From the bride, Amy:  We wanted to get married in the mountains and specifically outdoors, so we had to have a destination wedding (because there are no mountains in Florida!). We wanted a rustic-chic type wedding because that matches our style and personalities. I wanted to make the wedding our own. I’m not the most conventional (my ring is a pink emerald, after all!) and I didn’t do anything just because I felt obligated or that it was tradition. Chris and I chose things that are reflections of us. That means we had some quirky aspects — bird cake toppers, a tree print for guests to sign instead of a traditional guest book and for keepsakes we had a Polaroid station and had guests leave us notes on their picture. We tried to make the night a true, personal reflection of ourselves.

Destination Wedding Appalachian Mountains, Western North Carolina

I made most of the decorations myself. I’m pretty creative and have eclectic tastes, so I’m always trying to come up with things that “go” but don’t look totally put together. I let each of the bridesmaids find their own dresses for that reason. Destination Wedding Appalachian Mountains, Western North Carolina

Destination Wedding Appalachian Mountains, Western North Carolina Destination Wedding Appalachian Mountains, Western North Carolina Destination Wedding Appalachian Mountains, Western North Carolina

I loved the wands we made for the flower girls instead of the traditional flowers in a basket. Destination Wedding Appalachian Mountains, Western North Carolina Destination Wedding Appalachian Mountains, Western North Carolina Destination Wedding Appalachian Mountains, Western North Carolina Destination Wedding Appalachian Mountains, Western North Carolina Destination Wedding Appalachian Mountains, Western North Carolina Destination Wedding Appalachian Mountains, Western North Carolina Destination Wedding Appalachian Mountains, Western North Carolina

I  wanted to take a spin on the photobooth trend and so instead we got a Polaroid camera to create a “snap station.” We hung up a decorative bird cage with mini clothespins and asked people to leave us a note on their Polaroid and then pin it. I made a “LOVE” banner that was used as a backdrop on the barn at the “snap station.” It makes for a perfect decoration at our house with lots of keepsakes!  Destination Wedding Appalachian Mountains, Western North Carolina Destination Wedding Appalachian Mountains, Western North Carolina Destination Wedding Appalachian Mountains, Western North Carolina Destination Wedding Appalachian Mountains, Western North Carolina

My advice: Keep your wedding personal. Think about what you really want on your dream day — and not just because you feel obligated — and try to accomplish that.  Make the wedding a reflection of who you are and what you love, even when it comes down to the food choices! Don’t get so caught up with the hype and details that you lose focus that the day is really about a guy and a girl who are celebrating love, life and a new journey they are about to take together!

Destination Wedding Appalachian Mountains, Western North Carolina
Amy’s RECOMMENDED VENDORS
Venue & Lodgings: The Mast Farm Inn.  Mast Farm was the perfect venue. The gardens are gorgeous and the barn and Inn are amazing features of the property. Not only was it a great wedding venue but our guests loved staying there and I am so happy they enjoyed themselves too!
Photographer:  Revival Photography   //  Florist: Pearl’s Garden  //  DJ: Dail Holderness  //  Bird Cake Toppers: Blossom Hill on Etsy

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From the bride, Ashley:
I am from Colorado and Greg is from New York and we live in Napa, California.  We knew we wanted to have a destination wedding on a dude ranch, Brush Creek Ranch was THE perfect place.

Brinton01My favorite detail was our “cattle brand”.  We used it on the welcome bags, invitations, thank you notes and cocktail napkins. Our brand really tied into the whole dude ranch theme. 

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When my mother passed away, I knew I wanted to incorporate her French blue lace wedding dress. Designer Jinza Jin Couture was able to include each inch of the blue lace and now my dress is truly an amazing heirloom.

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I rode in on a horse and carriage with my father.

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The ceremony took place in the wedding garden.  We wrote all of our own vows, which took a lot of time and testing on our relationship as to what exactly we wanted to say. I wouldn’t give up those nights mulling over our vows for anything. Brinton06

We wanted to start a new tradition during the ceremony and we did this: to symbolize our victory of finding each other and vowing to spend the rest of their lives together, we sabered champagne bottles with sabers engraved with our names and marriage date.

Both of our fathers lead the ceremony and married us, which was very special. 

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Greg and I took the carriage after the ceremony to Falcons Peak, which was really special.  Seeing the ranch via carriage was something I will never forget.

Brinton09 Brinton10We mounted about 40 photos of when we were children and growing up and of all the folks who we were missing our day because they have passed away (my mother, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins).  We attached them to twine with hand died clothes pins and strung them from the sides of old wagon wheels.  They were on display upon arrival to dinner at the lodge.

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We are both winemakers in Napa, CA so we chose the wines we wished to pour for each course of the dinner.  Brinton12 Brinton13Greg organized a HUGE firework show after dinner, which was a surprise for me and one of the most special parts of the day.

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Dancing and cake were held in cowboy dance hall.

Brinton14Our advice: Be kind to each other and communicate during planning especially, if you are doing it all yourself (as we did) there are tough moments, but being kind to each other and being open really helped us out.

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Ashley & Greg’s RECOMMENDED VENDORS

Venue, Catering, Lodging, Hair & Makeup: The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch. We would recommend this gem to any couple looking for a dude ranch or destination wedding. It is truly one of the most amazing, spectacular and hospitable places we had ever been and our family and guests concur. The staff at BCR is unbelievable; every detail was taken care of ALL weekend. Everyone at BCR from every part of the ranch went out of their way to make everything go smoothly and it did. The Spa at BCR is excellent.

Photographer: Brinton Studios.  CR & Tiffany were a great duo and captured our wedding & evening before the wedding so well.  We love their candid shots, they are a talented couple.

DJ: Sound Master Entertainment. Tony was great all the way from our first phone meeting.  We only wish we could have danced the night away until dawn!

Cake: Sweet Marie’s BakeshopMarie did a fantastic job on our cake we loved everything she came up with all the way down to positioning the cake topper we got.  It was a porcelain bride & groom with the ride lassoing the groom’s foot.

Florist: Flower Pot. Connie did a beautiful job on all of the flowers.  I especially loved my arrangement and the boutonnieres.   She delivered everything we spoke about and did an amazing job!  I would highly recommend her.

Paper Products: Salt + Pepper Press.

Honeymoon Location:  Mini-moon right after the wedding in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  Honeymoon: Mozambique and South African Safari.

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Jessica & Joe | June 23rd | Lake Tahoe, California

From the bride, Jessica:
We both love the mountains and lakes. I skied in Lake Tahoe as a kid and remembered the picturesque landscape, the large pine cones and the relaxed atmosphere.  So, when it came to deciding on where to have our big day, Lake Tahoe had everything we were looking for.

Tahoe Wedding, Lake Tahoe wedding

I wore a gown by Alyne and purple Jimmy Choo wedges.Tahoe Wedding, Lake Tahoe wedding

Tahoe Wedding, Lake Tahoe wedding

Tahoe Wedding, Lake Tahoe wedding

We held our short and charming ceremony on the lawn with panoramic views of Lake Tahoe.

Tahoe Wedding, Lake Tahoe wedding

The aisle was lined with red rose pedals, purple ribbon and pine cones.

Tahoe Wedding, Lake Tahoe wedding

Tahoe Wedding, Lake Tahoe wedding

We hung several family photo collages and used chalkboards to create a rustic feel.

Tahoe Wedding, Lake Tahoe wedding

 Our escort cards were pine cones with ripped purple cardstock.Tahoe Wedding, Lake Tahoe wedding

Tahoe Wedding, Lake Tahoe wedding

Tahoe Wedding, Lake Tahoe wedding

Tahoe Wedding, Lake Tahoe wedding

For decor, we used lots of lanterns and mason jars along with a summer mix of flowers that were simple yet gorgeous.  

Tahoe Wedding, Lake Tahoe wedding

Tahoe Wedding, Lake Tahoe wedding

Joe’s favorite board game is Scrabble and those who know him would consider him obsessed and unusually talented at this game.  So we used Scrabble letters for the table names that were all places we have been along with pictures of us at that destination.

Tahoe Wedding, Lake Tahoe weddingOur first dance song was “She’s Got a Way” by Billy Joel.  I  listened to this song over and over again as a child.

Tahoe Wedding, Lake Tahoe wedding

Tahoe Wedding, Lake Tahoe wedding

RECOMMENDED VENDORS
Photographer: Blue Lotus Photography  //  Venue: FitzHaven Estate  // Caterer & Cake:  D’lish  //  Florist: Stems by Diana  //  DJ: Lake Tahoe DJ  //  Invitations & Programs: Wedding Paper Divas  //  Guest Lodging: Northstar Lodge  //  Hair: Kolor by Kori   //  Makeup: Kiss & Makeup 

Honeymoon Location: Hawaii

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