Ask a local why they live in Asheville, and many could easily round up a list of 100+ reasons. Why? When you consider the sheer number of hikes, waterfalls, and outdoor activities available in our corner of the world alongside the abundance of creative makers, chefs, and artists that call Asheville home, the reasons start piling up fast. Yet, a beautiful setting and talented vendors do not equate to an insta-wedding; there’s still lots of planning to do! That’s why we’ve rounded up seven reasons why couples love planning a destination wedding in Asheville.
Couples can check “guest lodging” off their list quickly with the help of Explore Asheville. We will work with you to determine what hotel amenities are most important to you and your guests and, based on your input, will reach out to the local hotels. You will receive rate proposals directly from a variety of accommodations that meet your needs and budget parameters. Make your pick and know that with your vetted options, your guests are in great hands!
Asheville attracts couples, families and groups of friends for vacations year-round, so rest assured that all of your wedding guests can explore Asheville their way, on their budget. Some folks will surely flock to iconic Biltmore to tour the massive estate and gardens, while others will take advantage of free activities like walking Asheville’s Urban Trail, hiking to waterfalls, or driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Shoppers will love Lexington Avenue’s quirky gifts, clothing, and decor, while beer lovers can hop around South Slope and hit 11 breweries within one square mile. Explore Asheville also offers free travel guides for your guests to help them best navigate one of the top travel destinations in the U.S.
Asheville’s personality has many facets–indie, fantastical, outdoorsy–which means couples have a wide range of options when it comes to wedding styles. Discover your Asheville wedding style here, and let your imagination run wild with the possibilities of a mountaintop, farm, mansion, riverfront, brewery, garden, or campground wedding backdrop! If you can dream it, it can come true in Asheville thanks to accommodating venues and vendors who thrive on artistic challenges. As one couple shared about their Biltmore wedding experience, “Traditionally, Deerpark weddings are in the courtyard, but we had our eye on the surrounding grounds. Deerpark had never hosted a wedding ceremony in the field, but they were up for the challenge.”
Our central location makes it simple for guests from the north, south, east and west to arrive via plane (airport 20 minutes from downtown) or car (three major interstates lead to Asheville). The Asheville Regional Airport is rated one of the best-connected regional airports in all of America with daily flights to and from Atlanta, Charlotte and Chicago as well as non-stop flights to Florida and Washington, D.C. Plus, its smaller size and convenient layout make it a breeze to pick up and drop off guests, rent a car, or jump in a taxi or car-sharing service.
Present a wacky/inventive/non-traditional idea to an Asheville business, and it will be met with sheer enthusiasm. Ashevillians thrive on doing things differently–just take one bride’s word for it: “Knowing that I could walk down the aisle to the Jaw’s theme song and it would be embraced as unique, wonderful and special without ever feeling the need to be conventional. This describes Asheville to me–its ability and ease of embracing and encouraging the unique, the special, the non-conventional.”
Asheville is a warm and welcoming place that celebrates diversity, and the businesses here embrace all newlyweds-to-be. While many wedding venues and vendors specifically identify as LGBTQ-friendly, you’ll find an open, diverse atmosphere throughout the city that you and your guests will certainly enjoy. As brides Brittany and Brittany shared, “We googled venues that were LGBT friendly in the Asheville area. Homewood (our venue) just stood out–the antique/vintage feel was undeniable and exactly what we were going for.”
We talk about the surrounding beauty of Asheville a lot, and for good reason. The mountain air, colorful blooms, and long-range views make for stunning photo ops and pave the way for tons of outdoor spaces at wedding venues, breweries, and restaurants. A walkable downtown and easy access to high elevation means you’ll get to enjoy Asheville’s outdoor scenery from every angle during your wedding weekend, no matter what season you choose.
Ready to get started? Once you’ve reserved your dates, contact Beth McKinney at Explore Asheville to secure your guest lodging and visitor guides here.
Author: Shawndra Russell
Shawndra Russell has called Asheville home for three years after living in and writing about Savannah, Georgia for ten years. She contributed to Visit North Carolina’s official 2017 and 2018 travel guides and regularly writes for VisitNC.com, Capital at Play, Explore Asheville, and Craftbeer.com.