5 Mistakes Newly Engaged Couples Make - NC Mountain Wedding Planning

You’re engaged, now what??? Well first, be sure to take an appropriate amount of time to relax, live in the moment and have fun being engaged. It’s one of the most exciting things that’s ever happened to you right?

When you finally get down to the actual planning you’ll want to make sure you come at it strategically so that you don’t jump the gun and box yourself into a corner by and making crucial decisions before you figure out the basics. Here’s a short list of things that could come back to bite you in the long run…

#1 – Setting a date before picking a venue

You will want to stay flexible on your date so that you have more options at your preferred venue. If you tell everyone you’re getting married on June 6th and then your dream venue is already booked for June 6th….you’re gonna be one Sad Sally.... Set out to look at venues with a range of dates in mind.

#2 – Choosing your color scheme before picking a venue

This one is pretty self explanatory. You don’t want your wedding colors to clash with what’s going on around you.

#3 - Casually inviting friends before sitting down with family to nail down a guest list/budget

This requires no explanation, just don’t do it! An added bonus for destination mountain weddings is that it’s easier to cut your guest list shorter than if you are getting married in your home town.

#4 - Choosing your wedding party before you choose your venue

A wedding party the size of a small army may not fit in the intimate chapel you just fell in love with. Wait to pop the question to all of your BFFs until you actually see the logistics of where you are getting married.

#5 - Hiring vendors before you decide on a real budget

Even if your heart set on that one perfect photographer, be sure you have the money talk with parents, fiancée and whoever else is contributing to the wedding before you allocate a large sum of money to anything.

Congratulations on your engagement and happy planning!!!

Lauren and Corey’s Wedding Blowing Rock Wedding at The Inn at Crestwood

So so much fun working with Lauren and Corey. They created an intimate, stylish and fun atmosphere and celebrated their wedding with close friends and family at The Inn at Crestwood tucked away between Boone and Blowing Rock NC. The early fall flowers were so lush and beautiful and somehow matched the bridesmaids dresses to a T! The cake from Ugga Mugga bakery was one of my favorites of the season. Check out the stunning photos below by Adele Lee Photography.

Local Vendors

Planning and Coordination – The Whole Shebang, Venue – The Inn at Crestwood, Flowers – Fuschia Moss Floral Designs, Photography – Adele Lee Photography, Hair – Clynda Dowd, Makeup – Sharla Bance Music – Soul Benefactor, Videography – Dandy Sese, Cake – Ugga Mugga Bakery

The Inn at Crestwood - Blowing Rock NC

The Inn at Crestwood - Blowing Rock NC

You’re Engaged, Now What??? 5 Important First Steps to your perfect mountain wedding

Congratulations on your engagement!!! It’s an exciting time in your relationship so take a deep breath and try to relax enjoy it. Whether you’re thinking of a rustic backyard BBQ with close friends or a large elaborate soiree, the task of planning a wedding can seem overwhelming. Especially if you don't live in the Boone area of NC and are planning from afar. The good news is that if you stay organized and look at everything one piece at a time you’ll get through it with a smile on your face.

Step 1 - Budget

It’s important to match your wants and expectations to what you can actually afford so before you start looking at guest list and venue you’ll need to get a ballpark figure. If you’re paying for it yourself sit down together as a couple and get on the same page about how much you want to spend and how you will set the money aside. If parents or other family members are helping out make sure you have that discussion right away. If they are only helping with a portion try to either get a hard number from them or ask them to cover one portion of the event – photography, food, venue, alcohol, your dress etc.

Step 2 - Priority List

Sit down with your fiancée and make a wish list in order of what aspects of the wedding most important to least important.

Step 3 – Guest List

Mapping out your guest list can be one of the most daunting tasks in your planning process, I know it was when I planned my own wedding. My advice is to sit down together as a couple first and get a solid A and B list together. The A list maps out the absolute definite people you want to have at your wedding. The B list includes family and friends that you would like to have there if it’s possible within your budget. You might even want to have C list of people to invite if a lot of the A and B list are not able to attend. After you and your fiancée sit down together you will want to sit down with your parents or whoever else is in on the planning process and compare your list to theirs. This will undoubtedly open a whole other can of worms but it’s important to negotiate your guest list with your families earlier instead of later.

Step 4 – Research Venues and Possible Dates

The NC Mountains are a very popular destination wedding location so venues can book up more than a year in advance. Your first step is to figure out where and when you are having the wedding. Keep your date flexible until you see what the availability of the venue is. A good jumping off point is to pick 3 different dates and 3 different venues and then contact the venues to see what’s the best fit. Also decide whether an “off” day or time can work for you if the venue you have your heart set on doesn’t have a Saturday available.

Step 5 – Revisit Your Priority List and Get Organized

Once you have your venue booked everything else can fall into place. You’ll have a lot more perspective and information to work with now that you know what your venue provides. Sit back down with your fiancée and look at the money you have left to work with and talk about how you want to spend it to get the most out of your day. Make a list of the vendors you still need to book and start researching prices, availability and services. The High South Event Professionals is a great resource for finding local vendors in the greater Boone area of North Carolina.

Obviously you have a lot more planning ahead but if you take these 5 steps first you’ll have a solid foundation to work with and be well on your way to making your dream wedding a reality.

If you have any questions or would like to see a detailed breakdown of services that The Whole Shebang offers to help you enjoy a relaxed, stress free engagement and wedding please contact us directly at 828.719.9171 or hello@wholeshebangevents.com

Sarah and Ben’s Wedding at the Blowing Rock Country Club

Sarah and Ben enjoyed a truly picture perfect wedding day with their friends and family at the Blowing Rock Country Club. From the start, Sarah had a crystal clear vision of how she wanted her wedding to look and enlisted the always flawless Philosophy Flowers team to bring her vision to life. Such a warm and soulful couple. You can see that their love and commitment to each other really shines through in these breathtaking photos by Marcie Meredith photography.

Click here to see the Style Me Pretty Feature and full album!
Blowing Rock Country Club

Blowing Rock Country Club

Local Vendors  

Planning and Coordination – The Whole Shebang, Venue – Blowing Rock Country Club, Photography – Marcie Meredith Photography, Floral Design – Philosophy Flowers, Videographer – Sara Mathis Productions, Cake – Blowing Rock Country Club, Transportation – Air Haven Limo, Ceremony Music – Bella Musica, Reception Music – DJ Bunn Company, Hair – Felicity Turner, Makeup – Kim BeBe, Rentals – Boone Rent All, A&J Rent All, La Tavola Fine Linen Rental

Don't forget these 9 important things on your Wedding Day!!!

Details, details, details. Even with a wedding planner, it’s hard to not get overwhelmed over the sheer volume of details the month before your wedding. This is a list of the top things we see couples forget time after time on their wedding day.

1 – Cake Flowers and Flower Girl Petals – If you didn’t tell your florist to leave some, they may not have accounted for it on their order.

2 – Reserved signs – Not only for the ceremony rows you want reserved but also for any tables you want reserved for family and wedding party if you aren’t assigning seats.

3 – Telling guests that are sitting in the above noted assigned seats to sit there. The seats will be vacant if you don’t inform people because no one wants to assume that the reserved seats are for them.

4 – Cake Cutting Set

5 – Invitation suite to be photographed – Have this and the rings, dress, shoes, something borrowed, something blue etc. ready and waiting when your photographers arrive so that they can knock these photos out first and you’re not having to run around looking for things while trying to get ready.

5 – A box for cards to put on your gift table (if you are having one). Yes, of course guest can just leave cards on the table but if there isn’t a box or somewhere obvious to put them, we constantly have guests coming up to us asking “where do we put the cards”. Typically there’s money in the cards so your guest just really want to ensure that they put it in they don’t get misplaced.

6 – Vases for your bouquets – Don’t just assume that your florist is delivering your bouquets to you in a decorative vase that you can later repurpose. If you don’t tell them that you plan on displaying your bouquets later on in the reception they may come in containers not fit for show.

7 – Checkbook and cash for tips. Be sure to verify with your vendors beforehand what types of payment are acceptable.

8 – Baskets for coozies etc.

9 – Pens for your guest book

Amy and John’s English Garden Party Wedding in Blowing Rock NC

This adventurous couple didn’t let rain on their wedding day dampen their spirits. They met the weather head on and suited up with galoshes and umbrellas for an amazing pre ceremony photo session. They moved their ceremony into the Evergreen Room at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock and then danced the night away under the big tent! Amy, a writer and anglophile wanted her wedding to have a simple and laid back, yet vintage feel with a little bit of British flair. Fuschia Moss and Snow in July Designs fed off of each other to create a cohesive theme that had look of antiquity while also incorporated the colors of the changing seasons.

Chetola Resort - Blowing Rock NC

Chetola Resort - Blowing Rock NC

Local Vendors

Planning and Coordination – The Whole Shebang, Photography – Paper Heart Photography, Venue – Chetola Resort Rehearsal Dinner – Westglow Resort and Spa, Paper Goods – Snow in July Designs, Flowers – Fuschia Moss Floral Designs, Cake – Stick Boy, Music – Matt Stratford Band, Transportation – The Trolley from Air Haven Limo, After Party – Six Pence Pub, Makeup – Beautiful Bride, Hair – Chris Knight, Photobooth – Boone Photo Booth

Anna and Tripp Wedding at The Inn at Crestwood in Blowing Rock NC

This was definitely our most anticipated weekend of the season. Anna and Tripp hosted a fun filled 3 day love fest in the late summer glow of the North Carolina mountains. Lots more fun photos of all of the little details to share but I just couldn’t wait to post a quick teaser from their ridiculously amazing wedding. Words cannot come close to describing how much I love this couple so I’ll just let the pictures do the talking : )

Local Vendors

Planning – The Whole Shebang, Venue – The Inn at Crestwood, Photographer – Love Shutter, Videographer – Confetti Pictures, Flowers – Root and Vine, Signage – Hello Margaux, Hair – R Salon and Sheer Shakti, Makeup – Sharla Bance Makeup Artistry, Guest Favors – Capacooz, Deserts – Ugga Mugga Bakery Rentals – Party Reflections, Transportation – Air Haven Limo, Reception Band – Sleeping Booty from East Coast Entertainment, Officiant – High Country Ministers, Ceremony Music – Allegro Strings, Rehearsal Dinner – The Meadowbrook Inn, Photo Booth – Mid Atlantic Photobooth

Dawn and Dave’s Blowing Rock Wedding at Chetola Resort

Dawn and Dave were such a kind hearted and laid back couple! We had a fantastic time dreaming up their perfect wedding day. They are both very into the outdoors and more specifically trout fishing. Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock was an obvious choice for their wedding venue. Fuschia Moss Floral Design did an absolutely incredible job making the outdoors come alive for their stunning tented reception. The early fall weather was on their side and they enjoyed a relaxed and memorable evening of dining and dancing with their family and friends.

Fuschia Moss Floral Design

Fuschia Moss Floral Design

Local Vendors

Planning – The Whole Shebang, Venue – Chetola Resort, Photography – Joy Davis Photography, Flowers – Fuschia Moss Floral Design, Cake – Ugga Mugga Bakery, Invitations and Papergoods - Snow in July Designs,  Makeup – Sharla Bance Makeup Artistry, Hair – R Salon/Clynda Dowd, Reception Music – Matt Stratford Band

Chetola Resort - Blowing Rock

Chetola Resort - Blowing Rock

Wedding Planning in the NC Mountains…Things I’ve learned along the way.


It’s bittersweet every year. The wedding season has drawn to a close and now is the time for me to reflect on all of the amazing events from this past year. One of the things I like most about event planning is that you truly learn something new every day. We are always moving forward, improving and innovating. On top of that, it’s an ever evolving industry and being on the cutting edge of new trends is important. Here are some of my most recent candid, unedited musings in no particular order….

-A comfortable and well informed guest is a happy guest.

-Don’t skimp on food and alcohol.

-Give parents the courtesy of asking their opinion. Even if you decide not to take their advice, it’s nice to be asked…

-Champagne toasts are overrated…

-Even if you aren’t reserving seats for your guests, be sure to have a few reserved for family and the wedding party.

-Plan to be behind and pad your wedding day timeline so that it’s ok. Everything takes longer than you think and the last thing you want is to feel rushed.

-Have a rock solid bad weather plan.

-Anything you haven’t DIY’d 2 weeks prior to your wedding, scrap it.

-Be cautious when assigning friends and family jobs. If you do assign loved ones tasks, be specific about what is expected of them.

-Don’t drink too much the night before your wedding. You will most assuredly regret it.

-Leave your hair and makeup to professionals and be sure to do a trial run before your wedding day.

-Don’t “pre-game” with champagne while you’re getting ready. If you’re going to have a dressing drink, opt for liquor. It’s less likely to give you a headache.

-Don’t skimp on photography. It’s all you have once all is said and done.

-Pretend your budget is 20% lower than it actually is. It’s the only way to truly stay within your budget. The last minute expenses really creep up and you don’t want to be stressed about money on your wedding day.

-Invitations are the last thing you want to DIY.

-Don’t let your guest list creep up higher than your budget or venue size will allow.

-Everyone will be late to the rehearsal. Tell them to be there 30 minutes before they actually need to be there.

-Your guests will not RSVP by the due date. Expect to be making phone calls.

-No matter how much you plan, you will still have stress dreams the month of your wedding. It’s normal…breathe and remember what’s really important.

-Tell your venue/bartender “no shots” even if you’re having an open bar.

-Don’t save the top of your cake. Who has room in the freezer. Have your baker make a mock up of your wedding cake for you first anniversary…Unless you’re superstitions and then by all means, save the top of your cake.

-Wear comfortable shoes…or at least have a pair to change into after the first dances.

-Nix sparklers if your guests are out of control. It’s just dangerous. Singed hair on your wedding night is not a happy ending.

-Make sure your shuttle service is flexible and have a point person for them to come to at the end of the night so that no one gets left behind.

-Don’t micromanage your florist. They know what they are doing. Assuming you hired a good one.

-Don’t hire a crappy DJ. You will regret it.

-Don’t put your cake outside…bugs, weather etc…just don’t.

-Make sure someone knows how to bustle your dress. It’s a good idea to take a video of your seamstress doing a tutorial.

-Don’t be afraid to tell your stylist if you don’t like your hair or makeup trial run. Nothing is worse than feeling like you don’t look your best on your bid day.

-Roll with it, have a sense of humor, do what needs to be done in the moment and don’t look back. The little mess ups, mix ups and oopses are what make your wedding a real wedding and not a styled shoot. Believe me, you will look back and laugh at all of the little things once the weight of the “Big Day” is off of your shoulders because guess what…You just married the love of your life and that’s something to celebrate!!!

What Your Wedding Band or DJ Need From You!

Your band and DJ aren’t mind readers and everyone has different taste in music so it’s so so important to communicate your wants and needs to your Wedding Band or DJ way in advance in order for your day to run smoothly.

1 – Songs that you definitely want to hear as well as songs you definitely do not want to hear.

2 – Your 1st dances as well as a song for the announcement of the wedding party and or Bride and Groom. Choosing a last dance is always fun as well.

3 – Give a band ample time to learn any songs that you would like played that are not already in their repertoire.

4 – Venue approval – Be sure that your venue meets all of the electrical, space and load in requirements that the band may need. Also make note of any other special things in their rider such as food/water/beverages/changing room/accommodations etc.

5 – Whether you are opening up the floor for toasts at all. If you don’t want random groomsmen and aunts and uncles taking stage to “say a little something” let the band or DJ know and they will handle it so you don’t have to!

6 – Be sure to provide them with a detailed timeline of what the evening will look like, making note of cake cutting/1st dances/bouquet and garter etc. Be sure to work it out beforehand if you would like for them to act as a Master of Ceremonies and make announcements.

7 – Decide what music will be played during breaks. Will they just use their judgement and decide on a mix or will you give them one of your devices with a specific playlist to plug in? If so, make sure it is fully charged and it’s not a bad idea to have that playlist shared to an extra device just in case.

8 – Make sure that they have GOOD directions to the venue. That’s more important here in the NC mountains than it is in more populated areas where GPS actually works. If google maps or the GPS does not give them the right directions, let them know that so they don’t just mindlessly plug it in and roll… Also, if they aren’t from the Boone/Blowing Rock area, they may not know to allow ample travel time, especially during peak season. They also may think, “hey the venue is only 15 miles from Boone” and not realize that sometimes 15 miles translates into 45 minutes.

9 – If you are announcing the wedding party and bride and groom, provide them with the order that everyone is coming in and help them with any difficult pronunciations. Also tell them how you would like to be announced – Mr. and Mrs. John Smith….

10 – And for the love of God, if you don’t want them to do the thing where the person that catches the garter puts it back on the person who caught the bouquet, please tell them!!!