While we keep ourselves delightfully busy in the spring, I got the most wonderful invitation from a friend and I couldn’t turn her down. The lovely Sarah Jennings at Lonesome Valley had invited us and some other talented wedding friends to spend two days with her at the amazing destination wedding location that her husband’s family owns: Lonesome Valley. Except, it wasn’t just centered on this perfect spot. She also had the ladies of Old Edwards Inn to get in on the fun and we got to see their spaces as well.
As a brief background, Sarah and I go a long way back to when we were both newly/recently weds. I had a couple years of business ownership as a wedding planner under my belt. She and her new husband were living in a very small town near Auburn and she reached out to me as someone looking to get into the wedding scene (at that point, doing welcome gift bags for wedding parties). Her husband’s job took them away from Alabama somewhat quickly, but Sarah and I kept in touch. She has that something about her that makes everyone love her! I totally loved following her journey in creating and marketing Lonesome Valley as a wedding destination. You can feel the personal connection she has to the spot which makes anyone appreciate the area that much more.
Fast forward to a few days in May when myself and our Birmingham wedding director, Courtney Wolf, set off on a road trip to spend some time in this glorious part of the world. I’m going to do this post in a series of photo blocks. Some are professional photos found online (I just am not the best at the iPhone camera) and some are from my Instagram posting along the way. Either way, photos don’t do any of it justice.
Courtney and I decided to meet in Atlanta and ride together from there. Some wonderful car business planning sessions ensued – team, team, team (I love my team!!!). We arrived in Highlands just in time to get freshened up and out the door to meet the folks of Old Edwards Inn. An afternoon tour session of some of their most perfect spots for gorgeous weddings.
Old Edwards Club
After the tours ended, we met with the entire event sales team for, what I can determine to be, the most wonderful culinary experience I’ve ever had. A five course meal with wine pairings in the wine cellar. Wonderful food, delicious wine, and amazing company. Couldn’t have enjoyed the evening more.
Sarah met with us at the lobby of High Hampton Inn (where we were staying) to grab breakfast and go on a hike around Lonesome with a guide to see the sights of the mountains. I hate that this is how you are seeing our hike (iPhone and all), because it was a gorgeous day.
Then it was back to High Hampton for lunch and a tour of the space there. This spot is so quiet and quaint. I felt like I was completely removed from everything.
We left High Hampton for a tour of one of the most amazing spots I’ve ever been to: Rockwood Lodge. Actually privately owned, Rockwood is managed by Old Edwards Inn. An amazing spot for smaller weddings.
For dinner, Sarah herself pulled out all the stops. We were invited to be at the season opening dinner of Canyon Kitchen – the amazing restaurant at Lonesome Valley. A tour of the grounds, apps, wine, dinner that was beyond. I was in heaven. Lonesome stands apart from every other spot I’ve ever been in. The family connections that the owners have to it, the grandness of the mountain walls with the feel of being in a cultivated serene setting, comfort, ease, peacefulness, etc. They all live at Lonesome Valley.
A slow morning as we packed up to leave our little piece of paradise. We swung by Sarah’s again just to have one more slice of gorgeousness. Without a doubt, it cemented in our minds why destination weddings exist: bringing an atmosphere to the most important day of your lives that you want to share with your closest friends and family. Cashiers, Highlands and Lonesome Valley specifically do that in spades. Sarah, my dear. We will be back soon!
Until next time… XOXO, Julie