Ok, when my “little” cousin… ok, grown up cousin Morgan asked me to photograph her wedding I was so happy to oblige, but I’m a bit in DENIAL. I have literally know this girl since she was in her mom’s belly! (Her mom Lisa and I are pretty close!) So as Morgan grew up she felt more like a niece than a second cousin. And because of her close relationship with our two boys (she helped her mom watch them quite often!) she asked them to be in her wedding as the ring bearers! We were honored and a bit worried at how that 4 year old with the stick would do. But they crushed it. *insert proud mom smile.
Let’s back up to the beginning of the day and let the pictures tell the story a bit.
We loved Troy’s ring with the wooden inlay. This wedding was a family affair. Morgan’s cousin, Savannah, did Morgan’s hair and helped do her makeup. Morgan’s sister, Leah, and I helped paint her nails. Morgan’s mom Lisa helped Morgan get dressed.I didn’t have to beg to get Morgan to twirl for me. She made such a pretty bride! Oh Troy. We do love that hair!The wedding was held at Haywood Community College in the Rhododendron Garden. Morgan’s aunt Michelle had her work cut out for her in making this bench (which was falling apart) look gorgeous. She did a marvelous job!Onward to the ceremony with the two cutest ring bearers EVER. Note… that box our older son Ezra is holding actually had the real rings in it! They forgot to grab the rings from him after he walked up the aisle. However our sweet Ezra patiently held that box throughout the ceremony till it was needed for the ring exchange. Morgan’s dad Kevin not only walked her down the aisle he also officiated the wedding. It is always fun to know SO many people at a wedding. A lot of our family and friends were there to celebrate with us.We love sweet moments with happy tears.Even my mom was wiping tears away. This venue was so fun and allowed for us to get some great angles. (During the prayers we like to sneak around!) This is absolutely one of our favorite moments from the day. The “after kiss, kiss shot” 🙂Congrats Morgan and Troy!Troy carried his Morgan away from the ceremony!These two have SUCH great chemistry. I had a blast getting to spend some time with them just the 3 of us!Quick! Lets get photos with these two boys before they get dirty. 😉 I’m not gonna lie, we were kind of hoping that the bench would not crumble beneath them. It was SO old! And of course bolted to the ground so they couldn’t move it. But it provided a really fun place to do photos! The reception was at the gorgeous Lake Junaluska. Morgan is so lucky to have some amazing and talented family! Aunt Michelle did all the floral and Morgan’s mom Lisa made the cake!We do love Morgan’s family so much. Troy’s family was a hoot as well!These two have a goofy side and we LOVE it. First dance love.Pretty sure she accidentally caught the bouquet! She didn’t even know it was being thrown!This is the part of the evening when Troy lit Morgan’s dress on fire by accidentally dropping a sparkler on it. Whoops.
Now enough from us, here is a bit more from Morgan and Troy!
A bit about Troy:
How did you meet?
Describe your first date?
How long have you been together?
A little over two years ago as friends and a little over a year as a couple.
What are your favorite hobbies and activities to do as a couple?
We love to talk, to spend entire days hiking/exploring out in the woods, camping, cuddling while watching TV, playing guitar together, driving, listening to music and talking music, reading to each other, finding coffee shops, and watching sunsets.
Who popped the question and HOW?
You know those movies when the guy gets on a knee to propose to his girl multiple times before she ever says yes? That is our story. Troy has been proposing the question to me ever since just a few moths after we fell in love. There is one time I remember him proposing that I consider as the first time he asked that I didn’t instantly say no, I don’t know, or that he was crazy for asking. We were walking under a tree path late at night close by my house when the moon peered through and lit us up.I started saying yes every time after until the day he had a ring when he asked. We were celebrating our one year anniversary together by kayaking down the same river we fell in love on. He picked a place to ask me on the side of the river (I had no idea). After hours of paddling, he got me off the kayak and had me stand on this massive rock by a swimming hole ready to ask, but by accident kicked my sunglasses into the water and dove for them. I stood on the rock a while and he never came back up from the water. I decided that he was most definitely drowning. Under the water at the same time as almost drowning he was contemplating if this was the time to propose. Just as I almost dove to save him, he splashed out of the water with the rings and asked his question. I said yes of course, got him out of the water, and he put the rings on my finger.
Why did you pick the Rhododendron garden at HCC and Lake Junaluska?
After looking at many venues, we decided we’d get married where we met at the very start. Before we were even dating we were walking and getting to know each other in that garden.
What adjective best describes your spouse on your wedding day?
Troy says “Gorgeous”
Morgan says “Happy”
What tangible detail of your wedding day did you love the most? (Cake, dress, special item?)
Troy loved the sparklers
Morgan loved the lights everywhere
How many guests attended the wedding?
What did you and your guests eat at the reception?
BBQ, chicken, corn, beans, bread and brownies and cake for dessert
What was the flavor of your wedding cake?
What is the one of the funniest things that happened on your wedding day?
What was your first dance song and why did you pick it?
We chose Come Rain or Come Shine by Ray Charles because it and him are huge favorites of ours. We’ve spent many evenings star gazing and slow dancing to his music.
What stood out to you the most when you think of your wedding?
Troy- My brides smile and the look of happiness she had.
Morgan- How significantly happy Troy was and how he beamed with joy.
What is on your “bucket list” to do together as a married couple?
– Be awesome parents
– Drive to Yellow Stone National Park
– Do the sling shot by the beach
– Binge watch both The Hobbit trilogy and Lord of the Rings trilogy
– Hike a volcano
– Visit a coffee plantation (outside of the U.S.)
(And much more)
We love the a good Crest Center wedding! And this is one for the books! Ashley was a complete bombshell of a bride and so sweet and fun to be around!
Shout out to these professionals that made this day so amazing!
Venue and Catering: Crest Center
Planning: Brittany and Katie with Mary Bell Events
Floral: Flower gallery of Asheville
Hair and Makeup- Pop of Color
Officiant- Gaye Stinnett (Aunt of the Groom)
Ceremony Music- Karen Rose (Violin and Harp)
Reception Band- Something Special
Photobooth- Yellow tie photo booth
Cake- Karen Donatelli
Limo and Transportation- Elite Limo
Ashley and Tom went ALL out with the decor and we are obsessed with this reception set up. Why purple you may ask? Well, that is their college colors! Go Northwest!
Shout out to The Flower Gallery of Asheville for this amazing floral. Those lilies in that bouquet!!! We also love how the bride honored those whom she loved with the picture jewels on the bouquet.
And this is why people come to the Crest to get married! This view!
When having a destination wedding here in Asheville, Welcome Bags for all the guests are a great way to help them get acquainted with all the awesomeness that Asheville has to offer!
Elizabeth with Pop of Color doing her thing!
Ashley’s smile lights up a room!
Oh! This sweet little flower girl!
Ashley wore her mother’s wedding veil, which was made by Ashley’s aunt and late grandmother. We are obsessed with the little details that make a wedding day sentimental and unique to each bride and groom.
Like I said… a bombshell! Ashley, you made a gorgeous bride! We love your classic, elegant look.
These girls had so much fun together!
The fellas knew how to have fun themselves!
Tom had one heck of a personality.
Moments with the mother of the groom right before ceremony.
Let the ceremony begin!
So many beautiful and fun moments in this ceremony!
Lots of laughter and a few happy tears.
This officiant was Tom’s aunt. She told me she has done several weddings and has a picture of every couple she has done weddings for.
All those gorgeous flowers and those gorgeous smiles.
Let’s get this party started!
First dance love.
A welcome by the mother of the bride and the groom brought on lots of laughter and smiles.
One of the best things about the Crest is the glorious sunsets!
We waited to do the majority of the photos with the bride and groom until sunset. And we are glad we did!
If we have time, we like to go back and get shots of the reception at night after it is all lit up. It’s a totally different perspective and feel from the shots we got before the wedding during the day!
Shout out to Karen Donatelli for this beautiful and tasty cake!
The toasts were quite entertaining!
Congrats Ashley and Tom! Thank you for allowing us to share in your amazing adventure.
Now enough from us, here is a big more from Ashley and Tom themselves!
A bit about Ashley: Originally from Alabama with a short layover in Nashville before moving to Chicago for grad school where I met Tom. I’m a lifelong animal lover and I have a cat AND a dog. So, now Tom has a cat AND a dog all in a tiny 1 bdrm in NYC!
A bit about Tom: Tom is originally from the NYC/Connecticut area and went to Northwestern for undergrad and grad school. Tom loves his family, close groups of friends from high school and college, video games, and of course his new wife 🙂 Fun fact – Tom used to be allergic to cats, but now our cat sleeps on his face sometimes! He really loves me…
How did you meet? We met at grad school and he asked me out for the first time at a New Year’s Eve party – this year we’ll be celebrating NYE on our honeymoon in Hawaii
Describe your first date? We went to a Northwestern basketball game and it was SO cold! We had a great time, though and the conversation never stopped. He locked in the second date on our ride home 🙂
How long have you been together? Almost 3 years.
What are your favorite hobbies and activities to do as a couple? We love to walk our dog and go on hikes with her and just as a couple. We love going to the movies and picnics in Central Park. We love to go out to dinner and concerts together. We also love our TV shows and like nothing more than a chill night on the couch ordering Seamless.
Who popped the question and HOW? Tom popped the question – a few days before we were heading back to Alabama for Christmas last year, Tom asked me to go to brunch and on a walk at 2pm. While this is not an unusual occurrence, specifying a time, is somewhat unusual. So, my antennae was up at brunch, but I tried to just put it out of my mind. After brunch, he walked me to Brooklyn Heights Promenade – it’s a famous place with an amazing view of lower Manhattan and it’s super close to our house – we take our dog there regularly. And when we were looking at the view, he got down on one knee. Little did i know that he had hired a photographer to follow us, so there are amazing pics of our engagement.
Why did you pick Asheville and the Crest Center? I visited Highlands, NC with some girlfriends on a hiking trip a few years ago and having never been to North Carolina, I was struck by its beauty and literally told my gfs that I wanted to get married there. We didn’t pick Highlands bc it would have been more difficult logistically and the wedding would have had to be quite small, so that’s what made us think of Asheville. Then when we were doing online research, The Crest Center looked amazing and we were enticed by the view. So, we booked a trip down to check it out. We saw The Crest Center, Masonic Lodge, Grove Park Inn, but The Crest Center just felt right. And we clicked with Amy right away.
What adjective best describes your spouse on your wedding day? Aww, so cute! He seemed so excited – we both were.
What tangible detail of your wedding day did you love the most? (Cake, dress, special item?) Probably my bouquet bc of the charms attached to it with pictures of the women that have impacted my life but couldn’t be there as they are not with us any longer. One of the pictures was of my cousin Stephanie who passed earlier this year – she and i were close all throughout our lives – she was only a year younger than me. I think our wedding was kind of healing for my family as it was the first time a lot of us were together since her funeral in the spring.
How many guests attended the wedding? 120ish, I think
What did you and your guests eat at the reception? Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, beef brisket, green beans, and fried green tomatoes 🙂
What was the flavor of your wedding cake? Strawberries & cream
What is the one of the funniest things that happened on your wedding day? My brother and cousin doing the worm! I hope you have copious pictures of that haha!
What was your first dance song and why did you pick it? These arms of mine by Otis Redding – it’s always been one of my favs and it’s super sexy. We thought it was a good one 🙂
What stood out to you the most when you think of your wedding? Omg, it’s just a blur of love and fun and hugs. So, I guess all of the above.
What is on your “bucket list” to do together as a married couple? Hmmm, i’m not sure we have one. I know there are many places we want to travel together, but we don’t really have a list.
Kristi and Thomas were married in Highlands at the glorious Farm at Old Edwards Inn. So much beauty! I can’t help but think what a contrast the setting must have been for so many of the guests traveling in from Texas! We live in the mountains and there is just something extra special about Highlands. It was such a lovely wedding day. There was a genuine spirit of hospitality from Thomas’ parents as they hosted everyone in their hometown. The stories told throughout the day along with all the smiles shared really showed off how much Kristi and Thomas are loved by their friends and family. It was an honor for us to be there and to photograph all these great moments.
Kristi and Thomas have such great chemistry and literally the best smiles ever.
Let’s back up to the beginning of the day. This historic Inn is where the guys got ready in downtown Highlands.
Old Edwards Inn is stunning!
The Farm is just down the road from the Inn and is where the ceremony and reception was held. We simply swooned over this new ceremony pavilion!
The reception hall at the Farm was nothing short of stunning. Mary Bell Events and the Bloom Room nailed the design!
Kristi’s skin was flawless! Wendy, with Blush Asheville, did a fantastic job making sure Kristi’s natural beauty was enhanced!
Thomas’ smile is simply THE BEST.
First signs of Fall beginning to appear.
Thomas and his mom shared some very special moments together.
Kristi made a GORGEOUS bride! Her dress was so classy!
We love love love this location for a first look. An added bonus was that the sun dipped behind a cloud for a moment so the light was JUST right.
Such great chemistry!
Let the ceremony begin!
Meriah loves black bridesmaids dresses! Each of these beautiful ladies wore them perfectly! Plus black makes a beautiful backdrop to show off these gorgeous flowers.
Can you tell what they used for greenery for this chandelier? Hops!!!
First dance love.
Old Edwards has some amazing food and even better presentation!
The band “Cashmere” out of Atlanta had the dance floor hopping!
Sugar Cloud Baking Company is one of our ABSOLUTE favorites!
Cheers to the happy couple!
Now let’s party!
Congrats Kristi and Thomas! We wish you ALL the best in the world!
Shout out this all-star set of wedding professionals that made this day rock!
Wedding coordinator – Mary Bell Events
Venue coordinator – Sara Brown with The Farm at Old Edwards Inn
Dress Designer – Bliss by Monique Lhuillier
Where you purchased your dress – Nordstrom
Makeup artist – Wendy and Christie with Blush Asheville
Hair designer – Amanda with Blush Asheville
Floral designer – The Bloom Room
Caterer – Old Edwards
DJ or Band – Cashmere
Officiant -Tim Lolley with Blue Mountain Weddings
Cake designer – Sugar Cloud
Now, here is more from Kristi and Thomas…
A bit about Kristi: I was originally born in Chicago but raised in Houston. I went to school at the University of Texas in Austin and then law school in Houston. I have the best friends a girl could ever ask for and my family is pretty great too. My most time consuming hobbies are eating and working out- it’s about balance, right? Meeting Thomas was the best thing that ever happened to me.
A bit about Thomas: I was born in New Orleans and raised in Alabama before moving to Oklahoma. I went to the University of Denver for both college and my MBA. I come from a very small family and was raised in an even smaller town in Alabama. Most of my childhood was spent outdoors – and is still where I fell most at peace. I fancy myself a connoisseur of the finer things in life – food, wine, cocktails, cigars, and of course, Kristi.
How did you meet? We met on an app called “Coffee Meets Bagel,” although Thomas hates admitting this . However, we quickly found out that not only did we work for the same company, we worked 1 floor apart!
Describe your first date? We met at a small wine bar after work. Although sparks did not initially fly, we randomly ran into each other again 3 days later when I went to a crawfish boil at a house down the street from Thomas’. Thomas happened to be walking his dog by the party, we saw each other (I awkwardly waved) and the rest is history.
How long have you been together? Four and a half glorious years
What are your favorite hobbies and activities to do as a couple? We are both total foodies. We love cooking together and trying out new restaurants and bars. When we’re not eating, we both enjoy a good work out and traveling to and exploring new cities.
Who popped the question and HOW? Thomas popped the question when we were in Vienna last year. It was day 2 of our 2 week vacation. He told me we were going to a secret bar and that he didn’t know exactly how to get there. Soon into our journey, I felt we were walking around aimlessly, and right as I was about to have a full meltdown about the heat, Thomas got down on one knee. He had hired a photographer to capture the moment and we got to go on a fun photo shoot after!
Why did you pick Old Edwards Inn and the Farm? We both wanted a destination wedding and mountain vibes. We were familiar with the Highlands because Thomas’ parents retired there a few years ago. We knew of Old Edwards and heard only glowing reviews from locals who had been to numerous events there, so we took a leap of faith and booked the venue site unseen. Thanks goodness everyone was right and the venue was more than we could have ever hoped for.
What adjective best describes your spouse on your wedding day? Kristi was floating from happiness. Thomas was as excited as a school boy – a lot of joy with a splash of nervousness.
What tangible detail of your wedding day did you love the most? (Cake, dress, special item?) I (Kristi) LOVED my dress. I (Thomas) loved my white dinner jacket, Kristi’s whole look, and watching our closest friends dancing during the reception.
How many guests attended the wedding? 94
What did you and your guests eat at the reception? There is too much to list. That was also one of the reasons we chose Old Edwards- the food. We had a chilled seafood tower, lobster lollipops, mini kobe burgers, a fried seafood action station, whole bone-in beef rib, boursin mashed potatoes, pumpkin ravioli, truffle mac and cheese, quail wellington…. Oh how I wish I could eat it all over again.
What was the flavor of your wedding cake? Almond with a blackberry compote.
What is the one of the funniest things that happened on your wedding day? We had an active dance floor at our wedding, and I (Kristi) was leading the way. My dress was a smidge tight due to alterations issues, and by the end of the night when I went to drop it low, my dress zipper popped open. Luckily I had a large bow covering the zipper so no one saw but the internal embarrassment was real.
What was your first dance song and why did you pick it? “You’re Simply the Best” from Schitt’s Creek. We heard the song while watching the show (which we love) and almost immediately felt it was the one.
What stood out to you the most when you think of your wedding? How happy we both were and how much fun we had.
What is on your “bucket list” to do together as a married couple? Visit every continent together and find the best farmer’s market in every location.