For their southern fete in the mountains Jessica and Ryan choose the Sawyer Family Farmstead for its Appalachian charm and sweeping views of endless mountains and vast blue skies. Jessica opted for a perfectly understated lace gown from Wildflower Bridal and custom florals from Floressence. The ethereal bouquets and creamy pastel color palette are a perfect complement to the wooded scenery. Parker J. Pfister artfully captured every fine moment and detail.
Jessica + Ryan
Sawyer Family Farmstead, Cashiers NC
July 25, 2015
Wedding day weather: We experienced clouds and light rain in the mid-morning and then just minutes before the ceremony began the rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sun appeared! The rainy weather didn't stop us from capturing what are now some of our favorite images from the day.
Number of guests: 75
Your budget: $35,000
Biggest splurge: Our photographer. It was important to us to not only capture images of our day, but create art. We knew that years from now, as our memories fade, that these photos will be the only thing that remains of our wedding. This was our opportunity to see and share the fullness of our love forever. We chose Parker not only for his talent, but also because we just had a great vibe together. Our most cherished moments of our wedding day were spent with Parker and we wouldn't have it any other way.
Biggest savings: We used digital invitations through Paperless Post which saved several hundred dollars. We also didn't invest in any DIY elements, which saved a significant amount of time and headache since we were planning our wedding long distance.
Why did you choose the Mountains for your wedding?
I grew up in North Carolina and loved visiting the Appalachians as a child. It was always my dream to be married on top of a mountain, overlooking vast expanses of land and blue skies. The mountains make me feel small and big all at the same time; they represent past and possibility. For me, this setting felt like the perfect metaphor for love – beautiful, enduring, challenging and inspiring.
Wedding day theme:
The theme of our wedding was “Enchanted Forest Chic”. The colors were neutral toned blush, peach and vanilla. I wanted the day to have a soft and breezy feel and to keep the colors gentle so nature could take center stage.
Where did you find your inspiration?
I took my inspiration from Sean Parker's wedding (founder of Napster). I used Pinterest quite a bit in the beginning to spark creativity. I also spent time in nature and at gardens. My dress was a big source of inspiration too.
How did you choose to personalize your wedding?
We personalized quite a bit through our florist, Eatherly with Floressence. She created a custom table scape and centerpieces that blew me away. We also put a lot of effort into our music. My husband and I are big into dance music so we found an amazing DJ with a full lighting rig and turned the reception into a big dance party – it was basically a rave in the woods!
What was your favorite part of the reception?
Our favorite part of the reception is a toss up between the speeches and seeing our friends and family build deep friendships with each other. The speeches were so heart felt and moving – it took us by surprise. And watching our friends who had never met have so much fun together was amazing. They are even traveling to visit each other now!
What are three things you're super glad you did?
- Asked someone who knows us well to be our officiant. My brother-in-law was our officiant and he knows our entire store and we're all very close. He really made the ceremony special.
- Hired a talented florist/event designer. Our florist made the venue look even more stunning, and I didn't have to raise a finger.
- Picked a venue and destination I loved. Cashiers isn't easy to get to and we knew some people wouldn't come because of the travel requirements and expenses. Choosing to get married at Sawyer Family Farmstead was the best decision we made. If you want a destination wedding, go all out! Don't settle for a venue that's just OK. People have to travel no matter what so pick something that makes your heart sing.
What are three things you wished you hadn't worried about?
- Micromanaged the DJ. We were so picky about music we got ourselves all stressed out. Let the DJ do his thing.
- The wedding registry. I spent HOURS AND HOURS selecting items for our registry and most folks chose to give us cash anyway. I think if you're doing a destination wedding it's already a lot of money for folks. Make it easy for them (and for you).
- The weather. You can't control it and if it rains, use it to your advantage.
What was the biggest challenge in planning your mountain wedding and how did you overcome it?
Our biggest challenge was meeting with vendors in person because we live in Los Angeles. Fortunately, we run our own business and can work from anywhere, so we were able to travel as often as we needed. In the final 2 months before the wedding, we went back to NC and stayed with our folks so we could make frequent trips to the mountains for things like tastings, venue walk throughs, etc. The other solution for us was to do as little DIY as possible and hire full service vendors who could create and supply everything we needed to make the event personalized.
How did you find and choose your vendors?
Lots of time on the internet combined with recommendations from our venue. Nicole Sawyer from Sawyer Family Farmstead was a life saver. She was able to point us in the right direction.
What is your best piece of advice to other mountain brides who are planning their weddings?
Start early and don't rush. Take your time and make decisions that are best for YOU. It's easy to get caught up in what family, friends and the rest of the world thinks should/should not happen on your wedding day. Remember that this day is about joining your world with the love of your life. Focus on him and focus on your love for one another and it becomes much easier to make decisions about everything else.
Cashiers, NC Wedding Vendors
Wedding Photography: Parker J. Pfister | Florist: Floressence | Bridal Salon: Wildflower Bridal | Wedding Cake: Bunny Cakes (out of business) | Officiant: Brother-in-Law | Ceremony and Reception Venue: Sawyer Family Farmstead | DJ: DJ Nightrain | Catering: The Gamekeepers Tavern | Hair and Makeup: Love, Daisy