When Michael and Lauren started planning their wedding, they decided that instead of doing the traditional ceremony and reception, they would invite their immediate family to a mountaintop elopement at one of their favorite places. They opted out of a lot of traditional wedding elements, and instead chose a simple ceremony and reception that allowed them to enjoy the time with their family, while capturing some gorgeous photos with smoky mountains as the backdrop. Enjoy this sweet and lovely wedding! xoxo, Jessica
Michael + Lauren
April 30, 2016
Newport, TN | Christopher’s Place Resort
What was your budget?
Our goal was to stay under $10,000 yet still do something unique and unforgettable for not only us but our guest too.
Wedding dress: $950
Hair+ Makeup: $100
Marriage license: $100
Dinner + Gratuity: $1200
Package at Christopher's Place: $2,440 (included: 2 nights stay in a suite, breakfast each morning, the ceremony venue, minister, meals, a tray of sweets provided the night we arrived, some photos, the bride's bouquet & groom’s boutonniere & wedding cake)
Since we weren’t able to stay a late as we wanted to at Christopher's Place we all continued to celebrate at Michael’s Bar which was also located in Newport TN. We put down $500 at the bar lasted most of the night.
How many guests did you have?
We had 19 guests.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
From the groom: My grandmother on my father's side of the family with whom I was very close never got to meet my wife, and I know how much they would have just adored each other. As a way of including her in the most important day of our lives I brought a picture of her and kept it in my suit jacket pocket.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
We made the invitations ourselves online with a beautiful picture of the Smoky Mountains at sunset as the cover. They came out looking professionally done without the professional price tag. We also did the same with our thank you cards with our fav pictures from our big day.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
It's very hard to choose just one thing that saved us the most money we would have to say the main reasons we kept it in under budget was picking a beautiful affordable place out of state and keeping the guest list to immediate family and one best friend each. Rather than doing the traditional wedding and big reception, where you invite everyone you've ever met, we decided to take the people that them meant to most us in our lives to one of our favorite places to visit.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
It's your and your fiance’s day, so do what feels right for the two of you not what you think your family and friends expect for your wedding day. It doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to have a beautiful wedding. When choosing a photographer its definitely worth budgeting to spend a little more. The pictures are what your will have to cherish that day forever.
What was your biggest splurge?
Christopher’s Place is what we spent the most money on. It was definitely worth it because of all that it included and the wedding coordinator handled arranging and organizing everything.
What was your favorite detail?
The amazing Tennessee mountain view that was the background for the spectacular pictures.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
The first look moment that Jennifer and Joe captured as the bride and groom saw each other for the very first time. The pictures are a priceless moment that will be cherished for a lifetime. Definitely a moment that will never be forgotten.
Photography: JCM Photography • All-inclusive Venue (including catering and cake): Christopher’s Place Resort • Flowers: Provided by Venue • Stationery: Mixbook.com (wedding invitations) and Shutterfly.com (thank you notes) • Hair Stylist amd Makeup Artist: Tesa at Fox Place Salon & Spa • Bridal Shop: David’s Bridal • Jewelry: MariLou’s Fine Jewelery • Groom Attire: Men's Wearhouse