Ali and Derek’s Crest Pavilion Wedding!

Ali and Derek were married at the Crest Center Pavilion in May.  I, Meriah, previously spent time with Ali at her Asheville Bridal Session and was really looking forward to her wedding day.

If Michael and I could use one word to describe Ali and Derek’s wedding it would be laughter. There was SO much joy and laughter between Ali and Derek and their friends and family.

More from us later… here is a bit from the couple themselves!

A bit about Ali:  Will soon be a Medical Coder but right now I work at Mission Hospital

A bit about Derek:  Is a registered nurse who will be starting school in a doctorate program next May to become a nurse anesthetist.

How did you meet? We met at Hickory Tavern in Biltmore Park through a mutual friend, Dru Jenson. All of us were accepted into nursing school and Dru thought we should meet prior to the semester starting.

Describe your first date? Our first official date was at the Biltmore Grand. We saw “The Conjuring” and then hung out with friends at a bonfire after that.

How long have you been together?  Four years this September.

What are your favorite hobbies and activities to do as a couple?  We like to read together (we sometimes take turns reading out loud to each other before bed), play games together, and laugh. We like to laugh as much as possible. We are always trying to find a good scary movie to watch.

Who popped the question and HOW?  Derek proposed in a restaurant while we were on a mini vacation in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The week before, he visited the bride’s father, John, asked his permission and showed them the ring. John said yes, but he said Derek needed to make Ali the most important thing in his life which he agreed to and strives to remember that every day. Derek has a lot of respect for John.

Why did you pick Asheville and the Crest Center and Pavilion?  We wanted a venue that of course had a good location (view) but also something that had room enough for a large party and room for dancing and mingling. The Crest Center had the best mix of what we wanted.

What adjective best describes your spouse on your wedding day? Derek describing Ali: Joyful. Ali describing Derek: Calming

What tangible detail of your wedding day did you love the most?  Derek: Ali was the best tangible item ;). Ali: My bouquet, including the bridesmaids bouquets. They were absolutely beautiful.

How many guests attended the wedding? About 150.

What did you and your guests eat at the reception? Braised beef brisket, chicken stuffed with apples and walnuts, rosemary roasted potatoes and a vegetable medley.

What was the flavor of your wedding cake? Lavender white chocolate and chocolate caramel.

What is the one of the funniest things that happened on your wedding day?

Ali: the funniest thing was Kevin being pinned to the bottom of her dress (Kevin was an integral part of her bachelorette party and was a running joke. He was a playing card of a Chip N Dale’s dancer who she arbitrarily named Kevin)

Derek: The funniest part of the whole wedding experience was the photo session with all the groomsmen when all the brothers, and Josh and Dakotah were together and we were joking about gangsters, ants and termites, and taking pictures like Run DMC and Reservoir Dogs. Great experience for all parties involved.

What was your first dance song and why did you pick it? “Start of Something Good” by Daughtry. Derek introduced Ali to this song early on in their relationship and later on we decided it should be our song.

What stood out to you the most when you think of your wedding?

Derek: How beautiful inside and out my wife is.

Ali: I was pretty calm all day but right before I walked down the aisle it started to hit me (how everyone will be looking at me, this big decision I’m making) but as soon as I saw Derek that all went away. He has that effect on me, he’s my comfort zone 🙂


You could tell there is a special bond between Ali and her ring bearer!

They wanted the “boy band shot” Michael was happy to oblige. 😉

The beautiful Ali!

We loved loved loved Ali’s bouquet!

Those gals be crazy! 😉

Ali reading her letter from Derek.

The “around the door/not seeing each other shot” was full of laughter with these two!

Waving to his bride.

This officiant held Ali’s veil throughout the ceremony. The wind kept blowing it in their faces. 🙂

Congrats to the Mr. and Mrs.!

As moment junkies this was one of our favorite moments of the day. Ali was adopted at 3 months old. I actually didn’t know that until the day of her wedding! Her adoptive parents are amazing. Really AMAZING. Ali and her parents invited the foster parents who had Ali for the first 3 months of her life. Ali did not know they would be there. Ali’s mom introduced them to Ali with, “These are the people who loved you for the first 3 months of your life.” We all lost it. It was an absolutely beautiful moment that left me remembering that life is beautiful.

Onward to the reception!

See what I mean? Loads of laughter.

Ah, that Father daughter dance.

You can tell this fella loves his mamma.

Ali and Derek allowed us to bring them back out when the lighting was just right. My how we love those mountains and to have a beautiful couple standing in front of them!  One of our favorite scenarios for photography!

Let’s do some tossing.

Ali’s parents. We loved them so!

There were some funny dancing moments to be sure!


Congrats Ali and Derek!! We wish you joy and laughter every day of your lives.

Shout out to these vendors for their hard work on this day.

Venue coordinator – Lauren Miles

Dress Designer – Marley Lilly

Where you purchased your dress – Poffie Girls in Gastonia NC

Makeup artist – Ulta

Hair designer – Woodeane @ Upper Cuts in Weaverville

Floral designer – Brown’s Florist in Weaverville

Center pieces by- MOB Lisa Boff and Peggy Snider

Caterer – M7 Events

DJ or Band – Sound Extreme

Officiant – Jason Rhodes

Cake designer – A La Cupcake

Wedding hashtag-   #DnAtietheknot

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