Photography by
Perry Vaile Photography


Courtney Hollifield & James Parelli

October 20, 2018 in Asheville, North Carolina


It was 2012 when Courtney Hollifield accepted a new job offer in Atlanta, Georgia. Little did she know that it would ultimately lead to meeting her future husband, James Parelli. The combination of a mutual friend and a social media app served to bring the two together. Their initial meeting took place at an Atlanta restaurant on Valentine’s Day, and the two have celebrated the occasion together ever since.

“I knew from the first time we met that he was something special,” Courtney shares. “He was not just handsome, but intelligent, driven, had a sense of humor and loved baseball!”

At the time, James was an aspiring Maxillofacial Surgeon who had two more years to go, finishing up his surgical residency at Emory University. For James, Courtney bowled him over from her first words. “She was elegant, beautiful, classy and had such a great sense of humor,” he recalls.

The Italian-Northerner and Southern Belle soon became inseparable, sharing a love of cooking, movies, reading novels, and working out. When James decided it was time to propose, he wanted to include someone else who was very special in his life. While in New York City and New Jersey visiting family, James popped the question in front of his 86-year-old grandmother who, unbeknownst to her or Courtney, both thought they were all together to celebrate Grandma’s birthday.

“When I put the birthday cake down and secured the balloons, I turned around to find James down on one knee,” Courtney describes. “I’ve never been more shocked in my life. I was crying so hard I couldn’t even see the beautiful engagement ring he had designed for me. It was a day I’ll never forget!”

As the couple pondered about where to get married, they considered the many friends and family from across the country that would likely make the journey to be part of their special day. Ultimately, they decided a fall wedding in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina would be a perfect destination, as guests could enjoy a long weekend of taking in the spectacular views and ambiance of The Biltmore Estate.

Courtney and James hosted an outdoor wedding in Asheville, North Carolina, with the ceremony encompassing nature’s natural splendor. On the morning of the big day, the mist from earlier morning rains cleared, the skies became fair, and a gentle breeze filled the air. During her bridal shoot, a gust of wind lifted Courtney’s veil from her head and carried it to the top of a 60-foot evergreen tree. Just as she resolved to make her walk down the aisle sans veil, an adventuresome guest of the hotel attempted to recapture the dangling veil – and fortunately, he succeeded.

The couple tied the knot surrounded by white florals and greenery, and guests were transported to a world filled with October opulence. A tented reception followed, providing a gorgeous space for dinner and dancing with overhead floral installations, candlelight, and a six tier wedding cake.

Two days later, the newlyweds departed for their honeymoon on the Mayan Riviera.

>Written By: Lauren Malamala
 

Location: The Biltmore Estate Asheville, NC; Bride and Groom’s Attire: Custom;