Gretchen + Mike
October 13, 2012
Candler, North Carolina
Gretchen and Mike got married right outside the beautiful city of Asheville, NC at a quaint farm, appropriately named, The Farm. It's the perfect backdrop for a rustic elegant wedding. And of course, Gretchen shares some truly down-to-earth advice. Perfect for a mountain bride! Keep reading below…
Why a Mountain Wedding?
My (now-)husband and I will take any outside experience over hanging out indoors any day, so knew we wanted an outdoor wedding. We couldn’t the perfect wedding venue (natural yet beautiful) in the city we live (Charlotte), so thought about all of our other favorite places. We love Asheville, an amazing mountain town, for its great food and brews, live music, active lifestyles, beautiful scenery and overall focus on supporting the local community. In fact, that is where we got engaged! So when we found The Farm right outside Asheville, we knew we’d found the spot to get married.
Where did you find your inspiration?
I knew I needed to keep things simple to avoid being overwhelmed, so I found one piece of fabric with a pattern I loved and used it as my inspiration for everything from flowers during the ceremony to the invitations. We actually used that fabric on the reception tables as a table runner under the centerpieces flowers, but it certainly wouldn’t have stood out as the ‘main focus.’ Rather, it served as my guide whenever I had a decision to make: which flowers would look better with that fabric, what invitation would like nice laid next to the fabric? I carried a swatch of the fabric with me throughout planning and I’m fairly certain it helped me make a lot of decisions a lot more quickly!
What were some personal details you incorporated?
I am so glad we had a table showcasing wedding photos from our parents’ and grandparents’ weddings. I can’t tell you how many family members reminisced to us about those events and it really reminded us how ‘big’ our wedding day was – it’s the day we joined our families together and started a new one!
Your favorite moment of the day.
Yes, it’s cliché, but looking back, I will never forget looking at my husband during our ceremony, seeing tears in his eyes, and knowing just how important that moment was.
Things you're glad you did.
- Spent our money on food and drinks. We appreciate good food and are quite the beer snobs, for lack of a better description, so we knew that’s what we cared about most. Not only did we make sure to sit down and enjoy it ourselves, we still have friends telling us many times they went back for more food at our wedding.
- Used an empty photo album as a guest book and put a camera next to it. We asked guests to sign next to a blank photo slot, and then take a picture with a digital camera. We now have pictures of all of our guests at our wedding, along with their wishes for us, and we also got a lot of funny party pictures from when the guest book was moved closer to the dance floor!
- Took our families out to eat the night before the rehearsal dinner. When we all got into town, we treated our immediate families to a fancy meal to thank them for everything they’d done to support us through wedding planning. It ended up being a really memorable and special night for our families to come together.
- We wanted to use local flowers, and our wedding planner offered to put together our flower arrangements the day of the wedding. I’m sure this saved us more money than I can imagine, and we loved knowing we weren’t flying flowers from across the globe – they came from a farm right down the road. They were beautiful, too.
What was the best piece of wedding advice you got?
Someone told me to go into the weekend with the frame of mind that if it wasn’t done by the rehearsal, it wasn’t happening and it didn’t matter. I truly took that to heart, and it worked. I completely stopped worrying from that point out and just enjoyed the rest of the weekend (well, as soon as my husband showed up late to the rehearsal)!
Anything You wish you had known about sooner rather than later?
Don’t be shy to ask questions. A lot of venues and vendors seem to forget that this is the first time you’ve planned a wedding (and hopefully the only time). At first I felt bad asking a million questions about details, but things went a lot more smoothly when I asked about things that were second-nature for the vendors but completely new to me.
How did you choose your vendors?
- We started by checking out the recommendations from our venue, and Asheville’s chamber of commerce offered a great list of wedding-related resources.
- Once we found our wedding planner, she also offered a lot of helpful guidance from a local’s perspective.
- But ultimately, we picked vendors that made us feel comfortable, weren’t pushy, and seemed like they understood what we wanted our wedding to be. It was definitely more of an art than a science, but we were ultimately delighted with everyone.
Asheville Wedding Vendors
- Photographer: Brett & Jessica
- Wedding planner: Eleanor Ivey Campbell, Events for You
- Caterer: Kim at Celine and Company
- Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Brooks Brothers
- Band: Brushfire Stankgrass
- Floral Designer:Fisher Branch Farm, with bouquets and ceremony arrangements done by Jennifer there and everything else arranged by our wedding planner
- Hair Stylist: L'eau de Vie Salon/Spa
- Cupcakes: Take the Cake!
- Cake Toppers: JenLopezGirlGenius.
- Dress Designer: Watters Gown