An Elegant Spring Wedding at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina
College sweethearts Ashley Lanier (26 and a nursing school student) and Aaron Dunmire (25 and COO of an electrical contracting company) met as students at Wake Forest. Though they now live in Maryland, they returned to the state where they met to tie the knot. “There’s just something about North Carolina,” Ashley says. “It appealed to us because it’s easygoing, relaxing and kind of an escape from the sometimes overwhelming Northeast.” Their wedding at the picturesque Biltmore Estate took on a “rustic French countryside” theme, Ashley says. “Soft design elements create such a romantic and comfortable atmosphere, which we wanted for our friends and family.” Ashley invited a man of honor and six bridesmaids to stand by her side, and Aaron tapped 11 groomsmen for a hilltop ceremony next to the Biltmore’s Diana statue and to the tune of an acoustic guitar. Though Ashley found her gown “picture perfect,” she wanted to be able to party at the reception. Her second look, a short, long-sleeve beaded number, was “fun, yet bridal,” Ashley says. “I felt great in it.” Slate blue, blush and pops of navy brought their style goals to life, while metallic accents made the day feel a bit more formal. “We wanted a super-romantic feel with lots of candlelight,” Ashley says. “The entire evening had such a glow. It embodied the love we feel for each other, family and friends.” Centerpieces with ranunculus, anemone and olive filled vases, and the five-tier cake had alternating layers of vanilla and chocolate with a strawberry buttercream filling. The finishing touch was a topper of roses and eucalyptus. An installation with peonies, delphiniums, rhododendron greenery and spirea hung above the head table. “It made me feel like I had entered a garden,” Ashley says of the tent’s finishing touch. The evening’s comfort-food-focused menu included fried chicken biscuits at cocktail hour, a butter-poached lobster appetizer and a late-night dish of Old Bay–seasoned chips, honoring the pair’s Maryland home.