Excellence, elegance, comfort, outstanding service, luxurious accommodations, delicious food, and flexibility are the hallmarks that best describe our recent experience at the historic Carolina Inn. Under the outstanding direction of Melissa Sayre, Social Catering Manager, our daughter's wedding exceeded our expectations in execution and happiness. Every detail was handled with personalized care and exactly as planned. Even when our guest list grew from 90 to 206, Melissa and her staff met our every concern with no problem, we can handle it. And they did, always with a smile and great creativity. Each meal, including the beautiful reception dinner, was well-prepared, perfectly served, and delectable. The entire staff was attentive, detail oriented, and focused on making us feel that our daughter's wedding was the most important event to ever occur at The Carolina Inn. More than 100 of our family members and friends stayed onsite for several nights. We heard significant praise from our guests regarding a most memorable experience, the wonderfully comfortable beds, and a desire to return to the Inn for their own vacations and special events. Thank you to The Carolina Inn and Melissa Sayre for making our daughter's and new son's dream wedding a reality and helping to create memories that will last a lifetime.
The Carolina Inn Blog
Welcome to Your Carolina Inn. We wanted to give you a place to share your favorite Carolina Inn memory or experience in Chapel Hill. Read, post, share and become part of the community.
Wedding Memories for a Lifetime
The Carolina Inn's 18th Annual Bridal Showcase Chapel Hill, NC
It’s your wedding day – and we all know there’s nothing more important than choosing the right vendors to help it go off without a hitch. Thankfully, The Carolina Inn Bridal Showcase is here to help all of you brides.
This uber-fabulous wedding event is happening right in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill, at the gorgeous historic hotel, The Carolina Inn on January 27, 2013 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The Showcase features some of the most creative and experienced wedding vendors in the North Carolina area. Just wait until you see the SPECTACULAR agenda for the day, which includes TWO dazzling fashion shows, a yummy cake sampling, music and the most exquisite wedding gowns from top couture designers!
The Carolina Inn Bridal Showcase is more soirée than show. So, be sure to mark your calendar and purchase your tickets! Don’t forget to bring every bride and groom-to-be you know...this is going to be a fabulous event. Happy planning!
We look forward to seeing you at the 18th Annual Bridal Showcase.
Wedding Tip Wednesday ~ Keeping Your Sanity
I am in the middle of wedding planning season. I wouldn’t say that it is the calm before the storm but it is more like the storm before the calm. I have noticed an increasing number of brides that are overwhelmed with all the choices that are put before them. With Pinterest and Facebook and all of these blogs out there, it's hard to commit to any decisions with new ideas popping up all of the time.
Remember how easy it was when Franck entered the scene in Father of Bride - do a little of this and a little of that and it was all taken care of. He had all of the right answers and made it incredibly easy to make all the decisions. Those were simpler times.
So if you are trying to keep your sanity amidst planning your big day, I offer to you my suggestions on how to keep it together and enjoy the journey, I mean this should be fun...right?
Five Golden Rules of Wedding Planning:
1. Never ask too many people for their input - and believe me, when you tell your family and friends that you are engaged everyone will have an opinion on what your dress should look like, what colors your flowers should be, and what you should serve as a meal. So, pick one or two people to help you with your decisions. You will always know who to go to and you can shut out the "noise" that comes from too many opinions.
2. Pick a palette and go with it - most brides know how they want their wedding to look - white, pink, coral - they know. In most cases they have been thinking about it and looking at pictures for a very long time. If the decision has already been made then don't try to talk yourself into something else, this is energy better spent on planning your life together.
3. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff - Focus on what matters and just let the rest go. It's not the end of the world if you don't find the perfect pair of shoes, or if you can't find the perfect linens, or Aunt Mary doesn't like that you are serving beef instead of chicken. Just let it go, all that matters at the end of your wedding day is that you are married to the perfect person, I highly doubt that you will remember anything else when you are 80.
4. Keep it Simple - You don't have to try and incorporate every idea from every website or Pinterest board that you have ever seen. Sometimes simple is best. I'd rather see a bride invest her money in things that get the most bang for their buck. Linens, flowers, photographers! Always pick a few beautiful, breathtaking (and most likely expensive) things over lots of inexpensive and less than lovely items.
5. Make Decisions! The most frustrated brides that I see are the ones that make lists upon lists upon lists and then have to make a list to keep track of their lists. You must make decisions otherwise you will be simply overwhelmed and not even know where to start.
You cannot do it all. You cannot please everyone. You cannot be perfect. So, just let it go. Start making what matters the most to you happen and start crossing the other things off of the lists!
Enjoy the journey...and happy planning!
Best wedding ever!
My husband and I were recently married at The Carolina Inn, and it was the most wonderful weekend of our lives. Our wedding coordinator, Devon Schwartz, and the rest of the Inn staff could not have been more friendly and helpful. They ensured that every detail was perfect, so we were able to enjoy our special day totally stress-free. I cannot imagine a more perfect setting for our marriage. We are definitely planning to come back for many anniversaries :) Thank you!!!! Sarah & Dan Chang
Wonderful wedding weekend
My wedding ceremony and reception were held at the Carolina Inn in March. The Inn is known for being a popular wedding spot -- and now I know exactly why. First, the hotel and grounds are gorgeous. You will have no trouble getting beautiful photos and video here. Secondly, the staff and event planners are wonderful to work with. Every single detail was taken care of and I didn?t have to worry about a thing. I planned my wedding by myself, but felt like I had the benefit of a wedding planner when working with Devon at the Inn. I enjoyed every experience, from the menu tasting, January wedding show, and details meeting, to the entire wedding weekend. Many of our guests stayed at the Inn and everyone was thrilled with the beautiful and luxurious accommodations. My ceremony was held in the Bryan Courtyard and it was a romantic, intimate setting. The reception was in the Old Well Room, which is a gorgeous, elegant room. I can?t compliment the Inn enough on its customer service, attention to detail, beautiful accommodations and delicious food. Take a look at my video and you?ll see how fabulous it was!
The Carolina Inn staff were awesome this past weekend during the events of my daughter's wedding. The weather was less than cooperative but the staff made adjustments seamlessly. Devon was absolutely wonderful in helping us plan the event and Sarah made sure the reception went smoothly. Sarah was very helpful in making sure items from the reception were taken to the appropriate rooms. The food was excellent as well. I would highly recommend the Carolina Inn for any event.
Scenes from The Carolina Inn Bridal Showcase
With this weekend's delightful winter heat wave came a welcomed reminder that spring is just around the corner. And with spring will come wedding season -- a fact that was very evident at yesterday's Bridal Showcase at The Carolina Inn.
The Carolina Inn Bridal Showcase 2011
I have planned weddings for many years now and it is an incredible task to scribe every detail into existence. I have spent hours imagining where each table should be placed, how each napkin should be folded, and how each bride will feel when they enter the magic of their wonderland. There is always that one moment when I can see the black and white notes that are buried somewhere in my office burst into life. I felt that way yesterday as I watched Classic Party Rentals constructing our tent for the Bridal Showcase on Sunday. It was cold, it was raining, and it was certainly muddy… but the masterpiece that awaits the brides on Sunday is outstanding. I couldn’t help but track my muddy feet into the middle of the courtyard underneath the glass chandeliers and the strands of mini lights and look up through the clear ceiling to watch the rain pour down. I was left with feeling sheer anticipation about the most elegant event that we have planned for our brides. We are joined by the finest vendors in the area and together we can’t wait for you to see all we have put together for you to enjoy. The Carolina Inn Bridal Showcase is just waiting to burst into life. Don’t miss the party.
How to Choose the Perfect Wedding and Reception Venue
Our very own, Social Catering Manager Devon Schwartz was featured on The Green Kangaroo blog. The Green Kangaroo specializes in unique wedding invitations and stationery. Her expertise in the wedding planning field was sought after to learn about her insider tips when choosing a wedding and reception venue.
Here is an excerpt from The Green Kangaroo’s blog:
Devon, what are the top things couples should consider when looking at wedding and reception venues? There are so many things to consider! The biggest key is to do your research on your venue and vendors before committing to them. Check those references!
Read the rest of Devon’s recommendations.
My husband and I are both Active Duty military and once we had decided on The Carolina Inn for our wedding and reception, we designated my mother as coordinator while we attempted to overcome the time difference to communicate with the wedding planners at the beautiful inn. Not only was the staff more than flexible and accommodating, they were exceptionally helpful and calming on the day of our wedding! We couldn't thank them more for dealing with our crazy families & wedding day with ease and professionalism!
Wedding Trends at The Carolina Inn
On Sunday, February 7, 2010 The Carolina Inn hosted its annual Bridal Fair showcasing the area’s hottest wedding trends. While touring the inn and sampling delicious hors d’oeuvres, brides were treated to a display of local wedding vendors including cake bakers, florists, photographers, rental companies, and much more. Candy buffets, unique linen, table-top design, and musical entertainment options were all on display. Check out our photo album to get some ideas for your own wedding!
Tar Heel Wedding
Livi and Jeremy celebrated their wedding with us Carolina style. KA Studios Cinematography captured their special day on film. Click here to view their beautiful wedding video. It truly was a Tar Heel dream wedding. Congratulations Livi and Jeremy!
A large percentage of our brides and grooms are Carolina Alumni. Since The Carolina Inn is owned by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and located on the UNC campus, it is a Carolina girls' dream to walk down the aisle in our beautiful Hill Courtyard and celebrate the beginning of her new life in our elegant Old Well Room.
Carolina brides, tell us your Tar Heel wedding stories right here on our blog. How did you meet your loved one? How did he propose? What was your dream wedding like?
A Wonderful Wedding
I held my wedding at the Carolina Inn last May, and I'm still getting comments on how beautiful it was. Not to mention I haven't been able to pick out my pictures, because I begin to get teary-eyed everytime I try. The Carolina Inn made everything about our wedding so perfect and enjoyable, from start to finish, that we couldn't have wished for anything more. When my husband and I became engaged, we knew immediately that the Carolina Inn was THE place.
As former student athletes at UNC, we met early on in college, and felt that the Inn was the perfect setting to really begin our life together. We never once questioned that decision, as the staff made planning so easy and fun that I couldn't imagine doing it any other way! (Even when I was sick with the flu at the food tasting and could only have a few bites!) They literally took care of everything and worked so closely with you to really make the day YOURS. There was nothing to worry about the day of the wedding except enjoying yourself and remembering every moment. Although this is long overdue, I would really like to thank the whole Carolina Inn staff, and especially Julie McCay, for helping us to create the perfect wedding. It is a day that we will never forget and we will always have beautiful, happy memories of our wedding at the Carolina Inn (and pictures if I can ever get them picked out!).
Last summer, our daughter was married in Chapel Hill. The rehearsal dinner and "wedding eve celebration" which followed were held in the beautiful Hill Ballroom. We could not have asked for a more magnificent evening.
The entire staff was efficient, accommodating and courteous; and working with Julie McCay, Social Catering Manager, was an absolute joy! The wedding guests who stayed at the Inn were extremely complimentary of the facility and all of the amenities and continue to comment on the delightful staff. Many of our guests traveled from Spain for the wedding festivities and for most it was their first trip to the United States. They loved their time in Chapel Hill and at the Inn and had rave reviews for the friendly, helpful staff who were great ambassadors for our community and country. We sincerely appreciate the true professionalism of Julie McCay and the entire staff as well as the many kindnesses they extended to all of us. We also had the opportunity this spring to host a dinner in the Piedmont Room honoring our son and his fiancee and her family. What a pleasure it was to work with Lauren Joyner, Restaurant Coordinator! As before, the staff at the Inn orchestrated everything to perfection, and we all had a marvelous evening.
The perfect Carolina wedding!
My husband and I met on UNC's south campus, had our first date at a restaurant on Franklin Street, and graduated at Kenan Stadium. There was no more perfect a place to marry than at The Carolina Inn on a warm July evening. The ceremony and reception were more beautiful than I could have imagined and I will never forget walking to the Old Well with my new husband. We had a great experience with all of the staff at The Carolina Inn which added to the perfect weekend in Chapel Hill!
Wonderful Wedding Reception
When my wife and I were planning our reception at the Carolina Inn, we knew that the location would be beautiful, the staff would be diligent, and the food would be delicious. But we couldn't have been prepared for just how well everything went off. The planner we worked with was extraordinarily professional and responsive, aiding us in carrying out all of our wedding day ambitions. The staff was very helpful during the reception; they accommodated every need, whether it was planned or came up on the spot. We couldn't have imagined a better-run reception. Thanks!
The Best Night of Our Lives
When we decided to tie the knot in Chapel Hill, The Carolina Inn was an easy choice. Our guests could stay at the Inn and it was a beautiful setting for both the wedding ceremony and reception. We had the ceremony (on a cold February evening) in the Bryan Courtyard, where we were able to stay warm with a tent, heaters, and flowers. It was the perfect sized space for about 120 guests and the ceremony was incredibly beautiful and intimate. The reception followed in the Old Well Ballroom -- where we watched a slide show, danced to a DJ, cut the cake, sang karaoke, and overall had the best night of our lives!
A Tar Heel Wedding
Check out this video by KA Studios cinematography on Livi and Jeremy's beautiful wedding day at The Carolina Inn. Livi recounts Jeremy's romantic and creative marriage proposal, one of the best I've heard.
To all our Carolina brides out there: Do you have an amazing or memorable wedding proposal story? Tell us how you got engaged! Post your story, pictures, or videos right here on our blog. We're looking for the best proposals of the year.
New Years Eve - The Perfect Date for a Wedding at The Inn
What about a New Years wedding to ring in the upcoming year? Our Catering Director, Terri Nier, says December 31st is one of our most popular dates for wedding receptions. The possibilities are endless and it makes this special day even more memorable.
Linda Trevor and Tony Gilliam's wedding held last December 2008 was recently featured in the Summer/Fall 2009 issue of Southern Bride and Groom.
Since their first date had been on a New Year's Eve, Linda Trevor and Tony Gilliam decided that December 31st would be the perfect date for their wedding. The couple chose The Carolina Inn as the ideal venue for their elegant celebration. Linda, a local realtor, and Tony, a UNC radio announcer, both busy professionals who wanted help with wedding details, contacted Adams and Events for assistance.
The couple decided on a themed event entirely in black and white, from the décor and florals to the wedding party and guests' attire. The cool winter evening was warmed by an abundance of candles inside and outside HillSong Church, and the ceremony was one of faith, fellowship and love, with many friends and family members participating. The reception was held in the Old Well wing of The Carolina Inn, where Linda and Tony's 250 guests were invited to enjoy heavy hors d'oeuvres, mingle about in several rooms, and even to participate in karaoke. Noisemakers, hats and feather boas were distributed to all to help ring in the New Year, following a stroke-of-midnight toast by the Groom. As the enchanted evening drew to a close, guests showered Linda and Tony with black and white feathers. The couple hosted a hearty Carolina Inn brunch on New Year's Day before departing on their honeymoon.
Return Visit to The Inn - Sixty Years Later
Dear Mark, We wish to express to to you our genuine heartfelt thanks for your most gracious hospitality extended to us in the celebration of our 60th Wedding Anniversary on September 8th, 2008. The elegant and beautifully appointed King Suite, the great refreshment tray you sent by room service, the delicious dinner prepared by the Executive Chef and the book - The History of The Carolina Inn has made our celebration such a memorable occasion. Thank you for all the details you took care of. What a joy to meet you! You made so much of your time available to us, never hurried, you made us feel like royalty! All the staff made us feel so welcomed and so special. The return to The Carolina Inn for our 60th Anniversary was indeed a highlight of our 60 years together. We shall not soon forget the part you had in making it an Anniversary to remember and we are eternally grateful to you. Our Sincere Appreciation, John and Clara Privott Rocky Mount, NC
September 5, 1948
Dear Manager: My wife and I were married on September 5th, 1948 and spent our honeymoon night at The Carolina Inn. I was a student and worked in the cafeteria. When we arrived - we checked in and made our way to our assigned room, we opened the door and were shocked to see two twin beds. So you know what happened next? My wife sent me back to the desk and the clerk was very understanding and immediately changed rooms for us. We want to come back to the Inn on September 5th, 2008 - to spend the night sixty years later. I'm enclosing a copy of the original paid bill of $7.00 and I'm wondering whether or not you would let us have a room for $7.00 - the price we paid sixty years ago. Please let me hear from you by return mail. Sincerely, John W. Privott PS: A copy of the 1948 bill is enclosed
The Perfect Place
The Carolina Inn has always been a favorite meeting place for my friends and family, whether it is for a long football weekend or just having a few drinks on the porch. With so many fun and happy memories there, my husband and I were so thrilled that it worked out to be the site of our wedding reception. The Inn provided the perfect place for all our guests to stay for a big wedding weekend. We both look forward to many return trips to The Carolina Inn!