The wedding party starts at the Dry Ridge Inn
Mist settling in over a cove … sunlight reflecting on a dewy glen … brides have chosen the Asheville area for decades because of its undeniable romance.
Add to its charm an array of wedding venues and services for the bride and her party, and you have good reason to make the Dry Ridge Inn your quarters for your big day. You, your friends and your family will be close to some of the most charming event sites in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Close to the inn, at the end of the nearby Reems Creek Valley, is The Fields of Blackberry Cove. Set your ceremony among the fields themselves, or have it by the meditation pond. Perhaps you’d prefer the altar be set at The Lodge, a fire glowing in its huge stone fireplace. Or maybe you’d like the warm lighting of the many chandeliers in the barn.
All eyes will be upon you as you sweep across the lawn to your seated guests at Claxton Farms, near the inn in Weaverville. Located on a 500-acre conservation easement, the working farm provides 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains and fields full of llamas, miniature horses and registered Polled Hereford cattle. The lawn at Claxton Farms has room for 400 guests. The paneled red-roofed barn holds 150. M7 Event Solutions & Catering is the farm’s exclusive caterer.
Also operated by M7 is The Crest Center & Pavilion, less than five miles from downtown Asheville. A large stone fireplace and a bank of windows looking out over the Blue Ridge Parkway give the mountaintop center the warm ambience of a mountain lodge. The center seats 300 for receptions, 230 for dinner or 200 if you’d like the dance floor set up. Another 150 can mingle comfortably on the 4,000-square-foot overlook deck. If you’d like an outdoors ceremony, the pavilion has room for 400 for dinner or 600 for receptions. Executive chef Allen B. Dye draws heavily on local ingredients to help brides plan their menus.
Housed in an old castle in Asheville’s historic Montford district, Homewood Event and Conference Center provides an intimate setting for your wedding party. Dancers will glide across the original hardwood floors, their laughter bouncing off Homewood’s beautiful cherry wood walls. A mile north of downtown, the venue seats 110 for dinner and up to 175 for hors d’oeuvres. The lawn outside has room for 200 diners, and the glen nearby, draped with trees, can accommodate 300 for the ceremony.
Looking for a more “urban” setting for your wedding? “On Broadway” is in the heart of downtown Asheville. The historic 6,000-square-foot space provides up to 200 guests with lots of room to help you celebrate your new life together. Outside of the large glass windows that frame Asheville’s busy Broadway, the sidewalks are full of people heading for nearby restaurants. You’re luckier than they - your sumptuous hors d’oeuvres and dinner are by the renowned Asheville caterer Celine and Company Catering.
Prefer a “royal” wedding? Be like Cornelia Vanderbilt and get married at the Biltmore Estate. The estate has several locations on its extensive grounds for your exchange of vows. Hold the ceremony beside the marble statue of Diana, on the green above the house. Be transported by horse-drawn carriage to your guests awaiting you at the Stable Courtyard and Gardens. Biltmore’s five indoor facilities can accommodate up to 200 guests, and its outdoor venues comfortably hold up to 400. (Of course, much smaller events are easily staged.)
The Venue, in downtown Asheville, has three levels for entertaining, each sized to provide optimum services for your ceremony and reception. With its exposed brick walls and barn ceilings, The Venue seems like a French cottage (though a large one, at 13,000 square feet). Bring your own caterer, or choose the services of veteran caterer Marta Bodenhorst