Written by Emily Glaser
In 2018 wedding bells are ringing in Western North Carolina more than ever, and as a result, the accompanying wedding industry is booming.
Fairytales are oddments of the past, with one notable exception: weddings.
The world over, a wedding is a ritual exalted and idealized, a day purportedly fantasized and devised since the earliest days of Disney-tinged childhood. As the recent royal wedding in England proved, people will always hold out a certain degree of fascination for the event, with more than a few observers using the word “fairytale” to describe it. And in our own United States, it’s a day that takes the weightless, alabaster shapes and shades of dreamlike cloud-things: pillows of rich cake icing, layers of ivory taffeta, delicate lace, bushels of cream-colored petals.
Yet, despite its romantic leanings, a wedding is a ceremony built not on the gossamer filaments of dreams, but the sturdy, if homely, balustrades of capitalism. Fairytale be damned—weddings are an industry.
And a prosperous and progressive one, to boot. On average, American weddings cost more than $33,000, a price tag accumulated from a range of goods and services spanning from winking diamond rings to winsome performers. Some 300,000 wedding vendors across the country are cashing in on it, gleaning $72 billion in revenue from the happy couples in 2016 alone.
In Western North Carolina especially, the wedding game is flourishing. Spurred by a profusion of good press, a rapidly swelling market of attractions, and the unerring beauty of the landscape, more and more couples are choosing our mountains as their destination. In 2017 the Buncombe County Register of Deeds issue 2,751 marriage licenses—a number that nearly doubles its correlative 1997 statistic of 1,813.
The numerical increase in marriages (and, assumingly, weddings), correlates not just with the growing popularity of the region, but also with the legalization of gay marriage. Following the dissolution of the gay marriage ban in North Carolina in 2014, the number of local marriage licenses increased dramatically (from 2,099 in 2013, to 2,692 in 2014).
The growth of the industry is then a statistic that speaks not just to our beauty and beer, like other local trade, but more widely to our regional debunking of tradition. Many local wedding vendors make a point to widen their client base not just for profit, but for inclusivity: Filmmaker Kathryn Ray, of Evergreen Era Films, for example, is dedicated to providing a welcome place for LGBTQ+ couples; Wedding Inspirations shop owner Juli Dave caters to plus-sized brides. “Asheville’s open arms welcome all people without discrimination, making it a beacon of hope for so many,” says Lauren Moody, of Fox and Beaux. The marginalized and unmarketed find in our market a niche where they are unabashedly welcome.
Here, a wedding is no longer a bleached, fairytale dreamscape, nor is it solely a pretentious brandishing of capitalism. Instead, it’s a combination of the two, bolstered and balanced in place by a team of passionate vendors intent on creating a memorable experience for their couple.
Before there can be a wedding, there needs to be an engagement. And before there can be an engagement, there needs to be a ring. As the impetus for almost all weddings and the annular, Lilliputian foundation of marriage, engagement rings and weddings bands represent a microcosm of the wedding industry in a very small package.
As such, the business of wedding jewelry is indicative of a striking motif of the entire industry regionally—namely, growth. Take, for example, Marthaler Jewelers: They incorporated in 2006, at which time jeweler Andy Marthaler was working out of the family garage, then after an investor helped them open a store in Biltmore Park Town Square in May of 2010, their engagement and wedding band business didn’t just double or triple, but increased an astounding 15 times. That’s a 1,500% increase in just eight years. The jewelers peddle some 300 to 400 wedding rings annually; add to that the customers who return for two wedding bands, and that number triples.
Another harbinger of growth in an industry is the establishment of new businesses like Fox and Beaux. Designer Lauren Moody has owned the company for seven years, and since opening their brick-and-mortar Fox & Beaux Boutique and Custom Jewelry Design Studio in 2016, the revenue has increased dramatically. “Our revenue has doubled every year since starting the business,” Moody says. “And when we opened the boutique, our revenue climbed 200% from the previous year when we didn’t have the boutique. Our revenue growth tells the story, but on the ground, we have witnessed a steady and significant increase in natural foot traffic into the store, as well as people setting up consultations for custom rings and other jewelry.” Moody hypothesizes that word of mouth, advertising, and the steadily rising popularity of Asheville as a tourist destination have all contributed to their sales increases.
The growth of the industry also brings a growth in competition, not necessarily locally, where specializations set jewelers apart, but globally, thanks to the internet. “The internet has made the world smaller,” Tonya Marthaler points out, adding that the growth of the industry online has its caveats: “There is a lot of information out there but not a lot of education. It’s very misleading to think you can pick a diamond or gemstone from the internet and have the same experience of seeing it side-by-side.” On the other hand, the internet has also forced a new level of transparency in the industry, which she applauds.
Growth isn’t the only indication of change in the jewelry biz. Both Moody and Marthaler noted an increase in custom orders in recent years. “In the last two years we have seen an enormous increase in custom engagement rings,” Marthaler says, adding that at least 80% of their engagement rings are custom designs. Customers choose from a spectrum of 10 to 15 stones, comparing the sparkle and shine of each diamond or gemstone in order to find the perfect eye-catcher.
At Fox and Beaux, custom orders are their bread and butter: Last year they sold 100 custom rings, 75% of which were crafted from the visions of customers, the other 25% of which were one-of-a-kind designs from their own team. From nebulous dreams to paper sketches to their jewelers’ bench, the four employees use rare and unique stones, often scouted from scattered gem shows, to bring custom designs to life.
Just as the rings’ design and creation has shifted in recent years, so have the price tags. Whereas grooms of the past would set aside and spend two months’ salary on their fiancé’s sparkler, today they’re advised to spend what they can afford—a number that, naturally, varies drastically. At Fox and Beaux, customers spend an average $3,500 on engagement rings, $700 on men’s bands, and $1,500 on women’s wedding bands; their prices are relatively low because of their use of alternative stones like natural or raw diamonds. In contrast, Marthaler Jewelers’ bands average $2,000 and engagement rings $15,000.
Tonia Sheppard, of longtime area retailer Alan’s Jewelry & Pawn, which has been selling diamonds and wedding rings since opening three decades ago and has two locations in Asheville plus one in Cherokee, agrees that they’ve also seen a steady increase in the wedding ring business over the years. “We carry the largest selection of new and pre-owned diamonds in Western North Carolina,” notes Sheppard, “and our selection has grown to support demand. We meet with wholesalers every week to make sure our new selection is on trend. As far as pre-owned rings, a jeweler at Alan’s will always give them the TLC they need to make them look brand new again.”
Alan’s employs five on-site jewelers who design custom rings and settings, and Sheppard says that they can also “modify and repair family rings to create a vintage look. Timeframe will depend on design—some pieces can be back same day and others may take longer, especially if we are custom ordering or designing a setting.”
She adds that since they carry so many different types of rings, the materials ultimately affect the pricing. “Wedding bands made of sterling silver could start from $20, and platinum and diamonds ring could go into five figures. We strive to carry a huge selection to meet the needs and budget for all of our customers.”
Regardless of cost, buying a ring isn’t merely an expense—it’s an experience. “It’s a very big decision to decide you are going to marry someone, and the ring that represents that commitment deserves time and attention to detail,” says Marthaler.
Of all the fabled elements of weddings, there is perhaps none so literally robed in romance as The Dress. From internet dissections of royal apparel to reality TV shows documenting the quest for the perfect gown, the near mythological provenance of a bridal gown remains stable in the wedding canon, even as other elements fall to practicality.
For a long time, finding the ivory attire of brides’ dreams meant a trip down the mountain to more fashionable destinations. As more and more brides have chosen our scenic locale for their wedding, and as our own population increases, bridal shops have popped up or evolved to accommodate them. “Because it’s such a destination, people often book appointments while they’re visiting Asheville, and they find a gown with us. On the other hand, because so many people who get married here don’t necessarily live here, [brides] end up buying their gowns closer to their locales,” explains Margaux Weinstock of Wildflower Bridal, who opened her venture in 2014. Lured by a surprisingly large selection at an even more surprisingly accessible price point, and often the convenience of not having to tote a heavy gown to their destination ceremony in the mountains, our wedding dress industry has experienced exponential growth in recent years, too.
Consider Wedding Inspirations. Though it was an Asheville mainstay for 25 years, Juli Dave saw an opportunity for growth when she bought and moved the business in early spring 2017. In her first year, Dave marked a 400% increase in sales and increased her staff from two to nine. In 2017 they sold approximately 375 wedding dresses—more than one for every day of the year (and that’s not even including bridesmaids dress, mother of the bride dresses, or the other wedding attire they sell). Other boutiques like Wildflower Bridal and even custom sewing and alteration ventures like Sugarcane Studios claim parallel growth; Tara Nyanga, owner of Sugarcane Studios, has hired two employees already in 2018 to keep up with increasing demand for alterations and custom orders, which grew 40% in the first five months of 2018 compared to the year before.
Though Dave attributes her success partially to blind passion and beginner’s luck, other aspects of her story are more broadly applicable to other local vendors, like her decision to expand her inventory to appeal to a wider selection of brides. “I’ve tried to be a little more fashion-forward,” she says. Expanding her selection also meant appealing to customers often limited by traditional boutiques, like plus-sized brides or same-sex couples. “It broke my heart when I first bought the store, and the plus-sized girls were coming in and there wasn’t anything for them to try on,” she remembers. Now, Wedding Inspirations is nationally recognized in the plus-sized market, with 30 to 40 plus-sized dresses for brides to try.
Her dresses are also, simply put, affordable. “I don’t have a single dress in the store over $3,000,” she says, adding that some sale dresses hold price tags as low as $199. Her average bride spends $1,200 on her dress, and most bills only amount to $1,500, veil and accessories included.
As with wedding jewelry, the dress industry has also experienced a recent surge in custom work. Though a traditional sewing studio, Nyanga admits that bridal clients are the foundation of her business. “From February through October, we are primarily focused on serving bridal clients with gown alterations, custom veils or other accessories, and custom dressmaking,” she explains. “In 2017 we did alterations for around 100 brides. Within that number, we probably did around 15 vintage dress makeovers, and made 10 custom dresses/outfits for brides and/or mothers of brides/grooms.”
As regional dress vendors expand their selection, so do they broaden their audience. As Weinstock mentioned, brides planning an Asheville wedding from afar are looking more and more to our local shops for their dress, but even more notably, our boutiques have begun to make a name for themselves—and the area—as a Southeastern hub for wedding attire. “Over 70% of our brides are from out of town; only some of them are getting married here,” Dave points out. In a single weekend, she adds, they saw brides from New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Jacksonville, and Lafayette. She often caters to customers from Charlotte, Knoxville, Raleigh, and Atlanta—cities traditionally considered more voguish than our own.
But demand comes at a cost, and for bridal studios that’s usually a harried timeline. “I think the biggest misunderstanding about this business in general is the timeframe,” argues Dave. “A dress is not fabricated until it’s ordered, so a lot of people are not giving themselves enough time.” Both Dave and Weinstock recommend brides begin the hunt eight months to a year before their wedding date; for Nyanga, four to five months are necessary to create a custom dress.
Because so much weight still lies in the importance of The Dress, bridal boutiques also find themselves in a vortex of emotional brides. “There is a lot of expectation put on bridal shops and bridal consultants to create this magical experience for our customers, and anything short of perfection is not a viable option for our customers,” Weinstock adds. Yet the blushing brides largely outweigh the bridezillas, their happiness buoying the industry of their dresses, and every boutique boasts stories of eleventh hour fittings and fairytale dresses.
When asked why our region is garnering such accolades and audience on the wedding circuit, most vendors’ response included a phrase similar to Dave’s: “Every time you look around, somebody’s opened up another fabulous venue.”
Brides and grooms are saying their “I dos” on mountaintops and in caves, on hay-covered barn floors and in glassy, modern halls. No longer are couples relegated to church aisles and conference room receptions as venues of all sizes, shapes, and styles open to appeal to new, unique tastes. Oftentimes, that spectrum of venues is available in a single business: The Omni Grove Park Inn can host four weddings almost simultaneously, and Biltmore Estate will soon provide ten venues. “We offer so many different venues that brides are realizing we have different options for so many types of weddings, from intimate gatherings to grand celebrations,” says Biltmore’s senior catering services manager Ashley Gardner.
Despite the number of venues that dot our hills, the market is still far from saturated. In the heat of spring and fall wedding seasons, Fletcher’s scenic Taylor Ranch still hosts multiple weddings weekly; the Omni Grove Park Inn welcomes some 70 couples annually; and Biltmore sees 180 weddings unfold on the Estate every year. Most venues are booked months to two years in advance as the wedding industry continues to boom, with tastings and plannings scheduled in the interim.
Further proof that the market retains cushioned margins for growth lies in the vendors’ proclamations of collaboration and community over competition. “I am pushing 20 years in the industry, and I think the major shift has been in the amount of venues opening in our area. Some may view it as competition, but to me it is just a sign of the growth in our area,” says Ashley Oliver, owner of Taylor Ranch. “Our wedding industry is so amazing, and we all work together to make sure each bride gets the perfect location. There are only so many days in a year or wedding season, and we all work together to refer each other (when our own dates are reserved) with the end goal of all of the local venues to have successful seasons.”
The sheer number of venues may seem a disadvantage, but every venue offers something unique to their couples, like Biltmore’s striking façade, or Taylor Ranch’s Texas Longhorn cattle.
Another selling point of many venues is full-service packages. Taylor Ranch’s full-service includes tables, chairs, linens, and decor, plus services like set-up, clean-up, and food and beverage. That also necessitates a larger staff: coordinators, event captains, catering staff, bartenders, totaling six to ten employees per wedding.
For even larger venues like Biltmore, being a full-service venue is a massive industry within an industry. “Our events touch almost every department,” explains Garner, “from our landscaping team keeping the grounds of our event spaces in top-shape, to room service assisting with welcome bags and our hotel teams caring for family and friends during their stay, our in-house pastry team that creates custom wedding cakes, to our culinary teams preparing incredible food, ticket agents helping guests experience the Estate, drivers are getting guests from A to Z, and,of course, our banquet teams who execute all aspects of the event itself.”
Weddings aren’t just ceremonies, they’re parties—and all good parties need good tunes. For some couples that means a live band, for others a DJ, but for all, another expense.
Though wedding bands and singers were punchlines for decades, Jim Arrendell, of local wedding band The Business (profiled in the November 2017 issue of this magazine), argues that the stigma of playing in such a band is shifting. It’s a perspective he can attest to, not just as a member of such a musical troupe, but as the booking agent for EastCoast Entertainment, managing more than 100 full-time wedding bands.
“It used to be that young musicians who were very creative, inspired, etcetera, in their youth, went to retire and die in wedding bands, to tinkle their way through old standards. That started to change 10 to 15 years ago,” Arrendell touts. “In Asheville, we’re such a vibrant, creative music town, and I know a lot of musicians that would not be caught dead in a wedding band because of that stigma. At the same time, I know musicians that five years ago felt the same way, who have gone on to start their own wedding bands. These younger, creative musicians are thrusting creativity into cover bands, and that infusion of creativity is what is changing both the market and the stigma.” Today, Arrendell estimates that eight or nine full-time wedding bands make the rounds in Asheville alone. Like so many other vendor industries, these entertainers find success in their variety, from 13-piece bands to simple trios, with mid-sized bands suiting about 80% of Arrendell’s clients.
The growth of the industry is reflected in Arrendell’s own band, which has performed approximately 40 weddings annually since 2014, opposed to 25 to 30 in the years preceding. His rates also echo that growth: “When we started, we were going for $2,500—some of this comes with experience, some of it is the [growth of the] region, now our going rate is $5,750,” he says. Larger bands on his roster like Party on the Moon cost couples nearly $30,000. “The whole industry has become a lot more savvy when it comes to live music. It was a DJ market almost exclusively, whereas it’s a live band market today.”
Not to say that wedding DJs aren’t experiencing their own heyday, too. Mitch Fortune, owner of DJ service Remix Weddings, has claimed steady growth since he transitioned into the wedding market a decade ago. “The simplest metric for my company is the number of inquiries that we receive. When I started out I would get about 145 email inquiries per year. In the last two years, we have been receiving about 600 inquiries per year, or almost two inquiries per day,” he says.
Like Arrendell, Fortune’s growth is reflected in both an increase in performances and rates: He’s added more DJs to his own roster to accommodate demand and increased his rates to reflect his level of service; the company’s event fees in 2018 average $1,950, with additional add-on services like custom song editing and ceremony music incurring additional costs. As a company, Remix Weddings performs at some 90 weddings annually.
As with the other wedding vendors, entertainers note that though the market has grown, and competition has risen to fill it, their own business hasn’t been negatively affected. “When I started out, there were about ten DJ companies working specifically in this area. Now there are too many to count,” Fortune says. “Even with all the new competition, business isn’t slowing down.”
Entertainers like Fortune and Arrendell still face their own unique sets of challenges. “With weddings you are trying to please everyone from the 90-plus-year-old grandparents to the teenage siblings of the bride and groom. It is a difficult balance to strike,” Fortune points out. “The physical demand, between the driving, loading, and four-hour performance is incredible,” Arrendell adds. Not to mention marketing, promotional materials, and song editing before the weddings are even booked.
Entertainers also face the inestimable challenge of being a personal service, which entails interacting with the bride and groom on an intimate level. Fortune, for example, meets his clients prior to booking to make sure they’re a “good fit.” Because, as he notes, wedding entertainment isn’t just a song, it’s an experience. “I like to tell our clients that our business isn’t music, it is air guitar, sing-alongs, high fives, and fist pumps,” he says. “It is group hugs, spontaneous dance offs, and the occasional spilled drink.”
After the day is done and the fairytale’s final pages float closed, one set of vendors still toils away: photographers and videographers.
“People think I show up to work only on Saturdays, eat cake and dance around, then go home and relax until the next weekend,” laughs Amelia Fletcher, of Amelia Fletcher Photography. “It is much more editing work and administrative tasks than one might think. I spend a lot of time at my computer and work very long days during the busy season trying to get everything done.”
It’s a common sentiment within the creative industry. “There is quite a bit of backend work with this career, more than the time it actually takes to photograph a wedding!” agrees Megan Gielow, of Morningwild Photography. She details daily hours spent covering inquiries, timelines, planning, vendor recommendations, album and print sales, invoicing, contracts, shipments, accounting, blogging, networking, and social media, not to mention the time-intensive requirements of culling and editing thousands of photos (12 to 20 hours for weddings). For videographers, the requirements of editing are arguably even more intense, as clips and moments become movies to last a lifetime. “Managing and running a business is 90% of this job, and the photography is 10%,” adds Gielow.
As a remarkably personal service, part of that 90% includes establishing an emotional connection with clients. For Kathryn Ray of Evergreen Era Films, that begins even before booking. “My inquiry process includes a questionnaire to make sure I am a good fit for them, and it helps me get to know who they are even better. After they fill this out, I will send them my handbook and set up a time to have either a video chat meeting or a meeting in-person to answer any questions and go over any details,” she says. “This way we can get comfortable with each other and I can show up to their wedding feeling more like a friend and not just a random person with a camera in their face. Not all vendors do this, but it’s very important to me as a filmmaker to be able to get honest and comfortable reactions from my couple on the wedding day.”
As for the big day, photographers and videographers often have their hands full, literally and figuratively. Though most operate independently, both Fletcher and Gielow suggest adding second shooters when wedding attendance veers into the hundreds. Gielow’s found a unique solution in her intern program. “My interns train with me all season, receiving one-on-one mentoring weekly and many photography opportunities. I only hire interns that have been in business for a few years, so that they are already incredible photographers and make great second shooters,” she says.
For videographers, on the other hand, a second shooter is often necessary even for smaller ceremonies. “I typically need one other person to help with capturing moments where I can’t be in two places at once (if the couple is getting ready at the same time), for getting a stable baseline shot for the ceremony footage, and for filming Well Wishes clips of the guests while I am filming the couple,” explains Ray. “It helps having an extra set of eyes and hands throughout the day.”
The job of photographers and videographers is, obviously, expansive, lasting long before and after the last sparkler twinkles. The sheer hours invested in photographing a wedding naturally necessitates a hefty price tag. With more than a decade of experience under her belt (or rather, camera strap), Gielow’s packages begin at $4,500 for eight hours of coverage and high-resolution photo files, a number that increases with more hours, albums, and travel. Fletcher, on the other hand, in her fourth year of business, has wedding day packages beginning at $3,200 with an average investment of $3,900.
Videography, despite being more time intensive, garners a lower investment. “People don’t value video as much as photography yet, and they expect to pay less for it, even though it costs a lot more on the back end to be able to create and takes a lot more time to complete,” Ray argues, adding that a lower rate—an average of $2,600 for weddings—is a caveat of being a new business. “The kinds of couples I work with don’t get married at the Biltmore House—they get married in the woods, in backyards, on mountaintops, at summer camps. They don’t usually have the budget to drop a ton of money on their wedding, but they value the emotional memories that video can provide. As with any business, we have to set pricing based upon our ideal client’s abilities.”
Ray also makes a point to create a welcome space for couples often marginalized by the traditional wedding industry, including LGBTQ+ couples. “Finding Catalyst Wedding Co., a print and online publication discussing love, sex, weddings, and marriage for feminists, the LGBTQ community, and woke folk, also helped me to realize that I could come into the industry as a change-maker rather than just another traditional vendor,” Ray explains. “I wanted to create a space where all couples felt welcome, supported, and celebrated in an industry that only seemed to mainly support hetero, white, cis, couples.”
Inclusivity, she points out, isn’t as easy as just accepting clients; it means adjusting vocabularies and perceptions. “I believe that if vendors are going to be serving the LGBTQ+ community, they can’t just do so without doing the research and doing the work on their own preconceived notions. We have to educate ourselves on the community, terminology, and inclusive language to be an inclusive vendor.”
As the photographers and videographers find their footing, they all note an increase in business (Gielow, for example, has marked a revenue growth of about 30% in the past five years). Unlike other vendors, however, photographers and videographers do note a saturation of the local industry. “The wedding photography market has become far more saturated in 10 years, especially with the influx of social media and the accessibility of online education and technology. This, of course, brings down the market as a whole because there are plenty of new, talented photographers that will undercut to get bookings,” Gielow points out, noting the downward trend of income for wedding photography as an industry.
Though it’s the capitalism and sheer workload of photography and videography that often goes unnoticed, the weight and reward of the job lies, as expected, in the intangible. “It was only once I found video and the powerful, emotional reaction it creates that I considered going into weddings,” says Ray. “I’m a big emotions junky, a peacemaker, and an artist. Creating wedding films has allowed me to express all the most honest and heartfelt parts of me while serving people.” Gielow says similarly, “Moments, memories, and relationships are so much more meaningful than perfectly composed images. I love creating art for my couples, and I believe that portraiture is incredibly important. However, the moments with the people we love are cherished the most long after the wedding day is over.”
The question is not whether the regional wedding industry has grown—the proof lies in the numbers—but whether or not it will continue to grow. The projections of most vendors, however, are resoundingly positive. Many cite the continued growth of local tourism, others the addition of more and more venues, others the unmarketable nostalgia of our mountains that draws couples back to the scenes of their childhood camps. Others raise reasons more tangible: “With the growth in the number of venues and vendors,” notes Remix Weddings’ Fortune, “it should help keep the market affordable versus other destination wedding markets, which I think is currently a draw for most of the people choosing to tie the knot here.”
If growth does continue, it will surely come on the wings of collaboration and the tight-knit community of creators who define our local wedding industry. Nearly all these entrepreneurs find support both interdisciplinarily—Fletcher mentioned an annual holiday party for local wedding photographers—and within the industry as a whole.
“A lot of [the success of the industry] has to do with the vendor community in Asheville,” says Biltmore Catering’s Gardner.
“We’re all close, even from different venues and trades, such as photographers and planners. We’ve all grown together, and there is something very appealing about that. We can look at some of the weddings that all of us have been a part of from 10 years ago and you can actually see the progression—we’re all stepping it up a notch each year.”
Best Guest Tips for Wedding Attendees
It’s officially wedding season, and for most of us that means gowns and tuxes, cocktail dresses and suits—or is more casual attire admissible? We asked the experts of the industry to divulge their insider guest tips so you can get through the season snafu-free.
Some brides don’t mind, but it used to be years ago, you never wore black to a wedding. Always ask the bride’s permission if you’re choosing a champagne, ivory, gold, any neutral colors, or black.
-Juli Dave, Wedding Inspirations
Confidence is what makes someone look their best. You can wear a super-simple, even a super-cheap outfit, but if it fits you well and makes you walk proud and tall, without trying to hide yourself, you will look amazing. Also, tropical prints and lots of color is in right now!
-Tara Nyanga, Sugarcane Studios
I would say to make a point to sign the guest book or whatever the couple may be using as a guest book/memoir. The DJ, band, or emcee will announce this several times during the night, but make sure you actually take the time to do it. This can be easily overlooked and is something the couple will forever cherish.
-Ashley Oliver, Taylor Ranch
RSVP! RSVP! RSVP! And if at all possible, avoid calling or texting the bride and groom the day before the wedding or the day of—they’re busy getting ready for the big event!
-Ashley Gardner, Biltmore Catering
Don’t be afraid to say something on camera for a well-wishes film. It is your chance to spread some love or some laughter with the couple—just have fun with it and be who you are!
-Kathryn Ray, Evergreen Era Films
Put your phone away during the ceremony. Be present and take in the magic of a couple promising to be together for the rest of their days. It’s a magical moment that gets lost in iPhone photos. Not to mention, it usually blocks the couple and ruins their professional photos.
-Megan Gielow, Morningwild Photography
The biggest thing is to come prepared to let loose and have a good time.
-Jim Arrendell, The Business Music
Is this misleading because it jumps straight from GPI figures to TR quote?
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