For anyone who hasn’t visited the Blue Ridge Mountains in October, it is a sublime getaway. Fresh, crisp air and a multicolored landscape of lush foliage — it’s like a smorgasbord for the senses. And a lovely setting for a simple destination wedding, if you ask Sharon and Ryan Smith!
The high-school sweethearts attended college together at Virginia Tech. After living on opposite coasts for their respective occupations, they reunited in Virginia and were married in October 2009 in Roaring Gap, North Carolina. Sharon had grown up vacationing in Roaring Gap, where her grandparents had a house; Ryan accompanied her frequently. Moreover, her grandparents, parents and aunt and uncle were all married in a quaint mountainside chapel. Sharon had always dreamt of walking down that same aisle. And she did just that, donning the same veil worn by her grandmother and mother to boot!
When the two started planning their fall wedding, they figured the leaves would be changing in the mountains, but didn’t want to go with the typical autumn colors. Sharon opted for a navy-and-sage color scheme, sweetly keeping her bridesmaids in mind.
“The navy bridesmaid dresses looked great and are a classic color and style that won’t look dated 15 years from now (I hope!)”
Since most of their guests would be traveling and staying for the whole weekend, they wanted the invitations to get everyone excited months in advance. After endlessly searching for mountain-themed invitations online, their florist, Tre Bella, recommended getting in touch with The Green Kangaroo for a custom design. Sharon and Ryan ordered their save-the-dates, pocket invitations, programs and thank you notes from TGK, ultimately pioneering the now fabulously popular Mountain design suite. They felt it was a big part of what made their event unique.
The couple’s closest friends and family totalled about 100, which made it easy for them to spend time with everyone throughout the weekend. All guests were invited to the rehearsal dinner, a lunch on Saturday, cocktail hour, reception, as well as a brunch on Sunday. They wanted the weekend to feel like a real ‘getaway’ and made sure there were plenty of entertaining activities.
Thanks to Sharon’s extensive planning and organizing (she created lists and diagrams for each vendor!) and their day-of coordinator, Kate Price from Tre Bella, the entire affair ran smoothly without a single glitch! The memory Sharon and Ryan hold most dear is seeing all of their guests truly enjoying themselves.
“At one point during the reception, every guest was on the dance floor surrounding Ryan and me – it was a great feeling. It’s amazing to think that all of the important people from our entire lives were together in one place for a weekend to celebrate with us.”
The adorable couple moved back west last spring, but will be returning to Virginia before the year is out. Not too far from the Blue Ridge Mountains either! The ‘Roo Crew wishes them all the best!
All photographs courtesy Kristine Dittmer.
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