Southern Weddings

Believe it or not, Emily and Chris met during an Animal House-themed frat party! These two never thought they’d meet their better halves while donning togas, but after chatting, their common interests proved to take this meet cute right to relationship! Now, these two spend their time making way too much jam (be sure to read their adorable interview!), and dating each other even after their wedding–love that! Emily’s best advice for brides? “Continue to date each other and set aside time together that does not involve wedding planning.” We couldn’t agree more!

Big thanks to Graham Terhune for sharing this gorgeous day that had Lisa and I swooning all last week! We could barely wait to share it!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was my mom’s sixpence that she wore in her shoe on her wedding day. For my something blue, I honored both of my sweet grandmothers by wrapping a piece of my Grandmama’s blue wedding dress and my Granny’s blue handkerchief around my bouquet. My something old was my Papa’s fraternity ring that he wore every day. My something new was my sparkly Jimmy Choos!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes and we’re so glad that we did! Our “first look” pictures are some of our favorites. Although we were initially hesitant to stray from tradition, we agreed to give it a shot for the sake of getting to spend more time with our guests at the reception and being able to enjoy a quiet moment together. Walking down the aisle to my groom was equally as exciting and emotional!

I walked down the aisle to a bagpipe and organ duet of “Highland Cathedral.” Bagpipes have a special significance in Western North Carolina and I had always dreamed of walking down the aisle to this song. One of our favorite wedding planning moments was a private concert with our amazingly talented organist to select our music. We chose “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” for our Gospel hymn and my all-time favorite, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” for our communion hymn. We walked back up the aisle to “Hornpipe” by G.F. Handel. Our bagpiper was playing out on the lawn as guests exited the cathedral to board trolleys to the reception. Selecting our first dance song was perhaps the most difficult decision we made! We decided on “That’s How Strong My Love Is” by Otis Redding. My dad and I danced to “Tupelo Honey” by our favorite artist, Van Morrison. Chris and his mother danced the Carolina shag to “I Love Beach Music” by The Embers in honor of Chris’ late father, who played in a beach music band.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We incorporated several pieces of custom artwork. We worked with an incredibly talented family friend and artist to create a Quaker marriage certificate for guests to sign and a bar menu with our signature drinks and beer and wine selections. We also purchased a watercolor wedding map to include in our welcome bags and a custom painted monogram to use as a label for our strawberry jam wedding favors. Each of these are now hanging on the wall in our home and serve as a lovely reminder of our wedding day.

Describe your wedding flowers. Since most of our guests were from out of town, we wanted our reception to feel casual and welcoming, like a dinner party among friends. Stacey from the Bloom Room gave our venue the romantic, homey vibe that we envisioned with low arrangements of flowers that were lush, but not over the top. We used anemones, garden roses, peonies, hydrangea, and delicate greenery in an eclectic mix of antique silver, crystal, and mercury glass vases.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. It was divine! Our cake was funfetti with vanilla buttercream filling and frosting. The icing had a subtle, soft texture with our new married monogram on the top layer. Each layer had a piped beaded border and touches of fresh flowers.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I think one of the biggest things that sets Southern weddings apart is the value placed on honoring family traditions. For us, the most special of those was that we were married on my parents’ anniversary! One of my favorite details was a handkerchief I gave my mom with both of our monograms and wedding dates. We included the cake pull tradition at the bridal luncheon the day before, and then each bridesmaid tied their charm around their bouquet. We also served several classic Southern comfort foods at our reception. We had mini trout cakes and pimento cheese crackers for cocktail hour and buttermilk fried chicken (tossed in NC’s Texas Pete hot sauce!), green beans, and macaroni and cheese for dinner.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Chris at I met during the fall semester of our senior year at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. We knew of each other through friends; however, we officially met at an “Animal House”-themed mixer for his fraternity and my sorority. I never would have guessed that I would meet my husband at a toga party! We exchanged phone numbers and quickly found that we had a lot in common. We had our first date later that week with dinner at our favorite Greek restaurant and a walk through the arboretum.
Tell us all about the proposal! We planned a trip to the mountains to visit my parents for the weekend. On that Saturday, December 15, the four of us decided to head to Asheville to see the annual gingerbread house competition at the Grove Park Inn. After we spent time looking at the exhibit, Chris suggested that we walk around the resort a bit and get a picture together. We stopped to pose for a picture on a terrace overlooking a beautiful sunset over the Blue Ridge mountains. Just as my mom was getting ready to snap the picture, Chris got down on one knee and proposed! Then, as the icing on the cake, Chris’ mom and sister came running out to congratulate us. Little did I know, they had followed us from a distance throughout the gingerbread exhibit and around the resort. After that, we celebrated with dinner and champagne with our families.
When did y’all get married? April 26, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 170
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Before we were engaged, I fell in love with a dreamy tulle cap sleeve gown that I saw on Pinterest. When I started shopping for my wedding dress, I realized that the chances of finding that gown were slim to none, as it was an older design. I hoped to find something similar from the same designer, so I scheduled an appointment at Nitsa’s in Charlotte and invited my mom, sister, both grandmothers, and my best friend. As we began pulling dresses to try on, I was so excited to find that my dream dress was still available! The dress was everything that I hoped it would be: soft, feminine, and perfect for twirling!
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? My family is from a very small town near Asheville. We knew that our church would be too small to accommodate our guests, and reception venue options in my hometown would be limited. We decided to get married in Asheville, the city where Chris proposed and a place we love to visit together. We had our ceremony at the historic All Souls Cathedral. All Souls was commissioned in 1896 by George Washington Vanderbilt III, developer of the Biltmore Estate. For our reception, we loved the intimate atmosphere of the Century Room, with its exposed brick walls and views of downtown Asheville.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We recited traditional Episcopalian vows and wrote our own personal vows to each other that were read on the morning of our wedding.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My granddaddy read Philippians 4:4-9. This reading comforted us during the chaos of the final months of wedding planning and kept us focused on the meaning of marriage. Our other readings were Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, read by Chris’ sister, and Matthew 5:1-10 for our Gospel reading.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our biggest challenge was definitely the guest list. We made the unfortunate mistake of booking a reception venue before we created our guest list. We spent so much time analyzing room diagrams and sending desperate emails to the event coordinator at the Century Room. In the end, I think we were able to maximize the space as best we could.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Chris and I love to cook together, so we decided to make strawberry jam for our wedding favors. We slightly underestimated the amount of time that it would take to make 170 jars of jam and ended up spending an entire weekend in the kitchen, but it was well worth it. We also took on a few other DIY projects, including our escort card display and a sidewalk sign.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We are so grateful to have had Graham Terhune Photography! Graham and his wife, Samantha, are the sweetest, most genuine people that we had the pleasure of working with. They made us feel so comfortable on our wedding day and they didn’t miss one second of action. One of the best moments for my mom was watching Graham chase after our getaway car to ensure he got a great shot!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? We will never forget when our priest asked us to turn around and glance around the church during the homily. Seeing so many of our favorite people from all different parts of our lives gathered together to celebrate with us was such an overwhelming feeling!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? It can be so easy to lose sight of the purpose of your wedding, especially when you get wrapped up in all of the details you “have to have.” Continue to date each other and set aside time together that does not involve wedding planning.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We’re enjoying life as husband and wife and spending time with our dog, Betsey. On our wedding day, Chris surprised me with 12 dates to celebrate each month in our first year of marriage. Next month, we’re headed to the U.S. Open!

Photographer: Graham Terhune Photography / Videographer: Good Earth Films / Ceremony Venue: The Cathedral of All Souls / Reception Venue: The Century Room / Florist: The Bloom Room / Cake Baker: City Bakery / Rentals and Lighting: Classic Event Rental / DJ: Mitch Fortune Productions / Bride’s Gown: “Julianna” by Christos / Paper Products: Reaves Engraving / Bridal Salon and Veil: Nitsa’s / Bride’s Earrings: The Bride’s Maids Shop / Bride’s Bracelet: Tiffany & Co. / Hair and Makeup: L.A. Beauty Bar /Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “G763C” by Amsale / Men’s Attire: Black by Vera Wang / Wedding Coordinator: Joseph W. Lane Events / Transportation: Gray Line Trolley / Reception Dress: Kate Spade / Getting Ready Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar / Cufflinks: Smathers & Branson / Calligraphy: Dottie McKesson and Brinkley McNeil / Wedding Map: Caligrafia Bella / Quaker Marriage Certificate and Bar Menu: Lauren Gray Weddings

Graham Terhune is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
7 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Oh my goodness, I love this wedding so much! Emily and Chris are absolutely beautiful together, and the details they chose are so lovely and thoughtful.

  2. avatar Graham reply

    We love seeing Emily and Chris’ gorgeous Asheville wedding featured on SW today! Thank y’all so much the feature!

  3. avatar Rachel Nordgren reply

    That dress is absolutely dreamy! Also…homemade strawberry jam? Fantastic idea for favors!

  4. avatar Nancy Ray reply

    Well done, friends! This is stunning!

  5. avatar Plum Pretty Sugar reply

    Oh goodness! What a stunning couple! It is such a treat to have our robes be a part of their wedding day! We send love and so many congratulations. So much!

    xo

  6. avatar North Carolina Wedding Film by Good Earth Films – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] and I had a bit of an e-mail swoon-fest over Emily and Chris’ Asheville wedding when we featured it earlier this year, so you can imagine my delight when Good Earth Films sent […]

  7. avatar Wedding Video Wednesday XXI » Borrowed and Blue Occasions reply

    […] Aren’t they just adorable?!? This gorgeous couple was also featured on the Southern Weddings Blog! […]

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