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.
"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.
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.