Alfred and Dionna’s Wedding At The Glenwood, Raleigh NC

The Couple

I first met Dionna in 2013 while interning for another Event Planner & Coordinator. We were brought together by something we both love, which is what made helping plan and coordinate this wedding so ultra special for me! She had long been talking about the Disney wedding she would one day have, and I was so blessed to be given the opportunity to help her with that. Dionna was so fun to work with and really took all of my ideas, opinions, and recommendations into consideration. As my bride, I made it up to her to select her wedding vendors, but I was so grateful and felt so appreciated every time she took one of my referrals immediately.

One of the best parts of working with this couple, who I already had a personal connection to, was finally really getting to know Alfred. Having a history with Dionna meant that I had of course heard about him long before, so finally getting to meet this mystery man who made a friend of mine so happy was definitely a magical experience. In fact, their whole engagement session was a magical and romantic experience. They told the story of how they met, and how Alfred pursued Dionna as a close friend before he asked her out. Seeing how comfortable they were together in that moment as they shared intimate details of their love story reminded me of why I love what I do.

With how magical of a love story Dionna and Alfred shared, it seemed absolutely fitting to me that they were also having a Disney themed wedding. I always knew Dionna wanted a Disney wedding and I was so honored to help make her dream become a reality, and to see the princess I knew she was come out in her on that day day.

The Venue

Dionna and Alfred were married at The Glenwood, a beautiful indoor/outdoor event venue just inside the beltline. This well hidden gem is owned by the Women’s Club and run by Irregardless Cafe.

The Glenwood is a large building with a ballroom for the reception, an outdoor ceremony location, and separate spaces to get ready in. There’s a whole groom’s suite downstairs complete with a pool table, darts, and a private bar for the guys.  (Plenty of things to keep the men distracted while the women get hair and makeup done!)

Upstairs, there’s two large rooms with tons of natural light (great for photos!) for the ladies to get gussied up in. The garden ceremony location is just outside of the bridal suite rooms, so the bride can peek out and see her guests arriving as she gets ready.

The Ceremony space is an amphitheater made of stone and wood and is a lovely private space to get married all nestled in the trees and plants. The Glenwood did a lovely job creating a peaceful venue space that is still close to everything. With separate prep spaces for the women and men, ceremony gardens, cocktail hour location in the lobby and the parlor rooms, and a spacious ballroom for a reception, this venue has it all.

In addition to all the space this venue offers, they also provide in-house catering, a baker, and everything you could possibly need for rentals. The only thing they do not provide for rentals is the linens, but they will still coordinate the selection and securing of them through their partnered linen provider, CE Rentals. The Glenwood also offers a lighting package that allows you to select the colors you like for uplighting the ballroom. You can also take advantage of their gobo to display your wedding monogram in the ballroom!


Laura & Adam’s Vibrant Fall Wedding at The Barn at Valhalla

Lauren and Adam walk out for their preceremony portraits to their wedding location on a deck surrounded by the woods at the Barn at Valhalla.

Fall weddings are my absolute favorite! If you have been following my blog you probably already know this by now. You probably also know that I was married in the Fall, so of course I am just a little bit biased.

My Fall of 2017 was packed full of fabulous weddings. During the Fall wedding season I had the opportunity to work at many different venues, each of them very unique. I have worked at the Barn At Valhalla out in Chapel Hill once before, and I love every opportunity I can get to back to this gorgeous place.

The Venue

The Barn at Valhalla is unlike any other event venue I have ever worked at. It is an adorable location for a small ceremony and reception, and the land has so many perfect spots for beautiful pictures. It is truly a serene setting for an Autumn affair. The property boasts an adorable barn with great big wooden doors, lots of lush land surrounded by the beauty of nature, and a large lodge with multiple rooms for getting ready, a kitchen and dining area, a bridal suite, and plenty of space for housing friends and family for the weekend.

The Couple

Laura and Adam were such an adorable and laid back couple. They wanted a beautiful wedding, without all the hustle and bustle of most weddings, or so that is what they kept telling me. Instead, we hosted a less than orthodox outdoor wedding on a beautiful Fall day surrounded by family and friends, but also with lots of fun activities and food to eat. Rather than go with a long sit down dinner, Durham Catering provided heavy passed hors d’oeuvres and stations of appetizers. They didn’t want the night to feel overly formal, but also didn’t want a shortage of food, so Adam and Laura provided hours of mostly finger foods followed by a table overflowing with pies, donuts, and coffee accompanied by an ice cream truck!

In addition to all the delicious food options available to the guests, Adam and Laura provided a fun and beautiful backdrop along with some talented and truly fitting entertainment. It was important to them that their friends and family have a good time, and to them that meant having great background music to sing and dance along to. They found that their taste in music was rather eclectic, so they were very pleased when they found live musicians who could play their first dance and other off the wall music preferences.

The Experience

Hearing the band, The Local Boys, play Harvest Moon by Neil Young and watching Adam & Laura perform their choreographed first dance was the perfect beginning to my Fall wedding season. As I listened to the band and watched them dance, I couldn’t help but reflect on how grateful I was to be working with a few of my favorite local event vendors, including my husband.

Every so often I am lucky enough to meet couples as a referral from another vendor friend of mine. Adam and Laura came to me as a referral couple from a close friend of mine in the industry, Randy Taylor of Randy Taylor Weddings. In addition to working with one of my favorite officiants in the area, Randy’s daughter Erica Taylor, I also had the pleasure of working with my husband, now Steffes Event Services as the photographer, and another great friend in the industry a Photo Booth owner, Bianca Taylor of Triple T Entertainment.

Carl & Cherihan’s Beautiful Haywood Hall Fall Wedding Downtown Raleigh, NC

I met Carl & Cherihan in the Springtime of this year. We met through another bride I am working with next Spring, and was one of many in a series of referrals from this group of friends.


Though we met many months prior to their wedding, I did not hear from Carl and Cherihan as much as some of my other brides and couples. I did however receive an email from Cherihan just a little over one month prior to her Sister’s wedding asking if I was available to help her sister, Dalhya.

Deana, Mother of the Bride, helping daughter Cherihan get into her wedding gown.

Deana, Mother of the Bride, helping daughter Cherihan get into her wedding gown.

Luckily, I was available. Getting to know Dalhya & Cherihan’s family while coordinating both of their weddings, was an absolute treat! Everyone in the family was extremely warm and welcoming. It is always a pleasure when I get to work with large, loving families. Seeing a family come together for a wedding is definitely one of life’s purest treasures.

Wedding Month

The front of beautiful Haywood Hall home in Downtown Raleigh, NC.

The front of beautiful Haywood Hall home in Downtown Raleigh, NC.

I may not have spoken with Carl and Cherihan every day of every month leading up to their wedding day, but when the month of the wedding rolled around we really got down to business. The last few weeks leading up to their wedding day was when we spent the most time ironing out nitty gritty details. We finalized rentals, menus, and layouts. While Cherihan and Carl finished up on last minute details, I confirmed arrival times and drop offs with vendors, while also planning out the timeline for the day-of the wedding.

Planning Paid Off

The day of Carl & Cherihan’s wedding, we were blessed with sunny clear blue skies, a chilly fall breeze, and leaves falling from the trees with every gust of wind. With chairs setup on the front lawn of

Clear ceiling reception tent covering fall decorated tables

Clear ceiling reception tent covering fall decorated tables

Haywood Hall, and the iron railings decorated with simple greenery by Dalhya with flowers from the farmer’s market, the ceremony site was the perfect setting for a Fall wedding. Uniquely, Carl and Cherihan’s reception site boasted a huge tent with a clear roof. It gave the feeling of being inside together with the fall beauty of being outside.



Fall Wedding Centerpieces

White and Gold painted pumpkins adorned the table tops at this Fall Wedding. The Fall Wedding themed centerpieces consisted of jars full of acorns, slabs of wood, pumpkins, and fresh flowers from the Raleigh Farmer’s Market

One of the many services I offer to the brides that need it, is helping decorate and setup the overall look of the reception site. Over the years that I have been coordinating, I have worked with brides who had a very specific look in mind and want their reception hall decorated in a very certain way. I have also been fortunate enough to work with brides who give me decor items for centerpieces, a few guidelines, and artistic freedom to decorate as I please. Cherihan was one of most laid back brides I have ever worked with, and one of the ways she showed this was by giving me free reign to decorate her tables. My intern, Lauren, and I really enjoyed decorating the entire reception space.

Adorable Details

Giant H hung up on the front of Haywood Hall

Giant H hung up on the front of Haywood Hall

In addition to their well lit tent with a clear ceiling that gave the feeling of being outside and inside all at once, Carl and Cherihan supplied their guests with a few other fun items that made the night a total success. Carl and his guys hung up a large H on the front of Haywood Hall to add a fun and creative decorative detail and highlighting Carl’s last name, Hance. It wasn’t just the decorations that made this wedding so special though. Monogramed beer koozies, a pallet of folded up blankets to keep guests warm during the chilly fall evening, a table decked out with desserts and, a late night snack table covered in pimento sliders, set this wedding apart from the rest and made for a unique experience.

Happily Ever After

Now that I’ve talked about all my favorite details, here’s the part I know the rest of you are waiting for. The picture collage of the images from the day of the wedding. Cherihan and Carl hired the same photographer Dalhya also hired for her wedding day; Kelley Deal Photography. I loved working with Kelley on both weddings and only hope I get many more chances to work with her again in the future. She takes beautiful images with a dreamy and romantic style that I absolutely adore. Please enjoy Kelley’s photos from Carl & Cherihan’s October Wedding Day!


Venue: Haywood Hall
Photographer: Kelley Deal Photography
Caterer: Beau Catering 
Rentals: CE Rental 
Officiant: Ann McKenzie
DJ: DJ Cyrax