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Pastel Wedding in North Carolina


May 17, 2023
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Tricia Michael Photography

Virginia and Jakob’s love story unfolded in the vibrant city of London, where their paths crossed in a serendipitous encounter. Back in October 2018, Virginia was studying abroad, while Jakob resided and worked in the bustling metropolis. The pair happened to meet at a pub one night, and their connection ignited instantly.

Recalling their first meeting, Virginia fondly remembers, “I was shivering from the cold, and Jakob kindly offered me his jacket. Little did I know that this small act of chivalry would be the start of something beautiful.” Fate brought them together, and they embarked on their first date the very next day. Despite the challenges of a long-distance relationship, their love persevered.

In October 2020, during a visit to Jakob in the UK, he planned a trip to Edinburgh, Virginia’s favorite city. Atop Arthur’s Seat, a stunning natural landmark, Jakob proposed, capturing the moment with a photographer. Virginia describes it as an enchanting experience.

As the couple began planning their wedding, they contemplated the idea of a destination wedding. Virginia, a native Floridian, and Jakob, originally from Austria, realized that no matter where they chose, it would be a destination wedding for one of them. Considering their desire to have their friends and family present, they opted for a location that would be accessible to everyone.

Virginia explains their choice, saying, “Growing up in Florida, I was always surrounded by sun and sand. I wanted something different for our big day, a rich, lush environment without the humidity. North Carolina felt like a natural choice.” Moreover, Jakob understood the importance of making the wedding accessible to their loved ones.

The couple faced challenges in choosing the location due to international travel restrictions caused by the pandemic. Jakob couldn’t join Virginia for venue tours, but her mother and bridesmaid stepped in to help. After a discouraging visit to a different venue, Virginia visited Old Edwards Inn & Spa on a whim. Instantly, she felt a connection, and she recalls, “The second I stepped foot on the Farm, I had such a vivid image of Jakob and I getting married there.”

Planning a wedding from abroad proved challenging, but they found immense support from Virginia’s mother, Lisa. Her experience and attention to detail were invaluable. To ensure everyone could enjoy the wedding day, they hired Katie Brooks Event Co. to handle the months of planning leading up to the celebration.

Though not particularly adept at DIY projects, the couple incorporated a special touch. Virginia crafted a beautiful wooden box as a gift for Jakob, adorned with a ceramic mosaic on the lid. It symbolizes their love and will be cherished for a lifetime.

Guest travel logistics were meticulously planned to accommodate both domestic and international attendees. Save-the-dates were sent early, and detailed travel and accommodation information was provided on their wedding website. The couple rented a large house for their immediate family and bridal party, creating a sense of togetherness.

While choosing a destination wedding inevitably involved a higher cost, Virginia and Jakob believe it was worth every penny. Reflecting on their special day, they share, “We had so much fun, and the beauty of the day made any fleeting doubts about the expense fade away.”

Had they chosen to hold their wedding at home, they believe it wouldn’t have been as magical. The unfamiliar surroundings added an air of adventure and allowed them to experience new activities with their loved ones. Despite the added pressure of distance, everything fell into place, creating an unforgettable weekend.

As they look back on their wedding planning journey, Virginia and Jakob offer valuable advice to future couples. They recommend tackling the significant aspects of the wedding early on, allowing time to focus on the numerous little details that make the day truly special. Furthermore, they emphasize the importance of staying true to your desires and making choices that bring you joy.

Virginia and Jakob’s destination wedding in Highlands, North Carolina, was a celebration of love that transcended borders. Their journey from London to Edinburgh and finally to the idyllic setting of Old Edwards Inn & Spa showcased their resilience and devotion. It was a weekend filled with enchantment, togetherness, and lifelong memories that the couple and their guests will forever cherish.


Vendors: Photographer: Tricia Michael Photography; Wedding Planner: Katie Brooks Event Co; Venue: Old Edwards Inn & Spa; Florist: Springvine Design; Stationery: Paper Goat Post; Cake: Mrs. Sugar Booger LLC; Hair & Makeup: AnaRie; Gown Designer: Paloma Blanca; Gown Store: The White Magnolia; Groom’s Clothing Designer: Zebel Bespoke; Bridesmaid Dresses: Revelry; Wedding Crest: The Welcoming District; Rentals: Bespoke Wedding & Event Rentals; Band: Sam Hill Entertainment – Radio Sparks; Ceremony Music: Dean’s Duets

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