A Wedding Planner's Classic Celebration in Highlands, North Carolina

Real Weddings

Although she's now an event planner by trade, it was Brittany Browning's part-time job as a restaurant hostess in 2011 that led her to meeting Daniel Rector. "I was a freelance event planner but took a morning shift as a hostess so I could get health insurance and some extra spending money," Brittany says. "The restaurant where I worked was a place Dan's company notoriously frequented, and I'd always speak to him when I confirmed reservations. A little while later we ended up on a date together and figured out we'd been talking to one another practically daily before actually seeing each other face-to-face." Three years later, in May of 2014, Dan surprised Brittany with a proposal in a quiet corner of the Central Park Conservatory Gardens.

After a weekend of touring southern venues in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, the couple settled on Old Edwards Inn for their March 21, 2015 wedding. "We looked at it last because we had a good feeling about it and secretly thought it would be the winner," Brittany says. "Once we saw it in person we knew it was perfect." The bride served as her own wedding planner, but enlisted three friends as coordinators and her friend and co-worker from Rafanelli Events to stand in as the production manager. Keep reading to see all of Vue Photography's gorgeous shots of Brittany and Dan's big day.

The couple decided on a blush, navy, and cream color palette that felt elegant and romantic. "It felt the most like us," Brittany says. They introduced the combination of hues in their formal invitation suite, which was finished with glam gold foil accents.

As a welcome gift for their guests, Brittany and Dan packed up a tote with snacks and necessities to get everyone through the weekend.

After dress shopping in bustling New York, Brittany knew she wanted more of a small-town experience when it came to choosing her gown. "I actually tried my dress on twice. The first time I really loved it but was in a fast-moving New York City boutique and after an hour they told me my time was up and I couldn't re-try the dress even though I had a sneaking suspicion it was the one." With her mom and best friend in tow, Brittany visited Atlanta-based Wedding Angels and slipped on the Hayley Paige ball gown she loved the first time around. After four rounds of alternations, the strapless silk and tulle gown fit her like a glove.

Brittany's four bridesmaids wore two-tone blush gowns from Jim Hjelm. "They had so much personally but somehow complemented my dress too," she says.

Dan chose a navy suit from Brooks Brothers, which he paired with a white shirt and blush tie that was custom-made to match the bridesmaids' gowns. "He asked for a swatch of the dress fabric and surprised me with his full outfit!"

The couple held their ceremony at the First Presbyterian Church of Highlands. "I have always wanted to be married in a church and this one was so perfect. I didn't feel like we needed much more than the historic building, a few floral touches, and all of our amazing friends and family smiling at us." A live organist performed as the bride walked down the aisle with her father. Then, she and Dan exchanged traditional vows before exiting to the classic Wedding March.

"Old Edwards Inn is pretty breathtaking on its own, but we had fun dressing up the gorgeous setting with a mix of cream brocade tablecloths and farm tables with the same cream runner," Brittany says. "The flowers were cream and blush and we had candlelight throughout. We surrounded the room with cherry trees in full bloom that were covered with twinkle lights."

The bride and groomed DIYed their table numbers, filling each gold frame with something meaningful to them as a couple.

The four-tiered buttercream-frosted cake contained three tasty flavors: spice cake with white chocolate mousse and caramel drizzle, white cake with Bavarian cream, caramel drizzle, and toffee crush meringue, and lemon cake with lemon curd and French vanilla meringue.

Brittany and Dan worked with choreographer Melanie LePatin (of So You Think You Can Dance fame!) to learn the ultimate first dance. "I grew up a dancer and love to be out of the dance floor but Dan is a little shy in front of a group. We met with our teacher who helped us with our wedding dance so we felt at ease in front of the entire room. It was so fun!" After twirling to Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud," the couple invited their guests to join them on the dance floor.

"Don't forget that the purpose of your wedding day is to get married," Brittany says. "You are marrying the person you love and want to spend the rest of your life together! Don't stress the rest."

Ceremony Venue: First Presbyterian Church of Highlands || Reception Venue & Catering: Old Edwards Inn and Spa || Wedding Planner: Brittany Browning || Wedding Coordinators: Hannah Schickel, Hara Aoki-Saffer & Kathryn Auten || Production Manger: Bryan Belmore || Hair & Makeup: Claudia Mejerle || Bride's Wedding Dress & Veil: Hayley Paige, purchased at Wedding Angels Bridal Boutique || Bridesmaids; Dresses: Jim Hjlem || Groom's Attire: Brooks Brothers; Seigo Neckwear || Flowers: Gertie Mae's Floral Studio || Invitations & Stationery: Cheree Berry Paper || Music: AMP'd Entertainment || Cake: Tiffany's Baking Co. || Rentals: Peterson Party Center; Crush Event Rentals || Videographer: Anchor Heart Films || Photographer: Vue Photography

Find Local Vendors Wedding Wire

Did you love this spring wedding? Check out another seasonal bash in the video below.

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift

Get personalized planning advice, exclusive offers and must-read wedding news.

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from brides.com