The Ultimate Durham Wedding Venue Guide

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Cozy inns, lush gardens, renovated industrial spaces in the heart of the city – no matter what kind of wedding you’re throwing, our venue guide will help you find the perfect spot to host your big day

Donminique and Chaz, venue guide
Read about this intimate elopement at 21c Museum Hotel here. Photo by Ariel Perry Photography

Compiled by Isabella Reilly

21C MUSEUM HOTEL DURHAM

Located in the heart of downtown and voted one of the top hotels in the South by Condé Nast Traveler, this multi-venue contemporary art museum offers more than 10,500 square feet of art-filled exhibition and event space. Its large, classic ballroom with wooden paneled walls and columns accommodates as many as 250 guests The full-service boutique hotel is also home to Counting House restaurant and bar, led by executive chef Jeff Seizer.

ARROWHEAD INN

Set on 6 acres in North Durham, the inn’s on-site event coordinator will help you plan every aspect of your event. Ideal for smaller affairs of 30 guests or fewer, this lovely inn specializes in garden weddings and can provide space for an indoor reception as well as accommodate sleeping for up to 18 guests in its nine rooms. Contact events@arrowheadinn.com for more information.

Risa and Matt, venue guide
Read about this picture-perfect wedding at Bay 7 at American Tobacco here. Photo by Fancy This Photography

BAY 7 AT AMERICAN TOBACCO

Nestled within downtown’s American Tobacco Campus, Bay 7 accommodates up to 400 guests in its 10,000 square feet of event space that features exposed brick walls, hardwood floors and steel girders. In-house catering is provided by Angus Barn.

BELT LINE STATION

This unique industrial-chic venue set inside downtown’s historic Golden Belt Campus was once a train station. Today, it’s a fully covered outdoor space designed to host ceremonies and receptions. The venue can accommodate any weather with its retractable panels, while heaters and cooling apparatuses are available for extreme weather conditions, and can hold up to 100 seated, 175 standing. Triangle Catering offers a variety of Southern food options, full liquor bars, nonalcoholic beverages and more. Request rate information by contacting info@tchospitalitygroup.com.

Belt Line Station Bride and Groom, venue guide
Belt Line Station. Photo by Kivus & Camera

THE COOKERY

Once the historic Durham Food Co-op building, this venue features an expansive ballroom, cobblestone garden, courtyard and front room with 20-foot ceilings and a mezzanine. Its 12,000-square-foot grounds can accommodate up to 500 guests for cocktail-style events and 330 people for seated gatherings. Built and designed with exposed brick walls and industrial pieces of Durham’s history, The Cookery is a unique setting for myriad wedding celebrations. Rates range depending on the date – contact hello@durhamcookery.com to inquire for custom-pricing packages.

The Cotton Room, venue guide
Read about this brick-and-blush wedding at The Cotton Room here. Photo by Morgan Caddell Photography

THE COTTON ROOM

Located near its sister venue Belt Line Station in the Golden Belt Campus, The Cotton Room is an elegant, distinctive industrial venue on the third floor inside a historic cotton factory. The dynamic space – with beautiful exposed brick, floor-to-ceiling windows and timeless architecture – is large enough to accommodate 400 guests. The all-inclusive services such as event management, a large catering menu designed by its award-winning executive chef, a libations menu sure to make you swoon and much more. Request rate information by contacting info@tchospitalitygroup.com.

Lin and Joel, venue guide
Read about this couple’s ceremony at Duke Chapel here. Photo by Live View Studios

DUKE CHAPEL

Standing at 210 feet in the center of Duke University’s West Campus, the chapel’s English Gothic architecture features the distinctive “Duke stone,” vaulted ceilings, 77 colorful stained glass windows, intricate woodwork and a long aisle in the middle of the sanctuary. A Duke affiliation is required to be married at the chapel. Reservations for the sanctuary can be made up to one year in advance. Rates are available upon request via email at chapelweddings@duke.edu.

THE DURHAM EXCHANGE

The perfect blend of intimate and industrial – with textured, white brick walls, large windows that let in plenty natural light and double bar doors – this venue invites couples to decorate and personalize the space. Its open-vendor policy also allows spouses-to-be to enjoy all their favorites on their special day. For more information, contact Blaire Malachi at hello@durhamexchange.com or 919-251-6197.

DURHAM ARMORY

The recently renovated 8,000-square-foot ballroom features exposed brick walls and a parquet floor, and is located in the heart of the city on the corner of Foster and Morgan streets. The ballroom comfortably seats 400, and the overlooking balcony adds an additional 314 seats. Amenities include a coat room, snack bar, tables, chairs, audiovisual equipment and parking for loading and unloading is permitted under the carport in the back of the building. Guest parking is available on the street or at the Durham Center Garage at 300 W. Morgan St. Outside caterers have access to a warming kitchen that includes an industrial gas stove, triple sink, microwave, refrigerator and ice machine. Alcohol is permitted with insurance, an ABC permit and security. Durham Parks & Recreation, which manages the property, provides tours of the facility. Call 919-560-4355, ext. 27202, or email reservations@durhamnc.gov for more information.

DURHAM ARTS COUNCIL

Plan your special day at Durham’s favorite art-filled event space. Choose from a combination of spaces, like two unique galleries filled with rotating, curated exhibits, the sun-filled Pavilion and other meeting areas throughout the building. Rooms can be rented alone or combined to create your ideal wedding space. Amenities such as furniture rental and kitchen access can be added. All rental rates are based on a four-hour event time, plus a complimentary two hours to set up before the event and one hour to clean up afterward. Email info@durhamarts.org for more information.

DURHAM CENTRAL PARK

The Pavilion at Durham Central Park is a 9,000-square-foot, open-air venue with smooth concrete floors, surrounded by a lush lawn with access to water, electricity, bathrooms and storage. It can accommodate up to 300 guests. On the east side of the park is The Leaf, a more intimate space with a 50-person capacity limit next to Mount Merrill playground and the Great Lawn. Email info@durhamcentralpark.org or call 919-794-8194 for more information.

Durham Food Hall event space
Durham Food Hall. Photo by Fancy This Photography

DURHAM FOOD HALL

The mezzanine offers more than 2,000 square feet of private event space in three beautiful venues, each with views of the hall below. The Loose Leaf Event Gallery, is an open, 1,350-square-foot space with modern chandeliers (seating capacity is 150 with a 200-person standing capacity) and a 10-foot, bi-fold food that opens into the Riggs Lounge, a 650-square-foot room with luxe finishes and a large, copper top bar with additional plush banquette seating for 26 people (up to 60 standing). The Walker Stone Room is the most intimate space at 410 square feet and features a 14-foot custom brass and maple table made by Bull City Designs (seated capacity is 10-20, with up to 40 standing). All three spaces are available individually or packaged together. The  is an open, 1,350-square-foot space decorated with modern chandeliers and a 10-foot bi-fold door that opens into the , a 650-square-foot room with luxe finishes and large, copper top bar with additional plush banquette seating. The Gallery’s seating capacity is 150 with a 200-person standing capacity. The Lounge can seat 26 people, while up to 60 can stand. Bar packages and catering from Food Hall vendors is available. Contact info@durhamfoodhall.com for more information.

THE DURHAM HOTEL

This mid-century downtown venue offers seasonal menus and locally sourced drinks. A combination of the Mezzanine Private Dining RoomThe Restaurant at The Durham and rooftop lounge can accommodate 150 seated or standing guests. Catering, beverage service, staffing, tables, chairs and some decor is available in-house. For more information, contact sales@thedurham.com.

FOREST HILLS NEIGHBORHOOD CLUBHOUSE

This large clubhouse is located in the heart of the Forest Hills neighborhood and can accommodate up to 80 people. It features a large lawn, spacious kitchen, restrooms, heating and air conditioning, and comes equipped with eight 60-inch round tables, ten 8-foot banquet tables and 60 chairs. Outside is a large lawn. Outside catering is welcome, and there is a kitchen available. Durham Parks & Recreation, which manages the property, provides tours of the facility. Call 919-560-4355, ext. 27202, or email reservations@durhamnc.gov for more information.

THE FRUIT

This 22,000-square-foot warehouse-turned-venue is often used for musical performances, art shows and more, and all areas of the space include a state-of-the-art sound system and bar service. The black box theater side of the venue can seat up to 300 people, with enough standing room for 600 people. The warehouse section of the building offers a “flexible use” area, which can be divided into different sizes and similarly holds up to 600 for large dances. Finally, there’s a basement bar and dance area that includes artsy lounge rooms, great for up to 150 people, but only accessible by stairs. The staff is entirely composed of artists and photographers who are best reached via the booking page on durhamfruit.com or bookthefruit@gmail.com.

HISTORIC DURHAM ATHLETIC PARK

Located just a mile north of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, this is a perfect venue for baseball fans and movie lovers alike, as the 1988 hit romance/sports film “Bull Durham” was filmed here. This venue can host events for up to 5,000 people on the playing surface or around the ballpark. For more information, contact Scott Strickland at sstrickland@durhambulls.com.

HOPE VALLEY COUNTRY CLUB

The historic country club offers multiple spaces with golf course views, including the 1926 Tudor-designed Club Room, a main dining room with crystal chandeliers and a terrace patio. The newly renovated French, Terrace and Renaissance rooms offer flexible configurations and classic-yet-modern style. Country club staff help guide in the planning process, and a culinary team provides the cuisine. For more information, contact Travis Dickerson at 919-251-5495.

HILL HOUSE DURHAM

This 1911 Spanish Colonial Revival mansion features original hardwood floors and millwork, detailed fireplaces and a sweeping main staircase. The interior is perfect for intimate gatherings of up to 56, while ample outdoor spaces and a covered porch, pergola and lush grounds host larger events of up to 150. Hill House Durham underwent extensive restoration projects in 2021 and opened for weddings following an upgrade of its catering kitchens, multi-stall restroom and several bedrooms, which now serve as getting-ready spaces. For more information, contact hillary@hillhousedurham.org or 919-682-0449.

JB DUKE HOTEL

Conveniently located on Duke University’s campus, the AAA four-diamond rated hotel offers a tranquil retreat distinguished by its first-class service, attention to detail and beautiful setting. Seasoned consultants can help you plan every detail of your special day, which includes a complimentary suite for the couple on the night of the wedding. For more information, contact Diane Tighe at dtighe@wdigc.com or 919-313-2158.

MILLENNIUM DURHAM

The hotel’s Brightleaf ballroom is 3,864 square feet, can hold up to 500 people and is accessible from the hotel’s main lobby. On the second floor of the hotel is the Greenbriar ballroom, which is the same size and capacity as the Brightleaf. For information on rates, contact Jessica McCabe at jessica.mccabe@millenium.com or 919-382-5010.

MOREHEAD MANOR

The bed and breakfast can host an intimate wedding for up to 50 guests in its newly landscaped garden, inn or carriage house. It provides tables, chairs and linens, and offers the option of professional catering and other wedding services. Contact Monica R. Edwards at 919-687-4366 or info@moreheadmanor.com for more information.

Kassy and Brandon at the Museum of Life & Science
Read about this DIY wedding at Museum of Life and Science here. Photo by Samantha Floyd Photography

MUSEUM OF LIFE AND SCIENCE

Tie the knot in a treehouse, wed among butterflies or party next to a spaceship at this iconic local museum. Four different “Wonder Wedding” themed packages are available, and each package features different selections of museum exhibits, with the option of fun add-ons (like liquid nitrogen margaritas or a train ride along the Ellerbe Creek Railway). Up to 150 guests can be accommodated for a seated reception. Limited tables and chairs are included. The museum also offers “Intimate Wonder,” a micro-wedding option that includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, cake and flowers. For more information, contact the rentals team at rentals@lifeandscience.org or 919-220-5429, ext. 400.

MYSTIC FARM & DISTILLERY

Enjoy idyllic views of the 22-acre working farm and distillery with 3,800 square feet of indoor space (with a capacity of 200) that features full audiovisual facilities, mesh seating, a kitchen and coffee service. The venue includes outdoor areas and a large, covered porch overlooking the pond and fields. There is an option to include an interactive distillery tour and tasting to your event. Contact aaron@mysticdistilling.com for more information.

PARIZADE

Incorporate an elegant Mediterranean feel into your wedding with two distinct event spaces and a variety of plated dinners. The outdoor courtyard features a stunning garden and water feature, with room for a seated ceremony of 120 or up to 80 for a seated reception. The club room can hold 50 (seated ceremony) and up to 72 (reception). Contact event director Jennifer Kessing at 919-286-9712 or jennifer@parizadedurham.com for more information.

PINE & POPLAR

This 2,500-square-foot downtown venue attached to The Wine Feed seats up to 130 guests and features a large garage door that lets in ample natural light for beautiful wedding portraits. The modern space features a map wall of Durham from 1914, a handmade metal tree sculpture branching across the ceiling, and includes use of a 1,000-square-foot patio area that can be tented for year-round indoor and outdoor events. Awall can be opened to include the store and wine bar area, increasing the venue’s total capacity to 210. Email events@pineandpoplardurham.com for more information.

See more of this styled wedding photo shoot at The Pit Durham Event Venue here. Photo by Samantha Everette Photography

THE PIT DURHAM EVENT VENUE

The Pit Authentic BBQ transitioned from a dine-in restaurant to full-time event venue in 2022. While The Pit is known for its signature authentic North Carolina barbecue, the venue also boasts one of the largest rooftops in downtown and space for more than 500 guests across two floors and multiple rooms. In addition to in-house catering, the venue offers bar and beverage services, tables, chairs, glassware, silverware, china and linens.

PNC TRIANGLE CLUB

A perfect venue for baseball fans, the entire stadium, outdoor picnic areas, stadium concourses and luxury suites at the PNC Triangle Club at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park are available to rent for your event on non-game days. The Triangle Club can accommodate up to 250 people and features full views of the field, audio and visual components and a full bar. Bull City Hospitality handles all catering needs, ranging from ballpark favorites to fine dining entrees. Suites can accommodate 12-16 people.

The Rickhouse
See more of this downtown wedding at The Rickhouse here! Photo by Morgan Caddell Photography

THE RICKHOUSE

The stunning warehouse venue right in the heart of downtown boasts an open-air roofed balcony that overlooks the Historic Durham Athletic Park and an indoor space that can host up to 300 guests, Features include beautiful exposed brick walls, a large chalkboard, a furnished private suite and floor-to-ceiling glass windows that showcase gleaming distilling equipment that offer a unique wedding backdrop. To schedule a tour or inquire about the venue, visit rickhousedurham.com or contact info@rickhousedurham.com.

SARAH P. DUKE GARDENS

The public botanical garden boasts gorgeous locations for weddings and rehearsal dinners. No matter the season, the gardens offer spectacular views and a perfect setting for special events. The Doris Duke Center offers space for an outdoor ceremony and indoor reception and can accommodate up to 100 guests. Visit gardens.duke.edu/rentals for more information.

SHERATON IMPERIAL HOTEL RALEIGH-DURHAM AIRPORT AT RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK

This hotel has a total of 32,000 square feet of event space, including its 1,750-square-foot Crystal Coast Ballroom and 11 other event rooms. In-house catering professionals are available to prepare and serve meals.

SPRUCE PINE LODGE

This vintage 1940s log building in the Lake Michie recreation area is located just 14 miles from downtown, making for a convenient and beautiful outdoor venue. The 2,500-square-foot lodge accommodates up to 120 guests. Call 919-560-4355, ext. 27202, or email reservations@durhamnc.gov for more information.

UNIVERSITY CLUB

Located on the 17th floor of University Tower, this private club is best known for its spectacular views and elegant touches. It can  accommodate up to 120 guests seated or 200 reception-style with additional space available for ceremonies. Call 919-493-8099 or send an email to events@universityclubnc.com for more information.

WASHINGTON DUKE INN

Nestled on 30 acres that overlook the Duke University Golf Club, the AAA four-diamond rated inn is known for beautiful grounds, award-winning dining and unparalleled service. In addition to 271 elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites, the inn can accommodate groups of 2 to 600 among its event spaces. Seasoned wedding consultants can assist in planning every detail of the special day, which includes a complimentary suite for the couple on the night of the wedding. For more information, contact Diane Tighe at dtighe@wdigc.com or 919-313-2158.

ZINC HOUSE WINERY AND BREWERY

This winery and brewery sits on 87 acres of land surrounded by vineyards, hiking trails, ponds and more. Located right near Research Triangle Park, the winery is easily accessible to Raleigh, Durham, and the surrounding areas. The winery offers three wedding packages accommodating 150 guests or less with three different sites to choose from.

BEST DRESSED

BERNARD’S FORMALWEAR – The only in-stock tuxedo warehouse in Durham, Bernard’s can fit celebrants and wedding party members in rental suits or tuxedos in all of the latest fashions. The store also offers formalwear for purchase. General Manager Keith Smith is a go-to resource on upcoming wedding formalwear trends.

GAVIN CHRISTIANSON BRIDAL – This bridal shop encourages shoppers to truly embrace their personal bridal style. It carries a variety of styles from KittyChen Couture, Élysée and Carrington Collection – a bridal line designed in-house.  Inclusive sizing is available in-store and gowns currently range between $1000 to $5000.

HUSHED COMMOTION – Offering subtle but striking styles, Hushed Commotion values beauty in design, and bold intricacy and craftsmanship in all its wedding accessories. The store stocks essentials such as veils, jewelry, hair pieces, cuff links and more, and also offers unique items like decorated bridal sneakers, gloves and crystal-beaded face masks. All accessories are handmade in Durham, and in-store visits are by appointment only. Contact 347-549-9709 for more information.


For a full comprehensive guide to venues and vendors across the Triangle, visit Heart of NC Weddings magazine.

This post was original published on Jan. 10, 2022, and updated on Feb. 16, 2023.

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