Carolina Bride

Take Me Home

“I’m a pediatrician, for heaven’s sake,” says Amanda Moran of her entirely family-friendly wedding to Brandon Lanier. “My boys were so excited.” The couple—and their families—stole away to The Omni Homestead in Hot Springs, Va., to tie the knot this past May. A second marriage for both the bride and groom, their children would be an integral part of the weekend, starting with their presence in the wedding party, and they couldn’t imagine it any other way. And as a West Virginia native, Amanda searched for a spot that would be both convenient for her family but also scenic and inviting. “I went [to The Homestead] to do the tastings over Martin Luther King weekend and they had a whole set of extra activities for the long weekend, like ice skating, bingo, and just a lot of inclusive activities for the kids and family,” says Amanda. “[My son] Nathan adored it, so I knew we absolutely had the right venue.” Choosing another holiday weekend, Memorial Day, to gather everyone together ensured that there would be plenty going on to entertain guests. During the ceremony, a local fiddler set the country tone that took the event from cowboy casual to Allegheny amazing. Even the pastor had to incorporate some local ties—although Amanda and Brandon knew they wanted Rev. Bill Roth from Myers Park Methodist to perform the ceremony, he had to go several days early to Bath County, Va. to be sworn in to marry them, and graciously did so. Throughout the planning, Gillespie’s Flowers and Productions from W.Va. took Amanda’s vision and ran with it, designing seasonal floral arrangements and executing her idea of an interactive board for posting Polaroid candids. For all the meals of the weekend, Amanda credits Homestead’s culinary team with not only gracefully accommodating several food allergies, but also emphasizing colorful, local ingredients, like beets, that took Amanda back to her farm roots. “It was more like a family reunion picnic with more interesting food choices,” says the bride of the rehearsal dinner spread and kids’ buffet. “And the reception was just crème de la crème. They grilled on site on top of the mountain, had a big cast iron kettle for baked beans, had steak, shrimp, chicken There was homemade ice cream still in the churn. It was as homey and local as we could get.” To send guests home with a little family flavor, the couple provided homemade jam from the groom’s side and flavored moonshine from the bride’s. And like the favors, beautifully blended, the Lanier family is ready to savor the sweetness of a shared life.

Featured Vendors


Chuck Eaton Photographers



Diamonds Direct SouthPark



Gillespie’s Flowers and Productions, flowers

Hayden Olivia Bridal, gown

Nordstrom, shoes

Katina Katoo, flower girls

Taylor, Richards & Conger, suit

Whitney Alyssa, headpiece

The Homestead Resort Salon, hair and makeup

Paper Source, stationery

Alan Boyle, DJ

Chuck Eaton, photography

Rev. Bill Roth, clergy

The Homestead, ceremony and reception location

Esme Pitard of The Homestead, planner