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This Mountain Chic Wedding in Cashiers Ended With a New Orleans–Style Second Line

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Natalie Watson

|Planning by 

Asheville Event Co.

Louisianans Sara Elizabeth Adamek and Ethan James Robarts first met as undergrads at LSU. After four years together, Ethan proposed at her family’s beach house. One morning, while they were cooking breakfast and listening to music, he called Sara out to the balcony. “Our bulldog, Tuna, who we both have a bit of an obsession with, had a sign around his neck that read, ‘Will you please marry Ethan?’ and Ethan was on a knee next to him, both of us still in our pajamas,” Sara remembers. “It was casual and a little cheesy and perfect.”

Once engaged, the two quickly decided on hosting their wedding at Mountaintop in Cashiers, North Carolina. Sara’s family has had a home there since she was little, and Ethan swiftly adopted it as his happy place. As for the aesthetic, the bride landed on a timeless approach. “I knew that the venue would do half of the work, and my dress paved the way for the other half,” she says. “I don’t want to say my dress limited my use of colors, but once I chose my dress, I was able to narrow my vision down. I didn’t want to lean too far into pink, I just wanted classic colors that complemented it—whites, pale blue, and lots of greenery and sages.”

To help bring their vision to life, Becca Knuth of Asheville Event Co. took on the planning. And Natalie Watson was behind the lens, capturing every special moment. The Keeping Room set the tone for the weekend with a beautiful and classic invitation suite.

When it came time to shop for a wedding dress, Sara “was 99% sure” that she wanted to wear Monique Lhuillier down the aisle. The bride describes her style as a bit edgier, so she was surprised when she fell in love with a floral strapless dress. “I’m a Leo, so, of course, I couldn’t wear any ordinary dress,” Sara laughs. “I wanted something that would make my guests’ jaws drop when I walked through the doors, something that people hadn’t seen before. To top it off, my veil was a subtle blush color. You would never know unless you looked very closely, but I loved how unique this detail made my look feel.”

To complete the look, Sara wore Oscar de la Renta earrings, white Sarah Flint shoes from Over The Moon, and held a bouquet by Floressence Flowers. For beauty, Claire Balest and Kelli Patten styled the bride with a clean, rosy makeup look and a simple bun. “She suggested some ‘Hailey Bieber whispies’ be pulled out around my ears,” Sara explains further. Bridesmaids complemented her well in silk ivory Bec & Bridge dresses and white pumps.

The wedding weekend commenced with a “Friday in the Park” for all of their guests at the club’s activity center with food trucks, an ice cream cart, pickle ball, and more. That night, everyone gathered at Canyon Kitchen for the rehearsal dinner and welcome party. “I used Friday as my chance to incorporate the maximalism I had set aside from Saturday—there was lots of wild florals, mismatched china, Persian rugs, Champagne towers—the brighter the colors, the better,” Sara shares. “Both Ethan and I are Italian, so that was our theme for the night: a summer night in Italy.”

To welcome her guests, Sara wore a Simkhai lace dress with a corset top, Jimmy Choo pearl heels, diamond studs, and a Rosantica pearl bag. Kelli and Claire gave the bride a more edgy glam look with dramatic eyes, contour, and a slicked-back Bella Hadid–inspired bun.

On April 23, 2022, Sara and Ethan were married in the only Catholic church in the area. The bride walked arm-in-arm down the aisle with her father. “To be honest, my stomach was in pits, and I had been shaking from nerves since I had started getting ready that day,” Sara admits. “Kelli sensed this and had to give me a massage and coach me through breathing mid-hair. But the second I took my first step down the aisle and didn’t trip, that feeling fell away. I felt a massive sense of relief after seeing everyone’s faces, like the hardest part was over, and for the rest of the night, I could breathe and have fun and feel no pressure.”

Since the couple already said, “I do,” in a civil ceremony in August of 2020 in New Orleans, the wedding in North Carolina was a chance to celebrate with more friends. “All this to say, I wasn’t sure how I would feel during the ceremony, or if I would feel anything at all,” Sara explains. “We had been spouses and parents for more than a year at this point. But as Ethan and I kneeled beside each other, though there were no life-changing realizations, the feeling of all our loved ones laying witness to our love was a special one.”

Following the service, the cocktail and jazz hour began, and the newlyweds snuck away for portraits. For dinner in the clubhouse, guests enjoyed the club’s famous lobster enchiladas (that the couple still hears about today), carved tenderloin, sea bass and polenta, oysters Rockefeller, and more. Then, the two cut their tiered wedding cake by Lush Cakery in a separate room with a greenery-adorned chandelier.

The music-loving couple danced the night away under a tent with Atlanta-based band Surround Sound. “I’m fully convinced we booked the best wedding band in history,” Sara confidently states. She and Ethan sweetly had their first dance to “To Love Somebody” by The Bee Gees, and Ethan and his mother danced cheekily to “Another One Bites the Dust,” since he was the last of four kids to get married. “It was surreal looking out at every single person I love in a place that has been such a huge part of me since I was five. None of them had ever been to Cashiers before, and then to see them all at once in that setting made my heart literally swell.”

To pay tribute to Louisiana, a second line led everyone out from the reception and through the clubhouse one last time, picking up guests along the way. “We had handkerchiefs with our crest on them for people to wave in traditional New Orleans fashion,” Sara shares. “We finally made our way out of the doors of the clubhouse and danced to one more song before telling some of our guests good night. It wasn’t much of an exit, most of the crowd including Ethan and I headed right back inside to keep the party going with midnight snacks and espresso martinis.”