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Although it is practically impossible to come up with any real “rules” of wedding planning, there are a few guidelines that I think almost always apply: to work with your venue’s style and colors rather than against them, and that simple is often better. Cassidy and Mark hit it out of the park on both of these accounts, and as a result, their Outer Banks wedding was the stuff of beach wedding dreams! Their venue, The Saltaire House, needed very little decoration, so they included just a few thoughtful details that focused on their guests’ experience and let the romantic gardens and ocean views take care of the rest.

Thanks to Ben Lowry for sharing this beautiful wedding with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Right after we got engaged and I returned to Raleigh, I looked up wedding dress shops online. I called a place I had seen before called Traditions By Anna, and as it turned out, they were having a sample sale the following week and were taking appointments. I made one with the intention of going to find out what I was looking for, not to actually buy. My good friend came with me and I picked out four dresses. The second one I tried on was stunning! The ladies at the shop said no one had ever tried it on in front of them. When I walked out into the front room where the natural sunlight was coming in, I knew it was my dress. The light caught the crystals in the dress beautifully. It was like no dress I had ever seen and I loved it!

I walked down the aisle to the sound of live steel drums playing Canon in D. I played piano growing up and it was always my favorite song. I was ecstatic when I learned that they could actually play it on steel drums. When they announced us, the drums played “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? My family and I have traveled to the Outer Banks for many vacations. We thought it would be nice to have our wedding and a vacation combined so we could all spend more time together. When Mark and I went to look for a venue in the Outer Banks, I immediately fell in love with the Saltaire House.

The Saltaire House has a wraparound porch, a “saloon”-like bar, and gorgeous Southern decor. To keep people cool, we offered gorgeous paper fans from BHLDN and refreshing cucumber water. Our specialty cocktail was a John Daly (vodka, lemonade and sweet tea). Our food from Enchanted Cuisine was Southern and delicious–for appetizers, we had hush puppies, pickled shrimp with smoky cocktail sauce, and pimiento and crab on cornbread crostinis. Our main courses included NC pulled pork BBQ sandwiches, mac and cheese, watermelon and feta salad, and smoked chicken over Lowcountry red rice.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Yum! Just Desserts made our three-tiered wedding cake. It had ombre green layers, and was decorated with hydrangeas and white starfish. She did a wonderful job! Two of the layers were chocolate eclair, and the third layer was macadamia nut.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The caterers and service staff were fantastic, but I think the music is what really made our night. The steel drums were unique and sounded so beautiful during the reception and cocktail hour. During and after dinner, our DJ was amazing at feeling out the crowd and playing things we loved. There was so much dancing–that was Mark and I’s favorite part about the evening.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Mark and I first met in November 2008. My friend was dating his friend, and I was dating someone else, and we all met up at the designated “Ohio State” bar to watch a big game. We are both from Ohio, but lived in Raleigh at the time. A little over a year passed, and once I had split with my boyfriend, I signed up for Match.com. I emailed Mark because I thought he was cute, but I didn’t remember having met him. He immediately recognized me. Fortunately, he was the only man I had to go on a date with through Match, and on our first date, I knew that he was the one.
Tell us all about the proposal! We went to Las Vegas to celebrate Mark’s 30th birthday. He planned for us to take a gondola ride at the Venetian, then to go to a nice dinner, and finally, to go see Phantom of the Opera (my favorite Broadway show). After a little gambling and relaxing, we made our way to the Venetian for the gondola ride. Mark was frantic because we were running late for the “reservation,” but I didn’t think it was that serious. We eventually made it to the ride. Under the second bridge, Mark pulled out my GORGEOUS ring, turned to me, said some lovely words, and asked me to marry him. I was stunned! However, before I officially said yes, I really wanted him to ask on one knee. Mark is a big rule-follower, so he asked the gondolier if he could undo his velcro seatbelt and get on one knee. I got two proposals when he asked me all over again! Of course, I cried and said yes!
When did y’all get married? June 22, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 85
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did not. We both wanted to see each other for the first time in front of all of our friends and family. It was an amazing moment.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My older sister read a “quote” from Bob Marley that I loved! “She’s not perfect–you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together, but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break–her heart. So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyze, and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.”
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Staying within a budget was very challenging, and we took a lot of time to create our menu. My husband and I LOVE food, so that was one of the biggest priorities of the day. My brother-in-law, who is a chef, helped create the menu, and my caterer, Gwen Hart from Enchanted Cuisines, was so nice and accommodating. She did an amazing job creating the food we asked for and everyone raved about it.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Once I had a budget, I mapped out how much we could spend in each area. Once we had that, I worked very hard to stay within it, which helped a lot. I didn’t spend a lot on centerpieces or flowers, because the home and the outdoors lent itself to beautiful pictures and decor.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Do what makes you happy. Decide what is most important to you (food, drinks, flowers, decor) and go from there. Food, drink and photos mattered most to us, and that was where we were willing to spend more. And at your reception, DANCE!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are moving back to Ohio soon to be closer to our families and to eventually start our own family. We will miss North Carolina, but it will always be a place we can return to for vacations and visiting friends.

Photographer: Ben Lowry / Venue: The Saltaire House / Florist: The Embellishers / Wedding Cake: Melinda Gregory of Just Desserts / Caterer: Enchanted Cuisine / Rentals: Ocean Atlantic Rentals / Ceremony Musicians: One Love Caribbean Steel Drum Band / DJ: DJ Fresh, Clarence Randall / Bridal Salon: Traditions by Anna / Paper Fans: BHLDN / Bride’s Earrings: Kate Spade / Hair Stylist: Ashley Dashiell of Dimensions Hair / Makeup Artist: Chelsey Crago / Bride’s Shoes: DSW / Groom’s Attire: Tommy Bahama / Shuttle: Island Limo

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Kat reply

    I love her dress & the simplistic way they styled everything. What a beautiful beach wedding!!

  2. avatar Dana reply

    love her dress! she is styled so beautifully!

  3. avatar tungsten carbide ring reply

    wow,your post is so nice,and the wedding dress are so beautiful!!!i hope you will lilke ,it’s a best choice for your wedding!!!tungsten carbide ring

  4. avatar Julie Wirthman reply

    I attended my niece Cassidy’s wedding – it was amazing.. she was a beautiful bride – the venue, the food, everything was perfect!!! This article is the topping on the cake!!

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Welcome to Lauren + Jake’s wedding full of strawberry deliciousness and summery farm fun! According to Lauren, one of the biggest priorities when planning was to have a laid-back, Southern feel. I think the newlyweds succeeded in their mission. Not only were guests transported from the ceremony site to the reception by a wagon-hitched tractor, but they were greeted with bluegrass music, a menu of Southern fare, farm animals, cornhole and s’mores! We’re sending giant hugs to Anna Hedges who brightened our day with this wedding.

As a paper-nerd and strawberry-lover, Lauren + Jake’s simple invitation suite steals my heart. My favorite part? The handwritten feel of their return address!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I knew that I wanted a dress from J. Crew because I wanted something simple and comfortable. Our photographer told me about finding bridesmaid dresses for her sister’s wedding at a J. Crew clearance store near Asheville, NC. They had a few wedding dresses in my size, and I loved the first one I tried on.

I walked down the aisle to the Beatles’ “Here Come the Sun,” played acoustically by our friend Ryan. The recessional was “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oates.

How festive is this reception setup? Lauren handmade all 300 feet of bunting by herself!

Lack of time was our biggest obstacle. I wanted our day to include a lot of personal details, so I planned most of the wedding and made most of the decorations by myself. This wouldn’t have been such an obstacle except that I was also juggling veterinary school simultaneously.

Patterns and textures are one of my favorite parts about seeing weddings. L + J’s gingham runners and rosette napkin rings take the cake! (And who’s complaining about those baskets of strawberries next to each place setting? Not me.)

Since we got married on a farm with an old-fashioned feel, we felt that it was more appropriate to have pie than cake. Our caterer baked delicious strawberry pies that served as centerpieces for each table.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Jake and I met through friends when he was a senior and I was a junior in high school. We dated long distance for five and a half years during my time at college in South Carolina and my first two years of veterinary school in Knoxville, TN.
Describe the proposal. Jake proposed during a weekend visit to Knoxville. We went on a hike together and he popped the question by a lake. I’d never seen him so nervous before!
In what month did you get married? May
How many guests attended your wedding? 150
Did you decide to do a “first look”? We did a “first look” because we thought that it would ease the tension and nervousness of the day!
Describe your wedding flowers: I didn’t have anything specific in mind when I discussed the flowers with the florist, but I knew that I wanted something that looked unfussy but beautiful. She came up with a great assortment of peonies, anemones, and other local, seasonal flowers.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The s’mores! We set up a fire pit and provided roasting sticks and s’more fixings for a late night snack for our guests.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? The food was the most expensive part of our day, but it was so worth it! We’re self-proclaimed foodies, so providing a great menu to our guests was really important to us.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? A great part of our day was the send off. Our guests lit sparklers and it was so special to be surrounded by the glowing faces of the people most important to us before we left to start our new life together.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t think about it too much! I am a very type-A, high-stress person and I tried my best to relax during the months leading up to the wedding. I think that I enjoyed the day even more because I was able to unwind.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We’ll be in Knoxville for two years more as I complete my time in veterinary school. We have no idea what the future holds for us, but we are looking forward to moving ahead together.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
6 Comments
  1. avatar Bella Eventi by Olivia George reply

    Love the personal touches and can’t believe she made all that bunting herself! Lovely!

  2. avatar Lucia reply

    I love these wedding photos! Can you please tell me where the invitations are from? Thank you,
    Lucia

  3. avatar Hay, You! | Weddingbee reply

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  5. avatar Alexis reply

    What fabric did you go with to cover the hay bales?

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I fell in love with this wedding even before I saw the photos from Dixie Pixel. Allison + Scott knew that getting their 70 ceremony guests to the top of a mountain to witness their vows would be a challenge, but their “I do’s” at Max Patch Bald on the Appalachian Trail told their story in a way no other location could.

“When we first started dating, Scott left to hike the Continental Divide Trail and we made no plans to stay together. I wasn’t sure if I would hear from him at all while he was gone, but every town that he hiked to along the trail, Scott would stop at a payphone and call me, so I felt like I was with him on his journey. About 2 months into the his hike, I flew from Knoxville to Montana on to see him for about 30 hours. Upon arriving in Montana I had to drive two hours to a place called “bench mark wilderness” and try and find him since there was no way to communicate with each other. In the pitch black on a gravel road, I traveled for over an hour having no clue if I was going the right direction. I found Scott on the side of the road where he had been for over eight hours waiting for me to arrive (having just hiked about 30-35 miles per day for a week to get to a place where we could meet). I dropped him back on the trail a day and a half later. We have been together ever since.”

The most memorable part of the day was hiking up the mountain with my nine bridesmaids enjoying the panoramic views of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains and being on top of the mountain with Scott and looking out at our family and loved ones, seeing everyone just being truly happy and emotional. It was a very magical experience.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We didn’t but Scott is a thru hiker and has hiked the ECT, the PCT, the AT and has attempted to hike the Continental Divide trail on two occasions. Part of my vows to him was to support his dreams, including his hiking.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We didn’t have any, but our officiant, Lynda Evans led the our mountain top guests in a group meditation, followed by the vows and the ring ceremony.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. There was only one song played at the actual wedding on top of the mountain. Dave Campbell played the guitar and he and his wife Katie sang “Home” by Edward Sharp by the Magnetic Zeroes as I walked up. The music at the brunch reception was bluegrass music played by the band Y’uns.

The shot above and below have me torn. Both sum up the day perfectly, in my opinion!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The décor of the ceremony was the panoramic view of the Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains and the wild buttercup flowers. At the reception, drinks were served in mason jars, farm tables were used for dining, the flowers were roses and hydrangeas mixed with sunflowers significant to the couple in mason jars. Vintage plates and napkins were used, little jars of local Tennessee Wildflower honey and dippers were at each table setting as a party favor, and the columns of the old George Barber home were wrapped in a garland of roses.

Our wedding flowers were hydrangeas and wild flowers, roses and sunflowers. For the cake, I ordered three regular cakes from Magpies: one strawberry shortcake, one pineapple upside down and one chocolate.

How did the two of you meet? Scott was bartending at the Crown & Goose and I lived a block away and frequented the pub. He was pretty clueless, and I had to overtly hit on him for him to get the picture!
Describe the proposal. There wasn’t one. We just decided it was time.
In what month did you get married? May
How many guests attended your wedding? About 70 on the mountain and 150 at the reception
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: “Home” by Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeroes is significant to us because the first time I heard these lyrics, I thought of Scott. “Moats and boats and waterfalls, alleyways and payphone calls, I been everywhere with you.”
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Getting the guests up the mountain and having a bathroom for them to use!
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000 – $15,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Photography
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? We decided to get married on April 8 and had the wedding the next month on May 20. I totally recommend a quick engagement. It was less stress and it was a super special and exciting month.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We’re continuing to renovate our home and will someday have kids.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
12 Comments
  1. avatar MacKenzie reply

    One of my favorite weddings! Beautiful images and LOVE LOVE LOVE that they tied the knot in the morning and enjoyed a brunch after the ceremony. Also, how cute are those little pancake appetizers!? I really adore the creativity of this couple in making their wedding so “them”!

    • avatar Nicole reply

      MacKenzie, I SO agree. I love that they ignored everyone’s advice not to have a mountaintop ceremony — it was so special and meaningful.

  2. avatar Emily reply

    Your whole wedding seems like it was so beautiful, but I just had to specifically comment because I LOVE the song you used in your ceremony. “Home” by Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeroes is one of my favorite songs, but I never thought of it for a wedding until now – its perfect!

  3. avatar susan reply

    i am the very proud mother of the groom, it was a beautiful wedding and scott and allison are the absolute best!!

  4. avatar scott & allison | Dixie Pixel Photography reply

    […] places.  Some of the images above were taken by him.  Also, a big thank you to the ladies at Southern Weddings for featuring this wedding on their blog today! Post a comment […]

  5. avatar Emily reply

    I love this wedding for so many reasons, but one of them is because I’ve hiked on Max Patch Bald! Absolutely beautiful, and perfect for a breathtaking ceremony!

  6. avatar Sarah Der reply

    I love this wedding/couple/photographer/mountaintop so, so much.

  7. avatar Big Decisions: The Venue (Part 2) | My Big Colorful Wedding reply

    […] from Wedding Wire Image by Sposa Bella Photography) Max Patch Bald, North Carolina. (Image from Southern Weddings Image by Dixie Pixel […]

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    […] Michael & Colby Greg & Bonne Scott & Allison (featured in Enchanted Brides Magazine, Southern Weddings blog and Rock 'N Roll Bride blog) Kevin & Erica Joe & Jordan (featured in Pink Bride Magazine […]

  10. avatar Big Decisions: The Venue (Part 2) | Weddingbee reply

    […] Patch Bald, North Carolina. (Image from Southern Weddings / Image by Dixie Pixel […]

  11. avatar Amy reply

    I am actually considering having my wedding at Max Patch bald although I am getting some resistance from guests concerned about the hike to the top of the mountain. Any suggestions or feedback on how to get an elderly person to the top? Love your wedding!

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