One of the hardest things I have faced so far being a good ole southern girl is the fact that we are not getting married in a church. When I tell people the venue DF and I have chosen they look at me like I am a bare footed heathen. No it’s not a church people. It’s way cooler and a space where everyone will feel comfortable and welcome. And no we aren’t having a traditional pastor either but instead one that I found online that also performs Handfastings. You see, in our great ole state of NC you have to be married by an ordained and recognized clergy or a registered officiant. Your buddy with the online ordainment just will not work because in NC it won’t be legal. Good thing I found this out now because we entertained the thought of having a friend marry us.
Back to the church thing. What other options do you have? Plenty! You could get married outside, in an old building, in a warehouse space, in a museum, in someone’s back yard….the options are endless. Below I have listed a few of my favorite places in the Raleigh, NC area to get married. These places are definitely different and have a little bit of an edge to them. And none will break the budget! In fact, one of the spaces is free! Please comment and add your own ideas if I miss a favorite.
- Umstead Park, Cary. Picnic shelters. These shelters rent for only $100 a day and provide a great natural outdoor space to get married in. The rental is for the entire day but there is no alcohol allowed in the park.
- The Borden Building, Raleigh. This is a very old, historic house located in the heart of downtown Raleigh. The house and grounds rent for all day for under $1000. No open flames or smoking on the premises. The amphitheater can also be rented alone or with the house for an additional cost.
- Shelley Lake, Sertoma Arts Center, Raleigh. This is a great outdoor location with walking trails, playgrounds, bridges, and a fantastic Art Center that can be rented for events. It does get busy on the weekends so book your rental far in advance.
- The Demonstration Gallery at the NC History Museum, Raleigh. Super cute little space that seats about 50 with vaulted ceilings and an awesome crystal chandelier. The rental is $300 for the space and may be rented during or after hours. The big windows overlook downtown Raleigh.
- The Bridge Club, Raleigh. This cool little bar on the corner also serves some pretty fantastic food. Upstairs they have two spaces that would be awesome for a small wedding. You can either rent both or just one depending on your needs. If you do chose to have your reception there though I believe you have to use their caterer. Which is still very reasonably priced and amazing!
- Burning Coal Theatre, Raleigh. This is a really neat space. Very old brick walls and lots of openness. Lot of flexibility here. Not sure exactly what the cost is for rental.
- The Architect Bar, Raleigh. If you like an intimate environment in a freaking awesome old building then this is the spot for you! They do allow outside catering and they provide the alcohol if a reception is to be held there. The space price varies but I believe it is over $500.
- Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve, Raleigh/Wake Forest. This beautiful space was snatched up by the city and turned into a protected park. It used to be a horse pasture during it’s first life. The space has unpaved trails and the use of a picnic shelter which is first come first serve. This spot would be perfect for a small wedding with just a few gathering to witness. And since it is a city park the cost would be free!
There’s a few options to get your brain working. I personally love all of these because each is so very different and not traditional at all. Remember…it’s your wedding so make it a reflection of you and your partner and the love you have for one another. At the end of the day, your union and partnership is the only thing that matters!