Turn Up Marvin Gaye's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" as You Scroll Through This North Carolina Wedding
Kathleen and Henry knew each other for years, but it wasn't until one night, when they bumped into each other in Birmingham, that they began to see one another in a different light. Shortly after, Henry moved to Connecticut to begin his medical residency and the two lost touch—until fate brought them back together again at a mutual friend's wedding. "We instantly hit it off as if no time had passed despite the fact that we had not talked to or seen each other in about five months!" Kathleen says. Henry made a few trips down to visit her in Alabama and the rest was history: They spent the next few years dating long distance right up until Henry surprised Kathleen with a whirlwind proposal in Birmingham over her birthday weekend.
Eight months later, the couple hosted their friends and family for a weekend away at the beautiful High Hampton Resort, surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains in Cashiers, North Carolina. With the help of the planning team at Invision Events, the duo put together a day that Kathleen calls "mountain classic with a modern, chic vibe." The event was filled with a variety of breathtaking florals that accented the neutral fall color palette. "The vibe of the entire weekend really reflected us as a couple," explains Kathleen. "Mixed in with the classic elegance of the weekend were hints of our personalities through the welcome boxes, music selections, and fun touches during the reception."
The result: A day neither Kathleen nor Henry will ever forget. "It truly blew me away to be at High Hampton with all of these wonderful and amazing people that love both me and Henry so dearly," Kathleen recalls. "There are too many of these moments to list, but I cherish each one of them and they made the weekend the perfection that is was."
Welcome to High Hampton
As guests arrived for the wedding weekend, they each received a welcome box of the couple's favorite things. "Henry is a dark-chocolate lover, while I love ginger cookies—we also love to enjoy a glass of red wine together," explained Kathleen. "We included each of these elements in the box along with a few other tasty treats and brochures about the area and the history of High Hampton."
A Childhood Dream
Kathleen always knew she wanted her wedding to unfold at the base of Rock Mountain in Cashiers (her family has been vacationing there since the early 1990s). "High Hampton has always been a special place that I shared with my parents and my brothers, but to have our best friends and family in that space to celebrate Henry and me was truly a surreal dream come true," says the bride.
A Classic Dress
Designed by Anne Barge, Kathleen's wedding dress was a classic A-line number with long sleeves, a sheer French Alençon lace bodice, and double beading down the back.
A Simple Touch
The bride kept her accessories for the day minimal: Just a simple pair of three-pearl earrings and two gold bracelets borrowed from her maternal grandmother.
A Natural Bouquet
Floressence Flowers designed the bride's bouquet with a lush collection of phalaenopsis orchids, ranunculus with navy centers, white O'hara garden roses, ivory majolica spray roses, tuberose, cafe au lait dahlias, and anemones, tied with a silk champagne ribbon.
A Part of the Family
Henry and Kathleen had custom bands designed by Liz Legg that used melted metals from an heirloom ring from the groom's family. The band ultimately complemented the bride's cushion-cut engagement ring perfectly.
Dressed the Part
Henry donned a custom black tuxedo from Shaia's for the ceremony. He completed his look with a classic bow tie, cummerbund, a full collar, and French cuffs with a monogram.
The Final Touch
Elegant boutonnières composed of white spray roses and ranunculus accented the groom and groomsmen's lapels.
The First Look
The couple met in High Hampton's breathtaking dahlia garden for their first look. "The entire wedding day was such a fun experience for me, but I would definitely say this 30-minute span of time was one of my favorites," recalled Kathleen. "Henry knew nothing about my dress, so I couldn't wait to show it off."
Eight of Kathleen's closest friends stood by her side on her big day. Each was dressed in a Monique Lhuillier style of their choice.
The Children of the Party
Several kids participated in the ceremony, wearing traditional heirloom attire. "All children were barefoot, which I think is the sweetest!" says Kathleen.
A Family Connection
Kathleen and Henry's officiant, ordained Elder Stewart Jackson, is a family friend who has known the bride's family for many years, including her grandmother who wasn't well enough to make it to the ceremony. "I felt like I had a piece of her there with me by having Stewart there. He also provided us premarital counseling," says Kathleen.
The couple chose to read traditional vows at their service and incorporated special readings for a personalized touch. Kathleen explains that the readings "reflected our personalities and love for one another, the mountain setting, and our thankfulness for our friends and family joining us for the weekend."
Dreams Come True
Finally married, the newly-minted bride and groom exited their ceremony to the upbeat tunes of "You Make My Dreams Come True" by Hall & Oates.
Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed a leisurely cocktail hour while the bride and groom snuck off to share a private meal together in High Hampton's historic dining room.
"The Orange Thing"
Attendees sipped on the duo's signature cocktail, called "The Orange Thing"—a Birmingham classic that was a recreation of the drink Henry and Kathleen shared on their first date.
A Southern Meal
Following the theme of the ceremony, the tables—a mix of rounds and rectangles, covered in whimsical patterned linens—were set with gold and brass centerpieces; lush florals and foliage glowed in candlelight.
For dinner, celebrants enjoyed a menu featuring roasted fall vegetables, chef-carved beef tenderloin or maple brown sugar-glazed salmon, and a shrimp and grits bar.
The Finishing Touches
Lush white centerpieces—made from many of the blooms used in the bride's bouquet—defined the tabletops.
"Henry and I both love music from eras of the past, and it doesn't get any more classic than Frank Sinatra," explains Kathleen. "We knew we wanted a song that was happy and upbeat to kick off the night. The lyrics were also important to us, and 'The Way You Look Tonight' fit the bill perfectly."
Ain't No Mountain High Enough
Immediately following their first dance, the couple popped a bottle of Dom Perignon, toasted to their nuptials, and cut their cake as their band played "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell: "This song was an ode to our long-distance relationship (and the mountains surrounding us!) and a perfect tune to kick off the party."
Photography, Kristin Sweeting
Venue and Catering, High Hampton Inn
Event Planning and Design, Invision Events
Event Styling, Birds of a Feather
Videography, Hampton Road Studios
Flowers, Floressence Flowers
Invitations and Paper Products, Amberly Shelton Paperie
Makeup, Claire Balest
Groom Attire, Shaia's
Cake, Cream & Flutter
Transportation, Elite Limousine of North Carolina
Lighting, Professional Party Rentals
- This Couple Reunited with Their Loved Ones During Their Family-Focused Wedding in Florida
- Love and Joy Were at the Forefront During This Intimate, Family-Focused Celebration in Occidental, California
- A Slice of Princess Diana and Prince Charles' Wedding Cake Is Up for Auction 40 Years Later—It Might Sell for $700
- Five Reasons Why You Should Talk to Your Friends About Wedding-Related Stress