A great, charming, and usually wildly inexpensive venue for a wedding (especially a small/medium size one) is to check for small, hole in the wall Bed and Breakfasts or inns in very small towns in the mountains or other rural areas.
These venues, aside from their charming, picturesque quality (something often missing in low-budget affairs) are usually a one-stop-shop when it comes to catering, guest accomodations, events' planning, and as a site (either in the garden or living room area) for the ceremony and reception.
The person running the inn will usually have a good tip on an officiant in the town - or will, as in our case with our wedding in Hot Springs, NC - be an officiant himself. The man who ran the inn was a licensed Methodist minister.
Inevitably, the guest list will exceed the lodging capacities of the inn - but generally you can shop around for good deals for bulk rates in neighboring hotels, motels, and B and B's. Local business owners will be happy for the business and negotiate accordingly. Many of these towns will have their own particular tourist attraction, which can add to the draw of the experience. All towns, no matter how small, will have their own base of local amateur/pro musicians, making the possibility of live music very feasible.
In short, you can drive as little as an hour away from where you live, have a wildly inexpensive and one-of-a-kind destination wedding which everyone will be able to afford - and really enjoy.
By ahorrasi from Marshall, NC
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