The House features grand spaces and elaborate details reminiscent of a classic Southern estate but with a modern sensibility. From the great wooden doors opening into our vast foyer, to the elegant ballroom and bar, to the portico with lofty ceilings overlooking the gardens, guests can flow easily between lively rooms and the breezy open air without ever leaving the party.
The Grand Foyer: A large, inviting space for welcoming guests and collecting items or signing in before directing them to the ceremony space. The Foyer is also great for smaller gatherings, seating up to 100 people in a more intimate, yet elegant space.
The Merrell Ballroom & Bar: The Merrell Ballroom is our primary indoor event space, seating 200 people for a ceremony, or 175 for dinner. The room can also accommodate a large dance floor with space for a DJ or band. At the back of the Ballroom is the Bar which services the entire property.
The Portico: With extensive rain cover and heating options, you can bring your celebration outdoors without ever worrying about the weather! The Portico is the largest covered outdoor seating area on the island, seating up to 175 people for dinner, plus space for a live band and a dance floor.
The Luxury Bridal Suite: A deliciously cozy space to relax and savor with your bridal party those sweet moments that come just before your ceremony. We’ve designed everything to make you feel like you have plenty of space and plenty of time - with plush furniture to lounge in and mimosas to sip, plus individual seated makeup stations for every member of your party.
The Salon & Spa: One of our most popular features for brides. Pamper yourself and your whole bridal party with a full beauty treatment to start your special day. Begin with a full body massage, then a hair rinse and blow-out at our hair station. Complete the treatment at our pedicure, manicure, and makeup stations. Bring your own personal beauty specialists, or we can book our top recommended specialists for you. Contact us for package options.
The Groom’s Room: The perfect space for the Groom and his Groomsmen to relax, the Groom’s Room features a pool table, a wet bar stocked with cold beers and sodas, large TV’s, and outdoor games like cornhole and bocce ball.
The Pool: Treat yourself and your wedding party to a little relaxation and fun by the pool, or soaking in our outdoor hot tub.
The Gardens span over 2 acres of meticulous landscaping. Infused with a rich variety of native and tropical flora, there is a perfect spot for each picturesque moment of your celebration - from a bride and groom’s first look set in a lush, willow-draped hideaway, to walking the aisle between a colonnade of towering palms.
The Lawn: Our largest outdoor event space, seating 300+ in the open air or under a tent. This space is perfectly suited for outdoor weddings, with the ceremony performed on the lawn, and dinner and dancing hosted under the portico.
The Aisle of Palms: One of the most popular features of our gardens, the Aisle of Palms creates a dramatic cathedral-like experience for the wedding march while open to the sky and stars above and set against lush green all around.
The Wild Garden: Native flora - from flowering trees and bushes to wild coastal brush - surround the property and create alcoves for more intimate moments, while providing a hedge of privacy from the surrounding area.
the food, drink, and hospitality
Beyond its beautiful venues, Merrell Estate & Gardens also offers award-winning food and beverage fare. As part of the 81 Hospitality Group owned by Clarke and Liza Merrell - including Morehead City’s acclaimed Circa 81, Dank Burrito and Beaufort Olive Oil Co. - Merrell Estate & Gardens continues their hallmarks of first-class hospitality and fresh, seasonal chef-driven food.
The Creativity: With over two decades of experience, Chef Clarke Merrell and the 81 Hospitality Team bring together the creativity, tools and talent to craft the perfect flavors and experience for your celebration - from tasteful canapés and small plates, to rustic and intimate hearth-fired dinners, to grand, elegant banquets.
The Hospitality: Liza Merrell oversees the service and hospitality for our guests. From intimate parties to major industry conferences, Liza has decades of experience coordinating and directing events of all sizes and styles. She brings a warmth, finesse and precision that completes our team in creating the experience of your dreams.
The Showpieces: Let us add an element of culinary adventure to your event with our stable of outdoor cooking equipment. Enjoy the sights, smells and tastes of fresh, wood-fired pizza from our mobile pizza oven, or whole meats roasting over live coals on our massive Cowboy Cauldron and BBQ smokers. At the end of the night, when appetites return after long hours of partying, your guests can be treated to late-night snacks from the crowd-favorite Dank Burrito food truck.