Thanksgiving Week Recap

And just like that, Thanksgiving and my mother’s trip to Asheville are over.

It’s funny how we spend so much time in anticipation mode, simultaneously stressing out about and looking forward to big events, and how fast they fly by once they’re here.  I feel like we just picked my mom up from the airport and on Monday I was dropping her off again.

Jeff and I will be in New York for Christmas in less than a month so at least we have that to look forward to. Sometimes it’s hard living so far from my family. It truly makes my trips home and their visits to Asheville that much sweeter.

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This was my mother’s fourth visit to Asheville and each time she comes I always wish we had more time to do more! In between Thanksgiving prep and actually cooking Thanksgiving dinner, I tried to fill our days with as many of my favorite Asheville activities as possible. I come from a very food-focused family so naturally, a lot of our outings centered around eating, which isn’t really that surprising considering Asheville in such a foodie city!

We picked my mother up from the airport last Monday and drove her straight to one of our favorite Asheville restaurants: Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack, where she enjoyed the quintessential southern meal: fried chicken, macaroni & cheese, and a biscuit!

Our Tuesday was chock-full of fun activities:

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A personal training session for my mom with my coach Becca Lee at Strength Ratio, a visit to Whole Foods to pick up our turkey and other last-minute Thanksgiving necessities.

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A trip to see Dr. Reena Newton of Get 2 Know Your Body for my mom’s InBody Body Composition Scan,

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And, finally, a pizza dinner with Jeff and some of my favorite Asheville friends at White Labs Kitchen & Tap.

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On Wednesday, after a quick trip to OWL Bakery to pick up our apple pie and 500 pastries and to The Hop for Salted Caramel ice cream for Jeff’s birthday, we spent ALL DAY in the kitchen chopping vegetables and cooking in preparation for Thanksgiving.

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I don’t know how professional chefs do it- my hand was so sore and tired from chopping onions and garlic and brussels sprouts and potatoes and mushrooms all day! We were so wiped out from cooking that we decided to order takeout from Universal Joint for dinner. My falafel wrap and cheese fries really hit the spot after a long day in the kitchen.

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Thanksgiving Day (Jeff’s birthday!) was a full day of cooking, eating and lazing around the house. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because of those very activities and I was so happy to host for the first time.  Even though I’ve never hosted a large dinner party before, I somehow timed everything perfectly and all the food was delicious!

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My mother-in-law made Jeff an amazing birthday pumpkin pie and it was so great to have our family there to help him celebrate his 34th birthday! (Side note: I met Jeff when he was 20. How are we in our 30s already!?)

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We had a slow start on Friday but eventually made it out of the house to take a drive in the mountains.

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We started out with a quick ride through Waynesville and then took the Appalachian Medley Scenic Byway over to Hot Springs, where we had a delicious lunch and popped in and out of a few stores. Happy to say that the only things we bought on Black Friday were lunch, a sticker from a local artist, and coffee from Odd’s Cafe on the way home.

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One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is that you typically have leftovers for days, so we spent Friday evening around the dining room table with heaping plates of lentil shepherd’s pie and mashed sweet potatoes. My mom and I started to work on a dessert puzzle (a wonderful gift from my mother-in-law) and we watched an episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. It was a great night!

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We spent Small Business Saturday in the best possible way: frequenting local holiday markets and shops.

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Up first was the Holiday Market at Highland Brewing, followed by a delicious lunch at City Bakery, then a stop in the Sip & Shop market at Rustic Grape, and last, but definitely not least, a trip to Malaprop’s Bookstore.

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We had tickets for Candlelight Christmas Evenings at the Biltmore so after shopping all day it was home for more Thanksgiving leftovers and then back out to see the Biltmore Estate all lit up and decorated for Christmas! We hit up the Biltmore winery first for our complimentary tasting because free wine. Duh.

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My brother-in-law is a tour guide at the Biltmore and he accompanied us to the house Saturday night, which was absolutely awesome because it was like we were on our own private tour!  I’m so glad he came because we learned so much that we wouldn’t have known if we had just toured the house by ourselves. The house was beautifully decorated for the holidays with what seemed like a Christmas tree in every room. Even the basement swimming pool was decorated! I highly recommend visiting the Biltmore this time of year because it’s just so festive and fun!

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We spent Sunday driving around the Biltmore Estate one last time and then made our way over to Black Mountain, where we walked around all the little shops and ate lunch at The Trailhead Restaurant.

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My mom’s last night in Asheville called for dinner at my all time favorite restaurant: Nine Mile.

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It was a terrific and delicious end to a fabulous week! I can’t wait for my mom to come back to experience more of Asheville!

How was your Thanksgiving week?

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Our Fall Wedding at Yesterday Spaces (Part Two-The Details)

Hello! Happy Tuesday!

I know I just posted about the fact that Jeff and I have been together for 13 years, but TODAY is our two-year Wedding Anniversary and I’d be remiss if I didn’t write about that too!

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I wrote my first recap about Our Fall Wedding At Yesterday Spaces earlier this year. I intended to write a part two not long after but you know how life gets in the way. The first post did a good job of summarizing the day as a whole but I left out a lot of small, important-to-me details because I feared the post would be too long. But now I’m saying to hell with it! I find the tiny details of people’s weddings really interesting and I hope you will too! Particularly I want to focus on the parts of our day that made it truly ours.  So without further ado, here’s a super-long, picture-heavy post about our October 2016 wedding!

The Venue

Jeff and I looked at around four or five options for our venue, but we saved Yesterday Spaces for last because I knew from their website that I was going to fall in love and I was right.

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We knew we wanted a farm setting but I don’t think we were prepared for just how magical it would feel to say our “I dos” and host our guests at this particular farm.  Looking at these pictures takes me right back.

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One of the first things that I absolutely LOVED about Yesterday Spaces is that for the guests to get to the farm from the parking lot, they had to take a hayride! Another thing that absolutely sold me on this venue was the beautiful treelined path that our guests and the wedding party had to walk down to reach the ceremony site.

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The Wedding Party

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I asked three of my closest friends to be my bridesmaids. Dara, my Matron of Honor, and I have been friends since preschool, while Mareesa, Jess and I became close in college.

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Jeff’s groomsmen were his brother, Tom (his best man), and my two older brothers, Adam and David.

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We had two flower girls: my niece Eloise and Jeff’s cousin Elizabeth.

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My nephew, Nicholas, played the role of the “Super Usher,” and walked my mother down the aisle as the ceremony began.

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The Guests

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We had around 50 of our closest friends and family members attend our wedding and since everyone lived outside of Asheville, it was basically a destination wedding for them.  My mother-in-law threw a welcome dinner for all of our guests at Isa’s Bistro in downtown Asheville the night before the wedding. I can’t even tell you how much I recommend this to ANY engaged couple. Jeff and I were able to greet and catch up with all of our out-of-town guests the night BEFORE the wedding, which made it possible to relax a bit more on our actual wedding day.

The Attire

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Our wedding colors were burgundy/marsala, blush pink, gold, and ivory.

My wedding dress was ivory lace.  I can’t remember the exact designer but it was a discontinued style and I got it from Aleana’s Bridal in Paramus, NJ. I bought my wedding dress the very day I tried in on and knew it was the one right away. Because I loved our color scheme so much, I had the shop add a blush pink sash with a beautiful lace flower applique.

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My shoes were blush pink and KILLED ME the entire time. But don’t worry- I eventually changed into blush pink, three-inch platform flip-flops.

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I decided at the last minute that I wanted a veil because when would I ever have the opportunity to wear one again? I bought all of my hair accessories on Etsy. I was particularly in love with the pearl hair vine I got from Luna and Stone Co.

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I had my jewelry custom made by Wren Hendrickson of Zest Jewelry Art. I had her design a necklace and earrings using a  diamond from my great aunt’s engagement ring, an heirloom my mom had saved for me since I was little.

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My bridesmaids wore beautiful, long, flowy masala/burgundy dresses, complemented by our wedding colors sprinkled throughout their bouquets (from Brown’s Floral Design in Weaverville).

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Jeff and his groomsmen wore JEANS. It was a farm wedding, after all.  Plus they wore burgundy checkered shirts (which were impossible to find, by the way- we did eventually at Land’s End), along with tweed vests and matching ties.

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Their boutonnières matched our bouquets perfectly.

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The flower girls’ outfits just might have been my favorite out of the entire wedding party. They wore big, poofy blush pink dresses with shimmery gold bows.

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Their flower crowns were from Muse Fleur on Etsy and I was in love with them.

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Dara, crafty as she is, decorated the flower girl baskets with cloth flowers and other pretty things I found on Etsy.

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Nicholas definitely out-styled all of the groomsmen with his slick, tweed bow tie and suspenders.

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My mother wore a cream-colored gown that almost stole the show!  While my in-laws look equally stylish in their wedding attire.

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The Ceremony

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Pre-ceremony, our guests were treated to Vitamin String Quartet versions of some of our favorite songs. Paradise by Coldplay and Atlantic City by Bruce Springsteen are some of my favorites from that Pre-Ceremony Playlist.

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The Wedding Party walked down the aisle to Vitamin String Quartet’s version of You and Me by Dave Matthews Band, a song that Jeff said reminded him of me when he first saw the music video in 2011.

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The flower girls and I walked down the aisle to The Piano Guys’ version of A Thousand Years by Christina Perri. I’m actually a bigger fan of the instrumental version than the actual song. I knew it was the right one because it made me tear up the first time I heard it and I knew our guests agreed by the tears streaming down their faces as I walked past them.

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My brothers walked me down the aisle in place of my father who passed away in 2011. A photo charm hung from my bouquet with a picture of my father and me dancing at my Sweet Sixteen to represent him walking me down the aisle.

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Jeff and I both lost our fathers in 2o11 so it was important to us to honor them in some way during the ceremony. One of the first things our officiant did was read the Native American Prayer for the Grieving. We also had a line from the poem at the bottom of our ceremony welcome sign (made by my matron of honor).

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Our other readings included an excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières and “I Like You” by Sandol Stoddard Warburg.

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One of my favorite parts of the ceremony was the handfasting–  the Celtic ritual where the expression “tying the knot” came from.

With the ribbon “tied” around our hands, our officiant recited these words:

May these hands support each other, and nurture each other in their wondrous love.

These are the hands of your best friend, that will passionately love you and cherish you throughout the years.

These are the hands that will hold you tight and reassure you through the difficult times.

These are the hands that will hold you in joy and excitement as you share your victories and successes.

These are the hands that will tenderly embrace you, as you look into one another’s eyes, and know that they are filled with love.

We exchanged rings with these words:

With this ring, I give you my heart. I promise from this day forward, you shall not walk alone, may my heart be your shelter, and my arms be your home.

After we said “I Do,”  Jeff and I walked back down the aisle as a married couple to Hey! Baby by Bruce Channel and our wedding party followed suit.

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The Cocktail Hour

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Our cocktail hour playlist was one of my favorites to make, as it highlighted our silly sense of humor perfectly. All of the songs were instrumental covers of popular pop songs like Thrift Shop by Macklemore, Poker Face by Lady Gaga and Blank Space by Taylor Swift. We wanted our guests to slowly catch on and laugh over the juxtaposition of peaceful string instruments and ridiculous, upbeat pop songs.

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Cordial & Craft tended our bar (and also provided our amazing day-of wedding coordinator). Since we had a morning wedding, all of our drinks were brunch-themed and included apple cider mimosas, a bloody mary bar, a seasonal whiskey cocktail, and local beer and wine.  We also had hot apple cider, coffee, and tea.

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Jeff and I hired one of our favorite local restaurants, HomeGrown (AKA Saffron Fine Foods), to cater our cocktail hour and reception.

The Reception

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The wedding party entered our reception to The Supreme’s cover of  You Can’t Hurry Love by Phil Collins.

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Jeff and I entered to Hallelujah! I Love Her So by Ray Charles.

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Our first dance and wedding song was When I Get My Hands On You by The New Basement Tapes (lyrics by Bob Dylan, vocals by Marcus Mumford).

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Like I mentioned in my first wedding post, I was adamant about having a brunch reception and it did not disappoint one bit. We had it all: an omelet station and a pastry bar with orange cinnamon rolls, french toast bites, biscuits with honey butter and jam, mini muffins, and bagels.

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We had a macaroni and cheese bar (yes, a macaroni and cheese bar), fried chicken and waffles, home fries, salad, bacon, sausage, anything you could ever imagine wanting in a brunch!

HomeGrown went above and beyond! In fact, when I created our menu, they saved it as a template for other brunch weddings.

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My matron of honor and my bridesmaid Jess both gave wonderful speeches. And then it was time for more dancing!

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Since I couldn’t participate in the traditional father-daughter dance, I danced with each of my older brothers.  Adam and I danced to When You Need Me by Bruce Springsteen.

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While David and I danced to You’ve Got a Friend by James Taylor.

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Jeff and his mother danced to The Band’s The Weight.

Our cake cutting song is one of my absolute favorites by The Show Ponies: Fried Apricot Pies.

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We had a cake and mini pie buffet from Short Street Cakes and everyone was happy about that!

Our Fall Wedding at Yesterday Spaces-www.roseyrebecca.com

After two years and based on how exhausted I was the day after our wedding, I’m kind of shocked that I remember so many of the details. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading and letting me document and relive our wedding day. I hope you enjoyed looking through the photos as much as I do.  Overall it was an incredibly memorable day and I’m so glad I have these photos to prove it.

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I’ll leave you one last picture, one of my favorites, actually, of Jeff and me dancing after all of our guests had gone home and it was just the two of us.

Our Fall Wedding at Yesterday Spaces- www.roseyrebecca.com

Happy Anniversay, Jeff. I love you more than words can say.

All photos by the super talented Carrie Turner Photography.

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