Monday, August 27, 2012

The Farm, a gathering place...

With Tropical Storm Isaac upon us, I thought it would be the perfect time to begin the wedding posts. 

Geoff and I were engaged for about 15 months but like many brides to be, the planning and Pinterest pinning began months before. 

We have both attended many beautiful weddings. Some in churches, some in banquet halls, and some in lavish hotels. We knew that nothing we had attended so far was right for us. 

We are simple people that like to have a good time. We are not stuffy but we can appreciate the finer things in life. We are not night people but don't like being rushed. We refused to get married in the fall (football & citrus) but also refused to get married in the summer in Florida. 

Important items that were quickly agreed to:

  • A June 9th wedding. 6-9-12 anniversary. He WILL BETTER remember this. 
  • The wedding will be in Asheville because my parents live there.
  • The ceremony and reception will be at the same venue. Lodging if possible. 
  • It will be a lunch reception.
  • We were not going to have wedding colors.
  • The venue will allow us to provide our own food, drinks, cake, flowers, ect.
  • The men will be wearing boy ties :) 

The venue search began about a month after the "official" engagement and after hours of online research. Through research we easily found about 15 venues that met some or all of the requirements. At this point budget was not establish. After we had the 15 we researched more into the cost and quickly eliminated a handful. Good bye the BiltmoreCrest and Grand Bohemian. All beautiful, expensive, must use our own vendor venues. There were also a few that were cut off the list for being on the other side of the spectrum. 

We ended up visiting about 5 or 6 venues in total but fell in love with the first one. I recall saying how excited I was to visit all the venues after our first stop assuming that they were going to be as great. They weren't. Each place we did visit had some perks but over all they just weren't what we had envisioned. Picture swan boats, geese, tepees and porta potties. Perfect for some I am sure but not for us.

One thing we emphasized throughout the project that the only people that this was not a destination wedding for was my parents and my sister. Everyone else was traveling there and this may be their first and only trip to Asheville. 

Our final choice and first stop was The Farm. Their tagline: a gathering place. 

The picture is from our first visit to the venue. 

The Farm was able to meet all of our requirements. They had the date available, we could hold the ceremony outside and the reception inside, the had cabins on the property for the bridal party, we could bring in our own caterer, bar tenders, florists, rentals, music, ect as well as utilize the rentals they had on the property. 

The space was the perfect size and provided the perfect backdrop for our big day. We were in love AND luckily it was within budget. 

The real planning began after we my parents signed on the dotted line. 

Up next: our save the dates... 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Love Shoot

The night of our  rehearsal dinner was the first working with our photographer Kirsten of Spotted Dog Photography (besides at the rehearsal and over the phone), so we wanted to take the opportunity to "practice" taking more pictures. Not that we didn't get enough practice with our engagement sessions 1 & 2

A few of our favorites: 

That View. Rehearsal Dinner.

I know that traditionally the bride is hands off when it comes to planning the rehearsal dinner but I just had to voice my input of where it was to be help: The Country Club of Asheville.

We chose this venue 90% for the view & 10% for the food. The food is always great BUT the view is an ideal Asheville view. 

As you will see if other posts, we included multiple wedding festivities that all of our guests were invited to but we felt it was important to keep the rehearsal dinner intimate. The guest list included our parents, siblings, officiant, bridal party, and dates. As well as one additional friend that we referred to as "the alternate".   Our photographer, Kirsten from Spotted Dog Photography joined us and captured the evening. 

With such a great back drop we were able to capture some fun group pictures. 

Sorority Sister Bridesmaids

Childhood BFF from CA Jen

Sorority Sister & Building Construction Major, Emily

Sorority Sister & Always Fabulous Hannah

Sorority Sister, 1st Week of College BFF Lindsay

The Wonderful In-laws 

Geoff's Childhood Friend Kyle 

Kyle & Geoff

A Few Bridesmaids & Groomsmen

Jen & Lindsay

My Sister & Mom

Sorority Big & Little

Our Officiant Wendy Who is My SIL's SIL 

My Mother and I Both Rock'n the Metallic 

My Lovely Family

The Girls

My Men

I will share additional pictures from the night soon. 

PS. My dress is Lilly Pulitzer if you were wondering. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Afternoon Tea

Following the attempted rehearsal and my "power nap", it was time for the bridal tea hosted by my lovely grandmother and aunt. The tea was held at Chelseas Village Tea Tea Room located in downtown Asheville. We sat outside and enjoyed the perfect summer weather, dined on a tasty lunch and sipped champagne. My grandmother even shared a few embarrassing stories with the group but that is her job, right?

The beautiful hostesses: my Grandmother Phyllis & Aunt Carol

The Cappello Ladies from California

My amazing bridesmaids

Geoff's sister, grandmother & mother

My moms & grandmas

We had such a lovely time.  It was nice being able to spend time with family and friends that I don't get to see as often as I would like prior to all of the wedding festivities. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Our Attempted Rehearsal

The day prior to our wedding I woke up not feeling 100%. At this point I thought it was just nerves. Not nerves about getting married of course but nerves of there being over 100 people in attendance to see ME. Even though my childhood nickname was princess. I prefer NOT to be the center of attention. 

I swear I hate to be the center of attention bunny costume and all....

But back to the not feeling 100%... I had scheduled a hair and make up appointment that morning for my mom and myself. I love my mom to death but her driving + the mountain roads typically = car sick. I then blamed my headache and nausea on that. 

When we arrived to the venue it got worse but adrenaline and seeing my bridesmaids allowed me to begin the decorating process.

Adrenaline only last so long. I was done for. Chills, headache, nausea (& what comes with it), and total exhaustion. I couldn't move. All I wanted to do was go to bed. 

With my dad basically carrying me down the aisle I made it through the first round of the rehearsal then I was done. The look of fear on Geoff's face made it even worse. 

Our photographer Kirsten from Spotted Dog Photography was there to "capture" the moment...

Geoff & His Mom.

My Parents.

I'm sure my dad is telling me "It's all in your head..." 

What to do... 

I think he was supporting 80% of my body weight.

Our beautiful bridal party.

Geoff's dad taking charge of his reading.

Notice the chair? Just in case...

Somehow all smiles.

My bridesmaids with their pinwheels. 

The weather was perfect and everyone was in high spirits but I was ready for it to all be over. A quick power nap occurred then it was time for the bridal tea... 

PS. My dress is Lilly Pulitzer if you were woundering. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Engagement Round 2.

After we took our first round of engagement pictures, a Groupon came available for a 2nd round. The Groupon was for a session with Eric from Farewell Photography. To continue with the trend of using family property as the backdrop we chose to have the shoot at a grove that Geoff and a few family members had recently planted. 

Here are a few of our favorites.

I will admit that I was rather nervous for this shoot.  The photographer from Round 1 was a friend of mine that specialized in children's photography, which was perfect. With Round 2 being a Groupon (I can't be the only one with bad Groupon experiences...) I really wasn't sure of Eric's personality or what he would think of us. He was great and made us feel comfortable immediately. 

He also found it hilarious that  we got pulled over for speeding on the way to the photo shoot.... thank goodness the police officer felt sorry for Geoff having to go take engagement pictures.  We eventually laughed it off as well. Eventually.