The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your Wedding Venue

We know that the wedding planning process can feel full of big decisions. Family and friends are excited for you and are asking if you’ve set a date, you’re scrolling through endless amounts of wedding decor on Pinterest, and trying to figure out a guest list. Perhaps the one decision that will have the biggest impact on your special day is the venue. The right space will not only set the tone for your wedding, but will also influence details like which vendors you can use as well as how your guests are able to mingle and enjoy the space. 

You may have looked around and figured out some important variables already: venue size, date availability, and style are some of the first things most couples think about. When it comes to size, you certainly want to find a space that can comfortably handle your guest list, but you may want to avoid choosing a venue with more space than you need. Oversized spaces can make it difficult to create a warm, intimate feel and there is a chance you might go over budget trying to fill the space with lights or decorations. You may have your heart set on a specific date, but keep in mind that considering a range of several dates will likely make it easier to find an available venue. While practicality is important, you should also choose a setting that reflects you and your partner’s style: maybe it is rustic elegance or maybe it is formal and glamorous! Take the time to research and/or tour different venues to get a feel for which options speak to your style.

So now that you’ve considered size, date availability, and style, what else should influence your venue selection? To help you navigate this crucial decision, we put together a guide that outlines the most important factors to consider when choosing a wedding venue. Use these tips to narrow down your choices and find the perfect location for your big day.

Convenience for Guests

You will likely have some local guests and some who will be coming from out of town, so it is important to choose a venue that is easy to find and close to major transportation hubs. Some guests may need to stay at nearby hotels and travel to your venue. The closer you are to amenities and transportation, the easier it will be for guests to access your venue. 

The Rand-Bryan House is located just off of major interstates so it is easily accessible, but maintains a sense of seclusion and privacy. Guests flying in from out of town have a short drive from RDU. Guests can take advantage of local accommodations in Garner or enjoy more of a tourist experience just 20 minutes away in downtown Raleigh. 

On-Site Accessibility 

Don’t forget about older relatives and others with mobility restrictions who may find it difficult to  navigate your venue. Make sure that you choose a location that provides accessibility so that everyone can enjoy your wedding. Think about parking options as well as maneuvering between different areas of the venue (e.g. ceremony space and reception area). Although your vendors can certainly help you with the details, it may help things go smoothly if you consider a location where vendors can easily load/unload their equipment to set up in a timely manner.

The Rand-Bryan House offers ample accessible parking adjacent to the house, plenty of paved parking in our main lot, and overflow parking as needed. Three different ramps ensure that both guests and vendors are able to access various locations on the property.

Vendor Relationships

When you’re researching venues, keep in mind that some venues exclusively partner with certain vendors. That means that you will be limited when it comes to choosing caterers, florists, planners, and other vendors. If the sheer number of options overwhelms you,  a preferred vendor list may be ideal because it takes some of the leg work out of shopping around and choosing vendors. On the other hand, if you have your heart set on certain menu items or entertainment, or are trying to manage a tight budget, you will want to confirm that your venue allows you to choose your own vendors. 

The Rand-Bryan House offers the best of both worlds because we don’t require that you choose from a specific list, but we are glad to give recommendations. We are happy to meet new professionals who have not yet visited our venue as well as continue building relationships with trusted vendors who are familiar with our property.

Charges & services 

When you’re comparing venue options, make sure you know what is included at each venue. Some venues provide basic facility rental, some offer furnishings (tables, chairs, linens, dishes, etc.), and some even offer decorative items like centerpieces and arbors. Other venues provide all-inclusive services with food and drinks. 

Billing for furnishings, decor, and rental items is completed in various ways, so bear that in mind when you’re comparing pricing. Those charges may be included up front, may be add-ons, or may be paid to another vendor (caterer, rental company, etc.). Venues may require that you spend a certain minimum amount on food and/or beverages, which can significantly affect your budget. Your venue may require a coordinator, event insurance, or add a service charge under certain conditions. If you ask your venue about any fees or taxes that may be included, it can help you avoid unexpected charges later. Understanding the fine print is always important!

The Rand-Bryan House includes tables and chairs and offers a choice of packages for linens and dishes. We work with a rental partner, DeeJay’s Event Rentals, to ensure that all items you get are set up and ready to go when you arrive on your wedding day. All that’s left is for you and/or your planner to put the finishing touches on decor and enjoy getting ready! We also help develop a timeline for vendor arrivals so that we know when each vendor will arrive and where they need to set up. We will collaborate behind the scenes with your vendors to bring everything together seamlessly for your big day. 

At the Rand-Bryan House, we strive to keep information as straightforward as possible while maintaining flexibility. We require a refundable security deposit, but do not impose any extra fees, taxes, or service charges.  

Following this guide can help you refine your search and quickly find the perfect venue to meet the needs of everyone involved. Taking the time to consider these important factors will help you select a beautiful location that brings your wedding vision to life. At the Rand-Bryan House, we offer years of experience hosting weddings in a quaint and charming setting located right outside of Raleigh. If you would like to learn more about our venue and see if it is the right choice for you, contact us today.


Thinking of an NC Destination Wedding?

destination weddingPlanning a destination wedding might sound like a big undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Most of today’s couples haven’t lived in the same place all of their lives, so family members, college friends, and work colleagues may all be traveling from different locations  A destination wedding is often a great solution. North Carolina offers a central location with beautiful weather and numerous transportation hubs to make travel easier. The Rand-Bryan House is a Raleigh favorite because it offers:

  • The perfect setting to treat your guests to some “Southern Hospitality.” The beautiful grounds and farmhouse style setting offers the perfect combination of quaint charm and sophistication. In addition, guests are often fascinated by the history of the farm and the location provides a glimpse into local culture. Spending time at the Rand-Bryan House can be a rich experience, especially for guests from other parts of the country. 
  • A pleasant climate for outdoor weddings, especially during the spring and fall. Temperate weather means that you can enjoy ideal conditions practically any time of the year. 
  • A peaceful rural setting with easy access to interstates, air travel, and downtown Raleigh.. Our venue is easy to reach, but slightly removed from the hustle and bustle. You and your guests can spend time enjoying our lush grounds and idyllic setting.
  • An abundance of convenient hotels, restaurants, and entertainment options. A destination wedding is a perfect opportunity for friends and family to reconnect and spend some quality time together. With so much to do, guests of all ages will enjoy a great vacation in addition to your wedding.

Experienced Staff

The staff at the Rand-Bryan House can make planning your NC destination wedding a stress-free process. We have nearly 10 years of experience successfully planning and executing large events and weddings. Over the years, we have established strong partnerships with local vendors and we can recommend other professionals who are familiar with our venue. This will make it easy to plan your wedding from a distance and allow you to feel confident that your day will go off without a hitch.  

Here are a few tips on planning your NC destination wedding with us:

  • Consider caterers and other vendors who have previously worked Rand-Bryan House weddings so they are familiar with the facility. 
  • Take advantage of our packages, which include choices of tables, chairs, linens, and tableware so that is all set up ahead of time for you. We can even work with our rental company partner, DeeJay’s Event Rentals to arrange for tents, lighting, a dance floor, etc. We can draw on our resources to help you take care of all the important details so everything runs smoothly. 
  • Take a look at our social media profiles on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook to see pictures of other weddings that have been held here and find inspiration for your own event.
  • Browse our website’s virtual tour of the house and grounds as you plan how you will use our space for your wedding.

When you work with the experts at the Rand-Bryan House, planning your NC destination wedding can be easier than you ever imagined. Not only will your guests get to experience the beauty and charm of our location, you can enjoy a hassle-free planning process and focus on enjoying your special day. Have questions? We are more than happy to talk and provide answers. Email, call, text or FaceTime us today to get started planning your event.  

Thanks to Story & Rhythm for sharing a few pictures of Lauren & Archie’s outdoor wedding from the spring of 2018. This bride and groom traveled here from Iowa and all of their guests were from out of state. We were so happy to host them and delighted that they were so pleased with their special day. 

Hear the bride’s review on how their their NC destination wedding turned out: “Martha has a stunning venue and made our wedding day stress free. She helped coordinate vendors the day of our wedding and was very responsive and helpful leading up to our wedding day. You won’t find another venue like this in the Raleigh area – I highly recommend using the Rand-Bryan House for any special occasion.”


Summer Outdoor weddings in NC

When I talk with couples about summer weddings, I always say, “Yes, it can be hot but it is really pretty on the grounds.” Uty & Elaine and their guests braved the heat for a sweet ceremony and some fabulous reception fun! http://storyandrhythm.com/rand-bryan-house-wedding/

While this couple was able to beat the heat and enjoy a beautiful outdoor summer wedding in NC, you may still have some doubts about whether this time of year is ideal for your big day. Fortunately, the Rand-Bryan House has plenty of experience keeping guests comfortable and coming up with creative solutions. Here are just a few things you can do to help keep everyone cool and having a good time.

Provide Hand-Held Fans

A little breeze can go a long way when it comes to keeping cool. Providing fun and decorative fans is an easy fix. You can get creative with the design by incorporating your wedding colors and even printing the names of the bride and groom and the date on the paper. Your wedding programs can also be designed to double as a personal fan. Either way, guests can stay comfortable and have a souvenir to take home.

Provide Plenty of Drink Stations

Hydration is key during the summer and it will be important to provide plenty of drink stations throughout the wedding venue. Make sure that water bottles are readily available. You can also place stands with different kinds of infused water in gathering places. Some lemonade and other fruity options are a fun alternative, but try not to rely on too many sugary drinks, which aren’t as effective in keeping everyone hydrated.

Offer Sunglasses for Guests

This is another creative solution that your guests will be grateful for during the summer. You can put a basket of affordable sunglasses near the entrance so that everyone is protected and can clearly watch the ceremony comfortably. It is just another small gesture that will make the ceremony enjoyable for your guests.

Schedule your event late in the day

Since summer days are long, consider scheduling your ceremony and reception as late in the day as practical. With an outdoor ceremony a couple of hours before sunset, you and your guests will be more comfortable than under the mid-afternoon sun. Also, the “golden hour” is perfect for photography!

Use a tent 

If your preferred ceremony and reception site doesn’t have sufficient shade, use a tent or canopy to protect your guests from the sun. Your tent vendor can also mount electric fans under the tent canopy to keep the air circulating. 

If you have been dreaming of a summer wedding, don’t let the heat stop you. The beautiful grounds of the Rand-Bryan house are perfect for a summer outdoor wedding. Warm summer weather means our grounds will be lush and green with beautiful blooming flowers. Our ceremony site is nestled next to a couple of tall walnut trees that provide cool shade for you and your guests. You can also consider indoor festivities in our light and airy sunroom, where you can view the natural beauty in the air-conditioned comfort of our historic home. With a little planning and creativity, we can make sure that your guests stay cool and comfortable even during the hot North Carolina summers. Contact us today to learn more.


RBH Wedding Packages: How To Simplify Your Planning

Starting a new year and a new wedding season is always exciting! Toward the end of last year, we did some reflecting and decided to revamp some of our services to offer additional wedding packages so that we can better help you! We are thrilled about these new options at the Rand-Bryan House and think you will be, too. Here’s why:

Streamline preparation by grouping items

Almost 10 years of experience in the wedding industry has taught us that the first few vendors you look at can be very exciting and a little overwhelming. When you start researching options, you hear countless questions: When do you want to get married? Where do you want to get married? What kind of food would you like? Will the meal be plated or buffet-style? Will you use china and glassware or disposables? There are so many decisions to make and each choice will likely influence other choices.

You may be a do-it-yourself couple who plans to borrow some white tablecloths from a friend, make your own centerpieces, and get a family member to cook up some barbecue…or you may want to let a vendor arrange every last detail for you. There are so many options that it can make your head spin!

We can’t answer all those questions because each couple has their own opinions and priorities–that’s the beauty of seeing each couple’s unique vision come to life! But we CAN help simplify the process and take a few things off of your plate (whether that plate is a functional, sturdy disposable one or a fancy china plate complete with a charger).

rustic wedding package place settings with light blue and wooden accents

Packages give you peace of mind

At the Rand-Bryan House we now offer wedding packages that include various combinations of items such as tables, chairs, tablecloths, and plates/flatware/glassware. When you arrive on your wedding day, setup of items will be complete. You won’t have to lift a finger or wonder when the rental company is stopping by to drop off your specialty chairs or beautiful table overlays. Setup time varies quite a bit based on the complexity of the decorations and place settings as well as the number of people involved in the decorating process. If you choose a package in which the bulk of your setup is done by vendors, then you and your close family and friends are free to sit back, relax, and enjoy the process of getting ready for the ceremony!

While you and your wedding party are getting ready, we will be working behind the scenes to ensure that everything runs smoothly. The Rand-Bryan House staff will help coordinate arrival of vendors such as your caterer, DJ, florist, etc. and make sure each vendor is aware of the floor plan you would like for your wedding and/or reception. We work with the fabulous DeeJay’s Rentals to ensure that your vision comes to life with personalized rentals that are set up in a timely manner.

wedding package place settings with cobalt napkins and ivory chargers

Make planning easier without losing flexibility

At the Rand-Bryan House, we’ve always valued flexibility and we strive to create an experience that reflects that belief. We want you to be able to create an event that is personal and really embodies your style as a couple. We absolutely love seeing the different ways people use our space! White chairs with pops of colorful flowers can create a completely different vibe than wooden chairs with greenery. We knew that having a “one size fits all” options for chairs, linens, and dishes would not be true to our values. We kept this in mind when designing our wedding packages and chose to partner with DeeJay’s Event Rentals so that you are able to choose from all of the wonderful options they offer.

wedding package place setting with gold chargers and rose goblets


We’d love to hear about your wedding vision and talk about how we can tailor a package to make that vision a reality! Let us help you with the logistics so you can enjoy the wedding planning process. Curious about creating a personalized package for your wedding day? Contact us to find out more!


Wedding Show in January

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…to get engaged! We’ve enjoyed seeing all the sweet holiday engagement posts–Congrats to those of you who have recently gotten engaged!

As we settle into our post-holiday routines, the new year brings a chance for you to get a head start on your wedding planning by checking out tons of local wedding vendors at a one-stop shop: Forever Bridal’s Winter Wedding Show. We recommend making your wedding venue one of your first decisions, so you can confirm a date when choosing the rest of your vendors. Come chat with us to learn how our lovely house and grounds can bring to life your vision for your ceremony, reception, and/or rehearsal dinner.

Raleigh’s January wedding show runs from 11am-4pm on January 5 & 6 in the Jim Graham Building at the NC State Fairgrounds. You can find more details regarding show specifics here.

If you’re at the show, keep an eye out for this vintage arbor–we’ll be nearby, ready to answer your questions and show you pictures of all our great gathering spaces. Look forward to seeing you there!


Rain on your wedding day? 5 tips to save the day.

How do you plan in case of rain on your wedding day? From March through mid-November, most of our couples choose to have outdoor weddings.  Our manicured grounds with colorful trees, shrubs and flowers set the stage for a beautiful outdoor ceremony and are surrounded by rolling hills of green grass and large evergreens.

When you plan on an outdoor ceremony at your wedding venue, you always need a “wedding rain plan”! At the Rand-Bryan House, you have 2 options:

  • As long as you have no more than approximately 100 guests, our sunroom provides a gorgeous alternative in case of rain on your wedding day. With the floor to ceiling windows, your indoor ceremony still looks out over the grounds so you almost feel you are outside (without the unpleasant weather elements).
  • For larger events, tents become the back up plan.

This past spring and summer, with quite a few damp and dreary days, resulted in several rain plans. See how pretty it can still be? Rain on your wedding day

If you are planning ahead for a 2019 outdoor wedding, we’ll review a plan for rain on your wedding day just in case it’s needed.  Here’s 5 quick tips to reduce weather-related stress:

  1. Develop an alternate location for your outdoor ceremony in case of rain.
  2. Choose decorations that will work well in primary and secondary ceremony locations (i.e., an arbor that can be set up outside or inside).
  3. Review alternative plans with vendors so everyone understands both plans and how they are impacted.
  4. Determine responsibilities for rain plan logistics (i.e., venue staff or caterer move tables and chairs between ceremony and reception).
  5. Buy some fun umbrellas! You’ll definitely want some outdoor photos in the rain.

 


Spring Wedding Featured on Bustld

NC Spring Wedding at Rand-Bryan House

We so enjoyed hosting Paige and Tyler’s recent spring wedding at the Rand-Bryan House.  With the help of a creative planner and valuable insight from Paige’s mom, Paige and Tyler planned a gorgeous ceremony that was executed beautifully with soft, romantic details.

Paige and Tyler’s April wedding at the Rand-Bryan House was recently featured on Bustld! Check out their sweet southern spring wedding to see their dreamy color scheme and beautiful use of one of our outdoor ceremony sites.

“For their wedding, Paige and Tyler knew they wanted an outdoor evening ceremony with a smaller, more intimate feel. The Rand-Bryan house, a historic home venue in Raleigh, North Carolina, was the perfect venue for them as it could both accommodate their guest count and offered a beautiful outdoor space for their ceremony. The venue was perfect for the romantic, classic, Southern wedding they were envisioning. They chose a color scheme of cornflower blue and blush, all which was captured perfectly by Johanna Dye Photography. Paige’s bridesmaids looked gorgeous in their off-the-shoulder blue gowns that featured thin straps and soft silhouettes. The bride was perfection in her halter-style embroidered gown that was full of sparkle and breathtaking detail.”

Read the full post on Bustld to learn more about Paige and Tyler’s story and the great team of vendors who helped them achieve the romantic southern vibe they envisioned!


Meet us at the Wedding Show

For all of you who just got engaged, here’s a chance to research lots of wedding info in one place! Your venue should be your first decision so stop by and talk with us about how our beautiful house and grounds might suit your vision for your ceremony and reception and/or for your rehearsal dinner.  Show times are 11-4:00 on January 6 & 7 at the Jim Graham Building, NC State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.

Look for our booth on the 300 aisle in the middle of the show. You’ll find us hanging out around this vintage ceremony arbor with lots of pictures and answers to your questions.  Click here for show details. Hope to see you there!

 


Bridal Open House

Bridal Open House at the Rand-Bryan in Raleigh

Visit Raleigh’s Rand-Bryan House for a bridal open house Sunday, July 23rd from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

This is a special event for soon-to-be brides and grooms to discover every rustic, charming, and elegant quality the Rand-Bryan House has to offer.

Romantic indoor wedding ceremony in the Rand-Bryan House sunroomAn immaculately maintained 19th century home resting on 135 acres of stunning landscape, the Rand-Bryan House is the ideal wedding venue for couples in the Raleigh-Durham area. In preparation of your fall or spring wedding, come to our bridal open house this July, and keep in mind the following amenities that will be offered:

  • Complimentary attendance
  • Sample tastings of savory and sweet offerings
  • Tours of the house and surrounding grounds
  • Visits with some of our preferred vendors, including:
    • DeeJay’s Event Rentals
    • The Q Shack Catering Company
    • Florian Music
    • Edible Art Bakery and Dessert Cafe
    • Triple T Entertainment
    • Images by Amber Robinson
    • Edie Kaye
    • Jon Warlick Media
    • Katy Lynn Beauty
    • Victorian Seasons
    • Sweet T Designs

If you are planning a wedding in the Raleigh-Durham area, we invite you to visit our bridal open house at the Rand-Bryan this July. We cherish the opportunity to get to know you better as we work together to make your special day truly unforgettable.

Please RSVP by emailing info@standoutevents.org to let us know you’ll be there! RSVP appreciated by July 18th.

A Remarkable Wedding Venue

Every bride has the opportunity to make their dream wedding a reality at the Rand-Bryan House. Located in Garner on the outskirts of Raleigh, our beautiful wedding venue can fulfill the wishes of every type of wedding party. You can make the property your own, whether you are looking for a:

Although we have seen every type of personality and taste at the Rand-Bryan House, the beauty of its magic is that every couple leaves equally happy. The wedding venue of your dreams is right here in Raleigh. Come see it for yourself at our bridal open house this July 23rd from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

 


Ceremony on Rand-Bryan House front lawn

Sunshine on Ashley & Courtney’s outdoor ceremony

With bright sunshine warming the grounds of the Rand-Bryan House most of the day on this April Saturday, late afternoon heat brought on a brief shower just before wedding time for Ashley & Courtney.  Not to worry…..chairs toweled off and ready to go in time for “here comes the bride”!  Nature wasn’t done yet as she offered a rainbow and a bald eagle in flight during the outdoor ceremony.  A delightful cocktail hour followed as guests enjoyed the porch and grounds for drinks and hors d’oeuvres with string music in the background from Save the Date Music.  Catering by Design’s dishes beckoned guests inside for a delicious buffet dinner with dancing, cake and fellowship to follow. Wishing the new Mr. & Mrs. Evans lots of happiness!