Smoky Mountain Wedding and Hindsight Advice
Christine + Joe
April 14, 2012
Hubs caught me grinning and staring into the computer again.
What are your smiling at?
And you're smiling like that?
Yep, even Hubs appreciates a beautiful, soulful wedding. Who wouldn't? There's so much life and exuberance in this wedding; it's hard not to grin. Not only do I love Christine's natural, easy-going mountain beauty, but those dance floor shots, captured by Kimie James are AWESOME! My advice: If dancing and partying is a high priority for you at your wedding, find a photographer who can take great dance floor shots. It's harder than it seems, so take your time and start early.
Real Hindsight Advice
I will try to help out and give answers to the questions, but the truth is that I was hardly the lead planner/coordinator for most of the awesome things that happened that day. It was definitely a group effort, with my aunt, sisters, mom, and especially Joe being the real heavy-lifters. Party planning is not my forte, and I somehow missed out on the feminine genes that make you love the little details.
Tell us about your Wedding Planning Process:
Joe and I were married April 14, 2012 in Mars Hill, North Carolina at a ski lodge called the Scenic Wolf. I'm overly concerned with being special and different (haha), so I never would have been satisfied getting married in the Event Room at the local Ramada. We are also not religious, so that ruled out houses of worship.
We wanted to be in the mountains (we are hikers), somewhat equidistant for family (his in NC, mine more spread out but fairly concentrated in VA), and have an all-in-one venue where we would get hitched, party, and crash in the same place (no driving).
We wanted it to feel relaxed and rustic, romantic and vintage-y, scenic and comfortable.
The colors were lots of sage (which ended up just being “green” by the end of it — it is way too hard to stay consistent with colors) and a little rose (which ended up just being “pink”) and ivory, I used pearls and brooches, and my flowers were cala lilies.
Family and friends pitched in to make lots of DIY decorations, like hanging candle mason jars, these awesome wax globes, layered programs, antique lantern centerpieces and a tree-themed layer cake made by my mom.
I wore my mother's veil and carried a bouquet made my by aunt (which included a picture brooch of my husband hidden in one of the flowers). One uncle officiated, another MC-ed the reception, and my aunt was a “day of” point person.
The guest “book” was also a tree, and created by a family friend. Our unbelievably talented photographer was a close friend from high school. My husband selected food that was a decadent execution of mass appeal treats, like a mac-n-cheese bar and artisan pork sliders. Just like we wanted, everyone walked up to the lodge from their cabins, watched us get hitched upstairs, then walked downstairs to eat, drink and be merry. A bluegrass band that covers many of my all-time favorite band's (Modest Mouse) songs played at the ceremony and kicked off the reception. We then transitioned to a DJ that played multiple hours worth of specially-selected dedication songs (that was the one part where I did pay attention to the details). Toasts, stories, and cake-cutting punctuated that non-stop dance party.
Our family and friends sent us off with sparklers, and we all met up for the after-party at my dad's cabin to play games.
What are three things you're glad you did?
- Had 1.5 years between engagement and wedding
- Delegate, delegate, delegate
- Wrote the “script” for our ceremony
Three things you wish you had done?
- I wish that I would have taken it easy the night before and gotten plenty of rest so that the next morning wasn't quite so difficult
- Should have better organized giving out the gift bags to all of the guests (we had a LOT of left over NH syrup and maple candies)
- Should have gotten more in writing from the venue at the beginning to prevent mismanaged expectations
Three things you wish you hadn't worried about?
- People having a good time (because they did)
- People approving of our non-traditional ceremony (because it really didn't matter)
- Having enough of things e.g. food, drink, space, etc. (because we had waaaay more than enough)
What is your very best hindsight advice?
Prioritize the happiness of you and your spouse first, and everyone else second. At least for the people that really love you, they just want you to be happy, anyway.