Asheville, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is full of some of the most elegant estates in the Nation. The Crest Center is known for its stunning views stately elegance. It's a perennial favorite among mountains brides in the Southeast. If your considering The Crest Center as a venue, book early!
Tell us a bit about your wedding.
When I was younger, I always thought that I would get married in my hometown of Lexington, Kentucky, but I've always had an affection for the mountains. Growing up, my family traveled to Maine twice a year to visit family, and beginning in 2004 I visited Black Mountain, NC during the summer to participate in and volunteer for a national youth in government conference. Volunteering for this conference is how I met my future husband, Ryan. After 3 years of dating, he proposed when we were volunteering at the conference last summer (July, 2011) and it took very little time for us to decide that it was only fitting for us to get married in the Blue Ridge Mountains where our story began.
When we envisioned our wedding, the Blue Ridge Mountains were a special element in and of themselves. They were the backdrop to one of our favorite places, and we wanted to share that special view with all of our closest friends and family. We built our wedding vision around the mountains and the nature that surrounds them.
What are you glad you did?
- I'm glad we hired a wedding planner. Planning a North Carolina wedding from Washington, DC, was challenging to say the least. Like complete amateurs, we chose our venue sight-unseen after very little research. We lucked out on our amazing venue, but in an effort to avoid disaster, we enlisted the help of Emily McCollin of Occasions by Emily to help guide us through the process. We are forever grateful for Emily because she was able to ease a lot of the stress and connect us with so many wonderful vendors in Asheville. I can say with complete confidence that our wedding would not have been as wonderful without the help of our planner, especially since it was a destination wedding!
- Overall, I am glad that we stuck with our instincts and decided to have our wedding in Asheville because it is a very special place to us. We wanted all of our guests to experience the area and grow to love it as much as we do, and from talking with guests, I think we accomplished that.
- I'm glad I stuck to my vision and didn't let wedding blogs and Pinterest derail that vision. I didn't spend a lot of time on Pinterest or wedding blogs obsessing over every little detail and cluttering the tables with DIY projects that I didn't have the time or patience for. There is so much stuff out there that can make brides feel like what they are doing isn't enough or that their ideas are inadequate. I wanted the ceremony and reception to reflect Ryan and me as a couple and to incorporate the natural elements that we associate with the mountains. To create this “mountain connection”, we relied on our florist, Libby, from the Gardener's Cottage, to bring nature into the reception. The floral arrangements were beautiful, from the small ones to the large tree-stands and candelabras, as well as the “root table” that we used for our cake. There wasn't a single moment that I wished I had done more in terms of decorating beyond flowers and the beauty around us at the venue. I couldn't have been more pleased with the job of Libby and her crew.
- I'm glad I didn't stress about the little things, including my dress. On Wednesday before the wedding, my mom dropped off my dress to be steamed with a recommended dry cleaner in Asheville. On Friday morning, I was having a spa day with my bridesmaids and my mom went to pick up my dress. Apparently there was an issue with some bunching around the neckline, and the drycleaner suggested that we leave the dress with them until the next day (wedding day) so that they could fix it. For many brides, the dress is one of the most, if not the most, important element of the wedding (you know, other than the groom!). It took a few deep breaths on the phone with my mom for me to determine that the only person who will notice a little bit of bunching is me, and that it wasn't worth the anxiety of someone disassembling my dress the day before I walked down the aisle. I am so glad that I told my mom to just bring it back to the hotel on Friday, because the problem was hardly noticeable and was not worth the stress!!
What do you wish you had done?
- Crazy as this sounds, I don't really have any regrets about the wedding. When I think back, I mostly just wish that I could have spent more time talking to guests. We tried to get as many photos as possible done before the ceremony, so it was great that we did not have to spend all of our cocktail hour away from the party, but time just flew so fast that I simply wasn't able to talk to everyone.
What do you wish you hadn't done?
- I wish that I hadn't denied that platter of duck taquitos. Let me explain. While we were finishing-up photos during the cocktail hour, our bridal attendant at the venue brought out a large platter of the passed appetizers. I ate one amazing duck taquito, and then passed on the rest and declined our attendant's offer to bring out another tray of appetizers. Once we made it into the reception, everyone was beginning to seat themselves for dinner and the time for passed appetizers had elapsed. I never saw those delicious taquitos again. Moral of the story: if someone offers to bring you something (food, drink, etc.) even if you are full at the time or have a full glass, just say yes! I wished so badly that we could have had more appetizers and maybe even taken some home at the end of the night.
- I wish that I hadn't moved into a new house two weeks before the wedding. Though it was part blessing part curse, it probably would have been better to wait on moving-in to a new house in a new city right before the wedding. While it did keep my mind off of wedding stuff, it was a big undertaking and I'm still trying to get everything in order nearly a month after the wedding. I am glad, however, that following our wedding my husband and I were able to come home to our new house.
- I wish that I hadn't gone over budget, but I don't think that our wedding would have been as carefree had we not splurged on those extra conveniences, like guest transportation to and from the venue, for example.
What do you wish you hadn't worried about?
- I was that I hadn't worried about there not being enough food, drink, cake, etc. Trust the professionals – they do this almost every weekend and it's their job to get the numbers right!
What is your very best hindsight advice?
My biggest requirement for our wedding weekend was that it be a fun, relaxing weekend with the people that we love the most. This was accomplished, for me anyway, by choosing to enjoy every moment instead of stressing out. When your wedding weekend arrives, don't sweat the small stuff. Trust the people around you, and don't try to control every little thing. No one else is going to notice if something small goes wrong, and if something big goes wrong, just do your best to grin and bear it!