Carolina Bride

This Magic Moment

After a seven-month courtship, Ashley Sayers was excitedly preparing for her trip to Asheville with boyfriend Sean Kelley; it was her first visit to Asheville and the couple’s first getaway together. “Ironically enough,” says Ashley, “we were going there to see wedding venues even though we weren’t engaged yet.” On the last day of their visit, they savored brunch at Deerpark Restaurant on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate, and the two shared a not-so-uncommon moment of being on the same page. “As soon as we walked into the courtyard, we were both thinking the same thing, that this would be the ideal place to get married.” Right after the trip, Sean was able to catch Ashley off guard with his weeknight proposal by suggesting they skip the gym and grab dinner instead—at their first date spot, a neighborhood restaurant. Once engaged, and with a date in mind that was an exact year after their first Asheville trip, there was no question that the courtyard at Deerpark was their dream ceremony site. “We loved the rustic look of the stable, and we both knew we wanted to get married outside no matter the weather,” says Ashley. “And the colors were easy; he went to ECU, so of course purple is his favorite color, and it happens to be mine as well.” Though Ashley and Sean worked together to pull together the intimate event on their own, they brought in Debbie Elmore as a day-of coordinator to make sure the weekend ran smoothly. A personally recorded message from Ashley to Sean played just before she walked down the aisle, leaving no dry eyes among the fifty guests. But perhaps the most special moment was the final dance of the night. Ashley and Sean stole away for a private dance in the same spot where they said their vows, surrounded by candlelight. “It was very special,” says Ashley, tearing up at the memory. “Weddings go so fast and you’re so busy and involved with everyone, so that was our special time together. We just reflected on how amazing the night was It was a very sweet time.”

Featured Vendors


Old South Studios



Diamonds Direct SouthPark



Flower Gallery of Asheville, flowers

Lasting Impressions, gown

David's Bridal, bridesmaids' dresses

Men's Wearhouse, tuxedos

Jeneze Designs, stationery

A Bride's DJ, entertainment

Biltmore Estate, portrait location

Deerpark Restaurant at Biltmore, ceremony and reception location

The Biltmore Inn, wedding night hotel

Debbie Elmore, wedding coordinator