sunset terrace setup for wedding ceremony at grove park inn

TIPS ON PLANNING A WEDDING IN ASHEVILLE NC FROM AN ASHEVILLE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

You just got engaged and have dreamt of this day, but now you must wear the hat of a wedding planner. Congratulations! Now the fun begins, planning your big day! Planning a wedding in Asheville should be easy peasy. Just select a venue, hire a couple vendors, and boom, done-zo!

The truth is wedding planning can be simple, but it can be challenging. Asheville is a destination wedding area with so many great options and avenues to take, which can make it overwhelming to figure out where to start! Luckily I spent 9 years in the destination wedding market in Key West and now 3 years in North Carolina shooting destination weddings in Asheville. So I have some tips and some insight from my experience as one of the top wedding vendors in North Carolina.

Questions are coming to mind. Fall or summer wedding? Traditional or intimate? Elope or go big? Venue with the best views or something closer to town? Hire vendors in what order? The list goes on, but if you’re reading this blog, you’ve already identified these questions. My goal with this wedding planning guide is to help you navigate the process by breaking it down into 10 simple steps. So without further ado, let’s get started planning your big day!

OH THE SEASONS, THEY ARE A CHANGING!

If you plan to get married in Asheville, you can choose from various seasons based on your vision for the wedding. Summer weddings are great for lush greenery. Fall is perfect for a mountain wedding with colorful landscapes, while winter weddings come with a chance of snow.

Selecting a season will help you easily plan the wedding and develop a timeline. However, it’s essential to consider some of the challenges each season can bring. For example, you may need help finding guest lodging options in the fall. Summer weddings may have a risk of rain, and winter weddings may limit the floral selection.

Moreover, your wedding season can affect the availability of venues and vendors. Fall and summer weddings are typically more in demand in Asheville. So, if you’re dreaming of a May wedding, find available venues and vendors that fit your vision as soon as possible. Keep in mind that the availability of the most popular vendors and venues can book up to a year in advance.

bride and groom portraits with fall color leaves behind them

SIZE MATTERS

Are you planning an Asheville wedding and wondering about the guest count? Are you considering inviting 200 loved ones, aiming for a moderate 80-120 guest list, hosting an intimate gathering with fewer than 30 guests, or even eloping just the two of you? Each option caters to different visions and preferences.

However, the size of your Asheville wedding affects two significant factors – venues and expenses. So whether you want a grand celebration or a simple gathering, planning, and organizing can be easier with an insight into the size of your guest list.

inside setup of bitlmore wedding reception venue deerpark

A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER COST WHAT??

When it comes to wedding planning, setting a budget for your big day is a great place to start. It’ll help you stay on track as you decide your ceremony’s who, what, when, and where.

Sure, it can be intimidating to see the costs add up. But the good news is that the wedding industry has options for all kinds of couples, accommodating different styles and budgets. And if you’re planning an Asheville wedding, you’re in luck! From venues to vendors, teams in Asheville have plenty of options when planning their special day.

To get started, do some research. Check out major wedding platforms to explore average costs for weddings in the Asheville area. Remember that prices vary from region to region, so it’s essential to narrow your focus to Asheville specifically. Once you have a ballpark figure, the next step is to break down your budget.

Some couples prefer a traditional approach and allocate a set percentage of their budget to different vendors. But this method can limit your flexibility and creativity. An alternative approach is to create a value-based budget, where you prioritize the vendors that matter the most to you and adjust the numbers as needed.

If photography is more important to you (which should be the top concern for any couple), you can focus on that aspect of your wedding and adjust your budget accordingly. The key is to set a budget, decide where to allocate it, and then go from there.

Remember, planning a wedding is a big task – but with the right strategy and mindset, you can create a day that is uniquely yours. And if you’re planning an Asheville wedding, the options are truly limitless.

WHO ARE WE AS A COUPLE THATS PLANNING A WEDDING?

Getting married in Asheville? I’ve found two types of couples – those who want to plan every aspect of their big day and those who’d rather have someone else do it for them. However, even those who want to plan everything may need a little help, and those who want someone else to design it for them still like to have a say. Both paths are acceptable, but knowing where you stand can help you progress. So, whether you’re an Asheville native or a couple planning a destination wedding, it’s worth considering which type of couple you are before taking the next step. Check out this guide for some of the Asheville wedding planners I like working with.

group of bridesmaids and the bride showing the backs of their dresses while arms are intercrossed with each other

Asheville’s popularity as a wedding destination keeps increasing, with over 6,000 couples marrying annually. As the population grows, couples flock here in droves, eagerly seeking unique wedding venues. So, it’s essential to start booking your dream spot as soon as possible, at least a year ahead of peak season Saturdays. Though Sundays and Fridays may also have openings, it’s best to inquire about your preferred dates as early as possible. Also, keep an eye out for new venues that open sometimes, and ask for recommendations on social media. Ready to take the next step? Let’s plan your perfect Asheville wedding together!

Check out this guide for downtown Asheville wedding venues.

If you are looking for a mountain venue with stunning views, this guide on North Carolina mountain venues is perfect.

SHOULD I HIRE AN ASHEVILLE WEDDING PLANNER?

I often have couples on social media questioning whether they need an Asheville wedding planner or if it’s worth the investment. Having shot more than 500 weddings, I can confidently say – YES! It’s totally worth it.

Not only does a skilled planner keep your wedding planning on track, managing deadlines, timelines, and vendor searches for the best in the business, but you also have someone to handle communication, contracts, and more.

Bottom line? By hiring Asheville wedding planners, you not only save time and money but also avoid stressful moments on the big day. Trust us, having someone in your corner who knows what they’re doing is a game-changer for enjoying your wedding day.

seely pavilion wedding at grove park inn asheville nc

ATTENTION TO DETAIL IS THE NAME OF THE GAME

You’ve made it pretty far in your Asheville wedding planning process. Congrats! It’s a good idea to sit down with your planner to reassess, look at your checklist for hiring vendors, and adjust your budget if necessary. You might even want to change your initial vision, which is fine! This step is crucial. Wedding planning is so time-consuming. Forgetting a detail or two is easy. That’s why it’s helpful. Taking a moment to reassess will help you ensure you take notice of everything and keep things on track for your dream Asheville wedding.

grooms hands holding the back of a brides dress

HIRING ASHEVILLE WEDDING VENDORS FOR YOUR WEDDING

If you’re wondering why venues, planners, and photographers have a section of their own while the other vendors are lumped together, let me tell you, every vendor is essential when planning your Asheville wedding! It all depends on what’s vital to you, and a value-based budget can help you make that decision. Although planners and vendors typically book first, hiring the rest of the folks on your list will be personal to you. You may want a videographer, or you may skip it. Likewise, while most hire DJs and florists, some prefer to do away with them. I’m a live music band guy, so that would be the third vendor I hired. There are no absolutes; it’s all about what YOU want for your special day!

wedding reception moments at crest pavilion

TIMELINES MATTER

Hey, planning an Asheville wedding can be overwhelming. But here’s the deal – whether you’re hiring vendors or doing everything yourself, some aspects are crucial to consider. Your vendors can help you smooth things along the way, but remember, some prep ahead of time will make your big day way more enjoyable! Coordinating with your DJ about the reception timeline, working with your photographer to finalize a family shot list, deciding guests seating arrangements, and checking with the catering staff – all things that can’t be missed. And remember the timeline – it’s a hugely important piece that requires collaboration between your planner and photographer. If you’ve got a planner, everything’s way easier. But if you still need to, do the work well beforehand.

After years of having to fight against timelines, I sat down and gave some tips and mock timelines for each season. Now every couple I work with is sent this and we plan the timeline together to give to the planner. No planner SHOULD EVER tell the photographer when the light is best for photos.

You’re now ten steps closer (wait, technically eleven if you count reading this, right?) to planning your dream Asheville wedding. Wedding planning might seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. By chunking the planning process into actionable steps, you can stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Wait to finalize your details and timeline until Step 10, or too many minor details can derail your progress.

In fact, I have everything you need to get started in planning your Asheville wedding. No need to print hundreds of checklists from Pinterest or purchase a colossal wedding guide. Simply follow my 10-step guide, and you’ll be set! And if you need any recommendations for fantastic wedding professionals in the Asheville area, just click HERE!

Feel free to email me with more questions about planning your Asheville wedding or get in touch with the contact form below!

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