Sarah P. Duke Gardens Reviews

41 | Durham, NC
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41 Reviews for Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Recommended by 89%

41

4.5 out of 5.0
  • Quality of service 4.5
  • Professionalism 4.4
  • Flexibility 4.2
  • Value 4.6
  • Average response time 4.5
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  • D

    Danny Batiansila · Getting married on 09/07/2019

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Beautiful Duke Gardens

    Absolutely beautiful venue. When my fiance and I toured she fell in love almost instantly and knew that this had to be where we got married

  • User6085244 · 1+ year ago

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    This was the most perfect place to have a spring time wedding! Absolutely beautiful!!

  • K

    Krista · Married on 11/04/2017

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Duke Gardens is a beautiful natural setting, and the perfect place to get married. Marcia was helpful every step of the way, and our wedding was a fairytale.

  • A

    Annie · Married on 09/02/2017

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    My husband and I got married at the Angle Amphitheater September 2nd, 2017 and had the most amazing wedding experience. Marcia was extremely responsive and thorough during our 1.5 year engagement. She clearly wanted us to enjoy our day as much as possible and worked with us to make our wedding vision come true. She was generally very flexible about vendors and was kind when she wasn't able to accommodate our requests. One of the things I appreciated the most about Marcia was that she wasn't trying to upsell anything. Her recommendations for more expensive options (e.g. paying more for a clear vs. white top tent) were 100% spot-on.

    We had 140 guests in the Angle Amphitheater with white resin chairs rented from CE Rentals. From there we went into the Kirby Hall for the cocktail hour followed by dinner and dancing on the Piva Terrace under a clear top tent with market lights. It. Was. Perfection. The gardens are absolutely breathtaking and the perfect venue for a wedding. We were able to get by with minimal decorations as the greenery and setting was beautiful on its own. I could not more highly recommend this as a wedding venue!

  • A

    Angela · Married on 08/05/2017

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Dream venue. Everybody loves it!

  • M

    Marsha · Married on 03/26/2017

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    beautiful setting for a wedding!

  • C

    Cheryl · Married on 09/06/2015

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    We used Duke Gardens for both our wedding ceremony and reception. It was the perfect venue for the romantic and intimate feeling I was going for, and had a very classy feeling. In the days leading up to our wedding, rain and storms were forecasted, but it cleared up for the actual wedding day and was beautiful. I only say this because outdoor wedding are not for the faint of heart! It was very nerve wracking leading up to the day, but Duke Gardens has some great options for indoor ceremonies in case it rains too, especially if you have the tent on the terrace.

    We booked Duke Gardens about a year before our wedding, and there were two dates left in the "peak" wedding months, so be sure to book in advance. Also book your wedding rehearsal in advance, since other events and rehearsals can fill up their calendar. We added the additional hour to our reception, and it was definitely worth it. The reception goes by so fast, and we could have easily stayed for a couple more hours if they let us!

    We had about 80 guests which was a good number for having the reception inside the Doris Duke Center. About 80-100 can fit comfortably inside, but more than that would start to get tight. If you have more, you can seat people out on the terrace.

    Since the gardens are so expansive, there are many great locations for portraits and other photos. We walked around a few times before the wedding to pick some locations out.

    Marcia and all the staff at Duke Gardens were great to work with. They were very responsive and helped us through every question we had. They were one of the easier vendors I had to work with, which was very much appreciated. I would highly recommend Duke Gardens!

  • J

    Jessica · Married on 09/05/2015

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Duke Gardens was the perfect location for our 9/5/15 wedding! We used the Angle Amphitheater for our outdoor ceremony, and then used the Doris Duke Center for our cocktail hour and reception space. The gardens were absolutely beautiful, and provided an amazing backdrop for our special day! Working with Marcia was great, and she was very responsive and helpful in recommending vendors and facilitating our requests. Would definitely recommend as a wedding venue - it was unforgettable!

  • S

    Stacie · Married on 10/12/2013

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Sarah P Duke Gardens was our ceremony and reception location. It was such a beautiful and perfect location for an outdoor wedding and indoor reception. Marcia, the coordinator at Duke Gardens, was so nice and helpful with everything. We couldn't have picked a prettier location.

  • T

    Tara · Married on 07/20/2013

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    I'll start out by saying that I am a Duke alum, and therefore, biased. I loved Duke Gardens as an undergrad, so when my fiancé and I decided to get married in North Carolina, Duke Gardens was the only place I considered (well, there and Duke Chapel, but we had 80 guests and wanted something outdoors and intimate).

    We had our wedding ceremony at the Angle Amphitheater behind the Doris Duke Center, and held the reception at the Doris Duke Center. You can't beat the natural beauty of Duke Gardens. We saved a ton of money by not having to do any ceremony decorations or flowers. Kirby Horton Hall inside the Doris Duke Center was perfect for a wedding of our size - we had space for 10 tables, dance floor, DJ and space to set up an ice cream sundae bar.

    Marcia at Duke Gardens was great. We were planning our wedding long-distance, so I wasn't able to go and see the site right away. She held our date for 6 weeks between mid-December and the end of January when I was able to make the trip to North Carolina to see the space and sign the contract. Marcia was very accommodating and answered all of our questions in a timely manner. She was also a good resource for vendor recommendations and feedback.

    A few helpful tips for future brides: There are long and round tables and indoor and outdoor chairs available at the Doris Duke Center, but you have to rent linens and any additional tables or other items you need. We rented chivari chairs for the reception and white plastic chairs for the ceremony (the outdoor chairs at Doris Duke are green and not very "bridal"). We got very lucky with the weather (no rain!) but a tent would be a good idea if you're not willing to roll the dice like we did. There is no "bridal suite" or place for the bride to hang out at Doris Duke unseen, so plan your arrival time accordingly. Finally, talk to Marcia! She was very helpful and accommodating when it came to special requests.

    Tara and Greg

  • User2335316 · 2+ years ago

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    My wedding planner had to leave the wedding for an emergencia which was understanding. So There I was standing in My dress ready to Walk with no One to give me a que to walk. Out ca me a guy that was bwhind the desk and gave me the que to walk I was so Blown away that was beyond of that I was expectante Ruano you so much

  • Lauren

    Lauren · Married on 01/05/2013

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Our experience with Marcia was great. She was quick to respond to phone calls and emails. She was always willing to walk the site and answer any questions. The final look was spectacular and they even let us come early to set up and stay late to clean!

  • L

    L. · Married on 10/23/2010

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Very nice venue for our wedding day. The staff was friendly and helpful. Thank you for everthing!

  • D

    dyan · Married on 09/18/2010

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    This was only my CEREMONY location. My husband an I love to take walks and really enjoy nature. This place is iconic and maybe a little over done. We really were lucky to just walk in and ask if they had our date available and they actually had 2 openings that day. We jumped on it. The gardens are incredible and really worth the money. We were already having a small wedding and since the area can only accomadate so many people it worked out well. Obviously the only drawback is the weather but that is the risk you take when you go outdoors. I was married at the pergola and it was incredible. Wonderful place for pictures and a great place for gathering with others. It's a place I can go to over and over again and have beautiful memories. Oh and you don't have to pay a cent to decorate it because it's so incredibly beautiful!!!!

  • L

    Lori & Wes · Married on 04/10/2010

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    This was a beautiful ceremony setting, and I was pleasantly surprised by both the affordability and by the availability of dates/times. The staff were wonderful to work with both before and during the wedding. The "celebrity effect" of having wedding onlookers is pretty fun, too. :)

  • A

    Alison · Married on 09/20/2008

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    We had a wonderful experience booking our ceremony at the Pergola (gazebo) at Duke Gardens. The lady in charge of reservations was extremely helpful and was responsive to exchanged emails and phone calls to make sure everything was ready for the big day. They took care of setting up chairs and making sure we had parking passes for all of our guests. The booking process was a snap and only required a simple contract that were were able to mail back. Duke Gardens was also very flexible with us on setting a rehearsal time the day before and even extended the time on our parking passes so that we could stay longer and take photos of the wedding party in the gardens. We received our security deposit back right on time with no hassles.

    The biggest perk to booking our wedding at Duke Gardens was the natural beauty and scenery. We were able to save a ton of money by not having to buy additional decorative flowers!

  • J

    Jennifer · Married on 09/20/2008

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Ashley and the rest of the Duke Gardens Staff did a fantastic job helping me and my parents feel comfortable and relaxed about having a wedding and a reception at the gardens. The site is so beautiful and there are many different locations to have a ceremony depending on your guest list. The Doris Duke Center offers a perfect place to have your reception. Ashley did an awesome job keeping us informed on what was allowed and how vendors work in the space. My wedding day was perfect and the gardens were what made the moment so much more memorable.

  • J

    Jacqueline · Married on 07/12/2008

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    BEAUTIFUL AND WONDERFUL PLACE TO GET MARRIED!!! All our guests loved it.

  • J

    Janet · Married on 10/06/2007

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    The Gardens were a perfect setting for our wedding. Our contact was very helpful, always cheerful, and never stressed you out during the planning. We didn't have a tent so we were lucky it didn't rain. The only difficulty with any outdoor wedding is finding a back-up location. Unless the reception is at the Gardens as well, you can't book their facility as a back-up. There were plenty of options available to us though so it wasn't too much of a problem. The Gardens definitely made our wedding (and the entire planning process) much more memorable than if it had been in a church or hotel (for us anyway).

  • N

    Beth · Married on 08/06/2005

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    We had our ceremony here. We were able to take pictures, and had a great rehearsal time with no problems. Very inexpensive, as well.

  • Lisa

    Lisa · Married on 04/09/2016

    4.8
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      4.5
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    We are both Duke alums and met at Duke, so it was a no-brainer to get married somewhere on campus. I preferred the gardens over the chapel, so we already narrowed our venue options down to locations within the gardens. Some of the options were very expensive without a rain plan in place, so we went with the Doris Duke Center area for both the ceremony and reception, which we thought was reasonable and affordable. Though they have many restrictions (e.g. no throwing petals, rice, confetti, etc., no sparklers, and I'm sure more that I did not encounter), they did work hard to accommodate some of my custom requests. Also, up until pretty close to the wedding, there was a lot of construction behind the Doris Duke Center, and I was a little concerned; however, they really make things beautiful for wedding days! The flowers, foliage, and pond were all in a pristine and curated condition. Overall, I had a great experience with Duke Gardens!

  • R

    Robin · Married on 06/13/2010

    4.8
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      4.5

    The Duke Gardens are AMAZING! I absolutely loved having our wedding there! It was so beautiful and had everything we needed! We used the amphitheater for our ceremony and the hall for our reception. Jen the coordinator was so helpful and super nice throughout the entire process - from asking questions, booking to final rain back up plans! Also the cost was a great deal! We booked all vendors - caterer, DJ, bar, cake, rentals ourselves. I would definitely recommend it!

  • J

    Jennifer · Married on 10/04/2009

    4.8
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      4.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    My wedding at Duke was absolutely gorgeous. The staff was friendly, helpful and available.

  • C

    Clay · Married on 05/23/2009

    4.8
    • Quality of service:
      4.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Ashley Carmichael at Duke Gardens is super-easy to work with - we loved this location!

  • S

    Sherry · Married on 07/23/2011

    4.6
    • Quality of service:
      4.5
    • Responsiveness:
      4.5
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      4.5
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    We had an INCREDIBLE time at our wedding reception at the Doris Duke Center in the Duke Gardens. This venue is beautiful and it's great because your guests aren't confined to one room the whole time because there is an outdoor terrace and the gardens right there. The only drawback I can think of is that there are no refridgerators, you have to rent all your tables and chairs from an outside vendor, and the latest we could stay was 11. These were minor incoveniences though, overall it was wonderful.