A Cullowhee couple keeps it local with a University Center wedding
By JILL INGRAM MA ’08
Meagan Yops ’03 MBA ’04 and Onifer Wilmoth ’03 MBA ’07 met as graduate students at Western Carolina. After they fell in love and decided to marry, an on-campus reception seemed the obvious choice.
“We both love Western,” said Meagan, who took her husband’s last name. “We still go to all the home football games and try to go to the home basketball games and sit in the outfield of the home baseball games.”
The couple, who live in Cullowhee, reserved the Grandroom in the A.K. Hinds University Center for their event. “There’s really no place else in Cullowhee to have the reception,” Meagan Wilmoth said. “There’s not a big hotel, and I’d much rather give my money to Western than a hotel.”
Meagan, a title and inventory administrator at Andy Shaw Ford, is originally from Waynesville. Onifer, of Elkin, is fitness director at Highlands Falls Country Club. The couple married on an October afternoon at their church, Cullowhee Baptist, also on campus and next to Hunter Library. After the ceremony, the couple and their guests enjoyed the walk to the University Center, receiving congratulatory honks and waves from students along the way.
Jill Lindsay, the U.C. information and reservation coordinator, said wedding receptions at the U.C. are becoming more common. “We’ve got at least one or two a year here lately,” Lindsay said. Alumni, faculty, staff and students are eligible to reserve rooms for such events in the U.C., with Lindsay recommending booking at least six months in advance.
The Grandroom, with its bank of tall windows and a capacity of 500 people, costs a baseline $300 for five hours, with additional charges for services and equipment, such as tables, chairs, greenery and sound. Aramark, the company that contracts with the university for food service, provides catering, with china service typically costing between $10 and $20 per plate and hors d’oeuvres about $1 apiece. Aramark also provides the wedding cake, with some exceptions; for instance, a relative made the Wilmoths’ cake.
Planning the reception was simple and easy, Meagan Wilmoth said, and many of the more than 100 guests went out of their way to say how much they enjoyed it. “Everyone was very impressed with the wait staff at the U.C. and with how beautiful everything looked,” she said. “I have no complaints. Everybody said they had a great time.”