Wedding Resource Guide
After hosting countless ceremonies, receptions and celebrations, we thought it prudent to share our recommendations!
Our Top 3 Tips for You
- 1 -
A wedding planner is worth every penny!
Whether you hire a wedding planner to assist you from start to finish, or only hire a planner to help coordinate during your special day, a wedding planner, in our opinion, is a crucial part to a stress-free day. Wedding planners have a vast amount of experience and advice, and, if they are a good planner, will save you time and money that is doubly worth their rate.
Here are some local wedding planners that we recommend:
- Amanda Scott of A Swanky Affair
- Grace Beason of Grace Leisure Events
- Chelsey Jean Morrison and Katherine Brown of Gather Together
- Katie Dunn of La Fete
- Sally Oakley of Sally Oakley Wedding Planning
- 2 -
A good DJ provides much more than music
In addition to an event planner, we highly recommend any bride and groom hire a reputable DJ. While a friend or family member can provide an iPod playlist over our A/V system, our system is unfortunately not great for dance parties - it does not get very loud because it is built for presentations and toasts. A DJ will pace your event, initiate transitions such as when it is time to eat, toasts, and time to dance, and can adjust the energy level and atmosphere based on the event's needs in real time.
DJs we recommend include:
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Set-up support is crucial
The final hours before your event are usually busier than you anticipate. If you are purchasing flowers from a florist, remember that renting tea lights and other rental items from them may be a good idea too. The florist can then take care of the set up for you, which will relieve you of added pre-event tasks!
Decor & Rentals
Our polished concrete floor is not ideal for dancing, so if you are planning on having dancing at your event, we will need to install a dance floor for you.
Fortunately American Party Rentals has dance floors that fit beautifully in our space! Dance floors are available for rent in 3’ x 3’ and 4' x 4' squares so the size can easily be altered depending on your dancing needs.
Here is what a 15' x 15' dance floor looks like in the Front Room:
Since the Front Room is such a unique setting with countless built-in decor facets, you can keep your decor investments as minimal as you'd like! Linens play a principle role in your event's look and feel, and we love colors that complement the natural browns, jet blacks, and purple-hued grey walls of our space.
American Party Rentals
The Cookery works with American Party Rentals in Durham, who offers countless color, style and texture options.
If you prefer not to work with American Party Rentals, you are more than welcome to rent linens and tableware from any other trusted linen rental company.
Planning on tenting the patio? We love these additions to enhance the tent decor!
- Lantern chandelier from Tre Bella Floral
- Ceremony Archway from Numious Steel, a local scuplture company that has custom and rental options for ceremony archways. They are a lovely addition to a patio ceremony!
- Floral backdrop (potted plants, or plants and flowers fixed to a folding screen)
- Farm & Filigree has lovely wine barrels that not only enhance the decor, but can also be used as cocktail tables.
And remember, market lights are included in your American Party Rentals tent rental!
Custom Chalk Artwork
Marika Wendelken is a local artist who transforms our stainless steel boards into beautiful pieces of artwork. Marika also creates seating charts, food station signage, and permanent signage and artwork for you to keep!
Flowers add color and beauty to any event! We recommend the following local florists:
- Tre Bella: www.trebellaflorist.com
- Floral Dimensions: www.floraldimensionsdurham.com
- Expressions of Love: www.expressionsofloveflorist.com
- Meristem Floral: www.meristemfloral.com
Since The Cookery has a unique style on it's own, you can dress up the room as much or as little as you would like! Arrangements in apothecary bottles give tables an eclectic flair, and mercury glass vases always complement the room well. Larger bouquets set in tall vases give the room added height and drama, and seasonal wreaths can hang from the mezzanine.
Remember that your florist can rent you tea lights, floating candles, lanterns and other non-floral items to complement any event, and can set up the room according to your layout preferences!
Vintage sofas, trunks, and vases are charming touches to an elegant but rustic event! Furniture and vases pictured below are from Farm & Filigree and Simply Put Vintage Rentals.
Other Local Vendors We Recommend
Most of the photos on this site are by photographers we highly recommend!
- Jessica Arden Photography
- Riley MacLean Photography
- Carolyn Scott Photography
- Megapixie Photography
- Robyn Van Dyke Photography
- Tara Parker Photography
- Meredith Macy
- Blue Barn Photography
- Rebecca Ames Photography
Tap Snap: www.tapsnap.net TapSnap is not your average photo booth - connect your photos with your social media apps, have custom digital props, and more!
- King's Daughters Inn (0.5 miles away): www.thekingsdaughtersinn.com
- The Durham Hotel (0.8 miles away): www.thedurham.com
- Durham Marriott City Center: (0.8 miles away): www.marriott.com
- 21c Museum Hotel (0.9 miles away): www.21cmuseumhotels.com/durham
- Aloft Durham Downtown (0.9 miles away): www.aloftdurhamdowntown.com
- The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club (2.3 miles away): www.washingtondukeinn.com
Thinking Outside of the Box
Not all weddings need to take place on Saturday. What about hosting a brunch wedding? Think Belgian waffles, crepes and mimosas. You can even have a Bloody Mary bar - our bartenders will pour the drinks, and guests can help themselves to a buffet of bacon, pickled veggies, and seasonings. The Cookery offers the Front Room at a less expensive rate for daytime events, and a ceremony that ends in the afternoon will still give your guests an opportunity to rest, travel home, or attend an after party!
Pie Pushers serves a great brunch event - skillet potatoes, shrimp and grits and Eggs Benedict!
Hosting your event on a Thursday evening or Sunday is a great opportunity to save money, especially since the Front Room's room rental prices are lower on these days and there is no bar minimum. Planning such an event over a holiday weekend make it easier for your guests to attend, and will also give them Friday and Saturday travel time!
Although we don't allow confetti, sparklers or bubbles at The Cookery, there are a ton of other alternatives to have guests to see you off in a festive way!
- Glow sticks (our favorite!)
- Paper airplanes
- Flags and ribbon wands (Buy these on Etsy!)
- Bell ringing
Southern Bride and Groom
Pick up a paper copy around town, visit the SB&G website, and get on their mailing list. SB&G is a great resource for Triangle weddings!
Refer to our Step-by-Step Guide in order to prepare for your event, and make sure to check out our photo gallery for examples of various layouts, rentals and more!