Nikki and Bradley had a stunning Grove Park Inn wedding here in Asheville, NC. Michael and I love this couple. We photographed their engagement session last year and really bonded with them. Nikki is from here and is a mountain girl like me so what’s not to love. 😉
We also got to work with some of our favorite wedding professionals at this wedding. Verge Events rocked the planning on this one as always. And that glass dresser with the flowers in it at the ceremony! Studio Flora Diva nailed the flowers at this wedding. We also got to meet and work with some wedding professionals who are new to us as well. Shout out to DJ Kipper who kept the dance floor hopping and Casey and Kristen who provided video coverage.
What a blessing to be around such great people and such a great family. There were so many tears of joy and moments of laughter to capture. I blogged half of them down below, ha ha! But enough from me, here is a bit more of their story and some about their wedding in their own words!
Nikki’s story – Nikki grew up in Brevard, NC. She graduated from East Carolina University with a Masters in Accounting. She is a CPA and works as an auditor at KPMG, LLP in Norfolk, VA.
Bradley’s story – Bradley grew up in Clayton, NC. He graduated from East Carolina University with a bachelors in Industrial Distribution and Logistics. He is an Operations Manager at Grainger in Norfolk, VA.
How did you meet? Bradley and I were introduced by mutual friends. It was the first weekend after Bradley moved to Greenville, NC to attend East Carolina University. We all met at a bar called Dr. Unks to see a cover band for Red Hot Chili Peppers…it took Bradley almost the whole night to actually talk to me. He walked me home that night and we laughed the entire time. The next day both of us knew that we had a connection unlike anything else.
Describe your first date? Wow… Bradley took me to Olive Garden because he had a gift card. Of course, I teased him about it! But in his defense we were college students but it was funny. Afterward we rented a red box but we ended up talking and laughing through the entire movie and didn’t watch any of it.
How long have you been together? We’ve been together 7 years; since the first time we met in 2009.
What is your favorite hobbies and activities to do as a couple? We love being lazy together; we genuinely enjoy each other’s company so we can spend hours laughing together. We love cooking together and we enjoy watching movies or binge watching good TV series. We also like to workout and be active together. Since our weekends aren’t tied up with wedding planning anymore, we’ve been able to enjoy more hiking and walking together.
Who popped the question and HOW? Bradley popped the question! It was wild because I planned an elaborate surprise for his birthday, which is on December 30th. I bought tickets for us to go see Bradley’s favorite football team, the Dallas Cowboys, play the Redskins in Washington DC. I planned a whole weekend in DC to site see then go to the game on Sunday. I even packed his suitcase and surprised him in the car on the way to DC. Little did I know Bradley had already bought a ring and he asked for my parents blessing earlier that morning. So he had the ring in his pocket when I surprised him with the tickets and the spontaneous trip. We spent the weekend in DC hanging with college friends and touring on Saturday. That night, after dinner, Bradley took me to see the Lincoln Memorial light up. We walked down to the reflecting pool and he knelt down on one knee and asked me to marry him. The next day we had the best time cheering on the Cowboys as newly engaged fiancés!!! And the Cowboys won!
How long had you been dating when you became engaged? We had been together for 5 1/2 years when Bradley proposed.
How long after you were engaged did you get married? We were engaged for 1 1/2 years. Perfect amount of time for (mostly) stress-free wedding planning!
Why did you pick Asheville and the Grove Park Inn? Growing up in Brevard, NC, the mountains have always held a special place in my heart. I moved to the east coast when I went to college but I always knew I wanted to come back home to the mountains to get married. Living in Brevard, I also loved spending time in Asheville enjoying the awesome local food, beer, and culture. Every Christmas my family visits the Grove Park Inn to see all the Gingerbread houses, have drinks on the terrace, and then eat the amazing buffet dinner. Both Asheville and GPI are beautiful places with amazing mountain views and when Bradley and I toured the GPI as a potential venue choice, we instantly knew it was perfect for us. The Grove Park felt like an entire weekend experience rather than just a venue for our wedding day.
What adjective best describes your spouse on your wedding day?
Bradley’s answer: Nikki was flawless. (She looked absolutely perfect and took my breath away the moment I saw her walk down the aisle.)
Nikki’s answer: Bradley was magnetic. (I was so captivated by him, from every move he made to every word he spoke.)
What tangible detail of your wedding day did you love the most? I would definitely say my dress. From the moment I put it on, I felt stunningly beautiful, which is how every bride should feel on her wedding day!
How many guests did you invite to the wedding? Which of you had more guests at the wedding, you or your spouse? We invited approx. 210 people and 150 attended. With Nikki’s large extended family she definitely had more guests.
What did guests eat at the reception? We served a merlot poached pear, harvested greens salad with goat cheese and white balsamic vinaigrette. Then for the main entree we served grilled beef filet, chimichurri, and jumbo lump crab cake with garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus and roasted baby vegetables. We also served an amazing wedding cake made of alternating grandma’s chocolate and vanilla cake layers with cookies and cream filling and white chocolate buttercream frosting!
What is the one of the funniest things that happened on your wedding day??? There are 2 things that stand out. The toasts that our Maid of Honor and Best Man gave during our reception. Both of their toasts brought on happy tears and lots of laughter!! Also during our ceremony, Bradley and I performed a tree planting unity ceremony where we each sprinkled soil from our parent’s yards around our young potted tree. After we finished spreading the soil, I saw 2 glasses of water sitting on the unity table and proceeded to pour one of them into the potted plant. Bradley hesitated, but then he followed my lead and picked up the other glass of water and poured it over the soil. Later I found out that the 2 glasses of water were there as ’emergency water’ in case Bradley or our Officiant needed something to drink during the ceremony. I accidently used their emergency water to water our unity tree. Hahaha. Good thing they didn’t need it!
What was your first dance song and why did you pick it? We danced to “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Meghan Trainor. We wanted to choose a classic song that had a lot of meaning to us with a bit of a current twist. The lyrics are sweet and simple but their meaning suits us perfectly. And Meghan’s version is beautiful.
What stood out to you the most when you think of your wedding? Definitely our ceremony. The entire day and night happened so quickly that it felt like a blur. But I remember every single detail about the ceremony; how Bradley looked as I stared into his eyes. I remember so vividly how his hands felt in mine and exactly how I felt in those moments. Such a magical and indescribable feeling.
Wedding coordinator – Verge Events – Stephanie Douglas and Sarah Murray
Venue coordinator – Grove Park Inn – Danielle le Master
Dress Designer – David Tutera
Where you purchased your dress – Ava Clara Boutique, Virginia Beach VA
Makeup artist – Christie Blush Asheville
Hair designer – Emily Anne Hair
Floral designer – Studio Flora Diva – Beth Hohensee
Caterer – Grove Park Inn
DJ or Band – Remix Mobile DJs – DJ Kipper
Officiant – Bradley’s Uncle
Cake designer – Grove Park Inn Pastry chef
Rental company – Classic Event Rental
Videographer – Casey and Kristin