Intimate Elopement Wedding at 21c Museum Hotel in Downtown Durham
Weddings are not “one size fits all”. For some people, the time and stress that can go into planning a traditional wedding are not desirable. Elopement weddings are an equally as romantic and intimate way to celebrate you and your partners love. F0r Donminique and Chaz, all the pieces of their true love story fell perfectly into place for an elopement wedding at 21c Museum Hotel in Durham, NC.
Donminique and Chaz’s Love Story
Donminique and Chaz first crossed paths on a Spring break trip to Miami. Afterwards, they stayed long distance friends but were focused on careers rather than romance. It wasn’t until they both attended homecoming at their alma mater, North Carolina A&T State University, that they connected the dots! At Donminique’s 28th birthday brunch party, Chaz popped the question in front of their family and friends. Over a three year engagement, Donminique says that they tried to plan their wedding multiple times.
“Between traveling, work, my family living out of the country, and life in general, things never really added up for us to do the big production.”
After carefully weighing the pros and cons, Donminique and Chaz knew that an elopement was just the solution. Their intimate downtown Durham elopement is the perfect evidence that eloping can be just as beautiful and special as throwing a big traditional wedding!
Getting Ready for An Elopement Wedding at 21c Museum Hotel Durham
Getting ready for an elopement can be just as special and fun as getting ready for a traditional wedding! Donminique and Chaz chose 21c Museum Hotel as their venue because of their love of downtown Durham’s history. For the night before the elopement, the couple booked separate rooms at 21c Museum Hotel. In this way, they could maintain the tradition of engaged couples not seeing each other until the ceremony!
The next morning, it was time for bridal hair and makeup! 21c Museum Hotel has beautiful rooms that serve perfectly as bridal suites. Every room is stocked with guest amenities, luxury decor, and excellent lighting. After hair and makeup, Donminique slipped into a pink, floral robe to take getting ready photos. She looked absolutely beautiful and giddy with excitement sitting on the bed with gold bride balloons behind her! Bride Donminique was so happy with their choice to create these special memories in Durham,
“The 21c Museum Hotel served as the perfect backdrop for our perfect day.”
First Look Followed by a Trip to the Courthouse! Or the Jail?
After three years of being tucked away in the closet, it was time for Donminique to put on her courthouse dress. Originally purchased right after their engagement, she “knew it would come in handy one day”. As for the groom’s elopement attire, Donminique said Chaz had full reign over his outfit decision. The first of which was an extremely dapper, pink suit. Doesn’t he look amazing? We applaud this amazing couple for staying true to themselves in every detail of their elopement wedding day.
After a successful first look, the bride and groom made their way over to the Durham courthouse. This is where their true love story took an unexpected turn. When Donminique and Chaz arrived at the courthouse they were shocked to find out that there were no magistrates on duty. In order to officially perform the legal marriage ceremony they had to go to the downtown Durham jail!
“That experience was one for the books!” -Bride Donminique.
Intimate Elopement Wedding Rituals at 21c Museum Hotel Durham, NC
Following an unexpected visit to Durham’s jail, the newlyweds returned to 21c Museum Hotel for an outfit change. Donminique stepped out of her courthouse dress into a stunning, ivory satin bridal gown. Meanwhile, Chaz switched up his snazzy pink suit for a classic black and white tuxedo and bow tie. The bride and groom met each other on the 21c Museum Hotel ballroom dance floor for a second wedding day reveal. Without any distractions or outside noise, Donminique and Chaz exchanged their vows and shared their first dance. As Luther Vandross music filled the room, the bride and groom twirled in circles on the dance floor — completely alone together in a world of love and promise. Private elopement ceremonies such as this offer couples a powerfully intimate and romantic experience.
“It was the most beautiful, intimate day of my life and we are so happy we did it our way.”
Wedding Portraits in the Hidden Bank Vault at 21c Museum Hotel Durham
Donminque and Chaz chose 21c Museum Hotel in downtown Durham for its incredible history. The multi-purpose art museum, hotel, restaurant, and wedding venue was formed in a historic building that used to be a bank. In fact, the developers of 21c preserved the downstairs vault. Hidden beneath the hotel, the bank vault still showcases it’s massive metal door and mysterious money drawers. 21c’s bank vault is available for intimate events and makes for an awesome cocktail hour. Check out the bride and groom’s fierce elopement wedding portraits in the bank vault.
Bride Donminique has some valuable advice for anyone planning a wedding or an elopement,
“Do what works best for you and your fiancé. Your love, your life, and your wedding union is about you and what is most important to you both. Take the time to be selfish and to do whatever your heart desires on your special day. It will be a day you will not forget and will not want to regret.”
Want to see another beautiful NC elopement? Check out Maria and Ryan’s elopement ceremony at Jordan Lake.