Saturday, April 30, 2011

2011-April 29-May 1st to the Biltmore Estate for Emily and Brian's wedding:

I didn't just get to attend their wedding, I was also their professional photographer!  Over the years I've had the opportunity to photograph some really fun weddings---everything from one in the back yard of my son and daughter-in-law's house, to one on a Southern California beach, to this one here at the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina---not to mention many church weddings around St. Louis!  No--I don't do weddings for a living, but I've had lots of friends and family and friends of family ask me to take their pictures.  Emily and Brian happen to be friends of my daughter.  She went to college at K-State with Brian and she later met Emily at the Architecture firm she worked for after college.  She even convinced Brian that he wanted to come work there---where she introduced him to Emily. 
So why did they pick the Biltmore for their wedding?  Emily was the architect for much of Antler Village at the Biltmore!  Brian also did the museum there in Antler Village.  They're the architects of many interesting places (like Sea Worlds and other tourist areas), so it was fitting that they had a destination wedding to one of the places they worked at.  With all the time they've spent at the Biltmore, they know everyone and everything about the estate.  I was definitely spoiled!!!  Starting with the trip to the Biltmore in Oct. of 2010 when they were finalizing wedding stuff---like cake tasting, ordering flowers, checking out the venues.   I had never been to the Biltmore before. What a way to see it for the first time---with personal guides.  Emily even took care of getting permission for me to photograph their wedding.   

April 29, 2011:

So in late April, Ken and I drove from St. Louis to Alpharetta, Georgia, where our daughter was living and on the 29th of April, I rode up to the Biltmore with Angie and Josh. 
View of the Biltmore house from the mountains nearby.
I was shocked when I saw the room Emily put me up in for the 2 nights we were there!  It was in the Inn On Biltmore Estate.  One of their 2 luxury accommodations.  I can certainly see why!

Emily even left a bag of goodies there for me.
View from my room!
 and another
 AFter unpacking, I took a walk around the area.  The pool looked really inviting, but I imagine it was pretty cold in April. 

 heading back to the Inn

 a lounge inside the Inn.
 Angie and Josh dressed up and ready to start celebrating.
 Since they had to pay for their accommodations, they stayed in the Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate.  It was a couple hundred dollars a night less expensive, but still very nice. 
First order of business was the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner.  The bride and groom had dinner set up for the guests that had arrived already.  It was at Antler Village on the outside area of Cedrics.  There was a carving station, another station for cooked to order pastas, ...
 and even a nice dessert spread.
And, of course, lots of Biltmore beverages.
 It was a fun time.
Cedrics and the outdoor balcony area.

April 30, 2011:

The big day had arrived, with lots of things packed into it: High Tea, wedding photos around the estate, the wedding, and the reception.   
But first, I woke to this amazing view from my bedroom window. 

 a short while later
 Emily (or her folks?) had set up a High Tea for the Grandmothers, mothers, maid of honor, and Angie and me--- in restaurant in the Inn.  I've only been to a couple High Teas, and this one certainly lived up to it's name! 

 made for a great breakfast!
Since the wedding was in the evening, we did pictures around the estate in the afternoon.
Getting ready
 a photo representative of the period of time the house was built.

 It was a small, but beautiful wedding.

Then we were off to Lions Crest where the reception was held.
 The 5 course dinner was delicious!
 The happy couple having the first dance.
The party went on for a few hours.  I don't think any of us left until after 11pm.  It was a long, tiring day---but a beautiful one that I won't ever forget!

May 1, 2011:

We were on our own now.  So we did some touristy things before we left---like tour the house.
 Parked at the upper lot and walked down The Vista --- Angie and Josh leading the way

 The Italian gardens to the SE side of the house

 heading down the steps from the Vista
 almost to the house
 love the exterior of the grand staircase.
 View from the back patio.

 one of the many gargoyles.
 The back patio
 one of the many grotesques.
 The huge patio to the south where concerts are held.
 looking out towards The Vista from the Grand Staircase.
 No pictures of the inside of the house.  I don't think they were allowed---although when I went back with my daughter and daughter-in-law to the Biltmore in 2017, it was allowed. 
AFter touring the house, we wandered the grounds a bit.
 Azaleas were in bloom throughout the property.

 Even checked out some of the other areas of the Estate, like here at Trout lake.
 marveled at the old bridges with their unique character.
 Even got to check out a waterfall on property.

It was a short trip, but we packed a lot into it!  I'm so glad I got to participate in Emily and Brian's wedding.  They certainly are a fantastic couple!