Wedding announcements to cherish along with the memories
After getting married in the mountains, stick around for the honeymoon
You chose Western North Carolina as the place to say “I do,” but after it’s said and done, don’t rush off. Take time to enjoy the mountains—just the two of you. So bid farewell to your guests, and wander farther afield for honeymoon memories. Here are several post-wedding retreats as good as any exotic excursion.
Time stands still
Balsam Mountain Inn near Waynesville is as stately as any of its voguish counterparts, but this 100-year-old estate is a well-kept secret. All 50 suites are painstakingly period-decorated. Here, historical accuracy equals fewer distractions—it’s 1908, so don’t expect a phone or television in your room. Instead, enjoy the
inn’s vast library, award-winning restaurant, and nature trails.
Slip into Luxury
A spa stay is perfect for post-wedding decompression.
Housed in a Greek Revival mansion enveloped by mountains, Westglow Resort & Spa in Blowing Rock exudes luxury and seclusion. The Honeymoon Package comes complete with roses, champagne, chocolate, and a couples massage.
Fit for a King & Queen
Don’t be misled by the unusual name; Beefy’s Retreat in Madison County offers a fairy-tale afterglow. It’s a darling, cupola-topped minicastle furnished with techies in mind. A cutting-edge sound system, flat screen TV, and Wii cover the in-house entertainment. There’s also a hot tub, and Wolf Ridge ski resort is a short drive away. www.beefysretreat.com
Candler’s Pisgah View Ranch provides the full dude-ranch experience for outdoorsy honeymooners, including roping lessons and horseback riding on well-groomed trails. Guests are encouraged to bring mountain bikes to explore the ranch’s 2,000 acres. And following a day on the range, newlyweds can retire to their cozy cottage or cabin. www.pisgahviewranch.net
—Melanie McGee Bianchi
Pick harmonious tones to evoke the ideal style
If you watched Steel Magnolias, you may remember the pink-tacular wedding scene. Shelby’s choices of “blush” and “bashful,” or rather pink and pink, resulted in a ceremony that may as well have been doused with Pepto Bismol.
From the invitations to the flowers and bridesmaids’ gowns, color plays a huge role
in tying together all the wedding details. But with so many choices in a sea of shades and
tints, it’s hard to know where to begin. Here are some tips from the pros to help you find
your signature colors.
Forget pastels. Bold and vibrant colors are in this year (think coral, bright shades of blue,
and yellow), as are monochromatic themes. Even black dresses are gracing the runways.
Elizabeth Hempfling of Events by Elizabeth Ashley in Boone suggests choosing the venue
and a theme before making color choices, which will set the tone
of your wedding—dusty olive and pink champagne say vintage,
red and black are classic, and yellow and lime mean vivacious.
She also advises, “You want colors that are going to pop against
the backdrop. Dark purple will get lost in a dark space.”
Personal style should also be reflected in your special day.
“Look at pictures and art for inspiration and consider the colors
you surround yourself with in everyday life,” suggests Kiersa
Holy of Events by Kiersa in Asheville. If you have a specific hue in mind, Holy recommends
exploring the website colorschemer.com, which offers tools for helping you make
Other considerations when picking colors are how they will look against skin tones
or in photographs under various lighting conditions. Remember to keep it simple by
narrowing your choices to two or three, and don’t change your mind after you’ve sent
the invitations. And, unless you’re striving for a Steel Magnolias-inspired wedding,
avoid pink on pink.
—Melissa C. Smith
Pop Goes the Question
Five romantic spots to ask for her (or his) hand
Sky High If you choose to pledge your love on the Mile High Swinging Bridge at Grandfather Mountain (above), it’ll be difficult to tell if she’s gone weak in the knees because of your proposal or the height of this spectacular, swaying span. You’ll also be able to tell the grandkids you got engaged on America’s highest suspension footbridge.
Home Run If she’s the type of girl who would rather catch a flyball than a movie, Thirsty Thursday during the Asheville Tourist season is the ticket. You’ll be right at home among a throng of people who share your love of America’s favorite pastime. Toast the occasion with a beer for a buck and save some dough for that World Series honeymoon you’ve always dreamed of.
Rock Solid The chimney may be the showpiece of Chimney Rock Park, but for an intimate moment, go with The Opera Box (above left). This spot along Skyline Trail also has magnificent views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure, but tucked into this rocky nook, you’ll feel like you’re the only two people in the world.
Imbibing Love A little vino might help you work up the courage to ask the big question, but a trip to Italy’s wine country isn’t necessary. Rockhouse Vineyards in Tryon is equally romantic. The 200-acre vineyard offers tastings, and the owners welcome visitors to picnic among the grapevines or lounge in Adirondack chairs on the front porch—two gorgeous spots to say “ti amo.”
Mood Lighting She might be wise to your plans if you pack a picnic for a trip to Max Patch, but don’t settle for a day hike. At night, the grassy bald near Hot Springs is an amorous locale for stargazing. Twinkle in the sky, twinkle in her eye, twinkle in a velvet ring box; enough said.