10 Historic North Carolina Wedding Venues We Love

Make a little history of your own at one of these notable spots.
by Carrie Chambers

1812 Hitching Post

2463 Turnersburg Highway N., Turnersburg; (704) 546-5443; 1812HitchingPost.com

This authentic antebellum plantation in the North Carolina foothills boasts an 18-room main house and 26 private acres that are dedicated exclusively to weddings and receptions. This all-inclusive venue has award-winning photographers and videographers, a DJ and sound system delivery, creative cakes and gourmet catering. They can also supply tables, chairs, linens and a variety of decor options. Accommodates up to 200.

The Carolina Inn

211 Pittsboro Street, Chapel Hill; (919) 918-2749; CarolinaInn.com

Talk about experience in wedding planning -- The Carolina Inn has been creating fairy-tale weddings since 1924 with intimate parlors, cozy fireplaces and secluded courtyards. It's perfect for intimate parties of 10 or large celebrations of up to 500 guests. And the aesthetics of the space are just as diverse, with backdrops like the Old Well Room with its evocative Art Deco decor and the Neoclassical design of the historic John Sprunt Hill Ballroom. The Inn offers a team of dedicated wedding specialists and access to master chefs and food designers for an event that you and your guests won't soon forget.

Castle Ladyhawke

78 Castle Ridge Road, Tuckasegee; (828) 894-0466; CastleLadyhawkeWeddings.com

This authentically recreated castle was once a private estate, but now offers the royal treatment for brides and grooms. The private property sits on 62 acres behind a secure gate with mountain views in all directions. Lead your groom up to the Tower for breathtaking photo ops or greet your guests at the foot of the regal, winding staircase. Castle Ladyhawke accommodates up to 200 guests and offers a diverse list of preferred vendors and several wedding packages to suit your needs.

Graylyn Estate

1900 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem; (336) 758-2429; Graylyn.com

The Gray family gave this fortress-like estate, built in the 1930s, to Wake Forest University in 1972. Rolling lawns, quaint gardens and a stone bridge that arches over a quiet lake are just a few of the gorgeous features that grace this timeless treasure. Inside are a variety of spaces for an elegant, fairy-tale wedding with up to 300 guests. No outside caterers allowed.

Graystone Inn

100 South 3rd Street, Wilmington; (910) 763-2000; GraystoneInn.com

Just three blocks from Wilmington's bustling River Walk, this turn-of-the-twentieth-century hotspot offers 4,300-square-feet of space decorated with period antiques and can suit parties from 10 to 150. Make a grand entrance on the gorgeous Renaissance-style staircase, say "I do" in front of the intricately carved fireplace and Corinthian columns and hobnob with guests out in the beautiful gardens or verandas. Their on-staff wedding coordinator will even help you with the details and provide you with a list of their favorite DJs and caterers.

Hilton's Mansion on the Hill

4810 Page Creek Lane, Durham; (919) 941-4842; HiltonRTP.com

All of the amenities of a modern hotel, but all the charm of a sweet Southern mansion -- that's what you'll find at Hilton's Mansion on the Hill nestled in the heart of the Triangle. The stately Southern mansion accommodates up to 220 people with a dance floor and offers spacious ballrooms, a charming porch with wicker rocking chairs and swings and a beautiful outdoor courtyard. Celebrate over a delicious menu designed by their staff, and then take the elevator up to your romantic suite.

The McGill Rose Garden

940 North Davidson St., Charlotte; (704) 333-6497; McGillRoseGarden.org

Once the home of Avant Fuel and Ice Co., this gorgeous garden was started by Henry and Helen McGill, who bought the coal yard in 1950, but decided it needed a little beautification. They started with two rose bushes and over the next three decades added a variety of colorful rose beds. A Seaboard Coastline coal car still sits on the tracks near the garden, adding to its historic charm. Invite up to 80 guests for a seated affair or up to 300 for a less formal gathering catered by one of the garden's preferred caterers. There's also an onsite floral designer, art and garden shop and a lovely covered porch.

Mountain Magnolia Inn and Retreat

333 South Spring St., Hot Springs; (800) 914-9306; MountainMagnoliaInn.com

This fully-restored 1868 Victorian estate is located in Hot Springs, the gateway to the Smoky Mountains, and is perfect for intimate destination weddings or larger, outdoor weddings beneath the beautiful old black walnut tree. Gardens border the lawn, which also features party tents and a covered terrace with breathtaking views of the mountains. The inn uses locally grown foods as much as possible and can serve up to 35 people inside or larger groups up to 150 in an outdoor reception.

The Orange Peel

101 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville; (828) 225-5851; TheOrangePeel.net

This cool, funky, urban venue is perfect for rock star couples. It will hold up to 250 guests with full seating and still have at least a 25x25 dance floor. The Peel, as most locals call it, was built as a roller skating rink in the late 1940s and was used as a soul club during the 1960s and '70s featuring acts like The Commodores and the Bar Kays. Since reopening in 2002 it's been voted one of the top five music clubs in the nation by Rolling Stone and has hosted acts like the Smashing Pumpkins and Joan Jett. The eclectic vintage interior and a 40-foot stainless steel bar make this venue perfect for couples looking for something different. They also welcome any licensed caterer of your choosing without any extra fees.

Whalehead Club

1100 Club Road, Corolla; (252) 453-9040; WhaleheadClub.org

With Currituck Beach Lighthouse in the distance, plush lawns, historic waterfront views and 80-year-old living oak trees situated on 39 pristine acres, The Whalehead Club, originally named "Corolla Island," is a breathtaking backdrop for outdoor weddings entertaining up to 360 guests. Though the museum itself is not available for events, the Art Nouveau architecture of the home and nearby antique bridge perfectly complement the beauty of the Outer Banks (and make it a picturesque spot for photos!). Public restrooms are available, along with a number of wedding packages and a list of qualified caterers equipped to handle outdoor events.

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