A few weeks ago, Amelia and I traveled to Asheville, North Carolina for Lindsay + Ryan’s wedding at Claxton Farm. We arrived a day early, scouted the location and began getting to know the city. It’s been YEARS since I’d been to that area so it was really nice and refreshing to visit again now that I’m an adult.

The wedding was absolutely gorgeous…a memorable experience for sure. And the entire time spent in Asheville is something I don’t want to forget. If you know me personally, then you know that my memory can fail me at times…so I really enjoy blogging about my personal travels so that I can remember. In addition, if I go again or if someone that I know is traveling there, we can share in the experience!

The first day we arrived, we rented a car (something I highly recommend in a city like Asheville) and headed to the Biltmore. If you’re not familiar, it’s also a wedding venue but didn’t start out that way. It was actually originally a 250-room mansion for the Biltmore family to host their guests. They were involved in the railroad industry and because of their financial success were what would be equated to a modern day celebrity. The home was absolutely gorgeous and took us over 2 hours just to walk through approximately 1/4 of it on the Biltmore audio tour (I would also recommend this).

This was taken on the walk from the parking to the Biltmore.

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Isn’t it GRAND? It’s just like in Las Vegas…where you think it’s just a few steps away and you’re walking forever! Check out the scale of the mansion vs the scale of the people/tour buses!

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After taking the house tour, we also visited the Biltmore gardens:

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We had lunch at the Stable Cafe. Both Amelia and I ordered the chicken breasts. I thought it was good but not great…although we were VERY thankful for a good meal on such a hot day of walking.

That night, we ate at Carmel’s in downtown Asheville! Carmel’s is located in an area which I COMPLETELY fell in L.O.V.E. with. I loved the urban and pedestrian friendly environment. We sat on the corner outside right next to the planters (which were everywhere). The weather was cool and I definitely enjoyed the view.

The next day was the wedding….be sure to check out THOSE photos if you haven’t!

We started the day at the Early Girl Eatery. The wait wasn’t too bad…but the food would have been totally worth any wait! Everything on the menu was health-oriented (actually everything in ALL of Asheville was this way) and the atmosphere was really chill.

I like that the wait staff was able to dress comfortably and the city overall just feels super urban. We looked out onto the street and had a really nice breakfast.

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The day after the wedding, we had a full day to explore! After an awesome breakfast at Over Easy Cafe (<—which reminded me so much of NOLA), we walked to an outdoor store where Amelia and I bought pedometers before we headed to Graveyard Fields for a bit of hiking. The drive in and of itself was SUPER cool. Being from Louisiana, it was really cool to see the mountains and lush greens all around us.

I think what I loved MOST about Asheville was the mere fact that you could choose to be in an urban or mountainous environment within an hr in Asheville.

We laughed so much on the drive…felt a little afraid that we’d run out of gas, and then arrived at the hiking area. We really had no idea what to expect. <–I mean, duh, why didn’t anyone tell me there weren’t gas stations on the mountain! LOL

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It was about 1 mile to the first waterfall, named the “lower falls” (seen above to the left). We camped out there for a bit until we were ready to hike some more. Some portions of the trail were very manicured…some even paved with wooden planks, while others felt less traveled.

I somehow convinced Amelia to make our way up to the Graveyard area…until we both got a little nervous about the trail splitting off too many times, without anyone around and the sun beginning to set.

So, we continued hiking but this time toward the upper falls….when it began to rain pour!!! So, here we were, two south Louisiana girls, huddled up under a tree for “covering.” Ultimately we were so soaked that we decided the cold, NC rain wouldn’t hurt us and continued the hike in the mud. YES! Thick, slippery mud. But when we finally heard the falls and felt that we’d made it, we both knew it was worth the fight! LOL

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Just before the sun hit the horizon, we walked up the final flight of stairs and out to this view. I will never forget this moment….or this crazy view.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to travel, something that I love so much. And it was really awesome to share it with such a great friend!

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Thanks for allowing me to share my travels with you.:)

I can still remember photographing my very first wedding. I showed up in wedges (my first mistake)…and have continued to learn so many lessons over the years. On Thursday, June 27, I was invited to photograph my 100th wedding in the lovely city of Weaverville, North Carolina.

Lindsay + Ryan originally met in August of 2003, their first semester at UL in the crit pit of Architecture & Design Studio 101 (a place I’m also all too familiar with). They were good friends for 3 and a half years before they offically began dating in 2007. Their personalities are so complimentary and what began as a friendship has surely led them to being best of friends…madly in love.

After Ryan proposed, they allowed their vision of the wedding to truly come to life. They’ve always planned on getting married outdoors with God’s beautiful backdrop for their special day…and they used nature to inspire their decor. They love the weathered, mountain look so Claxton Farm truly was an awesome location for them.

Their wedding could be described as Rustic and Intimate…and Amelia and I are both TRULY thankful to have been flown to photograph their wedding day.

I am SOOO excited….to finally blog this lovely North Carolina wedding.

And a special thank you to all the vendors who helped to make this day possible:

Event Planning/Catering: M7 Event Solutions
Officiant: Rev. Dr. C. Fred Werhan
Venue: Claxton Farm
Florals: Sweet Earth Flower Farm
Wedding Cake: City Bakery
Wedding Gown: Maggie Sottero from A-Net’s Bridal
Groom’s Apparal: Perry Ellis (Crimini 3 piece suit)
Bride’s Hair + Makeup: L’eau de Vie Salon

Ryan + Lindsay exchanged letters before their First Look. This is such a great idea for couples looking to have yet another special moment on their wedding. I’m used to seeing Lindsay with the biggest smile on her face…it was very cool to see her reaction to Ryan’s sweet letter.

Lindsay gifted Ryan with a compass…to always remind him of where “home” is. And Ryan gifted Lindsay with a sweet and beautiful engraved locket…with their photo inside.

While I was photographing the getting ready with Lindsay, Amelia hopped over to Ryan’s room to photograph Ryan’s getting ready as well.

Welcome to Claxton Farm!

The florals for Ryan + Lindsay’s wedding were INCREDIBLE.

Ryan + Lindsay opted to do a First Look for their wedding.

Literally….every piece of this property was gorgeous!

…Ryan’s face when he saw Lindsay for the first time on their wedding day.

We spent some time shooting on the grounds before their ceremony.

Lindsay + Ryan’s details were the perfect fit for their venue.

This is my favorite image from their wedding day!

It started raining just before their wedding. They were nervous that the ceremony was going to be moved under the covered area, but just before the ceremony, the rain stopped and they moved the chairs into the field!

The location was surrounded on 360 degrees by mountain views.

When the ceremony began, the tears began to fall.

Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Rivett!

Lindsay requested of group photo of everyone attending the wedding…I thought this was an awesome idea since their closest friends and family came to North Carolina to share in their day.

….and the llama (aka: chocolate chip) was adorbs.

After the ceremony, the guests spent a bit of time playing farm games outdoors.

Lindsay walked down the aisle to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” How fitting that a rainbow appeared just after the ceremony.

The reception was held inside the barn. They pulled up the garage doors…and allowed the mountains to be the backdrop.

…Ryan + Lindsay ringing the dinner bell!

Their first dance was so lovely….and after dinner, they had marshmallows to share over fire.

Check OUT this view!

So romantic:

Congratulations you two!!!