A guide to a memorable wedding
Congratulations on finding a companion to join you in life’s adventures. Your wedding should be an event, not just a moment. Kanuga is more than a gorgeous all-inclusive venue with a variety of options for your ceremony and reception space, we offer customizable wedding packages including food, alcohol, lodging and set-up. From the most intimate gathering to a lavish affair, we invite you, your wedding party and invitees to be our guests for the unifying of your two families. Think of Kanuga as a blank canvas and envision your day, your way.
Top 10 Tips
10. Enjoy your engagement.
Take a breather with your fiancé/fiancée to revel in your happiness, and celebrate with your loved ones. Call your family, throw a party, sip champagne and relish the love. It’s a great time to decide your absolutes with your partner (what you absolutely must have and what absolutely must not happen at your wedding).
Must have sunflowers in your bouquet? You might consider a midsummer wedding so they’ll be in season and less expensive. Need help entertaining your extended family on the big day? Ask someone in your wedding party to chaperone.
9. Create a wedding website.
Now that you’ve relaxed, everyone has probably been asking the same question: “When’s the wedding?” Once you’ve picked a date (keeping in mind seasonal things like: time off work, weather, seasonal décor/flowers), it’s time to create a wedding website.
“A wedding website is essential. You can link directly to your venue, convey the vibe of your ceremony and reception, give guests directions, link to area attractions and display your gift registry – all in one place,” says area event planner Catherine Haden, who owns and manages Southern Signature Events with her business partner Kendall LeDuc. Kanuga can give you information to link your guests directly to us so they can easily book a reservation. Popular wedding websites include: theknot.com, weddingwindow.com and wedbuddy.com. Manage guests, plan your events, send e-vites and more.
8. Guest list planning – made easy!
The people you invite to your wedding fill your special day with extra joy, but if there’s anything that’s going to break your budget, it’s having a large guest list. The most expensive part of your wedding is typically the reception, including catering, alcoholic beverages and any entertainment you’d like. The ladies at Southern Signature Events shared a fantastic system for narrowing down your invitees:
- Start with your immediate families.
- Add your wedding parties (bridesmaids and groomsmen and their significant others).
- Continue with extended family members (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.).
- Close friends
- Coworkers, other friends and acquaintances
It’s a great method to keep you on budget, and if you must cut your guest list, you just work backwards on the list. If you’ve completed it right, the top should include your VIPs.
7. Pick the perfect setting.
Hendersonville and Kanuga offer the best of local offerings within a destination setting nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Whether you’re going modern or traditional, indoor or outdoor, we have a great backdrop for your ceremony and reception.
A huge plus for choosing a Kanuga wedding is that your guests won’t have to commute from the ceremony to an alternate reception site, and after the festivities are over, everyone will be just a short walk away from their guest rooms – from 43 Historic Cottages to a room in the newly modernized Kanuga Lake Inn. Make sure guests can book a room in advance from your wedding website.
Kanuga’s lovely historic chapels include Gehman Chapel (outdoor, covered), the Chapel of the Transfiguration (indoor), St. Francis Chapel (outdoor) and the Lakeside Chapel (outdoor) with a gorgeous view of Kanuga Lake. The Fireplace Lounge (indoor/outdoor) is the perfect spot for cocktail hour, and the Waterfront Pavilion (outdoor, semi-covered) is just one of many spaces you can reserve for your reception. We also host rehearsal dinners and family brunches the morning after the wedding.
6. Have a back-up plan for rain.
Hendersonville is called The City of Four Seasons for a reason – we might be your favorite local and destination wedding spot, but along with blooming springtimes, steamy summers and gorgeous autumn foliage, we get a typical amount of precipitation. Preparing for your event – rain or shine – is simple when you choose a venue like Kanuga.
If you want your ceremony or reception outside in the beauty of nature, renting a tent or having an alternate interior location selected are good ideas that prevent you from worrying on your big day.
5. Tip your vendors and other staff in advance.
Did your baker capture your dream cake? Do you know your photographer is extremely skilled? Tipping your vendors with a monetary or creative token of thanks is not only customary, but if you do so before your wedding day, it makes the people setting up and serving you and your guests feel appreciated. Happy staff helps make your special day moving like clockwork, and you’re sure to see helpful, gracious faces, happy to direct your guests to their next location or find your grandmother her favorite wine.
At Kanuga, our Event & Guest Services team will take care of your event set-up and serve as your bar staff. Our kitchen crew will cater and serve whatever menu your heart desires. Kanuga can provide rectangular tables, gray chairs and white tablecloths, but if you would like other arrangements, Kanuga has relationships with a variety of outside area vendors.
4. Simplify beverages and bars.
Kanuga offers a full bar menu including beer, wine, champagne and liquor. Whether you’d like an open bar or cash bar, let us know in advance, and we will accommodate your needs. Consider having a couple’s specialty drink created for your reception, which can be made upon request prior to the reception. Our offerings also include local craft beer and wine favorites.
3. The reception is your celebration.
Food, toasts and dancing. We have space for dancing; you bring the DJ, band or musician.
Where dining is concerned, your wish is our command. While we don’t allow wedding parties to bring an outside caterer, the Kanuga culinary team can create a customized menu just for you, from butler-style hors d’oeuvres to a dinner buffet, as casual as mountain BBQ or as upscale as carved tenderloin.
2. Save money where you can.
Some experts say last minute add-ons, such as additional guests, may increase your budget by 20%. How can you save money and not compromise style? Here’s a few suggestions from the pros:
Shorten your guest list. Pick your flowers to coincide with the season, buy them at the grocery store and have a bridesmaid arrange them. Have someone in your wedding party help with hair and makeup. Skip the wedding favors, or do something homemade/edible. Create a signature cocktail instead of offering a full selection of spirits. Ask your wedding party to help you decorate. Ask someone from your church to play the organ or piano during your ceremony.
1. Hire a wedding planner.
A wedding planner might be more necessary than you think. A wedding can be a stressful undertaking if you go about it by yourself. Who wants to calm down the mother-of-the-bride on the morning of the wedding when the cake hasn’t been delivered yet? Coordinators offer partial planning to full packages, making options more affordable on any budget.
If you are unable to hire a professional planner, you need to have a point-of-contact person at Kanuga. This person can be a close family friend who is organized and cool under pressure.
Learn more about holding a wedding at Kanuga.
Have fun, and may your years together be filled with joy!