Madison & Chad's Earthy, Whimsial Wedding | The Overlook, Waynesville NC

It's been a while since we've shared a wedding, and I can't think of better one to make a comeback with than Madison and Chad's whimsical outdoor wedding! Madison and Chad's mountain wedding sported high-end décor and a perfect mesh between modern and whimsical touches; you would have never guessed that Madison carefully planned every aspect of her wedding herself! Beyond even the elegance of it, the intentionality of their day was perfectly crafted, to where every moment had a meaning and every pause its own story. 


It all started in the early afternoon, with Madison and Chad surrounded by their loved ones. Like most weddings this 2018 season, rain threatened to ruin their entirely outdoor event, but regardless of the deep, rumbling clouds everyone was in high spirits. This was the first wedding in a looong time that the couple opted to not do any sort of pre-ceremony photos - and friends, it was such a fresh reminder about how important it is to do your wedding 100% your way. The getting ready moments were slow-paced and relaxed; the only thing on the agenda was to get these two married! 

Madison decided to do an adorable and informal first look with her best girls by her side - after all, these were the friends and family that had been cheering her one for years. First Looks don't have to be only for future spouses- this surprise is a perfect moment for any sweet friend. 


Let's talk about the details real quick. The day isn't about the details (it's true), but how you decide to decorate or what environment you create can say a lot about what you value. For Madison and Chad, every piece of decor was laid with their guests and experience in mind - and you can tell. Immediately once you entered this little, tucked-away oasis in the middle of rural Haywood County, you were transported to another world. The long community tables encouraged  conversation, the fairy lights romance, and every center piece just inviting the guests to sit and relax. 

I love the sentiment of the sweetheart table, a timeless piece you often see at weddings. It's a chance for the couple to rest with no pressure, to simply be together without the (sometimes overwhelming weight) of constant conversation. This actually set Madison and Chad up for really special memories. "I would say our favorite memory of the day would be when we stepped back from the crowd and watched all the people who love us more than anything share this day with us," Madison wrote. "We couldn't have asked for better people see us tie the knot."

Before we knew it, it was time for the ceremony to start. I loved the sentiment of Chad's grandmother being the flower girl, preparing the path for Madison and her brother to walk down the aisle together. 

Their love story is timeless; the perfect material for the cutest movie or endearing classic novel. Madison tells it best, "Chad and I met when I was 9 years old at my childhood home. He and my brother were best friends and still are as he was 'one' of the best men in our wedding. I had always had a crush on him but he never knew or even bothered as I was Patrick's younger sister. My sister-in-law found out that I had a crush on him when I was in college and told Chad one evening." Because of her sister-in-law, Chad started texting Madison about hanging out and possibly grabbing pizza - her favorite food! "We decided to keep this all from my brother until we figured out if we could work. If not I did not want to ruin their friendship as Chad has always been apart of our family."  

She continued, "After our first date Chad and I started dating in secret and he would drive to Charlotte to visit me and stay for the weekends. After 3 months we finally thought it would be time for Chad to call my brother and let him know he was dating his little sister. Chad said it was the scariest calls he has ever made, but in the end my brother was happy for us." This story came to competition on her wedding day, where her brother that had been his best friend and her closest companion walked her down the aisle to join in marriage. 

With the afternoon light filtered through the gorgeous trees, it seemed as though they were getting married in an absolute fairytale. The anticipation from all the years together, first as friends and then has lovers, finally came to be! 

Gathering everyone together for the more formal photography moments was as easy as pie and so relaxed. Immediately next to where the couple was wed, we were able to move slowly while people waited with drinks in hand. Laughter was abundant; the air was fresh from the newness of their nuptials. 

The Overlook sits on the edge between Clyde and Waynesville in Western North Carolina. It's seclusion allowed the most intimate-feeling affair while being completely immersed in nature. "We got married where we did because I always wanted trees and cafe lights and also I wanted to be barefoot. There is no special memory before this but now it will be a place that we can rent out every year for our anniversary so we can remember the special day that made us become husband and wife. We couldn't have asked for a better place as the whole mountain views and the trees made it so romantic and special," Madison shared. 

Right at sunset, we got to steal Madison and Chad away for a few moments. Remember how I mentioned earlier that thick, heavy rainclouds were threatening from a distance? Although it didn't rain, it blocked the evening sun - but Madison and Chad rolled with the punches and didn't even blink an eye. Instead, we got perfectly overcast skies, allowing views for miles and the perfect breeze to make the summer evening bearable.

If you thought their beginning years were perfect enough, wait until you hear about the proposal. "Four years later during Memorial Day weekend my brother and sister-in-law came to Asheville and the four us and my mother decided to go on a walk through the botanical gardens on UNCA's grounds." For some reason, Chad insisted that he wanted to take photos with just Madison in front of a cabin on the property- "little did I know he would be dropping down on one knee to propose to me in front of my brother and sister-in-law and mother!" 

This space was incredibly meaningful to Chad - he shared with Madison and her family that his own parents got married in that very spot, and he wanted to share that with her. "It was the best surprise I could have ever imagined and I loved that my family who are so close to me saw. After the proposal (which Chad has later told me I never said yes to officially), he surprised me with 20 of our closest friends who came from all over to celebrate this special day with us and had already planned a pizza engagement party back at our home. It was the best day of my life and even writing it here brings a smile to my face. I couldn't have asked for anything better!"

With those same 20 friends (plus a few more ;)), they celebrated even bigger for their wedding day! With perfect reception music by A Social Function and the fairy lights they so loved lighting the way, they danced and sang well into the night. 

Madison and Chad, what an absolute joy it has been working with you! Getting to know you in this brief space of time has been the sweetest thing. To end this little recap (truly just the smallest glimpse of your day!), it seems fitting to share a few of those lyrics from the song you walked down the aisle too, the very first song you heard after he asked you to spend the rest of your life with him. 

Give me a run for my money
There is nobody, no one to outrun me
So give me a run for my money
Sipping bubbly, feeling lovely, living lovely
Just love me
I wanna be with you, ayy, I wanna be with
I wanna be with you, ayy, I wanna be with
I wanna be with you

LOVE by Kendrick Lamar 

venue: The Overlook, Clyde NC
hmua: Brett with Brides Best Friend
florist: Shady Grove Flowers
ceremony music: Josh and Marisa Blake
reception band: A Social Function
catering & baked goods: Michelle Gurbal
officiant: Austin Deray
rings: Spicer Greene Jewelers
invitations: Minted