Sarah Joann Photography is a wedding & newborn photographer based in Raleigh, North Carolina.
My brides have taken me all over the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill areas over the years to photograph their weddings. I have gotten to check out ALOT of venues. The Triangle area has so many different options for wedding venues, it’s amazing! I have seen it all…from rustic to elegant to all-inclusive to DIY from the ground up…there is somewhere for every bride. Planning a wedding can overwhelming so I decided to help serve all the brides-to-be out there in the Triangle area by featuring different wedding venues on my blog monthly. Check back often to get the scoop on all the unique wedding venues Raleigh has to offer.
On the outskirts of Raleigh, in the Chatham county countryside, you will stumble across the Bradford. An elegant, french country inspired venue, designed by two wedding planners. Surrounded by lush greenery and a tree lined drive leading up to the white brick “manor” house, it doesn’t get more beautiful than the Bradford. As it was built by planners, every detail in this wedding venue is well thought out to work seamlessly with the flow of a wedding day. It offers a variety of set up options for your wedding ceremony & reception, both indoor & outdoor. Everywhere you look, everything is beautifully styled, even down to the hooks in bathrooms and the wood markers in the parking lot. I met with Dana, co-owner of the Bradford, and C&D Events, and she gave me the inside scoop on planning your wedding here.
The Bradford all started with Dana’s wedding. As Dana was planning her own wedding, she had a hard time finding a venue that would accommodate her number of guests, that was something other than a ballroom. And….the Bradford was born. Courtney, Dana’s sister & co-owner of the Bradford and C&D Events, dreamt of creating their own venue, and they set forth to make their dreams a reality.
The french country look is a favorited feature of this venue. It offers a different style other than the traditional southern plantation house, and with it’s neutral color palette, any bride can make it her own. Dana said, “We love when dinner is set up on the terrace, because its so unique!” When the bride opts to set up dinner on the terrace, under the market lights, it gives an al fresca vibe to the wedding reception.
There is a 50% deposit to book the venue for your event. For prime wedding season dates, most brides should be booking 12-18 months out. There are Friday & Sunday dates available, however, for a wedding date in prime wedding season, booking 1 year ahead is recommended.
The Bradford can accommodate up to 250 guests comfortably.
Booking your wedding at the Bradford includes tables, chairs, and use of the entire property. They only book 1 wedding a day, so the grounds are yours for the day. You can have access as early as 10 am and you can dance the night away with your guests until 11 pm.
The Bradford requires that you use one of their 6 preferred caterers and a day of coordinator to help the day run smoothly, but other than that, a bride is welcome to use any vendor her heart desires.
Every bride has a vision for her dream wedding day, and the Bradford tries to make that happen, by welcoming all vendors. They want their event to be a reflection of who they are. Even though they have a select group of caterers that can be used, their catering options can serve brides of all budgets, low to high, so there is sure to be a fit for everyone.
Additionally, C&D events is available to add extra planning services for your wedding, as well as Bushel & Peck, their in house floral design.
The Bradford backs up to the Haw River, and there is actually an active beaver dam on the property. Bonus interesting fact: The Bradford is actually a new house, designed to look like an old french country manor.
There are plans in the works to expand the Bradford and add an additional ballroom to the wedding venue but, there is no date officially set. However, they are always improving the property, through landscaping & hardscaping.
The fact that the Bradford is basically a bed & breakfast makes it an incredibly unique wedding venue, with few like it in the Raleigh area. With the Friday-Saturday package brides are actually able to host their rehearsal dinner, stay over night with the bridal party, and wake up to a lovely breakfast & mimosa bar before getting ready for the big day, making your wedding weekend simple and stress free.
The Bradford is simply a breathtaking wedding venue, and any bride could make her wedding dreams come true here!
Check out this blog post from Amy & Neil’s gorgeous fall wedding to see a wedding day in action at the Bradford! And don’t forget to check back soon to see our next featured wedding venue!
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