In Fayetteville, reasonably priced venues that come with minimal planning are hard to come by. Aside from the courthouse wedding at the Register of Deeds office, marriages are performed by the magistrates at the Cumberland County Detention Center.
“I had two friends who had each married an active-duty soldier before deployment, and both women had their wedding at the jail,” Sheila Hanrick, the director of marketing and events for CFBG said.”They both kept commenting on seeing inmates, not being allowed to have photos, etc. I wanted to provide an alternative environment.”
The first pop-up wedding took place at the Garden Feb. 6 last year. Since then, the Garden has hosted three more Pop-Up Wedding Days. So far, 13 couples have gotten married on those dates, but the goal is for 15 couples to tie the knot in March.
In 2018, heartofncweddings.com reported that the average wedding in the state of North Carolina cost a whopping $30,000. The hefty price tag combined with the time and stress that goes into coordinating all of the details that come with a wedding can be overwhelming for the bride, the groom, and their families and friends.
The Garden alleviates those issues by offering a traditional ceremony while also touting affordable packages guaranteed to cut costs. For just $450, a pop-up wedding includes the venue, an officiant, chairs, decor in neutral tones by Debbie Bender Designs, up to 30 guests, not including the bride- and groom-to-be, and complimentary parking, as well as witnesses, should the couple need some. Additional add-ons include options for flowers from Johnson’s Florist, photography from LRP Media and a small cake from Marci’s Cakes and Bakes, to name a few. The add-ons range from $15 to $250.
One benefit of registering for the Garden’s Pop-Up Wedding Day is that couples, their families and their friends can sit back and relax as some of the most stressful parts about planning a wedding are taken off their hands by the staff at the Garden and the vendors responsible for the add-ons. The wedding party just has to show up and go down the aisle.
Debbie Bender has over 10 years of event planning experience and is excited to be on board for a second year for the joyous occasions. As someone who is active in the community as part of the Fayetteville Young Professionals and through her work with nonprofit organizations in the area, Bender prides herself on utilizing local vendors and small businesses in her decor.
“We receive phone calls every day from brides and grooms-to-be who want a magical day but due to ‘life happening,’ not everyone has months, sometimes over a year, to plan the wedding of their dreams,” Bender said. “Being a part of the Pop-Up Weddings at CFBG provides us the privilege to be a part of their day, even in the simplest way.”
To highlight the natural beauty of the garden, and to match everyone’s wedding, Bender uses fresh greenery and cream floral arrangements. Her company will also showcase its greenery moon gate, a classic wooden arbor and a triangle arbor.
Fayetteville locals, or anyone who has been here more than a week or so, might have learned that the weather can change on a dime, and the last day any bride ever wants it to rain is at her wedding. But never fear — the Garden also has rain plans in place as well. The Garden offers the Orangery and the Pond Lawn as ceremony
The Cape Fear Botanical Garden is excited to offer its fresh take on expedient weddings once again. “(My favorite part) is providing the couple a memorable wedding in a beautiful setting without all of the stress and expense of the traditional wedding,” Hanrick said.
Aside from pop-up wedding dates, the Garden accommodates wedding parties throughout the rest of the year as well. In fact, people can be wed almost 360 days of the year at the garden with a ceremony only package. Couples who are interested can contact the events department at 910-486-0221 ext. 29 or 39. The coordinators will discuss details and availability. The couple can also set an appointment to tour the grounds in advance.
The next Pop-Up Wedding Day will be March 21 from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. To learn more visit https://www.capefearbg.org/ or call the events department at 910-486-0221 ext. 39.