Frequently Asked Questions

Are wedding ceremonies allowed at Duke Gardens?
Yes, ceremonies are held at the Fish Pool, Pergola and Overlook in the Terrace Gardens, and at the Angle Amphitheater for those renting the Doris Duke Center. 

What is the maximum capacity at each outdoor ceremony-only site?
Fish Pool: 100
Pergola: 100
Overlook: 50

What are the ceremony start times for weddings in the Terrace Gardens?
Ceremonies in the Terrace Gardens start at 4 p.m. or 6 p.m.

Is a wedding coordinator required for a wedding ceremony?
No. However, we do have a list of recommended wedding coordinators. Click here to view our vendor list.

Are dressing rooms available for the bride and bridal party?
No. Brides must arrive dressed for the ceremony.

In the event of inclement weather, what happens to an outdoor wedding?
There is no rain plan in place for ceremonies without a reception. Clients are strongly recommended to make backup arrangements with their off-site reception venue.    

Is parking reserved for weddings?
Yes, and parking fees are complimentary for your guests.

Will the Gardens be closed during my wedding?
No, Duke Gardens will be open to visitors during your wedding; however, your wedding area will be restricted from public access.

For wedding receptions, does Duke Gardens require the use of specific vendors for floral, photography and entertainment?
No. Any florist, band, photographer or D.J. is welcome to service your wedding reception at Duke Gardens. Their contact information must be provided to the Special Events Manager at least 30 days prior to the event, and all vendors will be required to follow our policies regarding load-in and load-out.

Can I rent a driver and a golf cart to take my bridal party around while taking pictures?
We do offer a photo cart service for portrait sessions. Please see our photo cart page for more information.

Is the photography permit included in the rental fee?
Yes. When hosting a ceremony or a ceremony and reception at Duke Gardens, the photography permit fee is waived. Any area of the Gardens may be used for photographs, but they cannot be reserved. Gardens staff will not be available to accompany the bride and bridal party for photographs.

May I take my wedding photos at Duke Gardens if I am not hosting my wedding or reception on site?
Yes. But photography permits are required for those not hosting a private event at the Gardens, and a permit fee is required. Permits are only distributed on the date of the shoot. Advance reservations are required, and photo sessions must be completed within the specified time frame. Regular parking fees will apply for each vehicle. Click here to review our portrait and video policies.

May I bring in my own caterer? 
No outside catering is permitted. Please click here to review our list of approved caterers.

DECORATIONS: Throwing rice, bird seed, flowers or raw petals, or confetti, and releasing doves, balloons or flying lanterns are strictly prohibited in the Gardens and at the Doris Duke Center. Bubbles are acceptable.

CATERING:  Duke Gardens maintains an exclusive list of caterers who offer a wide variety of menus, from casual to upscale. Event food may only be provided by one of our approved caterers. Catering equipment -- including all dishes, barware and linens -- and service needs are provided by the caterer.