Emily Izakowitzis a Durham-based event planner and designer, and since she’s the expert we’re having her tell you all about how to plan a very local, very Durham wedding.

10 Simple Steps to Having a Wedding in Bull City

These ten fabulous, Durham-based wedding vendors can make your wedding planning process joyful, as opposed to painful.  These businesses all complement my vibe and what I do, but most importantly, reflect Durham’s unique culture and community. They’re all the best of the best, so if you follow these steps, you’ll be set up for success. Oh, and you should absolutely hire a wedding planner :).

1. Photography: L’amour Foto

Photo Credit: L’amour Foto

Tammy Lamoureux of L’amour Foto is a natural light wedding and portrait photographer living in Bull City. She’s the perfect lady to photograph a Durham wedding, as her pictures reflect the authentic, timeless spirit of every couple that she works with.

Find her on Instagram: @lamourfoto.

2. Wedding Dress and Accessories: Tre Bella

Durham nc Wedding photographer wedding planner wedding venue
Photo: Tre Bella

Located conveniently on Main Street, Tre Bella Bridal is the perfect bridal dress boutique for a Durham bride. Initially started as a floral operation in 2005 by sisters Rachael Price, Kate Senner and Becky Simmons, Tre Bella opened their three story bridal boutique on Main Street in 2014 to service brides throughout the Triangle region. Make sure to set up an appointment to visit their showroom, and remember, they still offer floral services with Rachael! With all their dress designer options, there’s no need to travel far to find the perfect dress. Find them on Instagram: @trebellainc

3. Flowers: Bowerbird Flowers and Apothecary

durham nc wedding flowers
Photo: Instagram @bowerbirdflowers

Bowerbird Flowers is a full service Durham floral design company started by Diane Elsass-Joyal in 2014. Diane is a true artist, who followed her dream of flowers after years as a working artist antique shop owner. Her daughter, Lily, is also a florist at Bowerbird, and together these ladies service clients throughout the Triangle. They offer a la carte services, if you’re on a budget, but can also create a full service dream landscape for your wedding! They paint the world with flowers.

Find them on Instagram: @bowerbirdflowers

4. Rentals: American Party Rentals

American Party Rentals, or APR as they are affectionately called by Durhamites, provide world class private event equipment and furniture rental services to the Triangle. Started in 1989 by the Daymont family, they continue to be family-run and committed to the highest quality of service. Specialty linens, tables, flatware, glassware, you name it…they have it for your next event! Follow them on Instagram: @americanpartyrentals

5. Hair & Makeup: Natasha Abe

durham nc wedding hair and makeup
Photo Credit: L’amour Foto

Durham brides, this lady is here to make you gorgeous on your big day! Natasha is a professional makeup artist and cosmetic tattooer that calls Bull City home. She works with brides all around the Triangle, and also provides microblading services, if your eyebrows need a tune up! She can service up to 5 people per event. Follow her on Instagram: @natasha.abe

6. Wedding Save-The-Dates and Invitations: Hello Tenfold

Ellie Snow is the illustrator and graphic designer behind Hello Tenfold, a full service wedding invitation design company. Located in downtown Durham, Ellie offers custom invitation designs for couples, or a semi-custom invitation collection you can choose from if you’re on a more limited budget. No matter what, you get to work directly with Ellie! Her designs are as unique as Durham. Find her on Instagram: @elliesnow

7. The Durham Hotel

The Durham Hotel – Durham, NC Photo Credit: Deronn Kidd

It’s hard to miss if you live here, since it’s such a timeless downtown icon, but the Durham Hotel is also the perfect boutique spot for your wedding hotel block. The mid-century modern interior perfectly reflects Durham’s vibrant downtown history, and the hotel has over 50 gorgeous rooms for your guests to stay in. Brides, don’t shy away from a night in the penthouse…it’s adjacent to the fabulous rooftop bar. Treat yourself! They also host wedding receptions.

Find them on Instagram: @thedurhamhotel

8. Monuts Donuts

Three words…mini-doughnut wedding tower! Who needs cake?It speaks for itself. Find them at their brick and mortar on 9th street or on Instagram: @monutdonuts

9. Marika Wendelken Chalk Art and Calligraphy

Having a DIY wedding and want your welcome sign to look extra special? Hosting your wedding at the Rickhouse and need someone to provide chalk art for their awesome chalkboard wall? Look no further than Marika! She’s worked at all of the major wedding venues in Durham.

10. Picnic Durham BBQ

It’s North Carolina, you have to have BBQ for your Durham wedding! Picnic offers the NC pork barbecue experience for your wedding guests, for just $11.95 – $21.95 per person, depending on food options. They offer whole hog barbecue smoked and pulled to order at your venue by their Barbecue Man, Wyatt Dickson. And don’t worry, they’d love to cater your larger event: the more the merrier. Find them on Instagram: @picnicdurham

This is a guest post by the incredible Emily Izakowitz! Learn more about Emily below and how you can contact her to plan your Bull City wedding! She’s also part of your Shop Durham program, see her listing here.

Note: This is just a start to all the amazing, local vendors in Durham. You can see more photographers, catering options, venues, florists, and more at ShopDurhamNC.com. Want to be included in our upcoming wedding guide? Contact us!

About Emily

Hi there! My name is Emily Izakowitz, and I’m a Durham-based event planner and designer. After working in New York City for ten years, I recently relocated to the Triangle area in 2017 to start my own company, Events by Emily LLC. I began my career in restaurant management, where I developed my palate for food and wine (Italian whites are my favorite!). The private event world called to me, and I started planning weddings and events for friends and increasingly independent clients. I now specialize in day-of coordination, partial and full service wedding planning. My events have a naturalistic, clean design style that focuses on sustainability.

Durham holds a very special place in my heart. I’m originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, and I fell in love with Durham over the course of several years while paying visits to my boyfriend who lived down here (yes, we’re still together, and long distance was worth it). I decided there was no better place to move and start a business. Turns out, I was right!

You can find me on Instagram at @emilyizak, on facebook @eventsbyemilync and Pinterest @eventsbyemilync . Or check my website: www.emilyizak.com.