Elegant Old Edwards Inn Wedding in the Smoky Mountains

Jenny and Sean's Highlands wedding

Jenny and Sean's wedding at the Old Edwards Inn is a study in gorgeous mountain elegance. The venue offers a perfect blend of rustic and elegance, with a spa on location for primping and relaxing. Jenny's choice of classic romantic details with a touch of bling had me swooning. And Crystal Stokes captured the entire day beautifully!

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Why a Mountain Wedding?

Once we decided we were going to get married in December, I knew I wanted to go all out and embrace winter – so for me that lead to the mountains. After visiting venues we knew the mountain setting would be romantic and intimate.

Where did you find your inspiration?

Our venue actually provided me with most of my inspiration. The reception hall was beautiful – it was both rustic and elegant at the same time. With stone floors, huge wood burning fireplaces, and high rafted ceilings. I knew I wanted to utilize the setting as much as possible and just add a little more elegance to it.

Budget

Biggest splurge: Most ridiculous splurge – my wedding shoes! Best real splurge – our photographer!
Biggest savings: Our wedding invitations – We used family friends to design exactly what we were looking for and get them printed.
Your budget: 25-35K

What were some personal details you incorporated?

I was able to wear my Nana's jewelry, which meant the world to me. We also had our grandparent's wedding pictures displayed at the reception.

Your favorite moment of the day.

I'm not sure I could pick just one – the entire day was perfect and I wish we could relive it over and over again!

Three things you're glad you did.

  1. After the cocktail hour, introductions and dances, we slipped away to eat dinner alone. We were so happy and thankful to be able to stop and think about what had just happened, and enjoy a few moments of peace to just take it all in. It was intimate and perfect.
  2. First look – it was so special to take a few minutes before everything started to see each other.
  3. Waited until Monday to leave for the honeymoon – it gave us plenty of time to see family off and relax a little.

Anything you wish you hadn't done?

I don't regret any of the decisions we made – even if I did, I'm not sure I would have even noticed by the time the day arrived! At that point I was so happy and excited about the fact that we were getting married that nothing could have ruined the day or caused me to regret a decision.

What was the best piece of wedding advice you got?

To slow down and enjoy the process. And also not to stress about the size of the wedding party – include those who currently play an important role in your life and those you want to keep in your life going forward. Having those people by your side as your start this next chapter shows that you value their friendship and love, and it symbolizes these people play a special part in your life and will stand beside you and support your marriage. I had always envisioned a smaller wedding party and it didn't happen that way, but I wouldn't change that if I could. It meant the world to me to have all my family and friends by my side.

What piece of wedding planing advice do you wish you followed?

Honestly, I can't think of anything. I was “over-organized” with everything wedding planning and wasn't wishy-washy about any decisions. I also did a majority of the wedding planning way early, so it was relatively stress free and turned out almost exactly as I planned. So I don't think I would have done any part of it differently.

Anything you wish you hadn't worried about?

While I wasn't wishy-washy with any decisions, I did constantly worry whether our guests be happy with the decisions I made – would they enjoy the reception, would they like the food, would they be able to have their favorite drink? etc. After it was all said and done, I realized that everyone would have a great time no matter what because they were there to celebrate with us. I wish I had realized early on that the little details wouldn't make a huge difference at the end of the day – sure, our guests appreciated them, but they were there to celebrate this day with us and would be happy with any choice we made.

Anything You wish you had known about sooner rather than later?

I wish I had known that just because I was organized and on top of planning, not everyone I worked with would be as well. It can be frustrating while trying to plan when not everyone is as type A as you are, but you have to accept it and try to be patient.

How did you choose your vendors?

We picked our venue first, Old Edwards Inn, which included all the food and drinks as well. This was the easiest vendor to choose – once we visited, we fell in love with the site and knew that's where we had to get married!

Choosing a photographer was hard – I spent days looking at photographers websites, meeting with photographers to discuss their style, etc. And almost picked one, but at the last minute someone recommended Crystal Stokes Photography to me. As soon as I saw her website and met her, I know that's who I would go with. Looking through her photos, there wasn't a single one I didn't like!

The last big vendor choice I had to make was flowers – Floressence Flowers was recommended to me by someone. We set up a phone date and I felt like she would be perfect to work with from that moment on. We talked about what I envisioned for the location and time of year, and what our budget was, and I never once felt like I was going to have to compromise on flowers to not spend a fortune. A few months later we met in person and I knew my gut instinct was right. Eatherley was able to perfectly describe what I was envisioning and I felt completely comfortable leaving the details up to her.

What is your very best advice to other mountain brides?

Relax and enjoy the entire process. So many people told me how stressful wedding planning and being engaged was, but I knew I wanted to enjoy the process instead of wish it away. So we tried to make each part of the planning process special – when we looked at venues, we stayed over night in the mountains for a quick little get away. When we made the trip to select our menus, we made it another little get away and spent the night enjoying some time away. So instead of thinking about how much we had to do and how much time it would take to complete each task, we looked forward to the next big task because it meant we would spend time together and celebrate being engaged. Planning doesn't have to be stressful, it can be a celebration of what's to come while making some special memories on the process!

Western North Carolina Wedding Vendors

Photography: Crystal Stokes Photography | Caterer: Old Edwards Inn | Getting Ready Location: The Cottage at Old Edwards Inn | The Farm at Old Edwards Inn | Ceremony Location: First Baptist Church of Highlands | Wedding Coordinator: Tracy Brandes | Flowers: Floressence Flowers | Cake: Creative Pastries by Sid | Sequin Linens: ULTRAPOM | Hair & Makeup: Creative Concepts Salon | Dress: J Majors – Martina Liana | Bridesmaids Dresses: J Crew | Harpist: Lisa Handman
| Band: Walrus, Sam Hill Entertainment