Real Wedding: Cricket + Duran

This heartwarming wedding took place high in the hills of Avery County, North Carolina at the breathtaking Banner Elk Winery. Cricket and Duran’s wedding experience featured a weekend away with loved ones, a beautiful outdoor ceremony and a lot of sweet personal touches, and it all began with a sunset engagement photography session on the Blue Ridge Parkway with Ellen Gwin.


“Duran and I knew from the beginning that we wanted a small, intimate wedding with family and close friends. We are outdoor enthusiasts and fell in love surrounded by nature,” Cricket said. “Our first date and Duran’s proposal were both on hikes, so we knew we wanted an outdoor wedding, as that is where we are both most alive and free. We were fortunate to have our engagement pictures made at sunrise in the western North Carolina mountains.”

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“When looking for wedding venues, we wanted a place that was surrounded by nature’s beauty. Upon our arrival to the upper vineyard at Banner Elk Winery, we were both in awe of the views and surrounding,” the bride said. “There was no doubt that this was where we were to be married. The entire staff at the Banner Elk Winery and Villa were so accommodating to us and our family.”




“It was wonderful to have lodging for our family on-site so that our families had the opportunity to get to know one another,” Cricket said.


Before the ceremony, the couple took time to get away from the hustle and bustle and slow down for a private moment to exchange sweet personal messages.

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“We specifically chose to keep our wedding party small, as we wanted to focus on the importance of our personal vows we shared with each other,” she said. “It was nice to have my sister as my maid of honor and Duran had his daughter as the groom’s maid, along with three ring bearers, a flower girl, and two friends who completed readings.”




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“We wanted our ceremony to be a joining of ourselves and our families, which is why we included the writing of our own vows and sharing in a tree planting ceremony to symbolize the joining of our two families,” Cricket said. “It was accompanied by music from the Bellevue Rhythmaires that was significant to us.”


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“Desi’s Floral and Design Studio was able to create the perfect natural feel that we longed for, with succulents, David Austin roses, seeded eucalyptus, veronica, and wildflowers.”


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The reception featured a cocktail hour with cheese and fruit and a buffet dinner by Gadabouts Catering, cakes and pies provided by Stick Boy Bread Co. and s’mores by the fire pit. The evening concluded with dancing under the stars and music by the Bellevue Rhythmaires.

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“The entire weekend was like a dream come true for us,” Cricket said. “Our only regret is how quickly the time passed.”

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Cricket and Duran’s team of vendors:

Photography: Ellen Gwin Photographer

Venue: Banner Elk Winery

Coordinator: Bic Le

Flowers: Desi’s Floral and Design Studio

Rehearsal Dinner: Bandana’s Barbecue

Reception Catering: Gadabout’s

Dessert Bar: Stick Boy Bread Co.

Music: Sam Hill Entertainment, the Bellevue Rhythmaires

Transportation: Air Haven Limousine

Hair and Makeup: Beautiful Brides on Location

Dress: Alfred Angelo Disney Collection, Ariel

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