The Ultimate Guide to Getting Married in Asheville
From urban art galleries to scenic parkway vistas, Asheville has it all when it comes to scenic Southern weddings.
Once you get engaged, there are so many decisions, many of which are determined by where you get married. Sometimes choosing a location is the most challenging part, but one city seems to have it all-Asheville, North Carolina. So whether you and your partner want to say your vows overlooking the mountains or have your reception in the middle of an arts district, it's all possible in Asheville.
Known for beautiful sites, such as the Biltmore and the Blue Ridge Parkway, the area is perfect for those who love the outdoors. However, the downtown is filled with breweries, art-centric areas, and estates just waiting for you to say, "I do." No matter what type of event you envision, Asheville is truly a city that delivers when hosting Southern weddings.
Best Times to Get Married in Asheville
"I always suggest my couple research the time of year they are considering getting married," offers Nicole Bloom, owner of Two Sweet Sparrows Wedding & Event Planning. "We are so fortunate to experience a true four seasons here in Asheville." January tends to be the coldest month, although snow isn't too much of a concern. Summer temperatures usually cap off at 90° F, which means that an outdoor wedding could be sweltering, especially in July.
Although the mountains are a draw for some couples, the climate can often be unpredictable. "The weather here in the mountains can change quickly from day to day, so don't worry too much over the weather more than a day before your wedding," says Kathy Beaver, owner of Kathy Beaver Photography in Asheville. "I am always amazed how the weather can go from 90% chance of rain to absolutely gorgeous weather the next day." Beaver also suggests formulating a rain plan for outdoor weddings.
Many couples long to have sunset photos, especially with the mountains in the background. "Carve 10-15 minutes into your timeline for couple portraits at sunset," advises Beaver, "You won't regret it!" Asheville does observe daylight savings time, so be aware that sunset in June is almost 9 p.m., whereas, in December, the sun sets around 5:30 p.m.
Types of Wedding Venues in Asheville
One perk about choosing Asheville for your wedding is the variety of options, with everything from urban settings to mountain backdrops at your fingertips. "There are so many things to love about Asheville," offers Beaver. "The food, the music, the arts, and, of course, the mountains and waterfalls." Incorporating the local scene-and scenery-into your Big Day is what Asheville weddings are known for.
Venues in Downtown Asheville
If architectural features, such as exposed brick and hardwood floors, are your style, head to Archetype Brewing's downtown location. For an estate vibe, The Applewood Manor is a stunning home set on an acre in the heart of the city. Art lovers will enjoy perusing the galleries as they utilize the Asheville Art Museum on their wedding day.
For a bright, airy downtown venue, book The Hideaway. The fact that a catering company owns the space makes wedding reception planning simple.
If you want your attendees to enjoy your wedding on the same property as their accommodations, consider The Foundry Hotel. With unique guest rooms and event spaces, it offers both traditional wedding or elopement packages. Out-of-town couples should consider The Venue, which provides event space, catering, and planning services.
Venues Outside of Downtown Asheville
Leave the floral design to nature and the horticulturists at The North Carolina Arboretum, where couples can have a small, intimate ceremony for 25 or a grand event for 150 guests. For a truly memorable destination wedding, book your event at The Biltmore, which offers accommodations, spaces, catering, and planning on-site.
To feel like royalty, wed at castle-like Homewood, which offers full-service wedding packages at the post-Victorian era home. Couples can also marry in one of Taylor Ranch's post and beam buildings, which are temperature-controlled and perfect for the duo who craves a rustic vibe.
Nature lovers will enjoy getting married among the grapevines at Longleaf Vineyards. However, if you wish to commune with nature, consider getting married at one of the Blue Ridge Parkway's many overlooks.
Choosing Vendors for Your Asheville Wedding
Once you secure your wedding venue, you're ready to book other vendors for your big day. A great place to start is by consulting a wedding planner, such as Two Sweet Sparrows Wedding & Event Planning or Mingle Events and Rentals. These event companies can help answer questions and secure other wedding professionals.
Shop for your wedding attire at Best Bride. Officiant, Barabara's Ceremonies, will ensure that your ceremony flows smoothly, and Kathy Beaver Photography will flawlessly document your day. To preserve your event on video, Fesuik Films can capture the most emotional moments.
Local flower company, Flourish Flower Farm, grows blooms and designs floral arrangements for weddings. In addition, East West Vintage Rental can add flair to your big day with its unique decor elements and furnishings.
Black-Eyed Susan Catering will satiate your guests, and then finish your evening off with a cake from Old Europe Pastries. DJ Service Black Mountain Beats can keep your reception entertaining or go with live music by hiring The Resonant Rogues. Finally, have a grand exit by leaving in a vehicle from Asheville Premier Transportation.
Legal Considerations to Getting Married in Asheville
It's relatively simple to get a marriage license in North Carolina as there is no waiting period. You need two witnesses, and your $60 license is valid for 60 days. However, if you want to get married along the Blue Ridge Parkway or in the surrounding areas, you will need to purchase an additional $40 permit. Your guest list may also be restricted, depending on the location you choose.
"North Carolina does allow small weddings of 25 or less people to obtain a permit to marry on the Blue Ridge Parkway or one of our many National Parks," says Bloom. "Weddings are only permitted during certain months, and they have rules regarding what is permitted." Contact the respective departments if you have questions about your specific event.
Incorporating Touches of Asheville Into Your Wedding
Roots & Home makes clay dishes and earrings, both of which are perfect for bridesmaids' gifts. In addition, give your guests an Asheville map ornament or handmade candle as thoughtful wedding favors. Another practical option is to provide pottery mugs made by Mangum Pottery.
Asheville also has several unique wedding vendors that can add to your big day. "Sunshine Sammies [ice cream sandwiches] was at my last wedding along with Jack's 47 [mobile bar] and a local live wedding painter," Beaver reminisces. "Poppy Popcorn is always a favorite favor for wedding guests."
For your signature drink, use locally distilled whiskey or moonshine from Asheville Distilling Company. Then, round out your bar service with wine from Plēb Urban Winery and beer from Hi-wire Brewing.
Activities for Asheville Wedding Guests
Asheville has a vibe all its own with a lively foodie scene and thriving craft and national breweries. "We are a welcoming and inclusive city with so much to offer every visitor. Love food? We have some amazing, well-known restaurants! Love beer? There is no shortage of places to visit," advises Bloom. In addition, larger breweries, such as Sierra Nevada and New Belgium Brewing, have locations in Asheville.
However, beyond consuming food and drink-which is a must in any city-the arts and outdoors are alive and well in Asheville. "Like art? We are home to some amazing galleries and the River Arts District, which showcases a huge variety of local artists," Bloom suggests. "And if you love the outdoors, look no further! We are home to the Appalachian Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway, and countless National Parks."
The truly adventurous can take a hot air balloon ride to experience the area from above. Nearby Bryson City also has white water rafting excursions. But, of course, even if guests don't stay at The Biltmore, taking a tour, hiking, or doing a wine tasting are all fabulous ways to experience this majestic estate.
Whether you live in North Carolina or are considering a destination wedding, Asheville is a treat both for couples and guests. "I love how the weddings here in Asheville, whether local couples or destination weddings, share Asheville with their guests," says Beaver. "It is always such fun to see how they share their love of the area." And Asheville is definitely a city perfect for sharing your love for each other on your special day.