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Southern Gatsby Wedding | The Carolina Inn

When Stefanie and Will contacted me they inquired for help in their overall event design for their special day with a Gatsby style theme.  They wanted a softer feel on the traditional black and white Gatsby so they settled on a soft blush, gold, copper and ivory.  They selected the lovely Bryant Courtyard for their wedding at the beautiful Carolina Inn for the 48 guests to enjoy not only the inside of the Inn, but outside under the stars for dinner.  We loved helping this non-traditional couple bring their vision to life.  Stefanie’s blush beaded dress was so stunning, if you can believe it she found it online!

Gatsby Viva L'Event

They talk more about how they met, their favorite part of the wedding and the importance of hiring an event designer and the stress she had in trying to plan the big day alone.  We like to have our readers understand the importance and educate them in hiring a professional to not only design your wedding but also planning to take those extra steps of stress away.

The vendors all came together to bring the vision together from Stefanie’s hair and makeup team by Wink Hair and Makeup, to calligraphy by Mason Dixon, and the rentals from CE Rental and Party Reflections.  I loved creating the flowers to complete their look, especially their greenery chandeliers.


Where and how they met?

We met in graduate school at a mutual friend’s birthday dinner, but after that, we actually didn’t see each other again for about two years. Somehow despite working in the same small department, we didn’t cross paths or end up in the same social circle. Finally at the very end of graduate school, when Stefanie was about to move away for internship, Will attended a going-away celebration and we spent the whole night talking and laughing. The next weekend, we went on our first date. Within a month, Stefanie moved out of state, so our relationship was long-distance from the start! Luckily, we fit together so well and fell in love so fast that we were committed to making it work.

Gatsby Viva L'Event

Initial thoughts/impressions when they met each other the first time?

Will was quite taken by Stefanie and tried to learn more about her after they met. Stefanie was clueless about this until years later!

Gatsby Viva L'Event

Describe the proposal

Will proposed to Stefanie at his parents’ home on Thanksgiving. He called her into his childhood bedroom and asked her to sit down. When he got down on one knee, Stefanie immediately lost it! She was crying and saying, “No, you’re joking! Are you serious??” She was completely overcome. Will took that as a yes!

Gatsby Viva L'Event

Describe the wedding planning process

Stressful! Stefanie did essentially all of the planning, having a clear “vision” for what she wanted! We wanted a really unique and meaningful wedding. No white wedding dress, no bouquet, no bridal party, no DJ dance party–just an intimate and personal ceremony followed by an elegant moonlit garden party with only our nearest and dearest family and friends. Achieving a dream wedding on a budget is challenging and overwhelming. Hiring a professional to design the event space was money well spent. Just having Stephanie to be the go-between to talk to the venue was a huge help. We are so glad that our engagement was relatively short (7 months) because it would have been so stressful to keep planning any longer!

Gatsby Wedding Viva L'Event

Tented Wedding Viva L'Event

Describe the wedding day

Our wedding day was wonderful. Because all of the guests were traveling from out of town, we had more of a wedding weekend. Everyone stayed at the Carolina Inn and loved it. By the time the wedding weekend arrived, the stress was gone, and we just had a wonderful time. We felt like we were able to stay extremely mindful of the whole experience and really appreciate what was happening, as we had hoped would be the case in having a small wedding (<50 guests). One thing we were really concerned about was what the weather was going to be like. Thunderstorms were forecasted for days before and after the wedding, including on our wedding day. We got lucky with the weather–it was a gorgeous day and extremely mild and non-humid for July in North Carolina! It only sprinkled for a few minutes, right when it was time to get seated under the tent for dinner. We’re actually happy it rained a little to make renting the tent worth the (non-refundable) expense!

Gatsby Viva L'Event

Describe overall feeling at the end of the wedding day

At the end of the day, we were in a haze of bliss. We talked for hours the night of the wedding about everything that we loved. Stefanie couldn’t even sleep there was so much to process!


What was your favorite design detail?

Our favorite design detail was the table arrangement. We really wanted to have one big U-shaped table as opposed to several small tables, with lush greenery all along it. The place settings were beautiful including the art deco charger plates, rose gold silverware, rose gold calligraphy place cards, and sprigs of rosemary and thyme.

Gatsby Viva L'Event

Wedding Cake Viva L'Event


Venue & Catering:  The Carolina Inn

Event & Floral Design:  Viva L’Event

Photography:  Brian Mullins Photography

Cake:  Sugar Euphoria

Hair/Makeup:  Wink Hair & Makeup

Linens, Chairs, Place Setting Rentals:  CE Rental

Tent and Lighting Rental:  Party Reflections

Calligraphy Signs and Escort Cards: Danielle-Mason Dixon Designs

Stationary:  Minted

Officiant: Kayelily Middleton

Wedding Dress:  Feriani

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