Issuu on Google+

Product: ASH_BMN PubDate: 02-10-2011 Zone: Main

Edition: First Page: sports_f User: JFITZGER

Time: 02-08-2011 15:50 Color: K Y M C

Photo by Mary Hayes

MacKenzie Bennett and Gavin Stevens were married in the Swannanoa Valley on May 22, 2010.

A southern wedding

By Gretchen Howard SPECIAL TO THE BLACK MOUNTAIN NEWS

MacKenzie Bennett and Gavin Stevens were married in the Swannanoa Valley on May 22, 2010. The ceremony took place at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Swannanoa, and the reception took place at the Bella Luna Inn in Black Mountain. MacKenzie (originally from the south) and Gavin live in California but chose the Black Mountain area as their wedding destination because of their love for Western North Carolina and its outdoor beauty.

MacKenzie, an art historian, had at one time completed a research project on Black Mountain College, which familiarized her with the town’s deep and rich history and sparked her appreciation of the area. The couple first met about nine years ago as housemates, which led to friendship and grew into romance. While packing for a vacation together in Kauai, Hawaii, and over Thai takeout in their apartment, Gavin surprised MacKenzie with a proposal. MacKenzie says the vacation that followed was more fun than she’d

imagined as they celebrated their engagement. MacKenzie, Gavin, and their friends and family arrived in Black Mountain several days before the wedding to enjoy all the area has to offer. The bride and groom and family members all stayed at the Bella Luna Inn while others stayed at Tree Haven Bed and Breakfast and various vacation homes throughout the area. Many of the couples’ friends came from New York and California and had never been to the South. “We were thrilled that ■ See Southern on page D4

Product: ASH_BMN PubDate: 02-10-2011 Zone: Main

PAGE D2

Edition: First Page: sports_2 User: JFITZGER

THURSDAY, FEB. 10, 2011

Time: 02-08-2011 15:16 Color: K

BLACK MOUNTAIN NEWS

Mountain Weddings

WWW.BLACKMOUNTAINNEWS.COM

Wedding food trends in the Valley By Gretchen Howard SPECIAL TO THE BLACK MOUNTAIN NEWS

Food! The food at a wedding reception and rehearsal dinner is indeed a focal point. Several local caterers enlightened us on wedding cuisine and current trends. Black-Eyed Susan Catering owner Cynthia Brasher says her clients love a southern flair as the distinct foods of the region becomes a desired theme in wedding reception cuisine. “Our clients come from all over the country to get married in the splendor of the mountains, and they love sharing southern food with their friends and family – whether or not they are from the south. Dishes like shrimp and grits, pork loin with fig reduction, au gratin sweet potatoes, pimento cheese bruschetta, feta and sundried tomato strata, and pecancrusted mountain trout are among some of the favorites.” Black-Eyed Susan Catering says people go crazy over their “grits bar” with toppings like shrimp, lobster, green Tabasco chili sauce, roasted vegetables, sausage, ham, cheese, and flavored butters. “Patrons are also requesting that local products be used as often as possible. This region has a bounty of local meats, fish, beers, and wine, and seasonal produce.” ■ Black-Eyed Susan Catering: 99 Terry Estate Drive, Black Mountain. (828) 712-6314, www.black eyedsusancatering.com.) Jennifer Arnold-Mohr, of Brown Bag Gourmet, says she’s seeing more heavy hors’ d’oeuvres as people want to mingle with the group rather than be confined to a sit-down dinner. One popular item she offers is a potato bar with mashed and sweet potatoes served in martini glasses with an array of toppings. “Overall, it seems like

our clients prefer more casual events at outdoor locations instead of formal event spaces. We’re also getting lots of requests for healthy and fresh options like tomato and mozzarella, fresh pesto dishes, sundried tomatoes and olives - all pleasing to both the palate and the eyes.” She also says she’s getting requests for dessert bars with cupcakes, mini cheesecakes, or sundaes. Couples are choosing to go this route for desserts while still having a small traditional wedding cake for cutting. ■ Brown Bag Gourmet, 669-5735 or (828) 7127743, www.brownbaggour met.biz. Johnnie Whisnant, of Johnnie’s Catering Company, says that today’s wedding reception is all colors and textures with “wonderful crushed fabrics and metallics and cool shimmering greys.” Johnnie says there are also ways to infuse color into the menus. “Recent food trends include trimming the fat and going green,” Whisnant said. “As more organic and sustainable foods become available, many couples want more green on their menus. This could be anything from free range chicken to organic green bean bundles wrapped with roasted red pepper rings.” Whisnant also sees that hors’ d’oeuvres receptions are becoming increasingly popular as many brides find this fits well within their budgets. It’s also a very elegant way to treat guests to a variety of wonderful foods. ■ Johnnie’s Catering Company, 310 Griggs Road in Old Fort. (828) 712-9525, www.johnniescateringco. com. Kim Gilliland, of Fresh as Can Bee Catering, says buffet-style service is extremely popular in the south with even the fanciest of weddings. The type of food asked for by most of her local and out-of-town couples is southern comfort foods

Photo provided by Fresh As Can Bee Catering

An ice sculpture is a classy edition to any reception.

Photo provided by Black-Eyed Susan Catering

Lavender-scented pound cake with strawberries and whipped cream by Black-Eyed Susan Catering.

Photo provided by Black-Eyed Susan Catering

A delicious buffet by Black-Eyed Susan Catering.

like baked hams, carved roast beef, roasted chicken, mac-and-cheese, and butter potatoes.

■ Fresh as Can Bee Catering, 828-545-0969, www.freshestcatering.com. Many couples who are looking for a relaxed reception or rehearsal dinner turn to Phil’s Bar-B-Que Pit. Located in Black Mountain, they offer catering for a small group to your largest event. ■ Phil’s Bar-B-Que Pit, 669-3606, www.philsbarquepit.com. The Madison Inn and Restaurant is no stranger to special events, having catered to everything from corporate parties to rehearsal dinners and wedding receptions. They are a one stop shop with their eclectic and charming full service restaurant on the ground floor and accommodations for the wedding party and guests upstairs. Outdoor seating is also available on the large patio, including a bar area, and water features. Illuminated with hundreds of twinkle lights, this space really sets the mood. Visit Executive Chef Jason DeBlaere and his wife, Rhea Busick, and see how The Madison Inn and Restaurant can make your event unique and worry free. ■ The Madison Inn and

Restaurant, 15 Dixon Drive, Black Mountain, 669-4785. www.madisoninn-nc.com. For the chocolate lover, Kilwin’s Chocolates in Black Mountain offers catering options for the bride and groom including sweet tables, wedding favors, and baskets for out-of-town guests. Kilwin’s Chocolates Ice Cream Fudge, 669-6119, www.kilwins.com/BlackMountain. And as for wines – Scott Counce, from the Merry Wine Market, says they have a Spanish Grenache and a French Colombard that are both very popular for spring and summer weddings. He also recommends a French Chardonnay that’s a great value wine and a Chilean Carmenere that works well for all-season events and great-priced French and California sparkling wines for a little celebratory bubbly. “We encourage couples to buy wine that they like to drink,” Counce said. There are many menu choices available in our area for even the most discriminating couples. Tapping the creative talent of our local caterers is all that is needed.

Photo provided by Fresh As Can Bee Catering

Local caterers not only provide delicious food, but a beautiful and elegant presentation.

Photo provided by Johnnie’s Catering Company

A beautiful display of fresh fruits and vegetables by Johnnie’s Catering Company. Photo provided by Black-Eyed Susan Catering

Vivid tableclothes and fresh flowers set the scene at this reception.

Product: ASH_BMN PubDate: 02-10-2011 Zone: Main

BLACK MOUNTAIN NEWS

Edition: First Page: sports_3 User: JFITZGER

WWW.BLACKMOUNTAINNEWS.COM

Mountain Weddings

Time: 02-08-2011 12:20 Color: K

THURSDAY, FEB. 10, 2011

PAGE D3

A Ridgecrest wedding By Gretchen Howard SPECIAL TO THE BLACK MOUNTAIN NEWS

Reid Clonts and Chris Haslup were married on October 23, 2010 - a beautiful autumn day in the mountains. The couple met online through a dating Web site, emailed back and forth, and eventually met up for coffee. After coffee, they went to dinner. A second date at an art museum soon followed, then more coffee, a movie and the rest, Reid says, is history. Reid’s mother, Janet, was instrumental in planning the wedding. “My mom and I are very close, which is why I didn’t have any problems letting her plan most of the wedding,” Reid said. “I’m an only child, and my father passed away when I was about 18 months old. She’s my best friend (besides my husband), and we share just about everything.” “It’s been the two of us all these years,” echoes Janet. “We enjoy shopping, good food, museums, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. We love the culture, scenery, animals, food, and the music of the mountains. That’s why we chose to have the wedding in Black Mountain. We spent the week before the wedding in the area visiting places we’d never been, running last minute wedding errands, practicing wedding hair and make-up, and finishing wedding projects.” Some of Janet and Reid’s favorite places they visited while here for the wedding week were Ole Guacamole’s, FRESH Wood-fired Pizza and Pasta, An Apple a Day Depot, Dynamite Coffee, the Dripolator and Morning Glory Cafe. They were thrilled to discover Black Mountain Yarn Shop where Reid bought some beautiful yarn to knit Janet a scarf. “All our Black Mountain experiences were topnotch,” Janet said. “We even saw a black bear and snapped a picture of a double rainbow.” Most of the wedding guests stayed at Ridgecrest Conference Center, where all the wedding events took place. The family was pleased with the care and attention to detail they received from the Ridgecrest staff, not to mention the exceptional autumn scenery. (Lifeway Ridgecrest Conference Center, 1598 Old US 70, 669-8022, www.ridge crestconferencecenter.org.) The ceremony took place at Ridgecrest’s beautiful Rutland Chapel. Reid wore a traditionally vintage sleek satin gown with embroidered and scalloped capsleeves. It had a sleek satin A-line skirt trimmed with scalloped lace appliqués that were beaded and embroidered. She wore pearl and diamond earrings that her mother gave her for high school graduation and a pearl necklace that her grandmother gave her when she graduated from N.C. State. She also wore a pearl bracelet that was borrowed from Chris’ mother, Irene. Janet made her veil, which was replaced with a chic feather hairpiece for the reception. The bridesmaids wore black knee-length dresses, and the groomsmen wore black tuxedos with burgundy accents. A special part of the ceremony included a “Blessing of the Rings,” where a leaf bowl holding the rings,

made by Janet, was passed through the pews. Each guest had the opportunity to offer their blessing to the couple over the rings. Reid found a beautiful locket on Etsy and inserted a photo of her father holding her as an infant in one side and a baby picture of Chris on the other side. Meredith McKissick, of Sweet Earth Flower Farm, incorporated the locket into the bouquet for the ceremony, and Reid removed the locket and wore it at the reception. “I had a great time planning flowers with Janet,” McKissick said. “This wedding was a big deal for both

cake made by Sisters McMullen in Asheville. (840 Merrimon Avenue, (828) 252-9330, and 1 N. Pack Square, (828) 2529454, www.thesistersmc mullen.com) “Our vendors formed the perfect team for our family,” Janet said. “Our event coordinator, Gretchen Howard, was remarkable in thinking of every detail and guiding the big day with ease. We never felt any stress or anxiety about anything.” (Gretchen Howard PR and Events, www.ghprandeve nts.com.) Sarah Whitmeyer, of Asheville, was the photogra-

Photos by Sarah Whitmeyer

Reid Clonts and Chris Haslup were married on October 23, 2010 - a beautiful autumn day in the mountains. Reid found a beautiful locket on Etsy and inserted a photo of her father holding her as an infant in one side and a baby picture of Chris on the other side. Meredith McKissick, of Sweet Earth Flower Farm, incorporated the locket into the bouquet for the ceremony, and Reid removed the locket and wore it at the reception.

Reid and Janet, and the magnitude of the event in their lives was encapsulated perfectly by the lovely locket that Reid had me incorporate into her bouquet. Aside from the great fun I had with Janet’s vision for the flowers, I really learned a lot from this family about love, graciousness, and perseverance.” McKissick grew the flowers and designed a beautiful landscape for the ceremony and the reception. The flowers were arrangements of Naomi calla lilies, combo roses, Viking mums, cotton, eucalyptus, hydrangea, chocolate dahlia, and others in an array of fall colors red, burgundy, brown, yellow, cream, and green. The end result was a unique combination of bold hues with brighter accents. Janet commented that she heard more praise about the gorgeous flowers than she’d ever heard at a wedding. (Sweet Earth Flower Farm, 788 Mt. Hebron Road, Old Fort. (828) 582-5039, www.sweetearthflowers. com). The wedding reception menu, designed and provided by Ridgecrest’s catering department, was a pasta buffet with an assortment of meats and seafoods, sauces, and vegetables. Plus several salads, bread, and a cheesecake assortment for dessert in addition to a beautiful

pher, and the family felt she captured the joy and happiness that epitomizes the love between the couple. (Sarah Whitmeyer Photography, (828) 277-6213, whitmeyer photography.com.) Kevin Johnston, from LiveSound Entertainment, provided music and entertainment for the reception. Although the reception was mid-afternoon, it had an evening-like feeling of elegant dancing. “Kevin’s special touch at getting all the guests on the dance floor avoided the The happy couple shares a laugh at the reception, held at Ridgecrest Conference usual awkward delay most Center. DJs use to beg people to dance,” Janet said. (Livesound Entertainment, (828) 231-2993, www.livesounde ntertainment1.com.) Janet made the thank-you gifts for the guests herself: giclée prints of an autumn scene from the Blue Ridge Parkway. The guests were thrilled to have such a special keepsake of this Western North Carolina weekend. “We would highly recommend our event team and the Black Mountain location for Reid Clonts and Chris Haslup were married at Ridgecrest Conference Center. any destination wedding,” Janet said. “We had a great time and we were not stressed about anything! It was more fun than I ever dreamed or hoped.”

Mother of the bride, Janet Clonts, has fun at the reception.

The happy couple after the ceremony.

Product: ASH_BMN PubDate: 02-10-2011 Zone: Main

PAGE D4

Edition: First Page: sports_4 User: JFITZGER

THURSDAY, FEB. 10, 2011

Southern, so many of our friends could experience the South at our wedding – from the location to the food and the people, New York and California New York and California and had never been to the south. “We were thrilled that so many of our friends could experience the South at our wedding – from the location to the food and the people, the event truly had southern warmth and hospitality,” MacKenzie said. “Cynthia and Brad Brasher, of Bella Luna Inn/ Black-Eyed Susan Catering, were a big part of this - they were extremely professional and polished yet relaxed and stress-free.” Friday evening’s rehearsal dinner was held at 12 Bones in Asheville, and the party continued at the Town Pump in Black Mountain afterwards. (The Town Pump, 135 Cherry Street. 669-4808, www.townpump tavern.com). May 22 was a gorgeous spring day. The ceremony took place that afternoon at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, a beautiful church serving the Swannanoa Valley since 1936 (102 Andrew Place in Swannanoa, (828) 686-8833, www.stmargaret marycatholic.com). The bride wore a beautiful gown of alternating tiered fabrics from Wedding Inspirations in Asheville and a striking handmade floralbrooch necklace full of color. Her bridesmaids wore knee-length peach-colored dresses from J. Crew, and the groom and groomsmen wore jackets and ties with blue jeans. Meredith McKissick, of Sweet Earth Flower Farm, did the flowers. (788 Mt. Hebron Road, Old Fort. (828) 582-5039, www.sweetearth flowers.com).

Time: 02-08-2011 15:50 Color: K Y M C

BLACK MOUNTAIN NEWS

Mountain Weddings

WWW.BLACKMOUNTAINNEWS.COM

continued from Page D1

“Meredith was so amazing,” MacKenzie raved. “So professional and easy to work with - I described to her what I wanted and she exceeded my expectations.” “I loved Mackenzie’s bouquet,” McKissick said. “Her passions were for vintage looks, and to accent her dress and jewelry, her bouquet of hydrangeas and ranunculus in soft creams and pale yellows was flanked by geometric eucalyptus berries. The overall effect was ethereal and wonderfully vintage.” After a beautiful ceremony, the reception followed at Bella Luna Inn and made use of the inn’s indoor and outdoor spaces. The tent set out back was adorned with white tree lights, creating a festive and inviting ambiance. Music was provided by friends of the couple and dancing and revelry continued into the evening. Cynthia and Brad Brasher, of Bella Luna Inn, also own Black-Eyed Susan Catering and provided the reception fare: baked brie en croute, pimento cheese bruschetta, beet and local goat cheese salad, pecan-crusted trout with cognac glaze from Sunburst Farms, beef tenderloin with gorgonzola sauce, lemon and gingerglazed carrots, and asparagus-scented risotto with mushroom ragu. Beer was served in growlers from Pisgah Brewing, wine came from a family friend-owned winery in Sonoma County, and mint juleps served as a specialty drink to keep in line with the southern theme. (Bella Luna Inn: 99 Terry Estate Drive, Black Mountain. (828) 6649714, www.bellalunainn .com. Black-Eyed Susan Catering: 99 Terry Estate Drive, Black Mountain.

(828) 712-6314, www.black eyedsusancatering.com.) Party favors were handmade chocolates from Chocolate Gems in Black Mountain (106 West State Street, 669-9105, www.chocgems .com). Photographer Mary Hayes is a friend of the couple’s from Orlando, Fla. The wedding cake was made by Sisters McMullen in Asheville and McKissick adorned the cake with her beautiful, seasonal flowers. Black-Eyed Susan Catering served up Sunday brunch at the Bella Luna for all the wedding guests: homemade drop biscuits; asparagus, feta and sundried tomato strata; Alabama shrimp and grits; fruit salad; and lavender-scented pound cake with strawberries and whipped cream. The couple spent their wedding night at Biltmore Estate followed by a weeklong honeymoon backpacking and B&B’ing in upstate California. “We just loved our wedding in Black Mountain,” MacKenzie said. “All of our vendors were not only highly professional and respectful of our budget, but also creative, warm, friendly, and gracious.”

Photos by Mary Hayes

The wedding party enjoys the outside space at the Bella Luna Inn.

Their wedding cake was adorned with fresh flowers from Sweet Earth Flower Farm in Old Fort.


Black Mountain News Weddings 2011