I am going to let the pictures do most of the story telling but I will say this; David and Ashley were a pleasure to be around and work with. They were super kind and laid back. We really enjoyed our private moment with them for the sunset photos at the inn!
This wedding had been in the works for a while and a lot of planning went in to it. Mark and Bobby with BobbyMark’s Design did a fantastic job with the planning, decor and floral!
Getting ready moments!
The fellas had their before ceremony formals at the Grove Park Inn and the Basilica.
The inside of the Basilica is gorgeous so I enjoyed getting to take some photos of the gals inside the church.
The ceremony was about an hour long which is pretty standard for Catholic weddings. There were plenty of moments to capture.
This little fella caught our eye quiet often. He is adorable.
We did a few photos with Ashley and David at the the Basilica…
Also a few photos at UNCA botanical gardens.
Then onward to the Omni Grove Park Inn Country Club!
Ashley’s mother was absolutely gorgeous. Like mother like daughter!
First dance and a few of the many toast moments!
Toast from the Maid of Honor and Best man!
Yes these kids are adorable but what stands out to me in this set is all the hands.
David’s nephew was excited about his cake!
Ahhh the s’mores bar!
David, Ashley, Michael, and I rode the shuttle back up to the Inn to take some sunset photos. I wasn’t sure if there would even be a sunset as a storm was looming nearby. Boy, was I wrong!
The band Shimmer entertained us for the evening! And it was a great party to be sure!
Congrats David and Ashley! Thank you so much for allowing us to share in your special day!
Shout out to these professionals for their hard work in making this day amazing.
Planning and Design – BobbyMark’s Designs
Venue coordinator – Annie with Grove Park Inn
Dress Designer – KAI
Where you purchased your dress – Winnie Couture (Houston)
Makeup artist – Kristen with Blush Asheville
Hair designer – Amanda Hughes with Hughes Hair Design
Floral designer – BobbyMark’s Designs
Caterer – Grove Park
DJ or Band – Shimmer
Band booked through – East Coast Entertainment
Officiant – Father Peter Tran
Cake designer – Grove Park
Rental company – Classic Event Rental
Limo or car service – Elite Limousine/ Grayline Trolley’s Asheville
Serene and John had a small intimate wedding at Wildberry Lodge here in Asheville. A local bed and breakfast, this lodge hosted a gorgeous setting for this “family only” wedding.
Serene and John’s dinner table was one of Meriah’s favorites of all time. Complete with loads of color and a “wildflower” theme, this table was certainly eye catching. Especially with a mountain backdrop.
Serene and John had a super cute custom made cake topper!
The front deck provided a gorgeous setting for the ceremony. With only 13 guests there was plenty of room to witness the vows between Serene and John.
The beautiful Serene.
First look with dad.
This was SUCH a merry crowd. Michael and I enjoyed getting to chat and hang out with Serene and John’s family.
John… simply the nicest dude ever.
First look at his bride.
Those moments just after you are married and realize you just married the love of your life!
The “hugs and love” photos of the couple with the family are some of our favorites.
Family photos with the mountains of course. 🙂
With such a small wedding there was lots of time to just “hang out.” We loved how laid back and happy everyone was.
Total guest count. 🙂
Dancing with Dad.
First dance and they KILLED it.
Dancing with mom.
93 years old and John’s grandma still loves to dance.
Grandma Nancy is who I (Meriah) want to be when I grow up. She is so full of fun and joy! She is such a social butterfly and Michael and I enjoyed her company immensely.
Sunset photos. Is that cloud really shaped like a heart??
Let there be cake!
Congrats Serene and John! Thank you so much for allowing us to share in your special day!
Shout out to these people who made this day happen!
Venue coordinator – Glenda Cahill – Owner of Wildberry Lodge
Dress Designer – Willowby by Watters
Where you purchased your dress – Wildflower Bridal
Makeup artist – Kerstin with AnaRie
Hair designer – Kerstin with AnaRie
Floral designer – Lady Luck Flower Farm
Caterer – 67 Biltmore
DJ or Band – Eric Scheider
Officiant – Heart Light Weddings – Tom Johanson
Cake designer – Short Street Cakes – Vegan Wedding Cake!!!!
Rental company – Classic Event Rental
Since Michael and I got married we have talked about what we would do for our 10 year wedding anniversary. We always wanted that to be big and exciting and we love, love, love to travel. It’s been a full ride for us with having 2 wild boys and starting an amazing business together. Over a year ago we made the decision to go on a cruise for our anniversary. So in July we packed up, left the kids, the business, emails, and social media for 10 days and hopped a plane to the Mediterranean.
1st stop, Venice, Italy. We flew into Venice and spent around 24 hours there exploring, getting lost, eating, and taking a few photos.
Venice was in full bloom and many windows were sporting flower baskets. Growing flowers is my hobby so I couldn’t resist shooting some photos of these gorgeous flowers boxes.
Ahhh, the churches! They were so gorgeous and every one super unique.
The good thing about clouds and stormy weather is stuff like this. That rainbow! (Double rainbow all the way!)
We opted out of the gondola ride in order to save some money. (those touristy items are NOT cheap.) Instead we rode the public water taxi/bus. It gave us a great view of Venice from the river and was a convenient way to get back to our hotel.
It seemed that no 2 buildings were the same. We loved looking at the differences in architecture.
We ate pretty good in Venice and of course had some amazing cappuccinos!
These photos were taken from the cruise ship as we departed Venice! You know your ship is pretty big when you are looking down on on a city as you float away.
Our second destination was Dubrovnik, Croatia. This ancient walled city by the sea was easily one of our favorite stops. We took an excursion that included a bus ride to overlook the old town and a tour of old town.
Many movies and TV shows were partly filmed in Dubrovnik . It’s glorious medieval feel was perfect for shows like Game of Thrones and the movie, The Last Jedi.
We met a super cool artist named Stjepko in Croatia because we were struck by one of his paintings hanging outside of his studio. We enjoyed getting to meet a native and hear about his work.
Dubrovnik had lots of stray cats that the locals take care of. They call them “freelancers.” They were mostly friendly to travelers… except this particular black one that scratched and bloodied Michael’s hand. 😉
The Adriatic Sea.
After our regular tour, and since we had a late departure time, we wandered the city. We ended up walking on top of the wall that circled the city. We got a completely different perspective from that vantage point.
Port number 3 was Kotor, Montenegro. This was Michael’s favorite stop on the trip. Again we took a cruise excursion that lead us on a 5 hour tour of Montenegro with a local tour guide who was amazing!
We started by going up a super curvy road to the top of a mountain. The road had 26 switch backs and we were riding in a huge bus on what looked like a one way street. It was indeed a 2 way street though. It was not for the faint of heart, but oh how the views were worth it!
We then stopped in a local village and had a traditional snack.
We visited the palace of the last king of Montenegro. (This is a small church next to the palace).
And ended our trip in the Old Town of Kotor. If you look closely in the photo below this one you will see a wall scaling the mountain. It took them 900 years to build that wall. 900 years! It was incredible.
Ahhh, Santorini. Easily the most picturesque stop of our trip. We took an excursion to the city of Oia and wandered around this quaint white and blue city on a cliff. This was Meriah’s favorite stop on the trip.
The castle ruins.
We then wandered to a winery and sipped local wine while enjoying these incredible views. The terrain was very volcanic and the middle picture shows the tip of the volcano which erupted last in 1950.
Our last and final destination was to the port of Katakolon, Greece. We took a tour of Olympia. (Michael is goofing off in front of remains of the temple of Zeus)
We spent the rest of our day on Kourouta beach before heading back to the ship for a trek back to Venice.
Our cruise boat was Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas. This was Michael’s first cruise and Meriah’s second. Michael loved cruising and was like a kid in a candy shop with all the food and variety of people to talk to. He is, after all, a social butterfly and curious by nature. And anyone who knows him well, knows he loves good food!
There was SUCH a diverse group of people on the ship from all over the world. (Crew and passangers) We had dinner with the same people every evening and really enjoyed getting to know George, our waiter from the Philippines, Carmen and Mitch from Arkansas, Silvia and Kristen from Rochester NY, and Janice and Darcy from the UK. We all got along super well and enjoyed each other’s company so much. We plan to keep in touch with these lovely people.
Michael enjoyed getting to know some of the crew so much he wanted his photo taken with them. (In the above photo) We did a little mini photo session out on the deck with our new friends. We had no idea the wind would be so strong but we had fun in it anyway.
We caught a few sunsets over the Mediterranean. Meriah also watched a lighting storm in the middle of the night and a sunrise (thanks to the 6 hour time difference that took me 3 days to get used to!)
This was truly a trip of a lifetime and we consider ourselves blessed to have gotten to go. We are already hoping to do another trip as soon as we can afford it 😉 We booked this awesome cruise through Amanda with Time to Travel. There was zero booking fee to use her services and she went above and beyond to help us book this amazing trip.