Well dear readers, I’m signing off early this week to spend some time with family – and headed straight for the kitchen! But before I go, here are a few fun links for your Thanksgiving holiday…

Punched Tin Candle Holders from A Beautiful Mess Punched Tin Candle Holders from A Beautiful Mess

Punched tin Thanksgiving votives from A Beautiful Mess.

Great round-up of Thanksgiving printables.

Cranberry pie with pecan crumble – yum!

10 things to do with fresh cranberries.

Great pics of one of my favorite hometown sites.

Another way to think about the problem of world hunger.

Why procrastinators procrastinate, and how to beat it.

This wallpaper is crazy fun.

I want some of these chocolate mint bars.

And in case you missed it, this week on Snippet & Ink:

Romantic North Carolina wedding with a charming boat house dinner for two.

10 cranberry cocktails and 10 pumpkin layer cakes.

Last-minute elopement at Lover’s Leap in Chattanooga.

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One last wedding before we sign off for the Thanksgiving holiday – this one is a sweet military elopement in Chattanooga. Because all you really need to say “I do” is the two of you!

SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE IMAGES FROM THIS CHATTANOOGA ELOPEMENT BY LESLIE KERR.

Leslie Kerr | Snippet & Ink Leslie Kerr | Snippet & Ink
Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink

 

The Ceremony

“We knew that we wanted to get married, but hadn’t been in too much of a rush. Our plans were to get engaged this year, but when the Navy announced Art would be deployed to the Middle East next month, we knew there was no better time than to run off and get married. So with our parents and my dearest friend and photographer, Lesley Kerr, we got married on Lover’s Leap on Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, Tennessee. Our home base is now Atlanta, and it was so special to have a little destination elopement. It was intimate and beautiful and simple. With just under two months of planning, this little wedding was everything I hoped for.”

 

Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink
Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink
Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink

 

Your ceremony in three words.  Spontaneous, Breathtaking, Powerful.

Why did you choose this location for your ceremony?  Having a dreamy, mountain view in my wedding was a dream. I had visited Lookout Mountain once before and I knew that view would be magical.

What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  Besides the breathtaking view of Chattanooga, I loved how intimate it was. Just me, my favorite person in this world, and the people that love us the most. The amount of joy we felt in those moments was outrageous. So much love, and so much happiness. We had all these onlookers that came up and congratulated us and they kept saying how perfect and happy we looked. And we were so happy.

Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony?  It went by so fast! Before we knew it, we were married, and that was the happiest moment of all.

 

Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink

 

Did you include any other traditions in your wedding?  Even though the ceremony was scripted and quick, we had a nice little Jewish touch at the end. I grew up culturally Jewish, and my parents provided the glass at the end for Art to crush. My mom tried to place it on the ground, and it broke when she did, which made everyone laugh. It’s funny to remember in times like those how much a wedding is a family affair.

Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about?  All the flowers were put together by Lesley, the photographer, and me. We used several things from her personal garden, like rosemary and sage, and it smelled incredible!

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Relax and keep your focus on what matters: you and your future husband. Don’t let yourself get lost in the planning, or the opinions of others. My mother told me this, and it was something I reminded myself daily. Running off and getting married can bring on a lot of negative comments. It’s easy to get lost in stress and negativity. Stay focused on your love and the reasons you’re getting married.

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Take a deep breath, and do what makes sense for you. If doing a tiny, intimate wedding is the most meaningful to you, then do that.

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  It was the most perfect day. Beautiful in every aspect and more lovely than I ever imagined. We never played any music, but with that mountain view, we didn’t even notice.

 

Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink
Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink
Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink
Photography: Lesley Kerr / Venue: Lover’s Leap, Rock City in Chattanooga, Tennessee / Dress: ASOS / Shoes & Trenchcoat: Madewell, Engagement Ring: Satomi Kawakita
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Looking for fun ways to incorporate a little Thanksgiving into your wedding without going over the top? How about a tart cranberry signature cocktail? Or maybe pumpkin wedding cake? We’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite cranberry sips and pumpkin layer cakes to inspire you – for your wedding, or for your Thanksgiving!

 

10 CRANBERRY COCKTAILS FOR YOUR HOLIDAY PARTY OR WINTER WEDDING

Cranberry Vanilla Cocktail by The Fromagette | 10 Cranberry Cocktails Cranberry Vanilla Cocktail by The Fromagette | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

Cranberry Vanilla Cocktail by The Fromagette.

 

Pomegranate Cranberry Sparklers by Freutcake | 10 Cranberry Cocktails Pomegranate Cranberry Sparklers by Freutcake | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

Pomegranate Cranberry Sparklers by Freutcake.

 

Sparkling Cranberry Mule by Sweet C's Designs | 10 Cranberry Cocktails Sparkling Cranberry Mule by Sweet C’s Designs | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

Sparkling Cranberry Mule by Sweet C’s Designs.

 

Cranberry Bourbon Fizz from Style Me Pretty | 10 Cranberry Cocktails Cranberry Bourbon Fizz from Style Me Pretty | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

Cranberry Bourbon Fizz from Style Me Pretty.

 

Fizzy Ginger Cranberry Punch by Betty Crocker | 10 Cranberry Cocktails Fizzy Ginger Cranberry Punch by Betty Crocker | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

Fizzy Ginger-Cranberry Punch by Betty Crocker.

 

Cranberry Orange Sparkler from Martha Stewart | 10 Cranberry Cocktails Cranberry Orange Sparkler from Martha Stewart | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

Cranberry Orange Sparkler from Martha Stewart.

 

Cranberry Thyme Gin & Tonic by A Cozy Kitchen | 10 Cranberry Cocktails Cranberry Thyme Gin & Tonic by A Cozy Kitchen | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

Cranberry Thyme Gin & Tonic by A Cozy Kitchen.

 

Cranberry Margarita by Cook Like A Champion | 10 Cranberry Cocktails Cranberry Margarita by Cook Like A Champion | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

Cranberry Margarita by Cook Like A Champion.

 

Rosemary Infused Holiday Cocktail from The Flair Exchange | 10 Cranberry Cocktails Rosemary Infused Holiday Cocktail from The Flair Exchange | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

Rosemary Infused Holiday Cocktail from The Flair Exchange.

 

"The Sunburn" Coconut Cranberry Cocktail from Hey Wanderer | 10 Cranberry Cocktails "The Sunburn" Coconut Cranberry Cocktail from Hey Wanderer | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

“The Sunburn” Coconut Cranberry Cocktail from Hey Wanderer.

 

"The Frenchy" Cranberry Pineapple Pear Cocktail via Intoxicology | 10 Cranberry Cocktails "The Frenchy" Cranberry Pineapple Pear Cocktail via Intoxicology | 10 Cranberry Cocktails

“The Frenchy” Cranberry Pineapple Pear Cocktail via Intoxicology.

 

10 PUMPKIN LAYER CAKES FOR YOUR HOLIDAY PARTY OR AUTUMN WEDDING

Spiced Pumpkin Layer Cake with Butterscotch by Annie's Eats | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes Spiced Pumpkin Layer Cake with Butterscotch by Annie’s Eats | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes

Spiced Pumpkin Layer Cake with Butterscotch Pecan Filling by Annie’s Eats.

 

Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Salted Caramel by Use Real Butter | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Salted Caramel by Use Real Butter | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes

Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting by Use Real Butter.

 

Hazelnut Crunch Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting by Hungry Girl Por Vida | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes Hazelnut Crunch Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting by Hungry Girl Por Vida | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes

Hazelnut Crunch Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting by Hungry Girl Por Vida.

 

Pumpkin S'mores Cupcakes by How Sweet Eats | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes Pumpkin S’mores Cupcakes by How Sweet Eats | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes

Pumpkin S’mores Cupcakes by How Sweet Eats.

 

Pumpkin Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting and Quince Compote from Martha Stewart | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes Pumpkin Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting and Quince Compote from Martha Stewart | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes

Pumpkin Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting and Quince Compote from Martha Stewart.

 

4-Layer Sweet Potato & Ginger Layer Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling, Candied Pecans and Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Buttercream by Sweetapolita | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes 4-Layer Sweet Potato & Ginger Layer Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling, Candied Pecans and Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Buttercream by Sweetapolita | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes

Autumn Delight Cake by Sweetapolita.

 

Pumpkin Marshmallow Cinnamon Cake by Ask Chef Dennis | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes Pumpkin Marshmallow Cinnamon Cake by Ask Chef Dennis | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes

Pumpkin Marshmallow Cinnamon Cake by Ask Chef Dennis.

 

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frostin by Cake Merchant | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes Pumpkin Layer Cake with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frostin by Cake Merchant | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting by Cake Merchant.

 

Pumpkin Churro Layer Cake by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes Pumpkin Churro Layer Cake by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes

Pumpkin Churro Layer Cake by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.

 

Pumpkin Buttermilk Layer Cake with Maple Buttercream by Savory Simple | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes Pumpkin Buttermilk Layer Cake with Maple Buttercream by Savory Simple | 10 Pumpkin Layer Cakes

Pumpkin Buttermilk Layer Cake with Maple Buttercream by Savory Simple.

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I absolutely love this beautiful wedding – it’s got so many special touches, not to mention these beautiful photos from Nancy Ray. I especially love the private sweetheart dinner that the bride and groom enjoyed before joining their guests at the reception – what a nice way to really take everything in after saying your vows, to just be together as brand newlyweds, and to actually eat something!

SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS NORTH CAROLINA WEDDING BY NANCY RAY.

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Camp Eseeola Wedding by Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Camp Eseeola Wedding by Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

Did you do any DIY projects?  With a 20-month engagement, I had a lot of free time before starting graduate school, and one of the projects I took on was to draw a map of events, which I first painted as a Save the Date postcard. The image was later used as a weekend itinerary, rolled up like an old-fashioned map, and tied onto Cheerwine bottles with red-and-white twine. I also designed custom napkins, koozies, and cups using a twig-themed monogram. I made the escort cards and table numbers on Zazzle. For our friends who rented houses, we lined baskets with Spanish moss, and filled with goodies from the local Mast General Store, as well as Krispy Kreme Coffee. Finally, my friend’s sweet mom helped me design a personalized needlepoint belt for one of Dex’s wedding gifts. I was surprised how little time I had for the wedding once school began, and I am grateful for all that I accomplished at the beginning.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

Are there any special details you’d like to tell us about?  In honor of Dex’s father, his mother mailed me monogrammed buttons from an old sports coat, which I wanted to secretly sew into Dex’s suit coat. The day of the wedding, just an hour before the ceremony, I finally located the button, and Dex’s cousin quickly led me to the suits. It was later that we realized that I had sewn the button onto the wrong jacket (which should have been obvious, as it was made for someone 6’10″!). It’s the thought that counts, right?

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

The Ceremony

“The first time Dex brought me to his grandparent’s mountain home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, it was our senior year of college, and we had not been dating very long… at all. The first thing Dex showed me was the bark-shingled chapel directly across the street, and I told him that I wanted to get married there one day, quickly adding, “to anyone!” Over countless trips, I never faltered that it was the perfect place to get married… and it is equidistant from our home states of Pennsylvania and Alabama. Five years later, my dream came true!”

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

Your ceremony in three words. Rustic, quaint, sweet

How did you go about planning your wedding ceremony?  All Saints Episcopal Church is a historic, sacred space. Designed by Henry Bacon over one hundred years ago, we are honored to be allowed to marry there, and followed the traditional Episcopalian marriage ceremony procedures, including vows from the Book of Common Prayer.

Who officiated your ceremony?  Luckily, the visiting officiant during the month of August was the former Bishop of Alabama, whom Dex’s family knew and rightfully admired. We planned our ceremony over phone calls and emails, but Bishop Parsley felt like an old friend.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

Did you include any traditions in your ceremony?  We did not want a large wedding party crowding the tiny chapel. Therefore, we only had four people in the conventional bridal party – our sisters, a cousin, and an oldest friend – to stand beside us. To honor special friends, we had eight friends each proceed down the aisle and sit in the choir pews, facing us. Not only did it free up space, it really helped us focus on each other, which is the point after all!

What was your ceremony music?  With such a small, intimate chapel, we opted for a string duo, both violin and cello. The ceremony music was classic, from the processional through the declaration. Our only two requests were to end the prelude music with “Carolina In My Mind” (by James Taylor,) and to play “God Only Knows” (by The Beach Boys) for the recessional.

What were your ceremony readings?  Having met during our senior year at UNC, it was fitting that both of our readers were our college roommates. The first reading was from Song of Solomon (Song of Songs), followed by Living in Love by Dr. Gerald May.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  Before the ceremony, our bridal party and family gathered in the backyard of Dex’s grandparents’ house. With such a small chapel, some guests stood in the lawn, and I got to see so many of our favorite people from the house all the way to the altar.

Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony?  We have already been back to Linville twice since our wedding, and it is so wonderful to wake up in Dex’s grandparents’ house and see “our church” across the street before the day even begins. It is something we will cherish for many years to come.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

The Reception

“Following pictures on the golf course, we drove directly to the boat house, which is downhill from the Camp. A private dinner was waiting for us, and as we sipped champagne and enjoyed our first meal as a married couple, we could not only see, but hear, our most loved people all in one place!”

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

How would you describe your reception?  We really wanted our guests, who came from so far, to experience the Linville we love – including a bluegrass band party on Friday, hiking and a picnic lunch on Saturday, and a poolside brunch on Sunday – for their entire visit. The epitome of the mountain weekend experience, however, is always an evening at Camp Yonahnoka (also known as The Camp at Eseeola Lodge,) where you have a panorama of Grandfather Mountain, and an expansive view of the stars. With a gorgeous view of the mountain reflecting onto a lake, the Camp itself is a wooden, open-air pavilion, with a centralized floor plan, encouraging everyone to mingle and join in on the dance floor.

What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?  Our first dance was to “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray Lamontagne. We took lessons and surprised people with a choreographed dance. My father and I danced to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra. Dex and his mother danced to “Mack the Knife” by Bobby Darin, a favorite of Dex’s father who passed away.

What was your wedding menu?  The Eseeola Lodge serves the most decadent and rich Southern food! There were buffet stations for flexibility, yet assigned tables, so people could sit and enjoy. The stations served shrimp and grits, pork tenderloin, butternut squash souffle, mac and cheese, fried green tomatoes, grilled summer vegetables, salad, and corn bread with various sauces. The only perk of going to school the Monday after your wedding is having delicious leftovers in your lunchbox all week!

What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  Instead of a large cake, there was a simple cake for us to cut (almond with fresh strawberries and buttercream frosting,) and four cupcake flavors for our guests: cafe au lait, raspberry lemonade, red velvet, and chocolate-peanut butter ganache. My father works for Krispy Kreme, so we also served warm doughnuts. There were mini boxes of doughnuts for favors. I did not know until the pictures arrived that Dex was carrying trays of doughnuts around the dance floor!

Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception.  For the entrances to the restrooms, I blew up and framed black and white photos of both of us at about 5 years old. In typical fashion, I was dressing up as the prim and proper bride, while Dex was barefoot, with a wrinkled tie and an untucked shirt. Some things never change.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  No one knows what you had in mind. If something is forgotten or goes awry, no one will know what could have been!

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  I was so lucky to have such an opinionated groom, which was helpful, as my parents refrained from any opinions. I would suggest finding ways in which to get grooms excited and to feel important in the process, which makes for fun teamwork. We really let this be our idea of our perfect weekend.

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  I wish we had entered the reception to House of Pain’s Jump Around, but did not think of that in time. Hopefully another Tar Heel couple will take note!

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding?  We truly made our wedding a weekend affair, with events from Thursday to Sunday, thanks to the help of many hosts, hostesses, and helpers. Housing worked out wonderfully, with friends and family on every corner, as we took over the little mountain community.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Photographer: Nancy Ray Photography / Event Planning & Design: Viva L’Event NC   / Reception Venue: Camp at Eseeola in Linville, North Carolina / Church: All Saints Episcopal / Dress: Allure via Victorian Rose / Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaid Dresses, Ties: J.Crew / Jewelry: Mikimoto / Cake: Hallmark Cakes / Catering:  The Eseeola Lodge  / Floral Design: Callista Designs / Hair, Makeup: Hair 101 / Stationery: Opus 1 Weddings / Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Band:  Summit Strings  / Reception Band: The Voltage Brothers / Grooms Attire:  Martin Greenfield Clothiers
SEE THE FULL GALLERY
  • Camp Eseeola Wedding in North Carolina by Nancy Ray

    24 November 2014
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