The HOWE-CLAPPS, St. Mary of the Hills

"I love October and the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains."

Blue Ridge Mountain Glam
Carolina & Ben Clapp

St. Mary of the Hills October 11, 2014

Caroline Howe grew up right here in the High South, but she now calls the nation’s capital her home. Inspired by the glory of the mountains that she knows and loves, she brought her groom, Benjamin Clapp, back here for a chic and sophisticated autumn affair.

The couple met while working together for a startup company in Washington D.C., but felt drawn to the hills of the High Country to exchange their vows. The bride described her vision for the big day as “southern, Blue Ridge Mountain glam.”

“Fall is my favorite season,” Caroline said. “I love October and the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the fall.”

They were married on a colorful day before 150 guests at the historic St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church, followed by a reception at the nearby Blowing Rock Country Club.

The bride chose to fill the environment with as many of her favorite flowers as possible.

“Hydrangeas were everywhere — on the chandeliers, on the tables, and carried by bridesmaids,” she said.

Caroline wore the Preston dress by designer Amsale, which she found at L’elite Boutique in Boston. The silk magnolia slim fit-to-flare gown features a sheer neckline and a sheer back with bow detail, and she paired the dress with a lace jacket from designer Marchesa.

The couple hired an all-star team of local experts to bring their wedding plans to reality, including the duo at Burton Photography.

“Caroline and Ben are smart, sophisticated, and fun-loving,” said Bonnie Burton, who captured the day from behind the camera. “They really cared about their wedding photography and were willing to give us the time and opportunity to create beautiful images of them on their wedding day.”

Knowing the community holds a special place in the bride’s heart, the Burtons were able to include many of her favorite spots in town in the couple’s romantic, after-ceremony portraits.
“Caroline and Ben’s wedding was a gorgeous affair on a fantastic fall day. Every detail had been given thoughtful and artistic attention,” Bonnie said. “Incorporating places that have sentimental value just adds that much more to the images.”

After the wedding, friends and family joined the couple in the tower at St. Mary’s to ring the church bells and let the town know they were married.

For other brides who envision a chic High South wedding, Caroline recommends turning to local vendors who make beautiful events their business.

“We hired the very best of the best in the area to make our day special,” Caroline said. “I loved my vendors. Hire them and they will make your day a dream.”