Chailee + William
August 13, 2011
Asheville, North Carolina
I am a big fan of creating a sense of place at your mountain wedding. Mountains are special places; not just for the scenery, but for the traditions, culture and food ways. Chailee “gets it.” She says:
“We wanted to have a classic feel with colors inspired by the mountain sunset. This allowed us to have a cohesive theme without limiting our palette; we used blues, greens, purples, and apricots.”
They also handed out local honey favors, and incorporated Asheville's rich tourism history into their reception details. And the best part (of course) is Chailee shares her best hindsight advice with us!
Tell us about your wedding
William and I love the mountains in western North Carolina, and my parents live in Asheville so that was a natural choice for our ceremony location. We chose the Country Club of Asheville for its mountain views and beautiful reception facility, and wanted our events to have a classic feel with colors inspired by the blue ridge mountains at sunset. This allowed us to have a cohesive theme without limiting our palette; Adrianne at Blossoms (our florist) really elevated this idea by suggesting we use greens and apricots to accent deep blues and purples.
I think several details personalized the wedding and connected it with the mountains: engravings from old mountain tourism brochures for stationary and details; honey for favors; sewing by my mom of several of the details (covers for the favors, the bridesmaids' sashes, and the program covers). We had a Jewish wedding with a rabbi who officiated, but we also had a pastor speak so that the ceremony reflected both our backgrounds.
Three things you're glad you did?
- Having specific criteria for a venue before we went looking was really helpful; we wanted our venue to show the mountain surroundings, to be easily accessible for relatives with limited mobility, and to have a beautiful backup location indoors. The CCA was particularly accessible and had a great rain option; we also really liked its close proximity to downtown as we wanted people to be safe and take cabs easily if necessary. Knowing in particular that our guests would be comfortable and that we wouldn't hesitate to move inside to keep them comfortable was a huge relief the weekend of the wedding.
- I used vintage graphics from mountain tourism brochures; old plate engravings are great for letterpress, since they are made for a setting of limited color and size. It took a little time to search for the images (information is in the vendors section), but the printer was able to make a plate to put one on our letterpress invitations and save-the-dates. They gave a unified mountain feel to table signs, bags we made for hotel guests, the website, and even labels for the beer we brewed to put in our hotel gift bags.
- Mom had a really great idea to have Thursday afternoon as the deadline to get everything done. There were a couple of later nights on Tuesday and Wednesday as we assembled some of the last DIY details (programs, place cards, table signs) but by Friday we were able to sleep in and have a really nice relaxing day and then enjoy our guests as they arrived. It made me feel really rested going into the weekend, and made the day of the wedding very smooth because we weren't overtired.
Three things you wish you had done?
- Walked around in my shoes a little more — I kept meaning to do it beforehand and forgetting; if they had been worn a little more I think they would have been more comfortable
- Had clearer instructions for our band and some specific items we wanted from our photographer; there were a few songs that we really wanted to hear from recordings interspersed with the live music and it didn't happen. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but in hindsight, we might have been more explicit. Also wish we had gotten the photographer to take pictures of our invitation, save the date, and the beer we made ourselves with custom labels, and the beautiful gift bags we had made with the same engraved plate mountain design as our stationary. We just want to remember every detail!
- Ordered a veil from Etsy; I used Etsy vendors for many of the other details (see list of vendors) and I think a veil purchase is an easy and cost-effective way to support small-scale handmade vendors. I've included all the specific vendors I used because I found them to be very reliable and responsive to any questions or concerns. Many of them require two months' lead time so make sure you order early — a few of my orders had to be rushed.
Three things you wish you hadn't done?
- We tried to print addresses ourselves at first and ruined a few envelopes — it was so much easier to just send these to a stationary printer, and even though it was a little bit extra expense-wise, it was worth to minimize the time and annoyance.
- The bridesmaids got shoes where they could pick their style (flat, heel, d'orsay, etc.) and then have it dyed a uniform silvery grey color; unfortunately we took pictures on the grass before the ceremony and the only slightly damp grass ruined their shoes! I think you can get a fabric protector to keep this from happening, and I didn't think it looked terrible but they were bummed and I wish it hadn't happened. I would also have encouraged them to get flats; the ceremony was about 40 minutes, and even at sunset, that is a long time to be in heels in the August N.C. sun (almost lost a few of them)!
- We put our seat belts on before the photographer took the picture of us leaving the reception; we are wearing our beautiful dress and tux, waving goodbye, and wearing our dorky seat belts. Safety is always a priority, but I don't think we needed to buckled in for the picture!
Three things you wish you hadn't worried about?
- The weather, the weather, and the weather! We really did our homework and had a solid back-up location, but I stressed out about the weather all week before the ceremony as it threatened to rain (much to the annoyance of my groom and family). On the day of the ceremony we had to change locations to be closer to the reception site in case we had to dash in because it threatened to rain, but in the end we lucked out. I'm sure it's impossible to convince anyone who is planning to be married outside not to worry about this, but when the possibility that the whole thing would be inside arose, I realized that I didn't care at all, I just wanted to get married!
What is your very best hindsight advice?
We spent a lot of time beforehand making sure that the ceremony would be personal to us, but otherwise our mindset was that the weekend was a way to say thank you to all the people who support us and and our life together. I feel like those were the right goals — the ceremony was so memorable to us, but it was also particularly gratifying that our loved ones enjoyed a fun and memorable weekend.
- Photographer: Michael Oppenheim Photography
- Venue + Caterer: Country Club of Asheville
- Cake maker: Kim Aasland, Pastry Chef, Country Club of Asheville; inspired by a Martha Stewart lilly of the valley cake design.
- Officiant: Rabbi Ari Margolis
- Pastor: Debra Gaddy
- Flowers: Blossoms at Biltmore Park. Highly enough!!!
- Wedding Dress designer and veil: Romona Keveza
- Bride’s shoes: Special Occasions by Saugus Shoe
- Bride's sash: Whenlovehappens Etsy store
- Groom/groomsmen tux designer: Calvin Klein
- Bridesmaids’ dresses: Ann Taylor
- Flowers in bride's hair: http://www.etsy.com/shop/DarlasBlooms
- DJ/Band: Common Saints, Asheville.
- Music during the ceremony: Jason Posnock, violin; Dilshad Posnock, flute; and Eric Schneider, cello.
- Hair and makeup: L’eau de Vie salon did a fantastic job on hair and makeup for the bride, bridesmaids, and mothers of the bride and groom.
Team DIY + DIT:
- Programs – My very talented mom used a sewing machine to bind our handmade programs using a leaf stitch pattern. We ordered navy and cream linen cardstock online (http://www.paperandmore.com) for the covers and then used linen-patterned resume paper for the inside so it was thin enough for the sewing machine.
- Bridesmaids' sashes: My mom sewed these from green dupioni silk and I added rosettes purchased on Etsy.com (http://www.etsy.com/shop/milkysupplies); the same rosettes were also used in bridesmaids' hair.
- Favors: Asheville honey from the local honey co-operative in honeypot jars (http://www.freundcontainer.com/) with a dupioni silk cover my mom sewed and a dipper (http://rockcheese.com/honeydippers.html) secured with a linen tag (http://www.etsy.com/people/MMGraphicDesigns)
- Stationary and Table signs: Engravings found in vintage Asheville tourism brochures from free electronic resources at the D.H. Ramsey Library (http://toto.lib.unca.edu/collections/wnc_travel_tourism_literature.htm) were used to accent our table cards, invitations, and even our wedding website (on TheKnot.com). Our invitations (not pictured) were made by Innerer Klang letterpress in Asheville.
Here are the bouquet details if you'd like them: Miniature antiqued purple hydrangea, apricot parrot tulips, blue thistle,peach garden roses, schwarzwalder miniature calla lilies, purple lisianthus, umbrella fern, small succulent heads, lavender roses, fiddle head fern curls, silver berzillia berries, fresh lavender, & lamb’s ear framed by kiwi vine. Created by Blossoms at Biltmore Park.