AMW Studios | Modern & Dynamic Asheville Wedding Photographers » Asheville & Destination Wedding Photography for Adventurous Couples

Bride and Groom holding hands in a large green fieldpintopinterest

Katy and Jon got married at the end of May at one of our very favorite New England venues, The Barn at Gibbet Hill… I can’t think of a venue that more perfectly fits the rustic, elegant look that so many couples want!! When we met up with these two at the gorgeous Arnold Arboretum last fall for their engagement session we knew right away that their wedding would be an absolute blast!! Their gorgeous, fun, barn wedding did not disappoint and I’m so excited to share some of our favorite images from their day!!

Groom kisses his smiling bride on the cheek after there wedding ceremonypintopinterest The Barn at Gibbet Hill wedding sign pintopinterest Beautiful birch arbor for a barn wedding ceremony pintopinterest The brides pink shoes against a wooden chest pintopinterest Brides lace wedding dress hanging in a barn windowpintopinterest Black and white image of wedding rings on a wooden postpintopinterest Bride and Groom pose for a quick no look first lookpintopinterest

Even though these two didn’t want to see each other before the ceremony, Katy and Jon wanted to have a couple moments to exchange a few words and pose for a picture together…We’ve done a couple no peek first looks around doors or corners but in this case we had fun putting Jon up in the balcony and Katy got to stand down below and they chatted for a few minutes before they got married! If you want your groom to see you for the first time when you walk down the aisle these no look first looks can be such a fun way to exchange cards, hold hands, or simply say a quick hello before you get married!

Gorgeous pink and white bridal bouquet for a rustic barn weddingpintopinterest Bride poses for a quick bridal portrait in front of a barn and silopintopinterest

Katie made an absolutely stunning bride!!

Beautiful pink and green flowers adorn the white ceremony chairs during this beautiful barn weddingpintopinterest The handsome groom and his groomsmen pose against a barn before his wedding ceremonypintopinterest Bride and her mom walk to the start of the ceremonypintopinterest Bride and her mom walk down the aisle of her rustic farm wedding ceremony pintopinterest Bride and her mom embrace before mom gives her daughter away to groom before the couple gets marriedpintopinterest Bride laughs during her intimate and fun wedding ceremony pintopinterest The bride and groom exchange wedding rings during their elegant wedding ceremony in a field pintopinterest a gorgeous bride and groom kiss after their farm wedding ceremony pintopinterest Gorgeous bride and her bridesmaids show of their gorgeous bouquets pintopinterest The groom and his best man goof off for a portrait in front of the Barn at Gibbet Hill pintopinterest adorable bride and groom sit together in rustic adirondack chairs during their barn wedding pintopinterest The adorable bride and groom goof off for a picture after their wedding ceremony at the Barn at Gibbet Hill pintopinterest Bride and groom pose for a quick portrait together in a field after their wedding at the Barn at Gibbet Hill pintopinterest Bride and groom hold hands and walk across a field pintopinterest Adorable bride and groom pose for a picture at the Barn at Gibbet Hill pintopinterest The groom and his groomsmen  pose for a quick portrait before the ceremony pintopinterest Gorgeous rustic barn wedding details with purple flowerspintopinterest

The Barn at Gibbet Hill looked gorgeous with all of Katy and Jon’s details!

Adorable couple enjoys their first dance during their wedding at the Barn at Gibbet Hill pintopinterest Black and white photo of bride and grooms first dance as husband and wife pintopinterest Groom and his mom dance during his barn weddingpintopinterest Bride and mom dance together during her barn wedding reception pintopinterest Apple cider donuts are the perfect guest treat during a barn reception pintopinterest

A cinnamon and sugar donut station was a much appreciated treat for the guests midway through the dance party!

A cute couple dances during fun barn wedding pintopinterest Wedding guests dancing during a fun barn wedding pintopinterest grooms dad dancing during his sons wedding at The Barn at Gibbet Hill pintopinterest Wedding guest dances during a fabulous barn wedding pintopinterest bride and groom dancing up a storm during the barn wedding receptionpintopinterest Silhouette of bride and groom at sunset with the barn at gibbet hill in the backgroundpintopinterest

Katy and Jon, thank you so much for having us be a part of your fabulous wedding! We had a blast capturing your day and we hope you love your images!!

A huge thank you to all the other amazing vendors who worked hard on Katy and Jon’s wedding! We absolutely loved working with everyone involved!!

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An amazing golden sunset over a marsh behind a couple during there wedding day couples portraitspintopinterest

I am assuming you found your way here because you are planing a wedding in the Asheville area and that’s awesome! Congratulations!

Next I am going to assume that you and your fiancé have already discussed what you want your wedding day to be. How you want it to feel. If you would like a rustic look or something more traditional. Do you love all those new bohémien weddings or would you prefer to keep it simple?

If the above is true and you have an idea of your guest count…your ready for our list of important considerations when choosing your Asheville wedding venue. Here we go, every venue you visit, try asking yourself these questions…

Wedding day couples portrait with Mount Monadnock in the backgroundpintopinterest
  1. Does this venue have more room than we need?

    You read that correctly. I said more room than we need. There’s a lot going on during your wedding.

    Food needs to be served. Wine glasses need to be kept full. You two need to walk around and say hello to everyone. People need to be able to pass by one another between tables.

    It’s simple…you need extra space. Try to stay about 10% under the max for your venue and you won’t regret it. If you are planning to have a band think about staying 15% under. Bands are amazing…but they take up a lot more space than a DJ.

  2. Groom and groomsmen hike in suits for a pre wedding portrait session with amazing viewspintopinterest
  3. How easily could I get around this venue, hopping on one leg?

    First you thought I must be crazy, now you’re probably pretty sure I am just ridiculous. Either way I stand by the validity of this important venue consideration.

    Are there any grandparents on your list of guests? How about runners, skiers or maybe avid hikers? Obviously a lot of our grandparents are at the point where they may not get around very well. What about that second group though? Injuries! Ariel and I have been to plenty of weddings where the marathon runner got a stress fracture or the skier didn’t see the patch of ice.

    Accessibility is important! Don’t forget to consider it while you are looking at the amazing view at your Asheville wedding venue.

  4. An amazing wedding cake covered in white frosting, sprinkles and chickletspintopinterest
  5. What are this venues options for food?

    Some venues are very picky about caterers. In some instances you may be stuck using the venues catering service no matter what you originally had in mind.

    For Ariel and I food is the one day of experiential that can not be compromised. We would gladly relocate our wedding to preserve the quality of the food. If you feel the same way, check the venues policy before you sign the contract.

    If your venue has a strict short list of acceptable catering options…check them out before you book the venue. Really, it’s that big a deal!

  6. Farm to Fender food truck parked in front of a Montreat North Carolina wedding venue for some amazing food selections at this Asheville area weddingpintopinterest

We hope you found some of this useful, entertaining if nothing else. Let us know what you think about our list. Leave a comment below or send us a message with our contact form. Just don’t do nothing…and feel free to share this with your Facebook friends by clicking Share on Facebook below!

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Silhouette of couple in castle arches by the ocean during their weddingpintopinterest Adorable bride and groom pose looking at each other on castle draw bridgepintopinterest

Marina and Dan got married just two weekends ago at the always gorgeous seaside wedding venue, Hammond Castle Wedding in Gloucester MA. This was our first wedding of the 2015 season and I can’t think of a better way to kick it off!! Their day was absolutely stunning and Hammond Castle made the perfect backdrop for their seaside wedding!

Because Marina and Dan had us show up the day before to capture their beautiful rehearsal dinner we treated their wedding very much like a destination wedding 🙂 For destination weddings we try to capture some images of the local landscapes and people. In Marina and Dan’s case, we chose to wake up at sunrise and head down to Good Harbor beach which is arguably the most gorgeous beach on Cape Anne… we grabbed our cameras and captured the sun coming up the morning of Marina and Dan’s destination wedding.

Twin lighthouses are silhuetted at sunrise of Good Harbor beach in Gloucester ma  pintopinterest Silhouette of seagull on the rocks at sunrise pintopinterest Couples name written in the sand at good harbor beachpintopinterest

Marina made such a beautiful bride! I absolutely loved that she chose to incorporate a bit of her love of country music (and big trucks) and wear cowboy boots for the first part of her wedding day! She also picked out a gorgeous reception dress with a set of beautiful white high heels to change into for dancing in the castle!

Bride with her gorgeous bouquet poses for a quick portraitpintopinterest beautiful engagement ring on top of brides cowboy bootpintopinterest wedding dress hangs  silhouetted in doorway in black and white pintopinterest silhouette of wedding shoespintopinterest Gloucester MA marina is always packed with boatspintopinterest beautiful brides gets zipped into her wedding gownpintopinterest groom fixing his hair before the ceremonypintopinterest cuff links being put on the groom before his weddingpintopinterest Beautiful bride with her bouquet poses on castle drawbridgepintopinterest Groom gets ready to see his bride for the first timepintopinterest two adorable flower girls pose laughing with the groompintopinterest cute bride and groom pose with their dog for a quick portraitpintopinterest beautiful wedding program inside hammond castles great hallpintopinterest bride waits patiently for the ceremony to beginpintopinterest adorable flowers girls and the bride and grooms dog  smilingpintopinterest flower girls run through Hammond Castle for the wedding ceremonypintopinterest silhouette of bride and groom during their seaside wedding ceremonypintopinterest bride and grooms first kiss as husband and wife after their seaside wedding ceremonypintopinterest bride and groom happily walk down the aisle after their wedding ceremony at Hammond Castlepintopinterest beautiful bridesmaid bouquet pintopinterest Beautiful bride and her bridesmaids pose for a portrait  by some stone arches at Hammond Castlepintopinterest Handsome groom and his groomsmen get goofy for a picturepintopinterest black and white image of bride and groom by the arches at Hammond Castlepintopinterest gorgeous bride and groom pose for a quick portrait after their wedding ceremony at hammond castlepintopinterest beautiful couple kisses by the ocean during their hammond castle weddingpintopinterest the tent and chuppah in gorgeous early evening light during the wedding reception at hammond castlepintopinterest wedding cake during wedding reception at hammond castlepintopinterest a view of the reception tent through a window at Hammond Castlepintopinterest

When I heard Marina and Dan’s first dance was going to be to the tune of “Shut up and Dance” by Walk the Moon, I knew it was going to be awesome… Matt and I had just been talking about how that is a must for a first dance song. They definitely didn’t disappoint their guests!

groom dips his bride during their fun first dance pintopinterest flower girl shares her drink with the groom during wedding receptionpintopinterest guests at wedding reception show off their dance movespintopinterest Bride lifted up in chair during the Hora pintopinterest adorable couple dances during wedding reception at Hammond Castlepintopinterest Flower girls and a guest take a self portrait during wedding reception at hammond castlepintopinterest the reception tent all light up at night with twinkly lightspintopinterest bride and groom almost kiss in gorgeous spanish archwaypintopinterest bride and groom run across a castle drawbridge during their sparkler exit pintopinterest

Marina and Dan, thank you so much for having us be a part of your fabulous wedding! We had a blast capturing your day and we hope you love your images!!

A huge thank you to all the other amazing vendors who worked hard on Marina and Dan’s wedding! We had a blast working with everyone!!

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If you’re in the process of planning a wedding you’ve probably figured out that this is a huge undertaking!!! Each item on the task list probably has 10 subitems and each have 5 things to do of their own. <-- I may be over-organized but I think you get the idea. Ultimately, we can't blame anyone for taking an opportunity here and there to cut a few corners. We highly recommend that you take the time to prioritize your list that way you're sure to not cut corners on your top 3 items!!

For Ariel and I the top 3 are finding a venue, photographer and caterer. We’d love to think that finding a photographer is #1 (occasionally we get couples where this is the case and it’s always fun to help them find their dream wedding venue) but for most finding and booking their venue is priority #1.

Next week I intend to post a list of 3 ways to avoid regretting your venue selection but today we are talking about choosing an Asheville wedding photographer, so here we go!

    Wedding photograph taken over the shoulder of a guest with a point and shoot camerapintopinterest
  1. “My Uncle Offered to Do It for Free”

    Uncle Bob may take a lot of photos but if he doesn’t photograph events for a living, just say thanks…but no thanks. Wedding photography is extremely fast paced and stressful (aka. exciting!!). Not to mention the vast variety of lighting conditions (including very very dark receptions!!). Most uncle Bob’s simply haven’t been in a situation where they need to get it right the first time every time. Don’t let your wedding be the day that he finds out wether or not he can pull it off.

    I know I’m biased but if you are going to splurge on any one item on your wedding day, it should be on photography. These images will allow you to relive all the big, little, in-between moments of your wedding day for years to come; the joy, laughter, emotion… your friends and family all in one place for a day to celebrate you. Going back to the top 3 items on the wedding planning to do list, if you it’s not in the budget to have all three, here are some recommendations to save a little here and there:

    • Depending on your must have attributes for a venue; backyards and public spaces should be on every venue list as far as we’re concerned. Some of our most favorite weddings have taken place right in the backyard of someone close to the bride and groom
    • Consider thinking out of the box when it comes to catering…Some of the best tasting food Ariel and I have had at weddings, has been potluck! Yes, you generally sacrifice presentation but you maintain taste and save a ton of money!
  2. A beautiful bride smiling at her Asheville wedding photographer on her wedding day while getting into her dresspintopinterest
  3. Overlooking Personality

    Why add stress to your wedding day? Hire someone you enjoy spending time with.

    On a typical wedding day Ariel and I spend 6-8 hours with our couples. Half of that time is spent in direct communication with the couple, the wedding party or the couples family.

    Do you really want to spend, or subject your friends and family to spending, that much time with a pompous “artist“. Worse yet do you want to be stuck with a socially inept bore? Maybe you do… If so we probably aren’t the photographers for you, we’ve been called many a thing “boring and pompous” definitely not…

    Meet your photographer before you hire them. In person, via video chat or phone. Whenever possible we meet with our couples over coffee or a beer and generally spend a good amount of time chatting about both wedding and completely non wedding related things, like hiking, traveling, food etc… You get the point… The important part is that you have a conversation and make sure that you click!!

    During your meeting they should be focused on you and your wedding. If they take the time to brag about themselves and inform you of what they require on the wedding day move on to the next photographer on your list.

  4. Bride and Groom posing for photo on their wedding day with shock and aww on their face as something surprising happens off camerapintopinterest
  5. Hiring Your Sisters Photographer Before Meeting with Anyone Else

    You and your sister may be close…but you are not the same person. You have to like your photographer. Add her photographer to your list and meet with them the same way you meet with every other photographer on the list.

    We love being contacted by sisters, brothers and friends of past brides but we still insist on a meeting before booking. Going back to the second item on our list of mistakes to avoid; personality matters!

  6. Couple enjoying a moment alone while they wait for direction from their Asheville wedding photographerpintopinterest
  7. We Liked Photographer A, But Photographer B Included an Album

    Remember…You can always add product later…but you won’t want that included album if the images were all underexposed and out of focus. You only get one shot at this, there are no redo’s when it comes to weddings. Make sure the photographer you hire is going to capture your wedding day beautifully.

    Once you have the images you love they can be put into any variety of products that you would like. Having images that you absolutely love should be your number 1 priority when it comes to selecting the right photographer to capture your day! Purchase an album for your anniversary, but at least you will have images that you are over the moon excited to display!

  8. A night image of a couple on the beach after their weddingpintopinterest
  9. Only Considering Photographers That Are Within Budget

    Rank the photographers you meet with by attributes first then add price into the equation. Style, reputation, personality and flexibility all have value. If you love the work you see from a photographer; never cross them off the list based solely on price. Meet with them and learn more about their pricing.

    Wedding photography is anything but standardized. Obviously you need to know how much it will cost, but try asking some of these questions as well:

    • If I can’t afford an album now can I come back to you for one later?
    • Can I print the digital images that I get from?
    • Do you retouch images for printing?

Wedding planning truly is a big task, but hopefully now you can avoid a few of these mistakes while you are choosing your Asheville wedding photographer.

Did you find any of this useful? Do you think we left something of value out? Tell us. Leave a comment below or contact us directly. If you like what you read; tell everyone you know with the social buttons below!

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  • I can definitely vouch for #5 – Brett and I did an evaluation ranked according to style, personality, etc, before bringing price into the equation. Once we brought price in, we cut back on what we were going to do… but by the end of our engagement/time for the wedding we realized we had way more room in our budget and added two separate sessions with the wedding party/friends outside of the wedding itself!

    As for the rest – Personality was super important to us – you really want to have photographers that can make you laugh and that you feel at ease around – and Ariel & Matt are, in our opinion, the best choice.