A North Carolina WeddingWords by Kyra Goodman
Photos courtesy of Dear Wesleyann
Kelly and Dylan dreamed of a North Carolina destination wedding after spending countless family vacations in the mountains in Highlands. Kelly is from Texas and Dylan is from Georgia, but their families both have a love for North Carolina. “I dreamt of getting married at The Farm at Old Edwards Inn, after seeing how picturesque the venue was in the fall and my love for a wedding in the mountains,” says the bride.
Having a destination wedding in Highlands was widely received by the couple’s families. Once the bride fell in love with The Farm at Old Edwards Inn, she started dropping hints to her parents to prepare them for a destination wedding. “They jokingly brushed it off assuming I’d get married in my hometown, Dallas, Texas. Little did I know, while Dylan was scheming his proposal, my parents were researching The Farm at Old Edwards Inn!” says the happy bride.
Even though both sides of the couple’s families had to drive or fly to the wedding, they said it was an easy trip. Highlands is only a two-hour drive from Atlanta, which made travel arrangements very convenient. “The biggest challenge we faced was the need for my mom to fly in to town for wedding planning help,” says Kelly. Because their destination is a popular vacation spot, especially during peak foliage season in the fall, guests had to book their accommodations over six months in advance.
About half of the wedding guests were from Atlanta, so they just drove to the venue. The other half from Texas all flew to Atlanta and rented cars to drive to Highlands. “Nearly all of our guests stayed in downtown Highlands to help make the wedding festivities more walkable. The ceremony and reception were a seven-minute drive from downtown, so we provided busses to transport guests to and from on Saturday night,” says the couple.
The newlyweds lucked out with an experienced wedding planner who had helped put on many weddings at The Farm at Old Edwards Inn before. “We were able to rely on their knowledge of the venue and the town itself to make sure the guest experience was top notch,” the newlyweds say. “Although planning a destination wedding can have its challenges, overall it was a fantastic experience and such a unique opportunity for our guests to see such an incredible part of North Carolina.”
After one call to Heath Alan Ray at Jackson Durham Events, the couple had a wedding planner from Toast Events, Lindsay Sims. “Heath and Lindsay have an incredible partnership that made planning a dream wedding an absolute breeze,” says Kelly. A family friend added a unique DIY touch to the wedding creating a logo for the couple, which they used as a theme throughout their wedding.
Overall, the couple thinks their wedding budget would have been the same if they had gotten married in Texas, but they much prefer North Carolina. “Something I love about destination weddings is how all of your guests get to spend the whole weekend together. A wedding in Dallas wouldn’t have felt nearly the same. Nor would it have had the gorgeous views, amazing hikes and waterfalls and stunning fall foliage!”
The happy couple has some advice for others planning a destination wedding. “Enjoy the wedding planning process and soak up every second! There are so many little details that brides stress about, but more often than not, if those details don’t get tidied up, your guests probably won’t even notice! So don’t sweat the small stuff.”
Vendors: Photographer: Dear Wesleyann; Wedding Location: Highlands, North Carolina; Ceremony/Reception Site: The Farm at Old Edwards Inn; Wedding Planner: Lindsay Sims at Toast Events; Florist: Jackson Durham Events; Stationery: Paper Daisies Stationery; Cake: Lush Cakery; Hair and Makeup: The Moore Agency; Gown Designer: Ines Di Santo; Groom’s Clothing Designer: J. Crew; Bridesmaids Designer: Bill Levkoff; Groomsmen’s Clothing: JoS. A. Bank; Band: I Love This Band; Videographer: Jeff Bradt Video
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