I have a confession to make: I am one of those sappy people who love weddings. The fuss and mess which bothers so many other people seems to me to be a pretty small price to pay for such a loving and meaningful event. So while other innkeepers shy away from hosting weddings I have always wanted to add this to menu of possibilities at our Asheville Bed & Breakfast. But I have to admit, this took some doing. Firstly, James and I felt we needed to successfully host one or two weddings before making decisions as to pricing and the services we would offer as well as making sure this was truly something we would enjoy and could do well. Understandably, however, most brides are looking for an establishment with experience so it took a while before we found ourselves holding our first wedding. But we did it and are proud to announce the launch on our website of our wedding page for Asheville Elopements and Small Weddings.
And many thanks go to the two couples who took a chance with us and celebrated their weddings here at the Carolina Bed & Breakfast.
Melanie and Anthony were the first. They showed up at our door in October, asking if we would consider letting them hold their elopement at our inn. I didn’t know it at the time but they had been to a number of other B&B’s and had received little enthusiasm for the idea. We, however, were delighted! We showed them around the inn, explaining that if they had their wedding here in December the rooms would be decorated for Christmas with a live tree which could form a lovely backdrop for their ceremony. Theirs was a classic love story: two friends previously married who rediscovered each other and found new love. It was clear from talking to them how devoted they were to each other. Because it is important to us that the couples who get married here are completely happy with their choice, we sent them off to look at a couple of other B&B’s before settling on one. I was so glad when they came back!
The wedding couldn’t have been more beautiful Anthony wore his kilt and Melanie wore a red ribbon around her waist which was used in the ceremony to make the “tie that binds”. We lit candles and the service was held in front of the Christmas tree with the warm glow of the fireplace adding a special light. James and I served as witnesses and Melanie and Anthony invited the other couples who were here to watch and join us in a celebratory toast and some wedding cake which she had brought with her from her favorite bakery. It was a lovely afternoon for all of us.
Our second wedding happened very quickly and was very different. Raul and Mary stayed at the Carolina Bed & Breakfast over New Years and enjoyed a long and lazy afternoon by the fireplace in our parlor. When they decided to get married in April they decided they wanted to do it right away and called us to see if we had any rooms available and then booked the whole house for themselves and their friends.
The wedding party arrived on Friday and had a great time enjoying Asheville that night. The following morning, after a long, laugh-filled breakfast, they all went out again while James and I arranged the house so that they could get married in front of the window in the same parlor they had enjoyed so much. Daffodils from our garden decorated the house and when Mary realized she had forgotten to order flowers we even used some to make a small bouquet for her. The ceremony was at 4PM. They asked us to prepare the evening hors d’oeurves for 4:30 as they had arranged dinner at Zambra for 6PM. Sara and I pulled out all the stops to make sure that table was elegant and the selection of canapes a special one. A friend of Mary’s who owns the Hi-Fi Cafe at the Asheville Downtown Market had made an Italian wedding cake and Mary asked if she could use two of the salt and pepper shakers from our collection as cake toppers!
The officiant for the wedding was a friend of Mary and Raul’s who came up from Raleigh for the occasion and absent friends were able to Skype in on our WiFi. They danced in the living room and shared speeches and toasts in the dining room before they left for dinner (a little later than 6PM but we let the restaurant know so there was no problem). There was a sense of fun, informality and love which entirely suited the style of this couple.
A small wedding or elopement can and should be as special as a large event. Here at the Carolina Bed & Breakfast we are committed to making every reasonable effort to ensure that your wedding is special and uniquely yours. One of the benefits of staying at a Bed and Breakfast is a high level of personalized service and it carries over into everything we do. We hope that you will choose the Carolina for your event.
(Oh, and did I forget to mention that our daughter works with Studio Wed here in Asheville, so we have our very own onsite wedding planner!)