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Mobile bay area wedding photographer

Mobile Alabama Wedding Venues

2020

April 3, 2020

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Hi there! Welcome to my blog, a journal of the latest going on here at Elizabeth Gelineau Photography. Stay a while and say hello!

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PLANNING YOUR DREAM WEDDING

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The Organized Bride Series

For most brides, wedding day planning begins with the search for a venue. I always say, you don’t have a date until you have a venue and that truly is the case. Maybe you’re one of those brides who already has a particular venue in mind. Alternatively, you may be one of those brides who has no clue of where to begin because you haven’t had your wedding day planned on Pinterest for the last five years. Maybe you’re somewhere in between those two extremes. No matter what mindset you’re beginning from, know that the venue is typically where you want to begin with planning.

 

If you’re working with a wedding planner, they will have recommendations for you based on your overall vision for your day. If you’re not working with a planner and don’t have a particular venue in mind, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed over starting the venue search. I want you to know that is totally okay and one hundred percent normal!

 

To start your search for a venue, I recommend that you first think about what you picture in your mind when you envision your wedding day. If you haven’t taken some time to write out this vision, I highly recommend that you do so now. It will be so helpful! Grab a journal and jot down notes of what is important to you. These notes can be simple bullet points, or detailed paragraphs. There is no right or wrong approach!

 

Brainstorm Your Vision

If you’re struggling with writing out the vision for your day, ask yourselves questions like this to get started:

 

  • Do I want an inside or outside wedding and reception?
  • Do I envision an afternoon or evening ceremony?
  • Is my general style traditional, modern, carefree, bohemian, rustic, or a mix of styles?
  • Is seasonality important to me – spring, summer, fall, winter?
  • Do I want an all-in one venue, or will I be having the ceremony at a church and only need a reception venue?
  • Is the venue having getting ready space important?
  • Do I want to minimize travel between locations?

 

If you envision a canopy of oak trees and an outdoor ceremony, you’re not likely to choose a ballroom style venue. If you picture everything being indoors with plenty of space for a plated dinner, then you’re not likely to choose a historic home style venue. Knowing some basic priorities at the beginning will save you from overdoing it on venue tours. It will also help you be more decisive by seeing how things you like fit with certain venues and not with others.

 

15 Mobile Alabama Wedding Venues

To help you with your search for a Mobile, Alabama wedding venue, I’ve put together a list of venues in our area. This is by no means a comprehensible list of every venue in Mobile, but these are all venues I’ve worked at over the past few years. If you’re searching for a wedding venue in Baldwin County Alabama, stay tuned for next week’s post where I’ll take a look at venues in Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope, Point Clear, Orange Beach and Gulf Shores!

 

THE BRAGG – MITCHELL MANSION

It doesn’t get more classically Southern that The Bragg-Mitchell Mansion! This historic Mobile, Alabama wedding venue is a longtime favorite in our area. I never ever tire of photographing weddings under the gorgeous oak trees that line the driveway! This place is literally a photographer’s dream with ample access to natural light in the getting ready room and plenty of shade outside for portraits throughout the entire day. The Bragg-Mitchell is a short drive from several churches and is centrally located without being in the hustle and bustle of downtown. If you’re having an outdoor ceremony, this venue is a great all-in-one option, meaning you can use it for getting ready photos, formal portraits, ceremony and reception.

 

THE PILLARS

The Pillars of Mobile is another beautifully restored historic wedding venue. It’s proximity to downtown means it’s a short drive from several churches, but it’s also a great all-in-one venue. It has a spacious bride’s room for getting ready and a man-cave where guys can hang out. I am absolutely obsessed with the vintage tile floor at this venue and there are plenty of windows for abundant natural lighting! The Pillars is located within walking distance of an oak-tree lined public park that is another great option for portraits.

 

THE BATTLE HOUSE HOTEL

I adore a ballroom reception! Maybe it’s because my earliest wedding memory is of my aunt’s wedding and all I can picture is everyone dancing on a huge dance floor! Ballrooms are great for larger receptions and can also be “flipped” between the ceremony and reception for smaller weddings. Flipping a space simply means that the configuration of tables and chairs is changed between the ceremony and reception. Typically, if you’re flipping the room after the ceremony, you’ll have a cocktail hour in a separate space so that guests can mingle and enjoy drinks while the venue staff work their magic. The Crystal Ballroom at The Battle House Hotel makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. It is my personal favorite, but the hotel has several ballroom options available.

 

THE RENAISSANCE RIVERVIEW HOTEL

The Renaissance Riverview Hotel is another great ballroom venue! It’s large ballroom can accommodate a seated dinner for a large guest list while still having ample space for the dance floor. Like the Battle House Hotel, the Renaissance Riverview is located in the heart of downtown and has multiple ballroom options. The great thing about a hotel wedding venue is that you typically will also rent rooms for getting ready there. This makes it so convenient for you, your bridal party and any guests who have traveled from out of town to celebrate with you. While hotels don’t always have ample space for outdoor portraits, those that are located in downtown Mobile are typically within walking distance of parks that are full of trees!

 

THE HISTORY MUSEUM OF MOBILE

If you want a downtown reception venue that has ballroom-like qualities, but isn’t a traditional ballroom, then you should definitely check out The History Museum of Mobile. I absolutely love shooting at this venue. The checkerboard floor makes for a perfect dance floor without having to rent one! Another bonus of this venue is the option for portraits, both inside and outside during the day. The grand staircase is a favorite among my brides, but I also LOVE the courtyard area for First Looks and portraits. It’s got so much versatility! Another bonus is that this venue is located very close to hotels and churches downtown. The space has some character, while also being a neutral palette, meaning you can make it your own.

 

THE EZELL HOUSE

Another old-Mobile favorite wedding venue is The Ezell House. Located just a couple blocks from the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, this is a popular choice for brides who want a venue with a mix of indoor and outdoor options. The Ezell House also has getting ready space for both the bride and the groom. Getting ready space is a huge bonus for wedding venues because it means you don’t have to incorporate a hotel into your wedding day rentals unless you just want to be in closer proximity to your venue for the entire wedding weekend. The Ezell House is popular for wedding receptions, but it’s also a lovely outdoor ceremony venue. The courtyard provides a buffer from street noise and is perfect for an intimate-sized ceremony. I also love that this venue is within walking distance of Cathedral Square, another great portrait location!

 

THE MOBILE CARNIVAL MUSEUM

If you love Mardi Gras and want to incorporate something truly Mobile into your wedding day, then The Mobile Carnival Museum may be the reception venue for you! I’ve never photographed a ceremony here, but it is very popular for receptions and rehearsal dinners. If you’re wanting to incorporate a second line into your wedding day, this venue is within walking distance of a few different churches in downtown Mobile. The tradition of a second line is one of my favorites and it’s extra fun when that second line is leading you to the Mobile Carnival Museum. It’s like a mini Mardi Gras moment in the middle of a wedding! One feature of this venue is the float that is inside the museum. The float turns into the stage for your band, which is something that out-of-town guests are sure to love and find memorable!

 

KALIOKA STABLES

Kalioka Stables is the perfect all-in-one venue for the bride who loves a more rustic setting. The scenery on this property makes it hard to believe you’re only 20 minutes from downtown Mobile. I love Golden Hour sunset portraits at this venue! The light always seems extra dreamy here! All of my weddings at Kalioka Stables have been outdoors, but the barn could accommodate a ceremony if desired. I especially love taking a few bride and groom portraits inside the barn because it’s also a magical portrait spot! If you’re a fan of wide open spaces, you’re going to love this beautiful property.

 

CROWN HALL

One of Mobile’s newest wedding venues is Crown Hall. This building was once abandoned and in disrepair, but Bay Gourmet Catering breathed new life into it! I absolutely LOVE the vibe of this venue! It feels modern, but timeless at the same time. If you’re looking for a big, open space, but don’t want the formality of a traditional ballroom, this venue could be for you. Although I was only here for a wedding reception, I know that brides who choose this as an all-in-one venue will love the bride’s room for getting ready. One of my favorite features about shooting in this space is the polished floors. The reflection adds so much dimension to those first dance shots! I also love the garage door that opens up for the bride and groom grand exit!

 

FORT CONDE INN

Fort Conde Inn is another wedding venue with tons of Southern charm located in the heart of downtown Mobile. It’s a great all-in-one option, or a good reception only space. This venue is more outdoor focused, so keep that in mind when it comes to planning. If dancing under cafe lights with the Mobile skyline in the background is your idea of a dream setting, then this venue is for you! I love that the inn can accommodate the bridal party for getting ready. This means that you can celebrate your whole day in one place without having to worry about transportation between venues. There are also several great portrait backgrounds in and around the inn!

 

THE STEEPLE

The Steeple is an old church that’s been converted into an event space. The large stained glass windows and vaulted ceiling give the space character. The wood detailing and colorful windows are so beautiful that this space truly doesn’t need much to make it shine for wedding day. I love that it’s a big open space with plenty of room for seating and a large dance floor. There is also a large built-in stage, meaning you don’t have to rent one separately for your band or DJ. My sister chose this beautiful space for her wedding reception this summer!

 

GULFQUEST

The GulfQuest Maritime Museum sits right on the waterfront in downtown Mobile. If you want an indoor reception with views, this is the place to get both. This venue is great for a mid-sized guest list and is close to many churches and hotels. It’s also located right next to Cooper-Riverside Park, a good portrait location. My favorite feature of this venue is access to the rooftop for bride and groom portraits. If you choose this venue for your day, make sure to time arriving at your reception with the sunset so that you can take advantage of that dreamy rooftop setting!

 

ALABAMA CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER

The Alabama Contemporary Arts Center has two separate spaces to offer brides. The upstairs room is ideal for smaller sized weddings. This room has two walls of windows, meaning lots of natural light and views of downtown and Cathedral Square. The larger space that’s on the first floor is a blank canvas for brides to make their own. Adding draping and uplighting absolutely transforms this space, which is great for weddings with a larger guest list. There is plenty of space in this area for food, dinner tables and a huge dance floor. When I shoot at this venue I particularly love taking the bride and groom out on the balcony upstairs for some portraits featuring the Mobile skyline!

 

┬áSPRING HILL COLLEGE – BYRNE HALL + STEWARTFIELD

If you’re getting married on campus at Spring Hill College, or any church in the Spring Hill area, Byrne Hall is a great open floor-plan venue. As a Spring Hill alum, I am sentimentally attached to this space because I remember when it was a library! Seriously, I cannot shoot in this space and not think of studying! There is plenty of space for seating and a good sized dance floor. I love this venue combined with St. Joseph’s Chapel for the wedding ceremony. It makes it possible to spend the whole wedding day on campus, meaning there aren’t a lot of transportation logistics. Stewartfield House is another reception venue on campus at Spring Hill, but I also love it for getting ready pictures!

 

THE LOCALE

The Locale is just a short drive from downtown Mobile and has a hidden treasure behind it’s large indoor reception space. The small, “secret garden” is a dream location during Golden Hour. The inside of this venue is a blank canvas for each bride to make her own. Draping can divide the large space into separate sections for ceremony and reception. Additionally, there are rooms for both the bride and groom to use for getting ready, making this a true all-in-one venue.

 

 

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I'm Elizabeth and I'm so happy you're here. This blog a journal of the latest here at Elizabeth Gelineau Photography. Stay a while and say hello!

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planning your dream wedding

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