Here you will find some of the celebrations, special occasions, and projects we have been honored to document over the past eleven years.
Last fall, I attended the fourth Emergence event in Highlands, North Carolina. In case you haven’t heard of Emergence, it is a luxury experience for wedding professionals that, over several days, features networking and education.
If you are interested in attending Emergence or visiting the Highlands, North Carolina area, here is a recap of what you can expect.
Before the retreat began, we had the opportunity to tour several of the Old Edwards Hospitality properties in the area.
Half-Mile Farm is an elevated country oasis on 14 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains with lush greenery. The property features guest rooms in a historic farmhouse or individual cabins for more privacy. This property is for 18 years or older, so it is perfect for a kid-free getaway to relax and unwind at the heated pool, jacuzzi or explore Apple Lake.
Old Edwards Inn and Spa is a Relais & Chateaux property situated on the southwest plateau of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This larger property is in the middle of downtown Highlands, making it great for visitors who want to explore the local town. With multiple accommodations on the property, you will find something for everyone from the Historic Inn, The Lodge, Falls Cottages, and Hickory. There is no shortage of things to do on the property, from golf, a full-service spa, several pools, and incredible dining.
While both The Old Edwards Inn and Spa and Half-Mile Farms have areas for weddings, the hospitality company built The Farm at Old Edwards to accommodate larger-scale events. The property features The Orchard House, The Barn, and The Pavilion, as well as 30 acres of gardens and lawns for outdoor celebrations.
Flat Mountain Farm was our home base during Emergence, where we stayed and attended the event. Just a short 2-mile drive from the downtown area of Highlands, you will stumble upon the modern farm.
Attendees stayed in one of the two updated log cabins, The Wren or the Kingfisher. While they are both beautifully designed and updated, The Wren has an airy feeling right out of J.Crew, while Kingfisher takes on a more luxurious rustic feel reminiscent of Ralph Lauren.
Flat Mountain Farm is also a wedding venue featuring The Meadow, The Mountaintop, and The Black Barn for ceremonies and receptions. The Meadow has a private lake backdrop that is great for ceremonies but can also be tented for a reception. It is the perfect spot for sunset photos. A vintage building, The Black Barn was moved from Pennsylvania to the Blue Ridge Mountains, perfect for an indoor reception for up to 200 guests.
This is one of my favorite events for wedding and creative professionals. The founders, Samantha and Kaytee, created a unique experience for creative professionals that can connect, learn, and grow with each other in an intimate setting. Potential guests are requested to attend by invitation only, which ensures a curated group.
The Highlands event included journaling sessions, ice breakers with reflective questions, breakout sessions crafted for attendees, incredible food, and a wine-pairing dinner. I left feeling recharged, challenged, and ready to dive back into my business and serve my clients with everything I learned. I was also excited to continue fostering relationships with all the amazing creative partners I met along the way.
After a one-of-a-kind experience in the Highlands of North Carolina, I am planning another trip to experience even more of what the area offers. You can see their full recap here; if you want to learn more about Emergence Highlands, you can see their full overview here. If you want another beautiful getaway in North Carolina, check out our blog post on Cashiers.
Host | Kaytee Stice and Samantha Leenheer of Emergence Events
Location | Flat Mountain Farm
Creative Director | Samantha Joy Events
Guest Host | Invision Events
Speaker | Clark Brewer and Megan Pettus
Catering | Tembo Hospitality Group
Coffee | Blue Ridge Bootleg Coffee
Photographer | Lance Nicoll
Film | Megan Pettus Films
Floral Designer | Kathryn Stice Design
Rentals | Professional Party Rentals
Linens | BBJ Latavola Linen
Stationery | Em Paper Co
Gifting | Feel Sunnie