Let me set a scene: 4 walls, no windows, ugly carpets. Where are you? Most likely a standard hotel ballroom. Most weddings I’ve been to have taken place at one of these ballrooms. Having gone through a verrry extensive venue search, I can understand why. Hotel ballrooms might not be pretty, but they are definitely convenient. Why bother coordinating 10 different vendors when a hotel will provide everything you need in one nifty little package – 3 course meals, a wedding cake, linens, chiavari chairs, etc.
But many brides are now starting to think outside the box and are looking for unique wedding venues to host their big days. One increasingly popular option is hosting your wedding in a mansion. This was my initial idea for my own wedding. I will be posting lots about Miami wedding venues, but here’s what I found out about Miami mansions:
221 NE 17th Street, Miami FL 33132
What you want to know: I fell in love with this venue the minute I came across it. It was exactly the Spanish looking mansion I was looking for, with a stunning backyard and garden. It does come with a twist. This innocent looking villa is home to a nightclub, making it a romantic venue with a modern, trendy twist. The inside of the villa leaves a little to be desired. I imagined a grand staircase or something like it, but not so much. You walk in and are immediately greeted by the bar, which is nice for a club, but not quite what I had in mind for my wedding. There are also a number of rooms where you could host your cocktail hour if you want to do it indoors.
What you need to know: Rental of the outdoor space will run you $4,500, while use of their upstairs museum lofty space will cost $3,500. (Don’t forget to add tax at 7% and gratuity at 15%). These prices include use of their lounge furniture, which can add a sexy feel to your cocktail hour and reception. You are required to use their liquor services that range anywhere from $22-$30 per person. However, you will need to bring in your own caterer, tables, chairs, etc.
You also need to know that since it is a night club, they’re not shutting down just because you decided to get married. Beginning at about 10:30 – 11:00 p.m., they begin to allow the general public into the home. If you’re having a day wedding, this obviously won’t be a problem for you. If you’re having an evening reception in the backyard garden area, you won’t necessarily cross paths with the clubbers, but you will have to share bathrooms, and you can never account for what drunk strangers might do while you’re having the most romantic night of your life. Sadly, this was the deal breaker for me.
2167 South Bayshore Drive Coconut Grove, FL 33133
What you want to know: This is another Spanish inspired mansion in Coconut Grove. I never actually visited Villa Woodbine because, unfortunately, it was out of my budget. Hosting your wedding at Villa Woodbine will cost you a rental fee of around $6,000 (plus tax, course) for a Saturday evening. This will get you access to the entire mansion for your day. Like Villa 221, you will need to bring in everything. But if you’re looking for an extremely romantic wedding venue with lush trees, fountains and a Mediterranean feel, this is the place for you.
What you need to know: If you’re having an evening wedding, you’ll need to be out by 11:00 p.m. I presume this has something to do with Coconut Grove noise ordinance laws. Even if I could afford Villa Woodbine, this would’ve been a deal breaker for me, as 11:00 p.m. is when my party is just going to get started!
The other thing you need to know is that you are required to use Villa Woodbine’s in-house caterer, Bill Hansen Catering. Luckily for you, Bill Hansen Catering is one of the better wedding caterers in Miami and their menu options sound really yummy. I received a proposal from them, and by the time you add everything up (food, drinks, bartenders, etc.), a standard sit down meal with open bar for 150 people will run you about $23,000.
5937 Collins Ave. Miami Beach, Florida 33140
What you want to know: The Bath Club is a private mansion in Miami Beach. Located on 59th and Collins, it’s just far enough away from the mayhem of South Beach. It has a ballroom, billiard room, courtyard and lounges. If you glance through the pictures, it’s a truly stunning Miami wedding venue.
What you need to know: If you want to have your wedding at the Bath Club, you should also be equipped with a hefty budget. A Saturday wedding at the Bath Club will cost $15,000 just to rent the space – plus tax. (As a side note, taxes in Miami Beach are generally higher than in other areas, at 9%. This is something to consider if you’re looking into a Miami Beach wedding venue.) This also includes use of their furniture (but not actual tables and chairs for your reception meal). Prices are lower during the “off-season” which they generously offered me, but even this came in at $12,500. However, if this is within your means, it’s a truly gorgeous space.
3157 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove, Florida 33133
What you want to know: If you like ornate, this is your wedding venue. Located in Coconut Grove, the Cruz Building is a 3 story building with marble floors, chandeliers, and European and French/New Orleans architectural antiques. It’s a bit too much for my personal taste, but if you’re looking for extravagance, look no more.
What you need to know: If your wedding is on a Saturday evening, you can expect to pay $10,995 (plus tax) for up to 250 guests. If you’re having a larger party, you will need to pay $18 for every additional guest. You can catch a small break if you choose to have your wedding on a Friday or Sunday, when you’ll pay $9,995 for the Cruz Building. You will need to bring in your own caterer, furniture, etc.
These are just a few of the Miami mansions you can choose from for your wedding. Other options include:
The Villa by Barton G (formerly the Versace Mansion).
In truth, renting a Miami mansion for your wedding is generally a more expensive option, but if you’ve got the budget for it, these make for extremely romantic wedding venues. They also have the added bonus of allowing you to have a truly private affair. Best of all, you and your new husband will feel like the king and queen of your castle – and who doesn’t want that?