Toledo venues offer unique elements for weddingsWritten by Gail Burkhardt | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Win a $14,000 ‘Running of the Brides’ bridal package
Toledo Free Press Star will give away a bridal prize package estimated at $14,000. The package coincides with Filene’s Basement Running of the Brides in Cleveland on Aug. 27. One winner will receive a stay at the Cleveland Marriot East, across from Filene’s Basement, and a gift certificate to purchase a dress at the Running of the Brides. The winner will also receive breakfast for two at the River City Grille in Cleveland.
In addition, the winner will receive free bridal makeup and hair from David Broadway Salon & Spa; a free bridal bouquet from Bumble Floral & Gifts; free bridal consultations from Crowning Celebrations; a free engagement photo session with Decisive Moment Photojournalism; a complimentary $200 cake from Cherry Lane Cakes; and chair covers from Meredith Party Rentals. The Blarney Bullpen will offer a complimentary location for the Bride’s Choice of a rehearsal dinner, couple’s shower, day-after brunch and present opening or a reception based on the wedding party size.
To enter, visit www.facebook.com/toledofreepress, click on the Contest tab and write 100 words about your wedding proposal.
Brides and grooms looking to add a little local history to their wedding have several options in Toledo. Organizers for weddings at the Toledo Zoo, the Maumee Indoor Theater, the Manor House, the Valentine Theatre and the Toledo Museum of Art said people choose these locations for something different and memorable.
The Manor House
The Stranahans founded the Champion Spark Plug Company, which was thriving during the Great Depression. The family used their money to buy a large estate, which is now Wildwood Preserve, and build a mansion. Metroparks of the Toledo Area have kept up the mansion since they took possession of the area in 1974.
Two years ago, the Metroparks decided to allow weddings in the mansion, to raise more money for the park system.
“It’s just a gorgeous facility with such a rich history in the Toledo landscape,” said Patty Morgenstern, a customer service manager for the Metroparks.
Couples usually get married in the house’s living room, which seats about 80 people. For receptions, the living room and solarium can fit about 130 people, if a tent is added to the back of the house. Prices for inside the house range from $925 to $1,800, excluding food.
If a couple wants to have a ceremony in the garden patio next to the house, it costs $250, Morgenstern said.
The Maumee Indoor Theater
The historic 1940s movie theater in Maumee began offering weddings when the facility reopened in 2004.
“Someone said, ‘Can we get married here?’ and I said ‘absolutely’,” said the theater’s executive director Ty Szumigala, of the decision to offer weddings.
Wedding ceremonies can be in the large theater, which seats 500 people and has a stage. People also have receptions in the smaller theater that will seat 100 people.
People often use the theater’s screens to show photos of the couple. Another big draw is the bride and groom’s names displayed on the marquee the day of the wedding, Szumigala said.
Some brides and grooms use the theater because they didn’t want to get married in a church or endure the uncertainty of weather in an outdoor wedding while others “have been in theater and have been on stage their whole lives,” he said.
One theatrical groom took advantage of the stage’s railing during the ceremony by sliding down it to take the hand of his bride from her father, he said.
“The timing was perfect…The crowd was still laughing by the time they hit the stage,” he said.
Prices for the large theater range from $275 to $425 depending on the day and prices for the smaller room range from $275 to $325. Guests must bring their own food, Szumigala said.
The Toledo Museum of Art
Couples can marry among the great masterpieces at the Toledo Museum of Art.
In the Great Gallery, couples can say their vows in front of “The Crowning of St. Catherine” by 17th century Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens. The gallery can seat up to 300 people. Ceremonies also are available on the Peristyle’s outdoor steps and in the Classic Court.
Couples can also marry and have a reception in the Cloister in the main museum and in the Glass Pavilion, which seats 250 people, said Kerri DeVol, the special events coordinator for the museum.
In the Glass Pavilion, galleries can be opened and guests can view a glassmaking demonstration for an extra cost, she said.
Room rental prices depend on a variety of factors including time, security, parking and size, so the museum does not publish the rental prices.
Catering is usually $30 to $45 a person, she said. Meals are customized for each wedding.
People who get married or have their reception in the museum usually have a connection to art or the museum itself, she said. Some even get engaged at the museum.
“One couple said they realized they were in love with each other when they were here,” she said.
The Toledo Zoo
The Toledo Zoo offers seven different locations for ceremonies or receptions. Guests can get married in the formal gardens on the Broadway Street side of the zoo, with a rain option of a wedding in the theater in the Museum of Science, said Colleen Dandar, the group sales assistant manager for the zoo.
For receptions, brides and grooms can choose from the African Lodge, the Great Hall in the Museum of Science, the aquarium, the Arctic Encounter, The Beastro or the Nairobi Event Pavilion. The venues seat between 50 and 450 people, Dandar said.
In the aquarium, Arctic Encounter and the Nairobi Event Pavilion, guests can watch the animals during the reception.
The zoo caters all receptions with all-inclusive packages starting at $45.95 a person for food, alcohol and rentals.
“We feel our package is excellent because it includes everything,” Dandar said.
Customers also are attracted to the historic significance of the zoo, she said.
The zoo was founded in 1900 after a woodchuck was donated to the City of Toledo. Now the zoo has more than 9,000 animals and is a historic tourist attraction for the Toledo area.
The Valentine Theatre
The combination of Victorian and Chinese Modern styles in The Valentine gives weddings a sense of grandeur.
The theater was built in 1895 and remodeled to a Chinese Modern theme in 1942, but it kept some of its Victorian style. The building then closed in 1982 and didn’t open again until 1999. Since its reopening, the theater has been hosting weddings.
Ceremonies often are on the grand staircase in the theater’s Historic Lobby. The bride usually walks down the stairway, which acts as an aisle.
“The trip down the stairs just never gets old,” said Dan Heberling, who is in charge of events for the theater.
The Historic Lobby also can seat about 100 people for a reception, he said.
Reception dinners also are available on the theater’s stage with special lighting available from the theater’s technical director. The stage can seat about 220 people for dinner with dancing available in the Historic Lobby.
The Grand Lobby, which can seat 230 people, is commonly used for large receptions, he said. It features high ceilings and a mural of famous performers at the Valentine during the early 1900s. Rental prices at the Valentine start at $400.
“It’s different and unexpected. It really lends itself to these social events,” Heberling said, of the theater.