Love stories in Asheville, NC

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AVL love I Photo submitted by Rachel D.

Today we’re talking love stories, Asheville love stories, that is. Y’all were kind enough to share your first date stories, engagement tales, and other scenes that could’ve been plucked straight out of an Asheville movie with us, and we’d like to share them with you while love is still in the air.

We know yesterday was technically V-Day, but love is eternal. So without further ado, here are 15 times that Cupid visited Asheville.

Arielle and I met at UNCA in January of 2005. Both Juniors, I’d transferred in and it was my first semester. UNCA attracted me from Austin, Texas, and her from Carbondale, Illinois. I didn’t know where anything was yet, so when we both showed up for our first playwriting workshop of the winter semester outside the wrong classroom, it fell to her to get to the bottom of the mystery. She led us first to the Karpen Hall computer lab and then boldly across the quad to the Humanities Lecture Hall, and I have been following her ever since. Three years later the man who taught that class, David Hopes, did us the honor of marrying us in a ceremony in my wife’s Southern Illinois home. After a two-year excursion to New York to collect another degree, we hightailed it back to Asheville in the throes of the Great Recession and got work in the nascent brewing industry that ultimately enabled us to buy a house in a downmarket in Oakley. Today we own Daymoon Coffeebar in Fairview, I toil away at unpublished novels and my wife is one of the youngest commercial appraisers in the state.  

Devin 

My wife and I met in a Facebook group for introverts.  We met there and then privately chatted every night over several months.  She was living in Asheville and I was living in Minneapolis.  We talked a few times on the phone, but both being extreme introverts, talking on the phone wasn’t/isn’t our thing. After a while we knew we had to meet in person to see if this relationship was the real deal.  She came to Minneapolis first.  Then I visited her in Asheville.  I fell in love with Asheville after I fell for her.  We did the long-distance thing for a few months.  Then, in my super awkward introverted way, I proposed in Asheville.  She said ‘yes!’Due to my work situation at the time, she moved to Minneapolis.  A year later we had our son.  We travelled back to Asheville many times in those five years in Minneapolis. Work shifted a bit and the call of Asheville drew us in.  In the summer of 2019, we moved here.  We are thrilled to be part of this community.

Mark 

I had just moved to Asheville in 2006 when I met my (future) partner in West Asheville. He was moving from New Mexico to Chapel Hill and staying with a mutual friend of ours. They picked me up to go to a show at the Grey Eagle and it was love at first sight. We spent the weekend at the LAAFF festival and when we walked over the Haywood bridge we spotted where someone (not us!) had etched our names, KB + Jason, in a heart. A sign that it was meant to be. Eight years later we got engaged in Pisgah National Forest and married at Brahma Ridge in Candler

– Kathryn

My husband and I met in Columbia, where we still live, but Asheville has played a major role in our relationship. We discovered early on that we loved it individually, and soon started visiting as a couple. Fast forward 4 years, and we’d booked an AirBnB for a June weekend in 2017 to see Death Cab for Cutie (one of my favorite bands dating back to my teen years, who I will never ever stop loving), not knowing it would become an “engagement moon” — Daniel asked me to marry him the Wednesday before we left. We spent that weekend visiting all our favorite Asheville spots in a euphoric fugue state, capping off each night with a glass of wine and a game of Scrabble in our home for the weekend: a 70s-style camper in West Asheville. From then on, it became an unwritten rule that AVL was to be our default destination for celebrations: anniversaries, birthdays, whatever two people can commemorate. I imagine the theme of our next trip will be #WeGotVaccinated. Here’s hoping. Love you and miss you, Asheville.

– Kayla

I was living in Asheville in 2014 and I met a guy through match.com who lived in Charlotte. For our first date we had bites at Zambra and then cocktails at The Southern. Things went so well that our second date was two nights later with dinner at Reza’s and drinks at The Red Stag. We fell in love and I had to move to Charlotte for us to be together. We lasted two years there and FINALLY made our way back to Asheville in 2017 and had an intimate wedding on the deck of our new house at the top of a mountain. ️

– Shari

My sweetie and I met at Thursday College Night at Scandals circa 1990’s. True AVL natives, haha!

Anonymous 

My sweetie and I DID meet at the Orange Peel in 2012, at a Nappy Roots show. We met after the show was over – he was looking for his friends, and my friends and I were attempting to meet the band! Neither of us were living in Asheville at the time, and turns out we both lived in Boone. He had just moved there and I’d been there about a year already. That night we only exchanged numbers, but he called me the next day, and it’s been true love ever since. We even decided to move here to Asheville in 2017. Some funny details: we even have a photo of the two of us, BEFORE we met. Turns out he was standing behind me the whole show so he is in a photo of my friends and I. I always wonder, did either of us know somewhere deep down that we were in the presence of our soul mate? Oh, and yes, we did end up hanging out with the band after the show. I thank the Orange Peel for my true love.

Katie

We both attended Montreat College. It was our freshman year, and she was on the volleyball team, while I was on the basketball team. One of my teammates on the basketball team wanted to take her to the NC Mountain State Fair, but he did not have a car. I volunteered to take him, her, and two other friends to the fair in my car. Well, I’m not sure if there was some magic in the air (or maybe it was my awesome 2005 Toyota Matrix), but after that night, Emily and I were dating and not my teammate. Needless to say, there were some awkward situations in the locker room after this. But it all worked out – he and I remained friends, and 4 years later, Emily and I were married!

Tanner

Asheville is such a huge part of our lives. I’m from this area and have lived here all my life. However, my husband came here on a camping trip a decade ago and loved it so much that he moved. It was a few years later that our story together began. We met online and had our first date at Chiesa in Montford in 2016. We talked for a few hours there over an incredible dinner. It only took that first hour for us both to know that we were finished dating others. After dinner, we went to French Broad Chocolate Lounge. We waited in line with quite a few teenagers who had just been to their prom. I don’t remember their conversations, but I remember ours. We were already planning our future. Less than a year later, he proposed after dinner at Zambra’s where I had taken him for his birthday. I was trying to sign the check and hadn’t noticed that he was down on one knee. On October 14, 2018, we were married at Lake Julian and had our wedding dinner at Smoky Park Supper Club. From that first date, we’ve enjoyed spending time exploring everything Asheville and the surrounding area has to offer. This city took two middle aged adults who had sworn off finding their happily ever after and turned them into a couple very much in love

– Nan

My husband and I got married on December 31st at Pack Square. The “pond” was still there, but drained in the winter. That was also his parents’ wedding anniversary. In deciding where to get married, we said we both loved Asheville, so let’s get married in the middle of this great city. We met while having lunch with friends at Fuddruckers. With grandchildren who loved French fries dipped in cheese, it was decided to have our wedding lunch there. What a great day!

– Diana

We met in May of 2014, along the banks of the whitewater section of the French Broad River. We were paddling with two mutual groups of friends, but our individual paths had never crossed…well, to our knowledge anyway. I was recently divorced and had sworn off men forever, not on the market. So when this cute guy kept talking to me each time we stopped to sip beer on the rocks along the river, I really thought nothing of it. It wasn’t until the final stop that we sat on a rock together in stillness. My friends witnessing this later told us that they secretly conspired to leave us there because it was obvious we were going to be together. He messaged me on Facebook a week later asking if I wanted to grab a beer and paddle the town section of the French Broad one weekday afternoon. There is disagreement on whether this was our first “date” because it was me and three dudes, so our second outing sometimes wins that label, a one-on-one dinner at Bouchon’s Creperie, on their patio. There was a moment where he took a bite of his too-hot burger and I thought he was going to have to spit it in my hand, and that’s the moment he knew I was the one. After weeks of chatting and learning that we shared so many interests and mutual friends, we also determined that we were in the same room many times around Asheville for various shows/events. He’s even in the background of one of my pictures from 2014. We married along the banks of the French Broad in May of 2016.  We live in and now own the house we rented together when we first decided to cohabitate, just north of downtown. We continue to bike, paddle, hike and socialize (distantly) in and around our sweet city. Asheville has been the backdrop of our relationship and will continue to be.

– Kathryn 

My partner Dan and I met at the North Asheville Tailgate Market! He was working as an intern at Full Sun Farm, and I was an avid market goer. I had a crush on him for months and never knew what to say, but always bought my produce at Full Sun. As the season was coming to an end, I decided I needed to do something if there was ever going to be a chance of us getting to know each other. So…I wrote him a note with my number on it. He called me the next day! While he still worked at the farm, he brought me gorgeous hand-picked bouquets for our dates. This fall, we will celebrate 10 years together and 5 years of marriage, and our first son just turned 1. We will always be grateful to the Tailgate Market for bringing us together!

Elizabeth

Taylor was traveling as a musician and the first time I saw him was when he played at the Orange Peel. He was the opening act for Saint Paul and the Broken Bones. I watched him play the keys and was immediately drawn to himbut we never met. He was traveling with a Detroit rock band and his tour continued. Then five months later, I discovered that he was going to be headlining at The Grey Eagle! I made my way to the show with two of my closest girlfriends. We had a fabulous time and we danced so hard…alas it was time for the set to end. After the show, I found myself giggling and wanting to introduce myself to Taylor. The shy girl in me turned away and I just couldn’t bring myself to talk to him but my friend Mary told me that when she got back from getting a beer that “I better be talking to him” upon her return. Her threats gave me the bravery to walk over and start talking to him. We hit it off and couldn’t stop talking to each other. Our night ended and he packed up and moved on. He continued his tour and we continued a long distance relationship. We would meet in different cities to be with one another while he toured. One and half years later he moved to Asheville. We were madly in love and after living together and him settling into our amazing mountain town, he asked for my hand in marriage! We were married outside at Carrier Park in 2019. A match made in Asheville and in heaven! We found love and keep on loving here in Asheville. Asheville, we love you. Thank you for bringing me my husband!

– Damaris

I met Matt at Burial Beer in the fall of 2017.  Seeing a cute guy whose right arm was in a brace just like mine, it was easy to strike up a conversation, which ended up lasting late into the night. Though my heart quickly fell for him, a burning question remained – could this guy keep up with me hiking on trails?  I put this question to test on our first overnight backpacking adventure from Hot Springs to Max Patch, and when we reached the beautiful mountain balds and the end of day two, I knew I had found my soulmate. On September 12th of 2020, Matt and I stood in our hiking boots on Max Patch once again, this time to say “I Do.”  I am consistently grateful for how Asheville and these mountains held our love as it grew into a lifetime partnership, and I am excited for the many trails we have yet to climb together.

– Rachel

My husband and I met 11 years ago working at The Orange Peel. He was a Sound Engineer, and I started as a “bouncer.” It was love at first sight! While he was sound-checking bands, I would be in the lobby with the other staff having our pre-show meeting. He is a natural comedian, and his courting me involved finding excuses each evening to sneak into our meeting and make me, and everyone else, laugh. Our relationship flourished at local spot MoDaddy’s (RIP), where we’d go for local live music after working shows at the Peel. Because of this (and many other reasons) the music scene in AVL is precious to us! We worked together at the Peel for many years, and also made lifelong friendships with the rest of the Krewe, who we love and stay in touch with to this day. Now we make a great team (together with my family) as owners/managers of Town and Mountain Realty.

– Sophie