Some say love takes you to new heights, and when you marry in the country's highest town (elevation 5506 feet), there's no denying it. For college sweethearts Abby Fernandez and Julian Hollar, their May 28, 2011, nuptials highlighted the natural surroundings of Beech Mountain, North Carolina, with touches of their eclectic style.
The Beech Alpen Inn on Beech Mountain, where the bride and her family have been vacationing since she was a small child, offered breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. "The inn is about a seven-minute drive from our house," Abby said. "It just seemed like the perfect place."
Abby, following in her mother's footsteps, wore her grandmother's wedding dress. With slight alterations, the gown (originally made in 1949) became the bride's dream dress. She accessorized it with shoes from Dyeables (embellished with DIY fabric flowers) and Mikimoto pearls given to her by Julian on their first anniversary.
Peggy Mendel of Pearl's Garden created the floral elements of the day, including the bride's bouquet of hydrangeas, roses, freesia, stock, and cotton. It was finished off with skinny picot-edged ribbons.
Abby made lockets for each of her attendants to show them her love, gratitude, and appreciation. Each locket read "I love you for your [attribute]." Abby selected a trait she admired in each one of the girls -- be it humor, joy, creativity, dependability, encouragement, generosity, acceptance, or strength, and included it inside.
During the ceremony, Abby's brother read Romans 12:9-13, and Julian's sister recited an excerpt from the book "Captivating" by John and Stasi Eldredge: "Now -- can you see how the desires of a man's heart and the desires of a woman's heart were at least meant to fit beautifully together? A woman in the presence of a good man, a real man, loves being a woman. His strength allows her feminine heart to flourish. His pursuit draws out her beauty. And a man in the presence of a real woman loves being a man. Her beauty arouses him to play the man; it draws out his strength. She inspires him to be a hero."
Flower girls Lauren and Claire, both cousins of the groom, carried a banner of pennant flags that read "Here Comes the Bride." Originally a garland made by bridesmaid Kate Grigsby for Abby's bridal shower, it was adapted for the ceremony by wedding planner Ashley Baber of Ashley Baber Weddings.
Lavender -- grown by Julian's father -- was packaged in sachets made by the groom's maternal grandmother, who lives in France. Ribbons printed with the couple's names and wedding date tied them closed. The sachets were placed under a handmade garland. Abby created it by covering letters with fabric remnants left over from the reception area's bunting.
Photography: Heidi Geldhauser of Our Labor of Love
Rentals: Boone Rent-All
Location: Beech Alpen Inn
Entertainment: Haynes Event Productions
Wedding Planning: Ashley Baber Weddings
Flowers: Peggy Mendel of Pearl's Garden
Headpiece: Oh My Deer
Officiant: Pastor Carl Clawson of Banner Elk Christian Fellowship
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