2019 Year in Review

We have finished up our 2019 season at Bri By Design and boy was it a busy year. We officially launched our independent planning services June 2019 and booked up quickly throughout the rest of the year! So here’s a little recap of trends, favorites, and all the pretty that we had the privilege of sharing in this season!

We had 8 total weddings this year, starting in June 2019. All of these bookings were blessings to my leap of faith when I opened my online storefront. The busiest month was October and November by far, with 6 weddings and a trip to Disney crammed into 8 weeks.

The biggest trends we saw this year were navy suits for the guys, donuts in all forms, sparkler exits, and Polaroid captured guest books. We had a few rainy days, which came with some quick – less than 5 minute - ceremony flips and of course the most amazing photos! If that’s one thing you’ve learned about me through Instagram stories this year it’s that I LOVE a good rainy day photo, (peep our rainy day at the magic kingdom below).

Each wedding was uniquely their own and they each described their relationship perfectly. One of my favorite parts of what I do is getting to know each couple over the course of our contract and seeing their love shine on their day!

A June Western Wedding

The day of coordinator, not only manages the whole day, but I also try to keep you calm throughout the process! Getting married can be stressful, and your emotions are running high, even if you swear you are going to be calm. We were there to ensure her that everything was going great, we calmed her down, fixed her makeup, pinned up her hair and off she went down the rain-plan isle (after I ran through rivers of rainwater, lost my shoe twice, and got the men over to the chapel with umbrellas.) Wooooo, this was one for the wedding coordinator history books with the literal flood that happened! Becca looked absolutely beautiful walking to her retired military man, and the western backdrop of Circle M City was the best way for them to set the scene. You can tell from her bubbly personality that they are a fun couple but just in case you need more convincing, take a look at their whoopee cushion confetti send off!

Photos by: Goette Photography


Venue: Circle M City

Catering: City BBQ

Photographer: Goette Photography

Florist: Garner Florist

HMU: Vivid Salon - Sanford

Dessert Trucks: Cocoa Forte & Bourbon Street Beignets

DJ: Jimmy Esposito

A September Outdoorsy Wedding

The moment I heard Giulia and Ethan’s vows, I was in tears! This was the sweetest couple, whose day matched their personalities perfectly. Giulia’s minimalist tendencies were exemplified through her gorgeous dress and her simple accessories. I played DJ through the built in sound-system and although there were a few hiccups, guests and the couple had a grand time dancing the night away. The woodsy, rustic cabin of Spruce Pine Lodge, and her succulent centerpiece double favors were the perfect backdrop to the story of their relationship. The magic of your wedding day really comes from telling your relationship story, in my opinion, and forecasting the future of your life together.

Photos by: Face in Lens


Venue: Spruce Pine Lodge

Catering: Neomonde Mediterranean | @neomondemediterranean

Photographer: Face in Lens | @faceinlens

An October Sunday Brunch Wedding

What is cuter than a wrapping the door hand hold sneak peek before walking down the isle… NOTHING! As soon as Ashley’s hand touched Tyler’s it was waterworks, and the most amazing display of love I had witnessed. The sense of touch affects our emotions so much, that this is a great alternative to a first look for any couple that is playing with the idea, and you get some great photos as well! This absolutely charming couple’s October wedding at The Cookery was filled with love and laughter, amazing chicken and waffles, and coffee! I love some good coffee, especially with a 5am wakeup call on my end! The smallest details added the most amazing storyline to this couple’s day, including tables named after cities they’ve lived in (that the groom designed!), market flower centerpieces in old coke and coffee bottles, and a Shake Shack Cookbook guest book (as they are both in the food industry). WHAT! How freakin cute!

Photos by Bri By Design


Venue: The Cookery | @durhamcookery

Catering: Durham Catering Company | @durhamcateringco

Photographer: Shoot with Bliss | @shootwithbliss

Cake: Ashley Cakes | @ashleycakesnc

An October Raleigh Skyline Wedding

Between the ceremony at the Arboretum and the skyline views from the Cannon Room, Alli and Justin set the scene right for their wedding day. Since the reception space had vendors arriving during the ceremony at the Arboretum, my trusty assistant (aka my fiancé) had to step in to help manage one place while I was directing the ceremony 15 minutes down the road. We make a pretty good team though (plus he didn’t want to mess anything up), and this sweet couple had the perfect day, complete with glow stick exit! Their wooden cutout favor is hanging on our fridge right now!

Photos by: Bri By Design


Ceremony Venue: JC Raulston Arboretum | @jcraulstonarboretum

Reception Venue: The Cannon Room | @cannonroomraleigh

Catering: Chubby’s tacos

Catering Staff: Staff’d

Photographer: InContrast Images | @incontrastimages

HMU: Selah Beauty | @_selah_beauty_

Cake: Duck Donuts

DJ: Sound Connection

An October Boxwood Green Wedding

Shawna was one of the first brides to book me once opening my thumbtack storefront. She had everything planned and needed execution in October. This wedding setup is worthy of its very own pinterest board. The boxwood greens that Traine Raleigh have on their outdoor porch area are the perfect addition of privacy to this downtown venue. She decorated with wooden cutouts, copper piping, and candles. Plus her favors were everything but the bagel seasoning (my favorite ever). She even topped off the perfect space with a chocolate fondue fountain AND an ice cream cart.

Photos by: Arien Cronk

Photos by: Bri by Design


Venue: Traine Raleigh | @traineraleigh

Catering: Babba Ghannouj

Photographer: Arien Cronk | @ariencronk

Rentals: CE Rental | @ce_rental_raleigh

Cake/Dessert: Mama Birds | @mamabirdsicecream

DJ: Unlimited Sounds

Cocktail Hour Musician: Autumn Nicholas | @autumnnicholas

A November Renovated Church Wedding

Some of my favorite weddings ever are the simplest. Heather and James had a small wedding at All Saints Chapel in Downtown Raleigh. If you’ve never been, look it up! The character is amazing with a traditional church upstairs and white blank warehouse type space downstairs. The bridal suite is also gorgeous! This simplistic couple had the best guest book of the season. They found a vinyl (yes, like record player) of their first dance song and had guests sign the vinyl with metallic sharpies that they were going to frame and hang in there house. So unique, especially for music lovers!

Photos by: Bri by Design


Venue: All Saints Chapel | @allsaints1875

Catering: Catering by Design | @cateringbydesign

Photographer: Veritas Digital Photography | @veritas_digital_photography

Florist: Whole Foods

DJ: DJ Stormtrooper | @dj_storm_tropper_421

A November Photographer’s Firehouse Wedding

My favorite venue from the year was The Firehouse in Goldsboro, North Carolina. OMG, this is a photographer’s dream venue (which makes sense since the creators and owners are photographers!) and of course the dream of a designed to have this beautiful space to bring to life! Chelsea and Will are super fun to work with and they have created the most photogenic space with a unique, modern, and cool vibe. Madison and Tyler were the most genuine couple and they created a beautiful and elegant day, filled with happy-tears speeches (not a dry eye in the room during her dad’s speech, who was crying before he started), and a super fun vendor #dreamteam.

Photos by: Halifax Hill Studios


Venue: The Firehouse |

Catering: Carl & 'Chelle’s Grill Room | @carlandchelles

Photographer: Halifax Hills Studios | @halifaxhillstudios

Videographer: RBevell Productions | @ryanbevell

Florist: Todd Miller

HMU: Kristan Osoria Makeup + Hair | @kristanosoria

Cake: Rachel Bailey the Cake Artist | @rachelbaileycakeartist

DJ: DJ Brian Burgess

An November Eclectic Charismatic Wedding

One of my favorite design moments from 2019 was my last wedding of the year, where I was able to design the cake display table. Emily and Troy most definitely made me obsessed with Nothing Bundt Cakes. The newlyweds cut the 2 tier bundt cake upon their grand entrance, prior to the dinner buffet opening, so guests were able to grab mini bundt cakes at their leisure. Most of them were gone by time the buffet line wore down. They ramped up the sweets notch by getting custom-made stickers for their Krispy Kreme Donut favor boxes after all the dancing was complete in the courtyard of Jiddi Space Raleigh, under a beautiful clear sided tent!

Photos by: Bri By Design


Venue: Jiddi Space | @jiddispace

Rentals: DeeJays Event Rentals | @deejayseventrentals

Catering: Sitti | @sittirestaurant

Photographer: Keepsake Memories Photography | @keepsakememories

Florist: Victoria Park Florist | @victoriaparkflorist

Hair: Megan Pirocco | @meganpirrocco

Makeup: Tiffany Carnes | @makeupbytiffanycarnes

Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes - North Raleigh | @nothingbundtcakes

DJ: Gene's Mobile DJ Service

Favors: Krispy Kreme - Raleigh

Kind words from our couples

I have had so much fun getting to know my couples this year and being able to assist in their day running smoothly! I can’t thank these amazing people enough for allowing me to fulfill my passion and believing in me on the most important day of their current life. Read below for some of the kindest and most fulfilling words from my couples. #swoon

Thumbtack | WeddingWire | Instagram | Facebook

2020 is going to be a busy year for us here at Bri By Design, and we are booking fast with our available dates! We are already halfway booked for the year. October and November 2020 dates will be available soon for booking, but there is already a small waitlist of couples who are interested in booking with us – {eek! That makes me so incredibly filled with happiness!}

Some exciting things that are happening for Bri By Design in 2020

Bri and Spencer are getting married! August and September are a little busier than normal as Bri prepares for her own wedding on August 30, 2020! The Future Hensleys are creating a pseudo-getaway weekend for their closest friends and family, complete with welcome reception and farewell breakfast, in a quaint college town nestled in the mountains and valleys of Virginia. {of course I have already booked our day of coordinator – shout out to NextAge Events LLC located in Charlottesville}. Don’t worry we’ll share all the deets with you! You can expect to see the website revamped with photos from our day!

Leading up to August, we each have some fun pre-wedding activities planned, from bachelor/bachelorette trips to my bridal shower, and of course all the last minute detail trips to Virginia! I also have a friend’s wedding I get to enjoy, Bri By Design’s first LGBTQ wedding that I am coordinating (YASSS Girl), and some fun trips we are still in the process of planning – {anyone have some suggestions for good skiing/snowboarding within driving distance of Raleigh?}. The end of the year is filling up quickly! My step-brother is getting married shortly after us – date TBD – we’re doing a mini-moon to a tropical destination in September, and then taking a 2-3 week European honeymoon over Christmas to some amazing places! I am super excited to share my love for Europe in real life (not just photos) with Spencer.

Happy Holidays and I look forward to sharing a new decade with you!

Photos by: Bri by Design

Make sure to follow us on Instagram to get real-time updates of 2020 Bri By Design weddings, The #MatchMadeInHensley

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