Where better to get married in historic Hillsborough than one of the oldest estates in the area?!
Ayr Mount celebrates its 200th anniversary this year, and nothing can beat that gallant brick house looking out over rolling green fields! As a Raleigh wedding planner, I know that one trend is that couples are looking for a downtown urban venue or a rustic barn, BUT, trust me, this plantation home is worth your consideration! The idyllic landscape transports guests away from the hustle and bustle of the everyday to really just be present in its beauty.
Here visitor services manager, Schatzie Crowther, gives us the details:
Name: Ayr Mount Historic Site
Address: 376 S. Mary’s Road in Hillsborough
Style: Historic, estate
Raleigh—42 minutes, 37.2 miles
Chapel Hill—22 minutes, 12.9 miles
Durham—17 minutes, 13.4 miles
Burlington—30 minutes, 22 miles
Greensboro—44 minutes, 41.8 miles
Max capacity: 300
Cost: $500-$6,000, depending on guest count
How long have you guys been in the wedding business?
Ayr Mount became part of Classical American Homes Preservation Trust in 1993 and has been available for special event usage since that time.
Describe your site. What kind of ambiance do you think it has?
There are 50 beautifully landscaped acres at the site with mature hardwoods, flower beds, a pond and open space.
What options do you have for ceremonies?
Ceremonies can take place using the 1815 Ayr Mount house as a backdrop, the pond as a backdrop or anywhere on the grounds that the couple feel will be best for their nuptials.
Receptions can take place anywhere on the grounds. Most couples choose the back lawn as that affords the best 360 degree views.
What kind of packages do you offer?
None. We offer the grounds as a site for a ceremony and reception. We leave the rentals, florist, caterer, musicians etc. up to the bridal couple so they can develop the wedding vision they have in mind rather than try to fit their vision a pre-set plan.
When reserving your site, is it more of a full weekend type thing or for a set number of hours?
We have one major event per weekend, so that gives the couple flexibility in time as well as not feeling pushed out by an incoming event. All our events have to be within the time constraints of available daylight.
What’s your stance on vendors? Do you have preferred or required lists?
We don’t require couples to choose from a set list of vendors.
What is your parking situation like?
Parking is on site and included in the rental fee.
What are some things that the price doesn’t include that you think couples will need?
Power is included for small events near our power source. Use of the non-handicapped accessible toilet in the basement is included, as well. Rental of chairs for the wedding ceremony, tables for a reception—and a tent if the possibility of inclement weather is a concern—are left up to the bridal couple. A portable toilet may be required depending on the number of guests.
What can couples get here that they can’t get anywhere else?
There seems to be a magical timelessness at Ayr Mount that isn’t found anywhere else.
What are the biggest benefits to your site?
The grounds are beautiful in any season. The open spaces, trees and flowers are the perfect stage for a special event. Photographs always turn out beautifully.
What would you say are the drawbacks or restrictions?
We don’t have a pavilion, barn or enclosed gathering space. Night events are not allowed.
Why should couples choose your site?
Based on comments from couples, I would say it is the endearing memories the site holds from their wedding day. It is a place they can return to and continue to make memories. Many couples come back for an anniversary picnic or bring their children to walk the trail. Plus, the bridal party, family and guests always have favorable memories, and many enjoyed the site so much at the wedding they have returned to visit. The beautiful grounds, wide views of hills, open space, trees, flowers, the pond and the unique architecture of the house complement so many different types of weddings. Each event feels special to the couple rather than pasted into a preconceived idea of the best wedding.