- Joe & Jennifer
The Vineyards at Betty's Creek: Erin + Josh
If you’ve never been to The Vineyard’s at Betty’s Creek about an hour west of Asheville, do yourself a favor, go! They cater to corporate retreats, reunions, and family vacations, but they have really built an amazing reputation for weddings in the past few years! Between their authentic lodges, breathtaking views, and beautiful scenery, it leaves little to be desired from a wedding venue! Coming into this wedding we never got a chance to meet Josh and Erin in person as they lived out of town, but to hear the vision for their wedding day and knowing that we would have our first opportunity to shoot at wedding at The Vineyards of Betty’s Creek, we were ecstatic! Not to mention we would have the opportunity to work with one of the best wedding planners in the Asheville area in Michelle LaCosse from Party Envy!
Our plan was to arrive early and get an idea of the layout, lighting, set up our standalone equipment and get a feel for the day. As we approached the property, we were impressed from the get go with their welcoming entrance! Funny story, as I hopped out of the car to take these on our way in, my camera was equipped with my 50mm lens (one of my favorites). One of the shots I was going for required me to back up as you zoom in and zoom out with your feet when it comes to fixed lenses. I stepped backwards quickly in excitement and Betty’s Creek almost claimed her first victim of the day as I slid down the small ravine only to be saved by my cat like reflexes (just kidding). From here we made our way into the property and were greeted by the beauty that is The Vineyards at Betty’s Creek. From the ceremony site, which we saw in the distance, to the thoughtful layout and landscape, we could hardly contain ourselves as we started to navigate the property to find Erin and Josh.
After dropping Jenny off at the Betty's Cellar with Erin and her close family and friends, I made my way up the hill to start snapping some décor photos and scenery. The open pavilion that served as the main reception area was brilliant in design. Being that we had a particularly cold day especially with the wind factored in, the window/walls slide down from the pavilion ceiling and were perfectly integrated into the architecture. This allowed plenty of beautiful light to come light up the reception area. You also have a striking view of the smoky mountains from the reception hall. The from the front porch area on the pavilion, the view is even better!
While I was taking in all the scenery and design, Jenny was with Erin and documenting the getting ready process. Erin was as cool as they came for brides on their wedding day. Happy, but calm, a sense of graceful sureness that this was how her wedding day was supposed to be.
Over at the Dunkard Barn Lodge, Josh was helping his two beautiful children get ready. After reading a letter from Erin, it would soon be time to get ready for their first look. At this point in the day, the sun was a little harsh so I was assessing the property to find a scenic spot with nature that Erin had requested but also trying to make sure the lighting, set up, and composition of capturing the first look would unfold smoothly. After a few minutes of searching, I found the spot! It was perfect! The location allowed Erin to approach Josh romantically down the stepping stones to the creek surrounded by lush greenery. Jenny and I were both able to be there and just let the action unfold. You could feel the butterflies as Erin approached (we may have been almost as excited as Josh! Lol). Once Erin embraced Josh in a loving cuddle, Josh turned around to be greeted by the most beautiful bride. His face was a genuine reminder of the emotion present on a wedding day and why we love doing what we do!
After taking it all in and grabbing a few family photos, it would soon be time to make our way to the ceremony.
One of the coolest things about smaller intimate weddings like Josh & Erin’s is there is a good chance that everyone knows each other. You gained the sense that this was not just a wedding, but truly a celebration in which their closest loved ones came together for a fun evening. The plum tree where the ceremony site was set was in full bloom and made for a splendid centerpiece for this intimate ceremony already set in the middle of so much natural beauty. Erin and Josh would soon say I do and take the first few steps on their journey to forever, happily might I add :)
Of course, as with most weddings, one of our favorite parts of the day was upon us! Couples portraits with Erin and Josh as their loved ones made their way back up to the pavilion for cocktail hour. It’s probably an overused expression but there’s no better way I can think to say it, Erin and Josh were naturals! They were so comfortable with each other and we tried to channel this playful connection more and more throughout our time with them. They had so much fun together which is truly what it is all about on your special day. Before you knew it, the sun setting and it was time to head to the reception where more action would soon unfold!
Erin and Josh had a wonderful first dance! The choreography combined with their naturally joyful expressions made for quite a few magic moments as their families cheered them on. Prior to the first dance, they practiced one time after the first look before the family photos and I’m glad we decided to follow them as capturing these two floating around on the dance floor effortlessly was one of the highlights of my day! Afterwards, Erin had a addressed her family and friends with a very thoughtful reading to about Mindful Eating which set the tone for the evening and allowed everyone to be present and just enjoy this moment.
After the amazing meal provided by Lulu’s on main, the party got started! Erin, Josh, and their loved ones were taking it to another level! Everybody got in on the fun! The night was capped off with a custom illuminated exit, but just prior to that was one of the most memorable last dances we’ve ever been apart of! Slowly everyone gathered together and before you know it, everyone there formed a circle. Arms around each other, feet kicking, music soothing, and what’s even cooler for us, Jenny and I got to get in on the fun (thanks guys!!!).
Erin and Josh had a spectacular wedding in every way possible. Between the beautiful setting at The Vineyard’s at Betty’s creek. The love shared between these two, and the obvious love between for their family and friends, this one will surely go down as one of our favorite weddings and we are so glad we got to be a part of this day. Big thank you to The Vineyard’s at Betty Creek team and Michelle at Party Envy for making this day as smooth and as pretty as possible and the vendors below for their big roles in helping make these days come to life!
Lulu's on Main
Thank you for following along on Josh and Erin’s wedding day!
-Joe & Jenny