My problem is that I dont want the curve applied to all possible surfaces of an object but I still want the whole object to follow the curve. I want the curve modifier to only apply the curve to specific points. These points could then deform the whole object as needed (by separate vertex groups for example). Is something like this possible?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure about this, sounds like kind of "conditional deformation". I suggest putting a "before vs. after" illustration to make it more intuitve. $\endgroup$ – Leon Cheung Nov 27 '14 at 14:33

You can use vertex groups to limit the effect of a curve modifier.
Create the vertex group manually or enter weight paint mode using Ctrl+Tab. Red means max weight, dark blue means no weight.

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