Italian Villa Wedding in NC – Ashley & Ryan

It was such a beautiful day at Raffaldini Vineyards for Ashley & Ryan’s wedding on May 13th!  Even though the wind was blowing fairly fiercely at different times of the day, everyone had a great time and the sun was shining down on the couple.

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What I love about Ashley & Ryan is their fun, loving attitude – weddings are stressful but they were always laughing and joking.  I loved too that they wanted to change the usual location of the ceremony – they reversed it and moved it to the center of the grand staircase on the side of the villa so that the wedding party, instead of the guests, were able to view the vines throughout the ceremony – the guests had a nice view too – watching the wedding party process down the gorgeous outdoor staircase.  I also loved the wine ceremony which represents their union in a symbolic way combining the white and red wines.

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Cocktail hour took place in front of the villa and dinner was held upstairs with a grand view of the surrounding mountains.  After dinner, first dances, toasts and open dancing were on the piazza until 11:00 p.m. even though the temperature had dropped significantly.   I have to say the Maid of Honor absolutely gave one of the best toasts I’ve ever heard!  She definitely nailed it.

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The piazza tables showcased wooden lanterns while shepherd’s hooks and hanging lanterns circled the dancing at the edge of the patio near the vines.  Cake cutting was also a highlight as Ashley & Ryan were not afraid to show a little love in the exchange.

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The guest book was very unique and not actually a book at all, instead an old frame interspersed with twine where guests could write a special message and attach to the twine with a mini clothespin.  The wind didn’t deter guests though and apparently some were secret 🙂  Talk about cool shoes….check!

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My favorite moment though was when Ashley and her Dad started walking to the ceremony where they could see the guests in anticipation of her entrance.  Her dress had several layers and all the separate panels were blowing in the wind – it was absolutely stunning and she was glowing.  Her dress was perfect for her and the weather, it was incredible.   She later told me that when she was walking up, it was exactly as she had hoped. Awww….so sweet!

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All of the vendors were wonderful and definitely on their game.  It’s always a pleasure to work with the catering team at Holly Tate Catering – I seriously eat items that I usually never eat.  I was also delighted to work with Lotus Creative Studios for the first time – Candace was really fun and did a great job capturing their moments!

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 Wedding Vendors:

Venue – Raffaldini Vineyards

Catering/Cake – Holly Tate Catering

Day of Coordination – Weddings by the Vine

Officiant – Phran Gacher, Perfect Wedding Ceremonies

Photographer –  Lotus Creative Studios

Rentals – Hauser Rental Services

Florist – Desi’s Florals

Shuttle – NC Grape Escape

Makeup artist – Katie Veazey Skincare

Hair stylist – Laura Bray Hair & Makeup

Invitations – The Write Image