Love is in the Air: A Spring Wedding at the Biltmore Estate by Michael Oppenheim

Mary Anne Gilbert and Tish Smitherman planned their intimate and destination wedding at the Biltmore Estate in May 2015 with the help of Belle Soiree Events and the Biltmore Catering Department.  They chose the Biltmore because of its “magical” setting and chose to have their ceremony in the Walled Garden amid blooming flowers with a reception featuring a “family-style” feasting table in from the Conservatory. 

Surrounded by close friends and family Mary Anne (wearing a romatic Oleg Cassini dress) and Tish (wearing Ralph Lauren) exchanged emotional vows that brought laughter and tears to all in attendance. Susan Marlan, of BeLoved Ceremonies, officiated the ceremony.  The exchange of vows were among one of the most emotionally powerful expressions of love I have witnessed as a wedding photographer. 

According to Mary Anne and Tish they “wanted to create special moments by combining formal attire with relaxing, fun, softness, and sheer happiness and love.”   I hope the images captured throughout the day, with the help of my second shooter, Zaire Kacz, reflect those intentionsand that love.  It was honor to photograph their wedding and I hope you enjoy this collection of photos.  Congratulations Mary Anne and Tish!  A list of wedding vendors that contributed to this wedding can be found after the photos.  


Wedding Venue:  Biltmore Estate Walled Garden and Conservatory

Wedding Coordinator: Tamara Heston, Belle Soiree Events

Officiant: Susan Marlan, BeLoved Ceremony

Florist: Stacie Brown, Bloom Room

Hair/Makeup:  Blush with Wendy Balance and Amanda Hughes

Transportation: Elite Limousine

Wedding Dress: Oleg Cassini & Fashion Atelier Tatyana Merryman

Tish’s Suit:  Ralph Lauren

Rings Designer: Mark Schneider


Table settings:  Biltmore Catering

Cake maker: Biltmore Catering

Band: A Social Function

Dennis and Grace's Winter Wedding at the Biltmore Estate by Michael Oppenheim

Some would consider having a wedding in the wintertime to be a risky proposition.  But Grace Soards and Dennis Stilger’s decision to have an intimate and vintage wedding at the historic Biltmore Estate in mid-January 2015 paid off in spades.  We were treated to a spectacular day on the Estate with smaller crowds that you would find any other time of the year.  And as these images attest the Biltmore Estate is gorgeous and magical anytime of the year! 

When Grace and Dennis decided they wanted an intimate wedding they knew they needed to leave their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky so they could more easily keep the guest list manageable.  The design aesthetic included winter white flowers, vintage wedding attire, a 1956 Rolls Royce, and monogrammed, classic details. 

Their wedding ceremony was held in the the Champagne Cellar at Antler Village and the reception was at the Inn on Biltmore.  Blossoms of Biltmore Park and the Biltmore catering department created a very romantic atmosphere with their floral design and table settings.  Tamara Heston of Bele Soiree Events  (as well as Stephanie Woods with Biltmore Catering) was a "huge help...keeping things moving and organized", according to Grace.

Thank you to all the super-talented wedding vendors that contributed to this wedding.   It’s always a team effort!


Venue:  Champagne Cellar at Antler Village at the Biltmore Estate

Wedding Coordinator: Tamara Heston with Belle Soiree Events

Officiant: Susie Greene

Florist: Blossoms at Biltmore Park

Hair/Makeup: Beth Manuel and Kristen Davis

Transportation: Elite Limousine (1955 Rolls Royce)

Musician: James Carr

Wedding Dress:  Maggie Sottero

Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin

Groom’s Suit: Brooks Brothers

Groom’s Tie: Gucci

Gromm’s Shoes: Magnanni

Rings: Aesthetics in Jewelry (Louisville, KY)

Table Settings: Biltmore and Blossoms

Cake maker: Biltmore Estate

Reception Band:  The Voltage Brothers

Maris and Cole's Biltmore Estate Wedding: Part II by Michael Oppenheim

Part II of Maris and Cole's beautiful wedding at the Lioncrest on the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.  Please see Part I for a description of their wedding.  A complete list of the wedding vendors involved in this wedding can be found at the end of this post.


Venue:  The Biltmore Estate (Lioncrest)

Wedding Coordinator:  Rochelle Reich and Biltmore Estate catering staff

Florist:  Blossoms at Biltmore Park

Hair/Makeup: L’eau de Vie Salon

Wedding dress designer: Robert Bullock

Groom’s tux designer: Vera Wang

Ceremony music: Orengo Music

Reception music: Common Saints

Table Settings:  Blossoms at Biltmore Park

Food and wedding cake: The Biltmore Estate

Transportation: Pegasus Airport Limousine of Asheville 

Second Photographer: Zaire Kacz

Maris and Cole's Biltmore Estate Wedding: Part I by Michael Oppenheim

Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of Maris Mann-Stadt and Cole Archambault whose wedding was held at Lioncrest on the beautiful grounds of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.  I was fortunate to photograph Maris' sister Chailee's wedding in 2011 so it was great to see the familiar faces of the Mann-Stadt and Moss families.  Both Cole and Maris are avid cyclists and I loved the way this was reflected in details such as the tandem bicycle Maris' dad found on Craigslist and the creative way in which Blossoms at Biltmore used bicycle wheels and floral arrangements above the wedding party table during the reception.   Although Maris and Cole graduated from Tufts University Maris knew that she wanted to come back home to Asheville to have a wedding in the mountains.   Maris' mom, Rendi worked closely with Adrienne from Blossoms at Biltmore as well as wedding coordinator Rochelle Reich and the catering staff at The Biltmore Estate to gracefully bring this event together.  I want to thank the super-talented Zaire Kacz for second-shooting with me again on another Mann-Stadt wedding!  A full list of the wedding vendors who helped with this wedding can be found at the bottom of this post and for Part II which will follow tomorrow.  Happy 1-year anniversary Maris and Cole!  

Venue:  The Biltmore Estate (Lioncrest)

Wedding Coordinator:  Rochelle Reich and Biltmore Estate catering staff

Florist:  Blossoms at Biltmore Park

Hair/Makeup: L’eau de Vie Salon

Wedding dress designer: Robert Bullock

Groom’s tux designer: Vera Wang

Ceremony music: Orengo Music

Reception music: Common Saints

Table Settings:  Blossoms at Biltmore Park

Food and wedding cake: The Biltmore Estate

Transportation: Pegasus Airport Limousine of Asheville 

Second Photographer: Zaire Kacz

Jessica and Xavier's Wedding: Basilica of St. Lawrence ceremony and Homewood reception by Michael Oppenheim

Jessica Dunlap and Xavier Game were married at the beautiful  Basilica of St. Lawrence in downtown Asheville on October 12, 2013 with a reception that followed at Homewood in neighboring historic Montford neighborhood.  Both of these venues reflect Asheville's rich architectural  and cultural heritage and were the perfect setting for Jessica and Xavier's wedding,  especially given the fact that they met as undergraduates at UNCA that sits just a mile away from Homewood.    According to Jessica Homewood "felt  very intimate and welcoming, and was the perfect size since we did not want an overly large wedding."  It's proximity to the iconic Basilica was perfect and afforded an opportunity for the wedding party to take a trolley from the church to the reception site. This wedding had a little bit of everything:  a ceremony held in one of Asheville's most iconic and beautiful churches, a Vera Wang Dress, a trolley ride, Ecuadorian wedding cakes made by the groom's mom that took 4 months to prepare, a hamburger bar at the reception catered by Dining Innovations, a photo booth whose props migrated onto the dance floor (check my next blog post for those amazing images), cigars and cocktails, and a sparkling departure.  A great time was definitely had by all!

I want to thank Shay Brown Events (Amy Wood served as their coordinator) and the staff of both the Basilica and the Homewood for their collaborative efforts in pulling off such a memorable wedding for Jessica and Xavier.  I also want to thank John Fletcher for second shooting with me during the ceremony and part of the rocked!  You will find a complete listing of all the wedding vendors that contributed to their wedding day following the images.




Venue: Homewood

Wedding Coordinator: Amy Wood – Shay Brown Events

Officiant: Fr. Frank Cancro, Queen of the Apostles

Florist:Shay Brown Events

Hair/Makeup: Dollbox

Transportation: Asheville Trolley

Musicians: Sound Extreme

Bride and Groom’s Fashion stuff:

Wedding dress designer: White by Vera Wang

Bride’s shoes: Jimmy Choo

Bouquet:  Shay Brown Events

Groom’s tux designer: Ralph Lauren

Rings designer: Groom – Handcrafted in Ecuador / Bride – Visions of Creation


Table settings: Homewood

Cake maker: Groom’s mother

Who did the other design elements? Shay Brown Events/ Homewood

DJ and/or Band?: DJSound Extreme

Caterer:  Dining Innovations