A Rustic Chic Wedding at Old Edwards Inn & Spa, Highlands, North Carolina
Though Ann Browning (35 and in fundraising for a public policy think tank) and Nate Hollingsworth (34 and an investment firm portfolio manager) met at a black-tie wedding, they asked guests to dress in their best “cocktail-rustic-chic” attire for their own celebration. “I actually ended up wearing cowboy boots under my dress during the ceremony because the grass was a bit soft,” Ann says. The couple booked Old Edwards Inn & Spa site unseen because they spend a lot of time hunting, fishing and hiking. “It was a place where we could bring in the spirit of the outdoors that was still a respite for everyone traveling.” The outdoor ceremony was officiated by Nate's uncle, a pastor, in an orchard on the property. Ann carried a bouquet filled with antique hydrangeas, dahlias, astrantia, garden roses, hellebores and pepperberry. Nate wore a boutonniere finished off with pheasant feathers. At the reception, several one-of-a-kind objects doubled as table décor at the reception: Empty 12-gauge Browning shotgun shells, honoring Ann’s great-great grandfather and firearms designer John M. Browning, marked each place setting. The menu, featuring local game and the fall season, started with a first course of roasted candy roaster squash soup topped with sage pesto, butter squash jelly and crispy sage. Roasted elk tenderloin, one of two entrees, was served up with four sides, including braised leather britches with Benton’s bacon and apple cider. Later, the newlyweds cut into a cake with two distinct pairings: yellow cake dipped in espresso with mascarpone frosting and pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting.