Meredith and Matthew

Asheville, North Carolina



Photography | f8 Photo Studios | @f8photostudios

Venue | Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville | @grandbohemianasheville

Floral Designer | An English Flower Cottage @anenglishflowercottage

Band | Still Cruzin Band @musicgardenbands


Meredith and Matthew’s wedding in Asheville was the perfect combination of classic fairytale and modern sparkle. Her bridal portraits at The Biltmore Estate were equally as stunning and timeless.


Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette?

In terms of color palette, I chose green, white, and gold. Those colors especially appealed to me because I love white flowers and wanted to incorporate those along with lush touches of greenery. Green just feels good and it warms you up in the winter months. Of course there needed to be a little sparkle to the occasion so I decided that gold accents would really bring the party to life!


Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception?

We got married in the most stunning of locations. Grand Bohemian Hotel in Asheville, North Carolina is luxurious from the moment you enter. The only thing we did was have the florist design around the already beautiful interiors of the ballroom and terrace. Cocktail hour took place in the salon and dinner and dancing came next in the ballroom. Both rooms are gilded in gold from ceiling to floor. There are gold sconces on the aged mirrored walls and huge crystal chandeliers hang from the ceilings. The entire venue is a fairy tale.

What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?

An English Flower Cottage of Hendersonville, North Carolina designed whimsical centerpieces out of white flowers and lots of greenery. The centerpieces alternated height from one table to another and each table was dotted with gold votives to give a touch more sparkle. The florist also arranged gorgeous bridal bouquets for the bridesmaids and myself. I had always wanted a big bouquet and that’s what I got with white flowers and fern and eucalyptus!


Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

Oh, the band! The band was amazing. Still Cruzin’ brings the party. They had a keyboard, a saxophone, a trumpet, drums, and more. They could perform just about any song we asked of them and they had people out on the dance floor all night. The lead singer even pulled me in to dance with him. We all had so much fun!


Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.

I spotted my dress online and had to have it. The dress has a lace bodice with the most delicate lace running down the long sleeves. The cut at the neck comes around the shoulders for an elegant look. It has a full skirt with more lace lining the bottom all the way around. I would have died before choosing another dress. I ordered the dress from Viero Bridal without even trying it on first. They have a solid return policy. Once I tried it on, the dress fit perfectly! The only alterations I had done were to the length. My bridesmaids wore floor length gold sequin gowns. Each gown has cap sleeves and a cowl back. I wanted my bridesmaids to shine and feel beautiful. They all told me they loved the dresses. Hopefully, they weren’t just saying that! Matt, my husband and his groomsmen wore black tuxes with black ties. I think he wanted to add a pop of color somewhere but I really wanted them in all black. Just think of the contrast between the bridesmaids and the groomsmen, unbelievable. A last minute added touch was a bow tie I gave to Matt as a wedding gift. It’s made by Brackish out of feathers and is unique. It has a little whimsy to it as well because the black feathers stick out to grab attention. The whole idea for the wedding day looks centered around glamour. I wanted everything to sparkle. It was a winter wedding in January, at the time of year when things can seem a little drab, so we made some of our own shimmer.


How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.

My husband is the closet romantic. He has always been this way so I don’t expect elaborate displays of affection, but when they happen, they sure are elaborate and endearing. We lived in California then, when we got engaged. Matt is ex-military and he and some friends were involved with GoRuck. It’s run like a boot camp for civilians. People do it for fun. Anyway, Matt’s buddy was running a GoRuck in Huntington Beach one night and we planned to go watch. So we drove to the beach at about 10 o’clock at night, got out of the car, and walked down to where we thought the group was training. I noticed first off two of Matt’s friends who I had not expected to be there. I thought that was a little weird, but they also participate in GoRuck, so made sense. The part that was really off from the start was the silence that we walked into. The whole group was on the beach, except for Matt’s two friends, but everyone was standing silent in the dark. This was not really what I had expected. Why weren’t they yelling and shouting while doing push-ups or something? Matt took out a green glow stick, broke it, then handed it to me and told me to throw it out on the beach as far as I could. Again, puzzling, but I did it. As soon as it landed, the guys on the beach flipped on headlamps and started singing Stand by Me. Now, Stand by Me is our song so I started to clue in at this point. This experience was shaping up to be the most romantic Matt had ever devised. I found out later that there was even a guy in the storm drain singing for the effect! Matt made me stand there and wait for the whole song to finish before he turned to me and went down on one knee. He pulled out a ring and asked, but he wasn’t done yet. He had invited all of our family and friends from both coasts and they were waiting behind a retaining wall just a ways down the beach with signs and everything. I could not believe people had driven hours and flown in for this. Matt and a friend built a “chariot” (they called it) for us to sit in as it was carried by the GoRuck crew to the pier, not a short distance. Thankfully he thought to bring bicycle helmets for us. The thing was outfitted with sparkly purple lights so we shined the whole way to the pier. I could not believe that the crew carried us all the way. And our friends and family followed the procession. Once at the pier, there were more friends waiting for us to help us celebrate. We all went to an Irish pub in Newport Beach to keep celebrating. Matt completely blew my socks off with the whole thing. The amount of time and planning that went into the event was incredible and I did not suspect anything at any time. Our friend and family helped make the experience memorable since those are the people who are important to us and who have supported us in our relationship together. After all this, of course I said YES!


What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

I truly looked forward to our first dance. Matt and I took dance lessons before the wedding and our instructor came up with a simple routine to our song, “Stand by Me”. I mean, what girl doesn’t dream of twirling around in her fairy tale wedding dress? The best part was the dip at the end, very impressive and Matt pulled it off with panache. An unexpected moment that turned into a special memory was the two of us after everything was over sitting in our hotel room eating fast food. A friend had gone out to get fast food for the whole wedding party and Matt snagged some for us to have alone in our room. It was a simple luxury at the end of whirlwind of a night.


Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?

I would suggest that couples planning a wedding do extensive research before making decisions on anything. Doing the research is the time-consuming part so it is tempting to just go with the first or second option, especially if the price is right. I did extensive research and learned that some options that appeared unaffordable were actually affordable and vice versa. Some venues seem inexpensive but once you tack on all the other vendors you have to incorporate, it can get pricey. And some venues require you to take everything down at the end of the night, what a let-down after such an amazing experience. I would also suggest that couples declare aspects that are important to them on their day. That’s where you put the money and that’s what guests will remember. Guests are not going to remember what the couple will so don’t get bent out of shape over the little things. It’s not worth it! Enjoy the process and set yourself up so that you don’t have to lift even your pinkie finger on your wedding day.