A Guide to Asheville Wedding Venues: A Photographer's Perspective
– 2018–
 The Ridge, an outdoor wedding venue just north of Asheville includes that quintessential view of the Appalachian mountains.

The Ridge, an outdoor wedding venue just north of Asheville includes that quintessential view of the Appalachian mountains.

 

Since winter is a slower time for weddings in the Asheville area, I'm taking the opportunity to write from the perspective of an Asheville wedding photographer about some of the amazing wedding venues in western North Carolina. For this blog post I decided to focus on the Asheville and Hendersonville area. There are also many great venues near Cashiers and Blowing Rock, which I might post about at a later date. When organizing this post, I recalled so many places just in the Asheville area. I decided to focus on that. Having been a wedding photographer in Asheville for the last 12 years, it's amazing to see how things have changed. For the most part I've organized the venue information by the style of landscape provided by the venue. You'll see venues on the list of long respected places as well as some new places. The last few years have been exciting with so many new venues popping up. I love it! 

I'm posting this in January because I know so many couples are getting engaged now and starting their planning and venue search in western North Carolina. I married in 2017, and I know it can be overwhelming for couples to consider all the options and wedding planning can almost turn into a part-time job. I remember searching for venues online in the Asheville area, and often getting search results that were for venues that were hours away from Asheville. There were moments I felt I had wasted my time. This wedding venue guide for Asheville is great because everything I'm listing is close to either Asheville or Hendersonville, and no more than an hour away.

The main advice I would give to couples starting their wedding planning:

  • Start your planning by taking a balanced approach to finding your venue, caterer and photographer. Don't spend such a large part of your budget on one area that you don't have enough left for other areas that are important to you.
  • After that, research florists and wedding planners. These businesses sometime do multiple events on weekends as they have multiple employees to cover a variety of events, so you don't have to worry quite as much about your date already being taken!
  • When looking at a venue, check out the larger picture of what they offer. Do they include some things you would otherwise have to rent or do they include a day-of coordinator? In the end you may find they are the best option.
  • If you find a vendor you love, go for it. You can always continue to search and find things you love, but take my advice as someone recently wed, over-searching actually takes the fun out of the wedding and can drain your enthusiasm.
  • Read vendor reviews

If you're searching for a wedding venue and would like to get a photographers perspective, feel free to send me an email (info@jennifercallahanphotography.com) and I'd be happy to make suggestions based on what you're looking for.

Venues with Scenic Overlooks of the Mountains:

  1. The Ridge (http://www.theridgeasheville.com)

    • Perfect scenic overlook for your ceremony
    • Beautiful house with wrap-around porch to great you guests upon arrival
    • New reception building with equally amazing views
    • Luxury venue
  2. The Cabin Ridge (http://www.thecabinridge.com)

    • Breathtaking overlook of the mountains
    • Outdoor pavilion for your reception
    • Rustic Cabins
  3. Chestnut Ridge (http://www.chestnutridge.events)

    • at an elevation of about 3000 feet, the venue offer a scenic view and the feeling of also being right in the mountains
    • Indoor and outdoor options for the ceremony 
    • New venue with large event barn, and suites for getting ready
    • Luxury venue
  4. Pisgah Inn (http://www.pisgahinn.com)

    • A hotel and restaurant right on the Blue Ridge Parkway with an amazing, undisturbed view of the mountains, provides catering for events
    • Ceremony location is an outdoor scenic overlook
    • A wonderful new deck looks out over the mountains
    • The reception room has lots of natural light from large windows along two walls
    • Better suited for smaller to medium size weddings, as the reception room isn't large
    • However, if you have a more casual receptions where guests mingle and eat throughout the event room/deck and lawn area, then you would be able to have more guests (more than 35).
    • If you want a sit down dinner at your reception, the room will max out at about 35 guests
    • Green areas and lawns for guests to mingle around the inn
    • Budget friendly
  5. Camp Cedar Cliff (http://campcedarcliff.org/weddings/)

    • Mountaintop views from a pavilion that features a high roof, wooden beams and stonework details
  6. Bend of Ivy Lodge (http://bendofivylodge.com)

    • Tranquil mountain setting
    • Scenic overlook
    • Accommodations for guests
    • Pastoral setting for intimate weddings
  7. Engadine Inn and Cabins (https://www.engadineinnandcabins.com/weddings-events)

    • Intimate B&B 

    • Outdoor venue
    • Two Scenic Overlooks

Valleys, Mountain Views & Pastoral Landscapes:

  1. Claxton Farm (http://claxtonfarm.com)

    • Pastoral landscape, rolling hills with a 360-degree view
    • Classic mountain views for the ceremony and reception, plus an event barn with porch
    • There is a reason this has been a classic venue for so long, it never disappoints 
    • Outside bonfire during cooler weather with smores
  2. Hidden River (http://www.hiddenriverevents.com)

    • Located in an open valley, surrounded by mountains
    • Tented Reception
    • Long respected venue in western North Carolina
  3. Lavaonia Crest (http://lavoniacrest.business.site)

    • Located just beneath Roan Mountain, a valley setting with tranquil mountain views
    • New venue, hidden gem so you can currently rent the venue for a great price
    • Reception style: outdoor pavilion and rented tent
    • Outdoor fireplace and fire pit 
    • Budget friendly
  4. Sherill's Inn at Hickory Nut gap farm (https://www.hickorynutgapfarm.com/venue-locations/)

    • Tons of authentic charm and character
    • Historic, 1845 farmhouse setting
    • Views of hills and mountains
    • Boxwood garden pathways
    • Open field above the house for tented or open air reception
  5. Lake Eden (http://lakeedenevents.com)

    • A classic venue in Asheville that offers so much
    • Mountain views, pastoral rolling hills, authentic red barn reception
    • The property has a large footprint with many wonderful features throughout the landscape 
  6. Ivy Creek Farm (http://www.ivycreekfamilyfarm.com/event-venue)

    • Farm themed, rustic venue in the countryside
    • down-to-earth, relaxed vibe
  7. Yesterday Spaces (https://yesterdayspaces.com)

    • Farm style setting with so many great features
    • Two residential homes to stay in on the property
    • Dairy barn, a great backup plan for you ceremony if it rains and if frequently used for the rehearsal dinner
    • Open field with mountains in the distance, used for ceremonies
    • Reception barn
    • An amazing tree lined walk-way to your ceremony. Historically this long tree-lined path was a portion of the carriage path through the community in the 1800's...it's a fantastic feature!
    • Outside bonfire during cooler weather
  8. Lady Luck Flower Farm (https://ladyluckflowerfarm.com)

    • Flower farm and wedding venue

    • Valley setting with mountain views

    • Outdoor event pavilion

  9. The Willow House (https://willowhouseweddings.com)

    • Maggie Valley Area
    • Waterfalls and mountain views
    • Reception barn

 

Blue Ridge Parkway for elopements with scenic overlooks:

  1. Craggy Garden (https://ashevilletrails.com/blue-ridge-parkway/craggy-gardens-trail/)

    • Well loved option with AMAZING views
    • Appealing because the hike is fairly gentle and it doesn't take long to get to amazing views (1.5 miles roundtrip hike)
    • Rock outcroppings allow for spectacular photos
  2. Black Balsam Knob (https://ashevilletrails.com/blue-ridge-parkway/black-balsam-knob-art-loeb-trail-hiking/)

    • At 6000 feet, follow a pastoral trail over mountaintops with truly expansive views
    • Right off the Blue Ridge Parkway, you'll feel like your in another world, an unforgettable feeling for a ceremony
    • Evergreen forrest is part of the hike, with amazing pools of light breaking through for truly special photographs
  3. Rough Ridge (https://ashevilletrails.com/blue-ridge-parkway/rough-ridge-hike/)

    • Summit with rock outcroppings and wooden boardwalk
    • two-mile roundtrip hike
  4. Hawksville Mountain (https://ashevilletrails.com/linville-gorge/hawksbill-mountain-trail/)

    • 1.5 miles roundtrip hike
    • The views are truly breathtaking when you reach the top

Urban Spaces in Downtown Asheville:

  1. The Venue (http://www.ashevillevenue.com)

    • Large stylish venue
    • Vintage details through 13,000+ square feet of sectioned rooms
  2. The Rhu (http://rhubarbasheville.com/private-events)

    • New, private event space above The Rhu Bakery in downtown

    • Better suited for smaller weddings, less that 100 people
    • Industrial chic interior, beautiful textures throughout the space
  3. On Broadway (https://celineandcompany.com)

    • Classic Asheville venue
    • Large room with hardwood floor
    • Venue also provides the catering
  4. Asheville Social Hall (https://www.ashevillesocialhall.com)

    • New Venue
    • Great location with many large window on two walls
    • A large room that is a blank canvas for your wedding
    • Interior is warm and inviting
  5. The Orange Peel (http://theorangepeel.net/venue-rental/)

    • Large, downtown music venue can be rented for private events
  6. The Century Room (https://packstavern.com/downtown-asheville-wedding-venue/)

    • Located above Pack's Tavern
    • They provide the catering for their events
    • Warm interior details featuring exposed brick and wood bar
  7. Lexington Glassworks (https://www.lexingtonglassworks.com)

    • Glassworks gallery in downtown can be rented as an event space
    • cool, industrial stripped down interior
  8. Homewood (https://www.mybelovedhomewood.com/weddings)

    • Homewood isn't actually in downtown Asheville. It's in Montford, a community adjacent to downtown
    • It was hard to fit Homewood into any other category, but it's a one of a kind venue and no list would be complete without out.
    • Historic stone manor with Harwood floors and a warm interior, the building is reminiscent of a castle
    • Outdoor location for your ceremony, with receptions inside
    • A classic venue I've loved since I moved here in 2004
  9. East West Venue (https://www.eastwestvintagerentals.com/our-venue)         

    • East West Venue is a large open room, a blank canvas, that's made very interesting through the East West Vintage Rental company which adds lots of eclectic personality and vintage details to the space
    • Affordable option suited for smaller wedding of about 50 guests, great for a fun indie wedding
    • Also have to admit this isn't in downtown, but it's very close in west Asheville and I wanted to get it on this list somewhere!
    • Also worth noting, Nikki who runs the event space and vintage rental company also does floral design–so you could work with her to fulfill so many of your event needs.
  10. Snaggy Mountain (http://www.snaggymountain.com)

    • Beautiful mountain views
    • Suited to fun, down-to-earth weddings connected to nature

Private Home Rental for Private Events:

I love the trend of renting private homes and having more time to put your wedding together and spend more time with friends and loved ones than you might get at a traditional venue where receptions usually end around 10:00 or 11:00. Here are a few places that have really stood out to me in recent years:

  1. Hart House (https://www.vrbo.com/355839)

    • Beautiful private home with a great yard for your ceremony and reception
    • Some views of the mountains from the front yard
    • Easy location to get to in the Fairview area
  2. Laughing Waters Retreat (https://hickorynutforest.com/laughing-waters-retreat-center/)

    • Beautiful, wooded landscape that includes a creek and orchard
    • Large home and an area with an open, flat lawn that could easily accommodate a ten
    • Curving drive through a gorge about 30 minutes from Asheville
  3. Pine Hollow (https://www.vrbo.com/298951)

    • Lovely home, ceremony and reception are usually held in the yard adjacent to the house
    • Also features a pond which is a nice background for photos
  4. River's Ridge Lodge (https://www.rrlodge.com)

  5. Hawks Landing (https://www.vrbo.com/967461)

    • Beautiful estate setting with lots of green space and shade (a must have for spring and summer weddings)
  6. Mountain Joy Cabins (http://mountainjoycottages.com)

  7. Scenic Mountain Retreat (https://www.vrbo.com/552737)

    • A curving drive into the mountains, but fairly close to Asheville
    • A cool home with lots of windows and a large deck
    • From the large deck you have a great view of the mountains and Asheville in the distance
    • The main feature of the property for a private event is the deck 
    • The house would be great for a relaxed reception with guests mingling back and forth between the large deck and inside the house.
    • It's on a mountainside, so there's no yard or lawn for event activities
    • Also has a fantastic pool on the deck

6. Big Butte Retreat (https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/22032328?location=Asheville&adults=16&checkin&checkout&children=0)

  • 90 acres

  • Mountain views
  • Pond for swimming
  • Multiple cabins (14 bedrooms)

7. Laurel Falls (https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/18248629)

Summer Camp Weddings:

Summer camps weddings are perfect for people who want to have a fun and communal experience at their wedding and there are several places in Western North Carolina that provide that experience

  1. Deerfields (http://www.deerfields.com/weddings/)

  2. Camp Pinnacle (https://www.camppinnacle.com/events-facility-rental/weddings-at-camp/)

  3. Camp Kanuga (https://www.kanuga.org/plan-your-event/weddings/)

    • When you research Camp Kanuga, please note everything the include in their wedding packages. It's an amazing deal when you compare the cost of their catering to cost of catering in the general WNC area. 
    • They're affiliated with the Episcopal church, but they host every variety of wedding and or faith
    • Kaunuga has a beautiful wooded campus with amazing evergreens
    • The property has a large footprint with many locations options for your event 
    • Guest can rent rustic cabins or stay in their newly renovated hotel 
  4. Camp Highlander (https://www.camphighlander.com/weddings-events-retreats)

  5. Camp Wayfarer (https://www.campwayfarer.com/about-camp/weddings-and-retreats/)

Affordable Asheville Wedding Venues:

Some of these venues appear in other places on this list, I've added them here because they could potentially be more affordable options. When researching venues, you want to consider the cost of rentals you'll need that aren't provided by the venue. When you look at the cost of the venue in the bigger picture of your entire wedding, a place like Camp Kanuga is an amazing deal because of everything they include, plus their onsite catering is a remarkable deal in comparison to other options. Another option not on the list would be to have your ceremony at a stunning location on the blue ridge parkway (like Max's Patch) and then have a larger party at a home in the afternoon. You might also consider having your wedding on a Friday or Sunday, as rates could be lower for those non-peak days.

  1. Timber Hall Events (https://www.timberhallevents.com)

    • Rustic outdoor mountain setting with an event barn
  2. Warren Wilson College (https://www.warren-wilson.edu)

    • Hidden treasure featuring a garden, pavilion, some mountain views, and they also have a church if you want to choose that for your ceremony
    • There are lawns where you can rent and add a tent if you need one
  3. Pisgah Inn (http://www.pisgahinn.com)

    • Blue Ridge Parkway hotel when amazing scenic overlooks
  4. UNCA Botanical Gardens (http://ashevillebotanicalgardens.org/wordpress_3/facility-rental/renting-our-facilities/)

    • Best suited for small, daytime weddings 
    • Amazing price
  5. YMI Cultural Center, Ray Auditorium (http://www.ymiculturalcenter.org/facilities/)

    • Historic building in downtown Asheville
    • Beautiful large room
    • This venue works a blank canvas for you to create your wedding
  6. Peaceful Hollow (https://www.peacefulhollow.com)

    • Private home setting with a beautiful landscape
  7. Event's at Franny's Farm (http://frannysfarm.com)

    • Farm themed, rustic venue in the countryside
    • Down-to-earth, relaxed vibe
    • Laid-back atmosphere
  8. Cloud Nine Farm (http://www.cloud9relaxation.com/weddings)

    • Farm themed, rustic venue in the countryside
    • Down-to-earth, relaxed vibe
    • Laid-back atmosphere
  9. Chimney Rock state Park (https://www.chimneyrockpark.com/schools-and-groups/weddings-2/)

    • Affordable, sate park option
    • Venue has many years of experience doing weddings
  10. Camp Kanuga (https://www.kanuga.org/plan-your-event/weddings/)

    • When you look at everything they offer, including catering pricing, plus it a beautiful landscape you'll start to see what a great option this is
    • I HIGHLY recommend you research Camp Kanuga while looking for your venue
    • Endless opportunities for amazing photographs on your wedding day
  11. The Masonic Temple in downtown Asheville (http://ashevillemasonictemple.com)

    • Historic building in downtown Asheville, the space is a blank canvas for you to style your wedding
    • Shay Brown Events, established and respected event planners/designers in Asheville, manage this venue
  12. Asheville Social Hall (https://www.ashevillesocialhall.com)

    • Downtown venue, open room with great views
    • I'm imagining rates will go up as this becomes a more established place, now it's quite an amazing deal!
  13. Laughing Waters Retreat (https://hickorynutforest.com/laughing-waters-retreat-center/)

    • Private home in a beautiful wooded setting
  14. Trickle Creek Farm (https://www.tricklecreekfarmnc.com)

    • Farm themed, rustic venue in the countryside
    • Down-to-earth, relaxed vibe
  15. Weaver House (http://weaverhousenc.com)

    • New venue which I'm guessing will open in 2018
    • Great location in downtown Weaverville, at the same time it is a private, garden setting with a beautiful new timber pavilion
    • I can't say how excited I'm am to see this venue and I highly recommend you check it out
    • I photographed this venue years ago and it's perfect from a photography perspective
  16. East West Venue (https://www.eastwestvintagerentals.com/our-venue)

    • Very affordable venue for 50 or less guests
  17. Snaggy Mountain (http://www.snaggymountain.com)

    • Countryside venue with mountain views

    • Suited for a down-to-earth, fun weddings

    • Laid-back atmosphere

Waterside Venues:

  1. Olivette (http://www.olivettenc.com/events)

    • Located along the side on a river, you feel like you're in a new world, though your just 15 minutes from Asheville
    • Truly amazing river setting with a gorgeous sunset in the evening
    • Outdoor ceremony location with a pavilion for the reception
  2. Highland Lake Inn (http://hlinn.com/weddings)

    • Classic Asheville venue located on a lake
    • Lodging for you and your guests
    • Beautiful outdoor landscape with several options for the ceremony
    • Lodge, style building for the reception
    • The venue provides the catering
  3. The Lodge on Lake Lure (http://www.lodgeonlakelure.com)

  4. Lake Lure Inn and Spa (https://www.lakelure.com/events/weddings/)

  5. Lake Eden Events (http://lakeedenevents.com/weddings/)

Vineyard Venues Near Asheville:

  1. Addison Farm Vineyards (http://www.addisonfarms.net/weddings/)

    • Beautiful rolling hillsides
  2. The Vineyards at Betty's Creek (http://www.thevineyardsatbettyscreek.com)

    • Luxury venue with an amazing landscape and unmatched, rustic buildings, it's hard to do justice to the venue with words
  3. Point Lookout Vineyards (http://pointlookoutvineyards.com/#book-event)

    • New venue opening soon
  4. Burntshirt Vineyard (https://www.burntshirtvineyards.com)

Glamping Venues:

  1. Brahma Ridge (http://brahmaridgeeventcenter.com)

    • Beautiful valley and mountain landscape
    • Onsite, permanent tent for recption
    • Glamping and cabin options
  2. Paint Rock Farm (http://www.paintrockfarm.com)

    • Located in the Pisgah National Forest along the French Broad River
    • Offers a variety of rustic camping and glamping options
    • Large, vintage barn restore with character for your reception
    • Pastoral landscape with large fields
  3. JuneBug Retro Resort (https://www.junebugretroresort.com/index.php/wedding-event-center-asheville-nc)

    • Flat open field surrounded by mountian
    • Retro, vintage campers from the 1950's
  4. Asheville Glamping (https://www.ashevilleglamping.com)

    • A glamping venue that accommodates elopements and micro weddings

Garden Setting:

  1. North Carolina Arboretum (http://www.ncarboretum.org/weddings-rentals/)

    • Amazing garden setting for small or large weddings
  2. Bullington Gardens (https://bullingtongardens.org)

    • An intimate botanical garden suited for smaller weddings, 60 or less guests
  3. Weaver House (http://weaverhousenc.com)

    • In the heart of downtown Weaverville
    • An intimate garden setting with a beautiful timber pavilion
    • A new venue I highly recommend looking at
  4. Warren Wilson College (https://www.warren-wilson.edu

    • Best way to contact Liz Brace through email: lbrace@warren-wilson.edu
    • A hidden gem to say the least!
    • Formal garden in the center of campus, beautiful
    • Some views of the mountains
    • Outdoor pavilion
    • Chapel on campus for a ceremony option
    • You can rent and use a tent on some of the open lawn spaces if you need to
    • Limited dates that often book quickly
    • Budget friendly
  5. Mountain Magnolia Inn (http://www.mountainmagnoliainn.com/wedding.html)

    • A great venue in Hot Springs that was hard for me to categorize
    • It's a charming B&B with gourmet dinning
    • They doing the catering for events
    • AMAZING old tree for your ceremony site
    • manicured gardens incorporated into the front lawn
    • Mountain view from the front lawn
    • Wooded pathway at the entrance to the venue with a charming stone wall
    • Unique, vintage red bride is a great background for photos
    • Receptions are tented on the side lawn

Brewery Weddings in Asheville:

  1. Highland Brewing (https://highlandbrewing.com/ashevilleeventcenter)

    • Most establish and experienced brewery to accommodate weddings in Asheville
  2. Catawba Brewing Company (http://catawbabrewing.com/contact/book-event)

    • Offers a rustic but refined room at the back of the brewery
    • Accommodates 75 to 120 people, depending on the style of event
    • I've always thought it would be great to have your ceremony at UNCA botanical gardens followed with a reception in this space, so much fun!
  3. Archetype Brewery (https://www.archetypebrewing.com)

    • Hip, industrial vibe in west Asheville
    • A great location for a reception and would pair well with a local food truck to do your catering 
  4. Green Man Brewery (http://www.greenmanbrewery.com/contact/events/)

    • Several rental options at their large downtown Asheville location on the south slope
  5. High-Wire Brewery (https://hiwirebrewing.com/rent-our-space/)

    • Industrial and rustic space
  6. Habitate Brewing (http://www.habitatbrewing.com)

    1. Downtown Asheville

Country Club Venues:

  1. Biltmore Forest Country Club (http://www.biltmoreforestcc.com)

  2. Country Club of Asheville (https://www.ccofasheville.com)

  3. Hendersonville Country Club (http://www.hendersonvillecc.com)

Luxury Venues:

  1. Biltmore Estate (http://www.biltmore.com)

    • A venue that is unparalleled in Western North Carolina
    • It's a historic estate, it has a beautiful garden with pastoral rolling hillsides and views of the mountain, really providing everything you could imagine wanting for every style of wedding
  2. Grove Park Inn (https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park/weddings)

    • Luxury, historic hotel overlooking downtown Asheville and the blue ridge mountains
  3. The Farm in Candler (https://thefarmevents.com)

    • Convenient location not farm from Asheville and easy to drive to
    • Rolling hillside lead up to private cabins and event barn
    • Ceremonies held at an intimate gazebo in the lawn adjacent to the event barn
  4. The Vineyard at Betty's Creek (http://www.thevineyardsatbettyscreek.com)

    • Also in the vineyard category, I had to include it here
    • Amazing landscape and views, but what I love about it as a photographer is it takes the rustic aesthetic and makes it so refined and visually rich
    • Accomodations for the wedding party

Lodge Venues Near Asheville

  1. The Lodge at Bear River (http://www.thelodgeatbearriver.com)

    • Classic lodge structure
  2. Bend of Ivy Lodge (http://bendofivylodge.com)

    • Very connected to the natural landscape
  3. Hawks Landing (https://www.vrbo.com/967461)

    • Also a private home rental
  4. The Lodge on Lake Lure (http://www.lodgeonlakelure.com)

Ranch Venues

  1. Taylor Ranch (https://www.taylorranch.com)

  2. Cataloochee Ranch (http://www.cataloocheeranch.com)

B&B or Inn Venues

  1. The Yellow House on Plott Creek Road (http://www.theyellowhouse.com/bed-breakfast-rates.htm)

  2. The Bunn House (https://bunnhouse.com/events/)

  3. The Inn at Glenn Alpine (http://www.innatglenalpine.com/dream-wedding.php)

  4. Engadine Inn and Cabins (https://www.engadineinnandcabins.com)

  5. Mountain Magnolia Inn (http://www.mountainmagnoliainn.com)

  6. Albemarle Inn (https://www.albemarleinn.com/weddings-events#overview)

  7. The Orchard Inn (https://orchardinn.com/north-carolina-mountain-wedding-venue/)

  8. Historic Echo Mountain Inn (http://www.echomountaininn.com/wedding-receptions-special-events/)
 
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