A Wedding Done Right in Gold, Black, and White

The Musselwhites

Sarah and Will were, what I like to call, “a wedding coordinator’s dream”. They had impeccable taste. They were sweet as can be. Their families were absolutely adorable. Most importantly, they looked damn good in a tux and wedding dress, making all these pics irresistible to share!

They shared vows and kisses at First Presbyterian before escorting guests to our Hilton on a couple of rotating trolleys (Trolleys are so Wilmington. Perfect!).  

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

Once Guests Arrived, they were welcomed with a violinist as they walked through The Grand Ballroom Concourse, dressed with gold sequin linens and white floating candles. The main cocktail hour was held on our Riverview Terrace where guests watched the sunset over the USS North Carolina Battleship. Hors D’oeuvres were butler passed and plenty of bottles of bubbly were being popped. This wedding was only getting started though.

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

Our favorite moment of the night happened during cocktail hour. While guests were outside enjoying The Terrace, Sarah and Will came down from their bridal holding room to see their reception. This was a setup that Sarah had put a lot of thought into and we wanted the couple to be the first to see the entire ballroom designed just for them.

 

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography and Cake by One Belle Bakery

1 of 13 Photography and Cake by One Belle Bakery

1 of 13 Photography and Kickstand Events Floral Arrangements

1 of 13 Photography and Kickstand Events Floral Arrangements

Gold, black, and white was the color scheme. Clean, elegant, and formal was the result. The couple opted for the gold chivari chair upgrade, and custom touches like a gold sequin linen on the cake table,and gold chargers at every place setting. Simple white arrangements were a great contrast against the black satin table overlays.

1 of 13 Photography and Kickstand Events Tablescape

1 of 13 Photography and Kickstand Events Tablescape

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

 

 

 

 

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

Obviously, guests were completely blown away when we finally opened The Grand Ballroom Doors. After first dances, an amazing dinner, and cutting the cake, it was time to turn up the band, turn down the lights, and PARTY!

 

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

Oh, and I have to tell you! One of the most thoughtful wedding gifts I have ever seen took place at this wedding. The Father of the Groom arranged for a painter to take a photo of the church ceremony and paint it right there in the ballroom reception. It was something that added a little entertainment to the evening, but also served as a beautiful memory of Sarah and Will’s big day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a long night of dancing, photo booth fun, endless champagne, and amazing music from the band, it was time to send the newlyweds off in style. Sparklers, a British Taxi, and the Riverview Terrace made that possible. You can’t look at these photos without smiling. It’s like a scene from the end of a movie, exactly what a wedding send-off should be!

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

1 of 13 Photography

And they lived happily ever after!

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Wedding Favors They’ll ACTUALLY Favor

 

We have all been to that wedding. The one with the less than desirable favors.  As a wedding guest, you have put in a lot of effort to be present for that special day. You sent your RSVP in a timely manner, requested off of work, used your vacation days, made travel arrangements, booked a hotel (hopefully at the Hilton through the couples discounted wedding block room rates) and in some cases bought plane tickets! You have jumped through every hoop possible to simply be in a certain place, at a certain time, so that you don’t become that certain friend who wasn’t at the wedding. You my friend, deserve one heck of a wedding favor!  As a Wedding Coordinator I feel the need to put a few amazingly fun favor ideas out into the universe. If the next wedding you attend has one of these items, you’re welcome. If for some reason it’s less than favorable, well you should have shared this blog post with the bride ahead of time!

Let’s start with…

Awwww

These are the type of favors that you can’t help but admire how much thought went into them. They may not be a drinking accessory and they may not be expensive but it’s the thought that counts.

Donations made in their name.

Inspiration from: TheKnot.com

 

I’m sorry, but no one will argue that this is an adorable idea! The bride and groom pick a charity close to their hearts and make you a part of it too! Because they made a donation in your name… you have now made the world a better place, simply by showing up to the wedding (not sure if good karma transfers that way though). Get your own custom designed donation card made here

 

 

Let love grow wild.

Inspiration from: FairylandBazaar on Etsy.com

Inspiration from: FairylandBazaar on Etsy.com

This favor is one you have to plant, water, and wait for. By planting these wildflower seeds you will be reminded of this day long after it’s over. Who doesn’t love a little extra color in their yard? Buy these custom seed packets here

 

 

Pretty enough to eat.

Inspiration by: itsabrideslife.com

Every wedding needs a personal touch. So even though a candy bar is somewhat typical, these are wrapped up in the bride’s favorite life moments and images. These are probably just your normal Hershey bar, but wrap them up in pretty paper and they suddenly look expensive and gourmet. I’m sure you could buy these somewhere, but come on! Don’t be lazy! This is totally DIYable!

 

 

 

Next up…

The Surprising Useful

Useful favors that are guaranteed to go home with the guests. There is nothing worse than a few lonely favors left on the tables because they were anything but favorable. It’s just so sad!

Travel to your table and then back home.

Inspired by theknot.com

For the jet-setting bride and groom, these luggage tags are sure to add a personal touch and impress guests. Not only are they favors, but they can double as escort cards! This favor kills 2 birds with 1 stone. Impressive favors… check! Adorable escort cards… check! I would probably find a way to display them with old vintage luggage, but that’s just me.

The chapstick struggle.

Inspired by Long Winter Soap Company

Inspired by Long Winter Soap Company

This next favor is something you can never find when you need it. Chapstick! But not just any drugstore cherry flavored chapstick. Really really GOOD chapstick. Long Winter Soap Company has so many yummy flavors like mojito, or orange cream. They also mix in a little humor with their yeti breath, and unicorn fart flavors. No matter how elegant the wedding, you can always find room for a little hidden humor. Shop their delicious and humorous selection by clicking here

 

 

Because when it rains, it pours.

Inspired by Etsy Seller INeedPromotionals

Inspired by Etsy Seller INeedPromotionals

I know, I know! How dare I even say such a thing about your wedding day! But if rain happens you need to just embrace it. Play it off as if you and mother nature had it planned the whole time. Have custom umbrellas ready to go at the first sight of a rain cloud. These clear and simple umbrellas would be useful for guests to take home even if it is a day of sunshine on the big day. Start umbrella designing here.

open umbrella

 

 

 

 

Let’s finish with…

Something Tasty

Food as a favor seems a little redundant since you just bought dinner for 100 and something people. However, when you do it right, late night treats are an excellent favor option.

“C” is for cookie.

cookie buffetSo let’s say that your reception starts around 7pm… Dinner is served around 7:30ish. you then have dancing and excitement from 9pm – 12am. Your guests are going 3hrs without food! It can’t hurt to make one of your favors double as a late night snack. Find some fun glass cookie jars, your favorite local bakery, put some colorful paper goody bags on the table and that’s it! Instant cookie buffet!

 Oh yeah now we’re talking.

vodka

Apple Vodka Recipe available on BettyCrocker.com

Your wedding will go down as party of the year with these favors. Infused vodka in cute mason jars. The best part of this idea is the taste testing and experimenting. The only thing I suggest, is handing these bad boys out as guests LEAVE the reception. Things could get really sloppy really fast if the groomsmen get into these any earlier (no offense boys).

Doooughnutttss (Homer Simpson Voice)

Photo courtesy of The Hilton Wilmington Riverside

Photo courtesy of The Hilton Wilmington Riverside

North Carolina is kind of famous for bringing the world these little, soft, perfectly fluffy, glazed bits of heaven. They are called Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and there isn’t a person on this planet who can resist one. All of your out-of-town guests will appreciate you giving them a taste of NC. One of our amazing Hilton Brides brought this idea to us and we setup a complete shrine to doughnuts for her. I cannot even begin to describe the joy on people’s faces as they left the reception and walked to their hotel room with fresh heart-shaped doughnuts in hand. Set this up for your wedding by simply pre-ordering at your nearest Krispy Kreme.

 

There you have it everyone! There are no more excuses for boring wedding favors! I’ve given you a decent amount to work with here. I will say that so far all of our Hilton Brides have done a pretty good job favoring their guests.

 

FALLing in love with FALL

Fall is finally here! In order to celebrate, I have spent a lot of time on pinterest (what else is new?) and created a list of all of our favorite things about fall and how to incorporate them into an event. Color Palettes, Pumpkin Everything, and the Crisp Autumn weather. Do yourself a favor and just pin this blog to your “I Love Autumn” board now.

Jewel Tones

Number one on the “fall favorites” list are the beautifully deep color palettes. When creating an event it is better to stay away from the yellow, orange, red combo. Way too obvious and overdone. Jewel Tones of maroon, hunter, mustard, or navy are the way to go. Just pop them out with a pop of fuchsia or orange. Metallics made a big impact in this past New York City Fashion Week as a fall must have, and we all know how that works. First we see it on the runway, then the furniture/ interior design industry, then it’s incorporated into event design. Let’s skip the middle man and just use the metallics now.

Burnt Orange, Fuchsia, and Chocolate Navy and Pops of Orange Plums and Metallics

Pumpkin Everything

Pumpkin Carving, pumpkin pie, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin beer, pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins!!! Here are a few recipes that I am dying to have our chef try out.

Yummy Pumpkins

Pumpkin Pesto Wheel Pumpkin Shrimp Bruschetta Pumpkin Cauliflower Wraps

Pumpkin Pesto Pizza Pinwheel

Pumpkin Shrimp Bruschetta

Pumpkin Cauliflower Wrap

Pretty Pumpkins

These are simple ways to incorporate the main symbol of fall without being too cheesy or “halloweeny” (Yes, I am making that a word). I actually think these pumpkins are pretty glamorous if you ask me. I mean, how sassy is the lace one?

DIY Pumpkins

Perfect Weather

The thing about the fall season, it happens outside. You can always incorporate the fall season into an indoor event or you could simply bring the event to the outdoors. Here are some pics of outdoor events where mother nature was the guest of honor.

Outdoor Fall Dinner 2 Outdoor Fall Dinner Projector

Sorry, but I have to say it… Can you imagine one of these cozy get togethers on our Riverview Terrace?! Our sales team is biting at the bit to make it happen! Scary movie night with an outdoor projector screen, blankets, and warm apple cider… perfection!

 

 

An Epic Epicurean Evening

After reading my first post, it’s no secret that I am a complete newbie to Wilmington. I have been trying to attend as many local events, fundraisers, and galas as possible. Wilmington has so much going on all the time, it’s hard to keep up! The month of August was no exception. However, instead of just attending all the events. I actually got to participate in one.

One afternoon, in the Sales and Catering office, I overheard our Executive Chef talking about an event over at the Convention Center. Nosey me decided to find out more information. He told me “It’s Epicurean Evening, a fundraising event. I’ve never been before but I guess we show up with food samples, stand at a booth, and people judge our stuff?” (This isn’t a direct quote, but it’s basically what he said). It sounded a lot like the job I had in Baltimore. Pairing with a chef and setting up a booth display, serving delicious samples, interacting with people, representing the company, and maybe even win something. I started brainstorming ideas for the Hilton’s booth, just trying to be helpful, and the next thing you know I’m ordering linens, a banner, picking out serving plates, and designing ice sculptures. I even volunteered to setup and man the booth during the event. We went with no idea of what to expect. Not only was it my first year participating in Epicurean Evening, but it was our Chef’s too (who let that happen?).The Hilton Wilmington Riverside has participated every year and has won many times before, so the pressure was definitely on!

Finally it was showtime! The staff at the Convention Center couldn’t have been more helpful, making sure we had everything we needed to get setup. This event was huge! It was all organized to bring awareness to and raise money for Methodist Home for Children, on organization that provides amazing support and care to children and families who need help. They see substance abuse, mental disabilities, foster children, neglect, and they do everything possible to help them stabilize and reach amazing opportunities. The entire convention space was filled with food and drink samples, auction items, beautiful table settings, and the generous people of Wilmington.

Executive Chef Eric Walker, Sous Chef Kevin Hulin, and Outlet Manger Nancy Smith, couldn’t dish out our food samples fast enough! We were getting great feedback and people kept coming back for seconds, and even thirds! After the speeches and an exhilarating live auction, it was time. Time for that moment every chef and staff had waited for all night… The AWARDS!

We were expecting to do well just based on the guest feedback but it was mine and Chef’s first time going to Epicurean Evening so we weren’t expecting a lot. My assumptions were way off! We won a Silver Medal People’s Choice Award, Best Appetizer, anddddd….

The Epicurean Evening Best in Show Copper Kettle!!!

I may or may not have screamed a little when it was announced. Our chef was just as surprised as the rest of us and this event, that was completely new to us became a huge accomplishment! We had an amazing night at (our neighbor’s house) the Convention Center. The staff over there couldn’t have been nicer and they put together a really great evening!

We cannot wait until next year!

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Banana Split Dessert Shooters (let’s get this party started!)

Seared Diver Scallops with a White Chocolate Mole (best appetizer winner)

Beef Tournedo with a Lobster Americana Sauce (beef & lobster, yep, we went there)

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My usual saying is “When in doubt, add more sparkle” but in this case… When in doubt, add an ice sculpture by Ice Sensations of Wilmington, NC. The Ice sculpture was the beautiful focal point of our booth but it also kept our dessert shooters ice cold.

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Our Executive Chef Eric Walker (wearing the medal), Our Sous Chef Kevin Hulin, Assoc. Sales Manager Melissa Fallis (in the blue dress), Catering Sales Manager Haleigh Hughes (in the teal dress), and Me, Rachel Anderson Wedding Coordinator (and now apparently Epicurean Evening booth planner)

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Special Thanks to Our Neighbors at the Convention Center! Congratulations on an amazing event!

Lights, Camera, Terrace

“Have you heard about our Riverview Terrace?”

I must say this a hundred times a day (dramatic statement) on the phone or with potential clients. Every site tour gets dragged outside to see it, simply because I love showing it off. The only way to get any closer to The Cape Fear River is on a boat. Our Grand Ballroom doors lead straight to it for events that need indoor and outdoor space. Our hotel’s shadow shades the entire space in the morning, making it an ideal brunch spot. The outdoor bar is included in rental (Hello! Amazing cocktail parties!). And last but not least, the sun may rise at the beach, but it sets with us on the river. That battleship sunset never gets old. Even though I tell all who enter the Hilton about this amazing space I definitely need to brag about it via the internet. We decided a styled photo shoot would be the best way to capture it’s potential. Thanks to some amazingly talented vendors we were able to get these breathtaking shots. Enough of me rambling about the Terrace, time to just show you!

Drum roll please…

Matt McGraw Photography

Matt McGraw Photography

Feel free to “oooo” and “ahhhh” at these on trend ghost chairs from Eventful Furniture

Matt McGraw Photography

Matt McGraw Photography

Matt McGraw Photography

Matt McGraw Photography

And then the sun started to set…

Matt McGraw Photography

Matt McGraw Photography

Matt McGraw Photography

Matt McGraw Photography

As if our golden sunset wasn’t enough color for this photo… Our J&S Audio Visual team hooked us up with amazing uplighting. We pointed them across the ground so these ghost chairs could grab the light and shoot it upwards. Soooo cool right?!

Matt Mcgraw Photography

Matt Mcgraw Photography

Too much glam for one table? Never!

Matt McGraw Photography

Matt McGraw Photography

Now do you understand my obsession with this space?! So much potential! You can make these photos a real event with the help of these vendors who I now refer to as

The Riverview Terrace Dream Team

Matt McGraw Photography – All of the stunning photography you see above
Eventful Furniture & Design – All of the elegant furniture
A Beautiful Event – The pretty white orchid arrangements

Connie Duglin Specialty Linen– The table glam

J&S Audio Visual – Those amazing up-lights! 

Matt McGraw Photography

Matt McGraw Photography

I’ll just end the post with this pic.

I promise you, the sunset is real, I saw it with my own two eyes!

 

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Nice to meet you Wilmington!

Hello Wilmington!

It is so incredibly nice to meet you!

My name is Rachel, and I am a Sales and Catering Manager and Onsite Wedding Coordinator here at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside. Although, most people have been referring to me as “The New Hilton Wedding Girl”. Don’t worry, I respond to both. I am extremely new to Wilmington, and by new I mean that I moved here a month ago. As “The New Hilton Wedding Girl” I will be taking over this blog to talk about everything weddings! Although I will probably talk about other fun events too. Just wanted to take this opportunity to tell y’all (ehh… too soon for the forced southern accent) how I came to be “The New Hilton Wedding Girl” in Wilmington.

Born and raised in Washington, DC with a Mom that lived for extravagant dinner parties. Decoration storage boxes were always stacked to the ceiling in our basement, our holidays became huge productions that had to be progressively better than the year before. God forbid if we used the same color scheme on our main Christmas tree 2 years in a row! What would people think?! So flash forward a little bit, I have finally accepted the fate that every daughter realizes at some point… I, Rachel Anderson, am starting to turn into my mother. My tiny apartment linen closest has been filled with decorations for every holiday imaginable. From Christmas to Valentine’s Day, from Halloween to Shark Week (yes shark week is a holiday in my book) I have the decorating necessities to cover any occasion. And you know what? I’m proud of it! And I have put it to good use!

After graduating from High Point University in North Carolina with a degree in Interior Design I moved back up north to Baltimore, MD. Land of crab cakes, beer, and football, or in my case furniture sales. As a Design Associate for Arhaus Furniture, I realized that I loved working with people, brainstorming creative ideas, and making those ideas come to life. However, I longed for a position that was a little more creativity a little less sales.

So what does a creative spirit with sales and customer experience do? It was right in front of me my whole life… Event Planning! All of my childhood memories of extravagant dinner parties and holidays were a future career in disguise. Suddenly my sole purpose was to create fun and excitement. It wasn’t about meeting a certain deadline to gain that commission check, it was fun! Baltimore had a lot of great events happening all the time and business was good. However, I never really got over my sweet tea addiction that I picked up from my college years in North Carolna. It was time to head back!

I saw the opportunity to work at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside and jumped all over it! The Sales and Catering team is so vibrant and bubbly. It is an infectious energy that motivates a “New Hilton Wedding Girl” like nothing else. Now that I have a few Wilmington Weddings under my belt I can definitely say that I am beyond happy to be here. I can’t wait to consider myself an official Wilmington local someday!

XOXO- Rachel Anderson (Your “New Hilton Wedding Girl”)

About Me

Summarized “About Me” Version:

High Point University (Interior Design, Studio Art Degree)

Have lived in… Washington DC, High Point NC, Naples FL, and Baltimore MD

Horseback Rider, Scuba Diver, Kappa Delta Sorority, Wilmington Junior League

Favorite Flowers: White Roses and Orchids

Personal Saying: “When in doubt, add sparkle.”