Winter Wedding at the Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club Durham, NC
Are you ready? Kami and Austin locked hands before exiting their winter wedding reception at the Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club. They had woken up that December morning as engaged sweethearts, and were now ending the night as newlyweds. Together, they opened the door and stepped out into what can only be described as a winter wonderland. Snowflakes filled the night sky and Christmas lights cast a warm glow upon their closest friends and family.
Bride Kami will be the first to tell you that magic wedding moments like this don’t just happen. They take expert planning and organization. In contrast to the beautiful moment above, Kami’s wedding experience started out awful. Caught up in the excitement, Kami tried to plan a wedding while starting her intern year at Duke for residency. Luckily, the bride’s mother-in-law gently nudged her to find a professional NC wedding planner. That’s when Kami picked up a copy of Heart of NC Weddings magazine at Alexia’s bridal shop. She immediately dialed Megan of A Southern Soiree,
“I was skeptical at first because I didn’t want to pay a huge wedding planner fee. But let me tell you, it was the best money spent on our wedding and I feel like we got a huge deal with how incredible Megan and her team was throughout the whole process,” Bride Kami gushed. “Megan and her team were so patient and flexible and made the planning process a breeze. I can’t remember one time when I was stressed anymore about our wedding once Megan and her team were on it.”
Living in the Moment, Kami and Austin’s Love Story
Whether you’re an old fan or a new visitor to Heart of NC Weddings blog, we love college sweetheart stories. With multiple outstanding universities within the Triangle area alone, it’s not unusual for NC couples to meet on campus! That holds true for Kami and Austin. These two Duke blue lovebirds met the summer after freshman year. A summer love that Kami says turned into eight years of dating bliss! Their relationship was full of studying for med school, traveling the world and surprises… Including one unforgettable surprise in Rome.
Kami was in her fourth year of med school when she took a much needed vacation to Rome with Austin. In the middle of a tour of Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli, Austin pulled Kami aside. Expecting one of his notorious history lessons, Kami was completely caught off guard when Austin got down on one knee. Overwhelmed with “intense happy butterflies,” Kami says she can’t remember a word of Austin’s heart melting speech (who can relate?). The newly engaged tourists snapped only one photo that day because they were busy living in the moment — another reason Kami believes hiring a professional wedding planner is so vital. Thanks to A Southern Soiree, Kami and Austin were able to live in the moment and enjoy their wedding journey!
Experiencing the Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club Wedding Venue
Sure, saying “I do” at the altar is one of the best parts of your wedding day. But getting ready with your friends and family in the bridal suite is a close competitor! Not only does the Washington Duke Inn offer gorgeous event spaces, but they also have luxury suites. Perfect for styling bridal party hair and makeup and getting dressed. With the beautiful chaos of wedding day preparation, you’ll want to get ready in a place that is comfortable. The Washington Duke Inn is exactly that, and so much more.
One of the premier wedding venues in Durham, the Washington Duke Inn is ranked as a AAA Four Diamond property. What does that mean? Impeccable banquet service staff, state of the art culinary expertise and incredible guest accommodations. From guests arrival to departure, they will be saying “wow” as they receive the Washington Duke Inn experience. For Kami and Austin, food was the most important aspect of their wedding. Keep scrolling to find out how the Washington Duke Inn made their culinary dreams come true!
Do you recognize Bride Kami’s wedding dress? Believe it or not, her Ines Di Santo bridal gown was the same dress on the cover of our 2017 edition! Kami was at Alexia’s bridal shop in downtown Raleigh when she saw the dress on the cover of our magazine,
“I loved it so much I tried it on and bought it – yup, I bought the first dress I tried on and it was perfect.”
First Look and Winter Wedding Photography by Katherine Miles Jones
Kami and Austin chose to do an intimate first look before their wedding ceremony at the Duke University Chapel. Katherine Miles Jones Photography helped the bride and groom arrange this unforgettable moment. Even today, Kami feels a special connection with the vendors who were a part of their wedding day,
“I loved all my vendors, especially my photographer, KMJ who gave us the photos of a lifetime, including capturing our sweet baby girl dog, Olive – I’m gushing thinking about this whole process just writing this.”
Katherine Miles Jones Photography is a seasoned pro in the NC wedding community. In addition to her visual art talent, she is able to put people at ease and preserve priceless memories.
Winter Wedding Ceremony at the Duke University Chapel
What could be more majestic than walking down the aisle of the Duke University Chapel? Located in the heart of Duke University’s campus, this cathedral will steal your breath away in every season. Red poinsettias and winter greenery gave the cathedral a warm Christmas ambiance. Eleven bridesmaids walked down the aisle in an ensemble of white, gold, blush and cranberry dresses. The bride’s favorite memory from her wedding day was walking back down the aisle with her husband.
“Walking back down the aisle, I asked Austin probably four or five times if we were really married. My second out of body experience was getting married. I was so happy I was on sensory overload – in the best way and thank you so much for having everything documented this time, shoutout to our videographer Thomas Blake Films and Katherine Miles Jones.”
Want to get the full experience of Kami & Austin’s winter wedding? Check out Kami & Austin’s wedding video created by Thomas Blake Films & Photography.
Winter Wedding Reception Extravaganza at the Washington Duke Inn
Following the ceremony, guests were invited to a winter wedding reception at the Washington Duke Inn. As guests entered the reception they were welcomed by a Christmas cocktail hour! The Washington Duke Inn banquet service staff prepared a lovely custom coffee and hot chocolate bar. Look closely, all of the cups read “the perfect blend” followed by Kami and Austin’s wedding date. While guests sipped on warm beverages a local a cappella group, Transit Vocal Band, serenaded them with Christmas carols. One of our favorite details from this winter wedding is the guestbook. Guests signed the “book” by writing on the back of a Christmas ornament. After signing, guests got to hang their ornament on the tree!
After cocktail hour, the wedding party entered the Washington Duke Inn ballroom for a night of celebration. White roses, greenery and gold gave the ballroom a merry and bright glow. Kami and Austin both honored their family’s culture in beautiful ways on their wedding day. During the reception, the bride re-entered the ballroom wearing a gorgeous red, orange and gold Saree. Kami and Austin then performed a ceremonial marriage blessing with her Sri Lankan family members. The Washington Duke Inn designed an delicious vegetarian dinner menu full of the newlyweds favorite dishes! For wedding favors, guests were given pashminas to keep them warm as they ate dessert. Wondering what was for dessert? A make-your-own s’mores bar outside in the snow (the bride and groom rented a snow machine)!
We’re pretty sure that no one wanted Kami and Austin’s Washington Duke Inn wedding reception to end. And truth be told, it didn’t really end! After the newlywed’s magical snow exit, guests were transported to a private after party at the Unscripted Durham. Time for some priceless advice from the bride,
“Most importantly – like you [try to] do everyday, prioritize your love and your relationship. Don’t let wedding stress get the best of you or your relationship. You’re marrying the love of your life, your best friend – that’s the important part! Enjoy the engagement, the planning process, the wedding weekend (which is just the beginning to so much more amazing). Don’t forget that this is both yours and your fiancé’s day, not anyone else’s!”
Thank you Kami and Austin, for sharing your NC love story and real wedding with us. Experience the full splendor of this winter wonderland wedding through Thomas Blake Films. Thomas is a professional NC wedding videographer who will help you cherish your special day forever.