When people think of holding a wedding, the traditional places like churches and outside wedding venues come to mind. I have been helping my future daughter in law discover unique wedding locations where she can hold her once in a lifetime event. We live in Northeast Florida, about thirty miles outside of Jacksonville, Florida. While doing my search, I have discovered some very nontraditional places to hold weddings.
1) Almost every community has a Women’s Club building where the Women’s Club holds their meetings. These buildings usually come equipped with a small venue such as a small auditorium or room. Most Women’s Clubs that I have been in, also have a kitchen, in addition to restroom facilities. Larger Women’s Clubs even have small rooms that can be used as dressing rooms. One of the prettiest Women’s Clubs in Jacksonville is in Lakeshore and sits on the Ortega River, which runs into the St. Johns River in downtown Jacksonville. It comes complete with a small foyer, a small auditorium, restrooms, a full kitchen and two separate side rooms that are perfect for bride and groom dressing rooms.
2) Agricultural Centers. That’s right, the agricultural center usually has a very nice large room, sometimes complete with a small stage. I actually went to a wedding at the Baker County Fair Grounds and Agricultural Center in Macclenny, Florida, 30 miles outside of Jacksonville. The larger room had a divider, so the wedding party simply closed off the divider for the wedding then opened the entire room up for the reception, with chairs behind the divider. The front portion was used for a dance floor.
3) Atrium of the Main Jacksonville Library. The main Jacksonville library on the corner of Main and Adams Street in downtown Jacksonville has a beautiful outside garden area. In the middle is a beautiful decorative pool about 10 feet wide, and forty feet long. Although I have not been to weddings there, I have seen pictures of a wedding held there and it is beautiful, especially during the evening with lights around the entire outside area.
4) The Zoo. Jacksonville’s Zoo is called the Jacksonville Zoological Gardens. Some people have opted to hold their weddings there. I called to check on holding a wedding at the zoo and was told that you have to pick a non zoo hour time to hold the wedding, which basically is early morning or late evening. For a good sum of money, you can hold the wedding during a day on the boat dock, and they will rope off the dock. I’m not sure the amount of money is worth having a wedding at the zoo.
5) The Ramona Pavilion in Jacksonville, Florida. The Ramona Pavilion is basically a venue that is rented out for large events. It is a beautiful venue on the west side of Jacksonville, complete with a large dance hall, several separate rooms for meetings, a dining room, and a small auditorium. You can rent the venue to hold a wedding, but the only catch is that you have to use their caterers. If you were planning on using your own, this wouldn’t work for you. My daughter in law checked into this and it was very expensive. They give you a price for the entire wedding based on the number of people they have to cater for. The rental of the venue for the wedding and reception and the catering came to $2400.
Churches aren’t the only places to hold weddings. You can still maintain the religious element of a wedding, and hold it in a place besides a church. By the way, my future daughter in law has chosen the Lakeshore Women’s Club. She will be able to use the entire venue for $425 from noon to 12 midnight. For an extra $100, she can rent the venue for the previous night and have the entire place decorated. Not bad for $525 dollars!