If you’ve decided to get married in North Carolina, you’ve made a great choice! The state has gorgeous mountains, quaint cities, and tons of history. And that’s just the backdrop. You have plenty to choose from when it comes to venues, including gorgeous modern rooftop terraces for outdoor ceremonies with stunning views of Raleigh and more traditional settings full of grandeur like the world-famous Biltmore Estate.
The average North Carolina wedding typically costs around $23,000, which is just a bit less than the national average of $28,000. What you’ll ultimately end up spending will depend on several factors, including how many guests you invite and your catering choices. But before you start planning the details, you’ve got to find a place to tie the knot! Read on for a rundown of the best wedding venues in North Carolina.
It’s simply impossible to come up with a list of the best wedding venues without including Biltmore Estate. Once the pride and joy of George Vanderbilt, this estate features an iconic chateau, outstanding restaurants, and luxury galore. And it’s all around ten minutes outside of Asheville in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
It’s a great option if you’re looking for an extremely traditional picturesque luxury venue with tried-and-true outstanding service. We’re talking seriously high-end here.
When it comes to the actual ceremony space, the Biltmore House and Gardens are the big stars, with several outdoor wedding venues to choose from, including the Italian Garden complete with a charming pond, the South Terrace featuring wide-open mountain vistas, and the Front Lawn with iconic views of the chateau and seating for up to 600 guests.
The estate also has several other options ranging from the intimate glass-enclosed Conservatory to the rustic Antler Hill Barn. Biltmore also has its ducks in a row when it comes to helping you plan, with staff available to give you a hand determining the best locations to hold events such as welcome receptions, rehearsal dinners, and your nuptials.
They can even assist with menu and event planning. You can choose between Biltmore’s catering, a list of approved vendors, or someone of your choice.
Price range: $10,000 – $25,000
The North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA)
The North Carolina Museum of Art is a fan favorite for romantic wedding venues. Its modern, light-filled interior is just gorgeous, and you really can’t beat getting married in front of a Botticelli painting. If modern art and fresh air are more your styles, there’s always the Museum Park, where you can say your vows in front of sculptures like Thomas Sayre’s otherworldly Gyre.
If you’re looking for an open, full of light, visually modern aesthetic set off by fantastic art, you can’t go wrong with a North Carolina Museum of Art wedding.
When it comes to picking your event’s location, your imagination is the limit. The park’s many statues are popular places for i-dos and photos. Other couples choose to have their nuptials in front of their favorite indoor artwork or in a part of the building with a stunning view.
The museum has a planning team to help you with the process from start to finish, including selecting the right location for your event and catering. The venue only does all-inclusive events, making this a top choice if you’re looking for solid guidance, easy planning, and a bespoke yet fun experience delivered by an experienced team of seasoned professionals.
Price range: $3,000 – $8,000
21c Museum Hotel
Located in Downtown Durham’s iconic Hill Building, the 21c Museum Hotel creates a new kind of space by displaying art in a luxury hotel setting.
The building’s Art Deco touches to provide a stunning backdrop for the museum’s permanent and rotating art exhibits and an even more dramatic backdrop for a wedding celebration. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for an amazingly creative option in a relatively traditional space.
The Museum Hotel’s most popular wedding setting is the Main Gallery, featuring dark wooden paneling and a floor set off with inlaid green marble that delivers a refined sense of tradition. (The building used to be a bank — if that helps you visualize the interior!) The modern art galleries and shimmering bank vault are wonderful options for smaller, more intimate dinners, ceremonies, and wedding receptions.
21c Durham wedding packages include venue rental and pre-set catering options. All on-site catering is handled by Counting House, named one of the Triangle’s Best Restaurants of 2017 by the News & Observer.
The restaurant has a private dining area that accommodates up to 32 people for intimate rehearsal dinners if you’re looking for a slightly less formal option than the vault. And the culinary staff will happily accommodate you if you’d like to offer your overnight guests some sort of brunch.
Price range: $1,500 – $5,000
The Ballantyne, which opened in 2001, offers a luxurious venue resplendent with tasteful modern interpretations of antebellum Southern interiors. And its grand staircase and fountain provide storybook backdrops for wedding photos!
It’s a solid choice if you’re looking for a large traditional venue close to Charlotte full of Instagrammable locations suitable for everything from goodbye brunches to welcome cocktail hours.
The Ballantyne has several options for holding your indoor ceremony, including the gorgeous light-filled Atrium with its open circular grand staircase and the Terrace. It has seating for 60, overlooking a gorgeously manicured lawn.
And the options are just as varied when it comes to finding a location to host your reception. The Ballantyne and Fairway ballrooms are appropriate for large sit-down dinners, and the York is just right for an intimate gathering of up to 50.
Thankfully, if you decide to get hitched at the Ballantyne, you’ll have the help of the hotel’s meeting and event manager, who’ll guide you through selecting locations for your special events and help you sort through the various catering options. They’ll also give you a list of preferred florists and wedding photographers to get you started and simplify your search.
Price range: $1,500 – $2,500 (Be sure to include the $15,000 – $34,000 food and beverage minimum in your wedding planning!)
AC Hotel Raleigh, Downtown — The Willard Rooftop
Set right in the heart of downtown Raleigh, the Willard Rooftop offers unbeatable views of the city in a modern, stylish, yet comfortable environment. Just to be clear, the Willard is the AC Hotel Raleigh, Downtown’s restaurant, and it’s the perfect choice for couples seeking a casual yet classy rooftop event.
The gorgeous wedding venue has several options for your ceremony, including the Horizon Ballroom, which comes with an indoor space featuring huge windows. Or, you can opt for the terrace if you’d like to get married in the open air. (Don’t worry, it’s heated!)
If you’re planning to go all out, check out the Willard Package, which gives you access to the entire rooftop, including a lounge, terrace, and seventh-floor ballroom.
As for the reception, the hotel is happy to work with you to develop location and catering options that fit your theme and budget. And they’ll even help you brainstorm great places to host smaller gatherings such as rehearsal dinners and intimate brunches. And if you’re interested in going Mediterranean-style, the venue can handle your catering right on-site.
Price range: Contact Venue
Yesterday Spaces is a working farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where rustic charm and gorgeous mountain views come together to create the perfect setting for a farmhouse wedding ceremony. Attention to rural authenticity lends this venue a sense of warmth, community, and tradition.
Don’t worry, it’s only a few minutes away from Asheville, so your guests can get there super quickly. It’s perfect for small and large rustic barn weddings — think simple but beautiful.
The farm has several venues appropriate for ceremonies and receptions, including the Main Event Barn featuring a charming temperature-controlled Loft, the 100-year-old Dairy Barn with gorgeous unfinished ceilings, and an Event Field with a firepit for ambiance, warmth, or both.
The Ceremony Site is a popular place to exchange vows, and the Wedding Path is pretty much a real-life enchanted lane, which is to say, it’s perfect for pictures. The venue will provide a list of caterers, and Yesterday Spaces takes care of basics like tables, silverware, and chairs.
There’s room for up to 16 people to stay in the Farmhouse, and the venue can accommodate smaller pre-and-post ceremony gatherings such as rehearsal dinners and bonfires.
Price range: $4,800 – $9,160
The Distillery is a dedicated event and modern wedding venue located in Garner, about 15 minutes outside Raleigh. An event planner owns it, so the space has literally everything you’ll need, from photogenic dressing rooms to comfortable areas for wedding guests to mingle as they arrive.
It’s the place to go if you’re looking for that perfect stunning modern-industrial vibe. The private dressing area features tons of design features and accessories just right for those last pre-wedding photos, including a gorgeous oversized mirror. And you’ll get two complimentary bottles of bubbly for pre-wedding toasts in the dressing area.
The venue has separate areas for ceremonies and receptions, with the latter featuring outdoor patio access. And there’s even a second outdoor space perfect for a welcome reception or cocktail hour.
Basics such as chairs and tables are included in the venue rental fee. And you’ll get a list of preferred vendors to help with planning. All events must end no later than 11 pm.
Price range: Starting at $1,800