From the event designer, Beth Helmstetter: The shoot was full of fun details, like colorful Adirondack chairs for the ceremony, vibrant pillows for dinner seating, and was inspired by a colorful, cozy beach wedding in Malibu.
The menu included grilled watermelon cubes topped with hamachi sashimi, cilantro Creme Fraiche and wasabi cotton candy, shoestring fries with Cajun remoulade, mini all-beef hot dogs with a sesame seed bun, caramelized shallots and 50-50 sauce, beach style chargrilled swordfish with fresh apricot and fennel salsa, butternut squash slaw, peach Bellini snow cone shooter, and citrus vodka and pink lemonade snow cone shooter. The welcome basket was stuffed with OneHope wine and champagne, chocolate covered pretzels, Chupa Chups Suckers, and seasalt shortbread cookies.
What could possibly be more perfect than an indoor/outdoor wedding in the mountains of North Carolina shot by the ever-wonderful married photography duo, The Schultzes? Susannah and Corey wed with a “lovebird” theme in mind, even handing out bird tree ornaments to their guests after a sweet outdoor ceremony and a rocking dance party. Read on to soak in all the details and hear some exceptional planning advice from the bride:
From the bride, Susannah: From the very beginning stages of my wedding planning process, my vision was very clear: rustic setting with soft pastels, burlap, lace, succulents and a vintage, romantic feel. I’ve always believed that I was born into the wrong decade. As a child, I was intrigued by the romance and magic of years past, and playtime was filled with old-fashioned make-believe in the likes of The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables and Little Women. What better way to live out my childhood fantasies than by creating my own fairy tale on my wedding day? My mom and I spent hours upon hours scouring antique shops for vintage birdcages, books, lace, crochet, frames, mirrored trays and mason jars. The chandelier (rented from Party Reflections) was the icing on the cake.
We decided on our “lovebirds” theme due to several factors: (1) Corey proposed on a Christmas tree farm in the mountains. After we got home, we found a bird’s nest in our Christmas tree. (2) We got married under a tree, and birds hang out in trees. (3) We are excited to grow our family tree. (4) We like to think of ourselves as lovebirds. (5) I really just like birds. A lot! I tied the theme together by incorporating birds, bird’s nests and birdcages into the decor, invitations and escort cards. I found a birdcage wall art piece at Francesca’s that I transformed into an escort card holder, and created “Wishes for the lovebirds” cards for our guests to fill out and drop into a birdcage.
I found darling lovebird Christmas ornaments from TheShabbyCreekShop on etsy that were perfect for wedding favors. I explained the significance of the ornaments with a sign that read, “On the side of a mountain, in the midst of hundreds of Christmas trees, Corey got down on one knee and asked Susannah to marry him. And so began forever & a thousand Christmases together. Please take an ornament home in honor of the lovebirds… and hang it on your next Christmas tree!” I also designed all of the table numbers, various signs and framed quotes myself, and printed them from home. (Side note: this inspired me to open my own etsy shop, which allows brides to save money on decor by purchasing digital files that they can print from home and frame themselves.)
Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I dreaded stuffing and labeling 150 favor bags, which caused me unnecessary stress. When I finally asked my bridesmaids for help, they were more than happy to sit with me and knock everything out. Not only did it shave hours off the process, but I was able to indulge in a wine night and catch up with some of my bridesmaids.
Don’t be afraid to speak up. If you have reservations about anything, don’t hesitate to say so. I put down a deposit on linens, then regretted my decision for a week afterwards. When I finally spoke up and admitted that I wasn’t happy with my decision, we were able to make a change and find the lace linens that were more in line with what I envisioned. You only get married once (hopefully)… don’t allow yourself to look back on your day with regrets. Aim to have everything you possibly can have done at least a week before the wedding. Eliminate the need for last-minute scrambling, and allow yourself time to relax and spend time with your fiance and family before your big day.
Bridal Party Processional: “Hallelujah,” Leonard Cohen
Bridal Processional: “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” Elvis
Recessional: “This Will Be an Everlasting Love,” Natalie Cole
First Dance: “First Dance,” Corey Smith
Father/Daughter Dance: “My Little Girl,” Tim McGraw
Last Dance: “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing (my favorite movie!)
Just take the next few minutes to soak in this wedding. Right now. Because once you start looking, it may stop you in your tracks too. Perfectly captured by Milou + Olin Photography, formerly Tinywater Photography, Peggy and Erik’s nuptials are definitely one for the books. I seriously can’t help but gush over Peggy’s style.
From the bride, Peggy: We didn’t really listen to anyone when we started to plan and really agreed that we were going to make the day solely about us having an amazing time. I walked down the aisle with both of my parents to the Fleet Foxes “Meadowlarke.” We had both of our dogs a part of our ceremony as well. They have the cutest shirt collars with bow ties. I love them!! We also decided to have a whiskey/cigar bar at the reception.
Erik is a huge whiskey fan and my dad loves cigars, so it was the perfect man marriage. We had some special brands of whiskey for people to taste and some cigars for the guests to smoke. Every part of the wedding was designed and created physically by Erik or I. Except for our Save the Date – which was a comic made by our friend Aimee who is going to be marrying us as well. I printed them all and assembled all of the packaging for those. Then I designed printed and assembled all of the wedding invitations. It was so much work, but I had such a great time doing it.
Our friend Aimee and her brother Danny married us – which is super special to us. We really just wanted someone who shared such a special part in us knowing each other being the person who would make it official. They are both such wonderful friends to us, and they incorporated some silly Lord of the Rings references for us to giggle a lot during the ceremony. I also took on the task of making all of the wedding favors. We used 2 oz bottles which I used artwork to create labels for – and they held samples of whiskey or tequila for guests to take home in a wine tote.