Jennifer and Morgan were married at the Biltmore Estate’s Champagne Cellar and had their reception at the Inn on Biltmore Estate. As Biltmore wedding photographers we get to hang out a lot on the Biltmore Estate. One of our favorite parts of this wedding was getting to escort the couple and their friend and make up artist Jeremy around the estate for photos. We laughed so so so so much. Morgan is quiet possibly one of the funniest grooms we have ever had. It was SUCH a jolly day for everyone. We do love small intimate weddings and there is just something about that champagne cellar. It’s so romantic and warm.
More from us throughout the blog post, but first, here is a bit more about this awesome couple directly from them!
A bit about Jennifer: My mom and I own a small linen-antique-gift shop called Belle Chambre in Tuscaloosa, AL. After going to school at the University of Alabama, I loved the idea of still having a connection to Tuscaloosa so we started a business there! When I’m not working, I love spending time with family, learning to cook new things, and taking our dog Scout on walks!
A bit about Morgan: Morgan works for Regions bank in Birmingham, AL. He too graduated from the University of Alabama and loves Alabama football (Roll Tide!). He has a sweet little girl named Olivia who was his “best man” in our wedding! She spends every other week with us and is the walking definition of sassy! Morgan loves spending time outside, enjoys watching Indy car and F1 racing, and would love nothing more than to move off the grid into an adorable tiny house.
How did you meet? Long story: We were friends first!
Describe your first date? If I had to describe our first date for both of us in one word it would be: nervous. We had always hung out as friends and could talk to each other easily and appreciated each other’s sense of humor but when it started to become more, the pressure was on to impress each other! We both love to drive, so on our first date Morgan picked me up and drove me out to an open spot where you could see all of the stars and we just sat and talked. He was so nervous he wouldn’t even touch my hand but by the end of the night, I finally convinced him to kiss me goodnight and I swear we both fell in love that night!
How long have you been together? 2 years in January
What are your favorite hobbies and activities to do as a couple? We LOVE to travel when we can, try new restaurants around Birmingham, and still love to take drives out to sit and look at the stars. We also love to just relax at home and catch up on our favorite tv shows!
Who popped the question and HOW? Morgan did, at our house. When we first started talking about getting engaged, I let him know I wanted it to be just us around when he did it. We had a running joke, he would tell me to look in my coat pocket for a ring and there was never anything there, I would call him mean and we’d laugh it off and move on. Well one night we were getting ready to go to dinner with my family, and Morgan said “aren’t you going to grab your coat? You should look in the pocket.” There was actually a ring in it! Before I knew it, he had our song playing and was down on one knee!
Why did you pick Asheville and the Biltmore Estate? So I told you we both love to drive. We actually came across the Biltmore Land Rover Experience and wanted to visit to do that and the more we started looking into it, we realized what a beautiful place it would be to get married! Turns out that Land Rover Experience was definitely a test of trust because it isn’t just casual off roading, you literally have multiple wheels off the ground at once while your car is casually tilted sideways! Shout out to Ben at Land Rover for navigating Morgan and getting us home safely 🙂
What adjective best describes your spouse on your wedding day?
Morgan (for Jennifer)- Perfect.
Jennifer (for Morgan)- James Bond handsome.
(He jokingly told me he tried to look as handsome as James Bond for me. I happen to think he pulled it off flawlessly!)
What tangible detail of your wedding day did you love the most?
Jennifer: definitely our rings. I love my engagement ring and matching band and also love Morgans ring that I got for him. What they symbolize is so important to me and even though they are just a tangible item, it is like a piece of my sweet husband I always have with me and will have forever.
Morgan: a picture of my grandfather who passed away a few years back that my mom gave me on our wedding day. He really brought our family together and was such an important influence in my life and having that picture reminded me of how lucky I am to have had such an amazing person in my life. I miss him and wish more than anything he could have been there to share such a special time with us but having his picture in my coat pocket was just a reminder that he was there watching over us.
How many guests attended the wedding? 40. We wanted just family and close friends for an intimate ceremony experience and it was just that! Our reception had more guests but we were able to mingle with everyone while still enjoying ourselves on our special day.
What did you and your guests eat at the reception?
We started off with appetizers at cocktail hour which were shrimp cocktail, tomato bruschetta, and warm grilled flatbread with gruyere cheese and apple wood smoked bacon topped with caramelized onions. We chose to do a plated dinner (so that the bride and groom actually got to eat!) so we did a pan seared crab cake over garlic tossed spinach for the first course followed by an arugula and pear salad tossed in champagne vinaigrette. The main course consisted of a center cut filet and seared chicken breast stuffed with spinach and artichoke with herbed whipped potatoes and asparagus! Biltmore wine was served with each course and it was a truly amazing meal!
What was the flavor of your wedding cake? We chose to do a three tier cake with alternating tiers consisting of chocolate and vanilla cake each with Frangelico Bavarian filling and buttercream icing. Sadly, Morgan and I only got the one bite we fed each other because we were so busy! We did bring the top home to freeze for our one year anniversary!
What is the one of the funniest things that happened on your wedding day? Technically this didn’t happen on our wedding day but on our drive from Birmingham to Asheville. With all the stress of getting everything together for our trip, I forgot to look to see what we needed to get our marriage license (you know, the whole reason we are making the trip!) We quickly realized, 4 hours away from home, that Morgan didn’t have his social security card! We had to get my brother to go to our house, find it, and bring it with him to Asheville the next day and thankfully we were able to get our marriage license before the ceremony!
What was your first dance song and why did you pick it? The Pretenders by Joe Purdy. We have always loved this song. It’s so sweet and when our relationship started to get serious Morgan told me he had a special song to play for me. Funny thing, from the beginning of our relationship, he would send me countless songs and I would always pick them apart trying to figure out what they meant. Come to find out, some of them had nothing to do with me and were just songs he liked. But this one. This one was different. He built up the suspense by telling me that when he played this song, I would instantly know why he picked it and that was going to be his way of telling me he would forever be mine. When he finally did play it, it brought me to tears and does still to this day. I thought it was a really sweet way to tell me he was so deeply in love with me and it’s definitely a moment I’ll never forget!
What stood out to you the most when you think of your wedding? I would have to say just the love felt by me and Morgan on that day is what stands out the most to us. The special love between us two, the love between our families, and the love shown for us by the numerous friends and family members who traveled to support us on such a special day. So much hard work and stress went into planing the wedding and it all happened perfectly but to be honest, even if it hadn’t, I’m not sure we would have even noticed because of all the love we felt that day. We are blessed with so many special people in our lives and Morgan said it best when he said we would not be where we are today without those special people. We are thankful for each and every one of them and are happy they were able to be there to make this wonderful experience even better.
What is on your “bucket list” to do together as a married couple? We definitely want to travel and explore the world! We have a list of places that we cannot wait to visit!
The beauty that is the Inn at Biltmore Estate at Christmastime!
First look moments.
His reaction was priceless.
Morgan and his sweet and sassy daughter.
We love this moment.
It was a bit chilly during family photos but everyone seemed to be in good spirits anyway!
Can you believe that on December 3rd there was still some color on the trees?
We took advantage of it and did some photos with those amazing trees.
So so so much laughter.
The Champagne cellar at Biltmore is quiet possibly one of the most unique venues in our area. We love it!
Prayer with their families as the ceremony began.
Morgan’s daughter was simply stunning.
I loved the back of that dress! Her dress was very well suited for a December wedding!
Onward to the reception at the Inn at Biltmore Estate.
We always eat good as vendors at Biltmore. It’s one of the perks of getting to shoot weddings there and we are grateful for our clients providing a meal for us! This time due to some last minute cancellations Michael and I got to eat what the wedding guests ate which doesn’t always get to happen. You guys!! The food was fan-flippin-tastic!
Jennifer and Morgan expressed how nervous they were do do a first dance. They were practicing what they would do while we were hanging out doing photos. I threw out some advice… most of it being, “Just be yourselves, try to forget anyone else is in the room and take in the moment.” I think they did just that.
Everyone really did seem to have a wonderful time… even grandma. 😉
This father/ daughter dance and these moments are why we do what we do.
You can really tell that Jennifer loves her daddy.
Jennifer’s dad actually wiped her tears away. We have never seen that before. It was precious.
Sweet moments with mom.
But this wedding would not have been complete with out this father/daughter dance.
Those 2 girls had the BEST time together.
Congrats Jennifer and Morgan! We wish you years of joy and laughter.
Shout out to these professionals that made this wedding awesome.
Venue coordinator – Melissa Hilgeman, Biltmore
Dress Designer – Heidi Elnora
Where you purchased your dress – Heidi Elnora Atelier, Birmingham, Alabama
Makeup artist – Jeremy Stephens, Birmingham, Alabama
Hair designer – Jeremy Stephens
Floral designer –Blossoms at Biltmore Park
Caterer – Biltmore
Officiant – Scott Akin, Birmingham, Alabama
Cake designer – Biltmore