This piece is brought to you in partnership with Peninsula Yacht Club.
Even if your budget (or lack of PTO) is preventing you from having a wedding abroad, you don’t have to compromise on having a dreamy destination-style wedding.
With Lake Norman less than 40 miles from Charlotte’s city center, couples wishing for a waterfront wedding can check everything off their must-have list – without having to be whisked quite so far away.
Here are our top tips for making your hometown wedding feel like an intimate affair abroad.
Choose a venue with a view
Peninsula Yacht Club Clubhouse Manager Jeff Barry has overseen more than 100 weddings, and he says guests never get over the Lake Norman view.
“A lot of people don’t even realize a lake is even here,” he says.
Lake Norman is perfect placid backdrop, and the sailboats docked at the Peninsula marina create an even more nautical feel.
Barry says couples who choose to have their wedding at The Peninsula Yacht Club like that the venue comes with inherent beauty (thanks to the lakefront views). You can overlook the lake from the veranda, peek out from a tent adjoining the indoor space or opt for a free-standing tent right by the water – either way, Barry says it’s not an experience you’ll get from a ballroom.
Offer foods your guests can’t get anywhere else
One of the best parts about visiting a new place is trying new foods, so Barry suggests couples customize their menu to ensure everyone’s taste buds are transported to another level. It’s a way to give guests traveling in a taste of your hometown or give a nod to personal memories.
“We had one couple do a biscuit bar because their family was into making jam and canning. So we made the biscuits and family members brought in jams for everyone to try,” Barry says.
And another couple who loved to travel had themed desserts instead of a wedding cake – like king cake with a framed photo of them in New Orleans next to it.
The Peninsula Yacht Club does catering in house, so Barry says working with your food vendor to create something custom is a key detail for couples to consider.
Consider a smaller space
Couples who opt for destination weddings often limit their guest count to close family and friends – don’t be afraid to do that even if your getting married close to home. Having fewer guests means getting to spend your budget on the details that’ll set your wedding apart, like upgraded linens and draping, creative cocktails and a custom menu.
Encourage your guests to take advantage of the lake
Even if you’re saying “I do” minutes from home, many of your guests will be traveling in from out of town and will be looking forward to a weekend by the water.
Barry says couples should offer their guests suggestions of things to do, and Peninsula Yacht Club can help. He says the marina has a unique vintage boat and sailboats couples can use for photos.