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

Creative Bride and Groom portrait in front of Montreat College's Waterfallpintopinterest

Rebecca and Sam had a gorgeous fall wedding at Montreat College, tucked away in the mountains just outside of Asheville NC. There are so many reasons we were over the moon excited to be a part of their wedding day, one very big one was that they were our first wedding booked in North Carolina… oh but there were so many more… Our very first Skype meeting with these two was a blast and we quickly discovered how much we had in common… Particularly our love of the outdoors, hiking, beer, good food, travel. Did I mention that these two were about to embark on their pre-wedding honeymoon hiking the Santiago De Camino, an amazing, grueling 500 mile trek across Spain. If you haven’t heard of it I highly recommend the movie The Way. Maybe two days before we did our initial Skype consult with these two, we had watched The Way… So when Rebecca and Sam mentioned that they were about to embark on the adventure themselves, we took it as a sign that we were meant to document their wedding day :)!! So needless to say, we were thrilled when they decided we were the right photographers for them! Check out some of our favorite images from their wedding below!

Bride poses for a moment before her ceremony at Gaither Chapelpintopinterest ashevilleweddingdetails-2pintopinterest ashevilleweddingdetails-1pintopinterest The Bride looking gorgeous as she gets her hair donepintopinterest Baby Enjoying the Wedding Day Festivities of Getting Readypintopinterest Flower girls little feet dangling as she sits on brides lappintopinterest Bride and Flower Girl Posing for a Quick pictures during getting readypintopinterest The earrings get put on at Gaither Chapelpintopinterest Getting dressed at Gaither Chapelpintopinterest AMWStudios-140906-0244-10pintopinterest AMWStudios-140906-0247-11pintopinterest AMWStudios-140906-0289-12pintopinterest AMWStudios-140906-0326-13pintopinterest Bride poses for a moment before her ceremony at Gaither Chapelpintopinterest AMWStudios-140906-0527-15pintopinterest AMWStudios-140906-0516-2-16pintopinterest AMWStudios-140906-0520-17pintopinterest AMWStudios-140906-0537-18pintopinterest AMWStudios-140906-0553-19pintopinterest AMWStudios-140906-0576-2-21pintopinterest AMWStudios-140906-0592-22pintopinterest AMWStudios-140906-0607-23pintopinterest bride and groom walk down the Gaither Chapel aislepintopinterest AMWStudios-140906-0623-25pintopinterest AMWStudios-140906-0731-26pintopinterest Bride and groom show off their shoespintopinterest AMWStudios-140906-0691-28pintopinterest AMWStudios-140906-0744-29pintopinterest AMWStudios-140906-0909-30pintopinterest ashevilleweddingportraits-montreatpintopinterest Bride and groom enjoying some ice cream during their couples portraits at their Montreat College weddingpintopinterest Bride and groom enjoying some ice cream during their couples portraits at their Montreat College wedding!pintopinterest The bride and her sister pose for a quick portraitpintopinterest Wedding Party having some fun during the fall wedding at Montreat Collegepintopinterest

Rebecca’s choice of the vibrant purple colors in the bridesmaid dresses along with the whites and purple accents in her bouquet were absolutely stunning against all the stone architecture at Montreat College! The wedding party made our job super easy, they were some of the most fun, willing groups we have worked with!!

purple and white bouquets were perfect for this fall wedding in the mountains near Asheville NCpintopinterest AMWStudios-140906-0996-36pintopinterest the bride and her ladies in purple bridesmaid dresses on the bridge at Montreat Collegepintopinterest handsome groom and groomsmen pose for a moment on the bridge at Montreat Collegepintopinterest

When it comes to couples portraits it never hurts to have a super adventurous bride and groom! These two were all about climbing around on rocks in front of a gorgeous waterfall, whatever it takes to get the best angle 🙂 Don’t think that we made them take all the risk… Matt and I always joke that it’s not a normal day at work unless we climb at least one tree (wall, rock, mountain etc..), traverse a stream or something of that nature. Again… Whatever it takes to get the best angle!

AMWStudios-140906-1167-2-39pintopinterest bride and groom take a quiet moment by the riverpintopinterest Adventurous couple poses on their wedding day on the rocks by the stream at Montreat Collegepintopinterest Montreat college's waterfall is the perfect place for couples portraitspintopinterest adventurous bride and groom on the rocks in front of a waterfall in the mountains of NCpintopinterest beautiful purple flowers on a traditional white wedding cakepintopinterest bride and groom share a first dance during their wedding at Montreat Collegepintopinterest bride and her father sharing a moment during the reception at Montreat Collegepintopinterest Groom and his mom tear up the dance floor in the Anderson Auditoriumpintopinterest Bride and groom cut the cake at their montreat wedding receptionpintopinterest guests having fun at Anderson Auditorium reception at Montreat Collegepintopinterest guests having fun at Anderson Auditorium reception at Montreat Collegepintopinterest guests having fun at Anderson Auditorium reception at Montreat Collegepintopinterest wedding cake at Anderson Auditorium reception at Montreat Collegepintopinterest guests having fun at Anderson Auditorium reception at Montreat Collegepintopinterest Dancing at the reception in Black Mountainpintopinterest A happy Sparker Send Off is a great way to end the night at this Montreat College weddingpintopinterest

Complete with beautiful scenery, pretty details, fabulous food and some of the friendliest guests/family/friends… Needless to say their wedding set the bar pretty high when it comes to Western North Carolina weddings! With our move to Asheville North Carolina coming up this fall, we can’t wait to officially become Asheville Wedding Photographers!

A huge thank you to the rest of the team who helped to make Rebecca and Sam’s wedding day awesome!

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Spring time flouwers blooming on Mount Lafayettepintopinterest

Ariel and I love to hike!

A little less than a year ago (June 2014) we took the image above while we were hiking the Mount Lafayette loop. Those little white flowers are called Diapensia; according to “The Appalachian Trail Visitor’s Companion” by Leonard Adking, they bloom between June and July near Mount Lafayette and Mount Washington here in New Hampshire.

Anyone who has hiked Mount Lafayette won’t be surprised to know that it wasn’t our first time up there. It was however our first time up there in such perfect weather surrounded by carpets of these beautiful, tiny white flowers.

This brings us to the title of this post; Elope in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. More to the point, have you considered an elopement on top of Mount Lafayette this June or July? Can you think of a more perfect place to get married? Surrounded by the gorgeous White Mountains! The weather in the early summer tends to be better than any other time of the year. The Diapensia are in bloom and the AMC has the Greenleaf Hut less than 20 minutes from the top of Lafayette.

Would you like Ariel and I to join you for your Mountain top elopement? We are available most week days in June and July since our weddings tend to be on the weekends. Most importantly though, we love the idea of a mountain top elopement! We even have elopement coverage on our new Investment Page!

I should probably note that we are happy to photograph an elopement at a less extreme location as well. I just came across this image and thought, “Wow…what a great place to get married!”. With AMC’s Greenleaf Hut located so close to the summit of Lafayette, it would be a great place to stop and change on the way up or spend the night the day before. You could even have your closest friend’s join you since there is a ton of open area at the top of Lafayette.

If you are still just considering an elopement check out this article by someone who actually did it: Things to Think about When Planning an Elopement

Do you think I’m crazy to suggest an elopement on Mount Lafayette? Do you love the idea and want to go for it? Speak up! You can give us your thought privately by contacting us or you can just tell everyone by leaving a comment.

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  • jessica

    I would absolutely love to get married on top of Lafayette!!! I have never climbed it yet. 😉ReplyCancel

Plates of Lobster Rolls and Dishes of Lemon Wedges at a New Hapmshire Tented Weddingpintopinterest

“The food looks amazing!” is probably the single, most common, precisely, identically and exactly repeated coupling of words that runs through my head on any given wedding day. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that the same would be true for Ariel.

Did you ask why? I was hoping you would. (No need to feel bad if you didn’t but I’m going to tell you either way)…

First…we love food! LOVE food! We, that’s Ariel and me, LOVE FOOD!

Wedding appetizer with Ravioli and cherry tomatoes on a white platepintopinterest

Second, and this is the only time in our daily lives that this is routinely true, by the time dinner comes out…we are starving. Ever go to the grocery store hungry? Everything looks like the most amazing thing you have ever seen. Wedding food is pretty phenomenal in comparison to what most of us put on our plate on a day to day basis. So again I say “The food looks amazing!”

I am quite proud that I personally have never removed a guests arm to get at that amazing cuisine. This time, however, I would not go out on that limb to include Ariel in my statement.

A server at a wedding presenting a plate of appetizers rolled and  stuck with a fancy toothpickpintopinterest

“ This little piece of gum is a three course dinner! ” ~ Willy Wonka

Willy Wonka may have said it first but many a wedding venue or caterer has said it since. Granted, they generally change the wording a bit but it sounds just as ridiculous.

Like most things… most of the time, everything is great! Then, once in a while, we go 8 hours without anything more than an energy bar that we threw in our bag “just in case”. This is not the best way to get the most out of your Asheville wedding photographers.

Imagine hiking for 8 hours (with a moderate day pack…say 15 lbs.) in 90+ degree heat without a single break for water or food. I don’t know about anyone else but for me, about 4 hours into that hike I start making very poor decisions.

Now, I think it’s finally time to get to the point. I’m unable to speak for every wedding photographer out there; but to get the most out of these Asheville wedding photographers the formula is simple:

  1. Speak to your venue or caterer ahead of time about their policy on feeding vendors.
  2. Let them know that you would prefer that your photographers and videographers be fed at the start of the dinner service not at the end.
  3. If you are paying for your vendors to eat the same food as your guests (as apposed to vendor meals), check with the day of coordinator when you get to the reception to make sure they are aware of this. We are perfectly happy with the chicken but we wouldn’t want you to pay for the filet anyway.
  4. When you sit down to eat, the day of coordinator will come over to see how you are, take this opportunity to ask if the photographers and videographers have been fed. If we eat while you eat, we can’t miss anything.
  5. To solve all of these issues…consider hiring a wedding planner. You will never regret having one!
An assortment of cupcakes on a rack at a weddingpintopinterest

Oh yeah…a little sugar boost after dinner can’t hurt either.

I hope this was useful to someone. Let us know! Leave a comment…ask a question…sign up for our quarterly newsletter, it’s mostly cute stuff…and a few contests!!

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We have two very exciting changes going on here at AMW Studios!

The first big change is that Matt and I have launched this brand new website and blog. We’ve been hard at work (who am I kidding, Matt’s been hard at work…I’ve been taking the kids for adventures everyday!) over the last month and a half, building this gorgeous new website for us to kick of the 2015 wedding season with!! We’d love for you to take a look around and maybe even leave a comment below to let us know what you think :)!!!

The second (even bigger) change is that very soon, Matt and I will be calling the gorgeous mountains of Asheville, NC home. Some of you may have heard little whispers about this, particularly if we’re friends on Facebook, but for most of you… this is probably big news!! We are over the moon excited about this new chapter in our lives. Some of the things we’re most excited about; the endless opportunities for outdoor adventure (there are some serious mountains through WNC!!), the amazing local food scene and last but certainly not least, warmer winters!! The plethora of stunning, unique locations to get married have us looking forwarding to being an Asheville wedding photographer and all the amazing weddings to come!!

Don’t get me wrong…It is bittersweet, New England will always where Matt and I shared our first home together, fell in love… with each other and with photography. It is the place where our two amazing kiddo’s, Aydon and Piper were born. We also started AMW Studios in Boston 5 years ago and what a fantastic 5 years it’s been!! For that…Matt and I want to say thank you to all of our amazing couples that have allowed us into their lives. And thank you to every single photographer, friend, and family member who has ever referred a couple to us. We truly would not be where we are today without that support from so many people.

Now, you New Englander’s can’t get rid of us that easy… Matt and I will absolutely continue shooting weddings (and portraits) here in New England, especially Boston and New Hampshire! We will be flying back here often through the end of 2016 (yes 2016!!) for previously booked weddings!! This is also still where much of our family is and an area that we love!!

I think a better term for what we are actually doing might be… expanding to the Carolinas, stretching our legs a bit (in a warmer climate 🙂 The truth is, in this mobile/digital day-and-age…with so much of our communication being done by email, text, phone, or Skype… our business can operate successfully from just about anywhere in the world (one of the reasons we absolutely love what we do!!). I mean don’t get me wrong…There are still times when we meet our clients face to face; engagement sessions, impromptu hike in mountains, a pre-wedding planning session over a beer, the wedding day… haha.

I’ll wrap up my rambling on these last notes… If you’re a current client and have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out by phone or email!! Also, we’d absolutely love to have all you wonderful people help spread the word that we’re expanding south!!! If you know anybody getting married in the Carolina’s we’d love to have you pass our name along!!!


Ariel + Matt

I’ll leave you with a couple favorite images from our very first wedding that we photographed down south at the gorgeous Montreat College just outside of Asheville! Congratulations to Rebecca and Sam, thanks so much for you having us be a part of your wedding day!! I can’t wait to share their full wedding on our blog soon 🙂
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  • Kelly McDougall

    We are so excited to be working with you next year!! Congratulations on the new website it looks amazing!!ReplyCancel

I truly hope you have more than 30 days to plan your wedding (although, I’ve seen some gorgeous weddings planned with a very, very short amount of time!!), either way…start here! The Knot does a great job putting together informative articles like this one about planning a wedding.

Of course…Ariel and I believe that #8 on this list “Create an outline of the other vendors you need to hire, and start inquiring about your date.”; should actually be split into 2 parts. We strongly suggest finding a photographer (wink) or caterer immediately after finding a venue. Then using their recommendations to find the rest of your vendors in the final step.

The best part about this list of 8 simple steps (9 if you follow our advice) to plan your Asheville wedding in 30 days is; it is a perfect outline for any timeline! If you have a year to plan your wedding you can easily use the items on this list to title planning dates on your calendar. If you do have the extra time, we suggest taking a weekend away to nail down the first 3. Remember, in our list #3 is finding a wedding photographer or caterer. As soon as these 3 things are done the remaining items should flow surprisingly quickly!

If you’ve found this particular article I would assume you’ve just begun planning your wedding in the Asheville area. As The Knot recommends, once you’ve figured out your budget and overall vision for your big day, finding your venue should be a big first step to creating your dream wedding!

To help get you started planning your fabulous wedding day and since this post is focused on planning a last minute wedding… I’ve included a few wedding venues in the Asheville area that are outside the more traditional Country club, Hotel, Ballroom weddings!! Asheville has plenty to offer when it comes to gorgeous, unique locations to have your wedding!

Asheville’s Crest Center is a great place to start if you’re looking for a venue with gorgeous mountain views and a rustic but very elegant feel!

Looking for an outdoorsy, farm wedding? Claxton Farm is a 500 acre working farm just outside of Asheville that hosts gorgeous, fun weddings!

Is your taste more urban chic? You might want to head over to Pack Tavern’s – Century Room located in the heart of downtown Asheville! This space has a finished warehouse feel with high ceilings, exposed wood beams and brick walls!

I hope this helps you begin your wedding planning!

Definitely ask the vendors you’ve booked first to give you recommendations for other trusted vendors in the industry. For instance, your venue can be a really good resource for selecting your DJ or Band, caterer, even florist. Us photographers are there for getting ready all the way through the reception, we interact with most of the vendors involved in your big day and we always, always, always like being a resource for our brides when they’re in search of an awesome hair and makeup artist, videographer and florist!!

Would you change anything on this list? Do you like our suggestions? Tell us what you think in the comments section below! Don’t forget to like and share too!

Happy Planning!!!

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