By Gina Malone
The stunning beauty of Western North Carolina provides many ideal locations—mountains, valleys, fields, waterfalls, forests, historic sites—for wedding ceremonies as well as the gatherings and festivities that go along with tying the knot.
Engadine Inn and Cabins had its beginnings as a vineyard and winery in 1885. It has had a number of owners since and was turned into a bed and breakfast in the late 1980s. Rick Bell and Tom Watson have owned the property, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, since 2014.
“We find that group events are drawn to Engadine by our ability to host both their lodging and venue needs in one place,” says Bell. He and Watson are experienced in planning and coordinating all aspects of a wedding (or other events). “But we are also flexible,” he says, “allowing couples/clients the opportunity to manage those event elements they may choose to organize on their own in order to save money.”
With the inn and cabins, they are able to accommodate up to 35 overnight guests. Multiple outdoor venues on 12 acres, with spectacular mountain views, allow events with up to 150 guests. Just 15 minutes west of downtown Asheville, Engadine lies only half a mile off of I-40 on Smoky Park Highway in Candler.
Bell’s advice to couples is to have a back-up plan. “Despite the best laid plans,” he says, “weddings and events are almost living things and, as with all living things, changes are often necessary. Having back-up options will make the day of the event much easier for everyone if you are prepared.”
To learn more, visit engadineinnandcabins. com or call 828.933.1110. Find the inn also on Facebook and Instagram at Engadine Inn and Cabins.
Another venue close to Asheville and nestled in the mountains is Four M Acres in Leicester. With spectacular views in all seasons, this farm setting opened in 2016 and is owned by best friends Melisa Duckett and B. J. Freeman.
“We customize each wedding to make it unique,” Duckett says. “We are available to do as little or as much as desired. Flexibility with caterers and other vendors allows each bride to make her day everything she desires.” Packages with prices for any budget are available. Reviews by couples praise the “affordable pricing,” “beautiful views” and “friendly service.”
Duckett advises couples to choose a venue that offers service above and beyond what they might expect, but with a personal touch. “When planning for a big day,” she says, “personalization and having more than a business relationship is important.”
Find Four M Acres on Facebook or call 828.712.3501 or 828.231.7055.
Leicester is also home to Franny’s Farm, owned by Frances Tacy, who calls its 33 acres the “perfect rustic-chic locale with some real-life farm flair” on the website. “There are beautiful views all around the farm,” says Tacy, “from the Love Barn at the entrance to the view of Mt. Mitchell in our eco-village. Every event that happens at the farm is unique and memorable, to the guests’ specifications and magical in every way.”
The organic, sustainable farm, only ten miles from Asheville, is home to chickens, turkeys, sheep, goats and bees. Vegetable, fruit, flower, bee and pollinator gardens brighten the grounds and blueberries grow on a hillside. “We are dedicated to family, sustainability, ethical business and offering an organic farm for visitors to celebrate, learn, explore, relax and have a memorable time,” Tacy says.
To learn more, visit frannysfarm.com or call 828.544.1823.
Some couples want a destination venue with trail hiking, horseback riding, fishing, swimming and other pastimes on site and available for wedding guests. If so, then Pisgah View Ranch just might fit the bill. Owned by the Cogburn Family Ranch Properties and operated by Cindy Cogburn, the property has been in the family since 1790, and has operated as a guest ranch with 18 houses and cabins since 1941.
Setting options for outdoor ceremonies include an island in a pond and a large, grassy area surrounded by the Big Red Barn, the pond and the Ranch House. The Big Red Barn’s Dance Hall is a popular indoor venue and is often used for rehearsal dinners, receptions and wedding luncheons and dinners. Breathtaking views of Mt. Pisgah may be seen from all over the ranch.
Although wedding planning services are not available at the ranch, staff members actively participate in helping planners and couples navigate the process. Country weddings, formal weddings and everything in between have found a setting at Pisgah View Ranch. With enough advance notice, the ranch can also offer sleeping accommodations for 50 to 130 guests with meals available on site.
To learn more, call 828.667.9100 or visit pisgahviewranch.net. Find them also on Facebook and Instagram.
The Cliffs communities in the Blue Ridge Mountains now number seven, with beautiful venues for weddings at each one. One of the most popular venues is The Cliffs at Glassy Chapel, built in 1999 on the edge of Glassy Mountain in Landrum, SC. “A celebratory space for worship, concerts, weddings and other events was a part of the original vision for The Cliffs communities,” says marketing representative John Jamail. “It has since become one of the region’s most popular wedding venues and hosts more than 100 wedding ceremonies each year.”
Ceremony and reception venues at the various communities range from “tranquil, lakeside spaces to a clearing amidst majestic, hundred-year-old oak trees and even an elegant, rustic barn,” Jamail says.
“Every couple is unique,” says Tabatha Cantrell, private events manager at The Cliffs at Glassy, “and we work tirelessly to tailor every detail of their big day to ensure they have the celebration that is just perfect for them.”
With award-winning chefs on staff, says David Sawyer, president of The Cliffs Clubs, “many brides and grooms also choose to have their wedding celebrations at The Cliffs for the culinary experience.” Couples from around the country and all over the world, some of them celebrities, have availed themselves of the beautiful settings and exemplary services. “Celebrities aside,” Sawyer says, “weddings at The Cliffs are attainable for all couples and are especially popular with those looking to be immersed in natural beauty.”
Find The Cliffs on Facebook at Cliffs Weddings. To learn more about booking an event, call 855.755.1443.
The Farm – A Gathering Place in Candler began as a horse farm and, with lots of love and labor from its owners, Beverly and Myron Gottfried, now boasts a 3,500-squarefoot Event Center, cabins and cottages for guests and, the most recent addition, a full commercial gourmet kitchen and Chef’s Table entertaining space. “From the moment our guests arrive,” say the Gottfrieds, “they see why we refer to our farm as ‘a gathering place.’”
The Event Center, with its stone fireplace, high ceilings, hardwood floors and sound system, can accommodate 20 guests or 300. A wrap-around porch outside glass doors allows the combining of indoor and outdoor spaces.
“Our executive chef, Mike Ferrari, and his staff work with each couple to create a custom farm-to-table menu that reflects their own tastes and food preferences,” says Beverly. “We’re proud to say that our guests have been starstruck with our chef’s cuisine.” The Chef’s Table, located in The Farm’s kitchen, is a spot ideal for intimate rehearsal dinners or an after-wedding brunch.
Couples that decide on The Farm as their venue are required to use the in-house, month-of wedding coordinators or hire a professional full-service planner from a preferred vendors list. Couples also work with the chef to design custom, farm-to-table menus.
Among the advice the Gottfrieds have for couples is to book as soon as possible to secure their desired date, to ask lots of questions to ensure they understand costs and to make sure that a venue feels “right” to them. To learn more, visit the farmevents.com, Facebook (Asheville Weddings) and Instagram (The Farm Events), or call 828.667.0666.
In Jackson County, two agencies—Smoky Mountain Getaways and Pebble Creek Village—provide group lodging (cabins, homes and chalets) for weddings in Sylva, Dillsboro, Cashiers and surrounding areas. To learn more, visit smokymtngetaways.net or pebble-creek.com.
Two destinations for weddings in Haywood County’s Maggie Valley are the Maggie Valley Country Club (maggievalleyclub.com), with an experienced wedding and events coordinator and Discovery Wellness Spa for wedding-day pampering and Elevated Mountain Distilling Co. (elevatedmountain.com), which can accommodate more than 300 guests for a ceremony alongside a distillery.