Getting Married in Western North Carolina
© 2003 Jennifer Wilkey. All Rights Reserved.
In researching for my own wedding in Sylva, NC this past year, I talked to many other brides about their experiences. This page lists what I found to be the more popular and reputable people and places in Western North Carolina as well as some important information you will need in planning your big day.
A marriage license can be obtained at the Jackson County Courthouse in Sylva. There is a $50 fee for the license and both the prospective bride and groom must be present to sign the paperwork. Blood testing is not required. For more information contact:
Register of Deeds
Bridal shops are good places to purchase or rent bridal party attire for women and most also rent tuxedos. For a better men’s selection, you can rent tuxedos from a tux specialty shop. To take care of all of your attire needs in one stop (and still have a great selection), check out David’s Bridal—they have stuff for the bride, bridesmaids, flower girl, mother/grandmother of the bride, the groom, groomsmen, ring-bearer, and fathers/grandfathers, and they even have formal wear for the honeymoon.
Mitchell’s Tuxedos (in Asheville Mall)
There are many possible locations for your wedding ceremony and reception. Outdoor ceremonies are popular due to the natural beauty of the area. Or, if you prefer a more traditional church ceremony, there are literally hundreds of churches of all denominations in WNC. You can contact the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce for information regarding local churches and outdoor sites that allow weddings.
Also, most churches have fellowship halls, and this is a common place to have receptions so that guests don’t have to travel between the ceremony and reception. The popular locations for fancier weddings and receptions are the Biltmore Estate in Asheville (in the Gardens or at Deerpark Restaurant) and the Waynesville Country Club. In Sylva, some good reception locations include the historic Jarrett House and Meriweather’s Restaurant.
Jackson County Chamber of Commerce
If you are having the reception in a restaurant or country club, you will probably be required to use in-house food services. If you decide on an outdoors or church fellowship hall reception, you will find that most restaurants in the area offer catering services but there are few catering companies. Sweet Dreams Bakery is an excellent source for catering and for gorgeous wedding cakes. Very Special Occasion Cakery and even Wal-Mart are other good sources for wedding cakes.
There are two great options for wedding flowers right here in Sylva:
Honestly, there are few options for invitations locally. The best idea is to search on the internet for “wedding invitations” and request catalogues from the companies that interest you. The catalogues are free and most companies will even send you up to six free invitation samples to preview before you order.
To announce your engagement and wedding in one of the major local newspapers, you can contact or stop by the newspaper offices listed below (costs depend on the paper):
Smokey Mountain News
There are many options for gift registries in WNC, many of which are national chains. There are department stores, such as Dillard’s, Belk, and Sears. There are more expensive stores for household items, such as Pier 1 and Bed Bath & Beyond. Less pricey but with an equally good selection is Target. You can even create a registry at Wal-Mart, which has a decent selection of cheaper items. Most stores also offer online registries which is good for out-of-town guests.
Stores in the Asheville Mall on Tunnel Road:
Also in Asheville:
The cheapest and fastest option for a marriage ceremony is to go before a Justice of the Peace or judge. The couple simply has to obtain the marriage license and then make an appointment with a judge or Justice at the Jackson County Courthouse.
Just over the Great Smokey Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee you can get hitched Vegas-style at one of many little white wedding chapels by a Justice of the Peace. There are several boutiques for bridal attire and wedding flowers in the area. There are also numerous hotels and even private mountain chalets nearby for the honeymoon night. This option is still cheaper than a big wedding, but does not sacrifice the traditional elements of a marriage ceremony (such as the gown and flowers) desired by most brides. For more information contact: