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A View of the Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains from Highlands, NC.
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Guests were ushered into the reception area, decorated with rustic-elegant details such as this hand-painted chalkboard sign.
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Inside the Reception Pavilion
The pavilion where the reception was held boasted lofty ceilings with exposed beams, rustic chandeliers, and windows surrounding the space that were opened to let in the fresh mountain air.
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Inside the Reception Pavilion
No detail was left unturned, from the jewel-toned flower arrangements to the s'mores bar just outside the pavilion.
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Guests found flutes of champagne awaiting them at their assigned table with which they toasted the bride and groom following the father of the bride's tearful speech.
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Even the name cards were exquisite, tucked into wine corks. A small detail that had a huge impact.
The plateau town was a picture-perfect setting for a wedding over the holiday weekend.
I spent the holiday weekend celebrating the wedding of one of my closest friends from college. She is originally from Texas, and we went to college in Winston-Salem, NC, but she chose the mountain-top town of Highlands, NC, for her nuptials. The second highest incorporated town east of the Mississippi River at 4,118 feet, Highlands is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwestern North Carolina, approximately 2.5 hours northeast of Atlanta and 2.5 hours southeast of Knoxville. It took me less than 6 hours to drive from Roanoke to Highlands, and although the curves of Hwy 64 are treacherous (especially at night), the charming downtown and breathtaking views are worth the trip.
My first impression of Highlands was the hotel where I stayed, 200 Main. The room featured a Keurig coffee maker, heated floors in the bathroom, and two queen-sized beds towering with pillows. And although the weather prevented me from enjoying it, the hotel also has a heated mineral pool and fire pit for guest use.
Before the wedding, I had plenty of time to explore the area, especially Main Street. A few of my favorite spots: Buck's Coffee Cafe, Paws on the Mountain, Mountaintop Wine Shoppe (where I indulged in a free afternoon wine tasting), and Colonel Mustard's. Food and shopping aside, the buildings throughout the main downtown are beautiful, most especially the churches. I fell in love with the storybook Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, all white with a blossoming courtyard garden.
The wedding itself took place at The Farm at Old Edwards Inn & Spa. A short drive from Main Street, The Farm is a sprawling 33-acre venue with lush gardens, wood and stone-glassed pavilion and a covered stone patio for the ceremony. Not even the rain could dampen the fairytale affect the location had on all of the guests, myself included.
We danced, we sang, we toasted the happy couple. But one of my favorite parts about the wedding was the food. Chef Joannes Klapdohr created a delectable farm-to-table menu that included Buffalo mozzarella and tomato salad, basil tilapia, pecan-crusted chicken, macaroni and cheese, and a shrimp and grits station, to name a few. Even the desserts were spectacular: macaron pops and mini cookies-and-milk cups, among other offerings.
Having never been to Highlands before this past weekend, I had no idea what to expect. The mountains, the food, the locals--everything was superb. For me, it was a bucket-list adventure with the best of friends. A storybook town for a fairytale wedding weekend.