From: Johnson City, TN
Wedding Date: March 26, 2016
We recently chatted with Craig Lewis following his wedding ceremony at the Altamont Theatre, and he filled us in on the experience. After having to scramble to find a ceremony site in the wake of unexpected construction, Craig found us, and we are glad he did. From the feedback, we think that Craig (and Mikaela!) were pretty pleased too. Read on and see how, as a fellow wedding professional, Craig offers great insight into the features of the venue (and what he found most helpful).
Why did you decide to have your wedding in downtown Asheville?
We’ve both always spent a lot of time there. We’re co-owners of a circus school that does a lot of training in Asheville, and we’ve got lots of friends in the area. Asheville has always been a really fun town for dining out and going on dates, and downtown Asheville has become a special place for us. Also, rather than hosting a four hour event, we wanted to make it a full, fun wedding weekend for our friends, and downtown Asheville is perfect for that.
What attracted you to the Altamont Theatre historic venue?
Well, we initially looked around for an all-inclusive venue that was riggable. We had aerial performers at the wedding. So we were looking for high ceilings and exposed high beams and all that. A lot of people wouldn’t let us do it. We must have toured 20 different venues in Asheville. We ended up at New Mountain and we were really happy at first, but then things started to get a little messy. They actually had our wedding date wrong at one point. You know, they’re not a wedding venue, they’re not wedding professionals at all; they’re a concert venue. Then the room we had decided to have our ceremony in, they decided to convert it into a brewery, so they told us it would be mid-construction during our wedding and we wouldn’t be able to use that room. We decided that we would still use that venue for the reception, but we went in search of another venue for the ceremony that was within walking distance. This was only 3 or 4 months before the wedding. There aren’t many wedding venues in downtown Asheville, and most are outrageously expensive. We were looking for a room for like, literally 30 minutes on a Saturday (maybe a little more with set-up, but we didn’t need the whole deal). Richard was able to work with us on that need. In fact, he had another event coming in after us. Once the ceremony was over, we packed up our stuff and were out of there. The ceremony worked out really well with the Altamont; it worked out so nicely and we were so glad we made that decision.
What was your first impression of the wedding venue?
It had its own really nice modern look, but was also pretty and clean.
What was the most important element of your wedding day that you felt really hit the mark?
Well, even our parents questioned the ceremony option at New Mountain, which was not attractive at all. The Altamont was so much more elegant and had much, much more of a wedding feel to it, without being cliché. We were really so glad we went with the decision to get a second venue and not try to do it all in one place.
What set the Altamont Theatre apart for you and your partner?
We decided to get one of the condos right above, and that was so nice because throughout the whole weekend we could have our wedding party up there, wedding vendors up there. It was a nice 3-room condo. We had our own bedroom and then everyone could come hang out in the rest of the space. It’s just so convenient, directly attached to the Altamont Theatre.
What advice would you give to folks considering the Altamont Theatre for their wedding?
I’m also a wedding DJ, that’s my job, so I’ve seen a wedding or two – and it sounds like a small detail but I really liked the green room. They have a nice, actual green room that connects to the stage. It’s really nice to have somewhere to go and hang out, and not have your guests see you when they’re coming in. You don’t find that at a lot of other venues, like barns and wide open spaces like that. It’s a good practical thing that a lot of brides don’t think about. It was great to have that.
Anything else you’d like to mention regarding your experience with the Altamont Theatre?
One other thing that I really, really loved was the lighting. It was a little extra to do that, but it was so worth it. The lighting really transforms the room and it looks amazing. Richard’s got those LED down lights that go along the tracks on the wall, and we had sort of gaps between the curtains for an exposed lighting on the wall. Our color was red and it looked spectacular. He had the string lighting strung on the ceiling. That looked really good too. Overall, it was the perfect venue for what we needed and we couldn’t be happier with the experience.