A Blue Ridge Mountaintop Wedding

Freshly fallen leaves, the mountains, late night doughnuts, and LOTS of dancing

Alexa, Food Systems Community Organizer & Grayson, Filmmaker

One sentence sum-up of the wedding vibe: The Blue Ridge Mountains, freshly fallen leaves, a celebration of our love and our people, and lots and lots of dancing.

SOUNDTRACK FOR READING: “I’ll Be on the Water” by Akron/Family

A Blue Ridge Mountaintop Wedding | A Practical Wedding (9)

Other Cool Stuff We Should Know About

Our wedding was truly a summation of our love for one another and for the people who constantly fill our lives with joy. We were married on top of a mountain in Bryson City, North Carolina—a little town on the Nantahala River where Grayson’s family has spent summers, holidays, and long weekends for over a decade. We still can’t begin to understand how we’ve been lucky enough to surround ourselves with the most fantastic people in the world—the kind of people who traveled across the country to be with us, who spent hours putting together bouquets and table arrangements the day before the wedding, who danced and laughed and cried with us until five in the morning.

Grayson and I met six and a half years ago when I was a freshman and he was a senior at the University of Kentucky. He proposed to me in our home in Lexington in the middle of the night (in normal Grayson fashion—it’s the only way he can trick me!). He gave me his grandmother’s engagement ring, which she gave to him a few months before she passed.

While planning our wedding, we knew we wanted people to see our personalities in the ceremony and feel like the reception was more of a party than a formal wedding reception. We also wanted our wedding to be a vacation for people, which is why we chose the Nantahala Village Resort as our venue. Our guests stayed in little cabins and the ceremony and reception were all within a five-minute walk down the mountain.

Zac, our officiant and best friend, wrote our ceremony (using many pointers from non-traditional weddings featured on APW!) and Grayson and I wrote our own vows. Our wedding party chose their own outfits and wore boutonnière or carried bouquets put together by hand by my mom, my mom’s best friends, my bridesmaids, and family. On my right hand, I wore the wedding band my paternal grandfather gave to my grandmother on their wedding day in 1954. Our dear friends, Carrie and Matt, played our song, “I’ll Be on the Water” by Akron/Family, as my dad walked me down the aisle. Our friend Katie read A History of Love by Diane Ackerman, and our friend Charlie brought the ceremony to a close on a silly note with a quote by Ogden Nash. After the ceremony, I wore my mother’s grandmother’s fur to keep warm.

Our reception was an immediate celebration—filled with toasts from the ones who know us best, delicious, locally sourced food, late night doughnuts, a bonfire, and LOTS of dancing.

Favorite Thing About the Wedding

Every moment! Celebrating our love with our people. That moment before the ceremony and that moment after.


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  • MisterEHolmes

    That dress is just…amazing. Beautiful photos of such authentic moments! Wow.

    • Laura C

      I have a friend who had that dress and I have been so in love with it since she first showed me the pictures. It’s just stunning.

  • sara g

    That DRESS! My goodness. What a lovely wedding.

  • Sarah E

    Wow, Jonas’ photos really make that look like an enchanted wood. Perfect for the Blue Ridge Mts.

  • scw

    I love how the photos really give off the feel of the day. the text of this post is great, too, but I definitely got the sense of community celebration from the photos before I got to the words. the photo of the bride putting her dress on, surrounded by the women in her life, is beautiful.

  • That photo of Alexa during the ceremony is SO vivid–you know exactly what she’s feeling! Stunning photos of what could only have been an amazing day!

  • Class of 1980

    Yay Blue Ridge Mountains!!! Love that dress.

    Have you been whitewater rafting on the Nantahala yet?

  • Your dress is gorgeous!!

  • Winny the Elephant

    ERMERGAWD that dress!!!!! I’m drooling….

  • jashshea

    That pic of you and your dad – GAAAAAH. So cute.

  • Beth R

    The love is just emanating from every photo! The one of you walking to meet your husband for the first look, the one of your dad walking you down the isle…all of them! So much love! I love how the pictures don’t focus on the story book details but on the connections between everyone surrounding you.

  • ummmmm so I can’t deal with the perfection of that dress. Seriously it’s making me second guess my entire life up to this point. It’s amazing. And as someone from North Carolina, I got so excited to see this at the blue ridge parkway!! I would so be getting married in the NC mountains if we could have two weddings.

    • Nat

      “Seriously it’s making me second guess my entire life up to this point.”

      Took the words right out of my mouth.

  • Aubry

    I just …can’t! Everything is so amazing. The love you can see in every photo is magical – the love for each other, your friends and family, your dad… amazing top to bottom.

  • JenClaireM

    I can’t even handle how gorgeous your dress is! And your photos. I love the color palette in them – it just feels like autumn.

  • Hannahleigh

    I can’t get over how gorgeous the photos are. They are aesthetically beautiful but what I love most is how much emotion and love comes through them!! What a lovely bride

  • Pippa

    That dress is absolutely gorgeous, as are the photos. This is the only wordless wedding that has made me tear up. I love the emotion that spills out of the images.

  • Caroline

    I love seeing the big bridal party! I have been really on the fence about having a tiny or really big bridal brigade (a nice, neat group of 3-4 isn’t the reality of my friends. It’s 1 or 7-8…). It was really helpful to see a picture of a big bridal brigade. Thank you! Also, so beautiful, and I love how much love you can see in these photos!

  • Anne

    Oh my GOD, that DRESS! Your hair! Absolutely gorgeous. I love the parking lot shot– very real moment, ha ha.

  • Daniella

    I love everything about this!! So lovely. I would love to see a “this is how we did it” if the couple would be willing to share…

    • ediblesprysky

      Yes yes yes! I’m also hoping to get married in a small town in western North Carolina, so that would be SO useful and comparable and awesome. There are such logistical questions when a lot of vendors HAVE to come in from out of town, especially when you don’t live there either. And I would love to know how that figured into their budget.

      Anyway, this wedding came out beautifully–congratulations!!!

  • DavidJennifer

    gorgeous dress! The wedding bands are beautiful and the wedding is to good to speak.