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Y’all know I’m a pink and gold glitter kind of girl. However, despite what I’m traditionally smitten with, Mary Courtney and Kit’s rustic mountain wedding has me completely in love. I was talking to BDK about this wedding, and I told him that while the wedding is absolutely beautifully designed by Chad Biggs (he agreed!), I think one of the reasons I love it so much is the sweetest interview from Mary Courtney, and the way she and Kit kept their planning focused on creating a wedding full of meaningful moments, and a foundation to build their marriage upon.

Big hugs to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Graham Terhune for sharing this sweet day with us!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Katie, who did my hair, was such a blessing! I have really curly, thick hair, so I was very nervous to have someone try to style it. I met Katie about a month and a half before the wedding for a trial, and from the moment I met her, I felt like she was one of my best friends. She is so gentle and encouraging! My mom, my sister, and I laughed and cried with her talking about life, the wedding, and our shared faith in Jesus. I was so excited to see her again on my wedding day!

We had a shorter engagement, so I did not have much time to waste! I decided to try a store near my parents’ house in Raleigh, Traditions by Anna. At Traditions, I tried on a few different styles and ended up loving the first dress I tried on! It was lace and had straps and a low back, which was exactly what I wanted. There was a detachable train that we originally did not pay any attention to, but we ended up loving it! It made the dress so unique because it was all tulle, so it was a different fabric than the rest of the dress. Our seamstress created a really unique bustle with it. I loved my dress and wish I had another event to wear it to!

We decided to stick to the tradition of not seeing each other on our wedding day until I walked down the aisle. Before the ceremony, we stood holding hands around the corner of a door and were able to pray together without seeing each other. That was such a sweet moment and it was nice to be able to hold his hand and hear his voice after not talking all day!

Our favorite detail was that all our favorite people were a part of our wedding day! Our best friends were our bridesmaids and groomsmen (which is why there were so many). Dave, who married us, also married my parents almost 30 years ago! Our videographer was one of Kit’s old roommates. I lived with a family in Charlotte last year, and the little girls I lived with became like little sisters to me, so they were our flower girls (they thought we were asking them to marry Kit when we asked them to be our flower girls–I can understand, he’s cute)! Our parents were a huge part in helping us pull everything together and covering our day in prayer. All our different vendors felt like old friends to us because they cared for us so well throughout the process.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We wanted our wedding to point to Jesus and how he has changed our lives. We also wanted our wedding to be a celebration, so that helped us choose the songs we used for our ceremony! I walked down the aisle to “10,000 Reasons,” which is a song we both love and felt was a beautiful worship song to celebrate us getting married! We sang “In Christ Alone” as a congregation during the wedding, and when our bridal party laid hands on us and prayed for us during the ceremony, “Death In His Grave” was played.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We wanted to get married in the mountains of North Carolina, and Claxton Farm is right near Windy Gap! Windy Gap is a Young Life camp where we will go on weekend and summer camp trips with Young Life for years to come. We thought it would be special to be able to drive by and say, “Hey, remember when we got married there and it was the best day ever!?” Windy Gap is also where my dad met the Lord when he was in high school and our family went there growing up, so it was a special place for my whole family.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? We loved being able to have dinner by ourselves after our ceremony before joining the party again! Some of our best friends did this at their wedding and suggested it to us. It was the perfect amount of time to be alone, since we had not talked to each other all day. It was a sweet moment to realize WOW! We are husband and wife! This is awesome!

Describe your wedding flowers. I wanted beautiful flowers that looked very natural and organic with a garden feel. I don’t love bright colors, so I asked our florist for the flowers to be mostly white and green. She threw in some succulents and different textures and created bouquets, wreaths, and arrangements more beautiful and unique than I could have imagined!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our desserts were incredible! Our friends at Ruth & Randshaw created the most delicious pies. We picked out a few different flavors that everyone would LOVE: strawberry rhubarb, chocolate oreo, pecan, and apple pie! I was so glad they packed us a to-go box of every flavor! Ruth & Randshaw also catered a brunch for my parents and their friends for the morning after the wedding–they are unbelievable bakers and the sweetest sisters!

I was really excited about our first dance because Kit is an incredible dancer and loves to cut a rug! I let him pick our first dance song, so naturally, he picked his favorite song to swing and shag to, which is “You Make My Dreams Come True.”

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Kit and I met at Clemson University, where Kit was actually the Clemson Tiger for three years during school! We met during my freshman year, Kit’s sophomore year, at my sorority’s spring formal, but it wasn’t until the next year when Kit and his friends lived in the apartment next to me that we started to get to know each other. My roommate was on his Young Life team and in the same major so he was over a lot working on projects and skits for Young Life. Kit says he realized quickly that he was coming over more to see me than to work on projects. He asked me on our first date by mailing me a postcard from Vermont (where he is from) when he went home to visit his family one weekend. We went on a few dates, and then we were off to different parts of the country for the summer. Kit continued to pray for our relationship and that if this was in the Lord’s will, it would work. Finally, that fall when we got, back to Clemson the Lord made it clear that I was supposed to date this boy. It took seven months after our first date before we officially became a couple. The Lord has been a continual thread throughout our relationship and I am grateful He gave me the courage to trust this sweet boy!
Tell us all about the proposal! I was having a really hard day when Kit picked me up in Charlotte on Friday, January 17 to drive home to Raleigh for a wedding that weekend. I cried to him in the car about how I missed him and the distance was wearing on me. Kit sat in the driver’s seat, smiling. I was so annoyed–I didn’t know why he was taking this so lightly! The next morning, we had plans to go on a run, but I was taking my time, not noticing that everyone was trying to get me out the door. My sister tried to get me to wear something cute, but I said, “Tessa, it is 30 degrees outside–I need to be warm!” Soon enough, we were running toward the trail and I wanted to turn a different way than he did, but told him we would come back the way he wanted to go. As we were passing where he wanted to run, I saw a blanket, some flowers, and some books. I stopped and said “Wait, is this for me?” Kit held my hand and walked me over to the blanket, where he gave me a book that had the inside hollowed out and a letter inside. He had written the letter a year and a half earlier, saying he knew he wanted to marry me. I cried, read it twice, and couldn’t stop saying “Oh my gosh!” Then, he handed me a bible that had my new name engraved on it, grabbed my hands, got down on one knee, told me how much he loved me and wanted to serve me and put the Lord at the center of our marriage, pulled out the most beautiful ring, and then asked me if I wanted to marry him. I screamed YES! Back at my parents’ house, I was surprised by his parents who flew down from Vermont, plus a bunch of other friends and family who had come a long way to see us!
When did y’all get married? August 30, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 290
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? One of my family friends from growing up designed our invitations, programs, napkins–she is very talented!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Kit always says, “Don’t sweat the petty things.” Planning will seem so overwhelming at times, but if you can take a step back and go on a walk or play outside with your fiancé, take advantage of it! Laugh, cry, talk about things other than the wedding, and remind each other why you are so pumped to start life together. Your wedding day is the best day ever, and guess what? Marriage is a blast–you get to do life with your best friend in the whole world!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We just moved to Columbia, South Carolina to be on Young Life staff! We are so happy to be living in the same city again and working together! Kit is my boss (woah!) and it has been so much fun to work alongside each other, loving college and high school students while sharing who Jesus is and what he did for us. It is such an adventure to move to a new place with your best friend, and we are loving it so far!

Photographer: Graham Terhune Photography / Videographer: Earthswell / Planner: Chad Biggs / Venue: Claxton Farm / Florist: Expressions of Love Florist / Dessert Baker: Ruth & Randshaw / Caterer and Rentals: m7 / Band: Rubberband / Paper Products: Anna Grace Photography and Design / Bridal Salon and Veil: Traditions by Anna / Hair Stylist: Katie Manselle / Makeup Artist: Melissa Doeber / Bride’s Shoes: Anthropologie / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Joanna August / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank

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

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

    Mary Courtney and Kit are the most beautiful couple, inside and out! Their joy and the community around them is so inspiring…and I also love their darling pie display :)

  2. avatar Cheryl Ann reply

    Loved it all, especially the couple’s only dinner. But no pictures of the invite? Being a stationer I NEED to see them, lol…I’m sure they were unique!

  3. avatar Emily reply

    MC is rocking that floral crown like a natural! Such beautiful work, Graham!

  4. avatar Callie Davis reply

    Mary Courtney and Kit, your love is so contagious! I’m so happy to relive this unforgettable day on Southern Weddings!

  5. avatar Graham reply

    Absolutely love this wedding! Thank y’all so much for the feature!!!

  6. avatar Samantha reply

    Thank you so much for this beautiful feature! We are honored to see MC and Kit’s lovely wedding – especially on such an exciting week. Congratulations to all of you ladies on such a beautiful planner and magazine! We are so happy for you and are our hearts full to be a part of such beautiful work! xoxo

  7. avatar callen papy reply

    Where did you get your bridesmaid dresses from?

  8. avatar Styled by Kyla: A Bountiful Pastel Farm Wedding | Kyla Mary reply

    […] by Holly Flora captured by Jose Villa via Style Me Pretty, Groomsmen by Graham Terhune via Southern Weddings, Pie bar captured by Michael and Carina Photography via Southern Weddings, Jam by Sidehill Farm […]

  9. avatar Becca reply

    The bride’s shoes–I see they’re from Anthropologie but would it be possible to find out which brand they were??

  10. avatar Karina Waggoner reply

    This wedding is Beautiful! I am getting married May 7 and we are wanting the brown leather suspenders also.. Where did you find these?

  11. avatar Leather Wedding Inspiration! » Lace and Loyalty reply

    […] Images Above: Left to right, top to bottom, Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6, Image 7 […]

  12. avatar Inspiration Board No. 5: Bountiful Pastel Farm Wedding – Kyla Mary reply

    […] by Holly Flora captured by Jose Villa via Style Me Pretty, Groomsmen by Graham Terhune via Southern Weddings, Pie bar captured by Michael and Carina Photography via Southern Weddings, Jam by Sidehill Farm […]

  13. avatar Top 10 Wedding Hairstyles with Flower Crown Veil for 2018 – Oh Best Day Ever reply

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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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Liz + Josh created a beautiful Asheville wedding — somehow the magical marriage of springy and bright and rustic mountain style. Their invitation serves as the perfection introduction to a night full of family heirlooms, fun signage and pretty flowers and fruits.

As a UNC grad, I’m head over heels for L + J’s proposal story — a sunset proposal at the picturesque Old Well on campus. Biggest thanks to Angela Cox for sharing this gorgeous wedding with us!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Yes, we did. Mainly because I love the way the photos of those moments look, and I love how they help to tell the story of a wedding day: the photos of that intimate moment between an almost-husband and wife are so powerful and emotional. I loved the idea of capturing that feeling on our wedding day.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Planning the content of the ceremony was really important to us. We chose one reading that our officiant incorporated into her sermon, and then two others that were read by my first cousins, as well as a final blessing from Rumi to end the ceremony.

Describe your wedding flowers: Oh my gosh, how do I begin? This was by the far the most important part of the décor to me. I love and adore the work of one Asheville’s best florist, Jessica Gregory with Aria Floral, and as soon as we got engaged I knew I had to work with her! My color palette was to be light robin’s egg blue, with neutral accents in the burlap tablecloths and the guy’s linen suits. We used the florals to pop in lots of beautiful coral, hot pink, peach, pale yellow, cream, white, light pink, orange, and bright lime green as well as deep waxy green. I had this dream of using lots of fruit – peaches, Ranier cherries, cut pink grapefruits for their beautiful color, lots of vines, river rocks, and plenty of candle light throughout. I wanted a few tall pieces with hanging candles and then lots of the fruit and flower/orchard feeling carried throughout. I also found photos online of these amazing hanging flower boxes, which were just sort of a fantasy, but Jessica surprised me and made one out of a vintage planter that hung above the vintage mantle Josh and I had hunted around for and found on craigslist. It was GORGEOUS!

We’re seeing more and more of these chalkboard ceremony programs. I love the effect — graphic signage in place of paper goods (though y’all know how much we love paper).

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. This was a really important part for me!! My good friend Lauren and a family friend from my parent’s church played flute and hammered dulcimer as the bridal party and mothers processed in. Then we had two songs specifically that we had played for my processional and for the recessional. I walked in to the first 3 minutes of the Fleet Fox’s “The Shrine/An Argument” The lyrics and song were sort of inspirational for us as we planned our entire ceremony, and helped us envision the kind of hushed, intimate, and meaningful feeling we wanted everyone to leave with. We even used the lyrics to create a chalkboard hanging banner that we hung in one of the trees near the ceremony entrance, so everyone could read them. The moment when I started walking and could hear the song filling up the silence in the little mountain glade near a stream – it was perfect and so meaningful, just what I dreamed it would be. We recessed out to “Wouldn’t it Be Nice” by the Beach Boys. We just LOVE how that song starts and

Our wedding was designed to be a tribute to our beautiful Southern mountain home, where Josh and I were both raised. I absolutely loved the assortment of Appalachian quilts we used in our ceremony – Josh’s 90 year old grandmother is a life-long quilter and had created many of them. Her eyes lit up when she saw the brown horse-themed quilt she had made almost 34 years ago for Josh’s nursery. The china plates were also a tribute to our traditional Southern families. We used my mom’s pattern, my maternal grandmother’s pattern, Josh’s grandmother’s and great aunt’s pattern, Josh’s mother’s pattern, my Aunt’s pattern, and my great grandmother’s pattern. Not a single one was broken, to our relief! It was such a treat to see people admiring them. One guest was so excited that her late mother’s pattern was the plate that just happened to be placed at her seat. One detail that wasn’t photographed, unfortunately, was an old wheelbarrow we found in my dad’s garage and set up half-way up the rather steep hill that all our guests had to “hike” through the vineyard, between the ceremony and reception site. We filled it with ice and bottled water and beer, with a barnwood sign we made directing guests to take a little break, grab some refreshment, and enjoy the view! A lot of guests seemed grateful that we thought of it!

Oh how romantic is this photo? Sweet kisses, string lights and a night of celebration? Perfection.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Josh and I were both born in Western NC, he in Franklin and I in Asheville. His family moved to Asheville when he was in the fifth grade, and we attended the same high school. However, he was three years older than I, so I only knew of him by name. Years later, after we’d both graduated from college and lived elsewhere, we both found ourselves back in our hometown. We had a pair of mutual friends who’d begun dating, and they would often tell each of us that they wanted to introduce us. One evening in June of 2008, the meeting was finally facilitated, along with several other friends, and I found myself have a great conversation with Josh. At the end of the evening, I was excited about the possibility of getting to know him better; he’d gotten my phone number and a few nights later, he called and invited me along with a group of friends to 80’s Night at Broadway’s, one of our favorite little dive bars in Downtown Asheville. It’s a big-time dance party to all the music of our mutual childhoods. After five hours of dancing non-stop, we both knew we would be together. We had our first kiss that night when he dropped me off at home.
Describe the proposal. I am a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and though Josh went to UNC-Greensboro, he has several UNC alums in his family, so we are both die-hard Tar Heel fans. Every year, it’s our tradition to get each other basketball tickets to see a few UNC home games for Christmas. In February 2011, we headed down to Chapel Hill for the weekend to see a Sunday basketball game. I had some sort of weird premonition while packing for the weekend away that something big might happen, like a proposal. When no proposal happened Friday and nothing happened Saturday, I decided it was just a fluke with no real basis. We attended the basketball game on Sunday (Heels won!) and as the sun was setting, Josh wanted to do one last walk around Carolina’s beautiful campus before we got in the car to drive back to the mountains. We wandered around, heading toward one of the two main quads on campus. The Old Well is a small columned rotunda in the middle of campus, with a beautiful Carolina blue domed roof and white Doric columns surrounding a marble drinking fountain in the middle. It’s one of UNC’s most beloved symbols and a prominent icon on our campus. Legend has it that anyone who drinks from the fountain (or “well”) will have good luck. As we approached it, Josh suggested we each drink some water there for luck. I kind of laughed, but agreed. As I turned around, Josh was kneeling behind me with my beautiful vintage engagement ring in his palm. There are always a small smattering of tourists and students around the Old Well, so needless to say, his proposal had a little audience! Of course I said “Yes!!” as soon as I figured out what was going on.
In what month did you get married? We got married June 2.
How many guests attended your wedding? 175
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: One of my best friends also got engaged within months of Josh and me, and she and I decided to take a little impromptu trip to Atlanta to start our wedding dress search. I really had no idea what I wanted – I had never imagined myself a bride, and couldn’t imagine what would be flattering on me and what I would be comfortable in. My friend and I both agreed we might even get simple white eyelet sundresses – maybe we’d forego the typical wedding dress route. As soon as we each tried on our first “real” wedding gown, that idea went out the window! We went to lots and lots of boutiques, just to see what options existed. A Swiss-dotted tulle drop-waisted dress from James Clifford stuck in my mind over all that I tried. When I returned to Asheville, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, even though the trip had been intended as just exploratory. I started calling around to shops in NC to see if anyone near us carried the dress I’d found. The designer was only available in two boutiques in North Carolina! My mom had seen a picture of it online, but of course I wanted her to see me in it, in person, to make sure she agreed that it might be “the dress.” We called the boutiques, and just one of them happened to have the actual dress in the shop to try on – as part of a trunk show that ended the next weekend! So, we left at lunchtime on a Friday to drive to Raleigh together to try the dress before the trunk show ended. She loved it, and on second sight, I loved it even more! I bought it that day.then builds with a drum into the first chorus! It just makes me smile! There was no other option.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: This was another thing that I had a specific vision for. I am a person who lives for the details, so I had so much fun planning these specific visual elements, like the look of the cake. I wanted something that go with our Appalachian mountain feel – nothing too perfect or clean – so fondant was definitely out (plus I don’t like that it’s not all that good to eat. Cake should be edible!) I worked with the amazing Tiffany Goode of Tiffany’s Baking Co. and we decided that shaved white chocolate would give a beautiful, rustic, free-flowing texture to the three-tier round cake. I definitely wanted a few big sugar flowers, too. We went with three big peonies that were soft blush pink. It turned out just beautifully and was delicious as well.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: A few of my top favorites were our vintage mantle with the rows of multi-height hurricanes on top, the moss covered trays I created with corks and beautiful tea-stained tags and calligraphed names that we used for our escort cards, the beautiful chalk board menu and “program” which my friend, the very talented Mandylynn Holt created, the vintage plates we used for dinner and dessert, the strawberry plants that Jessica used to decorate some of the feasting tables, and the alternating hay bale rows and farm benches we used for our ceremony seating. We covered all the bales with vintage quilts collected over many years by the women in Josh’s family and a few close friends.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? With two parents who are small business owners, it just wasn’t possible to have a “dream wedding” budget. When we first started playing with numbers, I admit I experienced a few weeks of disappointment that it seemed there was no way we could afford to do the beautiful Southern mountain wedding that I wanted. But, with some creativity, Josh and I worked out a savings plan and got creative and DIY with as many details as we could. I didn’t want to sacrifice any of the little touches that are so important to me, so we took lots of time and planning energy to find a way to make them all happen, despite a limited budget. I ordered all the fabrics wholesale, and my mom sewed all 30 of the burlap tablecloths and almost 100 feet of linen runners! We scoured yard sales and flea markets and estate sales for over a year to find deals on more dinner plates and dessert plates. We were successful in never paying more than $3 a plate, while using real china for all our pieces. My now-husband, both of our fathers and several of my best girl friends spent two days setting everything up. It was so gratifying to have everyone pitch in to make such a beautiful, memorable, special day.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? We spent between $10,000 and $25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? The flowers, hands down! They were really the one area I spent “above average” on, and it was SO worth it. I feel flowers and candles and lanterns just MAKE an event, and Jessica’s work was exactly what I wanted – I loved every little vine and cherry.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Walking down the aisle, hearing the beautiful and haunting Fleet Foxes song, and looking at all our friends and family surrounding us in the beautiful mountain meadow, with my new husband waiting just ahead of me at the end of the aisle.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take your time! Try to be organized and disciplined with your lists of what you need to do and when you’d like to do it. Share the calendar somewhere you can both see it. Know yourself and build your wedding vision around what you’ll enjoy spending your time on. I was SO glad the entire time that I hadn’t taken on a bunch of crafts or décor projects myself — that’s just not what I love to spend my time on. Instead, I did a few big things and found great talented friends and artists on Etsy to help with the rest. Josh and my Mom were also BIG helps. Use your mother and fiancé – they want to be involved!!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? I’m not sure yet! We’ll see where life takes us! We’re both busy with our jobs and looking forward to a trip to NYC to visit my sister this fall. We have some projects around the house we’re looking forward to working on when life settles down, and I can’t wait to celebrate the holiday season as a married couple, finally!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
15 Comments
  1. avatar Mollie reply

    Gorgeous wedding!

  2. avatar Carlene R.D. reply

    I love that they use southern produce in their centerpieces! I adore it. When I got married last fall, I had produce in my bouquet (I’m a dietitian). I have a super soft spot for it! Love your site!

  3. avatar Rose {Rose and Ruby Paper Co.} reply

    Love it – especially the DRESS!! Gorgeous!
    xx

  4. avatar Ceremony Programs, a necessary evil when planning a wedding? « A Connecticut Wedding & Event Planner's Blog reply

    […] YES. Yes, I do think your guests care. Yes, I do think they actually read them. And yes, they do all end up in the trash/recycle bin at the end of the night.  So great! What now? Enter- the chalkboard!!!! The perfect quick fix for this dilemma of magnitude proportion (insert gross exaggeration here). The chalkboard is not a newcomer to weddings- they are enormously popular and enormously useful. Whether shabby chic, retro glam, or black tie elegant, they are incredibly versatile to fit your style. And let’s face it, you can find anything on Etsy. But what about this clever use at this fabulous wedding found on a recent post of Southern Weddings? […]

  5. avatar Elizabeth reply

    I am obsessed with the bridesmaid dress color. What is the specific designer and color?

    • avatar Nicole reply

      Hi Elizabeth! Aren’t they lovely? Those dresses are B2 by Jasmine Bridal and Liz customized the color with a seafoam lining and powder blue chiffon for the outer layers.

  6. avatar Leah Hatton reply

    Would you mind telling me what specific color the Jasmine bridesmaid dresses were?

    • avatar Nicole reply

      Hi Leah! Those dresses are B2 by Jasmine Bridal. Liz customized the color with a seafoam lining and powder blue chiffon for the outer layers.

  7. avatar Five Fun Ways to Use Chalkboards reply

    […] menu via Southern Weddings  |  drink menu via Style Me Pretty  |  drinks via Ruffled  |  good eats via Style Me […]

  8. avatar Linda reply

    I am from Asheville, I would love to know where this venue is? Gorgeous wedding!

  9. avatar Taylor reply

    Hello! I am wondering if you could let me know what color the bridesmaids dresses are! And, where they were purchased? Thanks!

    • avatar Liz (the bride!) reply

      Hi Taylor, these dresses were B2 by Jasmine. I got them at Wedding Inspirations in Asheville. You could call and order them remotely if you’re not in the area. Google them. The dresses are a custom color: Seamist satin lining, with the Powder Blue chiffon outer layer. Style B2078. Hope that helps!

  10. avatar Elinor reply

    What a beautiful Asheville wedding! Love the wedding flowers! Xo.

  11. avatar Spring Wedding Flowers :: Wedding Tips and Trends reply

    […] delicate and airy and make a perfect bridesmaids bouquet to compliment the bride’s. You can see these flowers looked gorgeous together at the wedding of Liz and Josh, captured by Angela […]

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