One of my goals this year was to expand my wedding venue experience within North Carolina. Having photographed in most Raleigh venues, I was really looking forward to visiting Asheville, NC and photographing Erin & Thij’s Grove Park Inn wedding. When I arrived it was either very late, or really early, depending on your viewpoint (and age) so I didn’t get a chance to scout the wedding ceremony location or reception hall for photography. After waking up the next (same) morning, I really got an eyeful of everything the Grove Park Inn can offer for a wedding. I know have two places to go back to on my own time, Bald Head Island and the Grove Park Inn.
After getting all of my photography gear together, I went up to Erin’s room where Ginger was already underway with the hair & makeup for our lovely bride (She rode with me up to Asheville, NC). Preparation photography is really a favorite of mine. I can be as artistic and candid as needed and really try to capture the nervous emotion and activity in the room. The room itself was breath taking with a stained glass window at the top of the 20′ ceilings. Unfortunately the rain decided to follow me up to the Grove Park inn but, on the bright side, it makes for the most amazing photography lighting you could ask for. I left the ladies alone and went down into the Grooms room which was adorned with everything 50’s including a couch the was designed after a classic car and 50’s movie posters on the walls. As always, the groom’s room is a much different feel on the wedding day but, in both rooms, you can see the nervous excitement.
Leaving the Grove Park Inn, we rode the shuttle down to the wedding ceremony site which was indoors due to the weather. Upon walking into the waiting room, I saw a spectacular place to get a bridal portrait photograph. Again, without rain you can’t have rainbows (or, in this case, perfect photography lighting). Before you know it, Kiersa Holy (Ashville, NC Wedding Planner who totally rocks) came in with the “It’s time” statement.
This was my first Indian Ceremony and I had been doing quite a bit of studying on the Hindu traditions and beliefs so I was really looking forward to the wedding ceremony. With the “fire” being a candle, very colorful flowers that I want to call Lei’s but that is not the name (Thij & Erin, help?), two chairs and rose petals on the ground, the wedding ceremony was as beautiful and meaningful as I had read about which made the photography even more spectacular. I should mention the Grove Park Inn was having a Jazz celebration this weekend so the entire hotel was packed – I think everyone from Asheville, NC came in as well. With the outside being rained out but still wanting to get a feel for the location, we caught the shuttle back up to the Grove Park Inn main building and did the formal photographs on an outside patio. Erin, Thij & myself then ran around the Inn to do our bride & groom session for photos just of the happily married couple.
After arriving back at the reception hall we went right into Dinner with was a traditional Indian fare served family style in the Fox & Hound club, one of the outbuildings from the main Grove Park Inn complex. Toasts, speeches and kisses ensued then off to the dancing, (dare I say it) drinking and downright delightful party. David Pandoria got everyone right onto the dance floor and, I can honestly say, the dance floor was full the entire night! Someone, somehow, got ahold of “props” that included hats, gloves, and yes, a ball & chain and distributed them out to everyone on the dance floor making the photography aspect, well, easy. Ladies take note, there was a “Kool-Aid” hand in use and apparently came in quite handy during the bouquet toss. :)
I can honestly say that this was one of the liveliest wedding receptions I have been to this year. Between laughing and showing hilarious photos to everyone, the night was over before I knew it. After everything was said & done, I met the wedding party, sans camera, back at the Grove Park Inn to give them my congratulations and help celebrate their wedding. So, Erin & Thij, thank you again for everything! I was truly honored to get to know both you and your families while up in Asheville, NC! For everyone else, stay tuned – I will have another blog post featuring this gorgeous couple soon! :)
Now on to some photography.. Thank you both so much for having me as your wedding photographer!
Hair & Makeup: Ginger Mullins Raleigh, NC
Wedding Planner: Events By Kiersa – Kiersa Holy – Asheville, NC
Officiant: Reverand Susie Wright – Asheville, NC
Flowers: The Grove Park Inn – Julie Melville – Asheville, NC
DJ: David Pandoria – Charlotte, NC
Caterer: The Grove Park Inn – Asheville, NC