Asheville GreenWorks offered the opportunity to work with our friends at the DoubleTree and we couldn't wait to be back in such a lovely space. With the help of music pro DJ Oso Rey and over 20 local designers, we raised funding and awareness for GreenWorks to promote their environmental youth program, YELP. The organization also honored Jean Webb, Tyler Garrison and several others with the prestigious Environmental Excellence Awards.
Our favorite fellow Texan, Helen Chickering of BRP Public Radio and host of All Things Considered co-emceed with Blake Butler of Adapt Public Relations.
We had amazing support from Gigantic! on set design. Scott used repurposed materials from GreenWorks Hard to Recycle Days to create a unique and up-cycled backdrop.
We produce events that create space for audiences to be inspired and awed by many types of artists. Honoring safe places to explore sex and sexuality are part of the core mission of OHE. Working with performers who are able to showcase the power of the human body is an honor and a privilege. In a world where many people expect to see and experience art for free, it is important when artists are paid a fair and living wage. After years of managing BedPost Confessions, it is no surprise that OHE loves the opportunity to work with like minded clients.
An Unveiling & After Stroll Party, hosted by the new owners of Cotton Mill Studios, provided the perfect opportunity to breathe new life into Asheville's River Arts District. After a dashingly successful debut and leasing 100% of the space to working artists, The Historic Cotton Mill Studios are once again revitalized and ready for an exciting future in the district.
RiverMusic and RiverFest are signature events for one of Asheville's leading not for profit organizations. RiverLink focuses on environmental and economic vitality along the banks of the French Broad River and has hosted RiverFest and the Anything That Floats Parade for over 20 years. OHE was granted the amazing opportunity to work with RiverLink as they transitioned locations to their new home at the Salvage Station. With an emphasis on great music brought by Worthwhile Sounds and community building, the RiverLink summer music series is the heart and soul of summertime on the French Broad River.
When Austin event partners, Lesbutante and The Boss, asked Oh, Henry Productions to join forces back in 2014, we jumped at the chance. Thus began a long planning process to create four days and three nights of programming with six different events at four different venues on Galveston Island. The event logistics provided countless obstacles to manage and overcome, and the event proved to be a grueling challenge. But a small army banded together and created a safe, sex positive space for LBGTQ folks to rock out in late summer.
Pictured below is the Saturday night event on the Galveston Island Pleasure Pier. This .25 mile pier comes complete with a stage at the furthest point under the Ferris wheel. It was exciting to move a 36 foot truck of gear from 3 blocks away using only a push trolley and a Gator. Unloading took an astonishing 8 hours and three or four trips. But in the end, we created an amazing light show and hosted a rock band - a totally uncharted event for the Pier operators.
One of the coolest parts of this project was bringing together so many Austin event and performer heavyweights. Partnering with set designers like Jack and Christine Darling, event pro and my right hand lady, Nikki DaVaughn, Lisa Hause (who's photography is showcased here and all over this website), and BedPost Confessions' producers created a magical combination of event professionals. Performers Elle G and Austin staples, Julie Nolen and Jen Mulhern brought the house down with their vocal skills. Out of town talent from LA and NYC also added flavor to this inaugural southern coast event. And don't forget about event mascot, That Bitch Judy - a life size blow up doll who garnered more social media followers than most.
We couldn't have asked for a harder working production crew. Our lighting and sound teams pulled off miracles and made every show go off without a hitch. All event volunteers were top notch and oh, so cool. We're grateful to be a part of projects like these and so thankful to everyone who made it possible.
Photo credit to PIP and Lisa Hause Photography.
When the Blue Ridge Pride Center asked Oh, Henry Events to assist with the first LGBT Wedding Expo in WNC, we jumped at the opportunity. Building and organizing conferences is a passion because we love managing large scale event logistics. After a few planning meetings the concept came to life. We decided that the event could be more than just an average expo and the Three Pillars of Impact concept was born. We set out to entertain, educate, and build community. It was an honor to create a safe space in the community for LGBT friendly vendors and couples to get the information they need to help them plan their dream wedding.
After a day of speakers and presentations, vendor exhibitions, and real wedding between Erin + Mary, The Paper Crowns entertained a packed ballroom at the DoubleTree Asheville.
The event gathered a bit of press, also. The Expo was a chance to celebrate how far we've come. Legislation like HB2 reminds us there is still work to do to ensure we can all equally celebrate love.
Corner Kitchen is an Asheville staple. Not surprising since they have an amazingly delicious retail restaurant. As an event caterer, they specialize in upscale southern comfort food. They have full service offerings and a knowledgeable and available staff. Their food is delicious and working with them is a dream. They also run an equally amazing downtown spot, Chestnut.
Saffron Fine Foods knows the business of food. Their retail restaurant, Homegrown makes the best fried chicken this side of the Mississippi, and upscale is no problem for them either. Locally owned and operated, this group also certifies a living wage for their employees. Also an eco-friendly establishment, it is no wonder they are an AVL favorite.
Western North Carolina is a gorgeous place to get married, and there are no shortage of ahhhmazing venues in the Asheville area. Here's our take on the lowdown in the AVL.
The most obvious and well known venue is arguably The Biltmore Estate. George W. Vanderbilt purchased the land and commissioned architect Richard Morris Hunt and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to build the French style chateau. It was completed in 1895 and is visited by over a million people per year today. The Biltmore is a gorgeous and well known spot to say, "I do." But they are not the only game in town by far.
The North Carolina Arboretum is a stunning spot for your outdoor ceremony. Plus, they advocate for green weddings. You can have both your ceremony and reception there, or move downtown to Celine and Company for your post-ceremony celebration. Owner, Kim Lloyd, was the head chef at Celine for several years before taking over. She offers a complete package including basic rentals, linens, amazing food and a sweet downtown location that makes for an easy transition into the after party.
The Venue is another all inclusive downtown space that can cover your rentals, linens, china, bar staff, food, and even sweet decor. The space is completely gorgeous and convenient for your downtown Asheville wedding. And we can't talk about wedding spaces without mentioning The Altamont Theatre - an artsy little space downtown on Church Street. Right outside of Asheville there are also many options. Head over to The Farm in Candler for a lovely experience with exquisite views of The Blue Ridge Mountains. Or a new venue, Olivette where you can get married on the banks of the French Broad River. The Olivette grounds will take your breath away. A little further out in Canton there's an adorable and rustic space called Camp Hope. Once a kid's summer camp, this unique venue is equipped with a commercial sized kitchen and old school camp-style bunk beds. It is a great space with a rustic aesthetic and budget friendly.
There are many options in and around Asheville for wedding ceremony and reception. From traditional to funky, large and small. The Blue Ridge Mountains make a gorgeous backdrop for wedding day photos and there's a thriving metro to keep you entertained before and after.
Your wedding, next to buying a house, car or your college education, may be one of the most expensive financial investments you make. The average wedding in Buncombe County is $22,921. The national average is between 26k - 31k, depending on the source. While the median is around 10k. Whatever your budget, you are going to hire multiple vendors to create what is essentially a large production, not dissimilar to a theatre show or any other live entertainment event you would purchase a ticket to attend. A wedding is an event steeped in tradition and decorum. Whether religious or secular, your wedding will consist of many ceremonious elements specific to your cultural and familial background. Your wedding is beautiful, live art.
There are many effective DIY strategies and tricks you can employ to have a gorgeous and reasonable wedding. When OHE is hired for Day of Coordination, brides often design their own wedding aesthetic. Many of the brides I've worked with will box up and label the decor by table so that it can be easily placed in the location they envisioned. This strategy saves on design fees and helps the coordinator ensure decor is appropriately placed and all gets used.
With all the DIY tricks used, there are still things for which you will need help. While it is true that Aunt Mae took a photography class, and your cousin, Kevin, just bought a new turntable and he is really making a go at becoming a DJ in da club scene - there is no substitute for experienced, professional wedding vendors. You will pay for this experience, and it will be worth the investment.
When your wedding is over, what you will have left (besides the obvious new life-partner) are a lot of wedding favors and your memories. When your memory fades you will have photographs. Hiring an amazing photographer is key to a successful wedding. You will narrow down the selection process by various elements: style, personality, inclusion of the bridal portraits, hours of coverage, ect. And here is what you are paying for:
Ever wonder what goes into a single wedding for photography?
(Courtesy of Shannon Skloss Photography)
That is between 25 - 62 hours of work per wedding. As Shannon says, "It is a beautiful process!" But it is a process, and one that is well worth the investment in your event.
We are thrilled by SCOTUS decision to make love accessible to all Americans. The rights granted by this decision put everyone on equal footing. These basic civil rights are long over due and it is a positive step in the history of our country.
Every LGBTQ friendly wedding vendor is excited to be a part of helping couples join together in matrimony. Oh, Henry Events is no exception. However, as engagements spark and the planning process begins, I can't help but wonder if the traditional ceremonial elements of the wedding and reception will continue - or if couples will be inspired to use this historical change to spice up the occasion. The ritual goes something like: ceremony, photos, toasts, dinner, dancing, cake, photos, sparklers, followed by a mad dash to the limo. It is a tradition as old as time. But now we have an opportunity to break with tradition on every level. I encourage all couples to look at their wedding ceremony and determine what makes it special for them. And then to incorporate all of these things into a unique service that is representative of their love, and their journey together.
There are many companies who chose to remain apolitical in business. This is a sound philosophy if yo want to maintain the status quo. However, it is my opinion that the right to marry whomever you choose is a decision beyond race or gender. Love is all conquering. As a long time supporter of LGBT rights, Oh, Henry Events is paying close attention to the legislation attempting to overturn the gay marriage ban in Texas. With the recent election of Republican Governor Greg Abbott we may not join the 30 states now allowing for same sex marriage tomorrow, but the good fight continues.
*photo credit nbcnews.com