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What it means to have a destination wedding

Destination weddings are hugely popular.  It is a wonderful way to embrace a location that has been meaningful to a couple or family and celebrate it.  Hosting a destination mountain wedding can be daunting to plan but the rewards are great.  The weddings we host here at Lonesome Valley are almost exclusively classified as “destination.”  Even if the couple or parents are local then the majority of the guests are coming from out of town or even from other countries.  Most often, everyone is coming from afar. 

Hosting a wedding in this part of the world breeds a different wedding experience.  By being surrounded by the serenity of nature, guests get a chance to decompress.  They are more relaxed therefore the family, and ultimately the couple, are more relaxed with them.  It gives folks from bigger cities the chance to look up at the stars or enjoy time around a bonfire, throw on some hiking boots and get lost for a few hours.  For good or bad, cellphone coverage is pretty spotty around here so people are forced to detach from their devices and enjoy their surroundings.  

Destination weddings have morphed in to mini adventure vacations. It is a great time to bring your friends and family to a part of the world that they may have never explored before.  Outdoor activities like hiking, fishing and kayaking are natural ways to keep guests entertained.  I often hear from clients that they chose Western North Carolina for their destination wedding in hopes of keeping their guest count down, but in my experience, people are so intrigued with this area that not only do they check “yes” on their RSVP but they will likely be staying a few extra days to really soak it in.


Charlsey + Justin

Charlsey and Justin were married on a picture perfect June day.  Charlsey’s family owns a home just over the ridge from Lonesome Valley and have always been huge supporters of what we do here.  We are thrilled that they chose to celebrate their special day with us and thankful that they brought along Verge Events for the fun. Anna Kirby Photography provided all of the beautiful imagery from the day and Studio Flora Diva worked their magic with the floral design.  Top it off with the A-Town, A-List and it was a party!!


Looking back…and ahead


As we wrap up 2013 and begin 2014, we wanted to share our year in review.

Lonesome Valley continues to be attractive from a real estate perspective, selling a total of 15 homesites and 2 more contracts already in place this year. After several years of enduring a stagnant real estate market, we are beginning to see property values appreciate again, and we welcome the improvement. Our new members (including a pair of bald eagles!) are excited to be a part of Lonesome Valley and many are well underway with house plans.  In addition, a new “spec” cottage will soon to be completed on Long Lake.

To date, 60 owners have purchased 74 lots, and 25 houses are either built or are near completion. We are currently developing 18 spectacular new lots along the West Fork of Logan Creek for immediate release this spring/summer.  We currently have listed 5 resale lots and 2 resale homes. Our resale ratio is quite low compared to other communities, further evidence of the overall health and appeal of Lonesome Valley.

On the amenity side, we have begun the full renovation of the “Caretaker’s Cottage” which will open as the new Canyon Spa in May. The Spa will include three treatment rooms, a well appointed reception area and men’s and ladies’ changing areas.  In addition, we will continue to improve our fishing, trails, roadsides, signs, gates as well as the general landscaping and appearance of the community. In 2014 Lonesome Valley should look the best it ever has.

Canyon Kitchen enjoyed another outstanding year that featured a booming a la carte business in addition to many successful wine dinners and special events.  Along with John Fleer’s successful opening of his new restaurant, Rhubarb, in Asheville, his culinary staff at Canyon Kitchen has done a superb job.  John will be sharing his time between Cashiers and Asheville beginning this spring. We also commend Canyon Kitchen and our Special Events team for receiving the BizBash Event Style Award for Best Wedding Venue in North America for 2013!

We are planning more member gatherings this winter. Our goal is to continue to build our relationships as a community and have a healthy and prosperous 2014!

Dahlias in Bloom


There is an extra pop of color in the valley during this time of year.  It is dahlia and zinnia season!  Our gardens are filled with vibrant hues of red, orange, pink and yellow.  Even the worst florists {ahem, yours truly} can make the most outstanding arrangements without much effort using these gorgeous flowers.

The excessive amounts of rain threatened our crop of flowers this year but our fantastic horticultural husband/wife team of John and Marcia McCarley worked their magic to keep these beauties flourishing.   I pick a new batch about once a week for my office but luckily the Farmhouse and Canyon Kitchen benefit from Marcia’s expert arrangements.

Lauren + Ray


Our good friend Alison Taylor from WNC Weddings & Events wrote about Lauren & Ray’s September wedding on Western Carolina Weddings Blog today.

It was a beautiful September day.  The zinnias were as big as my head and the bride and groom looked great.  The food was pretty tasty too!  Thanks to Yve Assad for the beautiful pictures of the happy couple.  Below are a few of my favorites.

Congratulations Lauren & Ray!!