A fairytale wedding at Biltmore is what many couples dream of, and it is exactly what Tori and Matt had on their big day! From the solid stone walls of the historic Champagne Cellar, to the beautiful array of fragrant flowers and softly flickering candles, it was an incredible affair!
When I arrived in Antler Hill Village at Biltmore for Tori and Matt’s wedding it was a bustling Saturday afternoon. Estate guests, employees, dogs, and children were filling the sidewalks, green space, and restaurants. As I walked into the bottom floor of the winery in search of the Champagne Cellar, the crowds lightened and the hallway darkened. I took a left past the ‘private event’ sign and walked down the short side hallway into to the Champagne Cellar. As I entered the room I could smell fresh florals all around me, along with a light scent of burning candles. The dark stone cellar was beautifully decorated with greenery chandeliers, large lanterns full of assorted candles, gorgeous multi-colored floral arrangements, and perfectly placed white wedding chairs. The room was intimate yet grand, and was ready for Matt + Tori to say “I do!”.
Before the ceremony, as planned, Tori and Matt shared a first look. We chose a quiet spot behind the Village Hotel where guests rarely passed and the lush landscape surrounded them. Matt stood with his back to Tori as she approached him and tapped him on the shoulder. He turned to face her, and instantly smiled with pure joy in his eyes. He could hardly wait to see his bride for the first time in her wedding dress, and was so excited to marry her a short time later! Their exchange was beautiful and full of joyful love!
Before we knew it, it was time for the ceremony. Guests steadily arrived and found their seats not long before Matt entered with the officiant. Tori and her father walked the dark hallway arm in arm past the lanterns that lined the way. They entered the back of the room as guests turned to see Tori, and walked down the aisle to join Matt in the front of the room. With a quick exchange, Tori and Matt stood facing one another holding hands, and prayed together. The intimate ceremony was full of joy, faith, and love, and was witnessed by close friends and family. Soon Tori and Matt both said, “I do!”, and were announced for the fist time as husband and wife!
After the ceremony Tori, Matt, and I headed to the main part of the Biltmore estate, near the house, for bride and groom photos. The sun was setting soon, and we wanted to capture a variety of photos on the esplanade, in the gardens, and on the veranda of the Biltmore house. When we arrived the grounds were fairly quiet, with only a few lingering guests wandering. The sun was behind light clouds and provided gorgeous diffused light for Tori and Matt’s portraits. We worked our way around the grounds capturing photos of the newly married couple and all of their details of the day. It was a perfect fall evening for wedding photos at Biltmore!
As dusk passed, we wrapped up our couples photos and headed to the reception, which was also in the Champagne Cellar. Tori and Matt entered the room to a grand applause, congratulating them on their marriage! After they greeted their guests they sat for a formal dinner surrounded by close family and friends, the solid dark stone walls of the historic cellar, and a beautiful array of fragrant flowers and softly flickering candles. It was an incredible affair, and I was honored to be their wedding photographer and capture this special time!
Congratulations, Tori + Matt! ♥
Update: Tori + Matt's wonderful review on Wedding Wire:
"Great experience! We got married in the Champaign cellar at Biltmore last year. Jessica did such a wonderful job. She was very professional, accommodating and charged us a reasonable price! I would definitely recommend her 😊😊"
Florist: Shady Grove Flowers
Dress: Dimitra Designs
Hair: Naomi at Adorn Salon and Boutique
Makeup: Katelyn Brooke Artistry
Ceremony Music: Stephanie Quinn Music
Invitations: Invitations By Dawn