Historic Apex, NC Landmark Now a Timeless Wedding Venue

Discover The Upchurch, an elegant Apex, NC wedding venue that offers the perfect mix of vintage details and modern spaces

By Katie MacKinnon

A delicate 1940s Ercole Barovier glass chandelier and art nouveau-inspired decor greet visitors inside the Upchurch-Williams House. The registered Apex historic landmark has undergone a transformation inside and out since it was moved from its original location on Roberts Road to a new plot of land a few miles down that road. Now, wedding parties gather and prep in two second-floor suites, and a new terraced patio abuts the house. The house is just one part of The Upchurch, a new Apex, NC wedding venue with a timeless air.

The Upchurch-Williams House Transformed into Apex, NC Wedding Venue

The restored home – also called The Main House – is just one element of The Upchurch, Cary’s elegant event venue owned by Cara Powell. Cara spent nearly two decades working as a wedding photographer in the Triangle before starting construction on the venue in 2021. The Upchurch opened for events in summer 2022. The Main House is joined with The Magnolia Lawn and The Conservatory, a 4,200-square-foot building inspired by the style of vintage conservatories yet finished with modern light fixtures and a polished look.

Claire Mansfield, a lead planner at Bustled Events, orchestrated this styled black-tie ceremony and reception to take advantage of each space at The Upchurch.

“The Upchurch was the perfect backdrop,” Claire says. “The historic yet timeless Main House was an absolute vision for [the couple’s] first look, and the vaulted Conservatory was the beautiful setting where I created the ceremony and reception I had dreamt of.”

The addition of rusty orange makes for an updated take on a traditional black and white color scheme. The Main House’s Queen Anne architecture paired with modern styling and decor sets the scene for vintage romance to meet the modern day.

Ariel Mason of Ariel Kaitlin Photography captured moments big and small between the couple.

“Ariel’s direction was detailed and helped both our models and the team know exactly what to do in order to get the perfect shot,” Claire says. “That, coupled with her encouragement and funny remarks, kept us all smiling and laughing throughout the day.”

Model Jemima Liteli wears a Lazaro ballgown from boutique White of Raleigh, and her real-life partner, Shalom Kiruba, looks polished in a classic tuxedo from Bernard’s Formalwear.

Jemima’s natural makeup and effortless updo executed by Reign Beauty accentuate the gown’s strapless silhouette.

Diane Joyal and Lily Joyal, the mother-daughter duo behind Bowerbird Flowers & Apothecary, created floral arrangements and an asymmetrical arch in monochromatic white blooms with black and blush accents to suit the minimalist tone of The Conservatory. Rather than placing one large centerpiece on each table, several small vases share the spotlight with fine china and linens from Curated Events Raleigh.

Black ribbon tied around menus that Claire designed adds a dramatic flair. “The tablescape was a beautiful marriage of the colors and design elements chosen to carry out our theme,” she says.

Additional rentals from Greenhouse Picker Sisters, including sleek black candleholders and a vintage typewriter holding the bar menu, carry on the theme of traditional mixed with modern. A polished three-tiered cake from Love Cake is adorned with a cascading orange branch.

A Champagne tower topped off this resplendent reception scene. “As the sun began to touch the top of the trees, I was able to sit back and watch with joy as the final moments of the shoot were captured and the glasses began to fill,” Claire says.

Couple kissing at alters in timeless wedding venue
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