Brides find unique spots for distinctive affairs
Published 12:00 am Monday, May 9, 2011
Molly Logan Anderson
Modern brides are putting themselves into every detail of their weddings, starting with the selection of the perfect venue. Hotel ballrooms have nothing on the personal style that these meticulously planned events exude, whether in a winery, an art gallery or smack dab in the middle of the family farm. You’re only limited by your imagination when it comes to off-the-beaten-path wedding locales.
Change is in the air
Even though weddings may be recession-proof, the economy has played a role in changing the game plan for today’s nuptials. “What happened when the economy went south is that people became more conscious of their guest lists,” says Tonya Shadoan, ABC Master Bridal Consultant and owner of Circle City Planners in Carmel, Ind. “Unique spaces are usually more limited on size, so as guest list size decreased, these venues exploded.”
Close to home
Family property or local parks can be an inexpensive and unexpected option for couples, allowing unlimited customization. “For a recent fall wedding at the Noel Sanctuary in Indianapolis, we added lots of unique details,” Shadoan says. “We had a wedding party parade with the bride wearing a halo and bridesmaids carrying parasols; we carved pumpkins; and guests drank from mason jars.”
Non-traditional venues are not typically set up for weddings, so the location is a blank palette. “There are many advantages,” says Shadoan, who says she loves the challenge of creating the perfect affair in a space never intended for weddings. “These spaces allow couples to shop around, choose the best cuisine and select affordable rental options.” Keeping costs down in some areas and splurging where couples feel it’s important allows them to create truly personalized experiences.
According to Shadoan, galleries pose the perfect setting for swanky couples wanting a fun and funky event that celebrates the culture of their city. “Art galleries allow us to do a lot of transformations with an open space,” says Shadoan. “Decor is non-traditional and high-end, like a swanky dinner party.”
Shadoan describes details like raw bars, champagne buffets, beautiful glassware and contemporary place settings with lots of infused foods – maybe even a cigar roller and special LED lighting.
Sophisticated couples of today desire to share their passions with their guests, be it a favorite sports team or a love for fine food. Wine lovers might hold nuptials at a favorite local winery.
“Wineries are so popular because people want to buy from within their communities,” says Shadoan, who says couples insist that guests have a memorable dining experience. “This venue is perfect for a bride that is a connoisseur of good wine. She’ll offer wine flights, samplings, pairing with high-end foods – even a bottle of wine as a favor.”
Couples are taking their philosophy for buying locally and celebrating the organic qualities of their communities by finding urbanesque settings to hold events. Recently, a client of Shadoan’s held her wedding at a creamery. “We took this old rustic barn and brought in lots of contemporary elements,” she says. “It was so beautifully unusual; people didn’t feel like they were at a wedding.”