How would you like to wake up to your mom’s or grandma’s cooking on your wedding day?  Did you know there are venues that sleep up to 18 family and friends?  One of our last year’s journey is going to showcase venues that host families for the weekend.  Bed and Breakfast Venues are always charming for out of town guests.  Then you have hotels with ballrooms and meeting spaces.  But if you are looking for that place that reminds you of home we’ve got four local venues that will allow you settle in for the weekend festivities.

Our first stop is the Barn at Valhalla in Chapel Hill.  This charming rustic barn sleeps up to 17 people.  You can “move in” Friday afternoon and stay until Sunday morning.  This allow you to host out of town guests or keep all of your wedding party together while getting ready.  There are a number of bunk beds, pull out sofas and chairs alone with one king size bedroom.  You may use the kitchen to keep food warm or refrigerated but not able to cook in house.  They do not have preferred catering or vendors so you may bring in all of your own vendors.  There is a small pond area several use for their ceremony or you can use the large fireplace area for small intimate weddings.  Inside

the main facility can host up to 150 guests but for larger events you can add a huge tent in one of the large fields.  The options here are amazing.  They even include tables and chairs for up to 120 guests inside.  Besides all the outdoor walkways, the large porch is our favorite area mainly because of beautiful view. The hardiest part will be for guests to pick which room they want.
(photos are from their website/Facebook fanpage)

The Rigmore House is an oversize cabin that has a great room downstairs with most sleeping rooms upstairs.  This venue can host to up 225 inside (we recommend under 100) and lots more if you add a tent on the property.  It includes rentals for up to 200 guests, even a dance floor.  Personally, we think this venue is perfect for smaller sized weddings so that you can use all the indoor amenities.    This cabin has the cutest kitchen.  The large center counter is perfect for leaving snacks and sandwiches out throughout the weekend.  It

tends to be the gathering spot for families before and after the wedding day festivities.   There is a gazebo or a perfectly lined row of trees that gives several options for ceremony areas.  The side patio or screened front porch makes for a great for cocktail hour or late night snacks.  If you place the food buffet on one side you’ll have more room for seating inside for the reception.  This area looks great with uplighting or add little Italy lights to set the mood later in the evening.  You can add an extra day and move in as early as Thursday.  Which will truly allow you to settle in and by Saturday you’ll feel like you’re getting married in your own back yard. 

Do you have a lot of out of town guests?  How about a venue that can sleep up to 36 family and friends?  The Aqueduct Conference Center is a great place to hosts lots of guests and have several options for reception locations.  For larger events you can add a large tent overlooking breathe taking country views or for rehearsal dinners or smaller intimate receptions you can use the main meeting space.  They have an in house catering team to provide breakfast, lunch, dinners and even snacks if you wish.  Truly treat your guests to a destination experience like none other.  There is a large covered porch that some have used for ceremony areas and others have used as their dance floor.  The land will provide plenty of space for outdoor yard games and activities.  So if you are looking for a venue that majority of your guest list can be together and hangout long after the last dance, then the Aqueduct is what you may be looking for. (photos are from their website/Facebook fanpage)

Another new venue popping up that allows an overnight stay the night prior to the wedding is The Lily Pad in Whitsett.  This is great way to have your whole wedding party together prior to the big day.  You can get up early, start getting ready and watch your wedding venue transform throughout the day.  If you rent the entire house and property, you can sleep up to 20 people for an overnight slumber party.  They include rentals for up to 208 guests including reception table and chairs.  They have a great pool area that is accessible for house guests and could be used for cocktail hour or rehearsal dinner.  The groom’s suite is a great lounge area for them to get ready prior to saying I do.  The main reception is their best feature!  This open barn space is incredible.  It has draping and lighting already in place.  This overnight getaway/venue only allows the bride and groom to stay the night of the wedding but your family and vendors can come back Sunday morning to finish cleaning up from the night before.  (photos are from their website/Facebook fanpage)

If family is your biggest aspect of your wedding, then why not include them all weekend?  These venues allow you to spend the whole weekend with them plus allow you time to set up DIY projects.  All of these venues will save your guests money on hotel overnight stay less stress with you having to do hotel room blocks.  Plus by renting these venues for several days, you can save money on rehearsal dinner space.  The best part is if you are planning on having alcohol, several guests will already be “home for the night,” and save you on the amount of transportation you may be providing to and from local hotels.  There is just something about being home for a wedding.  It may not be your home but for the weekend it will feel like it.