"I would say that our wedding complemented our personalities perfectly."
High School Sweethearts
Karlee & Sean McGarvey
Green Park Inn May 30, 2015
Many enduring love stories begin with solid friendships, and the same has been true for Karlee Dunn and Sean McGarvey, who were married at Blowing Rock’s Broyhill Park on a beautiful spring afternoon.
These high school sweethearts from Lenoir, North Carolina went off to college together at N.C. State University in Raleigh, where they now live as Mr. and Mrs. McGarvey.
“Our relationship is based on friendship, and I think that’s a very important part of our marriage,” Karlee said. “We are very open with each other and make all of our decisions together.”
They love living in the state’s capital city, but they looked back to western North Carolina when it was time to choose a wedding venue.
“We wanted to get married in the High Country because we both enjoy the mountain scenery. We envisioned our wedding as elegant and romantic,” the bride said. “We wanted the atmosphere of our wedding to be fun for our family and friends who were celebrating the next chapter of our lives.”
Karlee wore an A-line dress from Asheville’s Wildflower Bridal that features ruffled details and delicate lace.
“I absolutely love my dress. It was very light and fit the elegant style I wanted to have,” the bride said. “My mother-in-law also made my veil and added small pearls to it so that it would match perfectly.”
Friends and family mean so much to this couple that they incorporated them into the big day in several ways, including each of their siblings and their Border collie, Gracie, in the ceremony.
“I would say that our wedding complemented our personalities perfectly. We both love spending time with our family and friends, and they were a big part of the wedding,” Karlee said. “We also chose to have a memory table, which included pictures of our grandparents who are no longer with us.”
The new Mrs. McGarvey said her favorite moment from the big day was exchanging the vows they wrote for each other with her groom.
“We both decided not to share them with each other until that moment, so the only other person who knew what we were going to say was our preacher,” she said. “We had both put so much time and thought into what we were going to say to express how much we love each other and about the commitment we were making.”
The couple opted to host their reception at the Green Park Inn, one of the High Country’s most celebrated historic treasures. The evening also featured a variety of personal touches, like monogrammed corn hole boards to keep the guests entertained during cocktail hour.
“We both felt that the inn had a very elegant feel and would help set the atmosphere for our wedding,” Karlee said. “We chose a lighter color pallet to stay within the romantic feel and asked our florist, Desi Parker, to keep the centerpieces very simple by using only one type of flower.”
Although they were open to the advice of local professionals, Karlee and Sean took the time to consider all of the options when planning their wedding and made sure they were making every decision together as one.
So, what’s Karlee’s advice for planning a storybook wedding in the High South?
“Choose a wonderful photographer and videographer. They captured moments that I did not remember at first, but now I can look back on each one,” she said. “Have as much fun as you can and don’t stress about every detail. At the end of the day, your wedding day is about the commitment that you and your husband are making and starting the next step in your lives together.”