Why we went local

This year, the Xpress wedding guide was born from photos sent in by the community of local wedding-service providers. We appreciate their help and the lovely images we received, and regret we weren't able to use all of them. As you flip through the pages of our album, know that the photos are authentic to WNC.

Photo courtesy Jen Lepkowski Photography

Photo courtesy Brown Photography

"Asheville, North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Mountains make a gorgeous backdrop for destination weddings," reports WeddingBasics.com. But we knew that. With the mountain scenery, great weather, activities for guests and romantic accommodations, Asheville has wedding written all over it. Add to that the local farms and businesses at the ready to provide every wedding-related detail — from lush bouquets to special diet catering — and really, why would anyone want to have a wedding somewhere else?

But as much of a trend as destination weddings have become, if you already live in the perfect spot there's no reason to hire a travel agent. In fact, there are lot of arguments for staying put. EcoWedding.org suggests, "Pick a central location where the majority of the guests don't have to travel too far," "Keep things simple," and "Keep it local."

In other words, make local your destination.

A local wedding has some serious perks: Less stress, less expense and less impact on the environment top the list. Locally sourced products limit both the fuel cost to transport them long distances, as well as the headache of timing a shipment. Working with community-based businesses means personalized service, and also keeps money in the local economy. And, while a wedding at home (backyard ceremonies were recession-chic; pot luck receptions get the guests involved; D.I.Y. decor lends a personal touch) can save serious cash, a local wedding doesn't have to mean strictly homegrown. Asheville boasts plenty of stunning venues like the fairyland-esque glen at Homewood, the overlook deck at the Crest Pavillion, or the time-tested environs of the Grove Park Inn.

Photo courtesy Rebecca D’Angelo Photography

A totally local event is more doable now than ever before. A hundred years ago, an Appalachian bride might have sewn her own gown, her community might have baked a layer cake using number 10 cast-iron skillets, and the ceremony would have taken place at the family home or church. Same idea today, only with plenty of added luxury.

Consider a one-of-a-kind dress handmade by a local designer, a specialty cake baked to suit the bride's and groom's personalities, a bouquet from an organic farm, gifts selected from area boutiques, a memory-making B&B suite within walking distance to the festivities, a conflict-free diamond ring bench-made by a local jeweler and the pictures (taken by a local photographer, of course) to commemorate the occasion.

Just to give you an idea about how it will all play out, Xpress offers up our local wedding album: a WNC-sourced guide to all things matrimonial.

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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4 thoughts on “Why we went local

  1. hmmm

    Once again, all white appearing people in the photos throughout the album. Also, one photo of a gay couple doesn’t make the remainder of the heterosexist portrayal acceptable. You all said in the comments last week, after valentine’s photos of only white hetero couples, that you would be more inclusive. Please review what you create before it goes to publication, & ask questions, like Is this representative of the Asheville community and What is my privilege allowing me to ignore? Otherwise, it’s just hurtful to the community.

  2. Piffy!

    last time i checked there were a lot of straight white people in asheville.


    Who cares if there are gay couples in the pictures? I mean… really? I feel for you if that is all you do is sit around and scrutinize media to see if it portrays Asheville ‘correctly’. I think Asheville can pretty much hold its own as being the 2nd gay capital in the US.

  4. Robin Hitch

    Maybe no gay couples sent their pictures in…The begining of the article clearly states these are pictures that have been sent in from couples who were married in the area…

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