Q&A: North Carolina: Unique Reception Sites?

Serving as her state's WWII memorial and museum, the Battleship North Carolina offers a memorable setting for your reception. In pleasant weather, the Fantail (back of the ship) is perfect for partying under the stars and affords an excellent view of downtown Wilmington. You may want to have the band set up near the Kingfisher, the ship's floatplane. And the buffet table sits nicely under the 16-inch guns. In inclement weather, the mess decks are also available -- not glamorous, but intriguing. Tours continue until 8 p.m. in summer, 5 p.m. otherwise. You may have your reception anytime -- just be aware there may be tours going on if before closing. Maximum guest capacity 350. Battleship North Carolina, (910) 251-5797; Eagles Island, Wilmington.

Since 1974, Jesse Fearrington's dairy farm has slowly evolved into a charming village, complete with places to live, shop, dine, and stay. Set in the Village Center is the Fearrington House, a 5-star restaurant and country inn. You can have your wedding festivities amongst the cows, bluebirds, and hollyhocks on the village grounds -- from an elegant, tented affair to a celebration in the renovated dairy barn. For daytime receptions, the tented west terrace, next to the restaurant, will be the locale. The sophisticated Southern cuisine paired with a pastoral setting make for a lovely afternoon event. For an evening party, look to the farm's original dairy barn. A bit rustic, with its true-to-nature exterior and cobblestone hallway (lined with stalls), this historic venue also features modern comforts such as a dance floor, windows, heat and air conditioning, bathrooms, and a kitchen. And don't think you have to have square dancing, fiddles, and bales of hay -- you can make the room as formal as you like. Catering through the Fearrington House restaurant. Maximum guest capacity: Tent 250, 200 seated; Barn 350, 300 seated (100 minimum). The Fearrington House, (919) 542-2121; 2000 Fearrington Village Center, Pittsboro.

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