Almond Leaf Studios

Asheville is a beautiful and magical place. We feel fortunate to wake up every day and plan amazing events all over the region. A lot of coffee, a little bit of wine and our client’s dreams have led to 10 years of incredible weddings, festivals and corporate events. Thank you to all of our past clients and future clients for giving us the opportunity to do what we love.

Missie, Becca and the Asheville Event Co. Team

"We just wanted to thank you again for everything you did for Moogfest this year. We know you put in a lot of hard work and hours and we just want you to know how much we appreciate and enjoy working with you! Cheers to next year!"
- The AC Entertainment Team
Melissa “Missie” Porter Managing Partner

I've been an event planner my entire career and wouldn't know what to do otherwise.  I love planning and executing events. I love people. I really love my job and the company Becca and I created.

My experience in managing nearly 800 events has been varied – everything from highly stylized themed parties and luncheons in the nonprofit sector to bridal shows, weddings and fashion shows in major markets in the Midwest. I even worked in the marketing department producing team events and conferences for an industrial manufacturer at the corporate level.

For eleven years, I worked as the Festival Director for the City of Asheville, North Carolina.  I was responsible for 5 festivals, including Bele Chere – one of the largest, free music festivals in the Southeast - and consulting and permitting 100 events annually with an attendance of over 500,000 people. I managed a team of 6 staff members and served as the key media spokesperson to major media across the Southeast.  I was the founder and director of the Asheville Film Festival & secured over $1 million in funding for city-wide festivals.

In 2008, Becca and I launched Asheville Event Co., a full service event planning and consulting company and we now manage over 40 events per year including weddings, corporate events and festivals.  We are special event experts in budgeting, site research and selection, event logistics, vendors, sponsorship development, volunteer recruitment, community relations, marketing, public relations and all things Asheville, North Carolina.

I’m a mom, a wife, a runner and an animal-lover.  I love rock music, shopping, the beach and calling Asheville, North Carolina home.

"You have orchestrated perfection! I reach down to my soul to find words of gratitude and none match my overwhelming appreciation for your gifts of time, talent, skills and finesse. The only one, which speaks to my heart, is - thank you friend."
- Donna, MOB
Becca Stefan Knuth Managing Partner

I like to say that I escaped LA when I moved to Asheville. My career began in the entertainment industry working on feature films and commercials as an Assistant Director for a number of major motion picture studios. During those years I developed a solid background in organization and logistics, which led me to become an event and meeting planner.

My event planning career began when I arrived in Asheville over 10 years ago and was hired by a Marketing Company to plan and organize corporate events and meetings. I have planned and implemented all types of events from Tailgate parties for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Large Scale Corporate Events and Meetings as well as hundreds of upscale weddings and special events.

I love love and have always been a hopeless romantic, which is likely what lead me to Hollywood in the first place. Ironically I ended up in Asheville - finding the love of my life and working with brides on well...a day filled with love.

Melissa and I have experience and a level of professionalism that exceeds most of our clients and vendors expectations. We truly love what we do and take pride in being a part of something that comes together and is one of the best days of someone’s life - be it a wedding, a corporate event or a festival.

I love the outdoors, the fresh air and the mountains. I enjoy spending time with my family and appreciating this wonderful city that I live in.

Asheville Event Co. has values and a philosophy that continues to make our events successful.

"You took care of every detail with grace and kindness. Thank you for your decorating talent, your organizational skills, your attention to detail and the lovely way you did everything! Paul and I are most grateful."
- Barbara, MOB
Cortney Jackson Lead Planner

It’s about the moments, celebrating life’s moments. I think it’s important to enjoy life daily, but creating and perfecting beautiful moments can be life changing. This is why I so love being an event planner; helping couples on one of their happiest of days.

My love of design comes from the many years collaborating with my inspiring mother in creating beautiful spaces & special events for family, close friends and dear clients. My focus of serving people and their individual needs propelled me to study interior design at Appalachian State University. Now with over 15 years of experience in both interior design and event planning, my passion now lies in giving each client a truly memorable experience. I want to ensure that every detail is perfect and every moment is beautiful.

Being published in 2014 as a participating designer in the book, “Carolina Bride A Bespoke Affair”, was truly a wonderful experience. The outcome is an incredibly beautiful book of wedding inspiration! The truest form of flattery has been this year working with brides who are siblings of my past clients. I so enjoy stepping back into the families dynamic and being allowed to help with the joy of another beautiful event!

My perfect moment: Enjoying a good glass of wine on a beautiful evening in these mountains I love with my family I adore!

“I can’t thank you enough for all of your help with Whitney & Brad's wedding, not just on Saturday, but for these past months. You truly exceeded all of our expectations!”
- Rhonda, MOB
Liz Whalen Tallent Associate Planner

I live for the details when it comes to wedding and event coordination! Flowers, décor and special touches are some of my favorite elements involved in the wedding process – all the little things that come together to make a big impact on your guests and help make your special day truly unique and “you”. For the past 7 years, I’ve served as the main event coordinator at the Orange Peel, a historic event and concert venue in Downtown Asheville.  At the Peel, I’ve directed everything from intimate rehearsal dinners to elaborate wedding receptions to 1000-person benefit concerts and weekend-long festivals, and everything in between.  It’s given me a great opportunity to meet and work with all the best vendors in our area; Asheville is certainly blessed with some of the most talented event companies around and I always enjoy working with our area’s gifted events professionals.  I love meeting new clients and their families and helping them make their vision a reality with as little stress as possible! 

In addition to my work at the Orange Peel, I’ve worked with wedding teams to execute events around Asheville from sites like The Venue to the Biltmore Estate.  My goal is to help you relax and enjoy your day, knowing that all the pieces will come together seamlessly and that I’ll make sure no t goes un-crossed or i un-dotted – I want you to have an experience that not only meets your expectations, but leaves your family and friends raving over what a great and memorable time they had. 

In my spare time, I can be found enjoying our city – particularly Downtown - and spending time with my family: my husband, our son Ben (born May 2013!) and black lab, Suzy in our North Asheville neighborhood.

Sarah Lokitis Kiomall Online Marketing and Event Specialist

A graduate of James Madison University in Virginia, I interned at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in the marketing and advertising department before moving to Charlottesville, VA to work at an online marketing agency focusing on paid and organic social media advertising. Looking for more adventure, I began working as an event coordinator assistant part-time and was honored to coordinate a friend's wedding in Charleston, SC.

I found myself moving to Asheville for love, where I quickly fell in love with this quirky, southern city. Now with Asheville Event Co., I assist the team in designing, planning and working day-of events, as well as managing the blog and social media channels. When not working, I love hiking the Blue Ridge, exploring the breweries and restaurants in Asheville, or taking a contemporary dance class. 

"I could go on and on for days with just how much she helped us throughout this entire process. In the end, I don't think I could have done it without her."
- Erin, Bride
Caroline Livengood Associate Planner
I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, but my career started in Los Angeles. I worked as a coordinator on feature films and TV shows, sharpening my skills in organization and multi-tasking. From arranging an ice cream truck to treat the crew at midnight, to scouring LA for ball caps that are the “right” shade of blue, to finding a crane at 10PM after the first one breaks down, I have tackled just about every challenge out there! After 6 years in Los Angeles I felt like I had been away from Asheville for too long. I’m so glad to be back in the mountains, and I’m especially excited to be working with Asheville Event Co. I love everything about event planning here in Asheville – the people and the locations are the best you will ever find. When I’m not working you can find me hiking with my husband and dog, or out on the town sampling one of the many local brews.