A Relaxed North Carolina Backyard Wedding – Anna & Mike
Happy Monday everyone! We wanted to cheer you up on this damp, cold Monday morning so what better way to do it that than with this bright and colourful backyard wedding! It will have you dreaming of the summer drinking Pimms in the garden – I can almost taste it!
This wedding has some seriously gorgeous elements, firs Anna has the cutest dress, her bouquet is full of beautiful peach and turquoise tones, perfect for a summer wedding and then there are backyard games, S’mores, dad dancing and a flash mob!
This wedding is going to have you smiling from ear to ear, especially when you see Anna and her dad dancing!
Anna: There were a few things that Mike and I prioritized when planning our wedding. First, with so many folks coming from out of town, we really wanted a whole weekend of activities so that we had time to see everybody. One evening just seemed too quick for friends and family coming from California and Maine (and Korea!). On the same note, we wanted an option where everyone could stay close by – in the same place or walking distance – so visiting would be easy. Secondly, we did not want to spend a lot of money. We had a vision, but really tried to keep the wedding within a reasonable budget. We were lucky to have so many wonderful friends and family member offering their talents and help. And finally, we wanted something that reflected who we are and where we live. We envisioned a relaxed, casual event. We live in Asheville, NC and these mountains are such an important part of our relationship and our community. We are also big travellers and tried to reflect that in some little touches – especially the food.
After lots of searching, we discovered the NuWray Inn in Burnsville, NC. It’s about 40 minutes from Asheville. It’s a sweet historic inn that sleeps about 30 right on the central plaza. Right away it fit so many of our criteria: we had the whole place for the weekend, those who couldn’t stay in the inn could stay within a few blocks somewhere in downtown Burnsville, and the owners were completely relaxed and laid back. Basically, they gave us the keys to the inn and we were on our own to enjoy it!
We checked into the inn on Thursday night, along with immediate family and some wonderful out-of-town friends. More people showed up Friday morning and we headed off on 2 outings – either floating down the Toe River in a tube with the bride or playing golf with the groom. That evening, everyone was invited to a causal barbecue “rehearsal dinner” in the garden behind the inn. Friends of ours catered the event and we had yard games and a fire pit. Later in the evening, there were lots of toasts and then s’mores and singing around the fire.
The morning before our wedding… our dads (along with a little help from others), cooked a pancake breakfast at the inn for all the guests. Then it was time to setup and decorate and primp. There were also hikes and excursions planned for guests.
We chose turquoise and peach as our colours – partially because so many of the flowers that were in bloom that time of year were such beautiful pinks and peaches. We used burlap to decorate to keep with the rustic feel of the inn. I made lots of chalkboard signs in frames (collected from thrift stores and painted various shades in our palette). With 150 guests, we felt like communication was key to things flowing smoothly, so we used the chalkboards to post the itinerary for the, label beverages, tell guests about seating, etc. Our dear friend Emily did all of the flowers. I made the table numbers and each table had the name of a place that was important to Mike and me with a quick explanation. Otherwise, we decorated with lots of candles and Christmas lights.
The ceremony was in the backyard garden of the inn… We had a brief cocktail hour afterwards while we took pictures and our friends played music. Jen Yuson did our photos and caught lots of wonderful moments. Then we walked about 100 yards to the reception hall next door. My dad and I had planned a choreographed surprise dance to Gonna Make you Sweat inserted into our slow dance, but then we were totally bested when the entire crowd surged onto the dance floor for a flash mob to that old David Bowie tune from The Labrynth!
After the reception, we ended the night sipping wine in rocking chairs and singing around a campfire. It was a lot of work, but all worth it for a magical weekend.
Our advice for couples planning a wedding.. We loved having a few days to see people and some low-key activities to do with our guests. It would have been nice to have hired a planner or some more help on the day. As it happened, we worked really hard and relied a lot on our dear friends and family to help make everything happen. Finally, make sure you have some time set aside together. It was really special to have some moments in the midst of it all to pinch ourselves and realize that it was really happening. We feel so grateful that we had such a perfect wedding.
Suppliers: Photographer: Jen Yuson Photography//Ceremony Location: Burnsville Town Center//Event Venue: Nu Wray Inn//Second Shooter: Shawn Bauguess//Cake Designer: West End Bakery//Musicians: Whitney Shroyer// Flowers: Emily Mainwaring //Earrings: Custom made by Jennifer Schirner// Food: Mamacitas Restaurant, Asheville, NC
Seriously this couple are so sweet! Didn’t I tell you they would make you smile!
Much Bespoke Love