Not just a typical destination wedding at the Biltmore estate…WEDDING OF THE YEAR!
In the 5+ years I’ve known Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography, her destination wedding gigs have never disappointed. “HOW IS THIS WORK?!” I always ask myself. This epic trip would turn out to be no different.
I met Lara and Justin through Laura, who she’s close friends with. Their engagement party was held in San Diego in early 2018 and I shot it for Laura who, at the time, was traveling out of the country. I loved them and their friends so much and was so excited to be asked to shoot their wedding in Asheville, North Carolina with Laura in June of 2019.
This wedding was to be Lara and Justin’s third and (final?) chapter of their wedding adventures. Prior to this one, they’ve traveled to, got engaged in, and exchanged vows in the most exotic of places, the latest being at Burning Man at the Altar of Intentions last year in 2018. Laura photographed it, naturally.
Lara grew up in Asheville, North Carolina and has always wanted a wedding at the massively historic and famous Biltmore Estate. Well, that’s exactly what she got…on the 4th day of the ultimate, action-packed, week-long, OG LOVE FEST!
DAY 1: BRIDAL FALLS
On the first day of this ultimate journey, Lara and Justin rented a 15-passenger van, stuffed in the first round of the gang that arrived in Asheville, and drove us all to a popular hiking spot called Turtle Back Falls, a swimming hole and natural rock water slide in the Pisgah National Forest, a real deciduous heaven. Since the waters and current were too rough because of the recent rains, we decided to hike to Rainbow Falls aka Umbrella Falls, a 150ft waterfall about a quarter-mile downstream. This spot even has a rope someone has tied onto a tree to help you climb the small cliff to the top of the falls for a thrilling jump over the 20-foot drop of the curved rock face…
Day 2: Boho-Themed Rehearsal Dinner
For some pre-Big Day Zen Day action, us ladies got our spa on at the Grove Park Inn Spa while the gentlemen played golf at the Biltmore Forest Country Club. After, we all met on the Sunset Terrace at the Grove Park Inn for a nice lunch where Lara was greeted by more of her wedding guests arriving into town. Later that evening, we donned our finest “farm” attire and headed south to Fletcher, where Lara’s cousin owns the land which houses a venue called Taylor Ranch for Lara and Justin’s wedding rehearsal. This place is SO southern and SO beautiful, it’s magical! It’s on a lake, with a mini forest that gives you a whimsical firefly show when the sun goes down.
DAY 3: BRIDAL SHOWER LUNCHEON TEA PARTY & NILE FLOATILA BOOZE CRUISE
After Lara’s bridal shower by the pool, all 30 or so of us got dressed up in our best Egyptian garments and headed toward the river!
Day 4: THE OG LOVE FEST!
Here it is! The big day! We had 3 big days before this one, but this was THE day where we all dressed up as American royalty to celebrate the love of Lara and Justin at this great historic estate!