Biltmore Estate Wedding



Featured: Brides | Venue: The Biltmore Estate, Diana | Event Planner: Asheville Event Co | Florist: Philosophy Flowers | Photography: Almond Leaf Studios | Cinematography: Almond Leaf Studios | Wedding Dress: Lihi Hod | Wedding Dress Overskirt: Marchesa | Shoes: Shoes: Aminah Abdul Jillil Bow Flat in Pink | Hair: Love, Daisy | Makeup: Blush | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Alfred Sung | Groom’s attire: Hugo Boss | Groomsmen’s attire: Generation Tux | Ceremony Music: Cafe String Quartet | Reception Music: The New Royals | Catering and Cake: Biltmore Catering | Invitations: Atheneum Creative | Engagement Ring: Blue Nile | Bride’s Wedding Bands: Suzanne Kaplan | Departure Vehicle: Elite Limousine



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From the Bride …

We met in the fall of our freshman year of college at Miami University in 2005. We lived in the same dorm, and Alex made a point to introduce himself to all the ladies. It wasn’t quite love at first sight, but after three years of being friends, we finally started dating in the fall of our senior year.

 We got engaged in August of 2015. When we first started dating, Alex wooed me in part by making a habit of bringing me breakfast in bed. For our engagement, he brought the old tradition back, with a tray of treats from Dominique Angel Kitchen, fresh flowers, and of course, the ring. Having just woken up, I was totally taken by surprise. It was a very sweet nod to our past.

Because our friends and family are sprinkled across the country, we knew we wanted a location that provided a great excuse for a long weekend getaway. I went to camp for years outside of Asheville, and so knew just how charming Asheville was. After we settled on the city, we were blown away by the beauty of Diana, set back in the woods overlooking the estate and mountain. We loved that it was already breathtaking, but also a blank slate so that we could take it in any direction.

The tables had a mix of sequined, rosette and matte camel satin tablecloths. Rather than more traditional floral arrangements, Kelly created a custom 30′ suspended floral chandelier, and matched that with 6 additional box chandeliers with floral accents. The tables had floral table runners and taper candles. Over the dance floor, there was a ring chandelier with garland. The whole tent had a magical glow from the candles and soft lighting.

Okay, let’s rewind…

I lived so much of my life focused on the things that I or the world perceived to be missing (money, jobs, relationships, etc.) that I’ve been programmed to make myself wrong before I ever give myself the grace to be right. From the days I was just a child striving to do everything right all the way to the days I started navigating entrepreneurship and parenthood, I’ve looked for the lack… for those things that are missing. 

I’ve constantly told myself that, even when I’m incredibly proud of myself, that there’s some undercurrent of “I should have done that earlier” or “I missed the mark on that.” I spent years having an incredibly difficult time celebrating myself, and I spent even more years than that refusing to celebrate myself, too.

It took a big toll on me — and if you’re like me or a lot of my fellow entrepreneurs and students, it’s taken a big toll on you, too… even if you don’t realize it.

But, here’s the thing: our subconscious is the smartest thing about us, and it’s tuned in to each detail of our day. And, even though our subconscious is brilliant, we can trick it by constantly telling it that we are living the most beautiful, magical, wonderful lives in existence.

By bragging.

Where bragging fits into your daily self-care

I’d imagine that, even reading this, you’re feeling quite a bit of resistance around the word bragging — right? Most of us grew up in that pattern of lack and negativity by being told that bragging was selfish and that it was a practice we shouldn’t make a habit of.

But, I’ve gotta tell you… bragging isn’t selfish. In fact, it will, quite literally, change your life. And, of course, I don’t mean bragging to the world that your life is better than yours. I just mean bragging to yourself that your life is so much better than you could ever have imagined.

I mean bragging that you woke up and the sun was twinkling outside of your window.

I mean bragging that you managed to pick the absolute perfect playlist to work to today.

I mean bragging that you booked your biggest client yet.

I mean bragging that you feel good about yourself today.

I mean bragging that you don’t feel so good about yourself today, but that you showed up anyways.

I mean that, every single day — without fail — you speak out loud the things you can brag about, and that you stop making your life and your story and your experiences wrong. That you celebrate them.

So, here’s your bragging challenge…

For the next 30 days, I want you to vocalize the things you’re proud of, grateful of, and happy about — and I want you to brag about them. Even when you don’t want to, even when you’re exhausted, and even when you don’t feel particularly proud or grateful or happy, I want you to brag.

(Psst… when 30 days passes, you won’t want to stop.)

This is something I’ve been doing a lot on Voxer with my business besties, and it’s been so incredibly freeing to let people witness me in these moments of wild gratitude and thankfulness… even for the tiniest things, and even when I don’t want to speak them out loud at all. If you’re not comfortable bragging out loud to someone else (though I’d challenge you to ask yourself why), that’s okay! Voice note your brags, journal them, or simply meditate through them on a morning walk.

This intentional bragging breaks you out of the cycle of constantly noticing the negative. Bragging — out loud  — shocks you out of the hyperawareness you’re likely feeling of all the things you’ve done “wrong,” and triggers you to jump straight into gratitude instead. And, here’s a reminder: these do not have to be huge, big, massive brags, either. There are some days where I brag that I didn’t work out today, and I was okay with it; that I got to snuggle with my 2 year-old at 3:00 AM; that the Japanese maple outside of my window is rustling in the wind; that I raised my rates and stuck to them, that I’m simply alive.

Because, my friend, that simple act of being alive is worth so much more than we give it credit for. It deserves a brag.

So brag that you’re alive today. And then brag tomorrow, too.


Daily inspiration to remind you that business gets to be easy and fun, creating the life of your dreams.