Lauren & Kris

Not only was it magical but every single little detail was everything I had envisioned and so much more.

Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC

Ten years post college, I finally realized I couldn’t live my life without my best friend. Kris and I got engaged in New Orleans outside of one of our favorite restaurants, Irene’s on December 2, 2016. The city was coming to life with Christmas lights, holiday parties and the always welcomed cooler temperatures. One thing I love about New Orleans is the loose alcohol laws, which meant I was able to enjoy a glass of wine as we walked around the cobble stoned streets being surrounded by friends and family for my delightful engagement surprise.

So many things go into consideration when it comes to finding the perfect wedding location and each couple must choose what is most valuable. I had always envisioned everyone we love gathering together and mountains as the back drop. There is something magical about standing in the midst of God’s awesome creation surrounded by your closest friends and family as you enter into the forever covenant with your best friend.

Asheville is packed with wonderful venues and gorgeously decorated spaces, not to mention the natural landscape and crisp mountain air. Choosing our perfect place was pretty easy. Some of my most fond childhood memories are from weekend trips to the Grove Park Inn. I remember being a little girl, arriving to the hotel late in the evening, the stars were shining, and being blown away by the lobby presence. The staff loaded our luggage cart and then proceeded to the elevator located just outside the huge fireplace! In February of 2017 Kris and I made our special weekend getaway together and just as I predicted, he fell in love with the Inn as well.

5 Favorite Moments~

When I think about our wedding, I think about the whole weekend! Not only was it magical but every single little detail was everything I had envisioned and so much more. Discovering the strength and power of writing down what we want to accomplish, sharing it with others and bringing it to God through prayer is such a marvelous fulfillment.

1. As the ceremony was taking place and the minister was delivering his speech, I remember Kris looked at me with a huge smile on his face and whispered: “Can you believe it, can you believe this! It’s just as you envisioned babe, this is our fairytale coming to life!”

2. The wind right before the ceremony was absolutely insane! I love wind, it makes me feel closer to God. Kris and I had a close friend Sarah, pass away from Ovarian Cancer. I invited her parents to the wedding and wasn’t sure if they would be attending, to both of our surprise they shared our very special day with us. As soon as the ceremony began, the wind came to a complete halt! Coincidence, not? Sarah was there in spirit! During the reception, seeing Sarah’s parents on the dance floor brought so much joy, a piece of Sarah will always live in us all.

3. Love. True love does exist and I wanted everyone attending to be reminded of that. Once the ceremony had ended, I remember walking back down the aisle with my husband at hand and when I looked up and witnessed that every balcony was full of people watching and applauding us on our special day, it was an amazing and unforgettable feeling. I felt so much love and support, some from even strangers.  

4. My Grandparents! Seeing them both all dressed up and enjoying themselves was such a treat.

5. The crazy weather. We got married on a Friday, it was sunny and seventy. Saturday was a complete wash out and Sunday it snowed. Only in the mountains! Sunday, all our families and guests ventured home. Kris and I finally had some alone time, we each poured  a glass of wine and sat for hours watching the mountains get covered in snow. The perfect ending to a beautiful weekend.


Wedding Date: Friday 10/27/17

LAUREN AND DREW - Sophie Magazine

Drew and I were engaged in March 2013. In order to enjoy this exciting phase of our lives, we decided to wait before we started planning a wedding that would fit both of our personalities. While trying to find the perfect location to say “I Do,” Drew casually mentioned Asheville. We stumbled upon The Grand Bohemian Hotel in Asheville and quickly made an appointment to visit after looking at a few pictures online. The hotel was perfect – for both of us. The rustic lobby and animal wall mounts were all Drew, and the ballroom’s elegant Swarovski chandeliers were all me! We decided that our wedding theme was “romantic elegance,” and no one understood this better than our florist, Flower Gallery. The owner, Luck McElreath, along with our planner, Mary Bell, made our vision a reality. Before the ceremony, Luck let me peek into the reception room; from the linens, to the flowers, to the cake, I was speechless. Mary ensured the rest of the day went seamlessly, thanks to her organization and attention to detail. I married my southern gentleman in front of our closest friends and family on April 26, 2014. Albeit cliché, it was truly the best day of my life!

Our 5 Favorite Memories

1 Lauren: My first look at my husband-to-be while walking into our ceremony space. He had the biggest smile on this face.

2 Lauren: When my husband grabbed my hand and thanked me for such a perfect and beautiful day. He said it was the best wedding he had ever been to and it was even better it was his very own!

3 Drew: The surreal moment as I stood in front of our family and friends, the violin started playing, the door opened and Lauren began to walk down the aisle. This is when it sank in for me that all of the hard work and months of conversations we had been having about the wedding were all for that moment and we were finally getting married!

4 Drew: The moment when the band introduced us as husband and wife to all of our wedding guests, people brought together from all parts of our lives in one room…I loved that!

5 Drew and Lauren: Sitting back and watching how much fun our family and friends were having on the dance floor. It was a riot!

wedding dress: Ellis Bridal 
tux: Men’s Wearhouse
hair: Kristin Troglin
(J Graham & Co. Salon, Charlotte, NC)
make-up: Wendy BALLANCE (Blush)
Venue: The Grand Bohemian Asheville
Bridal Consultant & Wedding Planner: Mary Bell Events
Photography: Woodward & Rick Photographers
Flowers: Flower Gallery of Asheville
Cake: Cakes by Jane
Officiant: Mark Sibley-Jones
Musicians: Morgan Jeter (Violinist) 
and Cashmere (East Coast Entertainment)

STACY AND MICKEY - Sophie Magazine

It wasn’t quite love at first sight when Mickey and I met each other at East Carolina University. In fact, it took about a year before we realized that we might like each other more than just friends. As we began spending more time together we slowly became inseparable. After I graduated and moved to Virginia for work, we would both drive several hours back and forth to see each other. But not long after our relationship became more serious, I started having chronic severe muscle pain. I was eventually diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, had to leave my job and move back in with my parents; yet Mickey stood by my side. He surprised me one summer day by taking me back to the lake where we had our first date years before and he proposed. Mickey’s love brought a new meaning to the statement, “in sickness and in health.”

We knew even before we were engaged that we wanted a winter wedding in the mountains. I wanted a theme of “classic elegance” with colors that included gold, silver and ivory. As soon as we saw the Inn on Biltmore Estate, we knew that we had found the perfect location. The atmosphere matched our theme perfectly and the Biltmore facilitiesreally complemented mychosen colors. It was truly the perfect location!

5 Favorite Moments

1 The wedding guests woke up on the morning of the wedding to a dusting of snow on the ground – perfect for the winter wedding theme.

2 Before the ceremony at the Conservatory, the shuttle drove the guests by the Biltmore house so they could see it lit up at dusk.

3 We prepared a short romantic comedy video for our guests at the reception that shared the story of how we met.

4 Mickey’s Mother and Aunts surprised everyone by performing a perfectly choreographed dance at the reception.

5 After years of planning, just seeing the details of the wedding day finally come together was overwhelmingly rewarding for both of us. All the little details that went into the day like the flowers, table decorations, signs and music selections helped personalize the day and make it everything that we had envisioned.

Bride: Stacy Bennett
Groom: Mickey Hodges
Planner: Mary Bell Events
Photographer: Nick Gillespie at Blue Bend Photography
Makeup: Blush by Wendy Ballance
Hair: Lalena Settlemyre
Stationery/Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas
Entertainment: Donna Germano (Ceremony) 
and Mitch Fortune Entertainment (Reception)
Ceremony: Biltmore Estate Conservatory
Officiate: Fred Werhan
Reception: Inn on Biltmore Estate
Cake: Biltmore Catering
Rentals: China Rental by Biltmore Estate Wedding
Transportation: Shuttle and Land Rover
 provided by Biltmore
Florist: Flower Gallery of Asheville
Bride’s Dress: Custom Design
Groom’s Attire: Brook’s Brothers

REBECCA AND BEN - Sophie Magazine

We live in Dallas, Texas but our families and friends live all over the country, so we knew a lot of our guests would have to travel to attend. Because of that, Ben and I decided early-on that we wanted to have a destination wedding that would offer something special for everyone in attendance. When Ben and I flew out to Asheville to see Biltmore Estate, we were blown away with how gorgeous the house and the countryside were! Needless to say, it didn’t take much convincing for us to commit to having our wedding there.

But the beauty of the Biltmore couldn’t keep the rain away as I awoke to a hard steady rain the morning of my wedding day. As I got my hair and make-up done in the room at the Inn on Biltmore Estate, my anxiety grew: our wedding ceremony was to take place outside at the Butterfly Garden and it had yet to stop raining. I was certain the day was destined for disaster. Luckily, the rain cleared just in time for us to do the “first look” on the lawn of the Inn and stayed away for the remainder of the day. In the end, the clouds provided amazing lighting for all of the great photos and parted for a gorgeous, sun-filled ceremony that evening.

The rest of the day went off without a hitch, as well. A horse-drawn carriage carried my dad and me through the garden to the ceremony and, as I descended the s.jpg, I was able to take in how stunning it had all turned out. Our reception, held inside the conservatory, was absolutely beautiful and I only wish there had been more time to visit with each one of our friends and family.

I really have to thank my mom, Barbara Case, and our wedding consultant, Mary Bell, for taking the lead in planning this wedding. I felt strongly about picking out the location and my dress, but I really wanted help with everything else. They did a fantastic job of taking what vision I did have and turning it into an incredible experience.

Our Top 5 Moments

1 My dress. That thing is the most amazing piece of clothing I’ve ever owned.

2 Spending time with my mom during every step of the process. She is amazingly supportive and surprisingly well-suited to wedding planning. Maybe we should do this every year, Mom?

3 Honestly, my eye-roll was palpable when it was suggested I enter the ceremony on a horse-drawn carriage and it took some convincing for me to come around. As it turned out, the time my dad and I spent sitting in that carriage waiting for our entrance cue was an incredible bonding experience and one of my favorite memories from the day.

4 My Maid of Honor’s toast. I have to give it up to the incomparable Emily Scott for writing a speech on the fly that made me laugh so hard and uncontrollably that all the photos of me from that 5 minutes are basically unusable.

5 Marrying Ben. He’s the smartest and funniest guy I’ve ever known. I love him more than anything and I’m proud to be his wife!

Bride: Rebecca Case
Groom: Ben Redfield
Ceremony Location: The Butterfly Garden at the Biltmore Estate
Reception Location: The Conservatory at the Biltmore Estate
Bride’s Dress: Monique L. huillier
Bridesmaid’s Dress: Monique Lhuillier
Groom’s and Groomsman Attire: Jos A Bank
Planning: Mary Bell Events
Photography: Two Rings Studios
Florist: Flower Gallery of Asheville
Hair: Adorn Salon
Make-Up: Kayce Young
Catering: Biltmore Catering
Ceremony Officiant: Rev. Dusty Rubeck
Transportation: Blue Ridge Limousine; Biltmore Horse and Carriage
Musicians: Ginger Kowal, Nancy Steffa and Frances Doff