Wedding Planning: Colors, Style, & Venue

best place to buy generic accutane This past August I married my best friend. During the process of planning the wedding, I didn’t want to post too much about it and give away all the fun details. Like any good newlywed, though, I’m excited to share how it all came together, photos of the process, and what I learned during the planning! 

where can i order diflucan Asheville Mountains

Colors, colors, colors! Everyone loves picking colors, right? During our nine month engagement, though, I was still surprised to find THE most popular question asked by friends to be: “So what are your colors?” It’s kind of an odd question, when you think about it, although I think its popularity really stems from The Pinterest Craze and how today’s brides (totally including me!) spend hours upon hours browsing through color coordinated, drool-worthy photographs of weddings. On one hand, yes please to the drool worthy weddings full of gorgeous details and DIY fun. On the other hand, though, I’m just not all about having things matchy-matchy and coordinating my wedding around one or two big pops of color. With this in mind, I whole-heartedly (and to my mother’s chagrin) jumped on the mismatched palette train.

Our Wedding Colors

I’ve been all about neutrals for the past few years, so when the wedding planning started in earnest, I happily popped over to a paint store to grab some swatches of the colors I liked and wanted to use for inspiration: soft grays, dusty purples, sweet creams and blushes, cloudy blues and dusky pinks. Not saturated enough to be called pastels, these colors have just enough hue to give them that old, antique look. I loved the idea of mixing together these different shades, while still letting the true neutrals – the creams, tans, and grays – dominate. I also really wanted to incorporate a lot of textures and patterns into both the design and decor of the wedding. Think: intricate laces next to softly dotted cottons, glass vases of all different sizes and colors filled with flowers and river rock, candles galore, patterned china and vintage napkins, twine and wood, with greenery everywhere. I’m not a country girl, even though we were planning to have our wedding in the mountains of North Carolina where I grew up, so from the beginning I tried to veer more towards a garden vintage look, rather than a southern barn look.

wedding colors

pretty flowers

(pinterest photos of flowers I envisioned using for the wedding- many of which we were able to pull straight from my mom’s garden!)

Unfortunately, my palette choice meant that my mother really didn’t like the wedding colors very much. My mother’s favorite hues tend to be wild and bright. Why settle for a pale green when you could use a vibrant lime? Why choose a dusky purple, when a brilliant fuchsia is just as handy? Why use bland stripes when a circus pattern with lions and tigers and bears {oh, my!} would be so much more fun?! I love my mom, but it was a bit of a struggle to both explain my vision to her and keep her on track without sneaking in lots of bright colors. It was especially difficult since I do really appreciate her opinion and generally we tend to agree on and enjoy each other’s tastes. Thankfully, my sister very much understood the look I was going for and was able to help me communicate it to my mom.

The Venue

After choosing the colors and deciding to style the wedding in a vintage garden theme, the next challenge was finding a reception venue. From years of photographing weddings and seeing all manner of venues, I had very firmly established ideas of what I didn’t want. Thankfully, Vincas was completely on the same page. Our idea of the perfect reception was one that was big enough to include are large families and all of our closest friends, but small enough that it could be held at a non-traditional venue: something more casual than a ballroom. We wanted our venue to be more sprawling: rather than a giant room, something that would incorporate the outdoors without just being in a field. When my sister had gotten married years ago, her winter wedding reception had been held inside a privately owned lodge in the mountains and I remember thinking how gorgeous the outside of the lodge had been and what a shame it was that the weather was too cold to utilize the many porches and fields. A summer lodge wedding seemed like exactly what we wanted: it would allow us to throw a great party that could continue until the wee hours and we could have family stay in the lodge. Since we had a pretty strict budget, a lodge wedding would also allow us to provide our own food and alcohol – both of which usually end up being much more expensive than necessary when purchased through a typical wedding venue. My mom offered to make all the food – a massive undertaking that still blows my mind. She had made all the food for my sister’s wedding, though, and had done such a good job that she felt confident enough to do it again. In the long run, this meant a lot more work (especially for her) and finding paid help to run the kitchen, clean the tables, and serve the food the night of the wedding, but we also happened to have an amazing friend who volunteered to be in charge of the entire operation. Have I mentioned that my friends and family are amazing?

After searching online through what felt like thousands of rentals, Vincas and I finally found the perfect lodge. Lodges in the mountains are numerous, but since we were planning on having anywhere from 130-150 guests (the total number ended up being exactly 133), this posed a series of problems. There had to be parking, there had to be enough bathrooms, the kitchen had to be big enough to accommodate all the food preparations and storage, the owners of the lodge had to be willing to allow us to have a wedding on the premises and to serve alcohol, and there had to be enough room in the lodge to at least sleep one of our families. If the reception was going to be outside, there was the question of whether to rent a tent or not. For over a month, I emailed lodge after lodge and built up an entire document of possibilities. In the end, though, we decided to split up our families between two lodges. His family ended up staying in the lodge my sister’s wedding had been at and, since it was such a beautiful place, they also generously hosted a catered BBQ rehearsal dinner there the night before the wedding. My family, meanwhile, stayed at the lodge we rented for the reception. Since we all had lots of decorating, organizing, cooking, and flower preparations to do beforehand, that worked out perfectly. We even decided to rent it for the entire week leading up to the wedding, in order to both better prepare for the wedding and to be able to spend time together before the big day.

The lodge we chose for the wedding reception was massive, with a 5,000 square foot deck that overlooked a river and a gorgeous woodsy view. It had a massive field below that could be used for the cocktail hour and another field that could be used for parking. It was able to sleep over twenty people inside, with several bunkhouses and an outhouse outside as well. We envisioned having the wedding on the deck, but since the weather could be unpredictable, we found a tent company that would let us cancel our order several days before the wedding without losing too much of the deposit. {although in the end the week turned out to be a bit rainy, so we chose to keep the tents} Then came the flurry of details: finding a high school friend to hire as a parking attendant, figuring out the logistics of bringing the food and having to store the food the week leading up to the wedding, who would sleep where, how many tables and chairs we’d have to rent and how many tables and chairs were already on the deck, hauling over three car loads of decorations and food and flowers and necessary tools…this sort of wedding was definitely not for the faint hearted, but thankfully my mom is a wedding planning guru!

North Carolina Lodge Wedding

snapshots from the lodge

Scouting the deck

No matter how well we planned, though, it was incredibly hard to trust that it would all come together. What if it rained? Would the tents be enough to keep people dry or would we have to move the whole reception inside? What if the crazy drive up the mountain scared all the guests away? What if all the tables we ordered were too much for the deck and there wouldn’t be room to move…or dance?! Not being in the same state was hard, too. Vincas and I got to see the venue once {after the sun set, when it was completely dark out} while home for Thanksgiving and then my parents made an extra trip out to measure the exact dimensions of the wrap around deck. When discussing colors or other details, my mom and I had to just send photos back and forth by phone. It was chaotic, to see the least. Looking back, though, I can’t believe how beautifully it all came together!

Stay tuned for more details…





Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Hi! Hello! Welcome!

Stay in touch!

Join me on Instagram

Favorite Blog Posts


Ready to rock your own portrait session?

Your message is now zooming through cyberspace to get to my inbox! Please be patient and I'll respond as soon as possible. Thanks!Whoops! That didn't work. Please try again!

Featured on