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Outdoor Wedding Photography: Best Sites near Raleigh

When it comes to weddings, you want everything to be perfect for your wedding. The venue. The food. The music. And the photos.

Long after the wedding is over, it’s the photos that will be able to capture the beauty and celebration with all your family and friends. Everyone puts a lot of attention in what wedding photos they take, and where they take them.

Those of you who grew up near Raleigh North Carolina already know many of the beautiful spots for photographs, but maybe not specifically for wedding photographs. And with so many moving to the Raleigh area from all around the United States, many don’t yet know what amazing spots are available.

Here’s a short list of the best sites near Raleigh for outdoor wedding photography.

JC Arboretum, Raleigh

The JC Raulston Arboretum is an acclaimed garden associated with North Carolina State University. No fees are required for photographer use, but do read the Photographer Guidelines  posted under Visitor Etiquette. Should the whole garden be desired for a photo-shoot, photographers would need to set up a rental. The JC Arboretum has an amazing lilac collection, a wonderful rose garden and a beautiful Japanese garden, including grassy areas and benches in different locations.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Durham

The Sarah P Duke Gardens are part of Duke University in Durham. They are a most beautiful setting for wedding photography and it is regulated by requiring permitting or membership as covered under their Portrait and Video Policies. The Gardens do have Member Photographers who pay an annual fee and like with single day permits, they also must schedule their sessions in advance.

WRAL Azalea Gardens, Raleigh

The WRAL Azalea Gardens are located near NC State University and in the spring are a brilliant display of color and beauty. There are a variety of spaces within the gardens for different settings. No reservation or fee is required, but that also means you may have other garden visitors walking around. Weddings can also be held in the gardens in the afternoons on weekends from April to September with a reservation and fee.

Coker Arboretum, Chapel Hill

The Coker Arboretum is managed by the North Carolina Botanical Garden and is one of it’s oldest areas. There is no specific mention of photography at the Coker Arboretum, so perhaps check with the North Carolina Botanical Garden (see listing here), but they do allow wedding ceremonies (no receptions). Below you’ll find a map to be able to locate the Arboretum.

North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill

The North Carolina Botanical Garden is the botanical garden of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. All groups of photographers (and others), as well as all professional or commercial photographers must register, complete an application and submit a fee. Depending on how much equipment and people are involved the fee may be as little as $25 or as much as $75 (in 2014), and up to two weeks lead time is needed. See their Photography Policies for details.

The Rose Garden at Raleigh Little Theatre

The Rose Garden can be rented for weddings. Photographers working with a wedding party renting the garden will have no additional charge, but will have to schedule and reserve time. Photographers not associated with an event can make arrangements and do have to schedule time. No fee is mentioned but do ask. Raleigh permits are required of all professional photographers, and if a gathering of more than 100 is involved, Raleigh requires an Assembly Permit.  You can view a slide show of the Rose Garden. Unfortunately phone contact is limited to Monday mornings, but here is the number: 919-821-4579, extension 320.

NC Museum of Art

The NC Museum of Art has a prohibition on commercial photography with the notable exception of wedding photography, only when the bridal party is renting the Museum as their event venue.

Wedding Venues for Outdoor Wedding Photography

Rural wedding venues like Shady Wagon Farm, Snipes Farm & Retreat and Het Landhuis; or villas or historic homes like The Sutherland, The Oaks at Salem, Haywood Hall or Barclay Villa make gorgeous settings for wedding photography. You would need to inquire about use for photography only. See our wedding venue list for phone numbers and websites.

Catering by Design

Call to find out what Catering By Design can do for you on your very special day.

Talk to us at local wedding shows.

Call us at 919-481-2366.

Ask us about catering your wedding.

Catering By Design is a full service caterer. We work with weddings both large and small, casual or extraordinarily elegant. We make everything about your event smooth and wonderful!

Find out how easy we make it.

For the Very Best Event….


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