Destination Wedding Planning in the NC Mountains

Enjoy the View of a Mountain Wedding 

If the beach just isn’t your jam, North Carolina still offers gorgeous destinations for a getaway wedding. It’s no secret that the mountains of Western NC offer breathtaking views, too. The beautiful Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains are dreamy settings for couples looking to have a destination wedding in North Carolina. With an amazing climate, jaw-dropping views and unique local vendors, the mountains provide endless event options. To make planning a mountain wedding a breeze, read our tips below.

The most popular season to visit the Blue Ridge Mountains by far is during fall, when leaf colors are at their 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. There’s no reason to avoid the warmer months in the mountains. The only season we’d be wary of in the mountains is winter. That’s when weather conditions could make it difficult for guests to reach your venue, and temperatures may make outdoor festivities impossible.

Hidden gem small towns make ideal wedding weekend destinations. Highlands, Cashiers, Sylva, Banner Elk and Blowing Rock have small-town charm and sweeping views of the scenery. Couples looking for a bigger city or industrial-style venue might enjoy Asheville’s downtown which offers bars, restaurants and shopping galore.

Keep Your Guests Entertained During Your Weekend Getaway Wedding in the Mountains

Guests may enjoy a scenic drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway for expansive mountain views. See if you can spot the Brown Mountain Lights in Pisgah National Park. Go for a hike down one of the region’s countless trails with access points on the Appalachian Trail, or Grandfather Mountain, Mount Mitchell, or Chimney Rock parks. Asheville is an urban hub for arts, dining and shopping, while destinations like Black Mountain and Blowing Rock have that unique small-town allure.

Rumbling Bald situated on Blue Ridge Mountain offers a sweeping view of a 3,200-foot mountain perched above Lake Lure. This location is perfect for planning a weekendlong getaway that includes outdoor activities, water sports and family fun – and, the resort is even the site that the film “Dirty Dancing” was made. If that isn’t enough to gain your interest, Rumbling Bald’s accommodations include lakeside villas, private homes and other options so that you and your guests can stay on-site for your entire event.

You can’t miss Western North Carolina’s bustling craft beer and wine scene. Sierra Nevada’s Mills River facility is one of the area’s largest breweries. Green Man Brewery has been an Asheville favorite since it opened in 1997. Direct your guests to Banner Elk Winery or Grandfather Vineyard & Winery to enjoy a glass. Close proximity to these breweries and wineries provides plenty of entertaining excursions for guests.

Why plan a destination wedding in the NC mountains? Hear from couples who did.

The biggest perk of a mountain wedding is, well, the mountains! This part of the state is home to the Blue Ridge Mountains, named for the mountain range’s telltale blue haze that appears on the horizon, as well as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that marks the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. The region’s beauty worked its magic on Ellen Thomas and Carolyn Huddy, who visited Overlook Barn – in the town of Banner Elk, just west of Boone, North Carolina – the day after they got engaged. They booked the venue on the spot.

Ellen and Carolyn say that Overlook’s views and versatility – especially that of the 1,000-square-foot Cliffside Barn, which provides a convenient indoor space plus a 750-square-foot covered patio – impressed. The pair tied the knot on Oct. 2, 2022. Meredith Arnold and Joey Ambrose also got married at the Banner Elk venue on Sept. 26, 2021. Meredith was always drawn to the mountains, but it took the venue’s unique charm to convince her partner. “Joey loves the beach, but once he got to see the breathtaking views Overlook Barn has to offer, he agreed it was our wedding venue.”

The High Country has always felt like home to Robert Kleinmaier. So when it came time to tie the knot with his fiancee, Sunni Goodson, she says that finding a venue immersed in the mountains was essential. The two married on Aug. 27, 2022, at The Barn on New River. This charming, family owned barn sits on 100 acres bordered by the South Fork New River and surrounded by the rolling hills of West Jefferson, North Carolina. “The setting is so secluded and private, yet less than 30 minutes to Boone, with plenty of amazing vendors and guest amenities in West Jefferson and the surrounding area,” Sunni says. “Even when we first drove up in the dead of winter, it had soul. It was the only venue that brought me to tears when I walked in.” The pair were the first couple to use The Barn on New River’s colorful dahlia garden as their ceremony site.

If a barn wedding isn’t your style, don’t stress – Western North Carolina is also home to historic inns, chapels, mountain lodges, urban warehouses and sweeping vineyards. “Visit several different types to see how you feel; you might be surprised at what strikes a chord,” Sunni says. For Sunni and Robert, their Ashe County venue checked every box. “The Barn had everything we were looking for – the tactility of a historic building (in the Old Hay Barn) and a rural setting that would put guests at ease, coupled with the polish and charm of the new barn with its crystal chandeliers and stone patio.”

Cole Ellis and Travis James wanted to take advantage of peak season in the mountains, when autumn’s beauty is at its most vibrant. Their October 2022 reception at The Mill at Rock Creek in Boone brought gorgeous views. “Everywhere you look you can see mountains. Even in the distance you can see a Christmas tree farm (the location where we had our ceremony),” Cole says. “The back patio is perfect for cocktail hour and dreamy pictures. The inside was able to be decorated and coordinated to have our large wedding feel even more intimate. The wooden tables, beams and bar plus the rock fireplace are perfect for a fall/winter wedding.”

Tips for Planning a Mountain Wedding in NC

This region brings beautiful weather three seasons out of the year. Let’s be real – a beach wedding in North Carolina just isn’t comfortable in the heat of August or July. Beat the heat by heading west in the summer, where temperatures in the mid-’80s only at their highest. “We were right to head to higher elevations – it was a perfect day even in August,” Sunni says. Fall brings gorgeous scenery as the leaves change color and cooler temperatures roll in. Winter may be the one season to avoid when it comes to weddings in the westernmost parts of the state. Finally, spring brings gorgeous greenery and mild temps. “If you choose the spring or summer, you can enjoy low humidity, cooler temperatures and gorgeous landscapes with the wildflowers,” Cole says. “If you choose the fall/winter, you can still enjoy the cooler temperatures and then go inside to warm up by a roaring fire.”

Be aware that transportation may take extra planning if you’re hosting a mountaintop celebration. Guests may not be used to navigating winding mountain roads with occasionally unreliable GPS access. Meredith recommends investing in a transportation service, especially if you will be serving alcohol.

More Venue Options in Western North Carolina

If you weren’t aware, there are parts of our state that offer the ideal climate and environment for vineyards. If you’re seeking the feel of a California wine estate, look no further than Serre Vineyards. This Mount Airy venue (only an hour and change from Winston-Salem) is a little slice of heaven with rolling fields full of grape vines and a spacious modern barn. If you want a truly indoor/outdoor experience, Serre’s fire pit and extensive patio are the ideal place for a relaxed cocktail hour.

Old Edwards Inn and Spa is a celebrated Western North Carolina event venue and hotel. In fact, this year it was listed as the No. 1 hotel and resort in the state by US News & World Report. The main thing to know about Old Edwards is that there’s a vast number of options for your wedding when you book with them. From the 30-acre farm that boasts a 4,900-square-foot event pavilion to Piermont Cottage, an intimate outdoor event space designed for gatherings of 130 or fewer within walking distance of the Inn itself, the options are nearly endless.

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