Tying the Knot: Wedding Planning Tips from Asia Evans Stewart
How did you meet?
At the time, I didn’t think of myself as “the girl next door” but looking back, I guess I was. William was the new guy on the block and lived two houses away from mine. He moved to Manteo when we were in middle school. The beginning of my sophomore year in high school, his junior year, we started dating and have been together ever since. He knows exactly who I am and vice versa. After finishing college we both wanted to start our careers before taking the next step. To my surprise, after seven years of dating and a little over a month into my new job as an interior designer, William proposed.
What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process?
Shopping for my wedding gown and shoes, of course! I tried on a billion dresses but only one pair of shoes. It was fun creating my wedding book of ideas which, after four years of clipping magazine pages featuring wedding gowns and all the accessories, my book turned into a four inch binder filled with inspiration to consider when it came time to plan for my wedding. I grew up watching the made-for-TV play of Roger & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, with Leslie Ann Warren as Cinderella. I knew from the beginning that I wanted a flowing dress that fit off the shoulders like hers until I tried one on. Cap sleeves and drape necklines just don’t work when your Prince is so tall. The strapless gown gave me more movement and the Manolo Blahnik shoes were my dream slipper and a perfect fit!!!
Words of advice? Name one, two or three things you would suggest to another bride planning her wedding.
“First, I knew the professionals I wanted for my wedding, including the best photographer ever, which book up early!” Also, the ceremony site, reception site and catering went together perfectly because I booked them over a year ahead of my wedding date. Nothing felt rushed so my sanity was spared.
Second, because I started my planning early, I had time to play with ideas that were suggested to me too. For instance, initially, I intended to do my own makeup on my wedding day. My photographer, Mary Basnight, suggested working with Lauren Owen to have my makeup applied professionally for my bridal portrait session. The experience was one of my favorite surprises during the entire process of planning my wedding. So much so, that I hired Lauren for the wedding day too. Lauren, owner of All Eyes on the Bride, made me feel above and beyond my normal appearance without it being shocking. She contoured my features while making my imperfections disappear. Lauren and Mary both suggested I try the false eyelashes too. Wow! They really did add a subtle punch to the overall look of my makeup…and it was a natural look which I love.
Suggested resource: www.AllEyesOnTheBride.com
Third, make it easy for your family and guests to be close to your wedding and reception sites. The Outer Banks is stretched across many miles. We found if we could keep things close together, it made it easier for our guests to enjoy our wedding day with us instead of on the road looking for the next location. Consider hiring shuttle buses for your guests transportation too. Our ceremony site, the Elizabethan Gardens, and reception site, 108 Budleigh, both were on Roanoke Island so it made traveling easy and convenient for guests. Also, because our wedding was on Roanoke Island, out of town guests had the added advantage of booking their overnight stay in one of the many bed & breakfast locations on the island which was, ideally, within walking distance of the reception.
What memory stands out the most from your wedding day?
The actual wedding day went by so fast that when you hear brides describe it as a blur, it’s true! It’s been a year since we were married and my memory of the day isn’t as sharp as it was the day after the wedding. My photos and video bring it all back like it was just yesterday. Not only do I get to relive the look and feel of the wedding day but I get to laugh all over again at the hilarious moments too. For instance, the cake cutting was an “ok” memory but looking back over the photos and video, the “I’ll hurt you if you shove that cake in my face” expression really adds life and impact to what was an “ok” memory.
Another favorite memory of mine was the time I spent working with my photographer. I really did and still do enjoy all the photos Mary Basnight created for us and am so pleased with her work.
Suggested resource: Mary Basnight Outer Banks Wedding Photography
Also my time spent working with Kim and Wes, owners of Holiday House Weddings, was incredible. They make everything beautiful! According to Michelle, mother of the bride, “When I hired them, I knew they would bring Asia’s vision of a fairytale wedding from the heart and make it a physical reality. What I am really trying to say, and not very well is, Kim and Wes make fairytales come true!!! Her bouquet alone was a work of art!”
Suggested resources: www.HolidayHouseWeddings.com