Carolina Bride

Location, location, location

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden; photo by Project:Life
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden; photo by Project:Life

Finding the perfect venue for your wedding is not only exciting but one of the most important steps in your wedding planning process. Once you’ve set your budget and an estimated number for your guest list, you can begin hunting for the spot where you’ll say “I do.” Charlotte and the surrounding areas have a wide array of wedding venues, from picturesque outdoor options to historic buildings to modern museums.

The Charlotte Museum of History is a neat venue, tucked away from busy roads and offering a gorgeous indoor and outdoor setting. Plan for a guest list of 100 or less to maximize the use of the space in the museum. There’s a quaint garden outside if you plan to day your vows outdoors. If you’re planning a more traditional church wedding but like the museum idea for a reception, check out the Mint Museum uptown.

If you’re seeking a venue that’s romantic without adding a lot of décor, check out Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, just outside of Charlotte in Belmont, NC. They have several options for your ceremony and reception, both indoor and out. The upside of getting married in a botanical garden is that you can cut way back on your florist fees! For some of the options, you may have to consider a smaller guest list, but they do have spaces that can accommodate both large and small parties.

Any of the hotels uptown can help you celebrate your special day. Some of the favorites are the Omni, Marriott Center City, and the Ritz Carlton. Both ceremony and reception can be held at the hotels, and your guests can dance the night away before slipping right upstairs to their room. Most of the hotels will offer someone who can work with you on planning the details for the big day, so consider that a bonus when booking!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention The Dairy Barn in Fort Mill, SC. While it’s not exactly Charlotte, it is less than five minutes over the border and a popular spot for weddings. We planned our big day there last August. Initially, we had a spot on top of a hill picked out for our vows, with white picket fences, rolling hills and horses in the background but rain moved our day to the upstairs of the barn. It was stunningly gorgeous and made for the perfect place to say, “I do.”

We’d love to hear about your favorite Charlotte area venues – whether you were married there or you just attended the wedding!