Read what our couples had to say about their experiences at Hidden River.
Thank you very much for an amazing weekend!
Some family and friends followed us to Charlotte yesterday, but the last of the family and friends have returned home – we’re now settling down. Throughout yesterday, the fun and laughter continued and we were discussing how much of an amazing experience all of us had.
Many told us this was the most unique wedding they’ve ever attended, very much in a good way. When we asked “Did y’all have fun?” the gist of everyone’s responses was a resounding “Oh my god [what kind of a question is that? It’s a definite] YES!”
The intimacy of the mountains throughout the weekend set the tone for a calmness to the madness. We had set each of our families in the Overlook and Windsong respectively, and the reunion of everyone with no outside influences ensured we focused on each other’s company, which resulted in a great time. The Craggie House was a great meeting spot [with a GREAT view!] for everyone in a casual gathering of family and friends both on Thursday and Sunday morning.
The Field House was just pure fun, with the wedding afterparty an interesting dynamic of very well-dressed people drinking it up like it’s a college dorm party (we checked for any damages Sunday morning just to make sure, but it looks like we’re all good).
Lastly, the main house was the perfect house where we stayed was the perfect house. Lord knows how many people have tried to consummate their marriage in the Master Suite, but the house was a very comfortable place where our immediate families and closest friends would eventually get together each day.
The rehearsal was really fun, with the Thor/Natalie Portman substitute names being something everyone continually joked about throughout the weekend, until we laid the hammer down on it…
The rehearsal dinner was a blur, which felt like a practice for how it would feel Saturday. Everyone commented how good the barbecue was and how generous Mike, Kai and Celandine (spelling is totally off) were with the alcohol portions. We had previously planned on creating signature drinks, up until when Mike commented to the drinks we brought “Throw away the drink menu, we can make anything”. We heeded his advice. Great advice.
Alright, this almost feels like a diary now. That said…
EVERYONE loved the ceremony. In addition to a unique format, many commented on how they loved your (Jeanne’s) message. We both admitted to being in a trance at that point, semi-paying attention and nodding when it felt appropriate. But each person who brought this up stated it was very specific to us and as a result more relaxed and sincere. To us, what was awesome to see was after having walked the wrong way, Gracie coming off the leash and us having a few issues stacking the rocks, everyone was all smiles and laughter, having fun rolling with it all.
We haven’t seen pics yet, but from the dialogue throughout the process, I’m sure Jesse’s photos will be amazing! (By the way Jesse, the check’s coming J… we’ll coordinate separately). It’s one thing to say “Look relaxed”, but Jesse was fun spirited, with tasteful semi-flirtatious dialogue which kept everyone loose and happy. Very much appreciated. We can’t wait to see the pics.
We don’t know where to fit this in here, but the carriage ride was very pleasant. Quiet and very romantic, especially around the surrounding mountains.
When we were asking the “Did y’all have fun” question, in addition to the unique ceremony format, everyone commented positively about each of the four things that make any outdoor get-together (like our reception) great: 1) People; 2) Weather; 3) Food; 4) Music.
The people were great. We’re definitely not perfect, but combined, we have the perfect support structure. Funnily, one after the other [after the other, after the other], people grabbed us to take a picture or talk a little bit, in their words “so you can enjoy your food, before it gets hectic”. If that was the worst of our issues (which it was), we knew we were fine.
On the way up, we were stressed a little about the weather, to the point we were monitoring “weather.com” every couple of hours. Once people started filing in, it occurred to us very quickly that as long as our loved ones were with us, we would be fine no matter what kind of weather we had.
We didn’t eat much, even when we tried listening to everyone’s advice and made a conscious effort to eat. This happened to the point that a few guests gave us pieces of bread to just ensure we had some food in our stomachs. That said, everyone else loved the food, with a lot of good comments about the salmon and even more good comments about the salad, especially the mixture of bacon and cheese on it, which apparently are the key ingredients in the secret formula to delicious food. Caroline Allured did a great job.
Running out of adjectives, but the music was GREAT. Valentin did a great job emceeing, and we would highly recommend him to anyone. The communication, coordination and guidance leading up to the reception was very much appreciated. We remember early in the process, Jeanne stated that Valentin was the cool-calm-collected type, unlike many DJs who can be a bit loud and abrasive. We’ve seen events where the DJs tried to be the center of the show, and Valentin was definitely not that. He knew how to move the party along, was flexible and had a good pulse of the crowd. He made it VERY fun for everyone.
Also, just like the rehearsal dinner, the bartenders did a great job again.
Last but not least, Jeanne, Grace and Callan, all off you were tremendous and very pleasant to work with. There isn’t anything different we would’ve wished for during our time here.
Jeanne, seriously, your positivity plus your air of love and kindness helped us even behind the scenes, as during any stresses the wedding process brought, it was a reminder what love is all about.
Grace, your communication these last few months have been very helpful and put us at ease many times. Obviously this is new for us, and we would’ve been lost in this process without you.
Callan, while this weekend was the result of the previous months of work, it takes someone to accomplish the end result, and as evidenced by the previous paragraphs, that end result was amazing.
You all did a great job.
As Keith (our best man) said, cheers to our interracial fairy tale!
Big thank you to all. We wish you much success.
Thank you, thank you, Thank you! Our wedding was exactly how I imagined it would be. I am still getting compliments on how perfect everything was and how beautiful the event center is. Grace and Ben were amazing at putting everything together and made sure everything went perfectly on our special day! A big thank you to them! The food, cake, decorations and music were just amazing. I can’t forget the pictures! Jesse did such a wonderful job! I still love looking at them as it brings me back to that day!
Jeanne, I can’t thank you enough for letting us have our wedding at a more beautiful place than I imagined! The houses were wonderful and our out of town guests had such a great time not having to worry where they would stay! We all were able to enjoy the beautiful view from decks and it was breathtaking! Also, than you so much for officiating our ceremony! Everybody said how much they loved it, especially how much it fit us!
We couldn’t have had a more lovely ceremony!
Thank you so much!
Rachel and I are planners, and we had big plans for our wedding – getting married outside, having onsite housing for guests, an elaborate rehearsal dinner, a welcome dinner and night on the town the day before the wedding, and plenty more. Not only were we looking for a beautiful place to be married, but also a venue that would be willing to accommodate all of our needs and our desire to be fiscally and ecologically responsible in our celebration.
Hidden River was truly the perfect place for us.
The scenery and views are incredible. From the mountains surrounding us to the wonderful flower and vegetable gardens, the picturesque river site and fenced pastures, the entire venue is gorgeous. In addition, the Hidden River staff is sympathetic and supportive of our goal to minimize impact, and led us to affordable sources for local food, flowers, and music that consistently exceeded our expectations.
Our ceremony was a perfect blend considering our different religious and faith backgrounds. Jeanne’s words were heart-felt and true to who we are as a couple, but balanced delicately so that all of our guests – regardless of their religious persuasion – could relate to the message and feel included. So many of our guests afterward said that it was the best wedding ceremony they had ever witnessed.
And the staff as a whole is phenomenal. We probably sent Grace hundreds of emails with questions, requests and concerns. She answered them all and always found a way to make sure our needs were met. When surprises came up during the actual weekend (usually weather-related) she and the rest of the staff sprung into action to accommodate our changing needs. By the end of the process, it was just as difficult to say goodbye to Kelly and Jeanne as it was to see off our family and friends.
When we were in the car, headed to the hotel following the reception, there was a moment when we looked at each other and pretty much said the same thing: “That couldn’t have gone any better – not in our wildest dreams.” As we’ve reflected on the experience in the year since our wedding, one thing is clear: the flexibility and support provided by Hidden River were crucial for making the entire weekend a phenomenal one for us and our many guests. Thanks so much Hidden River for making our wedding so memorable.