This lovely handmade Asheville wedding was captured by Alicia Sutton. Of note, this crafty DIY bride incorporated meaningful, handmade elements into her wedding day. Emily's dad made many of the wooden elements including the escort card rack and wooden bird house. She honored her late mother by hand sewing her sash and hair piece from her mother's wedding gown.
Why a Mountain Wedding?
We chose a mountain wedding because my husband was born and raised here. I moved to NC from Michigan 3 years ago and fell in love with it, there was no way I wanted to get married anywhere else.
Where did you find your inspiration?
I already knew that I wanted light grey and light yellow for my colors, I had seen a few pictures on Pinterest and thought it was really cute for a May/Spring wedding. I watched a lot of bridal shows on TV, subscribed to bridal magazines, and spent my free time browsing through the wedding page on Pinterest.
What were some personal details you incorporated?
We decided on a theme of “country chic”, so I incorporated mason jars on every table with candles. I hand-made a ton of our decorations (Mr. & Mrs. sign, “Just married” sign, escort cards, etc) and my dad made the bigger decorations for us (the birdhouse card box, the rustic wooden stands next to us, the escort card stand, and the wedding cake platters made out of a tree). I also wanted to incorporate my mother into the wedding, as she has passed away. I hand-made the sash on my wedding dress as well as the flower piece for my hair from my mother's old wedding dress. So we did a lot of DIY, which I always think is a great option if you can do it well.
Your favorite moment of the day.
My favorite moment of the day was the kiss during the ceremony that announced us as husband and wife! My husband's face was so priceless leading up to that moment. He was sort of anxiously fidgeting back and forth, and he is normally pretty composed. Those few seconds before he was allowed to give me the kiss seemed like they were taking forever! But that is a moment that is engraved in my memory, it was so special. I was surprised that my favorite moment wasn't when I saw him for the first time before I walked down the aisle, but to be honest, it all happened so fast I can't even remember that part.
Three things you're glad you did.
- Asked friends that weren't in the bridal party to help. If they are true friends, they won't be “offended” that you didn't ask them to be in the bridal party and they will go above and beyond to make your day special (especially if they have already BEEN through their own wedding, they know what it's like).
- Stayed true to my ‘vision' and stuck with all of my choices. Meaning, you will get a lot of advice that you don't ask for about your details, colors, dress, venue, rehearsal dinner, etc. I heard it to the moon and back, and it will make you question your choices! I am so glad I stuck with MY vision, because I think everything came together so perfectly…and in the end, that's all that matters.
- I am SO glad I was organized. Organization is the KEY to a successful wedding if you aren't using a wedding planner. No, I did not have a giant binder, but I did keep a list online and just kept plugging away at it. Start a list as soon as you can. There are so many details that you can easily forget about and you should jot them down as soon as you think of them. Also, a wedding website is always a good idea! We created one and included a small business card in each wedding invitation with our website address on it for our guests to look at. You can include every little detail on the website for your guests to look at prior to the wedding day. For example, we included a list of hotels with prices per night for our out-of-town guests.
Anything you wish you hadn't done?
I wish I had NOT addressed and stamped thank-you envelopes before the wedding! I did that because I was trying to save myself some time, thinking that all I would have to do was write out the card and put it in the envelope. However, a lot of people won't come and won't send a gift! OR, they WILL come and they won't get a gift! Now I have all of these thank-you envelopes that are wasted with someone's address and a stamp on it!
What was the best piece of wedding advice you got?
Choose your bridal party wisely! You need to choose the girls that will BE there for you without fail and without complaints! This is your day and you want the girls to stand next to you who have/will support you endlessly!! Additionally, it is rarely said–but the MOH is SO important!! Choose a MOH that will do things without being asked and who will take care of ANY issues without letting on that there even WAS an issue! For me, this was my best friend from Michigan. So many brides think “oh, well my best friend from 2nd grade should be my MOH”. But really…do you want your MOH to be the one who goes bar-hopping with you and will forget the smallest details on your wedding day or do you want someone who you don't even HAVE to question their commitment to you? I think the answer is obvious.
What piece of wedding planing advice do you wish you followed?
If you can afford it, GET a wedding planner! I would have gladly spent a few extra bucks to have a wedding planner organize my wedding for me. My friends really helped me out, which I am so thankful for, but it would have made things run SO much more smoothly had I had a wedding planner!
Anything you wish you hadn't worried about?
Haha! Everything! I was a bundle of anxiety the day of the wedding. My MOH was a total blessing who helped me stay focused on the task at hand (that being getting married!), she took care of everything else-so any time I asked about something, she would remind me that she was “taking care of it”, which was wonderful!
How did you choose your vendors?
I began with a simple search for them online. I used “Icing On the Cake” by Michelle Fountain for our cake, which was absolutely delicious and turned out even cuter in appearance than I pictured! We used The Century Room right above Pack's Tavern in downtown Asheville for our wedding and reception. A lot of people don't know that there is a venue directly above Pack's, but it was rustic and just perfect for our day. We actually had our first date there–well, we met for drinks at Pack's Tavern as a first date. When we heard about The Century Room and went to check it out, we loved it immediately and it was only AFTER we chose it for our venue did we realize that we had our first date there! So ironic. We used Get Vocal for our DJ, and we used Swannanoa Flower Shop ran by Terry McFee-Dorlan, and our flowers turned out super cute. Everything else was DIY. My dress was from a boutique in downtown Asheville (Wedding Inspirations on Lexington Ave) and my hair/makeup was done by Wink Salon girls that came to my hotel room!
What is your very best advice to other mountain brides?
Don't pick the first venue you find! It was really hard for me to contain my excitement and continue browsing locations, I get it. But try to find the place that has a little bit of you and a little bit of your fiancee in it..it makes the event that much more memorable. For example, The Century Room allowed us to pick 2 beers to put on draft for the reception…I chose one from MY home state, Michigan, and my husband chose one from here where he was born. It was another cute way to incorporate both of us into the entire day.