Member Feature | The Berkley Manor
Nestled on the tranquil and picturesque Ocracoke Island sits The Berkley Manor, the only full-service event venue on the island. The Berkley Manor was built in the early 1950s by Mr. Sam Jones and has been hosting weddings and events since 2012. A venue only accessible by boat, ferry or plane, The Berkley Manor offers a remote intimate setting that can entertain small affairs or events up to 250 guests. With in-house coordinating, catering and multiple facilities on site, the Berkley Manor is the perfect place for your Ocracoke wedding from arrival to departure. Visit theberkleymanor.com to learn more and to schedule a tour.
Read our interview below with Phoebe Kot, The Berkley Manor's venue coordinator and Ocracoke local.
How long have you been in business on the Outer Banks?
The Berkley Manor has been part of Ocracoke village since the early 1950’s. The Manor was originally built by island legend Sam Jones in the early 50’s and served as an event facility and hunting lodge to entertain his guests. Fast forwarding to present day, Berkley Events was founded when several like minded partners purchased the Berkley and surrounding estate in 2012 in order to save the property from demolition and development. Since 2012, we have grown by leaps and bounds thanks to our many wonderful guests. 2017 brought with it many exciting additions. Through the Fall and Winter we added back the original Berkley buildings, which were demolished over the years. These include the Berkley Barn and Berkley Suites. The barn was originally used to house Sam Jones’ horses, but from the mid 1970s-2001 was the main and only location for large parties and events on Ocracoke. While it is not an exact replica, the barn is in the same location and serves the same purpose today -- to provide an outdoor event pavilion for Berkley guests and Island events.The Suites are located adjacent to the Berkley Manor and feature a look and feel much the same as the Manor and are used for additional accommodations.
What is your favorite part about being in Ocracoke?
Ocracoke is a tiny island that is packed with so many reasons to fall in love with it. I reconnected with the island beginning in 2014. Visiting on the weekends, I would be in tears Sunday afternoon when I would repack my bags and head towards the mainland. I believe what captured my heart and convinced me to move as a permanent resident is my love to be outside. When I am not working, my favorite pastime activities include offshore fishing and taking my puppies to the beach, both of which are extra special on Ocracoke with world-class fishing in our backyard and 4x4 beach access. I also enjoy quiet walks through the village, especially strolling down Howard Street. Ocracoke is the place that renews my soul and reminds me I have a lot to be grateful for.
Do you have any advice for a couple booking your services?
Come for a visit and schedule a tour! Ocracoke is truly unique from the rest of the Outer Banks being accessible only by ferry, personal boat or plane. I think the island’s remoteness is one of the reasons that couples find it so attractive.
What trends are you most excited to see in upcoming weddings?
Since COVID-19 has had a dramatic effect on the wedding industry in 2020, I think it has also taught us to rethink the traditional route and go with individuality and creativity. Couples value time with their family and close friends. What better way to celebrate such a joyous occasion than a week together at the beach with a destination wedding. I am excited to see the growing trend in weekday weddings. We have hosted some in the past, and it makes perfect sense. Couples spend the week on vacation with their families. By having a midweek wedding, it affords enough time to get ready with last minute details but also enough time to enjoy vacation together and spend time with the ones you love. Not to mention, there are normally great discounts with mid-week weddings!
What makes your business different from others on the Outer Banks?
Our venue is the only dedicated wedding venue on Ocracoke Island. Being accessible only by ferry, personal boat or plane is part of the unique remoteness and charm of Ocracoke. Located on 2.5 acres with on-site accommodations, we offer couples a wide variety of wedding services for stress free planning and one-stop shopping.
Is there anything new with The Berkley Manor that we should be looking forward to?
In 2018, we added two new facilities to the property - the Berkley Suites and Berkley Barn. The Berkley Suites offers additional on-site accommodations, a perfect option for family members and close friends. The Berkley Barn is our large, indoor/outdoor event pavilion that can hold up to 200 guests. It is stunningly beautiful and the perfect option for year-round events.
What do you think are the benefits or smaller micro-weddings and elopements?
I think one of the benefits of smaller micro-weddings and elopements is the wedding couple has the opportunity to spend more time with each other and remembering this truly life-changing day.
Header Image: Caroline Jarvis Photography