Cait and Adam's Wedding at Overlook Barn in Beech Mountain NC

Cait and Adam’s have a serious sense of style and subtle elegance. They brought their own special Manhattan sense of flair to the NC Mountains. Their guests stayed in Blowing Rock NC where they hosted their Welcome Party on the lawn of The Inn at Ragged Gardens followed by an intimate rehearsal dinner at The Best Cellar.

On the wedding day, guests were shuttled to The Overlook Barn on Beech Mountain where they hosted an intimate ceremony in the Cliffside Barn followed by a cozy cocktail hour in a tented lounge in Mary’s Meadow and then an upscale family style dinner by Reids Catering in the Big Barn.

This wedding had everything! A His and Hers pour over coffee station, dreamy signature cocktails, Doughnut Bar, Sweet serenade by the Maid of Honor, Icecream truck, VW Bus Photobooth, amazing music from Emerald Empire Band, cozy lounge areas around every corner. A seriously fun and thoughtful event perfectly executed by a crazy awesome team of local vendors.

Overlook Barn on Beech Mountain NC

Overlook Barn on Beech Mountain NC

Local Vendors

Planning and Coordination - The Whole Shebang, Photography, Amanda Sutton Photography, Ceremony and Reception Venue - Overlook Barn, Florals - Fuschia Moss Floral Design, Transportation- Air Haven Limo, Rentals - Old South Vintage Rentals/Chair and Equipment Rentals/The Laurel Collective, Catering - Reids Cafe and Catering, Deserts - Local Lion/Sunshine Sammies, Music - Emerald Empire Band, Photobooth - Tin Can Event Co

Fuschia Moss Floral Design

Fuschia Moss Floral Design

Wills and Chaney's Wedding at Westglow Resort and Spa and The Blowing Rock Country Club

Wills and Chaney’s wedding was nothing short of spectacular. Guests enjoyed a 5 star Rehearsal Dinner under a beautiful Sperry Tent on the lawn of Westglow Resort and Spa in Blowing Rock NC with live music from Tellico, one of our favorite local bands.

On the wedding day, the ceremony was also held on the lawn at Westglow and then guests were shuttled to the Blowing Rock Country Club where they danced the night away to the rocking tunes of Sleeping Booty.

Florals by Millefleurs were out of this world and Almond Leaf Photography captured the day with grace and elegance. We were truly honored to be a part of this stellar team of vendors.

Westglow Resort and Spa in Blowing Rock NC

Westglow Resort and Spa in Blowing Rock NC

Local Vendors

Planning and Coordination - The Whole Shebang, Rehearsal Dinner and Ceremony Venue - Westglow Resort and Spa, Reception Venue - Blowing Rock Country Club, Photography - Almond Leaf Studios, Rehearsal Dinner Band - Tellico, Ceremony Musicians - Bella Musica, Reception Music - Sleeping Booty/East Coast Entertainment, Rentals, Sperry Tents, Chair and Equipment Rentals, Transportation - Air Haven Limo, Hair and Makeup - Sharla Bance Makeup Artistry/Haircut 101, Flowers - Millefleurs, Cake - Blowing Rock Country Club, Ceremony Sound - Haynes Event Productions, Decorative Trees - The Mustard Seed Market, Grooms Cake - Ugga Mugga Bakery, Photobooth - Tin Can Event Co.

blowing rock weddings

Emily and Chad's Overlook Barn Wedding on Beech Mountain

What can I say about this day? So many favorite things. I'm just going to post a trillion photos instead of trying to put it in words. Emily, you'll have to forgive me of posting so many pictures with you guys cracking up but they are seriously my favorite and I have literally never had so much fun during post ceremony photos.

Overlook Barn

Overlook Barn

Vendor Love

Planning and Coordination - Meris Gantt of The Whole Shebang, Venue - Overlook Barn, Photographer - Wayfaring Wanderer, Catering - Reids, Florals - Millefleurs, Deserts - Ugga Mugga Bakery, Transportation - Air Haven Limo and Bel Air Chauffeur,  Rentals - Chair and Equipment Rentals, Happy Trailers Refrigerator Rentals Beauty - Katie Warner, Ceremony Music - Bella Musica, Reception Music - Back Porch Orchestra from East Coast Entertainment

That View!!!!

That View!!!!

Liz and Jason's Wedding at Overlook Barn on Beech Mountain

From bringing out her banjo during the ceremony to the cowboy boots hiding under her dress, Liz and Jason brought Overlook barn back to it’s roots on their wedding day! Liz’s relaxed style allowed the simplistic beauty of the barn to shine through!

You would have never known the last minute alterations made for Liz’s dress to accommodate room for one more as she looked absolutely breathtaking in white! Her bridesmaid’s dresses provided the perfect amount of coral pop to the green mountain back drop and Nicole Huffman did a phenomenal job of catching all the right colors in her photos!

And can we talk about the cheese!? 5 rounds of Wisconsin cheese stacked high made for an eye catching alternative to a wedding cake.  Stick Boy made sure to provide plenty of sweets for the couple and their guests with an assortment of pies and cookies.

Connecting NC to their hometown in Texas, Jason and Liz started of the reception with the Copperroad Line Dance and later had Liz’s bandmate call a square dance which definitely got all guests off their feet! Overall, we couldn’t have asked for a better day for a barn wedding and were thrilled to be a part of the soon-to-be new parents day in the high country!

Overlook barn

Overlook barn

I Vendor Love I

Coordination - Kelsey Fidis of The Whole Shebang, Flowers: Shady Grove, Venue: Overlook Barn Catering: Reid’s, DJ: Haynes Events Productions, Desserts: Stick Boy Bread Co, Photographer: Nicole Huffman, Transportation: High Country Transportation

I Do!!!

I Do!!!

Having your own Barn wedding and need some inspiration? Check out these behind the scenes blogs!

 

 Molly and RC - Wedding Planning Hacks

Sarah and Zach - Behind the Scenes

 

Jill and Trey’s NC Mountain Wedding at Linville Ridge Country Club

Jill and Trey’s wedding was genuinely stunning. That dress, that dress, that dress!!! We also loved the light airy use of simple greenery and neutral flowers by Callista Designs.

Jill and Trey had a super fun wedding party. One of their “groomsmen” officiated the ceremony and another crafted the creative the arbor pictured below.

Since their wedding took place on a Sunday, they created an full weekend itinerary of parties and outdoorsy activities for their out of town guests. Emerald Empire band who we work with a lot, seriously brought the party and literally every guest was on the dance floor!

Vendors

Planning and Coordination – The Whole Shebang, Venue and Catering – The Belvedere at Linville Ridge Country Club, Photography – Amore Vita, Videography - Timm Young, Florals –  Callista Designs, Reception Music – Emerald Empire Band, Ceremony Music – Dean’s Duets, Cake – Hallmark Cakes, Makeup – Sharla Bance, Hair – Clynda Dowd, Transportation – Air Haven Limo

So you want to be a Wedding Planner…

I wanted to take a few minutes to jot down some thoughts I have on what it takes to be a wedding and event planner. I have students and aspiring event planners approach me all the time either wanting to intern with us or shadow us on weddings or just pick my brain about how to break into the industry. They want to know what kind of background they need to have and if they need to get certified, take a class etc. Yes I think if you’re new to the industry a course on wedding planning is definitely helpful but that’s no match for actual hands on experience. I’ve listed a few key points to consider if you’re thinking wedding planning might be a good career choice for you.


Service Industry, Service Industry, Service Industry -
If you haven’t waited tables, do that first. You will learn much of what you need to learn for wedding planning through either waiting tables, bartending or working events with a caterer. You learn how to deal with customers, think on your feet, get along with co workers and crazy owners and kitchen staff. It’s the fastest way to develop a thick skin and it teaches you diplomacy. Those are all key ingredients in wedding planning.
I truly believe that if you hate restaurant work, you will not like wedding planning. If that’s the case, that’s fine! There are so many avenues to the wedding industry that you may be well suited for but at the end of the day, wedding planning is so much like working in a restaurant you just have to try that first and see if you like it.


Marketing –
You must learn how to put yourself out there and not spend a ton of money doing it. Especially in the beginning when you have more time than money. I learned a lot about self promotion doing real estate. That was very helpful when I went to launch my own business. I think the key is blogging/writing about what you know so that potential clients can get a feel for you as a person and whether you are a good fit for them.
Getting involved in your local bridal association or group of wedding vendors is key as well. You have to get to know your sphere of local vendors face to face.



Slow and steady wins the race -  
Be patient. The first year I went into wedding planning, I did 2 weddings. Then the next year it was 5 and then 10 and then 15 and now we’re at 30 plus weddings a season. It’s definitely not a get rich quick scheme. It takes a while for local vendors to get to know you enough to throw your name out there to their brides. Reputation is key and it takes a long time to build that trust. Be patient and keep another job on the side as long as you need to so that you don’t put pressure on yourself to under sell your services or book brides that aren’t a good fit because you are desperate for work. 
Now when you’re first starting out, you’ll charge significantly less than you will once you get established and that’s ok. You’re training yourself as you go along but on that same note, once you get to where you really really know your stuff, make sure you get paid for your time and expertise. Log your hours and see how much time you are actually putting in and then divide that into what you’re actually making to see what you’re making per hour. Then think about how much money you’re putting into marketing and gas and supplies on top of that...
Most importantly, don't work with clients that don't see the value in your work. Make sure that you know how to educate your potential clients about what you do and why you charge what you do without sounding confrontational. People will ask you "why do you charge more than this other wedding planner" or "can't you just do "day of planning"" or "why does it cost more for you to plan a wedding at one venue than another". It's important to be comfortable answering these questions. Think of it as educating your clients so that they see your value or your work rather than feeling like they're trying to shake you down in price. People are willing to pay more for quality service but they want to feel justified in that decision. Write down your strengths and why you charge what you do on a piece of paper that you can pull out when you are on the phone with them so that you have the talking points right there. 
Be skeptical of clients that are making a decision based solely on price. Having a "here's what I do, take it or leave it" approach will take you a long way. There are plenty of fish in the sea and if you can afford to play the waiting game and not go for those clients who are not a good fit, you will build a solid reputation faster.


Make sure you hire enough support staff to make the job look effortless -
This is something took me forever to learn. When I think of all of the years I worked by myself or with only one assistant and just ran my tail off.….I don’t think the quality of service was lacking but it was way more stressful for me. Finally I’ve learned that you can almost never have too much staff . Now that I’ve figured that out, weddings are a walk in the park. It doesn’t cost that much to have a few extra hands on deck so that you, the planner, can focus on the important stuff and not get sidetracked with random details. 



Organization -
Obviously this is a key element. There are so so many details to keep track of. Putting your systems in place is an important thing to do when you first set up your business. Your methods and checklists etc. will evolve as you go along but you need to have a clear game plan and stick to it. Be constantly figuring out new ways to work smarter and more efficiently.
It's also important to size up your client and figure out how they fit into the picture. Some clients are very involved and want to share checklists, spreadsheets etc. Some clients are more hands off and just want you to handle everything without bothering them. Know your audience. You don't want to inundate a hands off bride with lots of details...that's why they hired you. You also don't want to seem unorganized to a Type A bride that wants to see the process. I think it's important to ask what level of involvement the clients wants and what kinds of organizational methods they find helpful.


Go with your strengths -
Know yourself and learn what comes natural to you. Let that be your focus. Wedding planners come in all different forms and offer a range of services. Don’t promote something that is not your strength. For example, I don’t promote myself as a designer because I’m not the creative type. That's why I have people on my team that are! I’m a business person, I like putting all of the details together and running the show. I can’t take 3 adjectives and 2 colors from a bride and miraculously come up with a whole design concept. I have a good eye and know what looks good and what does not. I’m a great person to bounce ideas off of. I can put together the decorations that the bride sets out for me but I don’t pretend to be a visionary and I’m very upfront about that fact. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not!


Smile!!! -
You should never ever look stressed out. Your face should be locked in a pleasant expression…always. Pretend you’re a flight attendant. They can’t look worried or flustered or everyone starts to panic. Same thing with weddings.
 
This is just the tip of the iceberg of what I have to say on starting a career in wedding planning.  I’m considering writing a book called “So you want to be a wedding planner”. I don’t pretend to know everything  but I do think I have come at it from a unique angle since wedding planning is never something I ever imagined myself doing.  I was actually a Music Theatre major in college but finally realized that wasn’t the life I wanted so I mainly worked in the service industry after college until I fell into this. I think it’s actually a pretty ideal background. Running restaurants with a side of directing musicals is about what wedding planning is at the end of the day!



Laura and Clay's High Country Wedding at the Camp at Eseeola in Linville, NC

Wonderful Rustic Elegant wedding at the Camp at Eseeola in Linville NC. Laura and Clay were blessed with the most beautiful weather that I have seen all season for their big day.

Janna Avery from Callista designs and the rest of the Eseeola staff do an amazing job setting the scene and making the décor blend seamlessly with the already stunning blue ridge mountain backdrop.

Music was a big deal for this couple. The groom plays Mandolin and Drums so not only did the wedding party host major jam sessions during the week before the wedding at their rental houses,  the also booked an awesome band our of Charleston called Triple Lindy for the reception.

The dinner was catered by Eseeola and was distinctive southern fare complete with carving stations, a mashed potato bar and even a late night snack of black and bleu sliders.

Jo Ann Hallmark of Blowing Rock NC baked a lovely and delicious cake as usual and as you can see below, Visio Photography was totally on point capturing this luxurious yet laid back affair!

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Erin and Brad's Swoonworthy Wedding at the Allandale Mansion in Kingsport Tennessee

I can without a doubt say that Mrs. Erin Hankins was my favorite bride of last season. It’s not just because her gorgeous wedding at the Allandale Mansion in Kingsport Tennessee was featured in this seasons Southern Living Weddings but also because she’s been one of my closest friends since I moved to the Blowing Rock, NC area.

Seriously, I have never ever ever ever seen a bride work so hard on planning her “Big Day”. Just about everything you see in these pictures was made/gathered by hand. It just goes to show that if you have a year long engagement, a creative bride, a graphic designer groom, a strong focus and a world class photographer like Jennie Andrews, you too can create your own picture perfect dream wedding from scratch!

Enjoy…

Vintage Jewelry

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Handmade/Hand Sewn Favors with Vintage Luggage

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Handmade Corsages to Remember Family Members

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Handmade Boutonnieres

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Monkey Grooms Cake

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Moustache Straws

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Handmade Seating Arrangements in a Vintage Frame

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Gorgeous Desert Table

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Hand Sewn Ring Bearer Pillow

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Rustic Centerpieces

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Handmade Sign and Kissing Balls

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Photo Puzzles of the Bride and Groom for the Kids Table

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Photo Booth

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Chris and Jill's North Carolina Mountain Wedding at the Inn at Crestwood

Love, love love this sweet, simple and elegant October wedding at The Inn at Crestwood located between Boone and Blowing Rock. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Todd!!!

Vendors: Venue and Catering –

The Inn at Crestwood

, Ceremony Music –

Steve and Ruth Smith

, Cake –

Maxie B’s

of Greensboro, Flower –

The Bitter Pear

, Photography –

Julia Wade

, Officiate –

Sandra Possman

, Coordination –

The Whole Shebang

, DJ – Greg Hensley

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North Carolina Mountain Weddings With The Whole Shebang

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The Whole Shebang continually strives to help you create a one-of-a-kind, beautiful, and creative wedding in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

I absolutely love what I do and there is a real joy in the process of creating a relaxed and fun environment that allows a bride to create her own unique vision of a perfect wedding day. My job is to pull together every aspect of your vision and handle all of the details so that your wedding day is beautiful, memorable, stress-free, and uniquely YOURS! Whatever your dream, I will help you find innovative ways to make it happen, and guide you every step of the way.

Born and raised along the coast in Southport, North Carolina, I'd always dreamed of living in the mountains. I found my way to the Blowing Rock area of the High Country in 2005 where I met my husband Paul and started a family. I have been involved in many aspects of the wedding industry, and was at the right place at the right time to make the leap to The Whole Shebang in 2009 when Cassandra Reed, the original owner, relocated to Virginia.

Many years in the service industry experience have given me a rock-solid work ethic and allowed me to forge relationships with many on the area's professionals, including some of the finest photographers, venue proprietors, designers, and entertainment specialists in the High Country. My love of the arts continues to be my driving force in creating a beautiful event regardless of size or scale.

I love the common thread among brides who choose to get married in the mountains. Whether you live in the area, vacationed here growing up, or attended college, there is a deep-rooted connection with nature, the outdoors, and the beauty of the High Country. Whether it's the dream of a casual, rustic backyard BBQ, or a glamorous black tie affair, the one thing all of my brides seem to have in common is that they are creative, soulful, and eager to incorporate the majestic landscape of the Blue Ridge Mountains into the overall vision of their wedding day and share it with their closest friends and family.

My favorite wedding moment is being able to stand back and watch the bride and groom... relaxed, dancing,  enjoying their moment, surrounded by loved ones, and knowing that their dream of a perfect day had come to life. It is a such blessing to witness the love between two people starting a new life together.

I invite you to take a look around, check out my blog, read reviews, and get a feel for the wedding planning services offered by the The Whole Shebang Events. Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions you might have. I look forward to hearing from you!

http://wholeshebangevents.com

828.719.9171

Thanks so much for your interest and have a great day!

-

Meris

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