Friday, September 24, 2010

Vow to be Different

That's what all brides want right? To have a wedding like no other? To be remembered for getting married in a castle, on top of a mountain or even on a sprawling farm. It's your chance to make real lasting memories for you as well as your guests. It's your chance to be different. In Asheville.

Rachael McIntosh is a creative, energetic individual with an eye for unique photographic opportunities. A longtime artist and employee of Biltmore Estate, Rachael realized a passion for capturing those special moments. Check out the pictures below and also visit her website at

Friday, June 18, 2010

Experience an Asheville Wedding

Wondering what makes an Asheville wedding so special? See for yourself in this video that captures the joy of one happy bride. Plan your Asheville wedding today.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Asheville Landmarks Transform Bridal Photos

Asheville photographer Zaire Kacz, owner of Zaire Kacz Photography, knows a thing or two about capturing gorgeous photographs around Asheville. She photographed this stunning bridal portrait at downtown Asheville’s new Pack Square Park.

The graceful stainless steel pergola in the background is the creation of local artist Hoss Haley. The 120-foot undulating sculpture pays homage to the Blue Ridge Mountains, while framing the government buildings in the background.

Think you’re a city chic bride? Check out how to plan your urban-inspired Asheville wedding.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Asheville Puts a New Spin on Wedding Dances

The first dance for the bride and groom is a momentous occasion. No one knows that better than Kathleen Hahn. Kathleen helps brides and grooms add a little Asheville-funk to their first dance with her business I Do Dances.

Kathleen’s visions for wedding dances are just like Asheville: fun, creative and unique. She meets with the bride and groom and learns about them as a couple and then choreographs a dance that captures their personal style.

Best of all, Kathleen’s vision doesn’t require hours of lessons or a huge time commitment. In fact, she only meets with couples twice, which makes her service great for out-of-town brides looking to book a destination wedding in Asheville.

After the initial meeting, she creates a special a DVD of the wedding dance for the couple. It’s a process that’s cost-effective and convenient, because the couple can practice at home without having to bother with weekly classes or lessons.

Best of all? Her moves don’t require for prior dance experience. Kathleen choreographs the dance to match specific verses in the music, so there’s no need to stress over music beats and dance counts. And forget fancy dance combos. Kathleen taps into each couple’s innate rhythm to create a dance that’s effortless to learn.

Need proof that Kathleen doesn’t produce your ordinary wedding dance? Check out this video:

Monday, March 29, 2010

Asheville Couple Vies for a Dream Wedding

Scott and Lauren love Asheville…well…almost as much as they love each other! They’ve entered the Crate & Barrel Ultimate Wedding Contest in an attempt to win the wedding of their dreams. Help them by voting online.

Interested in more Asheville brides’ love stories? Check out the romantic connection that these brides shared with Asheville.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

An Asheville Photographer that Gives Back

One of the great things about Asheville is the people. Our city is a mixture of personalities, and, more often than not, we are home to a compassionate community of folks.

Asheville photographer Jerry Nelson is no exception. Jerry fell in love with photography when he received a red plastic camera for his seventh birthday. His passions for photography and life have led him on a wild journey across America and Asheville.

As a photographer, he captures daily life in Asheville and even works as wedding photographer documenting the joy and excitement of brides on their wedding day.

As a community activist, he works to raise awareness about homeless veterans. Today, Jerry sets off on a cross-country bicycle ride to raise funds and awareness for the Asheville Homeless Network.

When Jerry gets back this summer, he will have raised $10,000 for the cause and have a fresh batch of stories to tell. He also confesses he’ll be ready to get back to shooting the local scene around town, including brides who want to book him for his intuitive and raw photography style.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Asheville Florist Creates Cute-as-a-Button Wedding Bouquets

Brides looking for a way to truly stand out on their wedding day have found their match with one of Asheville's unique florists. Celia Barbieri has turned a life-long love affair with buttons into an art and business as the Button Florist.

Button Creations Perfect for Brides
Her masterpieces include bridal bouquets, jewelry and centerpieces—items perfect for adding flair to your wedding.

And her creations are eco-friendly as well, because she finds new life for old buttons through her creations. Celia scours thrift stores, Ebay and yard sales for buttons to use in her work. She also creates her own ceramic buttons to incorporate into arrangements. Each ceramic button is a work of art that is hand-stamped, hand-dyed and signed by Celia.

Want to Learn More?
Think the Button Florist is just who you need to stand out on your wedding day? Look Celia up. Her creative home is in Asheville’s River Arts District, one of Asheville’s coolest spot for working artists.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Create Wedding Favors Asheville-Style

Looking to add some quirky fun to your wedding favors or wedding bar? Brides and grooms hosting their wedding in Asheville can jazz up their suds by creating personalized beer bottles.

Personalized Beer Labels for Weddings
Asheville Brewing just announced the ability to create personalized labels for 22-ounce beer bottles. Brews available for custom labeling include Shiva IPA, Ninja Porter, Houdini ESB, Rocket Girl Gold and Red Light IPA.

As long as the label doesn’t violate copyright laws, the sky is the limit for creativity. Cost is $90 for the first case of 12, 22-ounce beers and $45 per case thereafter.

Inspired by Beer?
It doesn’t have to stop with personalized beer in Asheville (home of Beer City USA). Check out how one Asheville bride incorporated Asheville’s brewing scene into her wedding rehearsal and after-party. Or go truly nuts and try out these beer-inspired vows.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Asheville Restaurant Rated Tops in “The Knot”

Asheville’s food scene has long garnered attention for being the home of the Foodtopian Society and its emphasis on farm-to-table cuisine. Our creative and delicious cuisine often translates into delicious wedding menus that leave guests begging for more.

It’s no surprise then, that one of our very own restaurants was named as a 2010 winner in the “The Knot Best of Weddings.” Artisan Catering and Deli offers complex flavor combinations with an emphasis on fresh ingredients in its restaurant and catering menus.

Executive Chef Mauricio Villa was thrilled with the news that his restaurant was rated tops. He said, “Being selected as a winner in ‘The Knot Best of Weddings’ in our state is an extra sweet honor, because it was the bride themselves who voted for us. Now with our new and expanded catering kitchen, we look forward to another exciting year of serving brides and clients with the best we have to offer.”

Monday, February 15, 2010

Destination Wedding Ideas for Brides

Did you get engaged on Valentine’s Day? Well, congratulations! If you need some help before happily ever after, look no further!

Free Destination Wedding Planning Advice
Did you know that there are free wedding services available through the local tourism office? Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau offers area insight and advice to help brides find the perfect venue, local vendors and guest accommodations that fit the wedding budget.

Some say it’s the mountain air that draws people here or the blend of artistic culture, history and Southern charm…some even claim it’s cosmic energy. Whatever the reason, Asheville’s Blue Ridge Mountain backdrop has inspired brides from modern bohemians to real American princess Cornelia Vanderbilt, daughter of George W. Vanderbilt.

What Kind of Bride Are You?
Find out at

Image courtesy of Ashley Felkel

Friday, February 12, 2010

More Asheville Wedding Stories

The stories of getting married in Asheville are as special and unique as the couple. Discover why Craig and Nathalie chose to say “I do” in Asheville.

How did you meet?
Craig and I met at an 80s bar in New York City. When I walked into the bar, I spotted Craig immediately. Craig has red hair, and I have always been attracted to redheads. We danced the night away and the rest is history! Craig proposed in February 2008.

Why did you select Asheville as your wedding destination?
I knew right from the start that I wanted to get married in Asheville, my hometown. Since Craig—and the majority of his friends and family—had never visited Biltmore before, we felt having our wedding on the grounds would be magical.

Sometimes living in an area, you become accustomed to your surroundings and take for granted the beautiful places and landmarks that are right in your backyard.

I felt this way about Biltmore. I grew up with it and never really imagined I would get married there. We were so excited with the thought of our guests experiencing the beauty of the Biltmore.

Where did you get married?
We chose to have our ceremony and reception at Biltmore’s Deerpark Restaurant. Traditionally, weddings at Deerpark Restaurant are in the courtyard, but we had our eye on the surrounding grounds.

Across from the restaurant’s entrance is a sloping field with a fence to separate it from a cow pasture. Biltmore had never hosted a wedding ceremony in the field, but they were up for the challenge!

Describe your romantic Asheville wedding.
Craig and I were married on June 13, 2009, almost three years from the day we met. What made our wedding so very unique and special to us were the people involved. Throughout the entire process, we were lucky to have family members and close friends to help make our wedding distinctively ours.

Deerpark Restaurant is already decorated year-round for Biltmore guests, so we didn’t have to add too much to the decor. I wanted to keep the ceremony site simple and in harmony with the outdoors.

My mother contacted Blossoms in Asheville for flowers. With their advice, she was able to pick out all the flowers and arrange them herself. She rented vases and designed all the tables at the reception.

She also made ceramic flower vases for the fence posts that separated the field from the pasture. After the wedding, each vase was then given to those who helped out with the wedding.

For the ceremony, my uncle made an arbor out of Mountain Laurel and Rhododendron branches from our families’ land in Black Mountain, NC. This was my uncle’s wedding present to me. It is a gift I will treasure forever and someday put in my garden.

Beyond the wedding, how did you and your guests enjoy the Asheville area?
My cousin Jonathan started a brewery in Asheville, Craggy Brewing Company. Jonathan brewed a special beer for our wedding called “Schubrew” (after my married name Schubert) which we served at our rehearsal and after-party.

The rehearsal dinner ended up being just as special as the reception. The rehearsal dinner was at the Farm Party Barn in Candler, NC with live music from a local bluegrass band, Brushfire Stankgrass, Asheville’s 12 Bones barbeque and local beer!

Were you happy with your Asheville wedding?
Biltmore was very supportive of our ideas and helped make it happen. One unique feature was the Black Angus cows grazing in the field behind the ceremony.

Biltmore agreed to place feed in the center of the field to entice the cows to graze there during the ceremony. They even let the cattle out to run down the field just as the ceremony ended.

All of the guests were in awe, including me. It was a beautiful and unique sight! So much love and care went into that day, making it the most wonderful and memorable day of my life!

Asheville Wedding Stories

Wondering what makes an Asheville wedding so special? Find out from Barbara and Shane who chose to get married in our mountain city.

Where are you from?
We live in Durham, NC. However, I’m from Savannah, GA via Belgium and Shane’s from all over the world since he’s a military brat. He mostly grew up in Hawaii and Korea.

How did you meet?
It was 1996. (We dated for a long time!) I was one of three women pet sitting for Shane’s brother and sister-in-law while they were on a trip to Scotland. Shane had moved from Hawaii to go to school here and was living with them. His work schedule didn’t lend itself to taking care of the dogs, so she hired us to stay in shifts at the house to watch the animals.

One Friday night, Shane had an after-work get together at the house and he found me squatting over one of the dogs that had gotten sick. He pushed me over and I fell on my butt. As I was falling over, he simply stated, “Always be aware of your surroundings.” And he left the room chuckling.

I felt like we were in first grade, and he’d just pulled my ponytail and ran. He later made some bagel bites and I was the only person he fed them to. It was love at first bite.

Describe your romantic Asheville wedding.
We were married on November 1 in an outdoors ceremony at Hidden River in Swannanoa, just outside of Asheville. We were by a river, under a canopy of trees and surrounded by our families and friends. Our Scottish heritage was represented with kilts and other traditional garb.

It was a beautiful autumn day, with fall foliage all around. The weather was 70 degrees every day with not a cloud in the sky.

Why did you select Asheville as your wedding destination?
I always wanted to be married in either Savannah, GA, where I grew up, or in the mountains. The few sites in Savannah I was interested in were unavailable or unresponsive. I figured it was fate that we should get married in the mountains.

I searched all over Western North Carolina for the right spot, which was difficult because ALL of Western North Carolina is so beautiful!

I wanted a location that was easily accessible for our guests, unique in its surroundings, had a strong eco-friendly and community vibe and abundant activities for our guests. Asheville and its surrounding areas had that in spades.

Describe a moment that was made extra special by selecting Asheville as your setting.
The fact that I could have the Jaws theme as my entrance song and know it would be embraced as unique, wonderful and special without ever feeling the need to be conventional.

This describes Asheville to me—its ability and ease of embracing and encouraging the unique, the special and the non-conventional.

How did you infuse unique or local flavor in your wedding?
I wanted Asheville and the surrounding areas reflected in our wedding and reception. I wanted to support local vendors, but still allow our own style to shine through.

Laurey’s, a local caterer and restaurateur who is a huge proponent of buying local, catered our reception. Our wine was recommended and provided by Jessica Creel at Hops & Vines. And our beer was supplied by Highland Brewing Company. We served their Gaelic Ale and seasonal Oktoberfest.

For the wedding cakes, we had 50, four-inch cakes in five flavors made by a local high school chemistry teacher who does this as her hobby—Melissa Robinson of Melissa’s Gourmet Desserts.

Then we purchased our flowers and table d├ęcor at a farmers market in Asheville the day before.

Beyond the wedding, how did you and your guests enjoy the Asheville area?
Several of our guests visited Biltmore and the Grove Park Inn. Others drove the Blue Ridge Parkway. Some puttered in downtown Asheville and enjoyed the independently owned shops, restaurants and craft stores, while others explored Black Mountain.

Were you happy with your Asheville wedding?
Definitely! I would do it all over again in Asheville.

Image courtsey of photographer Audrey Goforth

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wedding Trend Wednesday: Old Jewelry is New Again

One of the hottest trends in the wedding scene and among Asheville brides? Vintage costume bridal jewelry designed to recall the glitz and glamour of the Gilded Age and Jazz Age.

Can’t get your hands on the family jewels? No worries! Lots of jewelers are specializing in custom jewels that look just like the real thing.

Brides lucky enough to get married in Asheville, can call upon on the many independent jewelry stores in and around downtown. Some specialize specifically in vintage costume jewels, including Shelly’s Family Jewels.

Dreaming of a wedding that captures the essence of old-fashioned romance? See how Asheville does romantic weddings.
Photo Courtesy of Shelley's Family Jewels

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bride & Groom Get Married with Beer Vows

Forget "till death do us part." Personalized vows are going to a whole new level this year. Need proof? Check out these vows that compare a lifetime of marriage to brewing the perfect beer.

One-of-a-Kind Beer Vows
"Water is the essence of life, but when water is combined with grains, hops and yeast, the outcome is glorious beer. So too shall be the product of your union. It is an unselfish union between beer’s basic ingredients that makes the finished product truly magical."

The metaphor continues throughout the ceremony and (waxes poetic) as it warms the heart of any true beer lover.

A True Brewtopia
Love beer, but not ready to take the plunge with beer-infused vows? Consider having your wedding in Asheville, named Beer City USA in 2009 by With 10 breweries, four annual beer festivals, and guided beer tour of the city, Asheville is the place for beer lovers to unite--with beer vows or without.