Duke Mansion Weddings Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to our most frequently asked wedding questions. If we haven’t answered your questions here, please contact us and we’ll get back with you very soon.

Booking Process

What steps must I take to secure a date and space for my wedding?

Once you establish a date, Duke Mansion will provide you with a formal contract that outlines your event times, location(s) on property and deposit schedules. The contracting phase is an additional two weeks for you review, sign and return the contract, along with your initial deposit and completed credit card authorization form. Once these have been received, your wedding date will be guaranteed by Duke Mansion.


Is pricing different for wedding days other than Saturday?

Duke Mansion is limited to 25 weddings per year, so we are unable to extend any discounts on the estate fee or food and beverage minimum.


What is the deposit amount?

Duke Mansion requires an initial deposit amount of the estate fee and ceremony fee to secure your wedding date. This initial non-refundable deposit is the amount of the estate fee (pre-tax).

Three additional deposits of $7,500 are due leading up to the wedding date and a final advanced deposit will be due the Monday prior to your wedding date, which is the estimated remaining balance.

Rental Details

Will other events be taking place during my wedding?

The estate fee grants you exclusive use of Duke Mansion’s main level starting at 2:00pm on Saturday. Additional exclusivity is available with the White Oaks and Duke packages.

For Lynnwood, we guarantee a minimum of three hours setup time for you and your vendors prior to the event start time.

For Lynnwood and White Oaks, other events may be taking place the Friday night prior or the morning of your wedding.


What type of security will be at my event?

Duke Mansion requires that a minimum of two (2) off-duty police officers are present at your event from 9:00pm – 2:00am.


What is the inclement weather policy regarding on-site ceremonies?

Since the primary ceremony space is located outdoors, we do require a tent to be booked in the event of inclement weather to make use of the Barnhardt Terrace and to ensure that a tent is available from a rental partner if needed.

The cost of a tent varies greatly based on the design and décor, but at minimum is about $3,500. If the tent is not needed, the client is responsible for 50% of the cost as the cancellation fee. Couple’s who upgrade to the Duke package will not be accountable for base tent fees as this price point is included in the estate fee. Upgraded tent details will be at the expense of the client.

The final determination of a tent will ultimately be up to the discretion of Duke Mansion and your Catering Event Manager. Please ask your Event Manager for full information on tent pricing and décor options.

Please note: All tents must be taken down the morning after the event and pickup fees will apply.

Food and Beverage Details

What is the food and beverage minimum?

The minimum you are required to spend on food and beverage is $23,000 before tax and service charge.


Can I provide my own food and beverage?

All food and beverage must be provided by Duke Mansion’s Executive Chef and Culinary Team. The mansion specifically prohibits the removal of food and beverage from the function by the client or any of the client’s guests.

An exception to this rule is made for your wedding cake, which may be provided by a baker of your choice. Our cake cutting fee is incorporated into the per person menu price and includes a coffee station. We also require a copy of the baker’s license.


Can you please clarify the food and beverage minimum?

The food and beverage minimum is the least amount of money you are required to spend on food and beverage, excluding service charge, sales tax and facility fees. Please keep in mind that this is not all you can anticipate spending.

The following are examples of items which apply toward the food and beverage minimum:

  • Hors d ’Oeuvres and Display Stations
  • Plated Meals
  • Buffet Meals & Carving Stations
  • Dessert Stations
  • Bar Service, Champagne Toasts and
  • Non-Alcoholic Beverages

The following are examples of items which do not apply toward the food and beverage minimum:

  • Facility Fees
  • Staffing Fees
  • Rental Items
  • Guest room Rates
  • Enhancement Packages
  • Overnight Room Amenity Packages


When will wedding menu items and pricing be finalized?

Wedding menu items and pricing are subject to change on a yearly basis. 2025 menu selections will be finalized and distributed to wedding clients no later than January before the Grand Tasting takes place.

Please Note: Duke Mansion reserves the right to confirm specific menu item prices ninety (90) days prior to your function, and any prices quoted prior to are subject to change. In the event of increased cost of commodities or menu items, the mansion may, at its option, make reasonable substitutions in menu items. Cost shall not exceed 10% of original price.


What are the applicable service charge and taxes?

Our service charge is 22% on all food and beverage (subject to change). State tax is currently 7.25% on all items (including the service charge). A 1% supplemental food and beverage tax is applied to the food and beverage. Taxes and service charge are subject to change without notice.


Can a tasting of the menu be scheduled in advanced?

The mansion hosts an annual Grand Tasting each year for all of our wedding clients. This event is intended to be the sole tasting for your event and normally takes place in late January or early February. If you are unable to attend the Grand Tasting, private menu tastings may be contracted and scheduled based on the Chef’s availability. These tastings may only take place during the weekday. If you need to schedule a private tasting, please contact your Catering Manager for further pricing information.


When is my guaranteed attendance due?

Guaranteed attendance is due by 12:00pm five (5) business days prior to your wedding. If a guaranteed count is not received by that Monday, then the number of guests previously stated on the banquet event order will serve as your guarantee.


Is there a fee for bartenders or other staff members?

Two (2) bartenders, four (4) chef attendants and butler passing fees are included in your estate fee. If needed or requested, additional bartenders and chef attendants are available for an additional cost.


Do you have a different price for vendor meals?

Our culinary team will prepare hot meals for $35 per vendor (plus tax and service charge). Vendors are not allowed to drink alcoholic beverages while working at Duke Mansion. We require vendor meals for any wedding vendor that is on property for more than 6 hours. (Example: wedding planner, photographers, DJs, etc.)


Do you have a different price for kids’ meals?

Yes, we offer kids meals for guests 12 years and younger. This meal includes a seasonal fresh fruit cup, chicken fingers with french fries and unlimited non-alcoholic beverages.

Event Services

When arriving for the event, where do my guests park?

Our on-site parking is limited, and street parking is prohibited, so in some cases valet parking is required. This is booked through a third party vendor and we budget $40 per valet per hour, with 1 valet per 8-10 cars. Pricing is subject to change per third party vendor at any time. Shuttle transportation and guests’ carpooling is a great way to help reduce this cost. If Duke Mansion’s Management Team determines valet parking is not needed, this fee will be waived.


Is amplified music allowed at my event?

Yes, amplified music is permitted but must be contained inside Duke Mansion’s walls. Un-amplified or acoustic music are only permissible on the outside grounds.


Does Duke Mansion have any event time restrictions?

Duke Mansion requires that all events conclude by 11:00pm. No time extensions will be granted.


Do I rent upgraded table linens, lighting, etc. through Duke Mansion?

We would encourage you to rent these items through your Duke Mansion Catering Manager. We have access to a wide selection of linen companies, lighting technicians, sound engineers and furniture / equipment rental in the Charlotte area. Our relationships with vendors and knowledge of the venue make this process much easier for you. Of course, your wedding planner is also welcome to place rental orders for you as well.


Is smoking permitted at the mansion?

Duke Mansion allows smoking outside in the designated smoking areas. A $250 smoking fee will apply if you or your guests smoke inside or on screened porches.


Does Duke Mansion require that I hire a wedding planner?

Duke Mansion requires that a professional wedding planner with a business license be hired for your event at the expense of the client. All planners will be asked to provide a certificate of insurance acceptable to Duke Mansion. If a planner has not been hired ninety (90) days prior to the event, Duke Mansion will hire one on behalf of the client, at the client’s expense. The planner must attend the final walk-through scheduled at least thirty (30) days prior to the event date.


Is there a space for the bridal party to get ready before the ceremony?

Most wedding couples choose to get ready right in our beautiful Dowd Suite. We are also happy to provide the Dickson Boardroom for additional space to get ready for the additional wedding party attendants.


Do you have a preferred vendor list?

We are pleased to recommend any number of vendors and provide you with our preferred vendor list. It is our preference to work with our preferred and recommended vendors. By forging a relationship with these vendors, Duke Mansion can ensure both exceptional quality and value.

All vendors you choose that are not on the mansion’s preferred vendor list must be approved by your Catering Manager in advance. All vendors are required to provide Duke Mansion with a Certificate of Liability 72 hours prior to the event, along with a signed Vendor Agreement Form by each vendor.


What types of grand exits are permitted?

Exits involving thrown items, such as, flower petals, confetti and glitter are prohibited. Open flames, like sparklers, may not be used on property for the safety of all guests, vendors and our historic venue.

Noisy departures are also prohibited at Duke Mansion, due to noise ordinances established by the neighborhood. All post-reception departure arrangements must be pre-approved by your Duke Mansion Catering Manager. Duke Mansion reserves the right to cancel, at any time before or during your event of non-approved arrangements.

Overnight Guest Rooms

Can my guests spend the night at Duke Mansion?

The mansion operates as a historical bed and breakfast with 20 guest rooms on-site. We would love for your guests to stay at Duke Mansion on the wedding weekend! In fact, you are required to rent out the guest rooms.


Will any other guests be staying at Duke Mansion during the weekend?

No, there will not any other overnight guests staying on property, as you will be required to rent all 20 guest rooms for two nights. There may be external guests exploring the property outside of your contracted event space timeframe or other private events taking place on Friday evening and/or Saturday morning, depending on the package you have selected.


Am I required to have my guests reserve their overnight room?

The mansion holds a total of 20 guest rooms (seven on 2nd floor, thirteen on 3rd floor). All 20 guest rooms are required to be filled by your group the night prior to your wedding and on the night of your wedding. A group discount room rate will be extended to all guest rooms in your wedding room block.

The discounted group rate for the 2nd floor is $269 per night (before tax), and the rate for the 3rd floor is $229 per night (before tax). Each reservation includes our delicious in-house breakfast buffet both mornings. Pricing does not reflect holiday rates.

Your package also includes a complimentary night in the Dowd Suite for your wedding night!


Will I need to sign a contract?

Yes, to receive the discounted group room rate, and to guarantee room availability, a signed agreement will be required.


How will my guests access the special rate?

You are required to provide your Catering Manager with a final rooming list no later than 30 days prior. Once received, your guests must call the mansion to speak to a Front Desk Agent to make their reservation at the special rate. Reservations cannot be made on-line.


What happens if my guests do not fill all of my room blocks?

You are required to fill all 20 guest rooms the night before and the night of your wedding. If your guests do not fill all of these rooms, you will be responsible for the payment of remaining vacant rooms.