Y’all. This wedding was A-MAZ-ING. I love a colorful wedding and I love the NC mountains, so give me a colorful North Carolina mountain wedding and I am in heaven. Alicia & Jon found Big Butte Retreat on VRBO and knew it would be perfect for their wedding. This past weekend, Alicia & Jon, their friends and family, and a few adorable dogs descended upon Big Butte Retreat, a set of houses nestled in the Appalachians in Canton, North Carolina. The day started with a cookout and ended under the stars. The cake topper was a dinosaur couple. And did I mention there were dogs?
If you’re planning something a little untraditional and would prefer to make your wedding a weekend vacation for your loved ones, HERE IS YOUR INSPIRATION!!!
Also, if you’re planning this type of awesome wedding and you live near Durham, NC, you should come to The Love Party Wedding Expo on August 12th at Motorco! It’s free, but you should definitely RSVP for swag bags 😀
And now, pics cause it happened:
Jon’s mom made Alicia’s bouquet and Jon’s boutonniere from wildflowers growing on the property. HOW PERFECT IS THAT?!?!?
If you were paying close attention, you spotted Doggo #1, who belongs to the couple’s friend and officiant Garver.
And now for Doggos #2 and #3, the newlyweds’ four-legged family members. The gentle doberman is Hera and the huggable scruffmuffin is Wednesday. They’re totally my besties now.
This Budweiser cowboy hat came with the property 😀
When Alicia told me she was getting ready in “The Butterfly Room,” I wasn’t expecting this amazing wallpaper! But it’s a perfect match for the mountain princess vibe she was rocking. And just wait for the real life butterfly who graced her later.
After Alicia finished writing her vows, she headed up to the little bamboo grove (seriously, Big Butte Retreat has everything) for a first look with Jon, who was waiting after donning his own finery.
This. This is why I love first looks. They got to have a quiet moment to love on each other. And even if you have a small guest list like Jon & Alicia, it’s still nice to have some time for just the two of you.
We headed up to the cabin at the ceremony site for the two to exchange letters…
… and we had some time for a few more portraits among the mountaintops before guests started hiking up for the ceremony.
Alicia went to hide while Jon greeted the guests (and got his bout. from his mom).
And then it was time to tie the knot. The personal vows they exchanged overlooking the mountains were so beautiful and everyone was in tears of joy over the love.
Signing the marriage license is serious business. That’s why John Wayne is there.
Then back down the mountain for the party!
Soooo I think I have a new favorite ring shot. The dinosaurs have crowns!! They are the dino monarchs!! Another important detail was the bug spray 😀
Flower crowns for everyone!
Yeah. That actually happened. A butterfly landed on the bride and they had a moment. Another one found it’s way to my apron:
Jon’s family started off dinner with a toast to the newlyweds, and then it was chow time. Everyone enjoyed their Dickey’s barbeque on pond-side quilts.
Isn’t this a great looking family? I love that Jon’s mom Sheila rocked a flower crown. His sister Laura has the next wedding – she and Rita are getting married in just under a year!
And then sometimes, you have to interrupt family portrait time for some impromptu dancing.
Wednesday & Hera came over for some portraits with their mom & dad. NEW RULE: Every bride gets puppy kisses during the reception!
I stole them away for a minute to play in the creek. That water was COLD y’all!
When we got back, Alicia had the prettiest flower crown waiting!
As blue hour arrived and darkness settled in, cake was cut and toasts were given.
And as night fell, Alicia & Jon shared their first dance. They seriously look like they stepped out of a fairytale.
The rest of the night included some more dancing, banana puddin’, fireflies, and snuggles on quilts.
Shoutout to John for making this amazing image of Jon & Alicia. LOVE IT.
A heartfelt thank you from the couple and father of the groom Rick relaxing with his grandkids back in the cabin.
But wait, they were willing to head back up the mountain with us for some portraits under the night sky. Wedding portraits under the stars were at the top of my “want to shoot this” list and I’m so grateful to this couple for rocking it. How perfect is Alicia’s twirl.
We said goodnight after this, but I imagine the party kept going with everyone staying on the property. Alicia & Jon still managed to wake up and meet us at Looking Glass Falls the next morning for another portrait session. I’ll share more of that soon, but here’s a teaser: