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These Duke Alums Had the Most Elegant Durham Wedding

Simply Elegant Wedding at Duke Gardens

The city of Durham holds a huge spot in the hearts of Annie and Dan. Though they moved north to Washington, D.C. after graduating from Duke, they knew they wanted to return to the area for an NC wedding. It took an alumni brunch at the Doris Duke Center at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham, for Annie to realize she had found the perfect venue for their upcoming nuptials. With delicate floral decor in black, white and plum, the couple created a simply elegant wedding at Duke Gardens.

Bride and Groom embrace for wedding photography, Rebekah Emily Photography

Annie & Dan’s Love Story – A Duke University Romance

Annie and Dan met during their sophomore year at Duke University in Durham NC. Clad in pirate costumes and dancing to the upbeat jams of Point Break, they locked eyes and Dan asked her to dance. Annie said “Maybe I should have been concerned that this boy was attracted to a girl in an oversized skull and crossbones t-shirt, but I’m glad I didn’t second guess my decision.”

After eight years of dating, Dan convinced Annie that the summer of 2016 was when he’d pop the question. Instead, he arranged for their room at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club to be decorated with roses, chocolate, candles and champagne for their arrival at their 5-year college reunion. He got down on one knee when they entered the room and had an entire weekend to celebrate in Durham with friends!


Pre-Wedding Prep at The King’s Daughters Inn

Annie and Dan both chose The King’s Daughters Inn for their pre-wedding prep festivities. Their bridal and groom parties joined them in celebrations that included champagne and pampering. The King’s Daughters Inn is a historic home in Durham that later was renovated into a charming inn with the amenities of a first class hotel and the intimacy of a Bed & Breakfast. It is located across the “Duke wall” on East Campus.

Many couples who choose ceremony venues around Durham, such as the Duke Gardens, utilize The King’s Daughters Inn and their gorgeous bridal and groom’s suites as a getting ready location for their wedding. With a historic appeal and plenty of natural light, it’s the perfect backdrop to your wedding party photos.

PRE-WEDDING VENUE The King's Daughters Inn

Plum Bridesmaid’s Gowns and Simple Florals by Tre Bella

Annie’s bridal party wore exquisite plum colored formal gowns of different varieties. Each bridesmaid carried a single white calla lily tied with a ribbon, designed by Tre Bella Flowers, a Durham based wedding florist. The combination of plum gowns and simple floral choice complemented the elegant wedding at Duke Gardens.


Classic Black and White Tuxedo for Groomsmen

Standing next to the gorgeous bridesmaid’s gowns it’s no surprise that the couple decided to go with another elegant choice for the groom’s and groomsmen’s attire.  The men were sharply dressed in the classic black and white tuxedos and a white floral boutonniere. Wedding portraits always look classic when the men are dressed in a tux, and it looks good no matter what the location is – even in a natural setting like a Duke Gardens wedding.


Outdoor Garden Ceremony – Duke Gardens Wedding

The couple exchanged vows in an outdoor ceremony at the Angle Amphitheater at Doris Duke Center, surrounded by their family and loved ones. The gardens created a beautiful and natural backdrop for the couple’s nuptials.

The wedding and event venue on the Sarah P. Duke Gardens has the best of both worlds – an indoor ballroom, an outdoor area for wedding ceremony and portraits, and a lawn that can be used for tenting. For Durham NC residents and Duke University alumni alike, Duke Gardens weddings are extremely popular. And if you have another style in mind for a wedding venue, you can still visit Duke Gardens for portraits or your wedding ceremony.


Tented Garden Reception at Doris Duke Center in Duke Gardens

Annie and Dan upgraded their reception to a transparent tent at the last minute, and said they were very pleased with this decision. The beauty of the gardens is too much to hide behind a thick tented reception, they explained, and we agree! Tre Bella Flowers accentuated the natural vibe of the venue with subtle greenery arrangements on each table and matching calla lily flowers.

Catering Works, a Raleigh based wedding catering company, went above and beyond for the reception. Annie shared, “on our wedding day everyone was excessively kind and accommodating. We had so many guests comment how Catering Works was the best catering team they have ever seen. The food was delicious and the service was impeccable. We seriously could not have asked for anything more.”

We love hearing rave reviews about these two SB&G Preferred Vendors!

FLORALS Tre Bella | CATERING Catering Works

Check out our last real wedding at Duke Gardens!

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