Ellery & John at Papa's Home | Biltmore Forest, NC

Wow, now it has really been a long time since sitting down and blogging a wedding! Truth is, I adore creating a blog from our couple’s past weddings - it’s such a beautiful time for me of reminiscing and a bit like saying goodbye. Maybe that’s why it’s been so hard to finally share so much of 2018, it feels too much like a final farewell to dear moments.

I can’t think of a better couple to start the blog back up again with than John and Ellery. Honest and intentional, their wedding day was a literal backyard dream in the tucked-away neighborhood of Biltmore Forest in Asheville, NC.

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It’s hard to pick one standout from their day, but a big part of what made it feel so intimate and immediately, so obviously special was that it took place at Papa’s House - John’s Grandfather. Details were created from years and years of love and life in this home - it was the perfect, most fitting place for John and Ellery to commit to each other.

John and Ellery choose to see each other before the ceremony - a ‘First Look’ as we call it. She walked down the grand, entryway steps in the heart of Papa’s home. They met (for the first time that day!) in the tucked-away greenhouse near the back of their home. “Seeing John's face at our first look (and how much he cried - I don't think I cried once!)” was just one of the many favorite memories Ellery holds dear.

For just a few minutes, we got to steal Ellery and John away for some lovin’ in front of the gorgeous, family home. It seemed fitting on their wedding day, right after the grand reveal, to celebrate a little bit of not only where they were but where so many memories were shared. “Papa's house is the center of John's family. It also happens to be beautiful and is such a special place to us. Papa lost Nana, his wife, a little over a year ago, so we were nervous about asking him to have our wedding there. He readily agreed and spent months making the house look as perfect as possible - up until the morning of the wedding day when he was still putting all of the finishing touches on the property!

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Of course, this post wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t get to brag on sweet Della a bit. Della is Ellery’s precious yellow lab - and when she met John for the first time it was love at first sight for them both! We’ll get into the love story later, but Della is such a special part of both of their lives - it would be impossible to imagine their wedding day without her.

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Their ceremony took place in a tucked-away location to the side of the property, in front of a gorgeous, arching Magnolia tree. Papa’s hand was all over the creation of their day. Ellery shared with me, “Three days before the wedding, the largest tree on the property fell, right behind where our ceremony was taking place. Papa hired a full-sized crane to come in and have it removed on Friday afternoon! He was so intent on making everything perfect for us and it was wonderful to see him embrace our big day.”

The first time Ellery met John, she had no idea about the romance that would follow. In fact, that evening she had gone to her best friend’s house to vent about a previous bad date. “She warned me that they had a friend staying with them temporarily and that friend happened to be John! He had just moved here from Blowing Rock, NC. I didn't pay him any attention that night, but my yellow lab Della fell in love with him on the spot - probably because he was cooking dinner and letting her be his taste tester. John asked Merritt to get me to come to an oyster roast the next weekend where we chatted for a bit and he asked me out to dinner that night. Several weeks later, it was official! 

After their heartfelt ceremony, the couple and their loved ones headed to the reception site- which was absolutely transformed. I remember walking that path with Ellery just months before - a flat, open field with a large barn was to be the scene for their dinner and dancing. Ellery’s vision came to life by the amazing work or some incredible vendors - Nicole with Two Sweet Sparrows (along with Cakes by Gray, Smash Events, and the Bloom Room) crafted such beautiful decor that made the already romantic space fit for a wedding.

It was the perfect scene for John and Ellery’s celebration, surrounded by their loved ones from every part of their life so far. Together, they danced, sang and rejoiced over the perfect union that was John and Ellery.

Finally, right at dusk, we got to steal John and Ellery away. This is always our favorite moment with our couples, and we highly recommend it for everyone. Sunset is when you get to breathe deep and relax together, reflecting on the day and just celebrating together (away from loved ones) that holy cow, we just got married!

Friends, it was such a pleasure being a part of your sweet, intimate-feeling day! Thank you for letting us be so close to you and mark these memories alongside you. Writing this up has been the most sweetest journey, remembering these moments from six months ago. I hope the best has been true for John, Ellery, and Della!

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My favorite way to end blogs is with something meaningful and intentional from our couples day - and what more meaningful reminder is there than this wise word from Papa himself?

"If you have love, you have everything.”

May we remember that and embrace it full in every piece of our every day.


planner: Two Sweet Sparrows
venue: private residence in Biltmore Forest, NC
cakes and yummies: Melissa with Cakes by Gray
florist: Stacey with The Bloom Room
hair: Lola Salon
makeup: Zack Russell
gown: Ladies of Lineage, Charlotte NC
band: The Business
caterer: Smash Events