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The Parlour at Manns Chapel - A Sweet Historic Church Becomes An Intimate Wedding Venue in the Chapel Hill - Pittsboro Area

photo by Amir Luna Photography

I live very near this sweet old church and until recently it did not look like this. It was old and unloved and in a very sad state. But there was something about it that made me feel connected to it, that made me feel protective of it. I always wished I had the money to renovate it and turn it into a home but I did not have such resources so I felt the sadness of its slow decline every time I drove by. It needed rescuing.

This is how it used to look.

Then one day I saw signs that someone had bought it and was working to bring it back to life! My heart leapt with joy and I couldn’t wait to see what was going to come of it. I later learned it was to become a creatives and photography studio and an intimate wedding venue. And what a perfect new life that is for this sweet old building. 

This past weekend, a Spring Open House was held there by Aneesa and Bethany of Harmony Weddings and Events. Luckily, I was able to stop in and enjoy the event and see the chapel on the inside. My goodness, what a nice interior it has! You can tell the owners, Aimee and Yvette (creatives themselves), love this building, too. It is a smallish, one room chapel, exactly as you would imagine from its era, but now it has soothing, pale blue walls with white trim. The floors and windows are original and refinished. Inside the front entrance, the old church sign is hung on the wall - a very nice touch and a special nod to the church’s 98 year history, which began in 1887. 

photo by Sarah Joann Photography

Many items from the church have been re purposed, including the original entrances. They now stand proudly as a vintage mirror and an elegant pinboard and are shown on both sides of the mirrored ceremony area in the photos below. What a unique idea.

Note what a chameleon this interior is. It would lend itself beautifully to pretty much any wedding theme and colors. And I love the chandeliers!

It turns out this old church is a movie star! It was the church in the wedding scene in the 1991movie, Once Around, with Richard Dreyfuss and Holly Hunter.

On the outside, there is a patio that can be used for ceremonies and receptions. Those lights they have strung across the area must feel magical at night, under the stars.

photo by Krystal Kast Photography

photo by Krystal Kast Photography
style shoot by Kast Events & Co., featured in Southern Bride & Groom Magazine

photo by Krystal Kast Photography
 style shoot by Kast Events & Co., featured in Southern Bride & Groom Magazine

I noticed a few references to rabbits while I was there and just assumed it was some sort of cute little mascot of the owners. And it kind of is, but I read in their literature that there is a reason for that. Between 1880 and 1920, Chatham County was over run with rabbits, which became a big source of revenue for the area, even as far away as New York and Connecticut. As they wrote in their flyer;

“We love the idea that rabbits once symbolized abundance in this community so we used this concept as the basis of The Parlour brand in hopes that we may bring that back in some way.”

I suspect they are well on their way to achieving this contribution. Not only is the chapel a wedding venue, it is also a gathering place for creative workshops, business meetings, markets, tastings, baby and bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, photo shoots and book signings... to name a few. They are also a design studio that provides event and professional branding, art direction, website design and lifestyle and garden design. Yes, they are truly contributing to the resurgence of our area - and it is very nice to see.

featured in Southern Weddings Magazine

Can you tell I love this chapel? I do. And I love that its long history is coming back to life in such a unique and charming way. If you are looking for an intimate venue for your wedding or any other event, you owe it to yourself to stop by for a visit to check it out.

And look out for those rabbits!

175 Poythress Road
Chapel Hill, NC  27518


The Parlour’s In-House Professionals;


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