Tips on Weddings in Historic Mansions

An historic mansion can be one of the loveliest venues for your wedding. Each one will have its own unique charm and character, making it a far cry from more generic sites like banquet halls or hotel conference rooms. Historic mansions have their own unique set of considerations, and these are some of the things that you should keep in mind to ensure that your wedding is a grand success.

One of the first things to think about is the size of your guest list relative to the number of people that an historic site can accommodate. Many grand old homes have very large lawns and estates that can easily host hundreds of guests in tents. If you are more interested in having your reception on a covered porch or in an opulent dining room, on the other hand, space may be much more limited. This is why it is a very good idea to have an idea of how many guests you are planning to invite before booking with a mansion.

When having a wedding in a gracious old home, it is important that your attire and d├ęcor match the surroundings. Some brides even go so far as to choose bridal gowns and sets of jewelry that are inspired by the era in which the mansion was built. Brides who are not interested in period weddings, certainly need not match their wedding dresses and bridal jewelry sets so exactly to the house, but a similar level of formality should be achieved. A very casual dress would look out of place in a very opulent setting, and the last thing that any bride wants is to be overshadowed by her venue!

Work with your florist on creating centerpieces that really suit the style of the historic mansion. For instance, a formal seated dinner in a grand ballroom would be the perfect place for elaborate centerpieces set in tall silver vases. If your room has a lot of crystal chandeliers, think about echoing that detail in the candleholders and stemware that you select. It is a wonderful way to create a harmonious flow throughout the reception.

Your music is another element that can be inspired by your wedding venue. Graceful string quartets are a wonderful accompaniment for the bride as she floats down the aisle. During cocktails, a lovely harpist can provide relaxing background music. This is not to say that you must only have formal music for your entire reception, but a big band playing the standards would seem more at home in an historic mansion than a dj spinning the latest dance hits. You can also think about having a compromise by hosting an informal after-party in a nearby club for the younger guests.

Historic sites often have their own particular issues. There will likely be restrictions on the way that you can decorate the site; they certainly are not going to allow you to put any nail holes in the walls or porch columns, for example. If there is a hideous old sculpture on a pedestal in the mansion’s entryway, chances are that they will not permit you to move it. Other issues to clarity with the mansion’s event coordinator are: parking, the use of outside caterers, noise restrictions, and the like. Once you work out the logistics that are specific to your site, you will find that an historical mansion can be one of the most elegant and charming places to host a wedding.

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