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Turn Our State into a Wedding Destination

Why You Should Plan a Destination Wedding in NC

The “go big or go home” rule for weddings is a myth. For instance, swapping a destination abroad for a destination wedding in our home state, North Carolina, makes “go home” look like a dazzling option rather than a cop-out. In addition to quality and comfortable venues in diverse regions, North Carolina boasts the benefits of an in-state wedding celebration. Long-distance travel is often expensive, and with the presence of a pandemic, it can be unsafe and anxiety-inducing – emotions you’ll want to keep to a minimum for all of your wedding attendees. 

Bride and Groom Portrait in Meadow Pelumi and Grabriels Overlook Barn NC Mountain Wedding Kiara Harris
VENUE Overlook Barn | PHOTO Kiara Harris

Enjoy the View of a NC Destination Wedding

It’s no secret that the North Carolina mountains offer breathtaking views, too. Brown Mountain Beach Resort in Lenoir looks over Wilson Creek while Rumbling Bald on Blue Ridge Mountain offers a sweeping view of a 3,200-foot mountain perched above Lake Lure. Mountain venues are particularly well suited for rustic-themed weddings, and Overlook Barn – a historic barn with exposed wood beams in Beech Mountain – is the perfect destination to attain the barn wedding of your dreams.

The Outer Banks is one of the most beautiful places in the south. This unique strip of islands off of the coast of North Carolina has pristine beaches, a romantic sound, fresh seafood and even wild horses! Let the Outer Banks Wedding Association (OBXWA) be your local wedding planning guide. OBXWA is a website and magazine that features top local venues, planners, florists, caterers, hotels and more. 

One of the most beautiful beaches in North Carolina is Emerald Isle. It was even voted the “Best North Carolina Beach” by USA Today readers. Located on the Crystal Coast, Emerald Isle is a romantic destination. Its low-key vibes and natural beauty make it perfect for NC destination weddings, honeymoons and vacations. Emerald Isle Realty manages several venues and vacation properties that can be used for these purposes.

Hot Air Balloon Microweddings in Asheville NC

Would you say “I do” one mile high in the air? For the adventurous couple, an elopement above the mountains is the adrenaline rush of a lifetime. Downtown Asheville’s chic new property, The Foundry Hotel has teamed up with Asheville Hot Air Balloons to deliver on this experience. You and your partner can now wed in the sky, along with up to 14 of your nearest and dearest witnesses – if they dare. After the vows, enjoy a reception at the hotel with the intimate group or a larger one. The Foundry team hosted Heart of NC Weddings Publisher Jenna Parks to experience the accommodations and the flight. Durham wedding photographer Nikki Whitt Belch of Fancy This Photography joined to document the adventure.

Tips for Planning a NC Destination Wedding

The Mountains – By far, the most popular season to visit the Blue Ridge Mountains is fall, when leaf colors are peak. However, we’re here to tell you that spring and summer are equally gorgeous times of the year to plan a mountain wedding. Unlike the piedmont or coastal regions of North Carolina, the mountains remain cooler and tranquil during these seasons.  

The Beach – We do not recommend planning a midsummer wedding on the coast of North Carolina because that is peak tourist season. If you insist, be prepared for surge prices, traffic and intense heat. We recommend spring or early summer for prime weather and affordable accommodations. Hurricane season runs from mid-August through October, but 80% of the storms fall in September. 

Etiquette – Give yourself and your guests a two- to four-day weekend full of local activities and festivities. It is a generous gesture to host a welcome party when your guests arrive, and we highly recommend inviting everyone to the rehearsal dinner for a destination wedding. Help your guests plan their freetime by including brochures and maps in your welcome bags, of nearby sites to visit or quaint towns. 

Remote Location Considerations – Check in with any vendors who need to travel to get to your venue. While many vendors are happy to go the extra mile for their clients with accommodations and food included, others might charge an additional travel fee. Selected a venue off the beaten path? Check with your venue for transportation recommendations.

NC Destination Wedding Photo Session by Richard Barlow Photography

Nothing will ever top your glamorous wedding day photos. However, we love the idea of a mini-moon photo session because they often showcase a more intimate and relaxed side of you and your soulmate. Instead of being decked out from head to toe in wedding formal attire, you can opt for a sexy sundress or light pair of cotton slacks. In contrast to wedding day photos, honeymoon portraits radiate relaxation and love in a more natural way. These photos will serve as time capsules – forever memorializing that sweet post-wedding glow. Casey and Will used their mini-moon photo session with Richard Barlow Photography as a time to let loose and have some fun. 

“For your wedding and engagement photos you’re so busy and have certain photos you have planned and want to get done,” Casey says.  “Will and I are big winos. We decided for this shoot to be more relaxed and do some of what we love. So we took our new wine glasses and a bottle of wine from the wedding and went down to the beach and just drank wine! The pictures turned out so great!”

Top Travel Trends Expected in 2021 by CMC Events & Travel

Plan Your Next Vacation with Cara Cartee of CMC Events & Travel

Cara Cartee of CMC Events & Travel was awarded Top Travel Specialist 2021 by Conde Nast Traveler. The luxury and lifestyle travel magazine recognized Cara and CMC Events & Travel for the ability to always pull off the impossible and spare her clients on the logistics. Cara is known for being all about details in the experiences she cultivates. That includes leisure vacations, action-packed honeymoons, bachelorette parties, and more! 

Cara is passionate about creating uniquely personalized memories for others. She is a true expert and has been planning travel and event experiences for 20 years. We are so proud of her for this well-deserved recognition from such an esteemed publication as Conde Nast Traveler.

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