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

I think it’s important to start out with an important admission. We love cake! More to the point, we LOVE wedding cake!

Now that we have cleared that up, we also love options! The big downside to wedding cake is that you normally only see one or maybe two options within a single cake. Some of the alternatives that we have come up with in this post however can have 10 or 15 variations for your guests. At the same price or less than a typical wedding cake…how can you go wrong?

In an effort not to insult dessert of any kind, I would like to take this opportunity to mention that the following options are in no particular order. Here we go…

Four tiers of colorful cupcakes  on a white table waiting for wedding guests to dig inpintopinterest
Cupcakes

That’s right…mini cakes!! Are you worried about straying to far from tradition? Do you just want more variety than cake can offer? Miniaturize and multiply!!

Cupcakes today are nothing like my mom used to put on the table. {Sorry Mom} Gourmet cupcakes are amazing and the options are virtually unlimited! I want a cupcake…I may need to take a break.

Wedding dessert options including mint stick chocolate moose, pumpkin creme brulee and an assortment of tartspintopinterest
Assorted Mini Desserts

I know, I know…this one is a bit of a copout. I really tried to be more specific but I haven’t found a dessert served in a ramekin yet that I don’t love. Forget subtleties in variation with this option. Give your guests an endless range of options with mini desserts.

The biggest piece of advice I have with this option is to vary everything! That’s right, try to get different textures, sweetness levels, colors and serving temperatures!

In our experience these mini desserts have the lowest left over count by far! Variety is king.

A wedding cake alternative, this chocolate fountain with assorted fruit on a stick is amazingpintopinterest
The Always Popular Chocolate Fountain

Seriously…a four foot tall tower of chocolate flowing like a thick, delicious waterfall. Surround this tower with anything and everything that you want to try eating covered in chocolate. Strawberries, blueberries, marshmallows, maybe some bacon…I’m just saying. Mmmm…bacon

If you’re anything like me 20 more things just popped into your mind to cover in chocolate! Now…imagine…many, many towers! Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, maybe some spicy chocolate or orange infused chocolate! Oh my…time to move on.

A wedding dessert table covered in assorted cookie options for guestspintopinterest
A Cookie Bar

Cookies and milk is classic. Everybody enjoys a well baked cookie and as a dessert at a wedding it brings a sense of comfort and familiarity that you don’t get from cake.

Again you gain a good amount of variety. Don’t forget that all the variety doesn’t have to come from the cookie selection. Dunking options can create a great deal of interest as well. Milk may be the classic but hot chocolate can be an excellent experiential upgrade. Now try flavoring that hot chocolate…I know, next.

Three tiers of waffle cones and an assortment of candy toppings make this ice cream bar a big hit at weddingspintopinterest
An Ice Cream Bar

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!!

Ice cream bars are brilliant! I still feel like a little kid every time we go out for ice cream. Your guests will love it!

The colors that can be incorporated through the topping selections is incredible. Soft serve keeps things moving but hard local ice cream is a big crowd pleaser.

Keep the Cake

You can always keep the cake if you want to. Any of the options above can be combined in any way imaginable. We have seen weddings with almost all of the above possibilities. The important thing to remember is that you are not stuck with cake. If wedding cake isn’t your thing…don’t get one. You have options.

Did the options above inspire you to do something great with your wedding dessert? Do you think it’s wrong to have a wedding without a cake? Does it seem like I got a little to excited by the chocolate fountain?

Tell us what you think! Leave some other interesting ideas in the comments! Share this post with everyone you know!

Click here to contact us about your Asheville wedding. We would love to hear from you.

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Bride and Groom pose in front of red barn during their rustic wedding at Bishop Farm pintopinterest Black and white of Bride and groom kissing at their barn wedding reception pintopinterest

Jess and Paul got married in May at the always stunning Bishop farm B&B in the White Mountains of New Hampshire … This venue is a quintessential farm venue with a definite wow factor!! With cabins onsite along with a gorgeous farmhouse, Bishop Farm makes a perfect destination wedding location where your closest friends and family celebrate with you all week!! On the wedding day itself the ladies at Bishop farm keep things running smoothly and ensure that the details are exactly as you want them. The reception barn is simply stunning… Let me tell you… everything about the property screams outdoorsy, rustic farm wedding but once those barn doors open and your guests wander into the reception barn to be seated for dinner… you feel like you’re at the fanciest, most elegant barn wedding you’ve ever been too! I’m so excited to share some of our favorite images from their day!!

Brides gorgeous wedding details included gorgeous white wedges, elegant pearl jewelry and a lace wedding gownpintopinterest The brides lace wedding gown hangs in a barn for a pre-dressing image pintopinterest The bride poses with her gorgeous bouquet and shows off her stunning hairpiece pintopinterest Stunningly beautiful bride with blue eyes and classic pearl jewelry poses for a quick bridal portraitpintopinterest

Doesn’t Jess look absolutely stunning?! I mean seriously…

Brides sister helps to put the beautiful brides necklace on her before the ceremony pintopinterest adorable flower girl with handmade flower girls dress smiles for a picturespintopinterest elegant bride smiles over her shoulder before her ceremony at Bishop Farm pintopinterest Wedding rings rest on beautiful barn wood and delicate purple and green boutonnière about to be put on groompintopinterest handsome groom buttons collar in the mirror before his rustic barn wedding pintopinterest The groom and his groomsmen play some foosball before he gets married pintopinterest handsome groom gets ready in an old farmhouse before he gets marriedpintopinterest Beautiful handmade birch tree arbor adorns the ceremony location pintopinterest wedding pup poses in her white doggie tutu before the ceremony pintopinterest

Lulu was not such a big fan of her doggie tutu!

Handmade wooden ceremony sign directs guests where to go pintopinterest beautiful white flowers in mason jars line the aisle of this elegant outdoor ceremony pintopinterest bride and her parents smile at guests while they walk down the aisle of an outdoor ceremonypintopinterest black and white image of a rustic outdoor ceremony pintopinterest Bride and groom hold hands in from of birch arbor during their barn wedding ceremonypintopinterest old wagon wheel by the ceremony  was a perfect focus point pintopinterest bride and groom change their first kiss as husband and wife after their outdoor ceremony pintopinterest Bride and groom walk down the aisle after their barn wedding ceremony pintopinterest Bride gives her dad a quick kiss on the cheek during pictures at her farm wedding pintopinterest

Now, I’m not one to usually post to many formals but I absolutely love what Matt did with the wedding party while I photographed all the amazing details in the barn!!

beautiful wedding party poses in front of a red barn for a quick group photo pintopinterest bride and her beautiful bridesmaids pose in front of big red barnpintopinterest bride smiles at the camera while her bridesmaids show off their beautiful bouquets pintopinterest The handsome groom and his groomsmen goof off for a picture at their barn wedding pintopinterest

We had a few minutes with Jess and Paul before they headed into the barn for their first dance… I think we made good use of what little time we had, what do you think?!!

Bride and groom pose smiling at the camera during their barn wedding receptionpintopinterest bride and groom hold hands and look at each other in front of red barn pintopinterest bride and groom embrace in front of beautiful red barn during their farm weddingpintopinterest Beautiful bride looks back over her shoulder during a couples portrait pintopinterest bride and groom hold hands in front of gorgeous old farmhouse pintopinterest

As you’ll see below, all of Jess and Paul’s wedding details were simply gorgeous! The purple, green and white flowers chose for the centerpieces really complimented the gorgeous dark wood interior of the barn.

Beautiful purple and green flower centerpieces complimented the rustic wood interior of this barn wedding  pintopinterest All the pretty details during a rustic barn wedding pintopinterest Custom glasses were placed on each table for the guests to take homepintopinterest Gorgeous purple and blue flowers decorate the rustic barn reception at Bishop Farm pintopinterest Jess and Paul happily enter the reception for their first dance pintopinterest bride smiles during first dance during her beautiful  barn wedding pintopinterest beautiful bride and groom enjoy their first dance in an elegant barn pintopinterest Bride and groom smile at each other during their first dance pintopinterest bride and groom kiss after their first dance pintopinterest Maid of honor gives funny speech during a barn wedding reception pintopinterest Bride and groom enjoy the toasts during their barn wedding reception pintopinterest groom gives bride a sweet smile during a toast pintopinterest bride and groom cheers after the toasts are complete  during their wedding reception pintopinterest

After the toasts we had a few minutes to sneak Jess and Paul out for some more couples portraits! We took them up to the meadow above the barn and even got to have a little fun with some christmas lights and a wooded path…

Bride and groom pose in front of old cattle barn during their rustic wedding reception pintopinterest bride walks in front of groom during a quick couples portrait pintopinterest bride and groom stand a meadow for a portrait pintopinterest Silhouette of bride and groom with the moon behind them at dusk pintopinterest lights and a birch arbor surround the bride and groom pintopinterest groom leads his beautiful bride down a christmas tree light wooded path pintopinterest bride and groom kiss with the farm behind them pintopinterest bride and groom hold hands and walk back to reception barn pintopinterest guitarist during the wedding reception pintopinterest two girls pose for a picture during a barn wedding reception pintopinterest guests taking pictures of people dancing during the wedding pintopinterest grooms dad being goofy during the wedding reception pintopinterest guests dancing during a wedding reception in the barn pintopinterest groom and his guys give each other low fivespintopinterest bride dances during her barn wedding receptionpintopinterest guests having fun on the barn dance floorpintopinterest bride and groom dancing with a heart behind them during their barn wedding receptionpintopinterest rain coats the windows of the barn during a wedding receptionpintopinterest bride and groom made custom signs out of bottle caps with their initials  pintopinterest lightning lights up the sky behind the barn during bride and grooms wedding receptionpintopinterest

I just want to point out that the sky was actually pitch black at this point… this image was taken at about 10pm… Thanks to a major storm that rolled in, the lighting was lighting up the whole sky behind the barn… it was gorgeous. I of course decided to brave the weather and run outside for a quick picture.

Bride and groom run out of the barn for their sparkler exit at the end of their wedding receptionpintopinterest bride and groom kiss with sparklers in the background during their barn wedding reception sparkler exit pintopinterest

Just as quickly as the storm came, it left and we were able to light sparklers up for the couples exit at the end of the night!

Jess and Paul, thank you so much for having us be a part of your fabulous and gorgeous barn 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 Jess and Paul’s amazing wedding! We absolutely loved working with everyone involved!!

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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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