Friday, February 12, 2010

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

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