Choosing A Ceremony SiteAlthough several airports are scattered throughout North Carolina, the three major airports are located in Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh, all cities in the Piedmont area. Keeping your guests' travel expenses and difficulty getting from place to place in mind while planning will help ensure a low-stress ceremony.
You also might want to consider your planned date when choosing a site; the mountains tend to be cooler, while the coast tends to be warmer. North Carolina's winters are mild and will probably pose little difficulty to traveling guests, and spring and fall in the Old North State are especially temperate and gorgeous for outdoor weddings. Summers tend to be hot; warn any northern guests to bring sunscreen!
A Few Popular (and Some Overlooked) Sites to ConsiderIn the Mountains:
- The Biltmore Estate (Asheville, NC)
Follow in the footsteps of the Vanderbilts by selecting America's largest (and arguably most luxurious) private home as your wedding location. Built by the Vanderbilt family in the nineteenth century, this French Renaissance-inspired chateau rents out several locations on or near its grounds, including the enchanting Deerpark Restaurant, the elegant Lioncrest Ballroom, or the many courtyards and gardens surrounding the castle. The Biltmore Estate also offers guest activities including specialty tours, wine tastings, and carriage rides.
- The Farm Party Barn (Candler, NC)
Much more down-to-earth than the Biltmore, the Farm Party Barn is a rustic gathering place near Asheville ready to shake with mountain music. Say your vows in the gazebo under the shade trees, then relax on the wide porch watching the sun set over the mountains.
- Leatherwood Mountains (Ferguson, NC)
If you're wild about horses, Leatherwood could be your ideal location: secluded houses, cabins and stables nestled in the mountain forests. Say your vows in front of a breathtaking vista, rent private cabins for yourself and your guests, and enjoy Southern Mountain cuisine. Take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, or even ride down the aisle!
- Castle McCulloch (Jamestown, NC)
A nineteenth-century gold mill converted into a castle and event space, Castle McCulloch is a popular venue for wedding ceremonies and receptions. Convenient to Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem, Castle McCulloch offers several halls, terraces and ballrooms for rental. Step back into medieval times in the castle's Great Hall or bask in the elegance of the Crystal Garden terrace!
- Duke Gardens (Durham, NC)
Widely recognized as one of America's most splendid public gardens, the 55-acre expanse in the heart of Duke University's campus is nearly as popular among brides as students. Couples can rent several areas of the gardens, including the iris bridge in the Asiatic garden and the lily-covered fish pond at the bottom of the Terraces.
- Rose Hill Conference Center (Nashville, NC)
This classic antebellum Southern manor house offers guest rooms, outdoor gazebo, reception halls and elegant cuisine. Rose Hill is located conveniently less than an hour away from Raleigh.
- North Carolina Aquarium (Fort Fisher, Pine Knoll Shores, and Roanoake Island, NC)
For an unforgettable wedding, why not consider an under-the-sea ceremony? North Carolina aquariums (with three coastal locations) offer rental of indoor and outdoor spaces. Exchange your vows with colorful fish as witnesses, along with your delighted guests!
- Airlie Gardens (Wilmington, NC)
This popular 67-acre garden features live oaks, azaleas, and freshwater lakes, a green oasis in the urban Wilmington area, very convenient to the Wilmington International Airport and Wrightsville Beach.