We had such a great year we didn’t want to forget it!

Our creative team members took 2017 by storm, winning awards and accolades, growing their businesses, and appearing in several prestigious publications…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  With so much to celebrate in 2017, we’re already busting at the seams to see what new heights we can reach in the new year.

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we’d love to share the highlights of all the blessings 2017 brought to many of our Creative Team members!

Salon Zhenya

Zhenya Lazarchuk


Zhenya won second place in an international hair-coloring competition sponsored by professional hair care and hair product brand Pravana.  Our minds are still boggled over how Zhenya created such a vibrant, innovative look…and apparently the experts at Pravana were equally impressed!  Congrats Zhenya!



Catrina Earls Photography

Catrina Earls

Catrina’s gorgeous wedding photography was published this summer in Carolina Bride Magazine!   The spread featured other Engaged team members, too!  Be sure to pick up a copy the next time you’re in our studio to check out her beautiful work.
Thanks to a big year of growth, Catrina is excited to announce she’ll be moving to photography full time in 2018!

Powder Me Pretty

Joanna Ferree


The Powder Me Pretty team grew quite a bit in 2017!  Their group of amazing ladies now includes four hair stylists and four makeup artists in addition to Joanna.



Farm Burger Catering

Farm Burger’s Asheville restaurants are on pace to complete their biggest catering month ever!  Before the holiday break, they will have shattered their December catering goals and will have made it Farm Burger Asheville’s most lucrative catering month to date!

Their most memorable event this year has to have been the amazing family-style dinner for the Ball in the Barn at Honeysuckle Hill. Farm Burger provided the food, Erick Baker provided the amazing live music, Sugarlands Distilling Company provided the libations, and the wonderful Mingle Events decked the halls – it was truly one to remember!

“A big thanks to everyone at Engaged Asheville for creating such a cooperative, creative environment for every facet of the wedding world. We’re happy to play a role in such a wonderful organization, and look forward to the work to come!”  ~ Farm Burger Catering


Bella Solé Studio

Leah Laws


This year Bella Solé is celebrating four years of ownership and seven years in business!  Two thousand seventeen was their most successful year to date, and they grew their team by two new airbrush tanning artists, Kristine Barringer & Kailee Couch.



Michael DeSerio

Wedding Officiant

One of our newest team members, we are so excited to welcome Michael (Mike) DeSerio to our family!  Mike became ordained in 2000 when he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Portland Bible College. Since then, he has pastored youth and young adults, curated art shows, emceed at conferences, conducted corporate trainings, served the homeless, and officiated and coordinated weddings.

Mike genuinely enjoys meeting engaged couples, hearing their stories, and guiding them through the biggest commitment of their lives. His aim is for every ceremony to be unique to each couple’s wishes – from formal and conventional to casual and relaxed, and everything in between. Mike is a strong advocate and believer in marriage equality. He approaches every wedding ceremony with grace, practicality, and joy.

While Mike is just getting started with us here at Engaged, we have no doubt that 2018 will bring wonderful things for him and the happy couples he is honored to work with. Learn more about Mike and how to contact him on his Creative Team profile.

Kathy Beaver Photography

Kathy Beaver

Kathy’s fantastic 2017 all began with a pencil and some paper — literally!  With her trusty planner and monthly goal evaluations, Kathy enjoyed some major accomplishments this past year including these amazing achievements:

  • Reached her goal for number of wedding booked — and then some!!
  • Joined Engaged and began collaborating with amazing creatives.
  • Published in print in Southern Celebration Magazine along with fellow Engaged creatives Joy Unscripted, Catering by Corey, Mingle Events, Poppy Popcorn, and Southern Chic.  WNC magazine will be featuring a spring wedding of Kathy’s, too!
  • Launched her First Annual Christmas Mini Sessions for charity — this one is perhaps what Kathy is most proud to have done all year!  Thanks to her amazing clients supporting her throughout the year, Kathy was able to give back by donating 100% of the profits from these sessions to charity.  She provided Christmas for seven children that were part of the Salvation Army Angel Tree alongside donations from fellow Engaged creatives Dogwood Design, Joy Unscripted, and Mingle.

Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn

Ginger Frank & Lori Blankenship


Our favorite purveyors of popcorn (or any snack, really) celebrated the opening of their second store front!  This shop, located in Black Mountain at 139 Cherry Street, is every bit as delightful as you’d expect from the makers of Cotton Candy and Reindeer Crunch popcorn.  We’re also super excited about their forthcoming Popcorn of the Month Club — stay tuned to the Poppy and Engaged social media for the official announcement.

Joy Unscripted

Bethany Thames

Between her beautiful calligraphy and amazing workshops, Bethany’s hand-lettering business exploded in 2017!  A small sampling of her accomplishments include:

  • Hosting 5+workshops on 3 topics: brush lettering, pointed pen and chalkboard lettering.
  • Creating new chalkboard signage for three local businesses.
  • Becoming the preferred calligrapher for two major wedding and event venues, Honeysuckle Hill and Chestnut Ridge.
  • Lettering items for over 25 weddings over the summer and fall, with couples already booking for 2018 & 2019!
  • Acting web administrator and social media savant for Engaged Asheville!  (We’re ever so grateful, Bethany!)

Cakes by Gray & Wildflower Bridal

Melissa Gray & Margaux Weinstock


Hold the phone — two of our creative team members were vendors in a wedding so beautiful that it was featured in the New York Times!  We’re still swooning over this beautiful military ceremony and gorgeous reception held in the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Biltmore Village.  Cheers to Melissa and Margaux for this incredible honor!




Asheville Couture

Angela Kim

Angela Kim Designs launched its bridal collection, Asheville Couture by Angela Kim, in January 2017.  To showcase her new collections while benefitting local charities dear to her heart, Angela hosted several fashion shows throughout the year.  We were thrilled to have Angela feature three of her custom bridal gowns at the official launch party for Engaged!

Angela has also been featured in several local magazines, sharing her personal story and inspirations, advice on wedding planning, and even some style tips to boot!  Her designs are proudly offered for sale at prestigious local boutiques, including Boutique LP, Scout Boutique and Wedding Inspirations, where she is enjoying a steady increase in sales and brand recognition.


AKD Fashion Shows:

AKD In Print:  

Collective Music Solutions

Erica Berg Cook & Victor Berg

The party is officially started now that Erica, Victor, and their crazy awesome musical talents are on board the Engaged team! The Erica Berg Collective is a rockin’ blues-funk band made up of the most talented, most versatile musicians the Upstate has to offer. From a sophisticated jazz quartet, to a big, fun, seven-piece jam band, we can do it all.  We can’t wait to watch them turn up the volume in 2018!
Collective Music Solutions reached some major milestones this past year, including:
  • Opening their first office space in the heart of lovely Downtown Greenville, SC.
  • Booking the most events they ever have in one year — 121!
  • Winning WeddingWire Couple’s Choice Award for the first time.



The Tony Townie / Brooke Williams Wardrobe

Brooke Williams

With a full year of lifestyle blogging under her belt, Brooke realized many of the goals she set for herself when she decided to start blogging while working out of her home and raising her daughter, Harlow.  Brooke has enjoyed collaborating with local designers and boutiques such as Nest, Angela Kim, Amber Hatchett, Scout, and J. Smith, as well as partnering with national brands including The Fresh Market and Versona.  Her status as an influencer reached the next level when she was invited to join the Like To Know It network, forging even stronger connections between herself and her audience.  This coming year, Brooke is proud to be featured in the Asheville edition of The Scout Guide in the “Ones To Watch” section.
Brooke’s fashion and bridal styling continues to grow as she’s helped brides, families, and individuals with their personal style needs.  For the second year in a row, Shutterfly’s Christmas card interactive featured Brooke’s holiday styling for the entire family.

Sugar and Snow

Amy Pickett

Sugar & Snow celebrated the grand opening of their shop in South Asheville!  Located near the NC Arboretum at 1446 Brevard Road, Suite 101, we’re doing a happy dance we can now find Amy’s heavenly gelato on demand instead of having to stalk her darling gelato cart all around town!  (Just kidding, Amy…kind of!)
On a daily basis Sugar & Snow’s shop serves made-from-scratch gelato and baked goods, espresso drinks, snacks, and beer.


Mingle Events

Candace Hightower

The dreamer/founder/make-it-happener behind Engaged is our boss lady Candace Hightower, and 2017 was a big year for Candace, her team, and her multiple thriving businesses!  (Yes, she really can do it all and look good going it!)
  • Celebrated Engaged’s one-year anniversary in July with 30 creative members!
  • Acquired The Barn at Honeysuckle Hill, a historic equestrian estate and wedding venue.
  • Added two new planners to her wedding planning and vintage rentals company, Mingle Events, and now has a team of four!
  • Planned, executed, and rocked out 50 weddings with the Mingle team in 2017!
  • Featured in the upcoming Asheville edition of The Scout Guide.



Candace’s work was featured in THREE print publications this year!
  • Caroline Bride Magazine, featuring a Secret Garden wedding Candace helped plan and design.
  • WNC magazine, for wedding planning and design at The 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa.
  • Southern Celebration Magazine, for “All Things Southern” baby shower designed and planned by Candace.

Floral design by Blossoms at Biltmore Park

“This year was good…but you ain’t seen nothing yet!”

A HUMONGOUS thank you to everyone who supported Engaged and our creative team throughout the year!  We’re more thankful than you know!  We can’t wait to continue collaborating and creating with our wonderful community, and to serve our beautiful couples as they prepare for the best day of their lives!

Keep an eye on us, y’all!  We’ve got our eyes on you, 2018, and we’re coming for you!

With love and gratitude,

The Engaged Team