High Country Wedding Guide 2016

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Welcoming You to North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains

Imagine your wedding atop BEECH MOUNTAIN Take advantage of the ski lifts to the ceremony site, situated at 5,506 feet in elevation and enjoy panoramic views of the mountains as you exchange your vows. Beech Mountain Resort now offers four unique venues for a variety of wedding events.

THE VIEW HAUS This newly remodeled venue offers luxurious indoor and outdoor spaces, accommodating up to 400 guests. Exchange your vows on the grassy outdoor area in front of a large deck. Celebrate your reception with a full service bar and large viewing windows with a mountain/slope view inside.

THE BEECH TREE BAR & GRILLE The newly remodeled Beech Tree is located next to the main chairlift. Dance with your family and friends on the upper or lower level, or visit either of the two bars inside as your band plays on the center stage.

BEECH MOUNTAIN BREWING CO. This cozy venue, located in the resort village, offers warm hardwood floors and a deck out front for families and friends to gather and celebrate your big day. The brewery is great place for a rehearsal dinner, reception or pre-wedding event for any craft beer lovers.

5506' A stunning round glass bar with 2,800 square feet of deck featuring beautiful panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. A landscaped grassy knoll behind is located nearby. All situated 5506' is the spot for your one-of-a-kind ceremony, reception, or both.

BeechMountainResort.com 1007 Beech Mountain Parkway Beech Mountain, NC 800.438.2093 x 205 IMAGE BY MICHELLY LYERLY PHOTOGRAPHY


2016 ISSUE

Mark your engagement with a photo session amidst the Blue Ridge Parkway's stunning and diverse scenery.


GRANDFATHER GLORY 18 The patriarch of the High Country proves a perfect setting for this simple yet stunning wedding shoot.

INDIAN SUMMER 52 Join us at The Lodges at Eagles Nest in Banner Elk, where organic elements and wild flora set the tone for a mock reception sure to inspire.





More, more, more! Get social with us to learn the latest on all things High Country weddings. Whether you simply love mountain-style Big Days or are planning your very own one here in the Blue Ridge, follow us and friend us to share the love.


Learn why wintertime might just be your best pick for a wonderful wedding. Hint: idyllic snowscapes, surprising savings, and little to no waiting lists come into play.




An intimate Big Day (with six lucky guests) at Mast Farm Inn shows why Valle Crucis has charmed visitors for more than a century.

BEECH MOUNTAIN MAGIC 76 Home to the highest town east of the Mississippi at 5506 feet, this iconic summit offers so much more than snowy slopes.

HighCountryWeddingGuide.com Facebook.com/highcountryweddingguide @HCWEDDINGGUIDE Pinterest.com/HighCountryWG @HIGHCOUNTRYWG

SEE YOU ONLINE... Get your dose of pretty when you visit our blog on HighCountryWeddingGuide.com. You’ll find gorgeous weddings (that you can easily Pin), vendor lists for those star-studded days, and an impeccably curated Vendor Directory.


828-268-9600 reidscateringco.com

Tina Houston, Owner reidscateringco@gmail.com

2016 edition




REAL WEDDINGS 82 Get ready for romance—plus see some of the most dreamy mountain locations around, find ideas aplenty, and meet top vendors—in 11 of the best Big Days to happen in the High Country. RUN AWAY WITH ME 118 Weddings big and small happen all year round in the High Country. Meet six couples whose elopements and intimate ceremonies show how little is sometimes the loveliest luxury. LOVE CONQUERS ALL 130 A low-key elopement to the Blue Ridge turns into a dream come true for a couple battling cancer.


essentials VENUE GUIDE 26 Browse our site-by-site guide to the High Country’s most alluring ceremony and reception options. GIFT GUIDE 136 Find sweet somethings for your bridal party, great goodies for groomsmen, and fantastic favors with a mountain accent here.


love stories

VENDOR DIRECTORY 140 Trust us: You’ll want these wedding pros at the helm of your Big Day.

ideas & tips DRINK IT UP 126 Gather your mates and maids to sample the best of High Country beers and breweries on this self-led tour.



BACKYARD BEAUTIES 128 Some of the loveliest blooms are those growing amid the mountains, meadows, and farms of the High Country.

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, WEDDINGS DIVISION Melissa Bigner HCWG EDITOR Rachael Mills EDITOR-AT-LARGE Melissa Reardon DESIGN DIRECTOR Melinda Smith Monk GRAPHIC DESIGN Rachael Mills INTERN Alon Eig CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Frances Bramsen, Jessica Maceda, & Megan Mulherin ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVES Annette Beeler & Mike Granger ADVERTISING PRODUCTION MANAGER Brandis Woods ADVERTISING PRODUCTION DESIGNER Christine Dorsey FINANCIAL MANAGER Pamela Robinson DIGITAL TEAM, WEDDINGS DIVISION Della MacNicholas & Andraya Northrup CONTACT US info@HighCountryWeddingGuide.com ABOUT US High Country Wedding Guide is an annual publication from DEZ Inc. d/b/a Gulfstream Communications. To request a free copy and to learn more about the guide, visit HighCountryWeddingGuide.com. ©High Country Wedding Guide 2016 ON THE COVER Photography by Wayfaring Wanderer, shot on location at The Lodges at Eagles Nest in Banner Elk. See “Indian Summer” on page 52.

hether you grew up in the High Country, attended college here, visited on family vacations, or are discovering the Blue Ridge Mountains for the very first time, there’s just something about this region that captivates hearts, awakens souls, and brings people back for generations. Given that, it’s little wonder that scores of couples mark their engagements with photo sessions using our stunning and diverse scenery as their backdrop. Located in the northwest corner of North Carolina and reaching an elevation of almost 6,000 feet at the highest point, the High Country spans several counties. It’s divided by its most popular attraction, the Blue Ridge Parkway, which serves as an artery for some of the most breathtaking views in the greater Appalachian Mountain chain. Each season here is vibrant in its own right, and each offers dramatic photo ops galore. Summer brings verdant greenery and wildflower fields; fall is awash in brilliant colored foliage. Winter abounds with glorious snow scenes, outdoor opportunities for play, and the cozy comfort of crackling fires indoors. For its part, spring beckons you to shed layers, hit the trails, and lose yourself listening to the crisp burbling of mountain streams. To celebrate this special corner of the world, we chose real-life engagement images that truly capture the beauty of the High Country, hoping they will inspire you to check out the area for yourself for similar photo sessions or perhaps for your wedding itself. From sites along popular trails to favorite overlooks—all shots were snapped just off the Blue Ridge Parkway—read on to see what epic natural landscapes to incorporate into your epic love story.

For maps, trails, and more information on the Blue Ridge Parkway and these sites, visit BlueRidgeParkway. org. For details on the locations and information about holding ceremonies or hosting receptions, visit BlueRidgeHeritage.com. HIGH COUNTRY WEDDING GUIDE 10 10



Located not far from Grandfather Mountain at milepost 302.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Rough Ridge is one of the most popular trails for visitors because it only takes a short hike (about a third of a mile from the parking lot) to experience breathtaking views. In the clear distance you can see the Linville Cove Viaduct, a 1,243-foot bridge, curving around nearby mountains. TIPS: Come in the middle of the week for more privacy and less photobombs by weekend hikers. Wear trail-practical shoes (not heels). SEASON: Leaves change faster at this elevation, starting in late September. COORDINATES: 36.09708째 N, 81.79877째 W Image by Michelle Lyerly Photography 2016 edition 11


Textile entrepreneur and philanthropist Moses H. Cone donated his 3,516-acre summer estate (located between mileposts 292 and 295) to the state of North Carolina, and we’re all luckier for it. Flat Top Manor, his grand 13,000 square-foot mansion built in 1901, is the crown jewel of the property. The Colonial Revival-meetsVictorian-style home looks across acres of apple orchards and carriage trails leading to Bass Lake. TIPS: The trail Moses Cone and his wife walked daily is a 20-minute loop that’s ripe with photogenic spots. Give it a whirl. For mountain vistas, hike up to the Flat Top Mountain tower, which the locals call Fire Tower. SEASON: Open spring through fall. COORDINATES: 36.1496° N, 81.6923° W Photographs by Matt Powell Productions



Just a few minutes from Blowing Rock, you’ll find Thunder Hill overlook at milepost 290.4 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This popular spot offers limitless views of the mountains and valleys below for nearly 360 degrees. With nary a development or power pole in sight and the old post-and-wire fencing across the road, this little pit stop has a fantastic sense of timelessness. TIP: Cross the street and wander up the hill to the wildflower meadow; it’s perfect for an intimate engagement session. SEASON: year-round COORDINATES: 36.1393° N, 81.6398° W Photograph by Boonetown Story

2016 edition



You’d never know from looking at this image that the couple was steps away from their car parked in a lot just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. So it goes at Raven Rock Overlook, a sweet little roadside stop that’s prime for staging a romantic picnic or a simple break to watch the sun set behind Tweetsie Railroad. Located at milepost 289.5, it’s also a popular place for rock climbing. TIP: This easy-in, easy-out location is a best bet for couples who don’t have much time to spare. SEASON: year-round, but idyllic during fall and summer COORDINATES: 36.1445° N, 81.6333° W Photograph by Waterhouse Studios



Floral &

design studio Flowersbydesi.com



2016 edition




On the eastern side of the High Country in Ashe County at Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 240, you’ll find Doughton Park. This 6,000acre expanse of beautiful open meadows, with expansive mountain views, is host to miles of hiking trails, picnic areas, a campground, and the historic 1880s-era Brinegar Cabin. TIP: Late spring brings out the blooms of flame azaleas and rhododendrons. SEASON: spring through fall COORDINATES: 36.4018° N, 81.1708° W Image by Burton Photography 2016 edition


Grandfather GLORY

The patriarch of the High Country proves the perfect backdrop for a simple and stunning inspired wedding shoot



M ACR AE M E ADOW S This beautiful, expansive field lies at the base of Grandfather Mountain and is ideal for a bridal photo session or wedding event of any scale.


atching even a gl impse of Grand fat her Mountain signals you have arrived in Nort h Carol ina’s High Country. One of t he highest peaks in t he Blue Ridge Mountain range, reaching an elevat ion of 5,946 feet, t he icon has been t he patriarch of t his area for generat ions. Home to one of Nort h Carol ina's newest state parks, t his global ly recognized nature preserve boasts 2,456 backcountry acres ideal for hiking and backpacking. But for brides, what 's to love most about t his glorious natural wonder? Its dramat ic backdrop and end less views wil l make your wedd ing (and your photos) as awe-inspiring as Grand fat her himsel f. Grandfather Mountain is one of the most visited attractions in the High Country. It offers a mile-high swinging bridge, wildlife habitats, museum, hiking trails, and multiple sites for wedding events. For more information, visit Grandfather.com.

2016 edition


I NSPI RATI ON Fresh. Crisp. Clean. Natural. These words gave birth to this styled summertime shoot in the shadow of Grandfather Mountain. To start, the team sought to bring intimacy to MacRae Meadow’s wideopen expanse, so a canopy was strung between two tree boughs. Beneath the draped fabric, a locally made farm table sported an all-white palette of dinnerware, linens, and ceramic votive. Snowy white dahlias and honeysuckle woven into a vibrant green garland ran the length of the spread, while bottles of water infused with rose and fruit added pops of color.

(above and top) Handwritten calligraphy penned on marbled paper was the hallmark of the paper suite, including invitations and menu cards.


(above left and right) The cheese plate celebrated summer fruits with blueberry- and apricot-infused cheeses, and fresh figs, strawberries, and grapes. A naked cake iced in buttercream sat atop a marble pedestal and was trimmed with greenery and fruit from the local market. 2016 edition


BE ACON HEI GHTS Across the Blue Ridge Parkway from Grandfather Mountain at milepost 305 is Beacon Heights. It's a short walk along the trail to land stunning bridal portraits like this. TIP: Where the trail forks, go left for a Grandfather Mountain backdrop or right for a breathtaking mountain vista.


ORGA NIC S T YLE An unfettered bouquet was created with foraged greenery, dahlias, and honeysuckle. For the crown, a halo of fresh greens sported a single dahlia bloom. The look complements this Gwyneth tulle gown by BHLDN, which features intricate embroidered vines. TIP: Sheath dresses, especially those with floral motifs and elegant silhouettes, are well suited for outdoor ceremonies.

2016 edition


D ETA ILS PHOTOGRAPHY: Boonetown Story FLORAL DESIGN: Philosophy Flowers STYLING: Goldmine Journal GOWN: BHLDN HAIR: Canvas Beauty Bar CAKE: Ugga Mugga Bakery STATIONERY: SJM Calligraphy & Design TABLE: Upper Barn Rentals DINNERWARE: Savory Thymes TABLEWARE & DECOR: West Elm


2016 edition


HISTORIC LANDMARK A bridal session taken from the porch of the beautiful Moses Cone Manor, completed in 1901. This High Country landmark can be found at mile marker 295 off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Image by Fletcher & Fletcher Photography.


2016 Venue Guide The High Country’s essential resource for choosing the perfect venue h To Mountain City

h To Jefferson


US 421

To Tennessee

The Lily Patch Farm

US 194

US 221

US 321

Valle CrucisVineyard Beech Mountain Resort Overlook Barn The Lodges at Eagles Nest

Sugar Mountain Resort


US 184

Linville Ridge

US 221/421

The Inn at Little Pond Farm

Valle Crucis Conference Center

To Wilkesboro & Winston-Salem

US 321

Hound Ears Club

Appalachian Ski Mtn.

US 421

The Inn at Crestwood


US 194



Banner Elk Winery & Villa

US 194

Summit Trail Solarium

Raffaldini Vineyards

Blue Ridge Mountain Club Westglow Chetola Resort BLOWING ROCK Resort & Spa

US 105

Blowing Rock Art & History Museum

US 221

The Blowing Rock Smithmore Castle


US 221

To Asheville


US 194

US 321



Hugh Chapman Center

To Charlotte h


2016 edition



The perfect setting for your destination wedding


Michelle Lyerly Photography

Uniq ue t o w e s t e r n No r t h C a ro l in a , ou r t r a d it io n a l B a v a r ia n - s t y l e l o d g e of fe r s a n in t im at e m o un t a in s e t t in g wit h p a n o r a m ic B l ue Rid g e v ie w s . C h o o s e f ro m fo ur e v e n t s p a ce s fo r s m a l l o r l a rg e g at h e r in g s . O ur exce p t io n a l c ul in a r y s t af f w il l h e l p c re at e a n e v e n t t o re m e m b e r.


940 Ski Mountain Rd., Blowing Rock, NC


BANNER ELK winery & villa

Celebrate the jewel on your finger at the Jewel of the High Country


Todd Bush Photography

Banner Elk Winery & Villa offers a romantic setting for nuptials in any season. Exchange volws by a crackling fire or step outside for a ceremony overlooking the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, rolling hills, blueberry orchard or private tranquil pond. It is the perfect weekend destination to say “I do.�

IMAGE BY Heba Salama Photography


IMAGE BY Ellen Gwin Photographer

60 Deer Run Lane, Banner Elk, NC




Michelle Lyerly Photography

Enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the blue ridge mountains B ee c h M o un t a in Re s o r t of fe r s un iq ue s e t t in g s , b o t h in d o o r a n d o ut d o o r, fo r y o ur e x t r a o rd in a r y d a y. Ta ke a d v a n t a g e of t h e s k i l if t s t o t h e ce re m o n y s it e , s it uat e d at 5,5 0 6 fee t in e l e v at io n . M ul t ip l e v e n ue s o n s i t e c a n a cco m m o d at e up t o 4 0 0 peo p l e . A v a r ie t y of w e d d in g p l a n n in g s e r v ice s , c at e r in g o p t io n s , a n d c h o ice s a re a l s o a v a il a b l e .

800-438-2093 x 205

1007 Beech Mountain Parkway Beech Mountain, NC




Magnificent views. Rich tradition. Memories made.


Fletcher & Fletcher Photography

Imagine your next event at The Blowing Rock, North Carolina’s oldest travel attraction. Here, tradition meets memories and the possibilities, like the views, are endless.


434 Rock Rd., Blowing Rock, NC



art & history museum


Common Dove Photography

Enjoy an intimate, elegant setting surrounded by exquisite works of art The Blowing Rock Art & History Museum, opened in 2011, provides a warm and intimate backdrop of exquisite works of art that will make your ceremony and celebration extraordinary. The Museum, enhanced with beautiful artwork, rich exposed beams, and natural stone, is romantic, warm, and inviting. Your special occasion can be a memorable work of art when surrounded by the unique setting that only the Museum can provide.


159 Chestnut St., Blowing Rock, NC




Storybook weddings in a storybook setting


Matt Powell Productions

At Blue Ridge Mountain Club, we’ll help you make your wedding one you’ll actually remember. With our expansive Great Lawn, gorgeous Pavilion and 50mile views in virtually every direction, you can marry the man of your dreams in the place dreams are made of.


1 Reynolds Parkway, Blowing Rock, NC



at blowing rock

From gala summer celebrations to intimate winter weddings


JoAnna DeHart

Chetola provides impeccable service and stunning backdrops, including the Lakefront Lawn and Gazebo, Timberlake’s Restaurant, the Evergreen Room, and more. From the Bob Timberlake Inn to the Spa and Hair Boutique, you and your guests will enjoy the luxurious amenities.

IMAGE BY Fletcher & Fletcher Photography


IMAGE BY Fletcher & Fletcher Photography

185 Chetola Lake Dr., Blowing Rock, NC




Katie Langley Photography

The rich history enhances the natural beauty of this high country treasure Hound Ears Club exemplifies the majestic natural beauty of the High Country, in a relaxed, yet elegantly refined setting. Celebrate your day surrounded by the scenic vistas of our championship golf course and mountain lakes and streams, beneath the towering profile of Grandfather Mountain.


328 Shulls Mill Rd., Boone, NC




Angela Scott Photography

Enjoy the serenity that can only be experienced in the mountains

Raise the retractable walls and admire the majesty of Grandfather Mountain at our lodge-themed venue that puts you and your guests at the center of all that nature has to offer.


436 Hospital Dr., Linville, NC


the inn at


restaurant and spa

Crestwood is a timeless fusion of modern and traditional styles


Fletcher & Fletcher Photography

Our unique mountain retreat is located between Boone and Blowing Rock, near the Blue Ridge Parkway. We offer a variety of stunning settings for your ideal mountain wedding and other amenities including The Inn, The Spa, and The Table at Crestwood.


3236 Shulls Mill Rd., Boone, NC


the inn at



Matt Powell Productions

a marriage of country refinement and luxurious aesthetic At Little Pond Farm, we can help you create a joyous event that is unforgettable, replete with style, finesse, and individuality. Set amidst a splendid pine grove and pastoral mountain meadow, the charming setting is perfect for your wedding, engagement party, bridal shower, or rehearsal dinner.



Boonetown Story


208 Valle Cay Dr., Vilas, NC

Boonetown Story





Lou Murrey Photography

Secluded natural beauty awaits YOU on Watauga County ’s oldest organic farm Located just 10 minutes from Boone, The Lily Patch Farm offers 42 acres of winding roads and beautiful views for your special day. A re-imagined greenhouse, a timber-framed pavilion by the pond, an old barn, wildflowers, orchards, fields and woodlands­­—all combine for perfect mountain wedding memories. Ask about our delicious local farm-to-table catering.

828-297-LILY (5459)

1381 Joe Shoemaker Rd., Vilas, NC



Imagine your dream wedding with breathtaking scenery


Burton Photography

Linville Ridge is an exclusive mountaintop community with expansive views and exquisite venues to suit every style. From mountain elegant to rustic chic—anything is possible! Service is first and foremost; attention to detail is second to none. At Linville Ridge, the wedding of your dreams will be a beautiful reality.


2245 Hwy. 105 S., Linville, NC


the lodges at


The most speectacular high-elevation luxury community in the blue ridge mountains


Burton Photography

Say “I do� amidst a gorgeous sylvan setting. Choose from a rustic timberframe pavilion, one-of-a-kind Teepee Village, a stone amphitheater with jaw-dropping views, or a lovely restored barn. Amenities include multiple lodging options, a spa, and outdoors activities.



David Morrison


68 Eagles Nest Trail, Banner Elk, NC

Burton Photography




Michelle Lyerly Photography

Rustic elegance at its peak! A new venue with breathtaking mountain views and more

Overlook Barn, with stunning mountain views as its backdrop, inspires the dream wedding or reception. With 4,500 square feet of indoor fairytale space and acres of meadow, this unique venue offers flexibility to create the wedding of your heart's desire.


830 Elderberry Ridge Rd., Banner Elk, NC



Experience la dolce vita at raffaldini vineyards


Carolina MediaStar

Your dreams of a vineyard setting and breathtaking mountain views can come true. Host your wedding, social, and corporate events at Raffaldini Vineyards’ Tuscan-style estate. Uncork one of our many award-winning wines and savor memories for a lifetime.


BlueSky Studios, Inc.



450 Groce Rd., Ronda, NC

Carolina MediaStar



Become a king and queen on your special day Sitting on 121 acres at 3,688 feet, this private mountaintop estate offers spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The 12,000square-foot mansion has six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a commercial kitchen, and three four-story towers. Crown Hall is nestled in a wooded cove below the main house and is specifically designed for wedding events.


904-509-5095 / 828-773-8431

Spruce Pine, NC

Joy Davis Photography



Sugar Mountain Resort offers an exceptional wedding experience Your once-in-a-lifetime mountaintop event could be surrounded by blue skies, green slopes, family, friends, and a beautiful natural backdrop. After the “I do’s,” delight in a reception crafted to your personal preferences.


1009 Sugar Mountain Dr., Sugar Mountain, NC


SUMMIT TRAIL SOLARIUM appalachian state university


Katie Langley Photography

Combine an outdoor feel for your reception with the peace of mind of an indoor venue

The Summit Trail Solarium offers a stunning array of plants, waterfalls, and a large venue space. Open to members of the Appalachian State family, enjoy your special day in the heart of Boone. Appalachian State University offers in-house catering, bakery, and an exceptional staff.


221 College St., Plemmons Student Union Boone, NC



conference center


Fletcher & Fletcher Photography

Where rustic charm meets sacred space

May the echo of a hundred years of happy dancing feet, the lingering scents of wood, hay, and jasmine, and the view of this jewel-green valley make your day that much more special. The Apple Barn at the Valle Crucis Conference Center offers all this, plus modern comfort and amenities

PHOTO BY Ellen Gwin Photographer

PHOTO BY Ellen Gwin Photographer


4888 NC Hwy. 194 S., Banner Elk, NC



A rustic mountain wedding dream come true Take a look at one of the area’s newest and most affordable wedding venues. Located just above the banks of the Watauga River, Valle Crucis Vineyard offers an updated barn with tent space on 75 acres of mountainside, featuring breathtaking views of the vineyard, river and mountains. We are dedicated to making your experience unique and unforgettable.


1932 Watauga River Rd., Sugar Grove, NC


WESTGLOW resort & spa

Westglow Resort & Spa provides an elegant setting with stunning views Our exclusive packages include rehearsal dinners, honeymoons, wedding and reception sites, fullservice salon, lodging and spa treatments. We take care of the details so you can enjoy every moment of your special day.



Christine Rucker Photography


224 Westglow Cir., Blowing Rock, NC

Burton Photography



venue capacity

facility rental fee

outside catering

guest rooms

other amenities

Appalachian Ski Mtn. 940 Ski Mountain Rd., Blowing Rock, NC

up to 350 4 banquet rooms, outdoor venue

$400 - $1,500

no, cake only

4 slope-side chalets

skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, chairlift

Banner Elk Winery & Villa 60 Deer Run Ln., Banner Elk, NC

up to 200 outdoor venue

available upon request


8 guest rooms


Beech Mountain Resort 1007 Beech Mountain Parkway Beech Mountain, NC

up to 400 - indoor/outdoor Multiple Venues to accommodate groups of all sizes



rental properties adjacent to the resort, please inquire

biking, disc golf, brewery, scenic lift rides, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and tubing

The Blowing Rock 434 Rock Rd. Blowing Rock, NC

up to 100





Blowing Rock Art & History Museum 159 Chestnut St, Blowing Rock, NC

from 25 up to 300

starting at $1,500



full ABC permits, caterers’ prep. area, AV system with projector and screen, wireless internet, covered porch, Elevator

Blue Ridge Mountain Club 1 Reynolds Pkwy., Boone, NC

up to 300 outdoor tented pavilion with 2 restrooms, event lawn up to 1,000

$3,000 for tents & pavilion, $1500 for event lawn

yes, wedding planner required

one cottage for wedding family only, other private rentals available

fire pits, hiking, biking ATV trails

Chetola Resort 185 Chetola Lake Dr., Blowing Rock, NC

up to 200 - 6 banquet rooms, outdoor venues, lakefront restaurant

$400-$7,950 (seasonal rates)

no, cake only

150 guest rooms and condominiums

restaurant, pub, spa, indoor pool, fitness center

Hound Ears Club 328 Shulls Mill Rd., Boone, NC

up to 250

$1,000 - $2,250

no, cake only

The Inn at Hound Ears vacation rentals available

golf, tennis, heated pool, fitness center, fine dining, bar, and lounge

Hugh Chapman Center 436 Hospital Dr., Linville, NC

up to 500

available upon request



caterers’ kitchen, AV system with projector and 160” screen, wireless internet

The Inn at Crestwood 3236 Shulls Mill Rd., Boone, NC

up to 200 - 6 banquet rooms, outdoor venues, lakefront restaurant

$400-$7,950 (seasonal rates)

no, cake only

150 guest rooms and condominiums

restaurant, pub, spa, indoor pool, fitness center

Inn at Little Pond Farm 208 Valle Cay Dr., Vilas, NC

up to 100



6 luxury suites with bathrooms

artisan food and wine pairings, book signings, farm kitchen culinary classes, floral design classes

The Lily Patch Farm 1381 Joe Shoemaker Rd., Vilas, NC

200+ outdoors 160 seated; inside greenhouse 40 seated; open-air covered pavilion

$500 - $2500


Barn Apartment sleeps two Vintage camper sleeps two

farm-to-table catering, dog/gorse friendly, pond and dock, fishing

Linville Ridge 2245 Hwy. 105 S, Banner Elk, NC

up to 275 3 event spaces, outdoor venue

starting at $750 for non-members

no, cake only

inquire about rental homes and cottages

restaurant, pub, hair salon, day spa, dressing rooms, wireless internet, golf course

The Lodges at Eagles Nest 68 Eagles Nest Trail, Banner Elk, NC-

up to 200 for indoor venues (Sportsman Lodge, Great Camp, River Club) outdoor venues available



6 tee pees at Tee Pee Village Village Lodge Hotel rental homes available

spa, fishing, hiking, disc golf

Overlook Barn 830 Elderberry Ridge Rd., Banner Elk, NC

Indoor up to 250 seated outdoor 500+



nearby, less than 1 mile

20 custom-made farm tables, on-site parking, gas fire pit gathering area, outdoor ceremony platform, separate Bride/Groom suites, and elevated band/DJ platform

Raffaldini Vineyards & Winery 450 Groce Rd., Ronda, NC

up to 200 indoors unlimited outdoor space

starting at $1,000



wine tastings and tours in vineyard, seasonal dinners, large group accessible

Smithmore Castle Spruce Pine, NC

up to 150 indoor and outdoor

available upon request


6 BR castle, sleeps up to 14

Crown Hall Events Facility specifically designed for weddings

Sugar Mountain 1009 Sugar Mountain Dr., Sugar Mountain, NC

24 to 660 outdoor venue

$500 - $4,000

no, cake only

arranged off-site upon request

scenic chairlift rides, hiking & biking, golf, tennis

Summit Trail Solarium 221 College St,, Boone, NC

Solarium up to 250, Ballroom up to 200, 3 banquet rooms





Valle Crucis Conference Center 4888 NC Hwy 194 South, Banner Elk, NC

130 dining (round tables); 200 theater-style. 271 maximum

$1,300 - $2,500


Lodging for up to 120 guests in 5 buildings

Meeting spaces; lodging in lovely historic buildings; Dining Hall; ​wi-fi

Valle Crucis Vineyard 1932 Watauga River Rd., Sugar Grove, NC

up to 200



Use of adjacent cabin, capacity up to 6

hiking, biking, camping, fishing, rafting

Westglow Resort & Spa 224 Westglow Circle, Blowing Rock, NC

up to 150 - 2 banquet rooms outdoor venue


no, cake only

10 guest rooms

restaurant, spa, fitness center, indoor pool, valet, salon



Summer Styled & Photographed by Wayfaring Wanderer

It happens sometime around August and September each year—when summer fades but autumn’s splendor isn’t quite ready to reveal itself, and the two seasons seamlessly converge. That transition proves a popular time to tie the knot in the High Country because moderate temperatures and long days make for a magical outdoor mountain wedding. During that idyllic period, a team of local vendors collaborated to create an intimate inspiration shoot honoring organic, open-air ceremonies. Our model couple met us at Teepee Village on the top of Eagles Nest in Banner Elk, the perfect venue to celebrate down-to-earth styling that allows the natural surroundings to shine through.


2016 edition


Rent any number of the six luxurious tepees at The Lodges at Eagles Nest. Each sleeps up to four people; use them as glamping accommodations for guests or dress them for a progressive reception. Visit EaglesNestatBannerElk.com

A pale palette came to life when pops of peach and gray-blue showed up in the bouquet, floral crown, and centerpiece. The wild mix of textures (blousy blooms and spiky thistles) and colors brought out the hues and patterns on the towering tepees. Pheasant feathers and antlers were added throughout to harken wildness and a sense of the hunt.


The table, made of stacked wooden pallets and dressed in a vintage lace runner, sat atop a handwoven Navajo-style rug. For an informal touch (and to avoid chairs wobbling on uneven ground), the couple sat on overstuffed floor pillows. Miss Match Rentals paired mismatched place settings of ceramic, mid century, and mod plates with a host of amber hued goblets. Burnished brass candle holders brought a metallic sheen to the mix, while hobnail votives promised flickering light come dusk.

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Ugga Mugga Bakery’s two-tiered square cake with white chocolate buttercream icing calls to mind lichen-covered trees. A vibrant dahlia and pheasant feathers finish its natural look.

Maggie Sottero’s romantic, lace sheath gown from Did Someone Say Party? speaks to the freespirited bride. Its long sleeves, floral appliqués, and scattered Swarovski crystals up the princess element, too. To call out the event’s colors (and to bring in a touch of organic style) the bride donned a rust-hued stone necklace and blue earrings from Strand. Beads + Jewelry.


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DETAILS PHOTOGRAPHY & STYLING: Wayfaring Wanderer FLORALS: Desi’s Floral & Design CAKE: Ugga Mugga Bakery


ACCESSORIES: Strand. Beads + Jewelry DRESS: Did Someone Say Party?

BEAUTY: Beautiful Bride on Location

LOCATION: The Lodges at Eagles Nest To see more images from this session, visit Blog.WayfaringWanderer.com


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FRESH off the FARM Join us for one simple and stunning Big Day at Mast Farm Inn to see why Valle Crucis—and its mouthwatering fare—has charmed visitors for more than a century Written by Frances Bramsen & Megan Mulherin Images by Revival Photography


here is a dreamy spell that hangs over this little valley,” wrote historian John Preston Arthur of Valle Crucis in 1915. The same could be said today of the Watauga County gem. With its entire historic district (we’re talking winding roads cutting through fields and farmhouses) snugly protected on the National Register of Historic Places, this intimate corner of the world nestled into the Blue Ridge Mountains stands the test of time—and charmingly so—like few other locales. The crown jewel of the area is the 1880s Mast Farm Inn (828/963-5857; TheMastFarmInn.com), a farmhouse with an award-winning restaurant that specializes in fare that’s fresh out of their garden, off nearby farms, and out of surrounding streams. With an on-site barn and picturesque cabins galore, plus innkeeper-managing partner-planner Danielle Deschamps Stabler as part of the package when you book the property, it’s more than an idyllic spot for you—and your lucky guests—it’s a no brainer.


Chapel Hill residents Christina Shay and David Beyreis are avid hikers and campers who consider the High Country one of their favorite stomping grounds. And when dreaming up their special day this last May, a guest list of six allowed them to opt for a special week, with a Tuesday welcome dinner, Wednesday beauty treatments for the gals, and a Thursday ceremony and reception. Afterward, everyone was invited to join them for the rest of Memorial Day weekend exploring the Blue Ridge. As for choosing their “base camp,” Christina says, “We wanted our guests to be able to relax in a rustic atmosphere that could still cater to our every need. We also wanted to swing from a casual welcome cookout to an artistically crafted reception dinner.” Enter Mast Farm Inn. “The grounds and amenities made it perfect,” says Christina.

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(above) With two serious-sized gardens, Mast Farm Inn is serious about backyard-to-table fare. Add that their gardener, Megan Long, is married to their chef, Andrew, and it’s yet another match made in heaven. “They plan the garden according to what he will need for the year,” says innkeeper Danielle Deschamps Stabler. “This year, we had multiple pickled vegetable stations on order for weddings, so Megan grew massive green beans, okra, cucamelons, ground cherries, and cucumbers to pickle up.” Color us impressed.


(above and right) On the family-style menu: corn chowder; pork belly salad; prime rib with horseradish sauce; roasted duck with balsamic glaze; and a tomato basil gnudi with vegetables, Brussels sprouts, and roasted fingerling potatoes

(above) Cocktails were a mix of locally distilled sweet potato vodka, grapefruit juice, and peach syrup. Roasted grapefruit wedges garnished the drinks that were served in jars with striped paper straws.

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DETAILS VENUE: The Mast Farm Inn, Valle Crucis WEDDING COORDINATION, DÉCOR, & DESIGN: Danielle Deschamps Stabler PHOTOGRAPHY: Revival Photography CATERING & CAKE: Simplicity at The Mast Farm Inn BEAUTY: Shear Shakti FLORALS: Pearl’s Garden MUSIC: WestWend OFFICIANT: High Country Ministers


VENTURE to VALLE CRUCIS A weekday wedding followed by a holiday weekend means guests have more time to play. Here are some best-bet options in the valley known as “The Vale of the Cross,” so named for its streams that intersect in the shape of a cross.


Over Yonder (828/9636301; OverYonderNC. com): Eat-in or carryout the fantastic mix here at the so-called “Appalachian Kitchen” bistro from Chef Andrew Long of Mast Farm Inn. Enjoy build-your-own grits skillets, ciabatta sandwiches, gourmet salads, and artisan entrees. Don't miss sampling the pork chips (potatoes tossed with pork fat, rosemary, and sea salt).Over Yonder now offers catering with a wait staff, too. Find it—where else— over yonder, just across from Mast General Store. Inn at Little Pond Farm (828/297-1011; NCInn.com): Foodies rejoice over the bustling, chic kitchen at the white-washed inn, where Chef Hunter Hallmark presides over cooking classes that craft luxury meals paired with fine wines. Italian specialties star at this James Beard Foundation member location, and with innkeepers who recall grandmother drying homemade pasta over the backs of kitchen chairs, it’s as authentically delizioso as it gets.


Mast General Store (828/963-6511; MassGeneralStore.com): Located in the heart of Valle Crucis (and just up the road from Mast Farm Inn), you’ll find everything from the Post Office and a 5-cent cup of coffee to cast iron cookware and old-fashioned toys here. Built in 1883, it’s one of the oldest such continuously operating general stores in the country. Valle Crucis Mercantile (828/963-2525; Squareup.com/Market/ Valle-Crucis-Mercantile): Farmhouse Pottery, Rustic Wick soy candles, tastefully curated local artwork, and so much more—gem mining, anyone?—make a visit to this new area located at Valle Crucis Bed & Breakfast a must.


The Valle Crucis Community Park (828/963-9239; ValleCrucisPark. com): With fishing, hiking, playground, and picnicking options aplenty, this public space is hopping. Check out the events calendar for extra action, like concerts and festivals. Dutch Creek Trails (828/297-7117; DutchCreekTrails.com): Guides lead trail rides through woodlands and valleys.

Apple Barn (828/963-4453; TheAppleBarn.Blogspot.com): This former dairy barn was all the rage for its concrete floor when it was built in 1911; nowadays, its home to foot-stomping contra dances. Contact the Valle Crucis Conference Center for the next shindig or to rent the storybook space for an event. Valle Country Fair (828/963-4609; ValleCountryFair.org): Clogging, pumpkin bowling, chair caning, and bluegrass take over a roadside field each October for this fall festival that raises tens of thousands for local charities. Rent a Porsche (828/ 963-5857; TheMastFarmInn.com): Guests at the Mast Farm Inn can rent a Porsche to tool about Valle Crucis in roadster style. 2016 edition


1050 Highway 105, Boone, NC 28607 . 828.265.7676 . www.Marriott.com/hkybn












www.wayfaringwanderer.com 2016 edition



inter, with all its drama and vulnerability, is one of the most spectacular seasons in the High Country. While the snowy months bring skiers by the carload, the time of year also creates a perfect storm in which beautiful scenery, off-season savings, and cool style unite for a sublime white wedding. Why the savings? While the ski resorts are hopping, wedding industry vendors are not typically booked to the hilt. So even if lower rates are not advertised, be sure to ask about them when you reach out to your dream Big Day team. And if the idea of hosting guests in the winter is too daunting (or if you’ve always dreamed of fall or summer nuptials), give the snow-covered High Country a shot for


your engagement photos, like Breanna Brown and Keith Shockley did when they enlisted Burton Photography. (Most area photographers are game to meet last minute as you wait for ideal conditions). The couple’s happily hued winter gear, Blowing Rock’s towering evergreens, and the town’s quaint lanterns and streets stood out in charming fashion against the snow for images that make it seem like the lovebirds had the world to themselves. Tag along for their special day last February (it topped out at 14°F), and score tips to recreate your own brand of magic. We trust that, like the old song, you’ll want to conspire, as you dream by the fire, to face unafraid, the plans to be made, for walking in a winter wonderland.



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Find Clydesdale-drawn carriages that can brave the elements via Appalachian Carriage Inc. Call (828) 964-6069.

TIME TRAVEL When Blowing Rock icon Moses Cone and his family would venture out from Flat Top Manor on a snowy day in the early 1900s, it looked nearly the same as this storybook scene. Here, Breanna and Keith explore a private farm near Boone. Rely on local vendors for ideal locations; in this case the photographer and the carriage company teamed up to secure this prime photo opportunity.







Locals rely on RaysWeather.com for reliable winter weather information in the High Country.



For a mix of wintry images, Breanna and Keith bundled up to venture around Blowing Rock. Love the locations? Follow in their footsteps. 1. Crossing Main Street in downtown. 2. Strolling in front of the park benches near Town Hall. 3. Goofing off in an alley between shops downtown. 4. Embracing in front of an oak tree on Main Street. 5. Resting next to a fence on a private property in Blowing Rock. 6. A loving moment.

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Couples that play together, stay together. Breanna and Keith took each other on in a snowball fight so their photographer could capture the moments. Besides making great photos, playing around helps loosen you up for a shoot. Other options for fun in the snow (for unique photo sessions or out-of town wedding guest activities) abound. Skiing is always an option—just ensure your photographer is game to follow you around on skis. A public sledding hill sits off U.S. 221, where the Blue Ridge Parkway meets Shulls Mill Road, adjacent to Moses Cone Memorial Park. Ice skating sessions are available at Appalachian Ski Mtn. and Beech Mountain Resort. Tubing at Hawk’s Nest and Sugar Mountain is always a blast. For information about skiing and other High Country winter activities, check out ExploreBoone.com.



With all their color, textures, and patterns, layered-on hats, gloves, coats, boots, and the like make for great portraits. Find the winter gear you need at these High Country outfitters. Appalachian Ski Mtn.: Blowing Rock, (828) 295-7828; AppSkiMtn.com Beech Mountain Resort: Beech Mountain, (828) 387-2011; BeechMountainResort.com Footsloggers: Blowing Rock, (828) 295-4453; Boone, (828) 262-5111; Footsloggers.com Mast General Store: Boone, (828) 262-0000; Valle Crucis, (828) 963-6511; MastGeneralStore.com Sugar Mountain: Banner Elk, (828) 898-4521; SkiSugar.com Sunset Tee’s & Hattery (sleds): Blowing Rock, (828) 295-9326; Facebook.com (Sunset Tees Hattery)

PHOTOGRAPHER'S TIP “The subtle colors in winter landscapes create gorgeous portrait settings,” says Bonnie Burton of Burton Photography in Boone (828-266-9889; NCPhotographer. com). “Locations are often a lot more quiet with reduced people traffic. And, of course, there is always the possibility of awesome snow portraits if the weather cooperates.” Each winter, she and her photographer husband, Jonathan, keep a wait list of snow-craving clients to call when conditions are ripe for winter wonderland portraits.


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image by Burton Photography


828-265-2504 airhavenlimo.com



See why there’s so much more to this icon than snowy slopes Written by Frances Bramsen | Photographed by Michelle Lyerly Styled by Talia Freeman, Michelle Lyerly, and Kelly-Grier Costin



elebrated for its fantastic ski resort and long known for being the highest incorporated town east of the Mississippi (it’s perched at 5,506 feet), Beech Mountain has yet another reason for you to visit. With 360° views of the High Country, it makes a perfect backdrop for destination weddings. Rarely have we seen such stunning images that capture the beauty of this special area than with this inspired shoot. While we always revel in snow-capped shots of Beech, how refreshing is it to see it in its grassy, verdant splendor! The possibilities with such a location are myriad. Here, Talia, who is the spokesperson for Beech Mountain Resort, offers insight on the resort's offerings. Read on for additional wedding inspiration and resources available in Beech Mountain.ty one. High Country Wedding Guide: Why do brides choose Beech Mountain Resort? Talia Freeman: Our goal is to always provide a relaxed and quality experience for our clients. We understand the stress and importance of your wedding day, so we strive to make the process as effortless as possible. We have a very inviting and warm atmosphere—it’s laid-back and that is why our guests love it. I think our brides feel that way, so that, coupled with the incredible beauty here, makes it an easy choice. HCWG: What makes the resort stand apart? TF: Our summit sits at 5,506 feet, so the view is incredible; it's truly unique. It's also unique that we offer five reception sites for parties up to 400 guests total. There is no other place like 5506’ [the mountaintop bar] anywhere in North Carolina. We have our own brewery here, too, which can be a nice complement to the event or the craft beer lover. (We can make specialty batches and growlers always make a great wedding favor.) HCWG: What amenities are offered during non-ski months? TF: From June through Labor Day, we typically offer scenic lift rides, mountain biking, disc golf, and there’s our brewery. There are multiple hiking trails and of course 5506’ is a big draw for wedding guests. We have yoga on Saturday mornings, and we always include a yoga session (held on the deck of 5506’) for our brides. 2016 edition


Summer weddings on Beech Mountain equal solace and quietude in stunning surroundings. That’s partly thanks to Mother Nature, but also because the town’s population drops from 10,000 in the winter to 350 in the warm months. For off-season weddings, mild temps and bountiful recreational activities abound. From hopping a scenic lift ride to mountain biking down ski runs, plus golf, music, art festivals, Beech Mountain has plenty for your out-of-town guests to enjoy.


DETAILS VENUE: Beech Mountain Resort DESIGNERS: Talia Freeman, Michelle Lyerly, & Kelly-Grier Costin PHOTOGRAPHY: Michelle Lyerly FLORALS: Log House Florist BEAUTY: Canvas Beauty Bar RENTALS: Upper Barn

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Beech Mountain Beauties Archer’s Mountain Inn and Jackalope’s View (828) 898-9004; ArchersInn.com This inn and restaurant combo provides a primo location for all-in-one destination weddings with up to 250 guests. With its bird’s-eye-view from Beech Mountain, the outdoor deck (that can easily be tented) is ideal for ceremonies, and chef Jason Meier can create a menu based on your cravings. With full-service event coordination, a wedding night suite for the newlyweds, and rooms for other guests, one-stop shopping never looked so nice. The Land of Oz (828) 387-2000; EmeraldMtn.com Love a little whimsy? Head to Oz to exchange your vows. In the 1970s, a version of the Emerald City was built on Beech Mountain. Today, the amusement park aspect has long retired, but relics— the yellow brick road, “talking” trees, the fountain of youth, and more—remain and make a fantastic backdrop for festive, outdoor weddings. Rent Dorothy’s House for a bridal dressing area; and invite up to 100 guests. They’ll help pair you with rentals. You’ll need to arrange for your own catering and bar service. The Overlook Barn Info@overlookbarn.com; OverlookBarn.com One of the newest offerings on Beech is also one of its most charming. This barn, surrounded by mountain meadows and with views all about, was built some 40 years ago by one of the owner’s grandfathers. In fact, when the owners were looking for a venue for their own Big Day, they bought the property from the bride’s relative and worked with her dad to convert it into an immaculate, Pin-perfect location. Indoor-outdoor areas, tables, parking, and prep areas make it a winner for generations to come. Out-of-town couples, or those unaccustomed to their mountaintop venue, do well to engage local photographers who know the best hidden spots for dramatic portraits. Be smart, though, with perched portraits, and stick to level, solid ground where you’re sure-footed and in smart footwear. (A level, sound stump acts as the perfect pedestal for this couple.) One more tip: a tipsy couple and edge-of-the-world images don’t mix.


Beech Alpen Inn (828) 387-2252; BeechAlpen.com With its emerald green lawn overlooking the surrounding Blue Ridge, the Fireplace Room with its massive stone mantel, and timbered Mountain View room, this inn makes an ideal location for receptions (up to 100 guests) and ceremonies, too. Catering by the inn’s restaurant, bartending from their on-site staff, and dance floors are among the amenities.

Handmade Stoneware Designed For You

Includes casual dinnerware and a full line of accessory pieces, decorator items including lamps

Wo r k B y B o b M e i e r



Doe Ridge Pottery and Gallery


585 West King St, Suite D Boone, NC 28607 (828) 264-1127 Visit our website for a better look at some of our selections. meier@doeridgepottery.com DoeRidgePottery.com

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HAPPILY EVER AFTER Kristen and Alex climbed into her dad's 1951 Chevy and waved goodbye to their guests after dancing the night away at The Eseeola Lodge (see page 84). Image by Fletcher & Fletcher Photography.



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may 23, 2015 - the eseeola lodge - linville, nc Long before Kristen Naylor and Alex Kelly had met, both unknowingly shared the family tradition of vacationing in the High Country. When the two found and fell for each other at Furman University, they began taking trips here to make their own mountain memories. Favorite aspects of the region, the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, residents say? The scenery, of course, plus its relaxed pace and warm hospitality. When the time came for their wedding, the two invited friends and family to The Eseeola Lodge, where its peaceful lake made the perfect choice for their serene ceremony. The two exchanged vows there under the gaze of majestic Grandfather Mountain and later celebrated with guests at The Camp at The Eseeola Lodge before departing atop hay bales in the bed of Kristen’s dad’s 1951 Chevrolet pickup truck. Charming all around.



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Bathed in glorious light, Kristen and her father step through gauzy curtains as they walk toward the altar.


VENUE: The Camp at The Eseeola Lodge

PHOTOGRAPHER: Fletcher & Fletcher Photography WEDDING COORDINATION: The Whole Shebang CAKE: Hallmark Cakes

FLOWERS: Callista Designs

MUSIC: Bella Musica (ceremony) & Summerdaze Party Band (reception) VIDEOGRAPHER: Story*Spark Films

TRANSPORTATION: Air Haven Limousine

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may 24, 2015 - westglow resort & spa - blowing rock, nc Central Kentucky residents Tara Thomas and Alex Rice wanted to host an easy-drive destination wedding for their 50 guests. Given that Blowing Rock's Westglow Resort & Spa boasts a Relais & Chateaux distinction, they knew it would not disappoint in location and would provide an elegant yet comfortable mountain getaway with exceptional service. Using natural elements such as bark-wrapped flower vessels and cozy mercury glass votives to offset the luxury setting, they hit just the right style note. The couple married on the property's lawn, which offers endless views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. They say it was an especially poignant ceremony because all four of their grandparents were were in attendance. After their vows, the newlyweds and their guests enjoyed a live band that had everyone on the dance floor moving to “Shout� for a truly spirited end to a fairy tale destination wedding.



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WOODED BLISS Tara and Alex sneak away for a first look—and kiss—prior to their springtime ceremony.



VENUE & CATERING: Westglow Resort & Spa PHOTOGRAPHER: Joy Davis Photography

WEDDING COORDINATION: Jennifer Williams, Westglow Resort & Spa FLOWERS: Fuschia Moss Floral Design CAKE: Christina Banner Cakes

MUSIC: Dean’s Duets (ceremony) & Band 24/7 (reception) RENTALS: Boone Rent-All

TRANSPORTATION: Air Haven Limousine

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august 1, 2015 - overlook barn - beech mountain, nc A mix of natural beauty, the easy-drive location, and familial ties led Washington D.C. residents Katie Elder and David Schumann to wed in the mountains of North Carolina. Katie, who was raised in the High Country, and David, who fell in love with the Tar Heel State when he attended grad school at North Carolina State University, say it was happily inevitable. For the wedding festivities, the couple chose a 1960s-era barn that Katie's grandfather had originally built and her father lovingly renovated. Besides the happy couple, the guest of honor was Katie’s 104-year-old widowed grandmother, who apparently tapped her foot to the band all night long as she reveled in the handiwork her husband wrought decades ago. As for Katie and David, they delighted in all the details—the space’s stunning 30-foot ceilings, menu of homemade recipes, and being able to christen the new wedding venue--yep, they decided to go into the business of Big Days--with their own vows.



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VENUE: Overlook Barn

PHOTOGRAPHER: Michelle Lyerly Photography COORDINATION: CeCe Hampton Events CATERER: CR Catering

CAKE: Sweet Tooth Bakery

FLORAL DESIGN: Log House Florist RENTALS: Miss Match Rentals DRESS: Modern Trousseau MUSIC: DJ Travis Skinner



SENTIMENTAL VALUE “There is no way to express how incredibly special it was to experience celebrating with everyone in one place,” says Katie, here stealing a moment with her husband David. “We highly recommend it to everyone!”

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august 31, 2014 - The inn at crestwood - boone, nc Over their courtship, the High Country became a frequent weekend escape for mountain-loving Charlotte residents Will Pitts and Sarah Stankavage. He even proposed to her one snowy night underneath a Blowing Rock park gazebo, so it was little surprise to friends and family that Will and Sarah would return to their “home away from home” for their wedding celebration. The couple chose Labor Day weekend for the festivities, allowing guests to enjoy a real getaway. Both sporty types (she’s a trainer and he works with Charlotte Sports Foundation) from big families, they kicked off the fun with a “game day” at Blowing Rock’s Davant Field (pizza truck included), which was followed with a rehearsal dinner at the Inn at Ragged Gardens off Main Street. The fun-filled weekend culminated with an outdoor ceremony on the lawn at the Inn at Crestwood, with the Blue Ridge Mountains as the arresting backdrop. Afterward, guests made their way to an elegant reception at the Blowing Rock Country Club, where dancing, joy, and laughter filled the night.



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CEREMONY: The Inn at Crestwood

RECEPTION: Blowing Rock Country Club

PHOTOGRAPHER: Matt Powell Productions FLOWERS: Millefleurs

CAKE: Stick Boy Bread Co.

RENTALS: Party Reflections

REHEARSAL DINNER: Inn at Ragged Gardens TRANSPORTATION: Air Haven Limousine FAVORS: Kilwins

ACCOMMODATIONS: Westglow Resort & Spa




Will’s one of six siblings and Sarah’s one of five, so you can imagine this private moment on their wedding day was a rare one.

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OCTOBER 10, 2015 - BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAIN CLUB - BLOWING ROCK, nc “I went to college at Appalachian State University,” says Piedmont resident Katie Muskal, “and I’ve always loved the mountains.” A few months after she and Josh Minor started dating, they took a trip to the Blue Ridge. “I can honestly say that the beautiful scenery helped us fall in love more and more each day,” says Katie. “And for our wedding, I wanted to recreate that feeling we experienced on that trip.” Mission accomplished! Wearing her mother’s wedding dress and following her father’s lead as he officiated the ceremony, Katie reveled in the sentimental affair. And while the stunner of a reception was awash in gorgeous fall colors, she and Josh say there was another reason it was so divine. “Our day was incredibly perfect,” Katie says, “thanks to the love and support of everyone who came from near and far to help us celebrate.”



VENUE: Blue Ridge Mountain Club



GOWN: Family heirloom altered by Kelly's Alterations BEAUTY: Canvas Beauty Bar

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august 9, 2014 - land of oz - beech mountain, nc After setting a wedding date, it was months before Alaska residents Jodie Belcher and Martin “Marty” Damron were able to decide on a location. With Marty being from Washington and Jodie from southern Ohio, the couple was hoping for a wedding somewhere in between. That was until Jodie saw an article about the annual fall festival at the Land of Oz in Beech Mountain. The venue—a former Wizard of Oz theme park-turned-private garden—had just the right blend of mountain views and kitsch that Jodie loves. So the couple booked Oz and invited guests from across the country for a relaxed, fun-filled time. The Big Day did not disappoint. From the rain that failed to dampen their spirits, to the cat that chased his prey through the seated guests and down the aisle holding his prize, they knew that, like the childhood story, the tale of their wedding would be shared for years to come.



CEREMONY: Land of Oz

PHOTOGRAPHER: Revival Photography

CATERER: Loaves & Fishes Restaurant and Catering FLOWERS: Mountain Visions Florist DRESS: BHLDN

OFFICIANT: High Country Ministers

BEAUTY: Beautiful Bride on Location RENTALS: Boone Rent-All

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may 30, 2015 - the lodges at eagles nest - banner elk, nc In 1979, the Banner Elk community helped Bic Le and her family immigrate to the United States. “It will forever have a place in my heart,” says Bic of the town she once called home. Though she and Brad Fraley eventually relocated to Louisiana, holding their wedding in the High Country was a natural choice. Besides sentimentality, the mountains were a draw for other reasons. As a wedding planner who, for years, worked at Banner Elk Winery & Villa, Bic knew exactly whom to call on to execute her vision for an intimate, romantic, and gorgeous affair. When the day came, she and Brad traded vows on a stunningly clear afternoon while overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. Afterward, their 28 guests joined the couple for 22-oz. cowboy rib eyes and 10-oz. sea bass fillets. As for the bride’s favorite part? Don’t ask her to choose. “The entire day was a blessing,” says Bic.



VENUE: The Lodges at Eagles Nest

PHOTOGRAPHER: Ellen Gwin Photographer COORDINATION: Bic Le (the bride) CATERER: Chef Michael Davis

(Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Lafayette, Louisiana) CAKE: Stick Boy Bread Co.

FLORAL DESIGN: Root & Vine Floral Design RENTALS: Miss Match Rentals, Upper Barn, & Boone Rent-All ACCOMMODATIONS: Banner Elk Winery & Villa, Ashemore Luxury Rentals, & Cornerstone Cabins

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june 28, 2014 - linville ridge - linville, nc Beth Daniel and Marshall Terry's destination wedding called for stunning scenery paired with affordable lodging for their 300-some guests. Their pick? Linville Ridge. “It was a great place for our family and friends to gather and celebrate,” says Beth. Those guests included the groom’s Scottish kin who traveled from the Old Country to celebrate (amidst Gordon tartan bow ties and with a bagpiper, no less). After a welcome party the night before, then romantic vows overlooking Grandfather Mountain, the fetes continued with a live band, that invited Beth’s sister, Mary Gray, on stage for a memorable song. The fun didn’t even end when the couple made their getaway, thanks to an after party at Nick’s Restaurant & Pub. Fun—another of their priorities—was clearly had by all.



VENUE: Linville Ridge

PHOTOGRAPHER: Burton Photography COORDINATION: The Whole Shebang CATERING & CAKE: Linville Ridge FLORAL DESIGN: Millefleurs RENTALS: Boone Rent-All

MUSIC: Nancy Bargerstock String Quartet (ceremony) Bagpiper Jamie Fisher (ceremony) TRANSPORTATION: High Country Transportation

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june 13, 2015 - private christmas tree farm - creston, nc Katelyn Hendricks and Seth Parker call Blowing Rock home, and for them, getting married anywhere else just wouldn’t make sense. Both work in the hospitality industry (he’s the chef and she’s the bar manager at the same restaurant), so they had an especially terrific lineup of local vendors that they wanted to work with. Plus, Katelyn always knew she wanted to say “I do” on the North Carolina Christmas tree farm where she grew up. The two saw all their dreams through last June with a delightfully casual outdoor soirée for 130. It was a night full of laughs (especially over Seth’s brother Shane’s toast), dancing, and dining in the crisp mountain air. One favorite element: the roasted pig, agree the couple. It has special meaning for them as Seth sees the conversion of his bride, a former vegetarian-turned-meat lover (and bacon curer, even), as an essential—and comical—evolution of their relationship.



VENUE: Private Christmas Tree Farm

PHOTOGRAPHER: Wayfaring Wanderer COORDINATION: The Whole Shebang CATERER: Reid’s Cafe & Catering Co,

FLORAL DESIGN: Park Place Florist & Gifts RENTALS: Miss Match Rentals,

A&J Rentals & Happy Trailer Refrigerated Rentals DRESS: Did Someone Say Party? DJ: Split Second Sounds

BEAUTY: Shear Shakti Salon

PHOTO BOOTH: Boone Photo Booth

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june 8, 2013 - inn at little pond farm - vALLE CRUCIS, nc “Home is where the heart is,” says bride Rose Asuncion, adding that for her groom, Erik Lopez, “his heart is always with his family.” Geographically speaking, that equals Valle Crucis and the Inn at Little Pond Farm, where his parents, Gaye and Frank, are innkeepers. After Erik proposed with a ring he’d designed himself (he’s the CEO of a fine jewelry shop), he and Rose invited some 60 close friends and family—most traveling from Florida and her native Canada—to join them at the inn for a splendid day. Rose says her new mother-in-law placed perfectly arranged bouquets lovingly throughout the grounds; dressed a ceremony site overlooking the inn’s pond; and orchestrated a delicious array of hors d’oeuvres, dinner, and desserts. Even Frank caught the DIY bug, making a sign for the flower girl that read “Uncle Erik, here comes your bride.” With skies that cleared after a week’s worth of rain, it all added up to the perfect day.



VENUE: The Inn at Little Pond Farm

PHOTOGRAPHER: Ellen Gwin Photographer CATERER: Lumiere, Chef Tom Condron CAKE: Hallmark Cakes

FLOWERS: Bless Your Heart

HAIR & MAKEUP: Beautiful Bride on Location RENTALS: Boone Rent-All

OFFICIANT: High Country Ministers

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may 16, 2015 - greenway baptist church - Boone, NC green park inn - Blowing Rock, NC Three weeks before her wedding to Jared Shrewsbury, bride Katie Sanders told her mother she wanted to wear a veil after all. Mrs. Sanders launched into fixer mode, calling Katie’s dad (who was in Spain for work) to shop for an Old World veil for his daughter. After some snafus, he returned home with the prize veil, and happily gave it to his girl before walking her down the aisle of Greenway Baptist Church, the place where she had attended services since childhood. Jared, an Appalachian State University alumnus, shared Katie’s soft spot for the High Country, and loved how it was centrally located for traveling family and friends. After their ceremony, everyone made their way to a reception at Green Park Inn, where a smorgasbord of their favorite dishes awaited (the biscuit bar and Appalachia Cookie Co. stations being the most popular). And about that veil? It’s been earmarked for the next Sanders’ sister wedding.



CEREMONY VENUE: Greenway Baptist Church RECEPTION VENUE: Green Park Inn

PHOTOGRAPHER: Waterhouse Studios CAKE: Christie Haas

FLORAL DESIGN: Bouquet Florist & Gift Shop HAIR/MAKEUP: Canvas Beauty Bar MUSIC: Haynes Event Productions RENTALS: Boone Rent-All

FAVORS: Appalachia Cookie Co.

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Specializing in artistically cratfted Gourmet Wedding Cakes, Custom Grooms Cakes & Dessert Bars

Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC 724-799-1334 www.UggaMuggaBakery.com 2016 edition 115


Fletcher & Fletcher Photography


Boone Rent-All Parties Too | 1818 Hwy. 105 Bypass, Boone, NC | www.partiestoo.com



Sound Rentals


Live Entertainment Nightly • No Cover • All ABC Privileges • Take Out Service

w w w. m o u n t a i n p e a k s o u n d . c o m

woodlandsbbq.com (828)295-3651

(828)387-5621 Matthew Estes

8304 Valley Boulevard (Hwy 321 Bypass) Blowing Rock, NC

2016 edition 117

Run Away With Me Meet six couples whose High Country elopements and intimate ceremonies show how little is sometimes the loveliest of luxuries


Kilkelly Farm | May 5, 2015


Casie and Justin eloped because they wanted their wedding day to be relaxed and about the two of them— not rushed or stressful. After a private ceremony at Kilkelly Cabins between Blowing Rock and Boone, the Kentucky residents took portraits throughout the property and then later gathered with friends for drinks at the nearby Inn at Crestwood Restaurant and Spa. Afterward, everyone headed across the street to The Gamekeeper Restaurant and Bar to celebrate with a memorable evening meal full of wild game and laughter. Image by Michelle Hrin Photography See the entire gallery at MichelleHrinPhotography.com. 2016 edition


Wiseman’s View | November 3, 2014


“We never felt like we missed out on a big wedding,” says Aimee, who crafted her own floral crown and dried flower bouquet before meeting Neil at Wiseman’s View in Pisgah National Forest—the very spot where he proposed to her. Aimee and Neil, who both love autumn in the High Country, chose to elope with just a friend-turned-officiant and photographer, because they wanted an intimate, distraction-free ceremony focusing on their beginning as husband and wife.“To this day,” says Aimee, “I feel like our elopement was perfect.”


Image by Michelle Lyerly Photography

Michelle Lyerly - Pisgah Forest


Westglow Resort & Spa | December 8, 2014


Melissa and Kevin eloped at Westglow Resort and Spa for its breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the sanctuary it offers. The resort’s mansion, beautifully decorated for Christmas, was filled with music of violinists playing in the background as the two exchanged vows inside. Afterward, the pair stepped outside for portraits that captured the momentous fall day. “We were pampered and experienced five-star cuisine all in one place,” says Melissa, adding, “We will return for our anniversary.” Image by Joy Davis Photography 2016 edition


The Inn at Crestwood Resort & Spa | February 14, 2015


Charlotte residents Jillian and David met at Appalachian State University and wanted to return to the area where they kicked off their romance and shared so many memories. Last Valentine’s Day, they booked the Inn at Crestwood’s lawn for the ceremony and one of its gorgeous dining rooms for the reception, then invited immediate family to join them. Sunshine rained down on their open-air vows, and later, a beautiful snowfall dusted their stunning portraits. Image by Authentic Exposure See the gallery and a wedding video at AuthenticExposure.com/blog.

Private Cabin | June 6, 2015 After a few months of dating, Emily and Daniel took their first vacation together, driving up from Florida to the High Country where they fell in love with the beauty and grandness of the North Carolina mountains. When their own love had bloomed into an engagement, they returned to the area for an intimate wedding with 10 family members and close friends. They rented a large cabin for the weekend, Emily's brother performed the ceremony, and dinner was a catered “at-home” affair. With beautiful weather, perfect scenery, and great company, they enjoyed—and shared—the intimate wedding of their dreams. Image by Boonetown Story See the entire gallery at Blog.BooneTownStory.com


2016 edition


Gideon Ridge Inn | September 23, 2015 At first, New Yorkers Margarita and Jake considered having their wedding on their own stomping grounds, but when they visited Blowing Rock for a vacation and saw the Crystal Wedding Chapel, a romantic little house of worship on the side of a winding mountain road, they thought it would be perfect to run away and get married there. Further exploration in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains inspired them to skip the solo route and invite their family and a few friends to North Carolina instead. They were wed at the very chapel that enticed them and celebrated afterward with a culinary feast prepared by Chef Hunter Womble of The Restaurant at Gideon Ridge Inn. Guests stayed at the 10-room luxury inn and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise and breakfast together the next morning. Image by Matt Powell Productions


Located at Papa Joes 8062 Valley Blvd. Blowing Rock, NC 828-295-3239





2016 edition


drink IT UP

Gather your mates and maids to sample the best of the High Country beers on a self-led brew tour

Written by Megan Mulherin Still sorting out the perfect bachelorette or bachelor party? Unwind with your wedding party on a rambling pub-crawl through the High Country’s breweries. Take tours, sip handcrafted beers, snack on wood-fired pizzas, and enjoy your crew all while passing through charming mountain towns with breathtaking scenery. (And no worries about driving; we’ve listed the area’s top transpo companies so you can keep things safe.) Here are some favorite brew houses that are sure to please. Image of Appalachian Mountain Brewery by Sarah Ray Weiffenbach Photography


Need a Lift?

Call High Country Taxi (828/414-1492; HighCountryTaxi.com) or Ride Tipsy Taxi Service (828/719-8477; RideTipsy. com). For larger groups, make reservations in advance with Air Haven Limousine (828/265-2504; AirHavenLimo.com) or High Country Transportation (828/898-9595; HighCountryLimo.com).

Beech Mountain Brewing Co., Beech Mountain Located in the Alpine Village at Beech Mountain Resort, Beech Mountain Brewing Co. (800/438-2093 x 291; BeechMountainResort.com/Mountain/Brewery) has capacity to brew up to 100 gallons daily. Stop by the brewery (renovated in 2014) for flight tastings— they have 11 varieties—or to take a tour. Open Thursday through Sunday during ski season and summer; walk-ins are welcome. You gotta try: 5506' Pale Ale (named after the mountain’s peak elevation); She Gose a Little Crazy (based on a 1500s recipe); and Wee Heavy Scotch Ale (just what it says) Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Boone The first brewery in Boone, Appalachian Mountain Brewery (828/263-1111; AppalachianMountainBrewery.com) has a mindblowing repertoire, and dips into its library to offer up to 15 beers and five hard ciders on tap daily. The laidback environment includes a covered, heated outdoor porch, 120-foot-long creekside bar, and an indoor tasting room, plus a self-serve setup. With live music every Thursday through Saturday, and its own food truck (Farm2Flame.com) cooking up apps, tacos, wood-fired pizzas, and beer-infused sauces, this awardwinning brewery has it all. Open seven days a week. You gotta try: Black Gold Porter; Honey Badger Blond Ale; and Cinful Plum Cider (a silver medalist at this year’s U.S. Beer Open) Lost Province, Boone Find Lost Province (828/265-3506; LostProvince.com), which prides itself on its innovative craft beers and gastropub menu, in the heart of downtown Boone. A small, family-owned and family-run business, the brewery offers a mix of classics and off-the-beaten path options. Add delicious brick-oven baked pizzas, dishes infused with beer, and large-seating areas, and it’s a great destination for sizable groups with appetites. Bonus? With area musicians performing and local farmers supplying ingredients, it’s as local as it gets. Open seven days a week. You gotta try: Lost Province IPA; Mountain TOP Brown Porter; and Alpine Meadows Saison. Find extensive descriptions online (and exactly what’s on tap).

Boondocks Brewing, West Jefferson Boondocks Brewing (336/246-5222; BoondocksBeer. com) popped up in the quaint town of West Jefferson, in 2012 and has grown every year. As the only Ashe County craft brewery, it offers a rotating selection of house-made suds, along with 30 more Tar Heel brews on tap. Apart from beer, they offer a full menu and catering service, as well as indoor-outdoor seating, plus a Brew Haus a few doors down to accommodate private parties and special events. Open seven days a week. You gotta try: 3Top-3Hop IPA; JMB Stout; West Jefferson Centennial Ale (plus keep an eye out for seasonal beers like Orchard Creek Blueberry Saison) Blowing Rock Ale House, Blowing Rock Tucked into Blowing Rock’s historic Hollar Mill Plaza with its own inn and full-service restaurant, Blowing Rock Ale House (828/4149254; BlowingRockAleHouseAndInn.com) is worth considering as the last stop on your pubcrawl. You might already know this group from its Legacy Series that’s distributed—and celebrated—statewide, but you need to visit just as much for its Ale House Series, a rotating, ever evolving lineup of artisan brews. The large brewing, fermentation, and packaging operation invites tours. Open seven days a week. You gotta try: Blowing Rock High Country Ale; Blowing Rock IPA; and Blowing Rock Summer Ale (and ask about retailers in your hometown for their growlers, six-packs, and kegs) Booneshine, Boone Having just opened in 2015, Booneshine (828/3864066; BooneShine.beer) microbrewery is the newest of the bunch, but sports a lovely pedigree with one of its owners also being at the helm of Stick Boy Bread Company and Melanie’s Food Fantasy. While Booneshine doesn’t have a taproom in the brewery, just next door you’ll find a tasting room nestled in Basil’s Fresh Pasta and Deli, where the beers are tapped and waiting for you. (The bulk of their business is distribution-based; find where it’s stocked on their website.) Tasting room closed Sunday. You gotta try: Booneshine IPA; Molasses Porter; and 3150 Ale 2016 edition


Backyard Beauties

Top area florists share their favorite local flora for High Country weddings Written by Frances Bramsen Image by Common Dove Photography


For this shoot, Jess Ofalt Brass of Common Dove Photography mixed store-bought blooms with gathered local greens to give the bouquet and crown a wild and organic look. “She looks like she belongs here,” says Jess. When styling your own bridal portraits (and Big Day look), incorporate elements from your surroundings for a naturally cohesive look. DETAILS PHOTOGRAPHY & FLORALS: Common Dove Photography LOCATION: Blowing Rock residence MODEL: Julie Guthrie GOWN: Halston Heritage through Rent the Runway


DWARF MAGNOLIA Desi’s Floral & Design Studio (910) 524-1251; FlowersByDesi.com “I grow dwarf magnolia on my farm, in full sun on the horse pasture, and it’s my favorite greenery to work with. It looks so beautiful accented with candles or with the leaves spray painted gold.” —Desi Parker RHODODENDRON & MOUNTAIN LAUREL Take Heart (828) 295-3444; Facebook.com (Take Heart) “I love to incorporate rhododendron and mountain laurel because they speak of the mountains and make great foundations to build on. They are also trees that respond well to pruning, so when you clip them, they flourish the next season.” —Sheri Furman FERNS & GRASSES Log House Florist (828) 264-3896; LogHouseFlowers.com “We always use local ferns and grasses, but it is hard to pick one specific favorite as it varies with season. In the summer and fall we also use a lot of local sunflowers, solidago, and dahlias because they are so beautiful.” —Tiffany Wilkinson ANY IN-SEASON BLOOM Park Place Florist & Gifts (828) 295-3626; Facebook.com (Park Place Florist & Gifts) “Any flower that is in-season (and up to the task) is my favorite local bloom. I always love using new and different material; I like a good challenge!” —Carol Aldridge DAHLIAS Millefleurs (828) 963-4992; NCMountainFlowers.com “Dahlias come in every color and their bloom time is from late July until the first heavy frost. The tubers can be dug up every fall, stored in a cool basement, and re-planted in the late spring. One never knows if the winter hibernation works until sprouts of green peek out of the ground.” —Mason Clement Heistand

Chapel of Rest national register of historic places built in 1887

www.chapelofrest.org 828-758-0906

1964 Highway 268, Lenoir, NC 12 miles south of Blowing Rock

2016 edition



They spoke their vows in the fiercest of storms . . . .. Vows are defined as a solemn promise. We make them and we gather to witness them. Many enter in to the vow “for better or worse” without knowing what the worse will be . . . but then there are couples like Anthony and Angela Andreoni, who take vows during challenging times and courageously commit to weather the storm together. Angela and Anthony from ___________________ had planned to be married in _____________. But, an unexpected diagnosis Angela received called sarcoma carcinoma ovarian cancer challenged them to change their plan. In love with the thought of a winter white wedding, Angela searched the web and found our small town of Blowing Rock and traveled here to be married in secret. Their intentions were understated and simple. They would come with two trusted friends, John Earl, their best man, and Kurt Liebetrau their man of honor. They would speak their vows to each other and return back home in time for Angela to engage immediately in an experimental program to combat the fierce disease she is fighting. Angela and Anthony could not think of two more suited people to witness or share their secret. Beyond the great bond of love and respect they have for each other, John Earl and Kurt had personal knowledge of what their friends would have to endure in the road before them. Kurt, a cancer patient himself, was in remission, and John Earl had not so long ago said his sweet goodbyes to his wife due to cancer. Together, they had all known difficult days and Angela and Anthony could not think of anyone more deserving to witness their vows or participate in their private celebration.


I was introduced to Angela and Anthony by a simple request. A local couple, Wes and Renee Carter, and a relative of the best man, desired to give Angela a bouquet for her to carry on her wedding day. This sweet invitation came shortly after a conversation that I had with a wedding photographer where I asked the question, “what would it look like if we gathered together and offered our gifts and talents to bless someone on their wedding day – simply to do it? Would it remind us why we do what we do? Would it cause us to fall in love, once again, with our passion? Upon hearing of Angela and Anthony, I knew in my heart that the wedding to participate in had found us. I immediately called Angela Shepherd of Snap Photography in West Jefferson. Reminding her of our sweet discussion I asked her if she would be willing to be the photographer for this wedding. She responded without hesitation a joyous “yes of course”! I then contacted another friend named Elizabeth, who creates cakes that dreams are made of. Both were on board to participate in this very sacred wedding. Only a few details remained, we needed to introduce ourselves to the bride and groom and hearing they had not yet secured a venue we wanted to surprise them with a ceremony site. HIGH COUNTRY WEDDING GUIDE

LOVE conquers all A low-key elopement in the High Country turns into a luxe dream come true for a couple battling cancer Written by Rachael Mills | Images by SNAP Photography


any vow for better or worse without knowing what the worse will be. But then there are couples like Anthony and Angela Andreoni, who made their solemn promises during challenging times and courageously committed to weather the storm together. Just a few months before Anthony and Angela were engaged in January 2014, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Right after saying “Yes,” Angela started chemotherapy. When treatments ended in May, she and Anthony began planning their wedding for the following year, but a few months later another mass was discovered. By October, she was once again undergoing chemo. Battling fatigue and surviving a period in the hospital, Angela found the holidays a challenge. Still, as the New Year turned and their future was so uncertain, she and Anthony wanted to elope. She got permission from her doctor to skip a treatment. The Alabama residents both love the snow and thought a winter wonderland wedding was just what they needed. An online search lead to Blowing Rock and the two traveled here to be married in near-secret. Their intentions were understated and simple: they would come with two friends— John Branum, their best man, and Kurt Liebetrau their man of

honor—exchange vows, and return home in time for Angela to continue her next cancer treatment. Their wedding party was especially suited to the honor. Friends John and Kurt intimately knew what the newlyweds would endure on the road before them, as Kurt, a cancer patient himself, was in remission, and John had recently lost his beloved wife to cancer. While plans were being made from Alabama, Sheri Furman, owner of Take Heart Florist and Gift Shop in Blowing Rock, was chatting with Angelia Shepherd of SNAP Photography in West Jefferson when the conversation took a turn toward service. “What would it look like if we gathered together and offered our talents to bless someone on their wedding day, simply to do it?” wondered Sheri. “Would it remind us why we do what we do? Would it rekindle our passion?” As kismet would have it, Sheri heard about Angela and Anthony through friends of friends, and called photographer Angelia. She asked her colleague if she would be willing to photograph the wedding. “Yes, of course!” came the reply. Next? Another friend—Elizabeth, known for her amazing desserts—was contacted for a cake. (continued on page 133) 2016 edition


DETAILS PHOTOGRAPHY: SNAP Photography VENUE, DÉCOR, DINING, & DRINKS: Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock FLORIST: Take Heart ACCOMMODATIONS: Bob Timberlake Inn at Chetola Resort BEAUTY: The Spa at Chetola Resort OFFICIANT: Margo Powell

(above) A bouquet of burgundy cottage roses, calla lilies,

white tulips, ranunculus, freesia, seasonal berries, and pinecones complemented the wintry mountain day.


Through happy tears, Angela thanked the women in shocked disbelief. And the next morning? She awoke to a snowy white wedding day, just what she hoped for. She spent the early hours at The Spa at Chetola Resort, getting a massage and her hair styled. Soon photographer Angelia arrived to take pre-ceremony pictures. Elizabeth followed with a wedding cake decorated with glistening snow, accented with pinecones, and a small giraffe. (As for the latter, during the luncheon the day before, Angela mentioned that on her and Anthony’s first date they went to see giraffes.) The pastry chef even brought her mother’s antique silver serving knife to share with the couple.

After a massage and coiffing at The Spa at Chetola Resort, Angela prepared for wedding ceremony in her guest room at the Bob Timberlake Inn. (continued from page 131)

The dream team next learned a ceremony site was needed. So Sheri reached out to Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock to see if they would allow the couple’s very small, very special ceremony to take place in one of their beautiful, sanctuarylike gathering rooms. Kent Tarbutton, owner of the resort, generously agreed, and provided accommodations, spa services for the bride, and a dinner for the party of four—gratis. Floored, Sheri and the rest of the High Country wedding crew kept everything under wraps until the women gathered for a luncheon, to meet bride Angela for the first time.

Meanwhile, Sheri dressed the Timberlake Room to the nines. With help from the Chetola staff, they decorated the mantel, lit a fire in the fireplace, created an aisle lined with flower petals, and placed candles everywhere for a warm, romantic glow. Guest Services Manager Andrew Joseph created a program, selected music, and made certain every detail was perfect, right down to the resort’s gift of chocolate covered strawberries. Staffer Sarah Anne Duke created signage and secretly prepared the couple's wedding night suite with fresh flowers and candles, too. When the hour arrived and Anthony walked into the Timberlake Room, he stood in silence. Tears and laughter soon followed. “Angela is going to love this,” he told Sheri. “Thank you for giving her the wedding she had in her heart.”

In passing, says Sheri, you certainly would not see Angela’s illness in her countenance or spirit. Rather, her radiance and joy, Sheri says, were like any other bride she and the other pros had worked with. Angela even came bearing gifts—homemade pear jam that she and Anthony had made. In turn, Sheri and her team handed Angela an antique handkerchief and an envelope containing a hand-scripted invitation. To our dear bride, You are cordially invited to the most beautiful ceremony of a man who just wants to marry his woman at high noon and a woman who just wants to get married in the snow. Please join us in the Timberlake Room of Chetola Resort on Saturday, February 21st, 2015, at 12 p.m. Love, The Magical Dream Team

2016 edition


(continued from page 133)

Officiant Margo Powell led the groom and the wedding party to the front of the room where they waited to greet the bride. On the other side of the doors, Andrew Joseph told Angela, “This is your moment. Take a deep breath and enjoy it.” She remembers doing just that, and when the doors swept open, how enchanting the space was and how the snow fell gently outside. AFTERWORD

Angela and Anthony would have been content to speak their vows anywhere, under any conditions. But instead, the pair graciously welcomed the gifts bestowed upon them, just as graciously as the spirit in which they were given. Their wedding is a great reminder that love conquers all. It brings hope and hope brings courage. As for Angela, she continues to fight her cancer with grace. She wrote in an e-mail that since her wedding, she’s been through one surgery and 25 more radiation treatments, and at press time, was beginning a new chemo regimen for her third cancer diagnosis. “I am truly blessed to have the team of doctors that I do,” wrote Angela, “and I am thankful every day.” (left to right) Man of honor Kurt Liebetrau, bride Angela, groom Anthony Andreoni, and best man John Branum in the toasty Timberlake Room

The perfect setting for your

destination wedding

To inquire about weddings at Appalachian Ski Mtn., visit appskimtn.com or call (828) 295-7828


Bouquet FLORIST & GIFTS 186 Boone Heights Drive, Boone, NC bouquetfloristinboone.com | 828-264-3313

Three Hotels

To choose from in The Heart Of Blowing Rock

The Hillwinds Inn 828.295.7660

The RidgewayInn 828.295.7321

The VillageInn 828.295.3380

www.TheVillageInnsOfBlowingRock.com 2016 edition



Decadent temptations (like this fudge) await. Order for your dessert bar or have them boxed as little favors. Priced by weight at KILWINS (Blowing Rock; 828/295-3088;




Add singular style to your (or your maids’) look with handmade earrings. $48 from STRAND. BEADS + JEWELRY (Boone; 828/265-2315; StrandBoone.com)



HANG AROUND Slip on this dainty necklace to add just the right finishing touch to your shower or rehearsal dinner ensemble. $10 from BOONE BELLES (828/2637350; Boone; BooneBelles.com)

Shop local for fantastic favors and wedding party treats IMAGES BY AUTHENTIC EXPOSURE

Please even the most particular palates with bottles of wine from local vineyards such as Banner Elk Winery, Grandfather Vineyard Winery, and Raffaldini. (pictured) $20 from GRANDFATHER VINEYARD WINERY (Banner Elk; 828/963-2400; GrandfatherVineyard.com)


Share seasonal aromas—like this crop of harvest apple, pumpkin, and autumn garden—with shea butter soaps wrapped in charming papers. $1.50 each from BOONE BELLES (Boone; 828/2637359; BooneBelles.com)

LIGHT THE NIGHT Hand-poured Ella B. Candles are custom-made with scents apropos to the neighborhoods in which they are sold. $15 from GLEN BURNEY GROCERY (Blowing Rock; 828/414-9546; Facebook.com/Glenn Burney Grocery)







gift guide

TASTY TREAT Homemade toffee bark and other locally made delights make terrific welcome bag fodder. (pictured) $5 (toffee) from GLEN BURNEY GROCERY (Blowing Rock; 828/4149546; Facebook.com/Glenn Burney Grocery)

Buying, building, or refinancing? See the Rosa Ivey Team first!


All loans subject to credit approval. Rates and fees subject to change. Mortgage financing provided by PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company. Equal Housing Lender. Š 2015 PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company.PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company (NMLS: 13649) is a wholly owned subsidiary of a statechartered bank and is an exempt lender in NC. V121013.

Production Manager NMLS: 546384 9649 Hwy 105, Unit 1, Banner Elk, NC Office 828-963-1400 Cell 239-290-3753 rivey@primelending.com | rosaivey.com

For all your wedding and event needs North Wilkesboro 336-838-7368 | Statesville, NC 704-873-4368 www.ajrentalinc.com

2016 edition



HOW TEMPTING This basil and sundried tomato cheese, handmade in Ashe County, is just the thing your reception’s charcuterie station needs. (pictured) $6.85 for 12-oz. from ASHE COUNTY CHEESE STORE (West Jefferson; 336/246-2501; AsheCountyCheese.com)


MMM, COOKIES! Jack Daniels, bacon, maple syrup, and dark chocolate in a cookie? Delish! Call for same-night delivery (in the Appalachian State University area) or order ahead by the box. $14.99 delivered or $34.99 boxed per dozen from APPALACHIA COOKIE CO. (Boone; 828/355-4448; AppCookieCo.com)


POP THE TOP Gift groomsmen manly icebreakers, like this antler handled bottle opener. $14 from BLOWING ROCK MARKET (Blowing Rock; 828/295-7373;






Handcrafted by Boone potter Bob Meier, this mug makes a dreamy registry gift. $28 from DOE RIDGE POTTERY (828/264-1127; Boone; DoeRidgePottery.Homestead.com)

MAKE YOUR MARK Reimagine the sign-in book with this tome of area landscapes. Have guests pen their missives, then take the keepsake home to enjoy. $12 from MAST GENERAL STORE (866/367-6278; Boone and Valle Crucis; MastGeneralStore.com)



This deck of cards with area photos will entertain the juniors at your reception. $6 from MAST GENERAL STORE (866/367-6278; Boone and Valle Crucis; MastGeneralStore.com)


249 WILSON DR., UNIT # 4 BOONE, NC LogHouseFlowers.com 828-264-3896

2016 edition


Vendor Directory Accommodations/Venues 16 HANDS FARM 841 Bald Mountain Rd. West Jefferson, NC 16HandsFarm.com 336-877-0945 APPALACHIAN SKI MTN. 940 Ski Mountain Rd. Blowing Rock, NC AppSkiMtn.com 828-295-7828 ARCHER'S MOUNTAIN INN & JACKELOPE'S VIEW 2489 Beech Mountain Pkwy. Banner Elk, NC ArchersInn.com 828-898-9004 BANNER ELK WINERY & VILLA 60 Deer Run Ln. Banner Elk, NC BannerElkWinery.com 828-260-1790 or 828-898-9090 BEECH MOUNTAIN RESORT 1007 Beech Mountain Pkwy. Beech Mountain, NC BeechMountainResort.com 800-438-2093 x. 205 BLACK BEAR RESORT 1511 Dennis Cove Rd. Hampton, TN BlackBearResortTN.com 423-725-5988 BLOWING ROCK ART & HISTORY MUSEUM 159 Chestnut St. Blowing Rock, NC BlowingRockMuseum.org 828-295-9099 BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAIN CLUB 1 Reynolds Pkwy. Blowing Rock, NC BlueRidgeMountainClub.com 828-295-8667 BRAMABELLA VINEYARDS 966 Cherry Grove Rd. Moravian Falls, NC BramabellaVineyards.com 305-798-3184


CAMP SKY RANCH EVENTS 634 Sky Ranch Rd. Blowing Rock, NC CampSkyRanchEvents.com 828-264-8600

HUGH CHAPMAN CENTER 436 Hospital Dr. Linville, NC YMCAAvery.org 828-737-5500

CHAPEL OF REST 1964 Hwy. 268 Lenoir, NC ChapelOfRest.org 828-758-0906

THE INN AT CRESTWOOD RESTAURANT & SPA 3236 Shulls Mill Rd. Boone, NC CrestwoodNC.com 828-963-6646 or 877-836-5046

RAFFALDINI VINEYARDS & WINERY 450 Groce Rd. Ronda, NC Raffaldini.com 336-835-9463

THE INN AT LITTLE POND FARM 208 Valle Cay Dr. Valle Crucis, NC NCInn.com 828-297-1011

SLEEP INN 163 Hwy. 105 Extension Boone, NC SleepInn.com 828-262-0020

KILKELLY'S - THE CABIN & WEST WING CONDO 3647 Jake's Mountain Rd. Boone, NC KilkellyCabins.com 828-264-7076 or 828-406-5361

SMITHMORE CASTLE Spruce Pine, NC Smithmore.com 904-509-5095 / 828-773-8431

CHETOLA RESORT 185 Chetola Lake Dr. Blowing Rock, NC Chetola.com 828-295-5500 COMFORT SUITES 1184 NC Hwy. 105 Boone, NC ComfortSuites.com/hotel/nc052 828-268-0099 COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT 1050 Hwy. 105 Boone, NC Marriott.com/hkbyn 828-265-7676 DESI'S FARM 3602 Mt. Zion Rd. Ferguson, NC DesisFarm.com 910-524-1251 FAIRFIELD INN & SUITES 2060 Blowing Rock Rd. Boone, NC Marriott.com/hkyfi 828-268-0677 FOSCOE RENTALS 133 Echota Pkwy. Boone, NC FoscoeRentals.com 800-723-7341 GAMEKEEPER 3005 Shulls Mill Rd. Boone, NC Gamekeeper-NC.com 828-963-7400 HOUND EARS CLUB 328 Shulls Mill Rd. Boone, NC HoundEars.com 828-963-4321

LA QUINTA 165 NC Hwy. 105 Boone, NC LaQuinta.com 828-262-1234 LINVILLE RIDGE 2245 NC Hwy. 105 Linville, NC LinvilleRidge.com 828-898-5151 THE LILY PATCH FARM 1381 Joe Shoemaker Rd. Vilas, NC TheLilyPatchFarm.com 828-297-LILY THE LODGES AT EAGLES NEST 68 Eagles Nest Trail Banner Elk, NC EaglesNestAtBannerElk.com 828-414-1290 MAST FARM INN 2543 Broadstone Rd. Valle Crucis, NC TheMastFarmInn.com 828-963-5857 OVERLOOK BARN 830 Elderberry Ridge Road Banner Elk, NC OverlookBarn.com 828-414-1156

PROSPECT HILL B&B INN & WEDDING GARDENS 801 W. Main St. Mountain City, TN Prospect-Hill.com/weddings 800-339-5084 or 423-727-0139

SUGAR MOUNTAIN RESORT 1009 Sugar Mountain Dr. Sugar Mountain, NC SkiSugar.com 828-898-4521 / 800-SUGARMT SUMMIT TRAIL SOLARIUM Appalachian State University Boone, NC 28608 Weddings.AppState.edu 828-262-3032 SUPER 8 2419 NC Hwy. 105 South Boone, NC Super8.com 828-264-4133 THE BLOWING ROCK 432 The Rock Rd. Blowing Rock, NC TheBlowingRock.com 828-295-7111 TWICKENHAM HOUSE & TWICKENHAM HALL Jefferson, NC TwickenhamHouse.com vrbo.com/492302 828-783-TWIC (8942) VALLE CRUCIS CONFERENCE CENTER 146 Skiles Way Banner Elk NC 28604 VCConferences.org 828-963-4453

VALLE CRUCIS VINEYARD Valle Crucis, NC ValleCrucisVineyard.com 828-406-3135 VILLAGE INNS OF BLOWING ROCK 7876 Valley Blvd. Blowing Rock, NC TheVillageInnsOfBlowingRock.com 800-821-4908 WESTGLOW RESORT & SPA 224 Westglow Cir. Blowing Rock, NC Westglow.com 828-295-4463

Attire DID SOMEONE SAY PARTY? 685 West King St. Boone, NC DidSomeoneSayParty.com 828-264-7307 SOUTH’S SPECIALTY CLOTHIERS Boone Mall 1180 Blowing Rock Rd. Boone, NC SouthsClothiers.com 828-264-8977

Beauty BLUE DOOR SPA 2340 Banner Elk Hwy. Banner Elk, NC BlueDoorSpaEaglesNest.com 828-898-5111 CANVAS BEAUTY BAR 151 Howard St., Ste. A Boone, NC CanvasBoone.com 828-355-9688 MI NAIL SPA Boone Mall 1180 Blowing Rock Rd. Boone, NC BooneNails.com 828-268-0850 SHEAR SHAKTI 693 W. King St. Boone, NC shearshakti.com 828-865-7425

Cakes INDULGE BAKERY 8062 Valley Blvd. Blowing Rock, NC 828-295-3239 STICK BOY BREAD CO. 345 Hardin St. Boone, NC StickBoyBread.com 828-268-9900 UGGA MUGGA BAKERY Beth Zagst, Owner 1107 Main St., Ste. B Blowing Rock, NC UggaMuggaBakery.com 724-799-1334

FINANCE PRIME LENDING 9649 Hwy. 105, Unit 1 Banner Elk, NC rivey@primelending.com RosaIvey.com 828-963-1400

Food & Beverage APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN BREWERY 163 Boone Creek Dr. Boone, NC AppalachianMountainBrewery.com 828-263-1111 GAMEKEEPER 3005 Shulls Mill Road Boone, NC Gamekeeper-NC.com 828-963-7400 FRUGAL GOURMET 118 W. Main St., Unit B Mountain City, TN FrugalGourmetCatering.com 423-727-4150 LOST PROVINCE BREWING COMPANY 130 N. Depot St. Boone, NC LostProvince.com 828-265-3506 MCKETHAN BROTHERS BARBECUE 1475 NC Hwy. 105 Boone, NC MckethanBrothers.com 828-265-2828

OVER YONDER 3608 NC Hwy. 194 Valle Crucis, NC OverYonderNC.com 828-963-6301 REID’S CATERING CO. 4004 Hwy. 105 S., Ste. 8 Banner Elk, NC ReidsCateringCo.com 828-268-9600 STICK BOY KITCHEN 211 Boone Heights Dr. Boone, NC StickBoyBread.com 828-265-4141 WOODLAND’S BARBECUE 8304 Valley Blvd. Blowing Rock, NC WoodlandsBBQ.com 828-295-3651

Floral Design & Styling BOUQUET FLORIST & GIFTS 186 Boone Heights Dr. Boone, NC BouquetFloristInBoone.com 828-264-3313 DESI’S FLORAL & DESIGN FlowersByDesi.com 910-524-1251 LOG HOUSE FLORIST 249 Wilson Dr., Unit # 4 Boone, NC LogHouseFlowers.com 828-264-3896 MILLEFLEURS NCMountainFlowers.com 828-773-6012 PARK PLACE FLORIST 133-3 Morris St. Blowing Rock, NC 828-295-3626

Gifts/Registry BELK Boone Mall 1180 Blowing Rock Rd. Boone, NC Belk.com 828-264-3886

DOE RIDGE POTTERY 585 West King St., Ste. D DoeRidgePottery.com 828-264-1127 DEWOOLFSON LINENS 9452 NC Hwy. 105 Banner Elk, NC DewoolfsonLinens.com 828-963-4144 KILWINS 1103 Main St. Blowing Rock, NC Kilwins.com 828-295-3088 TAKE HEART 1009 MAIN St. Blowing Rock, NC 828-295-3444

Jewelry OLD WORLD GALLERIES 697 West King St. Boone, NC OldWorldGalleries.com 828-264-6559

Music / Dj AMANDA GENTILE, VIOLINIST & CHAMBER GROUP COORDINATOR http://AmandaGentile.weebly.com 702-497-7619 MOUNTAIN PEAK SOUND Bands, DJs, Sound Rentals & More MountainPeakSound.com 828-387-5621 SUMMIT STRINGS SummitStrings.com 336-957-1447 TATER HILL MUSIC TaterHillMusic.com 828-406-0897

Photography ADAM COKER WEDDINGS 605 W. King St. Boone NC 28607 AuthenticExposure.com 828-773-0633

2016 edition


Photography (cont.)


BOONETOWN STORY BoonetownStory.com 336-262-7945

A & J RENTAL 1610 West D St. North Wilkesboro, NC 3321 Taylorsville Hwy. Statesville, NC AJRentalInc.com 336-838-7368 and 704-873-4368

BURTON PHOTOGRAPHY 166 Chapel Hills Rd. Boone, NC NCPhotographer.com 828-266-9889 COMMON DOVE PHOTOGRAPHY CommonDovePhotography.com 252-732-6397 ELLEN GWIN PHOTOGRAPHER EllenGwin.com 336-978-2613

A BUSHEL AND A PECK VINTAGE RENTALS ABushelAndAPeckRentals.com 828-773-0354 BOONE PHOTO BOOTH BoonePhotoBooth.com 828-278-9436

FLETCHER & FLETCHER PHOTOGRAPHY ImagesByFletcher.com 828-446-4444

BOONE RENT-ALL & PARTIES TOO 1818 Hwy. 105/421 Bypass Boone, NC BooneRent-All.com 828-264-5000

JOY DAVIS PHOTOGRAPHY JoyDavisPhotography.com 828-729-3046

UPPER BARN UpperBarn.com 828-964-2492

MATT POWELL PRODUCTIONS MattPowellProductions.com 828-773-1311

Stationery /Calligraphy

MICHELLE HRIN PHOTOGRAPHY MichelleHrinPhotography.com 828-302-7572 MICHELLE LYERLY PHOTOGRAPHY MichelleLyerly.com 828-260-0844 NATASHA LYNN PHOTOGRAPHY 303 9th St. Suite 201 North Wilkesboro, NC NatashaLynn.photo 336-984-7173 PIXELS ON PAPER 1198 Curtis Bridge Rd. Wilkesboro, NC PixelsOnPaper.net 336-990-0080 WATERHOUSE STUDIOS WaterhouseStudios.com 919-214-0071 or 336-667-3300 WAYFARING WANDERER WayfaringWanderer.com 828-773-8764


Marriage License

PRECISION PRINTING 1302 Blowing Rock Rd. Boone, NC PrecisionPrintingGroup.com 828-265-0004 SJM CALLIGRAPHY SJMCalligraphy.com 704-249-6687

Transportation AIR HAVEN LIMOUSINE AirHavenLimo.com 828-265-2504 HIGH COUNTRY TRANSPORTATION HighCountryLimo.com 828-898-9595

TraVEL ENCORE TRAVEL EncoreTravelLTC.com 828-719-6955

693 W. King St. Boone, NC

828-865-7425 shearshakti.com

Nestled in the Heart of the High Country

Photo by Luster Studios

Foscoe Rentals is conveniently located between Boone, Banner Elk and Blowing Rock. Luxury condos and townhomes to beautiful log cabins featuring views, hot tubs, gated communities and more; even the “flower dog� is welcome. Let Foscoe Rentals take the worry out of lodging for your wedding party and guests. 1-800-723-7341


133 Echota Parkway Boone, NC 28607

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