Friends and family gathered in Banner Elk, North Carolina for Bonnie and Josh's three-day wedding weekend in the mountains. With the Smoky mountains as a stunning backdrop and the natural rustic charm of Eseeola Lodge, Bonnie layered elegant details and a black-tie finish into this marvelous mountain fete. Think soft shades of pink, flowing neutral bridesmaids dresses and the occasional pop of glittery metallics. Jenny Tenney Goss was on hand to capture every stunning detail.
Bonnie + Joshua
Banner Elk, NC
Wedding day weather: Rainy in the AM, and then perfect!
Number of guests: 150
Your budget: 50,000-75,000
Biggest splurge: The Band
Biggest savings: Place cards and table decor
Why did you choose the Mountains for your wedding?
We chose the mountains for our wedding because Josh's family has a house there, and we go visit whenever we have the chance. We also both grew up going to North Carolina with our families as children. My grandparents had a house in Waynesville, NC, not too far from Banner Elk coincidentally, and I just always loved the feel of the mountains. Good weather, great scenery and just a really homey feel.
Wedding day theme:
Rustic, Elegant, Fun! Decor wise, we both love elegant, soft features. So choosing a largely neutral color palette with a variety of textures created that refined, warm feeling we were trying to achieve. As for the rest of the wedding, I think our main idea was FUN. We love to have to dance and have a good time, and so do our family and friends, so a great band, yummy drinks and lots of space to dance was a MUST!
Where did you find your inspiration?
Pinterest, Wedding mags, Blogs, you name it!
How did you choose to personalize your wedding?
I think what made our wedding extra special was our familial contributions. I wore my grandmothers diamond on my right hand, josh's grandmother's broach on my bouquet, and had a piece of my mom's blue (yes, blue) wedding dress sowed on the inside of my dress. Josh was also very close to his other grandma who passed. She always had a thing for lady bugs, and they believe that when they see one, she is with them. So I had little lady bug pendants on all of the families boutonnieres and corsages so that she could be with them on our wedding day. The mismatched neutral bridesmaids dresses also turned out so well. I gave my maids a general color scheme and told them to choose their own dresses. So I loved how each dress truly represented their individual style, and they looked beautiful! Also, my sister-in-law Heather hand painted all of my signs and did all of the place cards!
What was your favorite part of the reception?
There were so many wonderful moments, but the most unforgettable… Probably my husband choosing to slide into our first dance (unbeknownst to me) which could have ended badly, but actually ended up being pretty awesome. The band was absolutely incredible (I've never seen so many sweaty people on a dance floor, which to me means they probably had a good time haha!). And the Chinese lanterns at the end were also just so magical. They were the perfect ending to a perfect night!
What are three things you're super glad you did?
- I'm so glad I splurged on the band I did. The Atlanta Showstoppers are a part of our wedding that everyone still talks about.
- I am also glad I decided to go with the mismatched bridesmaids dresses. It was a little risky because I hadn't seen them all together until the day of the wedding, but they turned out so well!
- Finally, I'm glad we decided to do a destination wedding in the mountains on a three day weekend. The whole weekend we got to spend quality time with all of our guests, which was so important to us. And then it gave Josh and I the opportunity to actually get to enjoy our wedding day with each other instead of having to run around making sure we talked to everyone there!
What was the biggest challenge in planning your mountain wedding and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge was definitely transportation. There aren't a lot of hotel options in Banner Elk, so a lot of people rented homes all over the mountain. Trying to coordinate all of the pick ups and drop offs for the wedding was stressful, especially because we didn't know how long it would take to make trips back and forth (long mountain roads make quick trips back and forth pretty impossible) But my wedding planner made everything run seamlessly. We just had to make sure we were pretty strict on timing!
How did you find and choose your vendors?
My wedding planner found a lot of them, but as for the band, the manager of Atlanta Showstoppers actually worked at the same company with me in Atlanta and just mentioned he was in a band on weekends. After I saw some of their videos I knew I had to have them! Also, I used The Knot websites recommendations for a lot of vendors.
What is your best piece of advice to other mountain brides who are planning their weddings?
Plan, plan, plan for everything! Weather, weird road closures, guests that get lost. It's all possible in the mountains, but if you plan well you can enjoy the day with no stresses at all. Everything went smoothly and I didn't have any issues with anything the day of the wedding. It was perfect!
Banner Elk Wedding Vendors
Wedding Photographer: Jenny Tenney Goss | Ceremony Venue: Crossnore Presbyterian Church | Wedding Reception Venue: Eseeola Lodge | Wedding Planner: Jessica Lorello | Band: Atlanta Showstoppers | Wedding Flowers: Janna Avery | Wedding Dress: Anna Maier Boutique: Joan Pillow (Houston) | Wedding Cake: JoAnn Hallmark | Videographer: Hart to Heart Media | Ceremony Music: Deans Duets | Wedding Invitations: Paces Papers