• July 2011 Archive •

Whimsical Spring Wedding at Mordecai Historic Park in Raleigh

When I first met with Amanda and listened to her describe her vision for her May wedding, I was dying to be a part of it.  Although I projected a professional front, every ounce of my creative inner being was screaming to work with her.  She must have caught on because luckily she granted me the opportunity to take on a role within her extremely artistic and whimsical wedding.

There was nothing traditional about this couple or their wedding.  The bride showcased her talents from the handcrafted bridal and bridesmaid’s bouquets to the guy’s boutonnieres.  She even constructed the cake topper out of wine corks.  The carnival-like theme was carried out from the aisle lined with multi-colored rugs to the handmade flag pendants spanning the perimeter of the tent to the “Fortune Teller Fish” wedding favors.

The ceremony and reception took place at Mordecai Historic Park in Raleigh, North Carolina.  If rain on your wedding day is good luck, then this couple won the lottery after pulling off a ceremony during a torrential downpour.  The rain didn’t deter the couple nor did it stop Gallant Fox Photography who was there through every drop capturing each moment.   Following the ceremony, the sun reappeared and guests moved to the tent for the reception.  As they enjoyed Chubby’s Tacos, Anything Music provided a stellar playlist that packed the dance floor.

From the bright colors, pinwheels and quirky details, this wedding was a perfect reflection of the bride’s eclectic and crafty style.   The pictures below highlight one of the sweetest couples I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with and provide the perfect sneak peek into a whimsical wedding wonderland.

Venue: Mordecai Historic Park

Photographer: Gallant Fox Photography

Ceremony Music/DJ: Anything Music

Caterer: Chubby’s Tacos

xoxo, Priscilla
Blueberry Dump Cake Recipe

I’m a recipe hoarder.  I take some kind of sick pleasure from stockpiling delicious recipes and cringe when anyone other than my mom asks for one.  It’s not as though I invented the recipe but I certainly do claim it as if I did.  Proof?  Ask my best friend how long it took me to give her my infamous “Pumpkin Pound Cake” recipe.

In my journey of self-discovery, I’m attempting to be a more selfless individual and am realizing that had friends and family not shared those recipes with me, I would have never cooked such amazing dishes.  I’m applying the kindergarten philosophy of sharing so that others can provide that hit of the party dish.  I can’t hog the title forever.

I recently attended a cook-out where a dear friend prepared the most perfect summer dessert.  I didn’t want to be one of those people that bug me, so I kept quiet without asking for the details.  All it took was the look of satisfaction on Chase’s face for her to start rattling off the ingredients and instructions.  I was impressed and inspired by her immediate willingness to share the recipe so I’m taking it a step further and sharing it with you.

I realize I may be really late for the “Dump Cake” party, but this cake/pie/cookie combo is delicious.  The best part?  Scottie could make it if I could only trust him to not inhale the ingredients like he does his dog food every day.  I’ve only made it using blueberries but you’re welcome to try strawberries, peaches or any other sweet summer fruit.

Before I try a new recipe, I always do the necessary research of reading the mistakes and advice from previous experimenters.  I decided to half the recipe which is fine, but I should have also used a pan half the size of what it called for.  Mine turned out a bit too thin for my liking and required a lot more butter than usual in order to turn the cake mix into a crust.  Other than that, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.  Except for my appearance in the below picture.  It’s my weekend skank-bun hairdo and is certainly not flattering.

I understand I am technically sharing a hand-me-down recipe and promise that once I hit the pivotal milestone of my recipe-hoarding therapy, I’ll share those recipes I presently have locked and guarded in my kitchen cabinet.

Blueberry Dump Cake


  1. 1 Package (18.25 ounce) Yellow Cake Mix
  2. 4 Cups Fresh Blueberries
  3. 1/2 Cup White Sugar
  4. 1/2 Cup Butter
  5. 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix berries, sugar and cinnamon in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan.  Cover berries with dry cake mix.  Place butter in pieces evenly on the top of the cake.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, or until light brown.  Serve warm or cold.  Top with ice cream for an extra treat!



xoxo, Priscilla
September Wedding at Haywood Hall in Downtown Raleigh

I was working full-time planning meetings and events for a local Realtor Association when I first met Dawn.  It was during that crazy time in my life when I owned and operated Orangerie Events with a full-time job on the side.  When she found out about my business, we began working together outside of our involvement with a Community Service Committee at the Association.

Dawn was extremely busy and desired someone to help take the lead in regards to planning her wedding.  She didn’t have a date.  She didn’t have a venue.  What she did have was a budget and a determination to stick to it.  I was beyond excited to help her navigate through the wedding planning process.

We had six months to pull together a budget-friendly September wedding.  I was completely up for the challenge.  We selected Haywood Hall in Downtown Raleigh as the venue and we couldn’t have picked a more perfect spot for Dawn and Franklyn’s nuptials.  Their ceremony took place in front of the stunning historic home and was followed by a magical reception tucked away among the gardens.  Uriah Nash provided background vocals and music as Dawn walked down the aisle to “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison while Reverend Phran performed a beautifully personalized wedding ceremony.

To compliment the natural scenery, the wedding’s theme focused on colors such as sage green and dark brown.  Green apples were incorporated into the centerpieces and guests were given bamboo coasters as wedding favors.  In lieu of a guest book, guests filled out “Mad Libs” giving their heart-filled and often silly advice for the couple and then used a clothespin to hang their notes on a pair of rustic shutters.

One of the key ingredients to being able to pull off a wedding on a budget is selecting a budget-friendly caterer.  Haywood Hall allows couples to use a caterer of their choice and for Dawn and Franklyn, Layton’s Catering was the perfect fit.  As dinner concluded, guests gathered around the outsize gazebo to watch the cake cutting and to grab a cupcake made by Larisa Rollins KingDJ Shawn Ballard kept the requested songs playing and the dance floor full.  The groom and groomsmen spent quality time bonding over cigars while guests partied under a canopy of paper lanterns and trees.

Dawn and Franklyn’s wedding gave me the boost of confidence I needed to prove that you can plan and have a beautiful wedding even if time and funds are limited.  The couple not only has gorgeous wedding photos from the talented duo Windy Peak Photography, they also have a personalized brick among the wandering pathways at Haywood Hall to commemorate their special day.


Venue: Haywood Hall

Photographer: Windy Peak Photography

Caterer: Layton’s Catering

Baker: Larisa Rollins King

Ceremony Music: Uriah Nash

DJ: Shawn Ballard

Officiant: Perfect Ceremonies – Rev. Phran

xoxo, Priscilla
All Aboard the Growing Up Train

I was channel surfing last weekend and happened to land upon the movie “Up.”  Considering I have zero kids trolling around in my life, I’ve never before had any interest to watch a cartoon movie based on a flying house.  It was late.  I was tired of surfing.  I decided it could at least put me to sleep.

Fast forward an hour and not only am I still awake and watching “Up” but I am enjoying it.  I’m also crying.  I know it’s silly but the elderly man’s storyline is so endearing and provoking that I couldn’t resist.  And trust me, I tried.  I told myself to suck it up and realize you are watching an unrealistic movie about a man being able to carry a house with balloons.  The pep talk didn’t work so I then convinced myself that I’m not the only grown adult to cry while watching the movie.  I’m counting on some other shameless readers to come forward and admit I’m not alone.

I think the part that struck me the hardest was the growing up part.  It was a glimpse into the future.  Life is essentially a one-way train that continues to pick up momentum and plow full steam ahead.  You can’t get off at the next stop.  You get one ticket to redeem in order to sit and enjoy the ride.

Knowing the destination doesn’t make growing up any easier.  I’m at a point now where 30 isn’t old.  I’m watching family members reach ages where once I only grouped my grandparents.  “Up” was a realization that one day everyone in my life will be gone.  The silly nuisances of day-to-day life won’t matter anymore.  The money in my bank account will go to waste.  All of the nice things I had will be obsolete.  I don’t want to be someone who looks back with an ounce of regret or guilt for not taking every single opportunity to share the journey with my family, friends or even a stranger.

I was reading one my favorite wedding blogs today {The Knotty Bride} and was introduced to StoryCorps.  The particular one featured below reminded me of the movie and reiterated my desire to soak up every piece of scenery and each minute of this ride I’m on.  It really challenged me to think about not just how life makes me feel, but how I make those people in my life feel.  We’re all in this together, learning to adapt and handle the growing pains.  When my train finally reaches the station, I hope I have a story that people will want to tell.

Before you embark on watching the following story, I urge you to grab the tissues.  Although it appears to be a cartoon, it’s about as real as it gets.  It’s a definite tear jerker!  Thanks to Allison at The Knotty Bride for introducing me to this story and for sharing her own story here.


Danny & Annie from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

xoxo, Priscilla
Black & White Damask with Lime Green Wedding at the Broyhill House

A woman is entitled to change her mind.  It’s just part of who we are.  We can like something one day, hate it the next and then somehow end up full circle liking it again.  In regards to Melody and Jerry’s summer wedding at the Broyhill House in Lenoir, North Carolina, I was beyond excited when Melody pulled the woman card and changed her mind about my role in her wedding.

I’ve known Melody since we cheered together in middle school.  She originally hired me for her wedding day just as a day-of coordinator.  As life has a way of doing, it threw some major curve-balls into her plans and coordinating a wedding from Atlanta didn’t seem as possible as first thought.  I was thrilled when she called one day to ask if I would go from just a day-of coordinator to taking the reins and planning the entire event from start to finish.

Melody’s vision was clear.  She wanted to incorporate a color scheme using black and white damask with lime green accents.  She wanted the wedding to have a clean, sleek and modern appeal.  Above all, she wanted me to plan every detail and gave me the ability to make any and all decisions.

The wedding was set at the Broyhill House which boasts not only a gorgeous historic mansion, but stunning gardens and outdoor pavilion.  We decided to add a touch of modern by using bright pink and lime green flowers provided by Dream Catchers Florist.  For the ceremony we created a gorgeous backdrop by using various sizes of hanging white pomanders.  For the tented reception, we varied three different table arrangements and incorporated a touch of modern by using black candelabras.  In addition to the outdoor tent, guests were able to dance under an outdoor gazebo to music provided by Jeff Sigmon DJ.  Using white contemporary couches, black tables and a stunning chandelier, we created a lounge area in-between the dance floor and bar for those guests needing to take a break.  Sugar Plum Fairies provided a delicious and eye-catching damask wedding cake.

In order to carry the theme from start to finish, we hired emDOTzee to design the wedding stationery.  From the invitations, customized signature drink signs, wedding favor bookmarks and photo booth sign, Melody with emDOTzee provided creatively designed paper products to help keep our theme consistent.

As an added element of entertainment for the guests, Debbie Hice with Hice Photography provided a photo booth for the guests to dress up, have their picture taken and enjoy the reception.  From the guys playing golf, girls getting ready, the first look, the last dance and even Melody and her ladies jumping in the fountain, Sean Lyon Photography was there to capture each detail and moment. (And yes, Melody did get in the fountain in her wedding gown.  Classic.)

It’s always an added bonus for me to work with a friend.  I can’t thank Melody and Jerry enough for trusting me to bring their vision to life and for giving me the creative power to plan their June wedding.



Wedding Venue: The Broyhill House

Photographer: Sean Lyon Photography

Photo Booth: Hice Photography

DJ: Jeff Sigmon DJ

Caterer: Denise Robinson Catering

Baker: Sugar Plum Fairies

Stationery: emDOTzee Designs

Florist: Dream Catchers Florist

xoxo, Priscilla