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Michelle and John, as featured in Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine


March 3, 2015

I started working with Michelle and John about nine months before their wedding day, and was excited about the event from the first moment Michelle reached out to me. The Bride and Groom, who live in Chicago had decided to in a sense do a Destination Wedding in Marion, North Carolina {right outside of Asheville}. They had looked at a lot of venues in Chicago, and also in California where Michelle is from, but none of them felt like the right fit. They had a crazy idea to see if John’s cousin Eric would let them use his cattle farm, “Double Down” for nuptials. Eric loved the idea and jumped on board with the plan.

We soon met at Double Down and discussed where the ceremony should be held on the property {so many gorgeous locations}, finalized the tent location, which sat on top of a hill and overlooked the pond, discussed the importance of leveling the land, bringing in power and water – so many logistics to figure out before even jumping into the fun aspects of the wedding day!

Styling this wedding was a dream, Michelle loves color and so I created a really playful color palette for us to run with – cerulean blue, a bright modern red, a deep red, lots of green tones, and a touch of blush. We wanted the overall tone of the day to feel sophisticated, appropriate for our natural settings but also playful and quirky. Food was really important to the couple, so I teamed up with Arlene Cotler to cater the food as she has a focus on using local and sustainable meat and produce. I wanted to the dinner to really feel really communal and a total Farm-to-Table experience for 105 guests, and she did just that and beyond!

I brought Sarah of Fern on board for Florals – and she really brought to life my floral vision! I wanted the flowers to have so many textures, represent our full color store {which had some tones that are a bit difficult to showcase via blooms} feel wild, local, rustic but also quirky. She brought in the “modern red” tone via radishes {genius!}, which also fulfilled my desire for the centerpieces to have a touch of produce in them. Sarah and I sourced a variety of different blue hue toned ribbons while in NYC a few months before the wedding that were the perfect touch for the bridesmaid bouquets.

Michelle works in the design industry, and John has an online clothing company – so fashion was of course a huge focus of the day. Michelle fell in love with a beautiful Vera Wang gown early in the planning process, so when I was working on the wedding party attire, I decided the best way to bridge the gap of her formal gown, with our ceremony and reception setting {the great outdoors} would be to go a little non-traditional with the guys look. Navy seemed like the perfect color to introduce to get this vibe going, along with bringing in a few patterns / textures. John’s company custom made all the men’s suits – they all looked so dapper!

Three days before the wedding, I started my install process. The reception tent, reception flooring, lighting and cook tent all started going up on Thursday. Followed by the tables, chairs, bars, stage setup, bathroom deliveries, a full cook kitchen setup, sound setup and generator delivery. So many details, deliveries and vendors teams go into creating a sit-down dinner reception in the country!

I’m so proud to say, that Michelle and John’s Wedding is featured in the Spring 2015 Issue of Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine {pg. 125-128}. Cheers to hard work, attention to details and lots of planning paying off, via a happy and beautiful Wedding Day. To have such a celebrated publication want to share the images of the day, really is icing on the cake!

Thank you to Landon Jacob for so beautifully capturing this day!


Planning / Styling / Orchestrating – Jessica Rourke

Photography / Landon Jacob

Flowers / Fern

Rentals / Party Reflections

Linens / La Tavola

Photo Booth / Hotdog

Band / The Dexter Lake Band Club

Caterer / Arlene Cotler

Hair & Makeup / Blush

Calligraphy / Emily Snyder

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