Weddings are supposed to be special. For many couples, there is pressure to balance tradition and family expectations with a wedding that reflects their personality and the kind of celebration that they really want to have. There is certainly nothing wrong with a ballroom wedding reception. However, would-be newlyweds should be aware of the fact that there are plenty of other options for wedding settings.
One of the most overlooked style of venue is the industrial setting. Few venue types provide as much personality and uniqueness as renovated factories and industrial-era warehouses. During their first incarnations, these venues were perhaps noisy and dusty, but now their oversize windows and brick walls bring a sense of stylishness and a tangible ambiance that you would never find in a hotel ballroom.
Industrial-style event spaces have a few very important traits that make them a practical option as well as unique and stylish one. The most obvious is the amount of space. The 440 Seaton, in the Los Angeles Arts District, is the perfect example of this trait. Built in 1913, Seaton has vaulted 50-foot ceilings that provide a real sense of spaciousness. There are measurements to back up this feeling of roominess as well: the venue can hold up to 600 people for a standard sit-down reception and more than a thousand for a cocktail-style event.
Some industrial buildings have multiple spaces. That is the case at Brooklyn’s 501 Union. This New York venue, which was once used to restore classic cars, has three separate spaces, including a courtyard area. The choices allow you to find a place that fits your plans (rather than planning your celebration to fit the space).
The 501 also offers a glimpse of the classic elements that many industrial venues offer. The building has a Gilded Age-style skylight window for ample natural light. Its fixtures are made of brass, and the marble accents and wood beams really imbue a sense of timelessness. So, there can be a lot of traditional and classic elements in this kind of wedding venue.
Another New York City venue, Long Island’s The Foundry, illustrates the outdoor potential of former-factory venues. This space features a terrace that overlooks Manhattan. Wedding parties can book this area for a cocktail hour and watch the sun set over the iconic skyline before entering the ivy-covered building for the reception.
Another aspect of these venues is that you can be more flexible with decor and furnishings. Some former warehouses will provide tables and chairs and lighting, while others will connect you with in-house party planners who can outfit the venue with the decor and furnishings that you request. This allows the bride and groom the chance to really personalize their event space and let their creativity flow.
Some venues are associated with a particular event planning firm. That is the case with The Colony House, a 750-person Anaheim wedding venue that operates with the help of one of California’s most sought-after event planning companies, 24 carrots.
Industrial-chic weddings are becoming more and more common because of the practical and intangible traits that former-factory venues can provide. No, this kind of wedding venue will not prove ideal for everyone, but it is certainly a viable option, especially for people who value flexibility or who want something that is memorable and utterly unique... and as far from the hotel-ballroom experience as possible.
Does the idea of a industrial-chic wedding sound interesting to you? Use the comments section to share your thoughts with us.