You will never hear us say that shooting in the Magic Kingdom (especially on a crowded and hot day) is easy. BUT most of the couples we have been fortunate enough to do engagement sessions for there, have made it such a good time – and so very worth it! One such couple is Gabby + Ryan 🙂 They couldn’t have be any sweeter or more easy going. Thanks for making our job such a breeze you two!

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Meet Amy + Brandon (and of course Beast!). Individually they are smart, sweet and beautiful people – but together they are perfection. We couldn’t have asked for a better couple to explore Boston with. After getting to spend some time with these two, we have no doubt that their October wedding at Bella Collina will be nothing short of amazing.

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Interview with the incredible Joey + Jason:
HOW DID YOU MEET? We met while we were both working at the local movie theater, Movies at the Lake, thirteen years ago.
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU THE MOST TO YOUR HUSBAND/WIFE? Jason: I thought she looked cute in the bow tie and vest uniform she had to wear at Movies at the Lake.
Joey: It was so long ago, but I’d have to say he was always so easy to talk to and once I realized that maybe he liked me, that was it for me.
HOW DID HE PROPOSE? He proposed on Christmas morning after we had finished having our Christmas (opening presents), before heading over to our parents’ houses to celebrate and do presents with them.
WHAT INSPIRED YOUR VISION FOR YOUR WEDDING? Our immediate families are the only ones that live nearby and we really wanted to have a wedding where we’d actually have the opportunity to see everybody and spend some time with all of our guests. So when we found Hawkesdene it was perfect because we’d get to have a four-day/three-night wedding instead of just a 6-hour ceremony/reception. We each got to kind of have a family reunion.
TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR VENUE: I think I was looking online for a videographer when I came across a video from a wedding at Hawkesdene. The video led me to their website and the rest is history. We went up for a site visit and Rob & Phil were so welcoming and hospitable and the grounds were amazing. There was no question after that about where we wanted to get married.
WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST PLANNING CHALLENGE? We planned the wedding ourselves and then brought in a planner/coordinator to help handle the weekend and wedding. I think the biggest challenge was finding our vendors. With us both working and going to school full time it was a challenge to find the time and having a destination wedding didn’t make it any easier. We found some vendors over the summer, a year before our wedding, and it wasn’t until December (six months out) that we realized we didn’t have our officiant, our flowers, our cake, or our DJ/entertainment. So we planned a last-minute trip right after New Year’s and were able to nail down the last remaining big-ticket vendors. There were others, like our coordinator and hair/makeup that were booked a little closer to the date. We ended up with fantastic vendors.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE DESIGN ELEMENT OF YOUR WEDDING? We had our wedding coordinator drape fabric inside the outdoor pavilion on the estate and she hung some white lanterns of various sizes that we’d purchased. The pavilion was gorgeous to begin with – it had chandeliers, a fireplace, etc. – but the draping and lanterns gave it just that little something extra to make it stand out.
DID YOU HAVE ANY DIY DETAILS? Jason picked out all of our ceremony/reception music and I loved every single song. We also knew exactly what kind of music we wanted the DJ to play and he really did a fantastic job. We had also printed out some personal photos of our families to have on our welcome table. We had photos of our grandparents to remember those no longer with us. All of the photos were placed in pinecones and really added a cute touch to the table. We also wrote our own vows, which I loved. I thought it added a really personal touch to the day.
WHAT WAS THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT OF YOUR WEDDING DAY? Jason: The most memorable moment was the moment I was finally able to see Joey. When I heard her music come on, I knew she’d be walking down and I had to wait 5-10 seconds before I saw her come past the barn and behind everyone to then come down the aisle. Everyone says your wedding day goes by so fast but those moments seemed to last so long for me.
Joey: I agree the walk down the aisle was memorable, but I’d have to say the entire ceremony was my favorite part of the day. While I don’t recall every word that was spoken, I certainly remember the feelings I had and some of my favorite parts of our vows.
DESCRIBE YOUR CAKE: Hmm, where to start. It was three tiers, more like cylinders rather than round (each tier was tall). The top and bottom tiers had mint green leaves and vines, there was a grey braiding between the tiers and the middle tier had a sort of trellis design pattern on it. There were white sugar flowers on the side and top of the cake. We had lemon pound cake with cream cheese frosting and strawberry filling and a tier of blackberry marble pound cake with the same cream cheese frosting.
HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER? Horrible, no good, very bad day…just kidding (real answer below)
Jason and Sara were wonderful to work with. They were the first vendor we booked after finding our venue. Our photographs were one of our top priorities. We were lucky to be able to also have them photograph our engagement shoot. We were a little nervous about how the experience would go, neither one of us particularly likes posing for pictures and we knew from their style of work that it didn’t seem like that would be what we’d getting into and it wasn’t. Jason and Sara are so easy to work with, you’re not self-conscious because at times you don’t feel like they’re even taking any pictures, they make you laugh and have fun with it. It’s easy to feel comfortable around them. They are so friendly and professional and their work is phenomenal. We’d recommend them to anyone.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND AS A COUPLE? Now that we have finished school and no longer have a wedding to plan, we are for the immediate future looking forward to relaxing and seeing a bit more of each other. We’re looking forward to getting back out and boating on the lake this summer, having the time to go to shows again, etc.
CAN YOU PLEASE LIST YOUR VENDORS:
Venue: Hawkesdene House (Andrews, NC) www.hawkesdene.com
Officiant: Pastor George Simmons (St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Andrews, NC)
Flowers: Occasions Unlimited (Murphy, NC)
Cake: Artista Cakes (Asheville, NC)
Hair/Makeup: Cody Pettry (Asheville, NC)
Wedding Planning/Coordinating: Carmen at Shay Brown Events (Asheville, NC)
DJ: Alex DJ Entertainment (Andrews, NC)
Band: Blue Wheel Drive (Asheville, NC)
Videography: Caravan Cinema (Charlotte, NC)
Groom’s/Groomsmen’s Suits: Brooks Brothers
Bridal gown: Classic Bride & Formals (Cornelius, NC)
Bridesmaid dresses: Classic Bride & Formals (Cornelius, NC)
T-shirts: Shirts by Sarah (Syracuse, NY)
Favors: Goodell Family Farm (Mantua, OH)
Stationary/Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas
Graphic Designer: Mary Bossenberger (Charlotte, NC) bittersweetcross@ymail.com
Wedding website: Wedding Woo

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