Known as the "Old North State" and the "Tar Heel State," North Carolina, which now boasts more than 8 million residents, has become a popular area for tourists. With attractions including the great Smoky Mountains, fun-filled beaches, historical architecture, museums, the Croatan National Forest and more, there is much to see and do. The popularity of many of these attractions and the state's beautiful surroundings has made North Carolina an ideal location for wedding ceremonies.
The Villa Raffaldini (raffaldini.com), an Italian-themed location, can accommodate up to 300 guests. Surrounded by a picturesque landscape of farmland, the serenity of this location provides a great escape from the city. The 6,000 square feet of property allows an expansive view of the Yadkin River and Blue Ridge Mountains. Balconies and landscaped terraces add to the beauty of the surroundings. Smaller ceremonies for up to 32 people can be held in the Fattoria Rafaldini "farmhouse." Villa usage, lawn space, table set-up and five attendants to oversee the event are just a few amenities included with your wedding fee.
This oceanfront, privately owned home built in 1979 offers five bedrooms and 5,000 square feet of space. Pelican's Landing (PelicansLandingOBX.com), located in Corolla, provides a fully equipped kitchen, private gazebo and on-site catering service. A large open area behind the home can accommodate up to 150 guests and allows easy beach access. A second floor large deck area is ideal for a wedding rehearsal dinner and can accommodate up to 50 people. Parking is plentiful for guests.
The White Doe Inn
The White Doe Inn (WhiteDoeInn.com) in the village of Manteo along the shores of Shallowbag Bay makes a romantic location for a wedding. Beaches at nearby Nag's Head add to the beauty of the surroundings. This historic home can accommodate up to 60 people and allows individuals to experience the Victorian era. Convenient access to tourist attractions such as the North Carolina Maritime museum, the Elizabeth Gardens, Fort Raleigh, shopping and ferries ensures there is something to entertain everyone. All-inclusive packages that include bicycles for guests, breakfast, and morning and afternoon treats are available.
The Palmer Pavilion (Birkdale.com), located in the Birkdale Golf Club, offers 5,000 square feet of space for your wedding. Able to accommodate up to 250 guests, this large, open, indoor space has French doors, a high ceiling and a stone fireplace that create an elegant environment with an outdoors feel. Glassware, flatware and napkins are a few basic items included with this rental. Guests are welcome to bring their own wedding decorations. The 18th green at the golf club is another location at the facility ideal for those who prefer an outdoor wedding.
All Saints Chapel
An 1875 chapel located in downtown Raleigh, the All Saints Chapel (AllSaints1875.com) can accommodate up to 160 guests. This picturesque facility is filled with stained glass windows, 18-foot ceilings, clerestory windows, a spacious floor plan and woodwork visible throughout the chapel. A tent-covered area outside can accommodate up to 200 people. An on-site kitchen area is available for food preparation, but you are welcome to bring your own caterer. The lower level provides space for those desiring to have a reception indoors.
The beautiful Magnolia Manor (Magnolia-Manor.com), which received a 5-star vote from the Brides Choice Awards for 2011, according to their website, provides elegance for those seeking a romantic wedding day. For an indoor wedding, the Ashley Ballroom can accommodate up to 275 guests and features an open area with marble flooring and arched and bronzed bar mirrors. A separate area can be established as a dance space. A list of vendors and caterers is available to serve custom meals for guests. A spacious area for those preferring an outdoor wedding is also available. The wedding platform area is surrounded by a large beech tree known as "the Sweetheart Tree." A koi pond, beautifully landscaped lawns and a guest seating area that embraces both sides of the wedding platform make Magnolia Manor in Colfax an elegant place for a wedding.
The Grand Bohemian Hotel
Set in Biltmore Village with the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains in the background, the Grand Bohemian Hotel (BohemianAsheville.com) brings romance to the forefront. The Tudor-style ballroom, able to accommodate up to 200 guests, is a terrific setting for a formal gathering and dancing on your special day, or an afternoon brunch. A well-manicured garden provides a serene area for enjoying hors d'oeuvres and cocktails.
Cape Fear Riverboats
If you are looking for a unique experience, Cape Fear Riverboats (cfrboats.com) in Wilmington offers the Henrietta III for those wanting to bring their dream day to life on the water. Several packages are available. The Private Daytime Wedding Package features a one and a half hour wedding cruise and private reception. The Private Evening Wedding Package offers a three-hour evening cruise (Saturday) as well as a private reception. Private ceremonies during the daytime and evening with public receptions are available. The boat can accommodate between 32-120 guests, depending on your charter and deck selection.
Timberwolf Creek Bed & Breakfast
Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains and overlooking Maggie Valley, the Timberwolf Creek Bed & Breakfast (www.timberwolfcreek.com) is a place to consider for those seeking a private wedding location. This destination, situated on 8 acres, is a peaceful setting. Several wedding packages are available, including an elopement package for those desiring an intimate setting. For lovers of the great outdoors, an outdoor forest wedding chapel offers seating for 45 guests. The main building, known as the "Creek House," can be rented for up to a week for the wedding couple and up to six guests. Timberwolf Creek Bed & Breakfast also offers a convenient online wedding registry that allows guests to purchase a gift and have it delivered directly to the suite of the bride and groom.
The Old Buggy Inn
A luxurious Victorian setting is what guests will experience at the Old Buggy Inn (oldbuggyinn.com) in Carthage. This destination allows you to travel back in time and experience a historical period as you celebrate your special day. The inn is designed for intimate weddings of under 50 guests and features a wrap-around porch, beautifully detailed trim and a finely manicured lawn with vibrant flowers. A carved mantle on the fireplace, tile hearth and gingerbread staircase add to the decor and beauty of the day.