One of the benefits of living and working in Greenville, SC is the fact that we are close to major destination wedding locations like Asheville and Charleston which means we have ready access to some pretty beautiful wedding venues. One of my favorite wedding venues in Asheville is The Biltmore Estate. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, The Biltmore Estate is a beautiful home and grounds built in the 1890s by George Vanderbilt. With a wide variety of options of wedding venues on-site to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your wedding.
Planning a destination wedding can be a bit overwhelming, though, so today I’m offering 10 tips on planning your Biltmore wedding in Asheville (And hint, hint: These tips can also be adjusted for any destination wedding location!):
TIP #1: CHOOSE THE BEST VENUE AND LOCATION
The Biltmore has so many different options. Booking The Diana gives you a special view of the Biltmore House with the Blue Ridge Mountains peeking out behind it. Deerpark has both indoor and outdoor options, with the outdoor option being a beautiful open-air courtyard with beautiful trees surrounding it. The Conservatory is a beautiful upscale greenhouse that can accommodate up to 75 guests. The Gardens, Front Lawn, and Terrace offer a variety of outdoor options. And the Champagne Cellar at the Winery, with its stone walls and European elegance, is built for a more intimate wedding of up to 30 guests. You really can’t go wrong.
TIP #2: CHOOSE AN IDEAL WEDDING DATE & CONSIDER THE SEASONS
Most destination wedding locations are going to have high season during tourist season. Like most of the United States, North Carolina experiences all four seasons. Most weddings take place in the spring or fall in Asheville. While snowstorms aren’t a huge threat, you should still be cognizant of them. You also may want to check for any major festivals happening on any dates you are considering. If there’s a festival going on, you may run into problems in securing room blocks for your guests. So make sure you secure a date as soon as possible and start booking hotel blocks before tourists take them all :)
TIP #3: SECURE HOTEL ROOM BLOCKS
Be sure to secure room blocks for your guests. If several or most of your guests are coming from out of town, be considerate and reserve hotel room blocks at a discounted price. There are several options for hotels in Asheville. There are even options within Biltmore.
TIP #4: HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER
Hire a wedding planner. It’s especially important that you hire a wedding planner when hosting a destination wedding. If you don’t hire a full or partial wedding planner, at least hire a day-of coordinator so you can relax and enjoy your wedding day.
TIP #5: PLAN A VISIT OR TWO
It’s so important that you plan at least one visit to your destination wedding location - whether it’s Asheville, Charleston, Miami, or the Bahamas. Schedule as many meetings as you can...especially your tasting! It’s also a good idea to book your hair and makeup trial while you are in town. But also make sure you schedule some fun activities, too! Spa visits, wine tastings, walking down hiking trails, visiting microbreweries, and shopping are all local favorites in Asheville.
TIP #6: GET LOCAL
Ask your wedding planner for vendor referrals. He or she will be able to recommend local vendors (florists, bakers, rental companies, etc.) that are familiar with the area and know the lay of the land.
TIP #8: CURATE WELCOME BAGS
Take care of your guests and put together thoughtful, carefully curated welcome bags that you leave at the hotels. Sourcing local specialties from Asheville (or wherever you are getting married) is always a nice touch! Think local coffee beans, jams/jellies, drinks, soaps, etc. You could even throw in tickets to a tour of the House, Winery, or just a list of suggested local activities.
TIP #9: CREATE EXPERIENCES FOR YOUR GUESTS
If it’s in the budget, you can arrange for the hotels to implement a nightly turn-down service where they also leave a small gift that you’ve designated them to leave each night of your guests’ stay. Another idea is to arrange for fun activities (happy hour, brunch, etc.) for your guests to enjoy together.
TIP #10: SHIP THINGS AHEAD OF TIME
If you’re renting specialty linens or if you have a lot of personal decor, it’s a good idea to ship these items 2-3 weeks before your wedding to cut down on costs and any last minute hold-ups. You can always ship these to your wedding planner!
So whether you choose The Biltmore Estate or another destination wedding venue, these tips will definitely get you started! Interested in working with us to help plan your wedding? We’d love to hear about it!