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chestnutridgevenue

Tips for Bridal Portraits by Rachael McIntosh Photography

Tips for Bridal Portraits by Rachael McIntosh Photography

I’m Rachael of Rachael McIntosh Photography and thrilled to hop over here onto the Chestnut Ridge’s Blog as a guest writer this week. I want to talk about bridal portraits and share some tips on how to prepare for them. We reached out to some industry experts to get their perspectives too so we can download all the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of planning the most perfect bridal portrait session. Maybe you haven’t planned on doing bridal photo’s but hopefully some of this information will also be applicable to your wedding day prep in general? Or maybe you’ll read this and immediately email your wedding photographer to set one up as heck yeah this sounds like a good idea!!

Chestnut Ridge Vendor Highlight: Joy Unscripted

Chestnut Ridge Vendor Highlight: Joy Unscripted

An eye for good design and classic lettering goes back to Bethany Joy Thames’ childhood, when she played with her mother’s angled calligraphy pens and began crafting a skill that would eventually lead her to launch Joy Unscripted – a business dedicated to hand-lettering for weddings and special events.

Photo by Anastasiia Photography

Photo by Anastasiia Photography

Specializing in lettering that is perfect for invitations, signage, place cards, programs, and more, Bethany uses her lifelong skill to add a unique flair to ceremonies and receptions.

Photo by Taylor Heery Photography

Photo by Taylor Heery Photography

I really enjoy providing special details for brides,” says Bethany. “Nothing makes me happier than seeing a bride or client who is thrilled with the piece I created for them.

Through Joy Unscripted, Bethany provides a large variety of pieces for clients, including beautifully-scripted invitation suites and hand-addressed ‘Thank You’ cards. But her favorite thing to do for brides to make their special day unique?

Joy-Unscripted-Invitation-Suite (1).jpg
I adore making chalkboard signage,” she says. “Anything from welcome signs to seating charts – they add the perfect touch to a ceremony or reception and the medium is challenging yet fun to work with.

Bethany opened Joy Unscripted in April 2016 after attending the Modern Calligraphy Summit and learning new techniques which honed her hobby into a skill that she now uses professionally. As a small business owner in the Asheville community, Bethany dedicates personality, individualism, and creative personalization to her work, which is recognized by all of her clients. With a background and degree in engineering, Bethany is able to bring a flair and professional edge to her work that makes her hand-lettered signage and invitations look clean and professional while maintaining artistic integrity.

I love being able to contribute hand-made details for brides based on the dreams they have in their head. It’s a fun creative challenge together seemingly small details from comments made throughout our conversations... including things they may not even remember having expressed is always a great surprise! - Bethany

Bethany’s ideal clients are those looking for a way to express an inner thought or message in a beautiful presentation. Whether that is a business logo or website for a new entrepreneurial venture, or custom invitation suites for a wedding or other event, Bethany loves getting to know clients a little more than just a digital “tell me what you want” so that she can capture elements of their personality and style into her work.

In addition to generously sharing her finished products with the world, Bethany also recently began teaching hand-lettering classes for those interested in learning the craft themselves. She provides all of the materials for her fun and exciting classes, including handmade specialized workbooks. Attendees come empty-handed ready to learn, and leave with a wealth of knowledge, resources and a new skill! Workshop offerings include:

·       Hand Lettering (typically 3 hours): how to hold brush pens, basic strokes, letter formation, faux calligraphy tricks, intro to flourishing.

·       Pointed Pen (typically 3-4 hours): how to use straight/oblique holders, nib prepping, basic strokes/drills, letter formation, intro to flourishing.

·       Chalkboard (typically 2-3 hours): seasoning a chalkboard, letter practice, layout tips and tricks, banners/florals, final inked in chalkboard.

·       Coming soon: intermediate hand lettering.

Photo by Kathy Beaver Photography

Photo by Kathy Beaver Photography

For more information on these courses, which are typically held at the Engaged Asheville studio, visit or follow Joy Unscripted via any of the links below. Upon the opening of Chestnut Ridge, classes will be available at the venue for those who have an interest in learning, or as a fun social event for bridal parties.

Photos by Anastasiia Photography

Photos by Anastasiia Photography

Bethany is excited to partner with Chestnut Ridge to provide hand-lettered signage and other custom materials for brides. Joy Unscripted and Chestnut Ridge have the same eye for detail and class, and partnering will allow them to create the perfect outcome for the big day.

“As the owner of Chestnut Ridge, Taylor has a stunning eye for style and is great about suggesting services for brides that she knows will add value or that extra special touch to their event,” Bethany says. “I believe Joy Unscripted is one of those services and I look forward to being a part of many weddings at Chestnut Ridge.”

Check out more of Bethany’s gorgeous work here, or follow along on social media: Facebook or Instagram. To book Joy Unscripted’s services, contact Bethany at bethany@joyunscripted.com or fill out a contact form on the Contact page of her website.

Background image by Anastasiia Photography

Chestnut Ridge Staff Feature: Meredith Hopkins

Chestnut Ridge Staff Feature: Meredith Hopkins

Meet: Meredith Hopkins, Event Sales Director, who we recently welcomed to the Chestnut Ridge team!

A western North Carolina native, Meredith has had a lifelong love for all things ‘wedding’, and for seeing happy couples united on their special day in a picture-perfect setting. This love is essential to Meredith’s role as Event Sales Director at Chestnut Ridge, in which she is responsible for working closely with brides, grooms, and families both before and during their events.

“I have loved the magic and excitement of weddings since I was a little girl,” says Meredith. “I’m so excited to be able to help make each bride’s unique wishes and dreams come true.”

Chestnut Ridge brides will have the benefit of having Meredith acting as floor manager the weekend of their wedding, when she will assist with ensuring plans and arrangements are complete and guest requests are fulfilled. Many prospective Chestnut Ridge couples and families will also have tours given by Meredith, who is an expert on helping couples envision their perfect ceremony and reception.

Having been raised in our beautiful NC mountains, Meredith’s local ties, Southern hospitality, and love for our area give her the ability to showcase one of Chestnut Ridge’s best features – the feel of ‘home’. Meredith’s bright personality, attention to detail, and confidence in her abilities make her the perfect addition to our wedding-day team.

Teamwork is also a very familiar concept for Meredith, who has spent her entire academic career participating in sports.

“I understand the importance of teamwork, especially when it comes to pulling off a perfect event,” she says. “Working with Taylor and Preston to make sure that each bride has the best experience possible will be the goal of the team at Chestnut Ridge!”

Chestnut Ridge is proud to have Meredith on board, helping us achieve our goal of providing each and every couple with the wedding of their dreams.

To book a tour or inquire further, visit us at http://www.chestnutridge.events/contact.