Jennifer + Carlos
May 21, 2011
Asheville, North Carolina
Jennifer and Carlos had a fabulous wedding at historic Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. They both work for the National Park Service at Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon. Carlos' family lives in Asheville, so it was the perfect location for them. The couple paid homage to the groom's Puerto Rician heritage with that incredible cigar box cake!
Tell us a bit about your wedding!
Our decision to have a wedding was based on the realization that it may be the one occasion in our lives that brings our families and close friends together from across the country. Asheville, NC was a part of both of our pasts. We had each spent a considerable amount of time in the mountains there, so it was an easy decision to name it as the place where we wanted to get hitched.
Our first step in the planning process was to visit potential venues. Once we selected the Lioncrest on the Biltmore Estate, we inquired about Saturdays in spring that were available. It was about a year in advance so most dates were open. May 21st grabbed our attention as being the perfect mid-spring day for a wedding and reception. We booked it and began pulling all of the other pieces together such as the vendors, wedding stationary, and guest accommodations.
Early on, my fiance and I made a list of all of the things we had dreamed of having as part of our wedding. It included simple joys like having a traditional wedding with personalized touches, a plated dinner with wine and spirits, attire that suited our style, and of course being in the mountains. We referenced the list often to stay true to our original vision and apply our budget to the elements we deemed to be most important.
An overall theme emerged of rustic elegance, which the restored barn, open courtyard and wooden veranda that comprises the Lioncrest was perfectly suited for. I poured through wedding magazines and online wedding sites and eventually found a photo that captured my vision for the decorations and flowers – whispy greenery, subdued blush color ribbon, and vintage details reminiscent of the Victorian Era. Small details such as pintucks secured with long ribbons around the cake tables, and a tree cookie from a Douglas Fir that served as our guest record, grew out of many hours of pondering what really represented us.
What are three things you're glad you did?
- Shared our wedding with family and close friends. We were humbled by having everyone there — it was an amazing feeling.
- Planned it all by myself. I learned a great deal about wedding planning, and felt like we were able to ensure that everything down to the smallest details really represented us — that's what truly made it “our” event and so memorable, e.g., our special reading that compared being married to mountain biking, the Groom's cigar box cake, and handmade stationary by moi.
- Not planning out our honeymoon. Not having a single reservation during our cross-country road trip was the perfect complement to the high degree of organization that was required throughout the year prior to our wedding — we love roadtrips.
Three things you wish you had done?
- Had more time to work out while I was planning everything.
- Visited the florist a few days before the wedding to ensure that the flowers and decorations were exactly what I had pictured.
- Added another hour at the end of the reception — I didn't want it to end, especially since dinner took longer than expected.
Three things you wish you hadn't done?
- Waited so long to ask one of our good family friends to help me with planning and take care of behind-the-scenes tasks during the event.
- Left the special pink bag that my wedding dress came in at the hotel.
- Not preserving any of our wedding flowers.
Three things you wish you hadn't worried about?
- Having an exact count of guests to provide to the caterer because it changed up until the day of the wedding.
- Getting the bottom of my dress dirty — it was inevitable.
- Having someone take care of our dog during the event — he ended up getting lots of attention because he was there with us; he even made it into a few of our wedding photos.
What is your very best hindsight advice?
Celebrate your wedding with family and friends — being surrounded by their love and support increases the specialness of the day exponentially.
All of the time and energy you put into planning is well worth it to make it the most memorable and personalized experience it can be. Despite schedules and contracts, some things will still go awry, but they end up being a source for some of the funniest and most interesting stories about your wedding.
- Photographer: Regina Holder Photographer
- Hair Stylist: The Secret Spa & Salon
- Floral Designer: Flower Gallery of Asheville
- Musicians: Touch of Rose
- Reception Venue: Biltmore Estate
- Dress Store: The Bridal Gallery
- DJ: Premier Sound and Light