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Contemporary Southern Wedding in Asheville

Crafting a marriage below the Mason-Dixon line this designer couple, captured by Matthew Moore Photography, ensured every element of ephemera was their own. From tea towels, to pillows, every detail differs from tradition in the chicest way. Kiersa Holy planned a night in the mountains filled with cocktails and local boogie-jazz. More right here!.

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Seasons
Fall
Settings
Arboretum
Styles
Rustic

From The Bride..Our wedding was a curated contemporary affair with every detail designed by my husband and myself. Blending an outdoor ceremony with an indoor reception truly captured the artistic and eclectic vibe of our personalities and our host city.

Sassy Southern Soirée is the most fitting description of our September 28, 2013 wedding, deep in the throws of Autumn in Asheville, North Carolina. Instead of identifying a theme or color scheme, we purposefully chose every detail with the emotion that it would invoke. How will it make our guests feel, what will they remember, and what will they reflect on—long after the event is over. With that in mind, we thoughtfully crafted each and every element of ephemera ourselves, From the custom screen-printed save the date tea towels, to the bespoke throw pillows displaying our Southern and Swedish heritage and even a hand-painted watercolor cake topper depicting the bride and groom.

I met Joel on his first day of Grad School at Savannah College of Art and Design and we started dating about 6 months later. Over the course of our 8 years of dating (yeah – 8 years!) we got more than our fair share of questions about if we were ever going to “make it official.” I always told Joel that I didn’t need a ring on my finger to show the world that I was in love with him. But I have to admit, when he slipped a platinum set, cushion cut diamond on my finger (which he designed himself) atop a black sand beach in Hawaii, I couldn’t have been more surprised or excited to “wife up.”

Needless to say, we took a very casual approach to our wedding and with that in mind opted to do our “first look” photos at the Asheville City Hall. We had originally wanted to have the ceremony there as it is one of the foremost iconic art-deco buildings in the South. We also thought it would be a fun take on the tradition of getting married at city hall. While that didn’t work out with the city’s restrictions, it was the perfect backdrop for our most intimate photos of the day. As a municipal building, it was completely empty and quiet on a Saturday afternoon so we had total intimacy as we saw each other for the first time. Katie and Matt did an exceptional job capturing the entire day, but I was especially taken aback by how beautiful and emotional these photos are.

Next, we made our way to our modern house in the mountains for a couple of individual shots against the contemporary backdrop and clean architectural lines of the interior. These images provided a great juxtaposition to the bridal party photos we shot later at Hickory Nut Gap Farm. Throughout the day, we tried to find those beautiful dichotomies whether it was the elegant beaded bridesmaid dresses against the rugged mountain backdrop or the structured outdoor ceremony paired with a casual gallery reception, we looked for opportunities to deviate from the expected wedding traditions.

The soiree started with a sentimental and symbolic ceremony around the Johnston Pool of the North Carolina Arboretum. We chose that venue as it was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the same landscape designer made famous for creating Central Park, and we felt it was a great way to pay homage to our home city of New York. One of my favorite details of the ceremony was the screen-printed handkerchief programs I designed for our guests to keep as a reminder of the momentous occasion we all shared together. The ceremony was full of love and lots of laughs as Joel and I wrote most of it ourselves with the help of our amazing officiant, Darr Conradson. The ceremony was modern and fresh as we walked down the aisle to the Coldplay song “Us Against the World” and just as Darr uttered the words, you may kiss the bride, the guests burst in to applause to the tune of “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen in the background.

The words “Mimia & Joel” spelled out in white neon greeted guests as they entered the reception at the Lift Studios, a refurbished Nabisco factory turned contemporary art gallery. We chose this venue as we are both designers (myself an art director and Joel a furniture designer) so we wanted a space that reflected our personalities and eclectic artistic styles. Another great upside to using a gallery space is that we got to support local artists with our wedding budget and not just traditional vendors.

Revelers relished in southern-fried delicacies from local food truck The Lowdown, along with artisanal cocktails, and dancing courtesy of local boogie-jazz band The Roaring Lions. We planned every detail down to the hand-stamped bamboo silverware showcasing phrases like “it’s about forking time” and “for the rest of our knives.” One thing to keep in mind when choosing a non-traditional venue such as an art gallery, there is no kitchen or even a place to wash dishes so we had to find alternatives for plates. We found these fun food boats at a restaurant supply company and I stamped them with a food safe ink stamp I had made that read “eat your heart out.” After over eight years of dating, I think our guests appreciated our tongue-and-cheek approach to our nuptials. We even had our favorite southern snack, Krispy Kreme donuts served on napkins, of course stamped as well, with the line “do-nut you know we love you.”

Our soirée came to a close with guests ripping open hand stitched confetti packets that my mom and I made together, wrapped in the words “Finally” and “Woo-Hoo” as we ran for a 1968 Cadillac convertible. One of our fondest memories of the day is riding through the star-lit streets of Asheville with strangers shouting their congratulations as we rolled through town in the vintage car. It was a magical night in the mountains celebrating a marriage made below the Mason-Dixon.

Photography: Matthew And Katie Moore Of Matthew Moore Photography | Event Planning: Kiersa Holy | Flowers: Urban Farm Girl | Wedding Gown: Vera Wang | Cake: Short Street Cakes | Ceremony Venue: North Carolina Arboretum | Reception Venue: The Lift Studios | Bridesmaids Dresses: Aidan Mattox | Hair And Makeup: Katie Moore | Groom's Suit: Reiss | Officiant: Darr Conradson | Food Truck: The Lowdown | Graphic Design/Art Direction: Mimia Johnson | Groomsmen Attire: Asos | Letterpress Printing: Hand Deliver Press - Samantha Urbanick | Music: The Roaring Lions | Rentals: Professional Party Rentals | Screen Printing: Raygun Printing | Vintage Car Rental: Elite Limousine

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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You'll love these vendors in Asheville & Highlands

Claxton Farm
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Lonesome Valley
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Romantic Asheville Wedding at Grove Park Inn

Between these gorgeous florals and the cake, bursting with turquoise and magentas, I’m dreaming of warm weather and sunshine. Join me as I settle in with photographs by Justin DeMutiis of this beautiful wedding at the Grove Park Inn, and soak up every inch of it with the full gallery here. Toss in the video by Nicholas & Keaton Cinematography, and we can daydream away.

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Seasons
Spring
Settings
Inn

From The Bride… We both started our careers at the same company in different locations and were traveling for work at the time our paths crossed a little over four years ago. We met at training in Cleveland through our mutual friend, Cari, and knew right away we were destined to meet.

Although I lived in Tampa and John lived in Charlotte, we both had clients in Atlanta and our friendship quickly blossomed into a relationship since we traveled there frequently. At first, our long distance relationship included several trips to Atlanta, Charlotte, New Jersey, Tampa and London (where we fell in love), and also involved meeting each other’s’ friends and families. After we talked about getting more serious, John took a chance and moved to Tampa. With the type of job he had, he was able to transfer pretty quickly and seamlessly. We settled into life in Tampa, bought a house, and adopted our dog (Mia) to keep our cat (Norah) company.

During Christmas of 2012, John took me to his home in Charlotte for the holiday. Little did I know, he was planning an unforgettable trip to Asheville, North Carolina, where he would ask for my hand in marriage. As John knew of my love for horses, he planned a trail ride, only for it to get cancelled last minute. John did not let this affect his plan, as he arranged for a carriage ride through the Biltmore Estate property. The carriage driver, who was in on the plan, dropped us off on a ridge overlooking the Biltmore Mansion where John asked me to be his wife.

Our wedding… We wanted a destination wedding, but one that was affordable and easy for our friends and families to travel to. Since most of my family is from New Jersey and a lot of our friends live in Florida, we thought North Carolina would be the perfect place that is in between both locations. We chose Asheville because we got engaged there and fell in love with the awesome town. We always heard great things about the Omni Grove Park Inn but never visited it until after we selected it as our venue. Walking onto the property, we were blown away by the amazing views and incredible historic inn (the pictures online did not do it justice!), and we knew we had made the right choice for our wedding. We had an amazing coordinator who made the whole planning process easy and made our special day the most incredible ever. We really wanted the ceremony to be personal so we had one of our best friends marry us and we wrote our own vows which we loved. We had the most amazing band who kept people on their feet all night (and even begging for an encore)! We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect wedding weekend with all our friends and family!

Photography: Justin DeMutiis Photography | Videographer: Nicholas & Keaton Cinematography | Coordination: Two Sweet Sparrows | Event Planning: The Grove Park Inn | Floral Design: The Grove Park Inn Florist | Wedding Dress: Essence Of Australia | Wedding Dress: CC Boutique | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Ann Taylor | Hair And Makeup: Adorn Salon And Boutique | Wedding Venue: The Grove Park Inn

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Bohemian Inspiration Shoot

Whenever a boho inspiration shoot comes my way, I completely change plans for my own wedding. I thought I wanted a Jane Austen garden style soiree, but maybe, just maybe, I need to boho it up a bit.  I’m thinking gorgeous farm tables, perfectly imperfect florals and “edgy” stylings that basically need no description.  In other words?  I need this wedding.  See every last ounce of inspiration captured by Michelle Lyerly right here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
OutdoorRanch
Styles
Bohemian

From Michelle Lyerly… We wanted to have a romantic, yet edgy balance. The colors were cream, greens, lavender and blush with brown medicine bottles and touches of gold. We incorporated geodes and a guitar to give the shoot that authentic bohemian vibe. There was a beautiful horse on the property that the model immediately took to and we got some beautiful shots of them right before the shoot ended. Hair and makeup was kept soft and easy with floral crowns and wisps tied in. The main model wore Sarah Seven Amour gown with cap sleeves. The blonde is wearing a Sarah Seven Gwen gown. The blush is a combination of a Watters Ahsan skirt and Carina corset. The invitation suite has leather hand lined envelopes.

Photography: Michelle Lyerly | Floral Design: Studio Flora Diva | Cake: Tiffany's Baking Co. | Invitations: A Fine Line Studio | Makeup: Daisy Chavers Of Lola Salon And Gallery | Hair: Liz Tipsward Of Lola Salon And Gallery | Bridal Gowns: Sarah Seven | Crystals And Mineral Specimens: Enter The Earth | Dresses And Accessories: Wildflower Bridal | Fine Jewelry: Wick And Greene Jewelers | Ranch: Pisgah View Ranch | Rentals: East West Vintage Rentals

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Traditional Country Club Wedding

From start to finish, this is a wedding that is all about the love.  The kind of love that exists between a darling duo who happened to meet and fall in love five years ago, after growing up thousands of miles apart.  One thing I’ve learned while working at SMP?  Cupid has a funny way of helping you to meet “the one”… and it’s awesome.  See it all captured by A.J. Dunlap Photography right here.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Country Club

From A.J. Dunlap Photography… This was a day waiting to happen. Due to an unforeseen family situation, the couple had to postpone their wedding six months on the morning of the original day. It was tragic, but Mark & Seldon didn’t let it stop them from having their dream wedding six months later. With a few changes in decor to match the new season, they said their vows on November 23, 2013 in Asheville, NC at the gorgeous Biltmore Forest Country Club.

I know we all say every couple is perfect together, but I promise if you spend five minutes with these two, you’ll agree that they are meant to be. The groom is from Wales, UK and the bride is from NC. They never should have met. But fate had other plans, and put them working on the same private yacht together five years ago. Being in such close quarters with nothing but ocean around them, they quickly fell in love.

Fast forward to their wedding day, seeing these two tie the knot (and yes, they even tied a nautical knot) was perfection. Seldon had dreamed of this wedding for years. She planned it all out from across the ocean, not missing a single detail. Her gown was her dream Winnie Couture gown that she picked out on a girls’ weekend with her mom and bridesmaids at a boutique in Atlanta, GA. The decor was perfect: flowers, candles, vases and more lined the aisle and adorned the tables during the reception. The bride’s father handmade the arbor they were married under, and the ceremony was officiated by her uncle. The groom’s mom brought Welsh love spoons all the way from Wales for them to hand out to their guests as favors. Nothing was forgotten.

Currently, the couple is on their three month around the world honeymoon.

Photography: A.J. Dunlap Photography | Videographer: Isabel's Corner | Florist: The Bloom Room | Wedding Dress: Winnie Couture | Makeup: Jamie Cloninger | Hair: Stephanie Vanwingerden | Band: The Threshold | Catering & Cake: Biltmore Forest Country Club | Ceremony & Reception: Biltmore Forest Country Club | Pianist: Bobby Sullivan

Classic Garden Wedding at the Biltmore Estate

Spring and Summer are perfect for outdoor garden affairs but this wedding held at The Biltmore is out to prove that open air Fall weddings can be quite beautiful as well. Maybe even your new favorite. Have a look at so much more of this autumn day designed by Asheville Event Co. and captured by Realities Photography right here in the full gallery.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Estate

Jenny and Dave were married at the Butterfly Gardens at the Biltmore Estate on a lovely Saturday in Novemember. I love this location because of the magnitude of the big brick greenhouse in the backdrop. This venue is such a unique location on the Biltmore Estate with so many backgrounds to shoot.

Their wedding was complete with the following precious details:

A beautifully decorated photo table with wedding images from many generations.
They used old wooden Coca Cola crates to create a vintage effect.
Krispy Kreme donuts were served to the guests as a late night snack, and they were still hot! (Thank you Missie, Asheville Event Co.)
Fireworks spontaneously happened, and the crowd went wild!

Photography: Realities Photography | Event Planning: Asheville Event Co. | Floral Design: Blossoms At Biltmore Park | Cake: Biltmore Catering | Stationery: D.H. Fitzgerald Designs | Ceremony Venue: Butterfly Garden At Biltmore, Conservatory At Biltmore | Reception Venue: Butterfly Garden At Biltmore, Conservatory At Biltmore | Make-up: Blush By Wendy | Hair: Ananda Hair Studio | Officiant: Darr Conradson | Ceremony Music: James Barr | Transportation: Blue Ridge Limo | Reception Music: Sound Xtreme

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Rustic Asheville North Carolina Wedding

Charming doesn’t even begin to describe this pretty little farm fete captured by Robyn Van Dyke Photography. It’s Darling with a capital D, and the perfect bit of inspiration for all you Brides out there looking to recreate something equally special for their big day. This gallery is just pure sweetness, and you can devour every drop right here.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Mountain

From Robyn Van Dyke PhotographyThis gorgeous DIY, mountain wedding was set in the mountains of Asheville just as the leaves started to change colors on October 18, 2013. Inspired by the bride’s childhood growing up on a farm surrounded by animals, and the couple’s mutual love for the Asheville mountains, the couple chose the Claxton Farm as the perfect setting for their beautiful wedding day! The bride & groom did an amazing job with the DIY design and planning of the event. I loved all of the unique little details they included that represented each of them and their passions from pumpkins, books, vintage cameras, to all the woodwork that the groom did himself! All of the lace and feminine colors made the rustic, mountain farm setting so lovely and whimsical as well!”

From the Bride… Ever since I was 7, I could always be spotted racing around barefoot across the field on my big, fat pony, covered in mud (sorry mum), with my only concern being “should I play with the chickens or goats when I get back?” So on September 23rd, when my amazing now husband, Jordan, got down on one knee at the Biltmore Estate (eeek!) and popped the question, I instantly knew exactly what kind of wedding we would have.

Asheville has always had a special place in our hearts, (we often travel there to escape from city life) and since it was where we got engaged, we knew we also wanted to start our forever there. During our search for the perfect mountain farm retreat, we checked out several venues in the area, but once we discovered Claxton Farm, we instantly fell in love! It was enclosed by 360 degrees of mountain range without a power line in sight, cows softly mooing in the background, goats, miniature ponies and even a LLAMA! Perfect!

As we continued to plan our wedding, we wanted pieces of each of us to be represented throughout the design. Little white pumpkins were placed on each table as a nod to Jordan’s Punkin Chunkin skills, antique cameras were scattered throughout due to our own shared passion for photography, old books could be seen as a reminder of our love for learning (Jordan is a PhD student!), and even the old Farmhouse tables reflected Jordan’s appreciation and love for beautiful craftsmanship. And each detail, from the soft unstructured flowers, to the eclectic dessert buffet, and even the rhythmic signs scattered around, made the event feel warm even amidst the cool autumn mountain air. It felt familiar, yet magical at the same time. It was the perfect reflection of each of us, and our wedding day was even more perfect than we could have imagined!

Photography: Robyn Van Dyke Photography | Florist: The Bloom Room | DJ: Sound Xtreme | Wedding Venue: Claxton Farm | Bride's Cowgirl Boots: Ariat | Cake Artist: City Bakery | Design & Planning: DIY By Bride & Groom | Invitation Suite: Susannah Brinkley | Wedding Dress Designer: Allure

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here