From the moment I met Megan and Lee, their excitement for their wedding day was infectious. Megan was "that bride" who had dreamed of her [ballroom] wedding day since she was a little girl. Our first task...how to transform a "rustic" mountain view venue, The Crest Center & Pavilion, into an elegant ballroom. I knew immediately who to call, and scheduled an appointment with Adrienne at Blossoms at Biltmore Park. From that day forward, we had the utmost confidence that Megan's dream wedding would come true...words alone cannot describe the final product. Fast forward to their wedding day and a chance of rain in the forecast...generally a stressful situation, but Megan and Lee were just so excited to become husband and wife, weather became secondary. The rain held off for their beautiful church wedding at First Baptist Church of Asheville, and came down in buckets (lots of "good luck" for the newlyweds) once the guests were all under cover at the reception. Thank you to Matthew Pautz Photography for capturing this special day, and for getting some fabulous rain shots like no other.
Planning a wedding from the other side of the country can be quite difficult, but Morgan and Devin did a fabulous job! Morgan was one of my "planner brides"...always on top of tasks and willing to do the work.
Having relocated to California, they decided to have their wedding in their hometown of Hickory, NC. They chose a fantastic venue, The Crossing at Hollar Mill, for both their ceremony and reception. The industrial feel of the space was significantly softened with ivory drapery and gorgeous greenery and florals.
My personal favorite, 50/Fifty The Art Of Dessert, created a beautiful (and delicious) dessert bar. The donuts were a huge hit!
The weather was absolutely perfect for the day...the night ending with late night snacks and lots of dancing. Thank you to Bulletproof Photography for the fabulous photography that captured this magical day.
Love the story of how these two met! Now living in DC, after enduring the challenges of Law School and Medical School, they returned to North Carolina to wed...where they met years ago at Summer Camp in Brevard.
Caitlin and Walter initially planned on a camp theme, but as our discussions progressed, Vintage Mountain Chic kept coming to life. This is when Caitlin decided to hire East West Vintage rentals to supply her vintage dishware and provide floral design.
Walter's Dad brewed the beer himself, bringing a "taste of home" to their wedding...adding to the fun. I found out very quickly what a dancing crowd this was as everyone hit the dance floor and never returned to their seats.
What a beautiful Saturday in early September, considering hurricane Matthew was raising havoc on the East Coast of the Carolinas. Although Caitlin and Walter were never seemingly stressed over the weather, and just happy to be marrying their soul mates, we were all relieved when the sun was shining on their day.
Your wedding venue has a coordinator...do you still need a wedding planner? The simple answer is YES. While a venue coordinator can be a valuable tool to brides choosing not to have a wedding planner, their responsibilities are focused on tasks related to the venue. They act as a liaison between the bride and groom and the venue's operation's team.
On your wedding day they are focused on delivering their contracted services such as: accurate venue set up (tables, chairs, place settings), food and beverage is delivered as contracted. This individual often departs once the meal is served, and then what? This should be taken into consideration if you are looking for assistance for the remainder of the evening, especially with the break down of items the venue is not responsible for.
Also remember, you are not guaranteed to work with the same individual throughout the entire planning process.
When you hire a wedding planner, he or she is your personal consultant with a wide range of focus on every detail of your dream wedding...from start to finish.
From the beginning planning stages (depending on the level of service you've hired) to wedding day preparation (timelines, ceremony rehearsal, confirming details with contracted vendors) your wedding planner is present from start to finish.
This also applies to "Day of Wedding Coordinators" personally hired by you. They may come in closer to your wedding date, but they work exclusively for you!
In conclusion, a venue coordinator works for the venue, making sure the requirements of your contract are executed in a smooth and timely manner. A wedding planner works for you, ensuring every detail of your day is flawless and executed exactly as you've planned.
Take the necessary time to weigh out your needs, and be very clear what a venue coordinator is offering before you decide against hiring a wedding planner.
The origin of guest books goes back hundreds of years, when those signing their names would be witnessing and testifying to the reality of the marriage. The book was, therefore, signed after the ceremony. Fast forward to only 2 witnesses required to make it official...the guest book has evolved into a momento of those who attended your special day.
The term "book" has taken on many forms in recent years, with Etsy and Pinterest being the best sources out there for unique ideas. Keep your theme in mind...you don't want a rustic wood guest "book" if you are having an elegant affair. Also...imagine actually displaying or getting use out of it in years to come.
Enjoy this slideshow to spark your creativity, and head over to my Pinterest board for more clever ideas, and how to bring them to life.
Amy decided to go home to her parents' farm to marry the man of her dreams...and Martha Stewart was just as excited.
Amy and Leo took a somewhat different approach from the traditional, adding many of their own unique DIY elements. Owners of Printfresh, a Philadelphia based textile design studio, of course Amy and Leo were very involved creatively...searching out equally creative professionals for collaboration; their wedding cake was delivered from NYC .
Bridesmaids dresses were screen-printed, dyed, and sewn by Amy and her friends. The same design was used for sachets of lavender for guests to toss after the ceremony.
Amy searched flea markets for months leading up to the wedding, gathering vintage containers for her centerpieces. Amy found not one, but two wedding dresses as she hunted for vintage items at a small New Jersey antique shop. She had not planned on changing into a second dress for the reception, but couldn't resist.
I received an email recently with this as the subject title...I'm engaged...now what? It struck me as clever and attention catching, but in all actuality this is a very common question. What are the first steps once you are engaged?
Call Your Loved Ones First thing, share your exciting news with your friends and family. Be sure to pick up the phone and call. No one wants to be the last to know via mass email, Twitter or Facebook.
Insure Your Ring Of course, nothing can replace the sentimental value of your ring, but if anything should happen, at least you can get your money back. Contact your homeowner's or renter's insurance for information about adding your ring to your policy, and whether you need an official appraisal. Also, to avoid accidental loss be sure to have your ring fitted properly as soon as possible.
Set a Date The first question you may get as a newly engaged couple is "When's the wedding?" If you're not sure yet, come up with a general answer, like "we're shooting for early 2018" or "We like the idea of next spring." Friends and family will feel like they're "in the know" and you can have some direction as you begin planning.
Create a Wedding Website Now that you've spread the word about your upcoming wedding, this is a great way to keep everyone informed of your nuptial news. Post general information (photos, "how we met"...) knowing you can fill in as details fall into place, such as venue, hotel advice, maps, daily thoughts, etc. Here's a "fool-proof way to create the ultimate wedding website".
Collect Ideas If you haven't been planning your wedding since you were 5...its ok. Page through wedding magazines, watch wedding movies, look at honeymoon destinations, search out wedding blogs (my faves: Ruffled, Green Wedding Shoes, Style Me Pretty, The Perfect Palette); basically daydream about your perfect wedding. This is a good time to determine your likes and dislikes that you can share with your wedding professionals.
Hire a Wedding Planner Yes, this could be a real live wedding planner...but at least get an app, a datebook, a calendar or some sort of organizing device to get you started. As much as digital tools are great, pick up a wedding-planning binder as well. This is where you can store all of your creative ideas.
Consider a Professional Wedding Planner or Coordinator There are many levels of services provided by planners. Your best bet is to speak with several planners, get a feel for their style and whether it matches yours...very important. Most planners will customize a package to fit your particular needs and budget, so be sure to have this conversation with them. A planner or coordinator can be a life saver for the most important day of your life.
Establish a Budget This is one of the most difficult tasks in planning a wedding. You must have an open conversation with any parties willing to contribute to your wedding fund, and find out how much they can contribute. Based on this and what savings you may have in place, decide on a budget...and stick to it! There are many budget tools out there to help you through this process. Professional wedding planners offer budget guidance and management as well.
Enjoy Your Engagement Take time to relax and enjoy this once in a lifetime experience of being engaged...romantic dinners, couples massages, weekend getaways.
The historic S&W Event Space in downtown Asheville, NC was the perfect setting for an art deco inspired shoot. With its marble floors and intricate tilework, glass and wrought iron, the event space embodies the roaring 20’s. During Prohibition, S&W housed a speakeasy complete with a hidden corridor. The minute I walked in to the newly renovated space, I knew art deco had to be the theme. The creative team jumped on board and came together to create a spectacular “Great Gatsby” like shoot.
Nick Gillespie of Blue Bend Photography was my creative partner. Upon our first collaborative meeting at S&W we soon agreed that outdoor shots would be as interesting as the indoor space, with its fabulous architectural facade.
Black and Gold was an obvious color palette, with a pop of 2015’s “color of the year”, Marsala. Classic Event Rentals supplied gorgeous linens and gold flatware while Kathleen of Upstyled Settings became a strong creative partner providing not only eclectic tableware but wonderful vintage accessories.
Blossoms at Biltmore Park created fabulous floral pieces with an especially fantastic focal piece for the bar, incorporating feather plumes. Cordial and Craft of Asheville supplied colorful craft cocktails with a speakeasy vibe.
Baggie Goose, sister company to Blossoms at Biltmore Park, designed table and menu cards of black and gold to compliment the exquisite tablescapes.
Tiffany’s Baking Co did a great deal of research on the S&W to create her masterpiece, with stunning cake details perfectly depicting an elaborate 20’s wedding.
What fun is was to bring history to this modern day wedding shoot … the 20’s was certainly a glorious era.
We chose The Farm in Candler NC as the location for our November styled shoot. Our vision from the first planning meeting was to create something "other than" a typical Farm Wedding. With the Farm's expanding gardens and full-size catering kitchen under way (now completed), farm to table made perfect sense.
The invitation suite was first priority, setting the tone for the day. Designed and printed by Macon York Letterpress, it truly embraced the intended food theme.
Flora Asheville recommended a wonderful color palette of whites, creams, and burgundy with dusty greens. Melissa, owner of Flora, worked her magic along with East West Vintage Rentals for the most beautiful table to “feast” your eyes on…pun intended.
Mouth-watering creations for the discerning foodie were provided by Colorful Palate, all locally inspired. For starters… local bison meatballs skewered with grilled local focaccia, and coconut & curry butternut squash soup. Main course consisted of individual chicken pot pies with roasted vegetables, massaged kale with roasted sweet potatoes, purple cabbage in bacon fat with local apples, and local ciabatta with apple and honey butters.
Tiered spice cake with cream cheese icing was among the many sweet treats representing the season…and can you say “THE best macarons any of us had ever tasted”? Mandy of 50/Fifty The Art of Dessert is truly an artist… so evident in her finished product.
Our bride wore a Nicole Miller gown, provided by Wildflower Bridal, known for elegance, simplicity and comfort. Hair and makeup gals of Lola Salon created a gorgeous look to compliment the chic gown, while classic pearls and diamonds with a modern twist of smoky quartz finished the look thanks to our friends at Wick and Greene Jewelers.
Cocktails in the garden were delightful….lemonade stand turned craft cocktail bar. Expert signature cocktails were recommended by Cordial and Craft; for the Bride: Pomme Pomme, a fresh French apple martini (green apple Vodka, orange liqueur, elderberry drinking vinegar, fresh apple and lemon), for the Groom: Bobcat’s Tail, an ode to fall (pumpkin seed oil-washed bourbon, ginger-tumeric beer, chicory bitters and pepitos).
Ever hear of a honey bar? Our local Asheville Bee Charmer has just that at their Asheville locations, and they were kind enough to help us create a honey favor bar of our own. What sweeter favor to send along with your guests.
Special thanks to my creative partner, Rachael McIntosh Photography, for this fabulous styled shoot experience.
Charlie and Buck...what can I say? They ARE that couple you just can't get enough of.
Charlie contacted me two months prior to their wedding date to inquire about elopement assistance. Her excitement was apparent, even in her emails. She and Buck would be travelling from Ohio to marry in the town where they first met.
Charlie expressed they were looking for a venue with a mountain view, but they love the city as well. One of my first thoughts was the Crest Center & Pavilion, with it's fabulous view of the mountains on the west side (killer sunsets by the way) and a view of Asheville with a mountain drop on the opposite side.
My husband performed the ceremony with Rachael McIntosh Photography beautifully capturing each moment.
Rachael and I had so much fun with Charlie and Buck. We can't wait to see them on their next trip to Asheville.