As many couples preparing to tie the knot seek alternatives to a traditional church setting, warehouse wedding venues are rising in popularity. Older tobacco factories, cloth mills and other industrial buildings are being renovated for use as distinctive urban event spaces.
Offering original features, from wooden beams and exposed brickwork to soaring ceilings and enormous windows, they can accommodate large groups and offer dramatic backdrops for ceremonies and photography.
The Cloth Mill in historic Hillsborough, North Carolina, grants its couples exclusive access to the entire mill for their wedding days. This includes use of the courtyard which, in good weather, serves as a beautiful setting for an outdoor ceremony, with the towering chimney a dramatic feature for photographs. The exterior of the brick-built building also makes a beautiful backdrop for pictures of wedding parties, from fun shots to more formal photographs. Such historic architectural features are one of the main reasons warehouse or old industrial venues have experienced such a rise in popularity in recent years.
For couples seeking a unique urban setting, exposed brickwork and old timber beams serve as strong elements for their wedding photography. High ceilings and large windows further enhance the atmospheric nature of images and features such as columns are ideal to frame shots.
The lofty ceiling heights and exposed structural features that usually characterise older industrial conversions offer a wide variety of opportunities for imaginative floral decorations. Dallas based GRO Designs created this fantastic display (left) for a wedding at a fully restored 1930s brake and clutch warehouse. An impressive spray hanging over the aisle leads to a cascade of blooms on the back wall, forming an elegant backdrop to the wedding ceremony.
Founded in 2011, Jacobsen Salt Co. in Portland, Oregon, was the first company to harvest salt in the Pacific Northwest since 1805. It has rapidly become America's leading salt maker. Couples seeking a distinctive wedding setting can marry at the Jacobsen Salt Co. warehouse (left), which can accommodate up to 150 guests. Personalised Jacobsen Salt packages are available as wedding favours.
During the day, dramatic ceiling heights and large windows at old industrial venues such as Basilica Hudson offer wedding settings that are bathed in natural light. In the evening, however, such spaces can also be transformed with stunning lighting arrangements. The wedding reception below, for example, was illuminated by pretty strings of fairy lights and clusters of large Chinese lanterns. These lighting choices are quite cost-effective but no less elegant and romantic. Cage lights, factory pendant lamps and fairground-style illuminations are all options for industrial locations.
Gather & Tailor in Melbourne, Australia, offers two converted warehouses with sufficient space for 150 guests and 350 guests respectively for a sit-down dinner. Guests take their seats at long communal tables, which not only suit the venues' minimalist, modern rustic aesthetic but that are also popular with couples wishing to encourage their wedding guests to mingle.
The warehouses are blank canvasses and offer the opportunity to creatively customise spaces with small personal touches and with additional furniture to form a variety of intimate seating areas. There is also plenty of space for a separate drinks reception and, of course, dancing.