Kaitlyn Shaker & Brandon Bete | Southern Bride
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Kaitlyn Shaker & Brandon Bete


May 4, 2023
Highlands , North Carolina

Photo Credit

Meche Ausina Photography

Style Guide

Color Palette





The Proposal

During one of Brandon’s first visits to Kaitlyn’s hometown, they strolled the Cliff Walk and visited the Newport Mansions. About 7 years later, the couple was back in Newport, RI visiting family and planned to go to the Cliff Walk again. According to Brandon, things went to plan, but Kaitlyn seemed to sense the proposal was near! They made it to the Forty Steps, walked down and rounded the corner onto a rock cliff where Brandon got down onto one knee. Kaitlyn’s longtime friend and her fiancé were hiding to capture pictures of the moment. Kaitlyn was surprised to see her mom, who flew in from Florida, coming down the steps to celebrate with them! Brandon’s parents arrived soon after and they all toasted to their next chapter with Del’s Lemonade at Brenton Point State Park. The couple visited with other family and friends who put together beautiful celebrations to continue the festivities!

Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete highlands wedding ()

Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete invitations
Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete couple portrait

Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete white flowers

Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete highlands wedding


In Preparation

Kaitlyn and Brandon were inspired by Victoria’s (CEO of Cardinal Events) small mountain wedding, and knew Victoria would be the perfect fit to help them design their special day. When Victoria proposed Rockwood Lodge as a potential venue, Kaitlyn and Brandon responded with a resounding yes! They wanted an outdoor ceremony and reception to appreciate the 360-degree views of the mountains and sprawling landscape. They loved the venue’s beauty so much they commissioned a watercolor painting of it by Ashley Triggiano for their invitation suites, and a separate piece for guests to sign and leave their written blessing. Brandon and Kaitlyn adore the Disney movie Tangled and wanted to emulate the lavender colors and lantern elements from the film. Cardinal Events and the couple therefore used these elements in the ceremony design, table settings and guest attire. It was decided that the ladies would wear formal navy gowns and the men would sport matching black suits with lavender ties.

Kaitlyn and Brandon decided to have a micro wedding with just nine members of immediate family. It was important to them to find ways to include all their loved ones, so they asked the rest of their family and friends to write them letters that they could open on their wedding day! Their closest friends joined them on a long weekend trip to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT, so they all had special moments together.

Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete wedding dress
Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete table florals
Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete groom's father
Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete bride ready

Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete highlands venue

Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete gazing
Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete look back


The Big Day

The most beautiful sunrise illuminated the rooms at the rustic lodge, bringing a stir of anticipation. Brandon and the guys played golf at a nearby course. Kaitlyn and her mom attended a mindful yoga practice at a local studio, Yoga Highlands. Dressed in their colorful loungewear, the ladies got ready with the kindest beauty team from Pop of Color Asheville, and did so around Kaitlyn’s late grandmother’s tea set. The estate was decorated with images of the couple’s grandparents on their wedding day, and pet portraits designed by the bride’s longtime friend. Kaitlyn’s soon to be mother-in-law, assisted in buttoning her ivory, lace gown. Kaitlyn revealed a first look with her dad and then her mom. The couple met for their first look, where they shared tears and exchanged thoughtful gifts. The bride added a few more details to her look, including her veil and family jewelry. Then she began her journey into marriage walking herself down the aisle stairs to the beautiful sounds of the live saxophonist. Her mother and then father escorted her the rest of the way to her handsome groom. Vanessa, their wonderful officiant, led the couple in a tree planting unity to symbolize the roots of their relationship and the continued growth of their love. After their first married kiss, they joyfully stepped into their new life hearing, “Don’t Wanna Be Without Ya” by Penny and Sparrow. They shared a few private moments together with more joyful tears before moving into their first dance to “The Open Sea” by Daniel Pearson. This dance included some light choreography by their best friend. The bride had a dress change while guests enjoyed the private chef’s delightful small bites. The father of the bride donned his daughter with a pearl necklace that he has added to each year, and then they shared a dance to “Fall On Me” by Andrea and Matteo Bocelli. A mother-son dance to “The Best Day” by Taylor Swift followed. To conclude their time on the dance floor, the bride surprised her mom with a dance to “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen! The magical evening boasted a flavorful five course dining experience under the string lights, on a candle-lined table with touches of greenery and lavender. The dinner overlooked the sweeping views of the Nantahala National Forest. Guests exclaimed that Braised & Confit prepared and served the best meal they’ve ever had! At the end of dinner, guests found an envelope that said “With Love, From Meme” under their plates. The envelope contained a scratch ticket to honor the groom’s late grandmother who loved scratch offs. The couple then read the letters from their loved ones by the fire, and indulged in cookie cake from a local ice cream shop. Everyone took their chocolate box favor from hometown favorite, Richardson’s Candy Kitchen, and headed to bed inside the secluded Rockwood Lodge estate. The couple is so grateful for the wonderful vendors whose care, efforts and creativity made their day even more special.

Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete bridal bouquet

Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete down the aisle
Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete ceremony
Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete venue exterior dinner table
Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bette mountain top wedding

Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete wedding kiss

The Retreat

Following the wedding, Kaitlyn and Brandon spent time with their immediate family visiting the impressive waterfalls, and witnessing the amazing mountain vistas. As their families headed back home, Brandon and Kaitlyn cruised down the Blue Ridge Parkway with “Just Married” traced on their back windshield. They checked in to the Omni Grove Park Inn where they relaxed at the world-class spa. They have plans for an international honeymoon/anniversary trip in 2024 to explore France and Switzerland. Until then, Kaitlyn and Brandon will enjoy reliving their day through the beautiful photos by Meche Ausina and captivating video by J.Mitchell Productions.

Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete table setting

Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete menu
Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete laughing
Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete reading letters
Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete watercolor

Kaitlyn Shaker And Jason Bete cake cutting

Kaitlyn And Jason Bete dancing


Featured Wedding Vendors


Victoria Katenkamp at Cardinal Events Carolinas


Contributing Vendors


Rockwood Lodge


Meche Ausina Photography


Justin Mitchell


Sweet Steam Floral Bar




Untamed Petals


Pop of Color


Pop of Color


Art by Ashley


Mama Bird’s Ice Cream


Braised & Confit


Men’s Warehouse


Raybandz Saxz


Curated Events

Decor Rentals

Indigo Rentals

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