Couples seeking non-traditional wedding venues can turn to many urban locales like museums, music halls and former warehouses in most of North Carolina’s city centers.
But you can also opt for a city wedding in an unexpected outdoor venue to combine the convenience of a metropolitan wedding destination with the simple beauty of nature for the best of both worlds.
Whichever route you go, your nuptials will surely be the modern, funky or artistic style of your dreams when you consider one of these seven unique wedding venues.
Indoor Wedding Venues
1 The Fillmore
1 The FillmoreCharlotteSee on map
Music lovers will flip over the chance to get married in one of The Fillmores, a group of music venues inspired by the historic original in San Francisco. Charlotte’s version is housed in a former fiber mill and hosts private events for 25 people up to 2,000 – great if you have a huge guest list. The space has a built-in energy and glamour that can be turned up or down depending on the vibe you want to create, including the beautiful light fixtures and wide selection of setups. Plus, The Fillmore staff utilizes its tight music connections to help you bring in the best DJ, local band or even headliner to make your wedding truly a night to remember.
2 Melrose Knitting Mill
2 Melrose Knitting MillRaleighSee on map
Looking for a chic industrial space to exchange vows and host your reception? In Raleigh, the striking Melrose Knitting Mill boasts the tall ceilings, exposed brick walls, wood beams and huge arched windows you have in mind. And the open floor plan lends itself to a variety of setups, including round and rectangular tables as well as high tops. Thoughtful additions, such as a complimentary bottle of champagne for the cake cutting and bucket of beverages for the wedding party, ensure the event will be off to a rocking good start. The expert planning team will help hammer out all the details and coordinate with almost any vendor you choose. For the meal, the on-site chef works with each couple to create a menu, all served on the house china and paired with optional signature drinks.
3 Proximity Hotel
3 Proximity HotelGreensboroSee on map
As the only hotel venue on this list, Proximity stands out for many reasons: it’s employee-owned, can accommodate groups of 20 to 400, and was one of the first hotels in the country to earn LEED Platinum certified green status. One of the perks is the inclusivity of its wedding packages, all of which come with seating, linens, candles, centerpieces, china, tableware, dance floor, stage setup and in-house catering from its locally sourced restaurant, Print Works Bistro. Couples can pick between four spaces, two which combine urban polish with outdoor beauty: The Weaver Room, which can be turned into an open-air venue and provides views of the Bluebell Garden, or the Revolution Room, which opens onto an outdoor terrace.
4 Museum of Life + Science
4 Museum of Life + ScienceDurhamSee on map
Museum weddings come with a level of sophistication and allure that will wow your guests and make planning a breeze since the venue comes with plenty of built-in decor. At Museum of Life + Science in Durham, couples have six sites to choose from, including an out-of-this-world butterfly house option dubbed “Magic Wings” where you and your closest 40 friends and family will be entranced all evening. Larger parties can opt for a tent and lawn setup or book the Aerospace wing, but no matter which setting you select, extras like discounted museum tickets, animal encounters, and train rides will keep out-of-town guests occupied all weekend. And perhaps the best perk of all? The museum offers child care for private events.
Outdoor Wedding Venues
5 Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
5 Daniel Stowe Botanical GardenBelmontSee on map
One of North Carolina’s premier wedding venues, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden sits 20 miles southwest of Charlotte and hosts about 100 weddings each year. Accolades include being named one of the Southeast’s best wedding venues by The Knot, “Best Overall Venue” by Charlotte Wedding Magazine and one of the top 20 gardens in America by HGTV. Couples can wed in specifically designated areas during regular operating hours or rent the entire facility exclusively at night. The Nellie Rhyne Stowe White Garden was created specifically for wedding ceremonies and features a courtyard garden surrounded by stately arbors and a hedge with an all-white theme. The Robert Lee Stowe Visitor Pavilion typically serves as the reception site. The garden utilizes four of the area’s best catering services as exclusive providers for its couples.
6 Atrium by Ligon Flynn
6 Atrium by Ligon FlynnWilmingtonSee on map
A secret garden wedding might just be one of the most romantic choices for a wedding venue, and in Wilmington, The Atrium’s breathtaking atmosphere will leave you and your guests in a state of awe – and make for some of the most beautiful wedding photos possible. Tucked between two tall buildings covered in climbing vines in the middle of downtown Wilmington, this private courtyard is filled with tall, lush local foliage juxtaposed against the modern architecture for a truly unique setting. A water feature, bricked outdoor patio, and delicate string lights add the magical experience, and the unique front façade – with trees creeping above the roofline – makes this spot feel special from the moment your guests walk through the large front door. Post-ceremony, the space becomes an elegant dinner party filled with any food and drink you like since the space doesn’t have any vendor requirements. The Atrium has been described as an open-air cathedral, but religious or not, it’s certainly a heavenly location.
7 JuneBug Retro Resort
7 JuneBug Retro ResortWeavervilleSee on map
This is possibly the funkiest wedding venue you’ll encounter, located just 12 miles from eclectic Asheville. JuneBug Retro Resort sits on 50 acres that include an organic farm, event center and pond, but the starring attractions are the 10 vintage 1950s campers that can house up to 32 guests so you can keep the party going into the wee hours (additional guests can utilize the camping area). The welcoming, helpful team behind JuneBug opened this venue to be a laid-back event space with enough parking for 150 cars, tables and chairs for up to 200 guests, and several tent options. Besides the fabulous photo ops in and around your camper, this venue also has an old-school tractor, playground and pickup truck that doubles as a stage should you decide to book a band.