There is something so magical and easy about a venue that not only sits in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina, but is also remote yet convenient. Chestnut Ridge offers just that feel in its location while still being close to Waynesville, Canton and Asheville. It allows easy access to numerous vendors to accomplish that perfect wedding day. Their venue is bright and airy, containing spaces to duck and cover in rain or sun. Despite the warmer weather we had at Paul and Julia’s wedding, Chestnut Ridge was a space that was capable of giving shelter while still being inside and out, giving us the best of both worlds.
Laughing and goofing off, the day began with a toast between the bride and her bridesmaids.
The couple got ready for the big day in their prospective spaces on the Chestnut Ridge property. Julia held an extra special first-look with her bridal party. Everyone was enthralled by her and you could see the adoration and excitement in their shining faces.
The details always matter. Early in the day, I took the time to capture some of the little touches both inside and out. The bride and groom took much effort to incorporate things that they loved. From their adventurous spirits, to his love of photography and her love of books, everything important to them was represented in truly unique fashion.
Having known the couple personally, I had the honor of photographing both the engagement session and wedding as well as an exploration of the property prior to the wedding day with Paul and Julia. So, when it came time to shoot their first look and wedding-day portraits, we were quite comfortable with each other. This allowed for a relaxed and easy photo session, the couple’s at-ease demeanor showed in their images. Because every detail of both the bride’s and groom’s appearances was kept secret prior to the day, the first look was extra exciting. It made for an emotionally charged moment to witness.
The Wedding Party
Since the bride and groom chose their first look prior to the ceremony, wedding party shots were a breeze. Everyone had a great time posing, goofing off, and playing around as we shot this group of friends hanging out on the lush green field surrounding the event space.
The ceremony was relaxed and casual, with friends involved in every step. Two close friends married the bride and groom. The harpist, Balfour Knight, performed ceremony music. Julia helped Paul wipe away overflowing emotions as they leaned in for their kiss upon being announced Mr. and Mrs..
Following the ceremony, the bride and groom enjoyed a glass of wine and beer to celebrate while moving into the first dances and reception. The beer was sourced from Innovation Brewery, where the couple had their first date. Just another example of those personal touches throughout their big day.
Toasts were made and the cake was cut. Julia even sent a piece of cake flying through the air and the reactions from the couple were priceless. This moment went down in the memory banks as a favorite for sure.
The wood rounds, wooden signs and table numbers, as well as the cake stand, were handmade by the bride and groom. This detail incorporated Paul’s woodworking skills throughout the reception and the day as a whole.
Paul and Julia were most interested in having the finest food and drink and focused on a relaxed and fun event. The party went from sundown into the night as everyone ate fantastic food, drank some killer wine and beer and had an all-around great time. The DJ, Lucas London, was amazing from his involvement in the party to his mixing. He created high energy on the dance floor and nearly everyone joined in for a night of dancing under the stars.
A sparkler sendoff seemingly capped off the night only to have a surprise fireworks show for all of the guests after! The bride and groom had kept that little detail a secret – and what a surprise it was!
Of all the weddings that I have photographed, I can say that Paul and Julia went the extra mile to put their personal touch on every piece of their wedding. The couple is deeply rooted in Western North Carolina, so taking the task at hand and utilizing as much local talent and vendors as possible was inspiring and heartfelt. They were painstakingly thoughtful in the process of their planning, and on their day, it truly showed. Personal friends were hand-picked to work alongside local vendors, a very unique approach for such a large wedding and venue. The way that the couple planned allowed for an intimate and personal ceremony and reception. They maintained the fun and carefree nature that Paul and Julia carry with them daily.
Now, their adventure continues.
Venue: Chestnut Ridge
Stylist: Mingle Events
Catering: Catering by Corey
Florals: Stargazers Designs
Rentals: Professional Party Rentals
Makeup & Hair: Flawless Airbrush
Beer: Innovation Brewing
Wine: Metro Wine
Bar Staff: Cordial and Craft
Harpist: Balfour Knight
DJ: Lucas London
Photo Booth: Yellow Tie Photo Booth
Officiants: Rev. David Christy & Rev. David Reeves
Photography: Terri Clark Photography
Chamber: Haywood Chamber of Commerce