While rustic has become a household word when it comes to decorating, the theme has also become a hot commodity in the wedding industry. From burlap draped tables to Pinterest-inspired centerpieces, the DIY trend has become a popular look with special events of all types.

It's exactly the look Katrina Naylor was looking for when she began planning her nuptials. She was living in Wilmington at the time and was disappointed at the lack of venues that met her needs in Carteret County. Her parents, who own J&S Landscape and Design and J&S Nursery, had some excess property and the bride-to-be soon began thinking this might be the perfect place to say "I do."

"I looked into tent prices and as soon as we saw them my dad said he could build something for that price," said Katrina. That's exactly what he did. And in the process, he developed a new arm of the family business that his daughter would embrace and grow.

That first structure was temporary – but within seven months of her own wedding date, Katrina had permits in hand and a permanent structure modeled after the beautiful scenes that had caught her attention while vacationing in Vermont. Butterfly Kisses Pavilion was born.

With ample parking and outdoor wedding space as well as the barn-like Pavilion, the rustic space can be dressed up or down to suit just about any taste. Katrina notes that there are tables and chairs on-site and the site has relationships with a variety of vendors to help streamline the planning process.

Jerome and Jessica Bacon found the venue while searching for locations near Emerald Isle that were not located on the beach. Jessica, who had a wedding outside on the grounds, said she was interested in having a more relaxed garden vibe for the décor but wanted to make sure there was also a structure in case weather put a wrench in their plans.

"My favorite thing about the venue was the Pavilion itself," she said. "The pavers inside are designed so well and make it feel more elegant than just a barn. I love how the Pavilion protects you from the elements but also still allows you and your guests to feel as if you’re outside with its large windows that can be opened or closed depending on the weather. "

While the primary focus is on weddings, Katrina said the site hosts a variety of events through the year, including an annual dance for the West Carteret High School Band. In 2018, it hosted its first Marine Corps Ball, something she was exceptionally honored to do. In all, they see about 35-55 events annually, with numbers continuing to increase.

"Every year we do improvements to the property," she said. "For example, this year we added more Southern trees. Every year we try to focus on something different so we continue to improve the venue."

In addition, she is always striving to come up with new ideas and ways of bringing the wedding community together. In January 2019, Butterfly Kisses will be holding its first Southern Stroll venue tour. Couples will be chauffeured between two venues and the Pavilion, where an after-party will be held.

Now a certified wedding planner, Katrina, who had previously worked at BB&T said she had no idea she would make such a drastic career change, but she's certainly glad she did. As part of the family business she brought her first child to work with her every day … now she brings two.

In the coming year, the venue plans to introduce all-inclusive small wedding packages for limited parties beginning at around $1,600 per couple for a party of 20.

"Our goal is always to make the venue as accessible to everyone as possible, even those who are on a tight budget or just want a smaller wedding with close friends and family," said Katrina.

To learn more about Butterfly Kisses Pavilion, visit butterflykissespavilion.com.

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