The Real We: Wedding Locations Reflect Your Personality
By Jennifer Fulford – The Laurel of Asheville – September 2016
Once upon a time, tradition typically dictated wedding decisions. But couples are crafting new fairytale events these days, revising the standard storyline to create weddings that reflect who they are as a twosome. This new chapter of their lives starts with the right place.
Around Asheville, the choices for wedding venues are numerous and give new meaning to variety. Wedding at a brewery? Sure. In a diner? No problem. Wedding planner Alex Fisher says, “Quirk is definitely in.” But whether it’s a luxurious inn, riverbank, barn, or mountaintop, a couple’s proclivities tend to guide the decision.
“The venue is such an integral and intimate part of the decision-making process,” says Alex, owner of Lucky Penny Creative (luckypennycreative.com) in Asheville and Greenville. “They either have a place that is meaningful to them or a particular type of venue is important to them.”
The venue sets the tone for other big decisions, like the menu and decorations. Whether it’s been done before or not, Alex is game to give any idea a chance.
“I always say, ‘It never hurts to ask!’ Especially when it comes to a unique venue like an art gallery, arcade, or history museum,” she says.
One such place has become a wedding destination in the Brevard Arts District. The Brevard Lumberyard (brevardlumberyard.com), a revitalized 1908 lumber warehouse, carries a retro appeal with corrugated metal, bricks, and murals. Owner Josh Leder says this downtown venue can accommodate a five-star experience or simply a cookout. The lumberyard, also used as a performing arts venue, can accommodate 300 guests, indoors or outdoors. The facility includes a fire pit and old fire truck.
“We’re all about cool vibes and what’s old is new again,” Josh says. “We’re not a ballroom or a resort. We are a cool authentic space.”
Many venues offer flexibility. Appalachian Farm Weddings (appalachianfarmweddings.com) in Waynesville may have farm in the name, but owner Sarah Claire has seen all kinds of weddings at her rural location, from vintage to chic. “Our strengths include breathtaking views that surround you,” says Sarah. Couples can be wed in a well-preserved old barn with a hundred guests or expand the event to hold 300 in tents. Guests could see tractors as backdrops or pink tulle and light-catching chandeliers. The 400 acres remains a working family farm, as it has for 175 years.
Another Waynesville location draws those who seek exclusivity. The Inn at Tranquility Farm (innattranquilityfarm.com) strives for mountain elegance. Between gorgeous views from a stone backporch terrace and detailed interiors, the inn is a close cousin to a high-end resort. Lit by crystal chandeliers, the property’s new 2,500-square-foot events center, called the Pavilion, flirts with rustic. Its cedar trusses and a stone hearth fireplace reflect a Smoky Mountain aesthetic.
Sutton Angelo Katz, the inn’s manager, says, “It should be as easy to fall in love with your venue and vendors as it was each other.” The Inn at Tranquility Farm has overnight accommodations for a small party and can hold 150 guests.
Orchard Inn (orchardinn.com) is the creation of Marc and Marianne Blazar, who met while traveling the globe. They’ve stayed at everything from five-star hotels to exotic tented camps and their Saluda inn combines the best of their hospitality knowledge in order to pamper couples who want an intimate wedding of fewer than 70 guests. The keywords for the Blazars are food and personal attention.
“One of our more exciting and international weddings was a great family affair with the bride being from Lebanon, groom being from South Carolina, both living in England,” says Marc. “We were delighted to welcome happy guests from all over the world.”
The Orchard Inn offers entire weekend packages, as do many venues. “Chill and relax,” Marc says. “We will deliver a wedding to your liking from beginning to end.”