I’m so excited to be introducing my newest blog series, “Charlotte’s Finest,” highlighting my FAVORITE wedding vendors in the Charlotte area! SO – if you’re a bride to be (or even just looking for a whole lot of pretty in your life), make sure that you’re subscribed to the newsletter so you can follow along!
First up, and certainly for great reason, is arguably one of the most iconic venues in North Carolina: The Duke Mansion. The mansion was built in 1915 by Mr. Zebulon Taylor, President of now Duke Power Company. However, the extensive mansion entrance you see upon arriving was added by the second homeowner, James “Buck” Duke. Since the addition, the mansion now claims 32,000 square feet of pristine elegance. The front porch, to the right of the entrance, is also a popular spot for seated dinners (50 guests) and cocktail hours!
As you walk through the doors of the historic 103-year-old mansion, it boasts excellence from every corner. Chandeliers hang from high ceilings above and stunning black and white patterned marble floors shine below. It’s the perfect combination that celebrates the mansions history while also looking forward to the years to come.
The Grand Foyer is the first area seen inside the mansion. Because the foyer is such an incredible space, it’s a popular location for cocktail hour and for guests to mingle! The round table in the center of the foyer is one of the most sought-after spaces for wedding cakes. This space really gives that “wow” factor to such an iconic wedding day element 🙂 The foyer is also an incredible option for bridal portraits, which is a complimentary privilege for all Duke Mansion brides!
In addition to hosting your wedding day, The Duke Mansion also has options to add on additional events, such as your bridal shower, engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, and farewell brunches! Below, you’ll find pictures of a few of these spaces, like the Ray Dining Room and The Solarium.
If you walk straight through the foyer and through the large, French doors, you’ll enter out onto the mansion’s massive back courtyard and the McGuire Lawn. The courtyard really brings the inside feel of the mansion to the outdoors for the perfect combination of the two! The slate patio overlooks the lawn and can be arranged with outdoor furniture through the mansion or other amazing vendors, like Old South Vintage Rentals and CE Rentals! Tufted couches and upholstered benches are the perfect addition to a cocktail hour in the courtyard! Elements like these help keep the wedding day cohesive from inside to outside!
The McGuire Lawn is one of two options for a ceremony location at the Duke Mansion! The Grand Pavilion on the lawn is an incredible setting to say “I do!” Event designers like Katrina Hutchins Events and Favor Me Events know EXACTLY how to dress up the lawn to make your lawn ceremony a dream! Because the Duke Mansion prides themselves on their experience for their couples, only 2 lawn ceremonies can be booked per month to preserve the integrity of the lawn for all of their couples!
To the right of the mansion and through the doors of the Levine Living Room, you enter onto the Garden Terrace! It can also be accessed from the front porch and the Solarium! The incredible blue stone and brick patio area is surrounded by lush gardens with pergolas at both ends! This is the second ceremony location option at the Duke Mansion. However, this is also a popular spot for reception dining with market lighting strung overhead! Can you even imagine… a soft summer breeze in the Carolinas with market lights swaying overhead as you celebrate your wedding day with your closest friends and family? What. A. DREAM!
Important to note: if you choose to add-on a wedding ceremony at the Duke Mansion and rain is in the forecast, your ceremony will be moved to the terrace and be tented! It’s important to know what your options are for rain back-up, and this is the perfect plan B!
Directly beneath the Garden Terrace is the Nisbet Rose Garden. This is such a great area to be able to sneak away after the ceremony for pictures! As a photographer, built in areas like these are so invaluable! The staff at the mansion will also bring down hors d’oeuvres for you and your bridal party to make sure you are well fed for pictures to come 😉 This is the perfect spot to gather, as the grounds boast 4.5 acres of gardens for plenty of space for incredible photos!
As if you needed MORE of a reason to hold your wedding at the Duke Mansion, the mansion grants you entire access to the bed and breakfast on the top two floors exclusive to your wedding day! All 20 rooms are reserved for you and your guests to stay on the property the night of and after your wedding! How amazing?!
Because of this, most brides and their maids take over the bridal suite on the morning of to get ready 🙂 Attached to the bridal suite is large screened in porch, PERFECT for mimosas in the morning and natural light for your bridal make-up! Trust me, your make-up artist will LOVE you for this space!
From a photography standpoint, this bridal suite is INCREDIBLE and will photograph so beautifully. The light and airy feel of the suite mixed with the ample natural light provides the perfect backdrop for “getting ready” photos!
If you’re as convinced as me that The Duke Mansion MUST be your wedding venue, e-mail Laura McCabe Stump at email@example.com to set up an official site tour and book your wedding day! I can’t wait for you to see the Duke Mansion like I did! <3