Asheville Weddings

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

Holly and Phillip's Claxton Farm Wedding by Michael Oppenheim

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I've been wanting to blog about Holly and Phillip's wedding at Claxton Farm earlier this summer and am excited to finally do so.   It's fitting that it's being posted on Veteran's Day since this wedding involved family and friends with deep ties to the military service.  In fact, during the planning stages Phillip was possibly going to be deployed and Claxton Farms was willing to work around that possibility.  Fortunately, that did not materialize and the wedding went off without a hitch.  Although they were based in Fayetteville, Holly and Phillip dreamed about a rustic, mountain wedding and they fell in love with Claxton Farm. One of the most inspiring moments I have experienced as a wedding photographer was witnessing one of the best men, Army Sgt. Monte Bernardo, walk Phillip's sister down the aisle.  Bernardo is a triple amputee who on July 4, 2012 sat on a bomb in Afghanistan and lost both legs and a hand.  His amazing road to recovery was written about in the Washington Post and he can read about his efforts here.  After reading his story it made his long walk to the ceremony altar that much more impressive and inspiring.

Holly did much of the table setting designs herself using the DIY tab of Pinterest.  She, had the help of family and friends as well and used Fayetteville-based Owen Florists to do the flowers.  Holly was pleased with  " everyone at Claxton Farms and M7 who pretty much put the entire wedding together exactly how I imagined it. I honestly had no stress or worries from that aspect of the wedding, at one point in the planning my husband was supposed to be deployed and they were willing to work around that entirely. The group of people I worked with, Tanya and Micha, were exceptional they made our wedding to the exact way I had dreamed and wanted! Also to you personally for taking amazing pictures that I, along with family and friends, will cherish for a lifetime and longer. Even though you were working throughout the entire wedding I felt as though you were one of our guests. It was such a pleasure working with you and it was so comfortable to have you there amongst the wedding goers. I would recommend you to anyone I can!!"

I loved photographing this wedding and I want to say congratulations again to Holly and Phillip on creating such a memorable wedding.  And also give a heartfelt thank you  to all of our servicemen and women who make so many sacrifices for our country.  I hope you enjoy these images.

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Venue:  Claxton Farms

Wedding Coordinator: Tanya Green

Florist: Owens Florist

Hair/Makeup: Ginger Fox

Musicians: M7 Music