There’s something exciting about exploring a city, whether it’s a first visit or a stroll down memory lane. Every corner contains something new to discover, the bustle in the streets infuses passersby with a communal energy, and the shared experience with your forever person creates a memory that won’t soon be forgotten. If you immediately flashed back to a wonderful trip you took or can’t wait to plan your next city excursion, this Spring City-Walk Elopement in Downtown Asheville is for you.
When we set out to design this elopement inspiration styled shoot, we imagined a couple wanting to spend the day in their favorite city, visiting multiple businesses for different parts of their wedding celebration. This elopement style could be great for just the couple, but guests could easily be added to any or all of the day. Our model couple, real-life husbands Brandon & Davie, couldn’t have been more perfect, since these Ashevillites shared stories and memories throughout the day as we explored downtown together. Creating the walking map was of utmost importance, finding businesses that were quintessentially “Asheville” and within short walking distances of each other. In all, we visited 5 locations and walked 0.6 miles.
“I’ve adored so many of these people and vendors for so long,” Raven of Raven Shutley Studios says. “Asheville is a place I love visiting and it has so much to offer someone, especially for an elopement. Walking between venues is one of my favorite aspects of a wedding day or session. I love the colors and ideas behind the shoot. I loved the variety of locations!”
Plain With Sprinkles planned the design and decor with a focus on simplicity. With the city-walk aspect, minimal decor allowed us to move the pieces easily and make the most of every flower and detail. Bud vases from Bask Floral Studio were used on cocktail tables at the first location, as well as the dinner table and cake table later in the day. The planner team provided beautiful colored candles, and we had a vibrant Elopement Announcement Postcard created that was infused with the Asheville vibe. The front of the postcard said, “We do, We did, We Eloped!” with their faces, while the back said, “We announce with happy hearts that we exchanged vows in a private ceremony in Asheville, North Carolina, celebrating an intimate beginning of our forever. We appreciate your love and support at this special time in our lives.”
“I loved that Elope NC was sponsoring a styled shoot in my town and wanted to be able to contribute something for an event here,” Gretchen of TwoPeas Postcards says. “It was such a fun event for a fun couple, and I loved that it was able to showcase that doing something new, different, and non-traditional for a wedding is not only okay but encouraged!
Our day started with the gents getting pampered, as all grooms should on their wedding day! Jennifer Pope at Streetcar6 Salon gave them haircuts and styling before they donned their light gray and bold blue suits and walked over to their ceremony. As Brandon & Davie stepped onto the Reverie Asheville patio, they commented, “Oh, we definitely made out in this courtyard, like, 7 years ago.” From there, every location was sprinkled with fun memories of the couple’s life in Asheville.
“I loved the idea behind this – walking around and exploring parts of Asheville,” Chelsi of Summit to Sea Films says. “It’s really cool to be able to show eloping couples that the sky is the limit with what they can do on their wedding day. It’s great for couples who want a different experience for their wedding day but don’t know what their options are.”
Reverie AVL, tucked between Bouchon and Virtue on N Lexington Ave, is a hidden oasis perfect for an intimate gathering. The courtyard patio is perfect for a few ceremony locations, with very minimal setup required in the naturally beautiful space, and the indoor bar and reception space is filled with magical lighting and dried flowers. Although we had a rainy spring day to contend with, the couple and officiant, Happily Ever Asheville, were troopers as we set up in the drizzle. The sun gloriously popped out a few times, and we were thankful that our locations all included indoor options to make planning for weather a breeze. Davie, who wore the gray suit, was adorned with a floral pocket square and gorgeous, natural-cut aquamarine cufflinks set in gold, while Brandon carried a beautiful spring bouquet. The aquamarine cufflinks provided by Spies Designs were 18KY sterling silver, priced at $1,490. Both wore bolo ties, which they also wore on their original wedding day.
Dressed and ready to go, Davie and officiant Amanda of Happily Ever Asheville took their place for the ceremony, in front of a purple-painted wall in the courtyard at Reverie, with little more than the natural trees and hanging lights that are always there. We added a rug and two potted ferns to frame the ceremony, and Brandon walked out, bouquet in hand, to greet his groom. To set an intention for the day, Amanda shared touching words about the symbolism of wedding rings, and the gents exchanged rings and kissed.
A cocktail hour followed, and while we planned to have cocktail tables on the patio, the rain brought us inside the cozy gathering space. There, Reverie set up a beautiful grazing board and sweetheart table, featuring jewel tones and Mr & Mr signs. Reverie mixed up two great craft signature cocktails, Davie’s Pomegranate Spritz, featuring tito’s vodka and pomegranate liqueur with a splash of fresh lemon juice topped with prosecco, and Brandon’s Ginger New Fashioned, featuring woodford reserve and ginger liqueur topped with ginger beer and served over an angostura, orange juice, and cherry infused ice cube.
While the planners packed up the decor to move, we watched for a break in the rain to enjoy a walk up the street to Kress Emporium. Our group slowly made our way through the gallery with different stalls featuring local artists. It was a fun way to explore part of what makes Asheville special and casually enjoy the afternoon.
From there, we walked to The S&W Market for some beer from the Highland Brewing taproom and dinner from Bun Intended. The planners had already arrived, so we walked into a sweetly decorated corner of the mezzanine. A light blue table runner was draped over one of the food hall tables, with candles and bud vases on the table and windowsill, which overlooked Downtown Asheville.
After their elopement dinner, it was time for cake and champagne, so we walked down the street to Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar. While we set up the sweets provided by Karen Donatelli Bakery, Brandon & Davie explored the book stacks. The geode cutting cake was two tiers with white and blue icing that looked like the mountains. The top layer had rock candy, and the cake was on a silver cake stand, accompanied by aquamarine-colored petit fours and macarons topped with rock candy. The grooms enjoyed a first dance, cut the cake and discovered rainbows inside the petit fours, and toasted to their forever.
“This styled shoot showcases the fact that weddings are not, and should not be, one size fits all,” Gretchen says. “Every couple needs to decide what kind of event works best for them and really celebrates them in the way they want to be celebrated.”
The Spring City-Walk Elopement in Downtown Ashevillestyled shoot was sponsored by ElopeNC as elopement inspiration. All featured items and services were graciously donated by the following incredible vendors. The prices listed are estimates provided by the vendors to reflect what a couple could expect to spend on this elopement, with 10 guests in attendance. Total elopement cost: $6,838
Vendors (*ElopeNC member)
*Lead Photographer: Raven Shutley Studios $2750
*Videographer: Summit to Sea Films ($3000 – not included in total)
*Stationer: TwoPeas Postcards $98 for 10 postcards
Planner: Plain with Sprinkles $700
Florist: Bask Floral Studio $700
Salon: Streetcar6 Salon $80
Baker: Karen Donatelli Bakery $500
Officiant: Happily Ever Asheville $500
Attire: bernard’s formalwear $410
Ceremony + Cocktail Venue, Grazing Table and Drinks: Reverie Events Asheville $1100
Art Gallery: The Kress Emporium
Dinner Venue: The S&W Market Asheville
Cake & Champagne Venue: Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar
Cufflinks: Spies Jewelry Design
Food Vendor: Bun Intended