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It’s no secret I love my job — after all, there are very few ways that someone who loves weddings and loves the South as much as I do would prefer to spend her days! My usual routine at the Southern Weddings office leaves me happy as a goat in a briar patch and thoroughly satisfied. But, sometimes working at SW affords me experiences that are literally out of a dream, and I fall in love with my job (and weddings, and the South) all over again. Such was the case with Engage13.

I recently accompanied Lara to this amazing conference, held at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville (she was speaking!), and we enjoyed three days of learning, meeting new friends, and details to make any wedding lover weak in the knees. One party in particular we just knew we had to share with y’all — the opening party, designed by Pressed Cotton and held in a renovated barn on the Biltmore property!

The party began the minute we stepped off the buses at Antler Hill Barn — with a grown-up petting zoo! Lara and I couldn’t resist snapping a photo with this adorable baby goat.

So many of these fun rustic chic details are available in the Pressed Cotton store — perfect for wedding decor and details!

These gorgeous kraft paper menus outlined everything we’d be sampling that evening, including pulled pork sliders, corn spoon bread, fried pickles, short ribs, and much more!

Many of the beautiful rental pieces you see are from Settee in Atlanta. After walking through the barn, the space opened up into a beautiful courtyard with biscuits on each long farmhouse-style table! We loved the kraft paper runners.

Hot boiled peanuts! Lara was in heaven.

Cheerwine! I was in heaven. (You may recall we served it at our wedding.) They couldn’t have designed this party more perfectly for us!

The gentleman you see below was one of our favorite people we met that night, though he wasn’t technically a guest at the party! He’s an actual blacksmith on the Biltmore staff, and was giving demonstrations throughout the evening. We got to chat with him a bit, and found out that his wedding was six days away! He even showed us the (gorgeous!) ring he’d forged for his fiancee. We’re hoping to bring more of his wedding story to the blog soon!

The night concluded with s’mores by a massive bonfire. It’s true, Engage does share some characteristics with summer camp!

Oh yes — these adorable screen-printed snack bags were waiting for us when we stepped off the bus at the Inn at Biltmore! The perfect end to a perfect Southern night. Thanks to Pressed Cotton, the Biltmore staff, and Rebecca and Kathryn of Engage for a delightful evening!

All photos except top instagram courtesy of the talented Allan Zepeda, Carla Ten Eyck & Andrew Henderson, and Jeremie Barlow

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Shelby reply

    This looks honestly perfect beyond words. Absolutely every detail is too Southern for words! I love all of the signage & those welcome bags are beyond amazing.

    Please tell me this means y’all will have a recap of the Gatsby party? I’ve been dying for some inspiration pictures to share with a friend who is planning a similar themed wedding.

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    How incredibly fun! Y’all must have felt right at home! I have my fingers crossed for a Gatsby gala recap too :)

  3. avatar Nancy Ray reply

    Loved re-living this evening through this blogpost, Em! You represented it perfectly. I’ll never forget devouring that oh so delicious BBQ slider with you after being so hungry. Best food of Engage by far :). Cannot WAIT for the Blacksmith’s whole story to be revealed!

  4. avatar Anna ( reply

    Looks so fun! I’ve been dying to visit the Biltmore for ages. So jealous!

  5. avatar Cheryl Ann @ Southern Blush reply

    Yes! Just beautiful…I love the Biltmore Estate! I would love to attend this next year for sure…since I live right here in Asheville anyways! I am trying to read everything I can find about this conference, and so far this is the best I have found! I especially like the sign “Sips, Y’all.”

  6. avatar … @ wish-upon-a-weddingwish-upon-a-wedding reply

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  7. avatar COCO + MINGO: A weekend in the woods reply

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