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Welcome to the Tarheel State! A popular vacation spot for Americans all across the country, North Carolina is an ideal state for your wedding plans. In NC, you really can have it all - charming Southern hospitality, ultra-modern amenities, picture-perfect scenery and much more! Whether you prefer a rustic wedding in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a metro setting (Charlotte, Raleigh and plenty of other cities, take your pick) or a seaside celebration - NC boasts hundreds of miles of pristine Atlantic Ocean shoreline - you can't go wrong here! North Carolina was home to the Wright brothers (who've inspired many aviation-themed NC weddings), who conducted the first powered human flight near Kitty Hawk. That history-changing event is reflected in one of North Carolina's best-known nicknames, "First in Flight." And your wedding plans will also take flight to places you thought were never possible.
Raleigh, the state capital, presents bountiful opportunities for romantic cityscape weddings, casual countryside venues and everything in between. Raleigh is in the centerpiece of North Carolina's famous "Research Triangle," along with college towns Durham and Chapel Hill. Further afield of the central capital region, northern NC features Winston-Salem and the Blue Ridge Mountain foothills. Mt. Airy, in Surry County, is a great locale for quaint NC country weddings. And for unforgettable wedding photos around Winston-Salem, don't miss Pilot Mountain, home of a state park and a unique, I've-never-seen-that-before hilltop vista. Charlotte and Asheville, in the western part of the state, are known for their beautiful surrounding geography -- Charlotte for Lake Norman, Asheville for its lofty perch in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Autumn and winter weddings in Asheville provide unparalleled natural scenery. Head east, and you'll eventually hit NC's Atlantic coast, home to some of the most idyllic oceanside views in the country. The Outer Banks, Wrightsville Beach (in Wilmington) and Calabash (perhaps the seafood capital of the entire East Coast) are just a few areas that merit strong consideration. North Carolina's climate is suitable for four-season celebrations. Heavy snowfall in western North Carolina occurs in the winter months, and another severe weather issue should be on your NC wedding radar: hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season runs roughly from June through November. Quick note on wedding colors: beach weddings bring out the best with white, blue and green, but any tone works in NC. If you're going for a fall or winter wedding in western NC, red, green and white are three widespread options.
North Carolina remains a popular wedding destination for all the things discussed above, and here's another reason: it's insanely affordable to have your wedding in NC. The state sales tax is below 5%, although some local municipalities can add local taxes to make it a bit higher. On average, the "total sales tax" in the Tarheel State averages out to 6.5%. How does NC's décor and catering stack up against other states? Décor options in NC range from rustic to contemporary, and it helps to have an expert to get your North Carolina wedding venue just right. Wedding Planners in Raleigh will help create the perfect wedding atmosphere. North Carolina caterers take their craft seriously. And there are hundreds of high-quality vendors in the state, including many great choices for wedding caterers in Raleigh-Durham as well as Charlotte, Greensboro, and Asheville.
A North Carolina marriage license fee is $60, and you'll need to pay this when applying. Any NC Register of Deed's office can provide a marriage license. Just make sure you have a valid ID and any document that verifies your Social Security Number. No waiting period is required, and a North Carolina marriage license is good for up to 60 days from the issue date.