them to California.  It was neat that they found their way back home again for this project.

We borrow gardening tools from some of the women and collected other antiques from around the city.

I adore projects that allow me to interact with the community, to discover hidden pieces of history, and to be exposed to people who have such wonderful stories.  I am so grateful for this project and the lovely ladies who were so willing to open their gardens to us and who readily told us about their love of the garden.

Bettie-The Family Gardener 

“Dad would plant the lower field with daffodils for my daughter when she was a little girl.  She would pick and bundle the stems.  I would dress her up with bows in her hair and she would sell the daffodils at the corner of Pine Grove to earn money for summer camp.”

Bettie’s grandfather, Hadrain, was known in Holland for his knowledge of Camellias and Azaleas.  Hugh McCrea sponsored his immigration to the United States because of his gardening skills, and Hadrian went on to help start the Audubon Nursery and plant much of Airlie Gardens and Orton Plantation.  He passed his knowledge on to his 9 children, one of whom was Bettie’s Father, Henry.  Henry planted with his own children, keeping a huge bulb garden, and Bettie quickly became a gardener herself.  Her yard off of Middle Grove is filled with Azaleas and Camellias, and she is constantly rooting, grafting, and planting.  Bettie now loves to share her garden to her husband, children and grandchildren. 

 Hellen-The Giving Gardener

“The pleasure of the garden is what you get that you can share with your neighbors—flowers and vegetables.”

Hellen moved to Wilmington 70 years ago and opened The Marina Restaurant on Wrightsville Beach with her husband Jack.  They bought a house on the sound and started a large vegetable garden filled with tomatoes, peppers, squash and okra.  The sound was the perfect soil for vegetables, and they once grew okra so tall that it required a ladder to cut.  Together, Hellen and her husband canned and cooked with the things they grew, working together in the kitchen and furnishing their children and neighbors with fresh and preserved vegetables.  “Unless we had at least 100 quarts of green beans,” Hellen says, “Jack thought everyone would starve!”  Although Jack has since died, Hellen continues to maintain her own garden, growing things to share. 

Anne-The Kitchen Gardener

“So much work that I do seems to makes no visible difference.  Sweep the floor and no one notices, but rake the garden and it is noticed for dates.  Dust the table and it is ignored, but add a bowl of cut flowers and everyone notices!”

Anne grew up in western North Carolina where her mother maintained acres of gardens, growing vegetables and  petal flowers  When Anne bought a summer house at Wrightsville Beach in 1961, she installed her own garden and planted vegetables, flowers, and many herbs.  For Anne, much of gardening is about the kitchen and she loves to grow things that can be incorporated into her recipes.  She dries basil, oregano, and rosemary for use in her kitchen each winter.  Anne passed her love if gardening on to her children, and her sons now garden for their own families.   

Peggy-The Flower Gardener

“Gardening is my therapy, really.  I can’t stand gloves; I just like to put my hands in the dirt.”

Peggy discovered flowers through her mother, who always kept a cutting garden full of gladiolas, dahlias, snapdragons, and roses.  “We always had cut flowers on the table,” she says.  She and her sister were expected to help with the garden, cultivating, planting and trimming, and they distributed many of the cut flowers to their neighbors and friends.  “My mother loved the old-fashioned flowers—the ones you don’t really see in gardens any more.”  When Peggy moved to Wrightsville Beach there was not much land for a large garden, so she keeps many potted plants and maintains a few corners of the property for gardening.  She still loves fresh flowers on the table. 

Lillian-The Community Gardener    

“We love to share our gardens with the community.  It has been our experience that people who appreciate the beauty of the earth are generally good people.”

Lillian’s in laws, P.R. and Bess Smith, purchased 5 acres of land in Forest Hills in 1940 and started large formal garden filled with walkways, streams, patios, hidden rooms, and garden structures.  Bess initiated the Azalea Garden tour in Wilmington and opened her land regularly to the public for tours.  In 1980 Lillian married their son, Percy, and moved onto his family’s property.  She considers herself and her husband to be simply the garden’s caretakers, a part of its history.  They continue the tradition of sharing their garden by hosting Easter egg hunts, oyster roasts, tours and many public events and by opening the garden to the public each spring when the landscape is in full bloom. 


Martine + Jake

We love all of our clients, but it seems like every year, we have at least one couple that our entire staff falls completely in love with!  This year it was Martine and Jake.  They were so full of life, so silly, and fun, and they wanted a reception that was full of colorful elements that represented them.  Martine was an elementary school Spanish teacher and they both adored South American culture, food, and decor.  They wanted to incorporate these things as much as possible and bring in some tropical flair.   We loved brainstorming with them about fun details.  The wedding was photographed by Brent and Amanda of Millie Holloman Photography

I typically love neutrals, but this might be one of my favorite bouquets ever!

Bridesmaids' bouquets.

Before the ceremony, Martine's class came to the venue for a picture.  How cute!!

We had the pleasure of designing all of Martine and Jake's paper from the invitations to the programs.

Martine and Jake wanted an untraditional and colorful guest book, so we created a tree where guests could write messages on swatches of ribbon and tie them on the branches.


Ceremony and reception was held at the Brooklyn Arts Center.  

We filled large yellow pots with coral bougainvillea...

and placed bowls of rose petals at the end of each row.

This is definitely the most colorful wedding we have ever done and probably the most color Brooklyn Arts has ever had!  We strung paper banners from the ceiling and sewed custom colorful napkins.


Flowers were a combination of orchids, callas, pincushion protea, and tulips.

Umbrellas for the signature drink.


The couple wanted a coffee and tea station where guests could bag their own blends of South American teas and coffees.

 Martine and Jake, you are one of the cutest couples ever.  We had so much fun working with you!!