April, May, September and October have long been the darlings of the wedding season calendar. It’s no secret that those prime months book up quickly for all wedding vendors in the Charlotte area.
But, I want to let you in on a little secret. North and South Carolina have mild temperatures year round and today, we want to applaud those out-of-the-box brides who are choosing a winter wedding date to say “I Do!” They are looking November, December, January and February in the eye and rising to the winter wedding challenge!
We absolutely love those winter Saturdays when the sky is a clear Carolina blue, there is a slight chill in the air, girls wrap their beautiful gowns in gorgeous furs and venues shine with the twinkle of candlelight. Winter weddings are absolutely THE MOST romantic in our books.
So, to those bold brides planning their winter weddings, we want to help guide you in your search for the perfect winter wedding venue.
The Ballantyne Hotel
Oh how we love this venue! Few places in Charlotte (or anywhere in the southeast) can both accommodate and host so many wedding weekend events. The hotel has a lively bar area for mingling with out of town guests, an amazing spa for those looking to relax pre-wedding, an outstanding golf course and a variety of ballroom spaces/terrace locations for your ceremony and reception. This is truly a one-stop-shop for your winter wedding. Their level of service and professionalism is top notch and all of our couples (and their guests) have raved about this location.
Emily and Patrick hosted a New Year’s Eve wedding to ring in 2017 and the hotel looked absolutely dreamy. The décor by Lily Greenthumbs set the tone for a Gatsby themed wedding and the look was magical. Guests were even treated to fireworks as the clock struck midnight. What a perfect location to ring in a new year (and new chapter as husband and wife!).
The Duke Mansion
This historic, southern home is located just minutes from uptown and is truly the crown jewel of our Queen City. Tucked away in a cozy residential area, it provides wedding guests with a cozy, bed and breakfast feel. It has gorgeous surrounding gardens, a wide front porch filled with rocking chairs (how Old South is that??) and of course, their iconic black and white marble foyer lined with stunning chandaliers. The mansion sets a formal tone for a black tie affair and has lovely event rooms to host dinner and dancing. The back patio is lined with charming café lights giving cocktail hour an extra bit of sparkle. We just love how inviting the mansion is for both overnight guests and local Charlotte friends.
Angel and Billy hosted their January 2017 wedding at the Duke Mansion. This bride loves all things Christmas so the mansion staff was kind enough to keep their two gorgeous trees up a tad longer for the new Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert. That extra dusting of snow made the mansion look even more dreamy on their big day. And those furs the bride and her bridesmaids wore……it just does NOT get any better in our book!
The Farm at Old Edwards Inn
This NC destination is just 3 hours away from Charlotte and so worth the drive. Wedding guests love attending weddings in our nearby mountains because wedding weekend actually becomes a perfect winter getaway. The Highlands are known for their quaint shops, amazing restaurants and of course, that amazing inn on the corner. The Old Edwards Inn can both accommodate guests attending the wedding and offer a variety of its properties for the ceremony/reception. Trust us, this luxurious, nearby destination is absolutely worth the short drive!
Sydney and Willie hosted their January 2016 wedding at the Farm at Old Edwards Inn. I truly believe these images look like a winter fairytale. That snow on the ground was just so perfect against the woodland feel of the venue. And how about that roaring fireplace during their ceremony? All that cozy, mountain charm and two people truly, truly in love. This was winter perfection to a wedding photographer!
Carmel Country Club
Winter brides realize that their venue will play an even larger role on their wedding day than a spring/fall bride. The sun will set much earlier and more of the party hours will be spent indoors. Winter brides need a large event space like the ballroom at Carmel Country Club to host their event and keep guests warm and cozy. The professionalism and attentiveness of the staff here is truly unmatched. Guests are in great hands with the Carmel Country Club staff in charge.
Sarah and Matt hosted their January 2015 wedding at Carmel Country Club and it was picture perfect. She had a fabulous fur to add to that AMAZING Lazarro gown but the sun was so warm that winter day, she hardly needed it. We were even able to capture family formals, bridal party photos and couple portraits outdoors in their lovely landscaped garden area. See, January in the Carolinas really isn’t that scary!
Ballantyne Country Club
This country club just south of Charlotte has one of the most beautiful outdoor ceremony spaces. I know what you are asking…outdoor ceremony in winter? Yes! We have definitely seen it done (and done well!) The trees are evergreen surrounding the ceremony space and photograph beautifully year round. Of course the ballroom and covered porches are just steps away in case inclement weather strikes. The club can even provide large heaters to keep guest cozy while enjoying their outdoor porches and patio areas (which can also have café lights strung above). The club entrance has a large, floor to ceiling fireplace to welcome guests and the ballroom is absolutely elegant with heavy drapes and lovely fixtures. Not to mention, their staff provides flawless service and help our brides in so many ways along the planning process. We cannot recommend them more highly!
Amy and Rich hosted their late November 2016 outdoor wedding and reception at Ballantyne Country Club. Those last leaves of fall gave a deep orange and crimson glow behind the arbor and the lanters lining the ceremony aisle were the perfect touch. Glitz, glam and one awesome black/white dance floor made this affair a show stopper. We loved capturing every moment!
So, winter brides, we congratulate you for choosing a “road less traveled” wedding date. We too believe that November-February dates are just as fabulous as those more popular spring and fall dates. Fireplaces, café lights, candlelight and fur wraps…..yes please! We would love to tell your story this winter.