Kelsi and Josh’s Asheville wedding day was not exactly what they planned… it wasn’t even on the same continent! But it was just as glorious of a celebration as anyone could have imagined. Hear all about it from the bride, Kelsi below – and don’t skip over her tips for future brides!
…The day after getting engaged, Josh and I moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, to work towards our master’s at the University of Edinburgh Business School. Our love for travel, and Scotland in particular, inspired us to plan a destination wedding in Edinburgh. We set the date and continued with our wedding planning, tasting cakes, booking a florist, and even hiring a Ceilidh band to lead our guests in traditional dancing. Invitations were sent and we just couldn’t wait for the celebrations to start. In hindsight, this was somewhat naïve as this would involve international travel in the context of continued uncertainty around COVID-19. However, due to our optimistic inclinations, we were hopeful that by September 2021, international travel restrictions would be lifted.
It was in April 2021 when we began to reconsider our wedding decisions as travel restrictions persisted and the uncertainty concerning the future of travel continued. While we lost many deposits, the decision to cancel the Scottish celebration alleviated a great deal of stress as we no longer had to worry about guests paying expensive fees due to COVID-19, or even the possibility of having to cancel last minute due to Scotland’s government restrictions.
We were back to square one; however, we weren’t quite ready to give up on having a destination wedding. After some research, we decided on Asheville, North Carolina, because this was in between my hometown and my husband’s hometown. But what really sealed the deal, was the availability of Grace Episcopal Church on September 25th, 2021. We came across Grace Episcopal Church after searching ‘prettiest churches in North Carolina’ in Google. We were immediately in love because it closely resembled the church in Scotland with its unbelievable interior and exterior stone. Everything began to fall into place—it really felt like a miracle at times. The Venue in downtown Asheville was available for that date, as well as highly reviewed vendors.
My husband and I are not the only COVID-19 couple to face wedding challenges, and I am sure many couples have experienced greater frustration, heartache, and disappointment than us while planning their wedding. I wanted to write about this because I learned some vital life lessons and have some tips that I wish someone had shared with me before planning my wedding.
(1) Go with the flow and accept the uncontrollable nature of life. Even outside of the COVID-19 context, not everything will go your way. At the end of the day, there are so many things that are out of our control. However, we are in control of how we respond to the things that happen to us. If we frame situations in a positive light, we are more likely to find the silver lining.
(2) Do not plan for perfection. I’m a perfectionist and a visionary so often I imagine future events going perfectly—this of course is a recipe for disappointment. As soon as you begin picturing your wedding day/week going perfectly, you are making yourself vulnerable to future disappointment because life is rarely perfect.
(3) Be grateful. Don’t forget to take a moment and think about all that you are grateful for, whether that’s your husband/wife, friends, family, wedding planner, photographer, and for the day in general. Gratitude inspires perspective and joy; unfortunately, the stress of planning and unexpected challenges can distract us from taking the time to be grateful.
See the full vendor list of this charming Asheville wedding below the images.
Venue: The Venue Asheville | Coordinator: Maddison at The Planning Asheville | Photo & Video: Almond Leaf Studios | Florist: Studio Flora Diva | Cake: Karen Donatelli Bakery | Reception DJ: Remix Weddings | Wedding Hair & Makeup: Ananda Hair Studio |