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Intimate Winter Wedding

Alisa + Robert | Dec 21, 2019

Intimate winter wedding with mountain views, lush greenery and merlot accents at Hawkesdene Estate in Andrews, North Carolina 

In the summer of 2014, Alisa’s high school friend tried to persuade her to take a certain marketing job. Robert worked in the same department, and said it was love at first sight when he walked into the break room and saw her in her “jailhouse blazer” as she waited for her interview. They worked together for two years before they started dating, then Robert announced he was moving to New Orleans. Alisa, not wanting to take a chance on not meeting someone like him again, moved with him.

“In her sales pitch to get me to interview for the job she said, ‘you’re going to love my best friend Rob, fall in love, get married and have babies,’” said Alisa. “Sure enough she was right - except no babies yet!”

Little did Alisa know that her mom had given Robert the ring her late father had given her for their tenth wedding anniversary. He met with a local jeweler to make some modern adjustments, and popped the question when the couple was cozied up in bed with their Great Dane - the dog who Robert says taught him unconditional love.

“I was fresh out of the shower in an oversized t-shirt with no makeup on and wet hair,” said Alisa, “but it was so raw and sincere, just love.”

Tucked luxuriously in the sprawling North Carolina mountains, a charming private estate provided the most romantic setting for this couple’s wedding day. With the Christmas season in full display, the elegant decor was paired with merlot accents, lush greenery and twinkling lights. Adding to the magic, there was even an alpaca and llama stable on the perfectly manicured property!

“This New Orleans duo are such an eclectic pair and it showed so beautifully throughout their wedding,” said the photographer. “Their love for mountain views, alpacas, warm hugs, and color were just some of the elements portrayed on this beautiful day.”

For her bridal look, Alisa wore a stunning, ivory long-sleeved gown with lace cutouts, beading embellishments, an open back and a form-fitting silhouette. Her hair was in curls and she wore a bold berry lip and floral hairpiece with more beaded applique. The maid of honor complemented her look in an exquisite, long-sleeved velvet merlot gown.

“Since the dress was so simple, but detailed beading down the sides to accentuate my curves, I did not want to take away from it with a veil so I chose a birdcage veil,” said Alisa. “I chose a metallic blue pair of boots to add a little flair and a pair of homemade earrings that a local jewelry maker had made to support their adoption process.”

Robert and his best man looked sharp in moss-colored dinner jackets, white button downs, floral print burgundy ties and a deep red rose on their lapels. Once he was ready, he stood outside in an enchanting wooded area eagerly waiting for their first look moment, which was most certainly a moment they would never forget!

“He was all frazzled because his best man had burned a hole through his white shirt,” said Alisa, “so he kept apologizing instead of the expected surprise and tears most brides expect!”

Alisa slipped on a lush ivory, faux fur coat for their portrait session, and she and Robert first posed by the fluffy white alpacas. Soon after, their wedding party joined them on the venue’s balcony, where they popped celebratory champagne overlooking the mountain views painted in the backdrop.

Her bouquet was full of burgundy roses, anemones, blue thistle, wintry sprays of greenery and eucalyptus, so the arrangements in the ceremony decor mirrored that selection beautifully. Inside the space, the ceremony altar was created with waterfall floral installations on the rustic stone wall fireplace. A grand chandelier hung overhead, and the space was decked out in twinkling Christmas trees and wreaths with bold red bows.

“The wedding took place right before Christmas,” said Alisa, “so kind of played on that theme a bit.”

The ceremony was an intimate gathering in front of the immaculate stone fireplace. Alisa’s dad passed away when she was younger, so her uncle got ordained to marry them. Her brother walked her down the aisle on a vintage runner, while her stepfather played Canon D on the baby grand piano next to the fireplace. She and Robert exchanged the emotional vows they’d written, before sharing that much-anticipated kiss!

“Their incredibly beautiful, elegantly intimate winter wedding was one I will never forget,” said the photographer.

Under the reception tent lined with twinkling string lights, there were farm tables and wooden crossback chairs set up for the dreamiest dinner party. Each table was covered in vintage brass candlestick holders with ivory taper candles in between greenery and florals that waterfalled over the table ends. The bride’s and groom’s seats were marked with white laser cut “Mr.” and “Mrs.” signs.

Each place setting had a honey-colored porcelain dinner plate with a textured rim, classic silverware, green crystal chalices and white linen napkins with a personalized campfire mug as a favor sitting on each plate. For dinner, the newlyweds and their guests indulged in local mountain trout, steak, Brussels sprouts and sweet glazed carrots. 

Just before the band kicked off the party, they had to recruit a very special new member. Both the bass player and drummer had flaked, so a wedding guest and even the groom - a Jazz drummer himself - stepped in to play!

“It was so awesome to watch!” said the photographer.

As Alisa, Robert and their loved ones sang, played and danced the night away, the bar, topped with elegant lanterns, served wine, bubbly sips and a signature cocktail. For those who chose beer over the bar, they had local keg beer served in personalized clear plastic cups that read “eat drink and be married!”

The wedding cake, accompanied by Christmas tree-shaped cookies, was a gorgeous two-tiered cake with multi-layered flavors, piped icing details and blush and merlot rose buds on top. They cut the cake and served slices with personalized white dessert napkins reading “married and merry” in red foil ink.

Throughout the night, friends and families got to experience unique personal touches and memorable moments. They had a memorial table in honor of each of the parents the bride and groom had lost, a Polaroid guest book with a large Polaroid frame reading “best day ever” hanging on a copper frame for a photo op, and the bride’s mom’s macrame ivory and sage Christmas tree ornaments as favors.

Since the original plan for colored smoke bombs fell through when they got stuck at the post office, the couple made a gametime decision to find sparklers the day of the wedding. It was a success and their sendoff was every bit as magical as guests waved their sparklers, lighting up the night sky.

“Rob and Alisa will forever hold a special place in my heart,” said the photographer. “It was so wonderful to witness such a pair and be a part of something so unique and beautiful.”

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs Brennan!

Looking for a venue fit for your intimate wedding? Check out our list of vetted vendors HERE!

Creative Team

J. Crew
Marc Jacobs
Town & Country Bridal
Joes Jeans

Avonne Photography

Hawkesdene Estate, Andrews, NC

Natural Progression

Jess Porter

Petal and Fern

Darryl Cashion

Paper Goods + Calligraphy
Bree Moore Design & Calligraphy
Tied & Two

Rentals & Decor
East West Vintage Rentals

Hawkesdene Estate

Wedding Enhancements
The Mrs. Box

The Mrs. Box
Tied & Two

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