Top Five Tips to Find a Wedding Venue in Jackson

Top Five Tips to Find a Wedding Venue in Jackson

‘Tis the season for popping the big question, with 16 percent of all proposals happening in December, some of you Michiganders may be filling up your Pinterest boards with wedding dresses and peony bouquets in the coming months. Experience Jackson has a great Pinterest board to follow too:  Weddings Venues in Jackson, MI.

Cara and Jordan's NYE Wedding at Ella Sharp Museum by Trisha Hyde Photography (www.trishahydephotography.com)
Cara and Jordan’s NYE Wedding at Ella Sharp Museum by Trisha Hyde Photography (www.trishahydephotography.com)

Although your wedding dreams may start with color schemes and flowing gowns, your wedding plans should actually start with the guest list and location. Elizabeth Clayton of Lowe House Events on the blog A Practical Wedding says: “people are always the most important thing.” Do you want a big wedding and invite everyone you know or an intimate wedding with only your closest friends and family?  Planning your wedding around a venue is actually a great place to start. Jackson has many great wedding venues to hold your ceremony and reception, winter, spring, summer, or fall. Since I was not in a wedding party this year I decided to ask a few friends for some suggestions.

1. Set the Mood

Are you looking for a sentimental spot or maybe an elegant reception hall? This summer, Kristen C. was part of the wedding party for a couple of close friends in Jackson County.

“Their ceremony took place in the White Auditorium at Spring Arbor University, their alma mater and the location where they first fell in love. The space was intimate and sentimental, with plenty of space for the wedding party to get ready, relax and take pictures before the ceremony.”

For the wedding party Kelly S. was in, Bella Notte Ristorante in Jackson provided a beautiful unique wedding venue.

“The view from the Moonlight Room showcased beautiful Downtown Jackson and the elegant atmosphere really set the mood.”

2. Good Food

While planning their wedding, another friend and her husband had an interesting experience trying to find a reception location based on good food.

“Both of us value food and wanted to offer great food everyone could enjoy. This meant including gluten free options as well as sticking to comfort food with a twist because the last thing we can describe our families as, is adventurous eaters. We sought out venues which allowed us to either bring in our own caterer or had a caterer who was willing to work with us.”

The reception, for the wedding Kristen C. was in, was held at the Commonwealth Commerce Center (CCC) in Jackson, with delicious food provided by Davan’s Catering. With convenient onsite catering they could focus on other things like decorations.

3. Decorations

If you do want to do some decorating you want to make sure the venue will give you the time to do so. The staff at CCC, for the wedding Kristen C. was in, was very helpful.

 “They were accommodating for us the day before the wedding, as we set up decorations, and during the actual event, making sure the bride and groom’s vision for the evening was achieved.”

Of course if you do not want to spend the time and money on decorations like my other friend, you want to make sure the venue has enough character of it’s own.

“Both of us value being able to relax and decided we didn’t want to stress endlessly about reception decorations. Instead, we looked for reception halls with natural character with no white walls and good lighting. This allowed us to just decorate the tables, dim the lights and let the DJ fill the room with fun.”

4. Photography

Sparkler Send Off Commonwealth
Sparkler Send Off Commonwealth Commerce Center Rehnlund Wedding by EJO Photography (www.ejophotography.com)

Venue can also help to capture the memories that will last a lifetime.On the way to the reception, Kristen C. and wedding party stopped to take pictures at the Cascades Park, right before the sun set.

 “With beautiful backdrops of hills, flowers and the falls, the photographer was able to capture picturesque memories. The entry-way to the CCC made the perfect area for a sparkler send-off at the end of the evening too.”

For the Kelly S. wedding party, Bella Notte and Downtown Jackson provided the perfect background for some truly unique wedding photos.

Bella Notte Rooftop Stott Wedding by Stacy & Adam Meadows
Bella Notte Rooftop Stott Wedding by Stacy & Adam Meadows

“The beautiful old brick buildings created a traditional background with a modern twist. We had our choices of old and new, all within walking distance of the wedding. As a bridesmaid, we chose to take photos from the roof of the beautiful Bella Notte Ristorante. Our photos from the roof, with downtown Jackson as the background created a truly unique photo that will be cherished for a lifetime.”

5. Keeping Grandma Happy

If your guest list includes out-of-towners, you may need to help find hotel rooms, provide restaurant suggestions and recommend activities to keep them entertained while they’re here. Yes even grandma! Often your local visitor’s bureau, like Experience Jackson will assist in matching you up with a great place for your guests to stay (and with a great group discount too)! They will also have plenty of suggestions for attractions & events to keep the party going, like Experience Jackson’s Things to Do.

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I am the Communications Director for Experience Jackson. I manage the social media @ExperienceJxn, email newsletters, blogging and website content. I grew up in Jackson, Mich. and returned after attending college at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. When not working, I enjoy cooking and traveling, always looking for the next culinary or cultural adventure.