Plenty of men propose to their girlfriends on vacation, but few do it the way Greg Ammon did. After a week spent traveling through Europe with friends and family, he and Stacy Volkov went off on an excursion of their own in Turkey. To ensure not a single celebratory second was wasted, he broke the ring out as soon as he possibly could. “He woke me up and proposed the first morning we arrived on our vacation,” says Stacy. Naturally, his question was met with an excited "Yes!"
Inspired by their overseas engagement, the two wanted their big day to evoke an Old World European vibe. That meant their venue would need to have stunning architecture and a romantic air. Luckily, the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, provided all that and more. Set on an elevated four-acre terrace with stunning mountain views, the venue boasted a regal mansion (let's be real, this space is a castle!), as well as a sprawling property. The atmosphere was perfect for what Stacy and Greg dreamed would be an evening of understated elegance. With help from planner Becca Knuth of Asheville Event Co., it absolutely was. From lush greenery and a breathtaking backdrop, straight through to the opulent decor, May 29, 2016, was an extravagant affair from start to finish. But don't just take our word for it. Check out the shots from Perry Vaile Photography below and see for yourself!
Stacy and Greg's invitation suite perfect encapsulated their vision for the day. The invites were classic and refined, featuring ornate calligraphy on blush and ivory card stock, with a gold envelope. The creative couple also designed a custom monogram that would appear on all signage, from ceremony programs to favors. Truly no detail went unnoticed here: From the vintage stamps to the wax seal on the envelopes, there was a thoughtful elegance throughout each piece of the design.
Need more eye candy? Look no further than the couple's rings. Greg designed the bride's gorgeous oval engagement ring himself, and then the two designed their wedding bands together. As cofounder of men's online store Big Flower, this groom was well equipped to weigh in on many of the day's details.
In choosing her perfect wedding dress, Stacy decided to trust her gut. “When I put it on, it just felt right!” she says of her strapless Carolina Herrera dress. The silk ball gown was a lesson in timeless style: An Empire waist, covered buttons down the back, and a voluminous skirt with a train made this silhouette a classic winner. Her lace-trimmed cathedral-length veil was the perfect addition to Stacy's bridal ensemble, adding a soft, romantic element to her structured gown. The bride further accessorized with elegant pearl drop earrings and blue satin Manolo Blahnik pumps.
The bridesmaids wore chiffon Monique Lhuillier gowns in a deep charcoal hue, which allowed their soft peony bouquets to pop in every photo. The strapless tops and flowing skirts mirrored the bride's own look, and the ribbons tied around each floral arrangement gave their ensembles a romantically modern spin.
With a passion for fashion, the groom took extra care when dressing his guys for the big day. Greg designed classic black tuxedos, complete with suspenders and cummerbunds, to give each attendant a perfectly tailored look. For his own outfit, the groom chose an Ermenegildo Zegna tuxedo.
The groom's niece served as flower girl, and for her special part she helped design a custom gown. The keyhole back and full skirt were pretty enough on their own, but when paired with a flower crown of baby's breath and roses, the result was totally ethereal as she walked down the aisle.
During a quiet moment together, the bride and groom took a moment to appreciate Stacy's bouquet, which was both beautiful and meaningful. The gigantic ivory and blush peonies were adorned with photo charms of late relatives, a sweet and subtle way to ensure those who couldn't be there in person would still be there in spirit.
For the ceremony, held on the venue's stately lawn, Stacy and her father, former NBA player Alexander Volkov, arrived in a vintage white car. The pair walked arm in arm down the enchanted English-garden-inspired aisle while a string quartet performed. With the Biltmore's castle serving as the impressive backdrop, the entire service was steeped with Old World charm.
But this picture-perfect ceremony wasn't always a guarantee for this couple. In fact, it was thanks to a stroke of luck that the couple was able to say "I do" outdoors at all. “There was a 99 percent chance of thunderstorms at the time of the wedding,” says Stacy. "It magically stopped, and the wedding was able to happen on the front lawn with the most epic sunset and temperature. It was just like a fairy tale." With blue skies above, the two were married by a family friend and became husband and wife surrounded by their nearest and dearest.
Glowing lanterns led the way to Stacy and Greg's elegant tented reception, where guests found calligraphed escort cards in a bed of baby's breath.
Ivory linens were draped and gathered around the tent's exterior to showcase the estate's stunning vistas. Crystal chandeliers hung from long white ribbons, giving the interior an elegant sparkle, while the trees just outside the tent were adorned with string lights. Various lounge areas, both inside and out, gave guests ample places to sit and enjoy the summer night.
“Seeing all our family and friends in one room, it was like two worlds colliding,” says the bride. "It was such a beautiful view for us!”
The couple's reception tables followed the day's crisp white color palette, decorated with ivory linens and abundant floating candles. Low centerpieces of blush and ivory peonies were paired with glass table numbers, a modern addition to the otherwise classic space. Custom circular menus were placed on silver-rimmed chargers. For their chairs, Greg and Stacy did a little something extra special: The bride and groom's seats were marked with a garland made of greenery and baby's breath.
After dinner, guests dug in to the couple's five-tiered raspberry-and-hazelnut wedding cake. The ruffled design, topped with fresh flowers, was a perfect match for this charming scene. And from what we can tell, it probably tasted pretty good too.
The party really kicked off when the couple's band, the Main Attraction, took the stage and drew everyone out of their seats. One of the evening's biggest crowd pleasers was Stacy and Greg's first dance, to Jay-Z and Beyoncé's "Forever Young."
While the night may have been winding down, the surprises weren't. Guests were invited outside, where fire pits and a dedicated s'mores station were waiting. And for a parting gift (as if s'mores weren't enough!), each guest was given a bottle of wine with the custom monogram label so they could remember the special evening. Finally, the night was met with a storybook ending, as fireworks erupted in the night sky over the illuminated tent.
After the show, the newlyweds made their escape through a blaze of sparklers and set off to a honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas. With a perfect day behind them, Stacy has an encouraging message for brides in the thick of the planning process: “Everything will turn out the way it is supposed to be, so have fun with it," she says. "It's the most exciting time in a couple's life!"
Venue, Catering & Cake: Biltmore Estate || Wedding Planner: Becca Knuth of Asheville Event Co. || Bride's Wedding Dress: Carolina Herrera || Makeup: Makeup at the Grove Arcade || Hair: Love, Daisy || Jewelry: Fantasia by DeSerio || Shoes: Manolo Blahnik || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Monique Lhuillier || Groom's Attire: Ermenegildo Zegna || Groomsmen's Attire: Big Flower || Flowers: Blossoms at Biltmore Park || Invitations, Monogram, Menu Cards, Escort Cards & Wine Bag: Atheneum Creative || Music: Café String Quartet; The Main Attraction Band || Photo Booth: Massive Booth || Videographer: Inkspot Crow || Photographer: Perry Vaile Photography