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

TARYN AND BRIAN - Sophie Magazine

Asheville has had our hearts for years and we escape to the little slice of paradise every chance we get, so choosing the perfect place for our destination wedding was a piece of cake. My Mom and I made two trips to Asheville and with the help of Mary Bell from Mary Bell Events the planning process was easy! 
We chose to get married over July 4th weekend so our guests could get the true Asheville experience and be able to have a nice long weekend in our favorite city. Friends and family started arriving as early as Wednesday and we treated them to what we felt was a true Asheville experience. We visited Sky Bar, went on a private brewery and historic Asheville tour, had an amazing rehearsal dinner at Asheville Brewing Co., a bachelorette party downtown, and had a bridesmaid’s brunch at Mayfel’s.

Our wedding day was truly the most remarkable day. Marta and Jon at The Venue and Mary Bell took care of absolutely everything. I can truly say I had zero stress on the wedding day and I was 100% focused on marrying the man of my dreams that evening. We wanted our ceremony to be intimate and genuine and our party to be a true celebration. Mission accomplished! I’ll never forget walking in to The Venue to see it filled with soft candle light and our closest friends and family, hanging on to my Dad’s arm, kissing my Mom at the end of the aisle, and then making the most special promise. We spent the day with the most cherished people in our lives and the next morning, when we woke up, we were married! We feel so blessed that everyday marriage continues to make our life sweeter and sweeter.

Our Top 5 Moments

1 Our First Look. This is hands down the most sensational memory of our day! We were back and forth, not wanting to break the tradition of not seeing each other before the wedding, but ultimately we decided to go for it. It was the best decision we ever made. My Dad walked me to the center of the bridge at the botanical gardens and left me with my groom. Brian’s parents and my parent’s stood at the end of the bridge when I spun Brian around and we got our first glimpse of each other. The intimate moment and hour of time we spent together with just each other and our parents, toasting glasses of Biltmore champagne, is a moment that can never be recreated.

2 Our First Dance. Brian isn’t a dancer so when he came home from work one day and said that he had the perfect song for our first dance I was pretty blown away. He suggested Babel, by Mumford and Sons, which speaks to our hearts but isn’t the easiest to dance to. We discussed choreographing but time slipped away and we decided to wing it. Brian took the lead and had our guests (and me!) laughing so hard they were crying.

3 My letter. At the end of the night, when we got back to the hotel room, Brian handed me an envelope and said, “I think you should read this”. I opened it and it was a handwritten letter from him, on stationary he found at the Mast General Store, that he had written early in the morning over coffee and had been carrying around in his coat pocket. They were the sweetest words. What a perfect way to end the night!

4 Seeing our parent’s faces after we said “I Do”. After we shared a pretty awesome kiss, we turned around to face our guests. The band started playing Wagon Wheel and we got to see our parents in the front row. They looked so genuinely happy and to know that they were sitting behind us when we said “I Do” and will be standing behind us throughout our marriage is something we will be eternally grateful for.

5 Hanging out with our guests. There are very few times in life that you get to have all of your family and best friends in the same place at the same time. We spent the morning separately with the very best bridesmaids and groomsmen, had some time away to celebrate with just each other and our parents, and then partied the night away with our guests. Though our vendors were all sensational, it was having our friends and family there that made the night!

Bride: Taryn ANDRICKS
Groom: Brian Kendrick
Wedding Coordinator: Mary Bell Events
Venue: The Venue
Cake: Tiffany’s Baking Co.
Photography: Captured by Clark Photography
Flowers: The Flower Gallery
Makeup: Wendy Balance, Blush 
Band: Melonbelly
Videography: Grae Skye Studio
Trolley: Gray Line Trolley Tours of Asheville
Hotel: The Renaissance
Pastor: Fred Werhan