First Anniversary Surprise 

Designing weddings has one big drawback-- because most people only do it once, we rarely get repeat clients.   But once in a while, we have the pleasure of working with a former bride for a party or a sibling's wedding. This spring we were given the chance to design a party for one of our most favorite clients ever!  Sarah and Nate were married last year and this year, for their first anniversary, Sarah called me with an idea.  She wanted to plan a surprise anniversary party for Nate, but wanted it to be a surprise for her as well.  She told me to handle all of the details and just tell her where to be and when.  She sent me the guest list and we took it from there.

Sarah had not seen our new space, so we decided to have the party in the Atrium.  We worked with Millie Holloman Photography to brainstorm a scavenger hunt that would take the couple through downtown Wilmington to revisit the significant places in their history together.  We picked them up at their house and they were ready for the adventure! The clue to the first location lead them to the church where they were married.

From there they visited the reception site at the Bellamy Mansion and we told to wear the geeky glasses from their wedding day.

The next clue led them to the restaurant where they first met.  The waiter recognized them by their glasses and was ready with white russians in hand.

The final clue led them down an alley and onto the roof of our new space, where a table for two was waiting for them.  


We brought in Milner's, who catered the wedding a year before.  They served Sarah and Nate a six course meal on the roof. 


While Sarah and Nate were having dinner, all of their guests were arriving in the courtyard below.  Nate had no idea that the night was actually just beginning.  After they finished dessert, we prompted everyone to yell from below.  Sarah and Nate looked down to discover all of their guests, donning geeky glasses.  

The evening continued with music and dancing in the courtyard of the Atrium.

We are so grateful for amazing clients who give us so many opportunities to be creative! Sarah and Nate, we love you so much and wish you all of the happiness in the world!


A Season of Change

You fall in love only perhaps one or two times in your lifetime.  Sometimes, it is with a person or a career or your children or a little spot in your corner of the world.  For me, I have fallen completely in love with a garden and the building that surrounds it.  I have always been enchanted by space, by architecture and landscape and the character contained in those things.  And this spring, Salt Harbor moved into the space of my dreams.  I walk into work every day and I am continually amazed.  I cannot believe we are blessed enough to work here.   

We discovered the space in February when looking for a shoot location with Millie Holloman.  Millie and I happened upon a hidden courtyard, tucked between the buildings of downtown Wilmington.  We asked the owner if we could use the garden for a photo shoot, and as a result found the beautiful office space that overlooked the courtyard.  We fell instantly for the space, and after learning it was available, signed papers on the building in April.  Smack in the middle of wedding season, we moved our entire studio downtown (which if you have seen our old warehouse, was no small feat).

We are finally all moved in and settled.  The building has become a treasured spot, full of character and history and story-- the very things that have always inspired us.  Millie Holloman Photography's staff is now our upstairs office mates, and the creativity that bounces between floors is beyond what I could have imagined it to be.  I have always been so grateful for the relationship between MHP and SHD, but now that we are in such a creative collective space, the relationship only grows stronger.       

We thought the courtyard was the perfect space for wedding ceremonies, so we decided to open it for that purpose.  We named it The Atrium by Ligon Flynn, after the architect who renovated the space in the early 1980's.  It is, as far as I know, Wilmington's only downtown urban garden available for events.  We held our first wedding in the space in July, and we were delighted to be a part of the celebration.  

With the move and getting settled in the new space, I know I have neglected the blog.  Now that things have settled down a bit, I will start blogging more.  There are lots of great weddings from spring to share, along with a few wonderful new team members, and lots of great photos from other events (like a one year anniversary party for one of our favorite clients).  As the space get upfitted, we will also blog some interior shots as well!


Emily + Philippe

Emily is one of those great clients who you know you will just love!  She is an amazing graphic designer who is smitten with color, pattern, and texture!  We worked closely together to incorporate all of her loves.  Photography by DeShelia Spann.   










 Thanks to Lindsey from Salt Harbor for coordinating the event, Culinary Creations for the wonderful menu, Dudley Mansion for such a beautiful venue, and Emily and Philippe for being so much fun!


Juliet + Shon

Juliet and Shon were the winners of the Orton Wedding Giveaway, where some of Wilmington's local wedding vendors came together and gave away a wedding.  Below is the result!  Millie Holloman and team are responsible for the great images!


Ceremony was held in Orton's little wedding chapel, which has unfortunately been closed to the public.


Juliet held a bouquet of hydrangea, orchids, garden roses, ranunculus, and lamb's ear.



   Orton's greenhouse made for such an interesting venue with lots of character. 

We hung escort cards in antique frames from the ceiling of the greenhouse.  


 We set up two very long tables and filled them with candles and flowers.

The couple wanted a bible-based reception, so we named each table after a favorite bible verse. 





Nicki and her amazing cake magic!




Special thanks to all of the amazing vendors who gave so generously of their time and talent to bring this wedding together!


Balcony Open House

Recently The Balcony on Dock held an open house and we were asked to design the courtyard.  It was  a freezing January afternoon, so we wanted to include as many warm things as we could!  We brought in a fire pit, hung blankets from an old ladder, and included a coffee and tea station.    

Steve Peterson from High Performance Lighting hung edison lights across the courtyard! 



 Coffee and Tea...

                         S'mores were completely necessary! 


We really wanted a french courtyard appeal, so we put an old lamppost in front of the courtyard, hung a sign and propped an old bike at the entrance.

   Thanks to Theo Milo for the photographs!

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