130x130_sq_1332535728130-sarahpduke

Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Durham , NC

LOCATION

420 Anderson St. , Duke University
Durham, NC US 27708 (map)
Please let this vendor know that you found them on the WeddingWire Network.

ABOUT US

Seek out the scenery of your dreams in our 55-acre wonderland on the campus of Duke University. Sarah P. Duke Gardens provides the perfect setting for elegant wedding ceremonies and... Read more
Seek out the scenery of your dreams in our 55-acre wonderland on the campus of Duke University. Sarah P. Duke Gardens provides the perfect setting for elegant wedding ceremonies and receptions. The spacious Doris Duke Center is ideal for indoor celebrations, with a large patio and the Angle Amphitheater and water lily pond just outside, as well as a newly redesigned white garden with interconnecting paths leading to a stunning new Gothic pavilion.



Duke Gardens also features historic Italianate terraces, a wisteria-covered pergola, a koi pool and a Duke stone overlook with a jaw-dropping view of the Terrace Gardens. A redesigned rose circle surrounds a historic fountain and plaza. The vast Asiatic arboretum includes a large pond and arched bridge for scenic portraits. In the shady native plants garden is a pavilion, pond and bird-viewing shelter. Duke Gardens was named one of the South’s 10 best public gardens in Southern Living and it won Preservation Durham’s top award in 2011. Celebrate nature’s beauty with us. Read less

PHOTOS

130x130_sq_1288627935824-carolinamediastar4704tweb
130x130_sq_1288627937902-inhisimage1503webcr
130x130_sq_1288627937418-pennynoell3webcr
130x130_sq_1288627931933-brianmullins0399webcr
130x130_sq_1288627928011-brianmullins0238webcr
130x130_sq_1288627934246-pennynoell6webcr
130x130_sq_1288627935011-inhisimage1465webcr
130x130_sq_1288627936558-lashellechappell0127webcr
130x130_sq_1288627937012-redbridge72710008web
130x130_sq_1288628082819-inhisimage1128webcr

REVIEWS

4.3
out of 5.0
4.4/5.0
4.3/5.0
4.3/5.0
4.5/5.0
4.2/5.0
Sort by
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Stacie
Wedding:
10/12/2013
5.0/5.0
Sarah P Duke Gardens was our ceremony and reception location. It was such a beautiful and perfect location for an outdoor wedding and indoor reception. Marcia, the coordinator at Duke Gardens, was so nice and helpful with everything. We couldn't have picked a prettier location.
Sarah P Duke Gardens was our ceremony and reception location. It was such a beautiful and perfect location for an outdoor Read more...
Sarah P Duke Gardens was our ceremony and reception location. It was such a beautiful and perfect location for an outdoor wedding and indoor reception. Marcia, the coordinator at Duke Gardens, was so nice and helpful with everything. We couldn't have picked a prettier location. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Tara
Wedding:
7/20/2013
5.0/5.0
I'll start out by saying that I am a Duke alum, and therefore, biased. I loved Duke Gardens as an undergrad, so when my fiancé and I decided to get married in North Carolina, Duke Gardens was the only place I considered (well, there and Duke Chapel, but we had 80 guests and wanted something outdoors and intimate).

We had our wedding ceremony at the Angle Amphitheater behind the Doris Duke Center, and held the reception at the Doris Duke Center. You can't beat the natural beauty of Duke Gardens. We saved a ton of money by not having to do any ceremony decorations or flowers. Kirby Horton Hall inside the Doris Duke Center was perfect for a wedding of our size - we had space for 10 tables, dance floor, DJ and space to set up an ice cream sundae bar.

Marcia at Duke Gardens was great. We were planning our wedding long-distance, so I wasn't able to go and see the site right away. She held our date for 6 weeks between mid-December and the end of January when I was able to make the trip to North Carolina to see the space and sign the contract. Marcia was very accommodating and answered all of our questions in a timely manner. She was also a good resource for vendor recommendations and feedback.

A few helpful tips for future brides: There are long and round tables and indoor and outdoor chairs available at the Doris Duke Center, but you have to rent linens and any additional tables or other items you need. We rented chivari chairs for the reception and white plastic chairs for the ceremony (the outdoor chairs at Doris Duke are green and not very "bridal"). We got very lucky with the weather (no rain!) but a tent would be a good idea if you're not willing to roll the dice like we did. There is no "bridal suite" or place for the bride to hang out at Doris Duke unseen, so plan your arrival time accordingly. Finally, talk to Marcia! She was very helpful and accommodating when it came to special requests.

Tara and Greg
I'll start out by saying that I am a Duke alum, and therefore, biased. I loved Duke Gardens as an undergrad, so when my Read more...
I'll start out by saying that I am a Duke alum, and therefore, biased. I loved Duke Gardens as an undergrad, so when my fiancé and I decided to get married in North Carolina, Duke Gardens was the only place I considered (well, there and Duke Chapel, but we had 80 guests and wanted something outdoors and intimate).

We had our wedding ceremony at the Angle Amphitheater behind the Doris Duke Center, and held the reception at the Doris Duke Center. You can't beat the natural beauty of Duke Gardens. We saved a ton of money by not having to do any ceremony decorations or flowers. Kirby Horton Hall inside the Doris Duke Center was perfect for a wedding of our size - we had space for 10 tables, dance floor, DJ and space to set up an ice cream sundae bar.

Marcia at Duke Gardens was great. We were planning our wedding long-distance, so I wasn't able to go and see the site right away. She held our date for 6 weeks between mid-December and the end of January when I was able to make the trip to North Carolina to see the space and sign the contract. Marcia was very accommodating and answered all of our questions in a timely manner. She was also a good resource for vendor recommendations and feedback.

A few helpful tips for future brides: There are long and round tables and indoor and outdoor chairs available at the Doris Duke Center, but you have to rent linens and any additional tables or other items you need. We rented chivari chairs for the reception and white plastic chairs for the ceremony (the outdoor chairs at Doris Duke are green and not very "bridal"). We got very lucky with the weather (no rain!) but a tent would be a good idea if you're not willing to roll the dice like we did. There is no "bridal suite" or place for the bride to hang out at Doris Duke unseen, so plan your arrival time accordingly. Finally, talk to Marcia! She was very helpful and accommodating when it came to special requests.

Tara and Greg Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
5.0/5.0
My wedding planner had to leave the wedding for an emergencia which was understanding. So There I was standing in My dress ready to Walk with no One to give me a que to walk. Out ca me a guy that was bwhind the desk and gave me the que to walk I was so Blown away that was beyond of that I was expectante Ruano you so much
My wedding planner had to leave the wedding for an emergencia which was understanding. So There I was standing in My dress Read more...
My wedding planner had to leave the wedding for an emergencia which was understanding. So There I was standing in My dress ready to Walk with no One to give me a que to walk. Out ca me a guy that was bwhind the desk and gave me the que to walk I was so Blown away that was beyond of that I was expectante Ruano you so much Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
130x130_sq_1329374552915-074
Lauren
Wedding:
1/5/2013
5.0/5.0
Our experience with Marcia was great. She was quick to respond to phone calls and emails. She was always willing to walk the site and answer any questions. The final look was spectacular and they even let us come early to set up and stay late to clean!
Our experience with Marcia was great. She was quick to respond to phone calls and emails. She was always willing to walk Read more...
Our experience with Marcia was great. She was quick to respond to phone calls and emails. She was always willing to walk the site and answer any questions. The final look was spectacular and they even let us come early to set up and stay late to clean! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
LSmith77
Wedding:
10/23/2010
5.0/5.0
Very nice venue for our wedding day. The staff was friendly and helpful. Thank you for everthing!
Very nice venue for our wedding day. The staff was friendly and helpful. Thank you for everthing!
Very nice venue for our wedding day. The staff was friendly and helpful. Thank you for everthing! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
dcn0918
Wedding:
9/18/2010
5.0/5.0
This was only my CEREMONY location. My husband an I love to take walks and really enjoy nature. This place is iconic and maybe a little over done. We really were lucky to just walk in and ask if they had our date available and they actually had 2 openings that day. We jumped on it. The gardens are incredible and really worth the money. We were already having a small wedding and since the area can only accomadate so many people it worked out well. Obviously the only drawback is the weather but that is the risk you take when you go outdoors. I was married at the pergola and it was incredible. Wonderful place for pictures and a great place for gathering with others. It's a place I can go to over and over again and have beautiful memories. Oh and you don't have to pay a cent to decorate it because it's so incredibly beautiful!!!!
This was only my CEREMONY location. My husband an I love to take walks and really enjoy nature. This place is iconic and Read more...
This was only my CEREMONY location. My husband an I love to take walks and really enjoy nature. This place is iconic and maybe a little over done. We really were lucky to just walk in and ask if they had our date available and they actually had 2 openings that day. We jumped on it. The gardens are incredible and really worth the money. We were already having a small wedding and since the area can only accomadate so many people it worked out well. Obviously the only drawback is the weather but that is the risk you take when you go outdoors. I was married at the pergola and it was incredible. Wonderful place for pictures and a great place for gathering with others. It's a place I can go to over and over again and have beautiful memories. Oh and you don't have to pay a cent to decorate it because it's so incredibly beautiful!!!! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Lori & Wes
Wedding:
4/10/2010
5.0/5.0
This was a beautiful ceremony setting, and I was pleasantly surprised by both the affordability and by the availability of dates/times. The staff were wonderful to work with both before and during the wedding. The "celebrity effect" of having wedding onlookers is pretty fun, too. :)
This was a beautiful ceremony setting, and I was pleasantly surprised by both the affordability and by the availability of Read more...
This was a beautiful ceremony setting, and I was pleasantly surprised by both the affordability and by the availability of dates/times. The staff were wonderful to work with both before and during the wedding. The "celebrity effect" of having wedding onlookers is pretty fun, too. :) Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Alison
Wedding:
9/20/2008
5.0/5.0
We had a wonderful experience booking our ceremony at the Pergola (gazebo) at Duke Gardens. The lady in charge of reservations was extremely helpful and was responsive to exchanged emails and phone calls to make sure everything was ready for the big day. They took care of setting up chairs and making sure we had parking passes for all of our guests. The booking process was a snap and only required a simple contract that were were able to mail back. Duke Gardens was also very flexible with us on setting a rehearsal time the day before and even extended the time on our parking passes so that we could stay longer and take photos of the wedding party in the gardens. We received our security deposit back right on time with no hassles.

The biggest perk to booking our wedding at Duke Gardens was the natural beauty and scenery. We were able to save a ton of money by not having to buy additional decorative flowers!
We had a wonderful experience booking our ceremony at the Pergola (gazebo) at Duke Gardens. The lady in charge of Read more...
We had a wonderful experience booking our ceremony at the Pergola (gazebo) at Duke Gardens. The lady in charge of reservations was extremely helpful and was responsive to exchanged emails and phone calls to make sure everything was ready for the big day. They took care of setting up chairs and making sure we had parking passes for all of our guests. The booking process was a snap and only required a simple contract that were were able to mail back. Duke Gardens was also very flexible with us on setting a rehearsal time the day before and even extended the time on our parking passes so that we could stay longer and take photos of the wedding party in the gardens. We received our security deposit back right on time with no hassles.

The biggest perk to booking our wedding at Duke Gardens was the natural beauty and scenery. We were able to save a ton of money by not having to buy additional decorative flowers! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
jrshephard
Wedding:
9/20/2008
5.0/5.0
Ashley and the rest of the Duke Gardens Staff did a fantastic job helping me and my parents feel comfortable and relaxed about having a wedding and a reception at the gardens. The site is so beautiful and there are many different locations to have a ceremony depending on your guest list. The Doris Duke Center offers a perfect place to have your reception. Ashley did an awesome job keeping us informed on what was allowed and how vendors work in the space. My wedding day was perfect and the gardens were what made the moment so much more memorable.
Ashley and the rest of the Duke Gardens Staff did a fantastic job helping me and my parents feel comfortable and relaxed Read more...
Ashley and the rest of the Duke Gardens Staff did a fantastic job helping me and my parents feel comfortable and relaxed about having a wedding and a reception at the gardens. The site is so beautiful and there are many different locations to have a ceremony depending on your guest list. The Doris Duke Center offers a perfect place to have your reception. Ashley did an awesome job keeping us informed on what was allowed and how vendors work in the space. My wedding day was perfect and the gardens were what made the moment so much more memorable. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Jiaku
Wedding:
7/12/2008
5.0/5.0
BEAUTIFUL AND WONDERFUL PLACE TO GET MARRIED!!! All our guests loved it.
BEAUTIFUL AND WONDERFUL PLACE TO GET MARRIED!!! All our guests loved it.
BEAUTIFUL AND WONDERFUL PLACE TO GET MARRIED!!! All our guests loved it. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Janet
Wedding:
10/6/2007
5.0/5.0
The Gardens were a perfect setting for our wedding. Our contact was very helpful, always cheerful, and never stressed you out during the planning. We didn't have a tent so we were lucky it didn't rain. The only difficulty with any outdoor wedding is finding a back-up location. Unless the reception is at the Gardens as well, you can't book their facility as a back-up. There were plenty of options available to us though so it wasn't too much of a problem. The Gardens definitely made our wedding (and the entire planning process) much more memorable than if it had been in a church or hotel (for us anyway).
The Gardens were a perfect setting for our wedding. Our contact was very helpful, always cheerful, and never stressed you Read more...
The Gardens were a perfect setting for our wedding. Our contact was very helpful, always cheerful, and never stressed you out during the planning. We didn't have a tent so we were lucky it didn't rain. The only difficulty with any outdoor wedding is finding a back-up location. Unless the reception is at the Gardens as well, you can't book their facility as a back-up. There were plenty of options available to us though so it wasn't too much of a problem. The Gardens definitely made our wedding (and the entire planning process) much more memorable than if it had been in a church or hotel (for us anyway). Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
ncwedding
Wedding:
8/6/2005
5.0/5.0
We had our ceremony here. We were able to take pictures, and had a great rehearsal time with no problems. Very inexpensive, as well.
We had our ceremony here. We were able to take pictures, and had a great rehearsal time with no problems. Very Read more...
We had our ceremony here. We were able to take pictures, and had a great rehearsal time with no problems. Very inexpensive, as well. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Bg19
rgeddy
Wedding:
6/13/2010
4.9/5.0
The Duke Gardens are AMAZING! I absolutely loved having our wedding there! It was so beautiful and had everything we needed! We used the amphitheater for our ceremony and the hall for our reception. Jen the coordinator was so helpful and super nice throughout the entire process - from asking questions, booking to final rain back up plans! Also the cost was a great deal! We booked all vendors - caterer, DJ, bar, cake, rentals ourselves. I would definitely recommend it!
The Duke Gardens are AMAZING! I absolutely loved having our wedding there! It was so beautiful and had everything we Read more...
The Duke Gardens are AMAZING! I absolutely loved having our wedding there! It was so beautiful and had everything we needed! We used the amphitheater for our ceremony and the hall for our reception. Jen the coordinator was so helpful and super nice throughout the entire process - from asking questions, booking to final rain back up plans! Also the cost was a great deal! We booked all vendors - caterer, DJ, bar, cake, rentals ourselves. I would definitely recommend it! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Jennifer
Wedding:
10/4/2009
4.8/5.0
My wedding at Duke was absolutely gorgeous. The staff was friendly, helpful and available.
My wedding at Duke was absolutely gorgeous. The staff was friendly, helpful and available.
My wedding at Duke was absolutely gorgeous. The staff was friendly, helpful and available. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
clayharris
Wedding:
5/23/2009
4.8/5.0
Ashley Carmichael at Duke Gardens is super-easy to work with - we loved this location!
Ashley Carmichael at Duke Gardens is super-easy to work with - we loved this location!
Ashley Carmichael at Duke Gardens is super-easy to work with - we loved this location! Read less
Services Used: Flowers, Rentals & Photobooths, Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
SherryAndrew
Wedding:
7/23/2011
4.7/5.0
We had an INCREDIBLE time at our wedding reception at the Doris Duke Center in the Duke Gardens. This venue is beautiful and it's great because your guests aren't confined to one room the whole time because there is an outdoor terrace and the gardens right there. The only drawback I can think of is that there are no refridgerators, you have to rent all your tables and chairs from an outside vendor, and the latest we could stay was 11. These were minor incoveniences though, overall it was wonderful.
We had an INCREDIBLE time at our wedding reception at the Doris Duke Center in the Duke Gardens. This venue is beautiful Read more...
We had an INCREDIBLE time at our wedding reception at the Doris Duke Center in the Duke Gardens. This venue is beautiful and it's great because your guests aren't confined to one room the whole time because there is an outdoor terrace and the gardens right there. The only drawback I can think of is that there are no refridgerators, you have to rent all your tables and chairs from an outside vendor, and the latest we could stay was 11. These were minor incoveniences though, overall it was wonderful. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
kgMac2010
Wedding:
6/26/2010
4.6/5.0
We did our wedding ceremony and reception at the Amphitheater and the Doris Duke Center. The setting was absolutely beautiful. The pictures turned out perfect and I wouldn't have any other location for our wedding. Please note that when you are planning to look into the lottery system that they use to award your date for this location before booking any other vendors. Also, if you are doing the reception at Duke Gardens, please note that you can only use certain vendors approved by Duke. Please also note that you will pay the 2500 fee to use the location, and then they charge a 7% vendor fee to use the venue that gets passed onto you. We did not realize this until we paid the 2500 to book the location and started booking vendors. We felt though that this venue was worth every penny. :) Ashley and Jenn were great and gave us some good ideas.
We did our wedding ceremony and reception at the Amphitheater and the Doris Duke Center. The setting was absolutely Read more...
We did our wedding ceremony and reception at the Amphitheater and the Doris Duke Center. The setting was absolutely beautiful. The pictures turned out perfect and I wouldn't have any other location for our wedding. Please note that when you are planning to look into the lottery system that they use to award your date for this location before booking any other vendors. Also, if you are doing the reception at Duke Gardens, please note that you can only use certain vendors approved by Duke. Please also note that you will pay the 2500 fee to use the location, and then they charge a 7% vendor fee to use the venue that gets passed onto you. We did not realize this until we paid the 2500 to book the location and started booking vendors. We felt though that this venue was worth every penny. :) Ashley and Jenn were great and gave us some good ideas. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Victoria
Wedding:
8/13/2005
4.6/5.0
We had our wedding at the Pergola Garden. It was beautiful and everyone was great to work with.
We had our wedding at the Pergola Garden. It was beautiful and everyone was great to work with.
We had our wedding at the Pergola Garden. It was beautiful and everyone was great to work with. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Amber
Wedding:
9/3/2006
4.5/5.0
I had my ceremony at the gardens and it was beautiful! I choose the fish pond location with the garden and pergola as the background, it could not have been more perfect and I didn't have to worry about buying flowers for the ceremony location because you're surrounded by them. The only downside is the limited number of chairs (50) they will allow.
I had my ceremony at the gardens and it was beautiful! I choose the fish pond location with the garden and pergola as the Read more...
I had my ceremony at the gardens and it was beautiful! I choose the fish pond location with the garden and pergola as the background, it could not have been more perfect and I didn't have to worry about buying flowers for the ceremony location because you're surrounded by them. The only downside is the limited number of chairs (50) they will allow. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Elise
Wedding:
4/11/2009
4.4/5.0
Ashley Carmicheal with the SPD Gardens was wonderful! She was very patient with us trying to decide upon a date. My only problem with the site was the the water pump in the lily channel next to our wedding site apparently broke the day before our wedding and no one bother to tell us. In fact we were the ones to tell Ashley. Ashley, however, really stepped up once she heard how upset I was and made quite a few calls for us in order to be sure that the channel at least held water for our ceremony and was not an unsightly mud hole!
Ashley Carmicheal with the SPD Gardens was wonderful! She was very patient with us trying to decide upon a date. My only Read more...
Ashley Carmicheal with the SPD Gardens was wonderful! She was very patient with us trying to decide upon a date. My only problem with the site was the the water pump in the lily channel next to our wedding site apparently broke the day before our wedding and no one bother to tell us. In fact we were the ones to tell Ashley. Ashley, however, really stepped up once she heard how upset I was and made quite a few calls for us in order to be sure that the channel at least held water for our ceremony and was not an unsightly mud hole! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Lisa
Wedding:
10/25/2008
4.4/5.0
Beautiful venue and very inexpensive. Ashley was easy to work with.
Beautiful venue and very inexpensive. Ashley was easy to work with.
Beautiful venue and very inexpensive. Ashley was easy to work with. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Jacquelyn
Wedding:
9/22/2012
4.2/5.0
Anyone who has been to the Duke Gardens knows how truly beautiful they are. What they may not always appreciate is how wonderful the Doris Duke Center is. The space is absolutely fantastic; the wood is beautiful, the lighting wonderful, and the layout of the space just right for a small to medium reception (around 150 people). We managed to secure both the Duke Chapel for the wedding ceremony and the Duke Gardens for our reception and the weather and spaces could not have been more perfect. Securing both was rather difficult as there is no coordination between the Chapel and the Gardens and communication with the Gardens can be a bit of a struggle at times, but in the end everything turned out beautifully. If you can reserve the space you will not regret it!
Anyone who has been to the Duke Gardens knows how truly beautiful they are. What they may not always appreciate is how Read more...
Anyone who has been to the Duke Gardens knows how truly beautiful they are. What they may not always appreciate is how wonderful the Doris Duke Center is. The space is absolutely fantastic; the wood is beautiful, the lighting wonderful, and the layout of the space just right for a small to medium reception (around 150 people). We managed to secure both the Duke Chapel for the wedding ceremony and the Duke Gardens for our reception and the weather and spaces could not have been more perfect. Securing both was rather difficult as there is no coordination between the Chapel and the Gardens and communication with the Gardens can be a bit of a struggle at times, but in the end everything turned out beautifully. If you can reserve the space you will not regret it! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Michelle
Wedding:
9/30/2007
4.2/5.0
The Duke gardens are a beautiful place to get married and have a ceremony. We got married at the Pergola and had our reception at the Doris Duke Center on a Sunday afternoon. The only downfall is that the restroom are poorly maintained. We called in March to book for the end of September, but many dates will take planning of up to a year.

Also, the site was a decent price, but many outdoor vendors probably would be less expensive and would give more services. For instance, I thought there would be someone coordinating the wedding (ie. the rehearshal), but we had to manage that on our own.
The Duke gardens are a beautiful place to get married and have a ceremony. We got married at the Pergola and had our Read more...
The Duke gardens are a beautiful place to get married and have a ceremony. We got married at the Pergola and had our reception at the Doris Duke Center on a Sunday afternoon. The only downfall is that the restroom are poorly maintained. We called in March to book for the end of September, but many dates will take planning of up to a year.

Also, the site was a decent price, but many outdoor vendors probably would be less expensive and would give more services. For instance, I thought there would be someone coordinating the wedding (ie. the rehearshal), but we had to manage that on our own. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Julie
Wedding:
10/19/2013
4.0/5.0
This venue was AMAZING! We couldn't have asked for a more lovely setting for our wedding ceremony and reception. It was on the pricey side, but after searching other venues, we realized that the price was completely worth it. The reception hall was perfect, with the porch area leading right out to the beautiful garden setting.

The reason I docked stars on some of the categories is that the event coordinator was not very easy to work with. She rarely returned emails or voicemails, which got pretty annoying as we were trying to close up odds and ends and ask questions as the date grew closer.

In the end, though, I recommend this venue 100% - our wedding was wonderful, and we'd use Duke Gardens if we had to plan it all again!
This venue was AMAZING! We couldn't have asked for a more lovely setting for our wedding ceremony and reception. It was on Read more...
This venue was AMAZING! We couldn't have asked for a more lovely setting for our wedding ceremony and reception. It was on the pricey side, but after searching other venues, we realized that the price was completely worth it. The reception hall was perfect, with the porch area leading right out to the beautiful garden setting.

The reason I docked stars on some of the categories is that the event coordinator was not very easy to work with. She rarely returned emails or voicemails, which got pretty annoying as we were trying to close up odds and ends and ask questions as the date grew closer.

In the end, though, I recommend this venue 100% - our wedding was wonderful, and we'd use Duke Gardens if we had to plan it all again! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Scoobie81
Wedding:
3/25/2006
3.9/5.0
This was an absolutely beautiful place to have the wedding! And a great place to take pictures.
This was an absolutely beautiful place to have the wedding! And a great place to take pictures.
This was an absolutely beautiful place to have the wedding! And a great place to take pictures. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
2.2/5.0
This was an absolutely amazingly beautiful venue and I have NO regrets about having my wedding there. Everything was very convenient (parking, ceremony, reception) and the reception hall brought a great atmosphere. My only complaints here were the following: 1) the lottery system to get it is uber annoying and stressful, 2) the site coordinator was not as responsive as I'd like and I felt her communication skills were not great, 3) they are VERY strict on their policies as far as things you can and cannot do. Again--these didn't end up being a big issue in the end, but I wanted to mention them. After all was said and done, it was beautiful and amazing.
This was an absolutely amazingly beautiful venue and I have NO regrets about having my wedding there. Everything was very Read more...
This was an absolutely amazingly beautiful venue and I have NO regrets about having my wedding there. Everything was very convenient (parking, ceremony, reception) and the reception hall brought a great atmosphere. My only complaints here were the following: 1) the lottery system to get it is uber annoying and stressful, 2) the site coordinator was not as responsive as I'd like and I felt her communication skills were not great, 3) they are VERY strict on their policies as far as things you can and cannot do. Again--these didn't end up being a big issue in the end, but I wanted to mention them. After all was said and done, it was beautiful and amazing. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Marina
Wedding:
6/15/2013
2.1/5.0
Absolutely gorgeous but the staff is rude. I went to take our pictures there and paid $50 for 2 hours and they were rushing us to get out because a wedding conflictrd with our booking even though I set up a schedule 6 months prior.
Absolutely gorgeous but the staff is rude. I went to take our pictures there and paid $50 for 2 hours and they were Read more...
Absolutely gorgeous but the staff is rude. I went to take our pictures there and paid $50 for 2 hours and they were rushing us to get out because a wedding conflictrd with our booking even though I set up a schedule 6 months prior. Read less
Services Used: Photography
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Kelly
Wedding:
6/23/2012
1.9/5.0
Planned the perfect wedding. Evrrything was set-so we thought. The gardens event manager failed to update our event times accorfing to what we discussed at our last on site meeting and according to the wedding planners emailed timeline. When it came time for the event we were litterally kicked out if the facility an hour early!
The facilities staff member was incredably rude and unwilling to be reasonable, demanding that we 'shut it down' despite the fact that we were in the final hour of our wedding reception.
The facility eventually offered a $250.00 refund for the one hour shortsge. Do they actually think $250.00 makes up gor the fact that we were literally kicked out of a once in a lifetime event? Forget finishing my slice of wedding cake, my glass if champagne, forget the last dance, forget bringing out the final party favors for the guests, forget the beautifully planned exit for the bride and groom- just shut it down.
And they offered $250.00?? A full refind would be appropriate, yet would still not compensate for the emotional loss.
Not to mention all the other venders were paid for the agreed upon duration of the event.
The summer is a busy season for events at the garden. Maybe the facility needs to replace the event managers 'assistant' that left this summer for another position, in order to assure events are facilitated as agreed upon by an overworked seemingly frazzled manager.
Our weddong planner stated that she has never been treated so rudely! Even the Catoring Company staff were upset and verbalized disbelief in the way the facilty staff member behaved and handled the situation.
Planned the perfect wedding. Evrrything was set-so we thought. The gardens event manager failed to update our event times Read more...
Planned the perfect wedding. Evrrything was set-so we thought. The gardens event manager failed to update our event times accorfing to what we discussed at our last on site meeting and according to the wedding planners emailed timeline. When it came time for the event we were litterally kicked out if the facility an hour early!
The facilities staff member was incredably rude and unwilling to be reasonable, demanding that we 'shut it down' despite the fact that we were in the final hour of our wedding reception.
The facility eventually offered a $250.00 refund for the one hour shortsge. Do they actually think $250.00 makes up gor the fact that we were literally kicked out of a once in a lifetime event? Forget finishing my slice of wedding cake, my glass if champagne, forget the last dance, forget bringing out the final party favors for the guests, forget the beautifully planned exit for the bride and groom- just shut it down.
And they offered $250.00?? A full refind would be appropriate, yet would still not compensate for the emotional loss.
Not to mention all the other venders were paid for the agreed upon duration of the event.
The summer is a busy season for events at the garden. Maybe the facility needs to replace the event managers 'assistant' that left this summer for another position, in order to assure events are facilitated as agreed upon by an overworked seemingly frazzled manager.
Our weddong planner stated that she has never been treated so rudely! Even the Catoring Company staff were upset and verbalized disbelief in the way the facilty staff member behaved and handled the situation. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default-vendor-profile-pic
Amanda
Wedding:
9/17/2011
1.5/5.0
There is no doubt that it is a beautiful place to get married but $750 for 2 hours in a designated spot in the garden and nothing else included is a little steep.

Not to mention, on my wedding day, I showed up for my 3-5pm slot and another bride was just starting her wedding (an hour late!) she did not leave until 3:40 and my wedding was at 4:00pm. The staff at Duke Gardens did NOTHING in response to this except passive aggressively cursing and complaining to my maid of honor about it. Oh, and one staff member laughed when someone signed MY guestbook, as I was trying to set up my wedding around her guests.

This was NOT the experience I was hoping for and my wedding day memory will always be marred by this experience.
There is no doubt that it is a beautiful place to get married but $750 for 2 hours in a designated spot in the garden and Read more...
There is no doubt that it is a beautiful place to get married but $750 for 2 hours in a designated spot in the garden and nothing else included is a little steep.

Not to mention, on my wedding day, I showed up for my 3-5pm slot and another bride was just starting her wedding (an hour late!) she did not leave until 3:40 and my wedding was at 4:00pm. The staff at Duke Gardens did NOTHING in response to this except passive aggressively cursing and complaining to my maid of honor about it. Oh, and one staff member laughed when someone signed MY guestbook, as I was trying to set up my wedding around her guests.

This was NOT the experience I was hoping for and my wedding day memory will always be marred by this experience. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue

MAP

 
420 Anderson St. , Duke University, Durham, NC 27708 See On Map
Thanks for visiting the vendor listing for Sarah P. Duke Gardens
Please let this vendor know that you found them on the WeddingWire Network.
Ww_logo
 
220x220_1332535728130-sarahpduke