Chartreuse In Tuscany an Italian Inspired Elopement Weekend at Hotel Domestique


Chartreuse In Tuscany an Italian Inspired Elopement Weekend at Hotel Domestique

A romantic weekend elopement inspired by the color Chartreuse and romance of Italian Summers. Hotel Domestique sets the scene amidst a backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains for this intimate affair between two soulful lovers. Shot entirely on film - a classic ode to timeless romance.

Oct. 31, 2019, 1:09 p.m.


Magnolia Rouge - Vintage European Inspired Elopement Inspiration in the Hills of Asheville

I had a vision to bring vintage, timeless European romance to the southern United States. The styling would be reminiscent of a more traditional era, yet retain the elements of sophisticated dress that's commonplace at European weddings. I expanded my search outside of my native Charleston wedding destination to find a wedding venue with a European flair. I found the Italian inspired Hotel Domestique and planned the entire shoot, with it as my aesthetic muse. It's most important for me to tell a story when I put together creative projects. That's why I decided on a weekend elopepment as the storyboard. It would take place in stages, reflecting a casual time away with all the intimacy of true love echoed in playful banter and sun-drenched relaxation. From poolside lounging to a picnic among the vineyard vines, and culminating in a sunset ceremony, I wanted the focus to be on the couple. It was meant to feel as if my presence as the photographer wasn't known. This helps keep the focus on the story and the true chemistry between these once total strangers. 

South and North Carolina Elopement Editorial Team

Photography: Brian D Smith Photography  /

Venue: Hotel Domestique  /

Florals: Laurel Creek Florals  /

Hair and Makeup: Emily Dawn Hair and Makeup  /

Pottery: East Fork Pottery  /

Models: Sterling StreetChristi Garland  /

Dress: Vintage Sustainable Style Greenville

Groom Styling: Vintage Brooks Brothers and J Crew

asheville hotel domestique elopement wedding vineyard summer film contax 645

The shoot came together in stages, thanks entirely to the creative team we assembled. Kendra, from Laurel Creek florals is an experienced wedding and arrangement florist who grows her own flowers on her farm outside of Greenville. She was inspired by seasonal blooms and hand dyed silk ribbons, with a continuous aspiration for and experimentation with new color palettes. Prior to the shoot she sent me images of Chartreuse ribbons and matching florals. I was at first a skeptic. The color was bold, and unconventional for the wedding industry. I trusted her vision, and it instantly became my favorite detail of the entire shoot. Christi was my female model, and my styling companion. I met up with her a day prior to the shoot and we scoured thrift stores, her own personal wardrobe, and vintage pieces from her Greenville based Sustainable Style to put the finishing touches on the wardrobe and picnic stylings. The pièce de résistance was her mother's vintage, hand sewn wedding dress which she stumbled upon days prior the shoot. The moment she tried the dress on, the shoot felt complete, and I knew that we'd successful carried out the vision I had been dreaming about for months. Emily Dawn created 3 distinct and effortlessly perfect hair and makeup looks to put the final touches on our three elopement vignettes. She paired the perfect rosy cheek and lips to accent the bold yellows by the pool. She created a soft, and playfully charming ponytail and red lip to bring casual elegance to our countryside picnic. Finally, a brilliant updo with her own exclamation of "my best updo yet" was a tall order to pair with such a dress, but again the creation was as magical as the sunset light catching the loose curls draped from either side. Sterling, a Greenville based actor, was our male model and the playful chemistry generator that truly made the shoot feel like an elopement between two smitten lovers. He told stories by the picnic of vacations to European chateaus in the south of Italy, eliciting giggles from their believable prose. He carried an infectious smile that proved contagious, even from behind my camera. He was styled with vintage finds, my own personal wardrobe and pieces from his own closet and signature garb.

hotel domestique elopement wedding photography contax 645 portra 400 film

What I love About Hotel Domestique as a South Carolina Wedding Venue

A special thanks is due to the lovely venue, Hotel Domestique in Traveler's Rest South Carolina. Sarah was a wonderful host, and allowed us all the time and space we needed to piece together our vision. It is truly a unique, and rare destination tucked away in the mountains of Traveler's rest between Greenville and Asheville. Hotel Domestique is large enough to host big weddings but it's remote location gives it a very intimate feel, perfect for weddings and elopements alike. The venue is inspired by italian vineyards and it is this aesthetic that makes it unlike any other wedding venue in South Carolina. It features a sprawling inn and a large back patio with a fountain that overlooks the vineyard and blue ridge mountains. It is one of the most beautiful wedding reception spaces I have ever had the pleasure to photograph.

hotel domestique south carolina wedding and elopement venue back patio with italian architecture in blue ridge mountains

hotel domestique bride and groom in vintage wedding dress and suit during south carolina wedding elopement featuring old world italian design

Last but not least, I'd like to thank East Fork pottery and the beautiful coincidence that led me to them. I'd followed them for some time and long admired their branding, artistic creations and social media styling. Leaving a vintage shop in Asheville, 2 days before the shoot, I happened to walk by their downtown shop and noticed their seasonal color was a chartreuse green. I knew it was meant to be and they graciously lent me some of their handmade pottery to put the finishing touch on our romantic picnic.

Everything came together to tell a story: Chartreuse in Tuscany - Vintage European Elopement Inspiration in the Hills of Asheville.

Why You Should Hire Me For That Venue

I sought out Hotel Domestique intentionally as a south carolina wedding and elopement venue because I was completely enamored with and inspired by the european archicteture and styling. It had this old world, romantic charm that I just couldn't find at any other charleston, asheville or columbia wedding venue. Hire a photographer that is inspired by where they shoot. Hire a photographer who will be so enthusiastic and excited to photograph your south carolina wedding at Hotel Domestique. This shoot was a dream and a beautiful change of pace for a Charleston wedding photographer and I truly can't wait to photograph another elopement or wedding at this lovely european venue. Also, I just really really love the Blue Ridge Mountains!

One of south carolina and north carolinas best wedding venues hotel domestique overlooking the blue ridge mountains with vintage fashion bride and groom during ceremony

To see more inspiring elopement content, check out my Wavering Place South Carolina Elopement that was featured on Ruffled Blog!

Wavering Place Intimate Fall Wedding Elopement

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If you are inspired by what you read, I'd love to invite you to reach out about the photography services I offer. My guarantee is that you won't find a photographer that cares more about you and your story than I. I'm endlessly passionate about telling stories on film and pushing the boundaries of art in wedding and portrait photography. I'd be thrilled to work for you and document your story, wedding or business in Charleston South Carolina or any destination abroad.

If you'd like more info about this post, would just like to chat, or are ready to book, reach out to me by visiting my contact page here!

Contact Brian D Smith Photography






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