Planning Your Day at Biltmore
If you are planning a couples session, engagement session, or even a proposal at the Biltmore Estate, there are a couple things you should know. The grounds are absolutely incredible and there are numerous locations to get beautiful imagery. With this in mind, my first tip for your Biltmore Estate photography session is to allot a good 90 minutes for the session to access the multiple spots throughout the grounds. Sessions are best done about 90 minutes before sunset to get the best lighting. You can do the session in an hour, but it may feel rushed. Take your time and enjoy yourself. Tip number 2 is to dress like a boss. Check out the photos of Chad and Girah for inspiration. Their wardrobe is simple, elegant, sophisticated, and it doesn’t clash with each other. If you show up in Nike’s and a t-shirt, the images can only go so far. I am not a miracle worker and this ain’t no sports shoot son. Tip 3 is to get tickets early. As with anything in life, the sooner you plan, the better things typically go. Purchasing your tickets early can save you a good chunk of money. Purchase your tickets at least 7 days early and get $10 off each ticket, then go treat yourself to a bottle of wine at the winery or grab a couple of pints at Cedric’s Tavern. Tickets range from $40 per person for non-peak value tickets, all the way up to $75 for folks who wait until the last minute at peak times. You can also purchase an annual pass for $159 per person. If you visit more than a couple of times a year, it is totally worth it. Go ahead and get your Biltmore Estate tickets by clicking HERE. If you want to save even more time, you have the option to print your tickets from home instead of stopping by the ticket center. I totally recommend you do this as it will just mean more photography time. Which brings me to tip 4: show up on time. I schedule sessions about 90 minutes before sunset so we will have the prettiest lighting and the best shots. The shots you see in this article are not achievable at noon when the sun is super harsh and the facial shadows make you look like you have a Hitler mustache. Once you enter the very first gate at Biltmore it takes a good 10-15 minutes to get up to the house and get a parking space. So if you are running late, we will run out of daylight. Traffic on Friday’s specifically can be a pain in the buns, so arrive a little early. If you want to get the most out of the experience, make it a day trip, which is tip number 5. There are countless things to do at the Biltmore Estate. You can ride a horse drawn carriage, visit the winery, do a segway tour, do a tour of the house, visit Antler Hill Village and grab a beer, visit the flower gardens, and the endless amounts of walking trails. They have great food and numerous restaurants on the grounds as well.
Dining In Asheville
To check out all the wonderful places to eat on the Biltmore Estate grounds click HERE. I recommend the Dining Room at the Inn on Biltmore. The food there is impeccable, and the service is top notch. Expect to pay around $25 per plate and leave full and satisfied. I recommend a late reservation at the Dining Room after our session or checking out some of the amazingness that downtown Asheville has to offer. Curate (pronounced koo-rah-tay) is my current favorite restaurant in Asheville. It is Spanish style tapas, and is freaking delicious. All the pork dishes we had were phenomenal. If you want to try to eat here get a reservation well in advance by clicking HERE. If you are looking to enjoy some of the best craft beer around Wicked Weed Brewing is my favorite. Go to the downstairs bar if you really want the local feel of the joint. The beer menu is also more robust in the downstairs. The food at Wicked Weed is actually fantastic with amazing burgers, fried chicken and kimchi sandwich, and the best brussel sprouts around. If you want something more grassroots or salt of the earth, check out Burial Beer. If you want a great dessert place, the French Broad Chocolate Lounge is incredible. My perfect evening is to start at Wicked Weed around 4:30pm, have a 5:30 or 6:00pm reservation at Curate, then hit up the French Broad Chocolate Lounge for dessert. All these suggestions are clickable links, so thumb over any of the suggestions and plan your day/evening out before you get here. Booking reservations for everything ensures that you don’t miss out. With the breweries and the chocolate lounge, they don’t take reservations, but anything else you are interested in doing in Asheville, you will want to book out probably 2 weeks in advance. If you want an amazing lunch place, check out White Duck Taco (it’s the tits). Go to the one on Biltmore Avenue. Also, don’t forget to explore Biltmore Village, which has some hidden gems like Well Bred Bakery and Cafe, which is a must visit coffee shop/eatery that has the best damn vegan chip cookie you will ever put in your mouth hole. It also offers a number of vegetarian options. Corner Kitchen is also a lovely Biltmore Village joint that is great for breakfast or dinner and has a lot of history to it. Just check out their website. Basically, if you come to Asheville, your belly is going to be filled. For the Vegetarian/Vegan homies, Asheville has got you covered. Laughing Seed Cafe and Rosetta’s Kitchen are two amazing options. I hope this helps you on your adventure here, and if you are local, all this stuff applies to you too. We live in one of the coolest cities in the U.S. Let’s enjoy what we have.
Here is the quick and dirty for those of you who roll like that.
Tip 1: Allow for a 90 minute photo session to enjoy each other. Think of it more as a date, that I am there to capture.
Tip 2: Dress like a boss.
Tip 3: Get Tickets/Reservations Early.
Tip 4: Arrive on time so you don’t feel stressed, and so we can maximize our photo time and your investment.
Tip 5: Explore the Biltmore Estate, make it a day trip, and enjoy our awesome city.