You'll love this gorgeous Smoky Mountain wedding at the Old Edwards Inn in Highlands, NC. Jordan infused her wedding with classic elements like traditional calligraphy and white peonies, and let the natural beauty of the region do the rest. The result is a stunning mountain wedding. Enjoy!
Jordan + Steele
Highlands, North Carolina
July 6, 2013
Why a Mountain Wedding?
I grew up in Austin, Texas, but my parents moved to Rosemary Beach, Florida after my freshman year of college. After growing up spending summers at the beach, I had naturally envisioned a wedding at the beach. After we got engaged, I called some venues at the beach and they were booked for a majority of the year. We then turned to the Old Edwards Inn in Highlands, North Carolina, where Steele grew up vacationing. Steele loves the mountains, and I grew up visiting my grandparents in Crested Butte, Colorado. Not to mention, one of my best summers was spent on top of a mountain as a camp counselor, so it made sense to get married in Highlands. They had some availability in the summer, and after I saw Highlands and the Farm at Old Edwards Inn, I fell in love. I knew it was the perfect place to get married.
Where did you find your inspiration?
Since most of our guests had never even been to Highlands, I wanted to really showcase the surrounding area. Our goal was for our guests to have fun, serve delicious food, and celebrate the Lord bringing us together. Highlands in the summer is possibly one of the most beautiful places I have seen. So, my inspiration for the bouquets, centerpieces, and floral chandelier were the greenery, and flowers on the side of the road. I wanted a lot of beautiful white hydrangeas, and greenery. I wanted the room to glow, so there were candles everywhere. Everything else was simple so that the venue could really be highlighted. There was really no reason to add anything else, because the location is beautiful already.
What were some personal details you incorporated?
My mom and I share favorite flower, white peonies, so I requested as many in my bouquet and my bridesmaids bouquet as possible. Coconut cake is my favorite cake, so it was an easy choice to serve to our guests. It also reminds me of celebrating my summer birthday at the beach. Steele and I are self-proclaimed foodies so we loved planning the menu. From the beginning, we agreed to choose all of our favorite foods for our wedding and our guests still talk about the food to this day!
Your favorite moment of the day.
It is so hard to choose just one! There were so many. Without a doubt seeing Steele for the first time was my favorite moment. I had butterflies, and was so excited to see him and spend time together before our ceremony. One of my other favorite moments was with my Dad. Right after I put on my dress, my Dad and I got to have a “first look”, which actually wasn’t even planned. My Dad and I are close, so it was such a special moment for us. I also loved when my bridesmaids surprised me with a hilarious dance they had choreographed for our reception. I had no clue they had been planning and practicing.
Three things you are glad you did.
- Chose the dress I did. I probably tried on 50+ dresses, and loved mine the instant I put it on. However, I went back and forth between a few styles, and then decided to splurge and buy my dress. I am so glad I went with my “gut”, and chose the one I really loved because I felt great in it on our wedding day.
- Infuse our favorite things, from coconut cake to the band. Steele and I love good music, great food, and our family, and friends. I feel like our wedding was the best combination of our favorite things.
- A first look. Steele and I are so glad we got to spend an hour together before our ceremony. We also got more time with our guests because we took a majority of our photos beforehand.
Anything you wish you hadn’t done.
Stress about the little details. For example, I spent hours making welcome booklets for our guests with information about things to do in Highlands. Somehow, they were misplaced and we forgot to deliver them to the hotels so most of our guests never even saw them. My family and I laugh about it now because we still have a box full of welcome booklets.
What was the best piece of wedding advice you got?
Plan for the marriage, not just the wedding.
What piece of wedding planning advice do you wish you followed?
Not to stress about the little details. Most of the time, you are the only one that notices it. Also, so many opinions go into planning a wedding so not worrying about what others think. It is you and your husband’s day!
Anything you wish you hadn’t worried about?
It poured the entire week of our wedding, and off and on during our wedding day. I worried about pictures, etc. but when we took pictures, it was beautiful and sunny. The rain also stopped during our outdoor ceremony. It rained during our reception, but everything was indoors so it didn’t matter. When I look back on our wedding day, I do not even think about the rain and everyone said how beautiful and green everything looked. It was just part of a wedding in the mountains!
Anything you wish you had known about sooner rather than later?
This is silly but eat more cake! It’s your wedding day after all. I loved our cake, and only got one bite. Good thing we have some in our freezer!
How did you choose your vendors?
I had always loved Paul Johnson’s photography and was familiar with them since they live in Rosemary Beach, so I called them the day after we got engaged to see when they were available in 2013. Since Pastry Art has my favorite cake, they were also an easy decision. Once we decided on Old Edwards, I used local vendors, or recommended vendors.
What is your very best advice to other mountain brides?
Plan for something to not go exactly how you had it planned in your head and know that it's okay because at the end of the day you will be married. Soak in every moment you can because the day flies by. Someone once told me to take a step back from our reception, look around, and soak everything in. I am so glad I did because that is one of the clearest memories I have from our wedding day.
I could go on and on about how much I love our vendors, and would recommend every single one of them. However, I would absolutely recommend Paul Johnson Photography. I treasure the beautiful photos they took, and the emotions they captured. My makeup artist, Melissa DeBoer from Asheville, NC is incredibly talented, and she made getting ready so much fun. Elizabeth Fletcher, our coordinator, was a lifesaver, and made the day run so smoothly. Old Edwards helped so much with the planning, catering, etc. and I still dream about the food we ate. They did an amazing job with every detail, and they were so fun to work with during the planning process.
Highlands (and other) Wedding Vendors
Photographer: Paul Johnson Photography //Event Venue + Caterer: Old Edwards Inn and Spa // Videographer: Jeremy Verstegen // Bride’s Dress: Lela Rose, Ivory and White Boutique (Birmingham, Alabama) // Groom/Groomsmen Attire: Joseph A. Banks/ Tie: Vineyard Vines // Bridesmaids Dress: Lula Kate, Bella Bridesmaid Atlanta // Florist: Rooms in Bloom, Atlanta // Coordinator: Elizabeth Fletcher, I Do Events // Invitations and Save the Dates: Emily Canter, Calligrapher // Wedding Cake/Grooms Cake: Pastry Art, Birmingham, Alabama // Band: Musical Fantasy Band, Music Garden // Makeup Artist: Melissa DeBoer, Pop of Color // Hairstylist: Rachael Hoch, Face of Makeup // String Musicians: Allegro Music, Inc. // Getaway Car: Classic Event Motors
Submitted via Two Bright Lights