Lucy Shores knew that she had met the man of her dreams on their first date.
On a Friday night she was out with girlfriends and saw Peter and walked right up to him and said, “You’re cute, what’s your name”?
The next day he called to ask her out for that Sunday and that is when they both knew that there was an instant connection. He had told her that they were going on a picnic and to bring her dog. They went to a local state park and just splashed around in the water with their dogs; he even remembered to bring water for the dogs and towels to dry them off.
They dated for a year and a half and Peter proposed in the same park where they had their first date. As they were compiling their invitation list, they realized that the list included people from more than 30 states.
“Pete and I have family and friends all over the country,” said Lucy. “We knew no matter where we had our wedding, people would have to travel. The North Carolina mountains provided the perfect location — halfway between Raleigh, Peter’s home, and Birmingham, my home, not too hot for our summer wedding, and a stunning backdrop. After touring a couple of venues, we instantly fell in love with the High Hampton Inn.
“We wanted to keep things simple and wanted our guests to feel like they were on vacation. The dress was ‘no heels, no ties.’ Also, the mountain and scenery surrounding High Hampton Inn is breathtaking and we did not want to do anything to take away from that.”
Because the couple did not want their guests to have to leave the property, they arranged with High Hampton Inn to provide boxed lunches on Saturday for all their wedding guests. They wanted their guests to be able to hike, swim, boat — essentially “play” and not to have to think about lunch. Guests could park their cars and not have to get back in them until they checked out on Sunday.
“Caroline, the wedding planner at High Hampton Inn, was invaluable and steered us to the perfect vendors,” said Lucy. “She knows what she is doing and will not steer you in the wrong direction.”
Sandy at Fiddlehead Designs spends a lot of time with her brides and loves to get to know the brides’ personalities, as well as their design sensibilities and then ask for creative license
“Lucy loved textures and organic, natural elements,” said Sandy. “She and Mrs. Shores fully put their trust in us, allowing us to create surprise and thrill her. It was a magical event and we even went so far as to use mattress springs, an inside joke with the groom…a little way to tease and have fun with him.”
“Peter and I walked around to every table at the reception looking at the floral arrangements and loving the special touches that Sandy incorporated into the design,” said Lucy. “The ceremony was simple. It was small since we only wanted our closest friends and family there. We were very specific about our guest list and only wanted those people that we spoke to on a regular basis.
“We decided not to have a wedding party because we wanted everyone to feel equally responsible for supporting us throughout our marriage. The mountain backdrop behind the ceremony site at High Hampton Inn is so majestic and symbolic; it made us feel as if God was sitting right there with us – like we were completely surrounded by friends, family and Him.”
Peter surprised the bride by arranging with Caroline for a quartet to play her favorite song as she walked down the aisle and her reaction, according to Caroline, was
Peter’s favorite part of the day was their private candlelit dinner looking out on the mountain after the ceremony. This gave them time to unwind, laugh about each other’s day and to have a time to connect as husband and wife before going to
The reception was held at the pavilion only a few steps away from the ceremony site. It was open air – food and seating inside, dancing and drinks outside. There was a collection of yard games and a driving range to entertain the guests. The Blue Tips provided a great musical backdrop and blew the guests away.
After the wedding, the couple honeymooned in Maine and then returned to their home in Raleigh.
Life rarely goes the way we want but for Kendall and Patrick Schnidler, it is truly a fairy tale. Kendall and Patrick both attended the University of Georgia, crossing paths in a geography class and a great friendship was born. After dating 7 years Patrick proposed on a family vacation in Mustique.
Kendall knew precisely what she wanted and the exact feel she wanted for her wedding. As a designer, it was important to her that the wedding reflected her personality. The couple had no doubt about where they wanted to get married. They had made many happy memories at Kendall’s parent’s home in Highlands. The picturesque property was complete with a beautiful mountain vista, rhododendron arbor where cocktails could be served, and the sun would set directly behind them the couple during the ceremony.
Kendall allowed her mother, Dian to handle most of the details’ and they enlisted the help of Elizabeth Fletcher with I Do Events to help plan their beautiful May event. “Nobody knows Highlands and Atlanta better than Elizabeth,” says Kendall, “so she was responsible for coordinating all the details and heading up the entire team. I really feel so lucky to have had her on board.” Kendall was inundated with work demands and relied heavily on her mother to collaborate with Elizabeth. Not one detail was forgotten and the date was set for May 27, 2012, Memorial Day weekend.
The save- the- date announcement set the stage for event. Guests received old-school view finders that displayed 3D pictures of Patrick and Kendall on the rocks where he proposed, along with details for the wedding. The weekend began with a welcome party at Springhouse at Old Edwards Inn. Kendall’s Grandparents had a home in Ireland for 25 years, and they were thrilled to find that Old Edwards Inn had an Irishman who personally made authentic Irish coffee for the guest, while two of Kendall’s nieces performed Irish dances.
The next day kicked off with a picnic on a private property on Lake Glenville. Guests were transported to the lake in buses and upon arriving were greeted with an array of water sports. Boats were available for skiing, tubing and a bluegrass band for entertainment. That evening the rehearsal dinner was held at The Bascom. The Coleman /Winingder family had graciously donated the covered bridge to The Bascom and had strong ties to the venue. Ibiza food truck was brought in for the night and Kendall and Patrick each had their own menu, since Kendall is a vegetarian. After the rehearsal dinner guests attended a Wigged Out Party at Highlands Smokehouse. If you did not bring your wig, no worries there were wigs and mustaches for all.
The next day the sun was shining and the temperature was perfect for an outdoor wedding. The ceremony began with a gospel choir from New Orleans, serenaded the guests while leading the bridal party down the aisle. The bridal party included 10 family bridesmaids, 7 flower girls, all of Kendall’s nieces and nephews as well as two of her rescue dogs. Vows were exchanged with a dramatic sunset setting over the mountains. After the ceremony, guests gathered for cocktails and appetizers in the rhododendron arbor. The arbor was draped with hanging candles and over 10,000 white lights by Urban Earth Design Studios from New Orleans, the floral designer chosen for the wedding.
A candlelit path led to a sparkling clear-topped tent for dinner, with custom wood chandeliers and white fabric draping. The evening’s menu featured tomato soup sips with grilled cheese garnish, fried catfish bites with caperberry remoulade, miniature tacos with crispy tuna and jicama slaw, along with stations of tenderloin of beef, lamb chops, sockeye salmon and of course shrimp and sausage over three cheese grits. The caterer, Sun In My Belly also had a connection to New Orleans and created a menu that reflected New Orleans cuisine, Kendall’s hometown. Guests were surprised with Café Du Monde coffee and miniature beignets in small brown paper bags as late night snacks. Of course the beignets were passed by waiters wearing the Café Du Monde hats.
Kendall and Patrick drove away in an English-made Morgan and guests left on golf carts through the candlelit rhododendron grove. After a honeymoon at the Four Season in Thailand the couple resides in New Orleans where they have been blessed with a beautiful baby boy.
In 2006, Jim Vance was competing in a Monte Carlo triathlon when he became smitten with the idea of owning a vineyard like the glorious fields he discovered in the Italian and French countryside. “The area was so moving that before I left, I said to my wife, Deedee, ‘I would like to buy a vineyard.” Two or three months later, the couple bought an apple orchard closer to home near Highlands, North Carolina. In 2007, they began the planting process. Things moved along, and they now own 20 acres in the Highland Plateau, with 10 acres under vine.
When their daughter, Maddie got engaged to her fiancé, Pete Bartlett she knew that she wanted to get married at the family vineyard. The couple was living in Savannah and her family was in Palm Beach, Pete’s family was in Atlanta. Vance said, “The Vineyard was only 2.5 hours from Atlanta which was great for Pete’s family and my family comes to the mountains every summer, so they were excited that we had decided to have the wedding at the Vineyard. We also love the property and we had spent many weekends there and it seemed like the perfect spot.”
Maddie and Pete wanted a wedding that fit their personalities. Their wedding style was rustic chic and wanted their wedding to have a very natural design element. Attire for the bridal party set the tone with cowboy boots and cocktail length lace dresses for the bridesmaids and blue and white checkered shirts for the groomsmen. An unexpected problem arose when their Palm Beach florist was hospitalized a week before the wedding and had to cancel. I Do Events stepped in quickly and found Jodie Zoelher of The Barefoot Flower Girl who came to the rescue. An added bonus was that she is an artist who had just finished an exhibition at the Bascom. She loaned us one of her pieces, a very large bird’s nest which happened to be Maddie and Pete’s logo for their paper suite. I Do Events cleverly added pumpkins to the nest, which also lined the long driveway to the property, perfect for fall. The logo was also used for invitations, programs, menu’s, napkins and wine labels.
Trendy southern comfort food was what the couple had in mind to serve at their reception. I Do Events felt that Max and Alison, Sun In My Belly would be the perfect match for their wedding. After one visit Maddie and Pete knew that they had found their caterer. Max and Alison, co-owners of Sun In My Belly are accustomed to working where there is no kitchen and partnered with Professional Party Rentals of Cashiers to create a workspace and the results were rave reviews.
The bride and her Mother were hands on with creating many of the décor items and had quite a few DIY projects. They collected vintage silver trays, and painted them with chalk board paint to create signs like, “Maddie and Pete’s Wedding”, “Valet Parking”, etc. They made floral containers from tall twigs and branches which were attached to wine bottles with twine. The bottles were then filled with hydrangeas and lined the stone steps leading to the ceremony. Personalized pillows were placed on the pews which the family purchased and refinished. Handkerchiefs were collected from vintage shops and were given out to the female guests as they arrived for the ceremony. Bottles of wine from the vineyard with Maddie and Pet’s customized wine label were given as favors.
When I ask Maddie her most memorable moment, she said, “Walking into the tent with my husband, and we were introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Bartlett. It was the first time I had seen the tent all finished and I really was blown away. I loved just watching all of our guests have fun. My friends and aunts had a surprise dance they choreographed that they surprised me with! It was so cute!” Maddie’s best advice to brides, “Hire a wedding planner and embrace the planning time. It is such a happy moment in your life and it goes by so fast.”]]>
By: Colby V. Creasman
Over the past few years many American companies have outsourced their businesses and manufacturing to other foreign nations. The companies participating did this to cut costs, but mainly to cut their wages expense. Wages in other nations are a lot cheaper than those here in our homeland. Many US jobs were lost to the increase of outsourcing the US Companies without taking their employees with the move. The employees here were left without a job and income which help lead to the economic downturn. Since the end of The Great Recession the US economy just recently experienced, there has been a weak comeback of lowering the US unemployment rate.
Have you heard of “Made in America”? It is a movement brought to you by Diane Sawyer of ABC News to encourage purchases made by all consumers to be “Made in America” to put American companies on top and hire our unemployed (http://abcnews.go.com/WN/MadeInAmerica/ ). You can choose any type of purchases to start buying only products that are made in the US such as clothing, furniture, construction products, gifts, etc. I Do Events is challenging YOU to make your wedding a product of the USA.
You can start with the purchase of your dress. This website has a listing of over 20 designers, including the extraordinary Vera Wang, who design and make their wedding gowns all here in the United States, the direct link is: http://wedding.theknot.com/special-wedding-features/fourth-of-july-wedding-ideas/articles/wedding-dresses-made-in-usa.aspx. It isn’t a complete outfit without the shoes to match the dress; http://dikuza.com/ specializes in making all types of custom wedding shoes from heels to flip-flops that are made in the USA. You can order them online customizing the type of heel and color to match the length and color of the dress just for you. And before the wedding is the proposal and to go along with the proposal the perfect ring is needed. The Wedding Rings by Oromi Company makes all their rings and bands in the US. You can view their selection of rings at: http://www.oromi.com/cart/. For listings of invitations, favors, and flowers take a look at: http://www.stillmadeinusa.com/wedding.htm.
We wish you happy shopping in all the 50 states of The United States of America!
By: Colby V. Creasman
What do you intend to do with your flower arrangements after the big day is over and your guests have returned home? Waste not! When the clean-up process begins think before automatically throwing everything out. Start with the flowers and donate them for others to enjoy. Oakleaf Flower & Garden Florists (www.oakleafhighlands.com ) have started a new way to extend the life of arrangements. Owner of Oakleaf, Kirk Moore, goes back after the wedding and picks up the flowers that are left over. He then repurposes them into vases and delivers them to local nursing homes, shut-ins, and hospitals. You can do this after any event by eliminating waste and making someone else’s day brighter. The shelf life of fresh flowers is limited but can be extended with two easy steps. First, change the water at least every two days and secondly, trim the stems before putting the flowers back into the fresh water.
Flowers are mostly picked by their color and appearance. But, you can also pick a flower by its meaning and scent. Oakleaf Flower & Garden also suggest the bride and bridesmaids to carry a bouquet of herbs. The herb lavender represents love, rosemary means love, and sage resembles wisdom. A nice arrangement of those herbs can be a unique, meaningful, fresh choice to carry in a wedding. Then after the wedding you can dry these herbs and use them for spices when cooking, as potpourri, or décor in the home. This alternative to eliminate waste requires less manual labor. For three different ways to dry the herbs at home look at: http://www.herbcompanion.com.
You can purchase herb bouquets and get other arrangement ideas direct from: http://www.creeksidefarms.com.
There are other ways to make your wedding “green”. Check out www.greenbrideguide.com for more ideas including not purchasing guest favors but instead donating a set amount to a charity you are passionate about or allow your guest to choose. Also, when printing save-the-dates, invitations, and place cards use recycled paper to save trees.