8 picture-perfect places to say “I do” in Dayton
Time to bring out the fancy shoes and make sure you have something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue — wedding season is upon us again.
Whether you’re tying the knot this year, have been long hitched, recently engaged or wouldn’t be caught dead at a wedding except as a guest, Dayton offers a huge variety of venues for any atmosphere and ambiance. The following are tried and true inside venues that offer the perfectly romantic setting for the happy couple.
1. The Dayton Art Institute
456 Belmonte Park N., daytonartinstitute.org
“Elegant” is the word to describe a matrimonial affair at one of Dayton’s most iconic buildings.
“So many times, when you go to large venues, you lose the intimacy for your guests,” said Kevin Tunstall, museum services manager. The museum has several rooms to choose from, from the unique hexagonal-shaped Gothic Cloister that offers a glimpse into the galleries, to the majestic Great Hall with an overlook of Downtown Dayton. Many wedding parties choose to rent a room each for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and dinner and dancing, which helps the event from feeling stifled and remaining intimate.
The DAI has a list of partner caterers to choose from, and is handicap-accessible. For rates and availability, call (937) 512-0162.
2. Carillon Park
1000 Carillon Blvd., daytonhistory.org
For a perfect mixture of a historical setting and beautiful outdoor green space, Carillon Park offers a timeless experience. Hold your indoor ceremony at the Old Courthouse on Main Street or at Memorial Hall on East First Street, then hold a festive reception in the Park in museum buildings featuring train cars and other exhibits, all handicap-accessible. You can even hold a small reception in the historically accurate Brewing Company! The Transportation Center is the most popular venue and books up on Saturdays at least a year and a half in advance during peak months, while other venues are safer within a four to six-month period.
Most couples work from Dayton History’s list of approved caterers, but also have the option to use a separate licensed and insured company for an additional fee. For more information for events at Carillon Park, the Old Courthouse, Memorial Hall or Patterson Homestead on Brown Street, call (937) 293-2841, ext. 106. For the Carillon Brewing Company, call (937) 293-2841 ext 108.
3. Dayton Racquet Club
40 N Main St., clubcorp.com/clubs/dayton-racquet-club
Another great option for an elegant affair, the Dayton Racquet Club offers jaw-dropping views of every corner of the city from its perch on the 29th floor of the Kettering Tower. Just make sure none of your guests are afraid of heights. With a fabulous menu and ADA-accessibility, the Racquet Club offers a team of professional planners who bring expertise to every facet of the event, down to the dessert spoon. For booking inquiries, sooner is always better! For inquiries, call (937) 224-4381 ext. 228.
4. The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
2600 DeWeese Pkwy., boonshoftmuseum.org
Whether you and/or your love is a science nut, young at heart or just looking for a more unique venue, the Boonshoft offers the traditional wedding amenities with a twist. Book the planetarium and say your vows under a sky of sunflowers, or gaze up at the night sky as stars align exactly as they did on fateful nights in your relationship. Much of the technology in the museum is customizable, so you can have an interactive event that’s fun for all age groups. The Boonshoft typically books about a year out for events, though last minute weddings do happen! Call (937) 275-7431 ext. 113 to get started.
5. Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center
1 W 2nd St., schustercenter.org
The majesty of the Schuster Center will bring your wedding to a whole new level. Whether you walk down the aisle in the Mathile Theatre or dance up a storm on the tiles of the Kettering Wintergarden, the center’s event services can accommodate a variety of wedding styles. Book as soon as you can, as the Schuster does have to work around their performance seasons and usually is booked about a year in advance. For more information, call (937) 228-7591, ext. 3628.
6. Top of the Market
32 Webster St., topofmarket.com.
With its exposed brick and wood beams and wide ceilings, Top of the Market offers an “urban chic” aesthetic for your big day with ADA accessibility and in-house catering. More intimate parties might prefer the Loft room, while the Warehouse can fit over 350 and still keep the dance floor. 2017 dates are already being checked off, so schedule a tour ASAP by calling (937) 224-FOOD ext. 3.
7. America’s Packard Museum
420 S. Ludlow St., americaspackardmuseum.org.
This is the wedding venue for the history/automobile buff. Step back into 1917, when the original Dayton Packard Dealership was built, for a ceremony surrounded by tradition and history, albeit in a less traditional spot. Event planning is managed by Elite Catering, which recommends calling at least a few months out to get your preferred date. Call (937) 226-1710 to schedule your tour date.
8. The Dayton Visual Arts Center
118 N. Jefferson St., daytonvisualarts.org.
Imagine getting married in a gallery full of breathtaking art — for the more creative couples, choosing the Dayton Visual Arts Center guarantees striking photos and gorgeous backdrops. The center is no stranger to weddings and has even orchestrated a few proposal occasions, and even offer a discount for their non-profit partners. Call (937) 224-3822 to get started.