Sweet and Honest Mountain Elopement at Lake Lure

Lake Lure Wedding | Kelly Rae Stewart Photography

We just adore small weddings! Clifton & Alesha's guest list consisted of 10 members of their closest family and friends. They chose to say their “I-do's” lakeside surrounded by gorgeous misty mountains and only their closest loved ones. It's a perfect way to focus on the most important parts of a wedding: love and family.  The day was simple, relaxed, full of joy, and absolutely lovely. The mountain air and foggy mist set a gorgeous tone throughout the day and we were delighted to be able to roam the Lake Lure hills and calm lakeside with this adorable pair.

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Alesha + Clif
Lake Lure, NC
August, 10

Wedding day weather: Overcast but warm
Number of guests: 14
Your budget: 3,000-5,000
Biggest splurge: The Dress
Biggest savings: Having a tiny wedding

Why did you choose the Mountains for your wedding?

Clif and I met in Raleigh, NC but both of us had been drawn to the Blue Ridge Mountains 4 hours west of us for quite some time. We relocated to those mountains (Asheville, NC) about 2 years into our relationship. We got engaged in the Colorado Rockies and when it came time to plan our wedding, we knew we wouldn't stray too far from our little mountain oasis.

Wedding day theme:

Since we basically eloped (only having our immediate family present for the ceremony & reception) the theme of our wedding was really defined by our majestic surroundings for our outdoor ceremony and the decor and feeling of the old, rustic lakeside lodge where we stayed and where the reception was held.

Where did you find your inspiration?

My inspiration was taken from my surroundings. Lake Lure is a beautiful spot. The mountains frame most sides of the lake and you can see large rock faces poking out from the mostly forested mountains. If you pick a beautiful setting, you don't have to do much with the decor!

How did you choose to personalize your wedding?

We choose to personalize our wedding by having a wedding that mattered to us. We started of planning a big and just weren't feeling great about spending all that money on one day. We had plans to buy acreage and a house and that took precedence over spending money on the wedding. When we agreed on our priorities, a small intimate wedding made sense. We got to spend a great weekend on the Lake with both our families and it helped our individual families come together and bond a lot too.

What was your favorite part of the reception?

My favorite part about the reception was the dinner. We're both into sustainable, local food. We had our own personal chef and most of the food came off of his farm- ingredients he picked (or fished) earlier that day! The food was amazing and we enjoyed sitting at the big banquet table with our families listing to them swap their favorite childhood stories about us.

What are three things you're super glad you did?

  • Spent less money
  • Made it all about us
  • Had my hair professionally done

What was the biggest challenge in planning your mountain wedding and how did you overcome it?

In the beginning we were so set on having our wedding on our own land. The idea of bringing our family onto our own property, throwing up a big tent for food and dancing and then letting our guest camp out on the land for the weekend sounded like heaven to us. The only problem- we hadn't found that land yet. We spent about 4 months stressing ourselves out racing to find the perfect piece of land to purchase. It was putting way too much pressure on us to make the land purchase happen immediately whether than wait for the perfect piece of land to find us. That's when we decided, let's keep it small and simple with just our families and when we do find that perfect piece of land- we'll throw the wedding reception we dreamed of.

How did you find and choose your vendors?

For a wedding as small as ours, it was pretty easy. My photographer had actually photographed another good friend's wedding in Charleston about 2 years back. I absolutely LOVED her work and had been following her on social media for quite some time. When they agreed to come up to Lake Lure & were in our budget, I was thrilled. For the food, we were able to just use the chef at the Lakeside Lodge. We chose the Lodge itself because it was right on the lake, had beautiful landscaped gardens, and the building held an undeniable rustic charm. For hair & makeup, I used a stylist from my local salon in Asheville. For a few extra bucks she was willing to travel an extra 45mins down the road to come do my hair and make-up for me. For our officiant, I used Wedding Wire and based it on reviews, price, and location.

What is your best piece of advice to other mountain brides who are planning their weddings?

Try not to stress! And don't put so much pressure on the idea of perfect. It's so easy to start obsessing over things in various wedding magazines, Pinterest, blogs, etc and feel like “my wedding has to be/look/feel just like [insert picture perfect fairytale something or other] or I won't be happy.” Remember that at the end of the day, it's about you and your best friend making promises to each other for all of eternity. The rest of it is fun, but it's just fluff…treat it as such!

Lake Lure Wedding Vendors

Wedding Photographer:  Kelly Rae Stewart Photography | Wedding Dress Designer: Allure | Bouquet: DIY | Wedding Hair and Makeup: Adorn Salon | Event Venue: The Lodge on Lake Lure | Officiant: Wedding Ceremonies by Kendall