Real Wedding: Asheville Fall Wedding

Sarahasheville, fete

I surprised Brent with a New Year’s trip to Asheville and Charleston for Christmas 2012. We were going to visit Emily, one of my college roommates from JMU (J-M-U Duuuukes!) in Asheville. On our first day there, we went to breakfast with Emily and she introduced us to her boyfriend, Ford. Fast forward three-ish years later and Emily & Ford said their ‘I Do’s’!!

I was so honored when Emily asked me to be one of her bridesmaids! I was thrilled to experience an Asheville wedding as a guest, too, since most of my Spring and Fall weekends are spent working at weddings! They had an incredibly beautiful wedding, from the meaningful and traditional Catholic ceremony to the deep burgundy floral draped through the iconic Grove Park Inn. Ford and Emily have wonderful families and friends and I found myself with tears in my eyes a few times during the sweet toasts and dances.

Emily was so kind to answer these questions for me and right after she finished answering the last question about what is next for these two as a couple, she and Ford headed to Greenville to pick up a puppy. How fun! I’m so excited for these two! The photos (& video at the end of the post) are by Almond Leaf Studios.

Emily-Ford-Wedding-Favorites-0022Emily-Ford-Wedding-0080SK: How did you and Ford meet?

We met through a mutual friend at a bar in Asheville, NC called the WALK (West Asheville Lounge and Kitchen) back in 2012.

Wedding-Dress_Almond-Leaf-StudiosWedding-Invitation-and-Program_Almond-Leaf-StudiosSK: Share your love story:

I was 22, had just gotten out of a relationship and was living in Asheville with my parents trying to figure out what was next. My friend Stephanie (a bridesmaid in our wedding!) draaaaaaaaagged me out to the bar to meet up with her friend Ford and his roommate Zach. I was in no way looking for a relationship, and neither was he, but we exchanged numbers that night and spent a few months hanging out together as friends. Gradually I think we both realized that we were a little more than friends and Ford took me out to the Hop (a local ice cream store) and said, “Either you say that you’re my girlfriend and I buy you this ice cream cone, or I’m leaving, no ice cream and we can’t be friends anymore.” Well, he must have known from my MASSIVE sweet tooth that I would never turn down dessert….and almost four years later the rest is history!

Wedding-Details_Almond-Leaf-StudiosWedding-Bouquet_Almond-Leaf-StudiosGroomsmen-Bouts_Almond-Leaf-StudiosSK: How did he propose?

When I got home after a long day at work on a commercial shoot, I unlocked the door to my apartment, swung it open and there were what seemed to be a million lavender (my favorite color) balloons! Then, in the living room there was Ford, with flowers, down on one knee in a suit. I think I was so excited I barely said yes before I tackled the ring from his hand! After that, he had also planned a romantic weekend at a bed and breakfast in Hot Springs, NC, complete with a hike to Lover’s Leap and a trip to the spa. 

NC-Asheville-Wedding_Almond-Leaf-StudiosWedding-Heels-and-Monogram_Almond-Leaf-StudiosSK: Did you have something old, new, borrowed and blue?

Yes. My something old was a locket that belonged to my great, great, grandmother, who I was named after. She had the same initials as me and I had you (!) wrap it around my bouquet for me so I could carry it down the aisle. My something new was my dress. My something borrowed was my mom’s diamond cross pendant necklace. She wears it every day and so it was very special to me that she let me wear it. And my something blue were these tiny blue hearts that I glued to the bottom of my shoes. Also, my mom bought me a blue cell phone case with the date printed on it. :)

Getting-Ready-on-Wedding-Day_Almond-Leaf-StudiosEmily-Ford-Wedding-Favorites-0041Flower-Girls_Almond-Leaf-StudiosWeddingSK: What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day?

Hm, this is a tough one! There are a lot of moments I remember distinctly. One would be waiting with my dad before walking down the aisle. Another one of my favorites would be saying our vows to each other. Also, walking out through all of the sparklers – I remember looking around seeing all of the people that I care about smiling at me and at Ford and thinking that there is no other time that this would happen again. It was very special.

Asheville-Basilica-of-Saint-Lawrence-Wedding-Ceremony_Almond-Leaf-StudiosEmily-Ford-Wedding-0194Asheville-Wedding-Ceremony_Almond-Leaf-StudiosWedding-Day_Almond-Leaf-StudiosBasilica-of-Saint-Lawrence-Asheville-Wedding_Almond-Leaf-StudiosSK: What traditions did you include in your celebration?

I am Catholic and Ford is Episcopalian, but we chose to have a traditional Catholic ceremony. 

Catholic-Wedding-Ceremony_Almond-Leaf-Studios Traditional-Wedding-Ceremony_Almond-Leaf-Studios Asheville-NC-Wedding_Almond-Leaf-Studios Asheville-Wedding-Family-Photos_Almond-Leaf-Studios Newlyweds Leaving the CeremonyAsheville NewlywedsEmily-Ford-Wedding-0273SK: What inspired your wedding colors and design?

My engagement ring has a ruby stone and I knew right away that I wanted to incorporate that color. From there, Ford is colorblind and says that the only color he can truly see is Carolina (UNC- Chapel Hill, his Alma Mater) blue. Obviously we had to use that color! And that was where I started with bridesmaid dresses. From there we ended up with ruby red, cloudy blue, grey, white and a little burnt orange. I loved all vivid colors and they (Flower Gallery of Asheville) did such a lovely job of making them shine in the flower arrangements.

Grove-Park-Inn-Wedding_Almond-Leaf-StudiosFall-Wedding-Floral-Arrangements_Almond-Leaf-StudiosSK: What was your favorite detail of the wedding?

It’s too hard to pick a favorite. But one of the things that I was completely memorized by when we actually got to the reception were the flowers and candles hanging from the ceiling around the vodka luge. It was so magical! Not just because I had taken too many shots from the vodka luge I don’t think…

Wedding-Cake_Almond-Leaf-StudiosIce-Sculpture-Vodka-LugeWedding-Beer-Koozie_Almond-Leaf-StudiosSK: Who was your favorite bridesmaid? ;) 

This is a trap!! You are all my favorites :)

Emily-Ford-Wedding-Favorites-0063 Emily-Ford-Wedding-Favorites-0057 Emily-Ford-Wedding-0376SK: How many friends and family members attended your wedding?

I believe the final count was around 235.

I-do-Me-Too-Wedding-PicturesSK: What special songs did you use throughout your wedding? Why did you choose them?

Music has always been very important to us in our relationship, and Ford did such a great job with helping the band with their set list, which was amazing. Our first dance song was “I Must Be In A Good Place Now” by Bobby Charles. I think Ford and I had picked that as our “hypothetical” first dance song even before we were engaged! It’s a very romantic song, and Ford plays and sings it on the guitar, which I love. For my dance with my dad, I chose “Moon River.” Actually, my dad had no idea what song I had chosen until it happened! When I was younger, I made my dad watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s with me a million times, and that is the song Audrey Hepburn sings in the movie. But my dad actually loves the Andy Williams version, so it was a fun little surprise between my mom and I for my dad. Ford’s mom Holly loves Van Morrison, so they chose the song “Days Like This,” which they listened to when Ford was younger.

Bride-and-Groom_Almond-Leaf-StudiosWedding-First-Dance_Almond-Leaf-StudiosSK: What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you?

Our church (The Basilica of St. Lawrence) had been somewhere that I had grown up attending, being from Asheville. I always knew I wanted to get married there if I could. As for the Grove Park Inn, not only is it beautiful but again, since I grew up in Asheville, I had so many special memories there. My great grandmother always used to come and stay at Christmas time, and we would visit when I was very young. My parents took me to dinner there on my 18th birthday. Things like that. So when we were looking at venues for our reception, that was always top of the list.

Emily-Ford-Wedding-0531SK: What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding?

I wouldn’t say we had any huge challenges with the wedding planning itself, but the hardest thing for us would have been scheduling and time management. During our engagement period we bought a house, planned a wedding, Ford changed jobs, and we both were working full time! It was a little hectic at times, but that made the honeymoon all that much more rewarding at the end! 

Asheville-Wedding-Menu_Almond-Leaf-StudiosSK: What was your wedding style?

I would say it was a mix of our tastes. We were very inspired by our surroundings, so I think some parts had a rustic feel, others a little more romantic. It was just a big melting pot of people and things we love.

Father-Daughter-Dance_Almond-Leaf-StudiosEmily-Ford-Wedding-0745Grove-Park-Inn-Wedding_Sparkler-Exit_Almond-Leaf-Studios

SK: What advice do you have for those currently planning a wedding?

I heard this a million times, but it’s true: enjoy every moment! Our engagement flew by and although planning a wedding is emotional at times, if you remember the reason for all the planning it makes it so exciting.

SK: Where did you honeymoon?

Caneel Bay Resort on St John, USVI

SK: What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together?

We want a puppy! Also, we are hoping to travel to at least 1 place that is new to both of us in the coming year. 

CONGRATULATIONS, EMILY & FORD! CHEERS TO A WONDERFUL MARRIAGE.

Rehearsal Dinner: Capital Club of Asheville, Luella’s Bar-B-Que // Photography & Videography: Almond Leaf Studios // Ceremony Venue: Basilica of Saint Lawrence // Reception Venue & Catering: The Omni Grove Park Inn // Floral Design: Flower Gallery of Asheville //  Wedding Dress: Wildflower Bridal