When we first review a wedding, adjectives begin bubbling about in our minds. This wedding ~ Catherine and Andrew’s Biltmore Estate wedding, just felt magical. How ironic, was it that during their vows, Catherine said, “You brought magic to my life … we will live lives full of love and laughter that will make people stare!”
Our thanks to Woodward and Rick for a peek into Catherine & Andrew’s dreamy wedding! And our sincere congratulations to this lovely couple!
And now ~ the pièce de résistance from the ever-amazing Elysium Productions … Catherine and Andrew’s wedding film …
From the beautiful bride, Catherine …
We’re not quite sure when we first met. Maybe 1994, maybe 1995, somewhere within the walls of Biltmore United Methodist Church in Asheville, North Carolina. Although we were casual friends growing up, we made it official in 2003. Within a few weeks, we both knew it was a perfect fit. Our relationship strengthened throughout college as we dealt with new opportunities and challenges, namely the intense rivalry of our alma maters. We’re still working on that. We explored Europe together during our 2007 semester abroad in Florence, Italy. Although there wasn’t a question that we’d spend our lives together, our time abroad really sealed the deal. Italy is pretty romantic, you know. As we graduated and moved to different states, we learned the value of communication, unlimited wireless plans and Delta SkyMiles! Andrew proposed at Veritas winery in Virginia, a thoughtful combination of the Blue Ridge mountains we grew up around and the wine culture we’d grown to adore in Italy.
Since we met in Asheville, getting married anywhere else just wouldn’t do. We looked at several outdoor venues before settling on the Lioncrest on The Biltmore Estate. The beauty of the Estate grounds combined with the know-how and experience of their staff was enough to push us over the edge. Plus, we thought our out-of-town guests would enjoy an event at a location that is so quintessentially Asheville! It was a great decision.
I’m really into DIY everything, so I was excited to dive into the planning and creating. Organizing, dreaming and designing the visual experience of our wedding became a part-time job I was elated to have, and without a wedding planner or coordinator, it was quite the task! The Lioncrest provided great space to work with and we were really inspired by the gorgeous green trees that framed the veranda where the ceremony and reception were held. We wanted to amplify the natural beauty of the setting with amazing flowers and decor. Hiring Stacey Brown of The Bloom Room was a no-brainer. She is truly a visionary and such a joy to work with! Since we kept the palette pretty neutral with champagne bridesmaids dresses and ivory groomsmen accessories, I really wanted color to be introduced in the flowers. Poppy is my favorite color, so we started there and decided on a range of raspberries, pinks, reds and peach colors. Stacey transformed the space into a lush, ethereal garden. It was truly exquisite.
We also wanted to incorporate a lot of personal touches in our big day, starting with choosing the day itself! We were married on August 21st. August 20th is Andrew’s parents’ anniversary, the 21st is his grandmother’s birthday and the 22nd is my grandparents’ anniversary. Since the 21st was bookended by two other important wedding anniversaries, it seemed like the perfect day for us. Both my mother and her father are Methodist ministers, so we definitely had our choice of special officiants! We decided to let my mom be a mother-of-the-bride and we asked my grandfather to marry us. We were so honored that he agreed and he was elated as well, especially since he officiated at my parents’ wedding nearly thirty years ago. We both have an incredible respect for my grandparents’ marriage, and his homily will always be one of our favorite memories of our wedding.
Since we decided on an outdoor/indoor venue, we wanted to create an altar space like one you might find in a traditional church setting. My paternal grandfather, an architect, passed away two years ago, leaving his heart pine workbench to my dad. His affinity for art and design was always an inspiration to me, and using the workbench as our altar table was a great way to include him in our wedding celebration. Andrew tracked down recovered barn wood and made the gorgeous and rustic cross that topped the altar table. He did an amazing job! As for some of the other details and choices, we chose to write our own vows in addition to reading the traditional vows. This was a hit with our guests and we are so glad that we chose to communicate our love in this way. It was also smart to practice a few times earlier that week, as I would have been a complete mess if I’d heard his vows for the first time during the ceremony!
We selected Woodward + Rick Photographers and Elysium Productions to capture our day, and both did an incredible job. People always say that videography is a crucial component of a wedding celebration, and we could not be happier with what Elysium delivered. It is amazing to relive the special day through both the photography and videography!
For future brides, my advice is to enjoy the process. The planning might be stressful, but it’s so rewarding to see everything come together and have your guests enjoy the celebration. Also, remember the final result: being married to your best friend! It was pouring rain throughout our entire wedding day and reworking some of the details was a bit overwhelming. Although I was concerned that our guests would drown in the summer storm, I eventually came to terms with the wet weather. The rain stopped five minutes before I walked down the aisle, the mist lifted behind the altar and the space looked beautiful. It will all work out, so savor the moments and enjoy everything. We’ve never felt more surrounded by love and we are so grateful to everyone for making it perfect.
Venue, Catering and Cake: The Biltmore Estate / Flowers and Space Design / The Bloom Room; Chocolate Bar / Kilwin’s of Asheville / Photography: Woodward + Rick Photographers / Cinematography: Elysium Productions / Hair: Wink! Heads and Threads / Makeup: Scott Thompson / Band: Brass Tyme / Transportation for Guests: Asheville Trolley Company / Getaway Car: Dan McIntyre / Strings: Mary Daniels Music / Vocalists: Monica Villar, Travis and Stephanie Vernon / Officiant: Richard Crowder / Ceremony Coordinator: Jacque May / Wedding Gown: Vera Wang, Impressions Bridal in Atlanta, GA / Bridesmaids Dresses: Monique Lhullier
Monique Lhuillier and Vera Wang are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.