In late March, Heather Davis and then-fiancé Nick Grey despatched a deposit to a nonprofit gardening membership within the Tampa, Florida space for his or her December 3 wedding. A signed contract adopted days later. Then they have been faraway from the calendar and their deposit was refunded.

“I acquired an e mail stating that we have been encountered about double bookings,” stated Davis, 29, a provide chain advisor at ArganoArbela, a expertise consultancy primarily based in Irvine, California. “There was panic and anger. I believed, ‘This cannot be proper, this cannot be actual.'”

The couple’s seek for a substitute location proved troublesome. “Ninety-five p.c of every thing we checked out after we bought the e-mail was booked,” stated Davis.

Then they turned to a nontraditional possibility: a cigar manufacturing facility.

Pandemic postponements coupled with post-pandemic engagements have made it more and more troublesome to seek out availability in typical areas – accommodations, wineries, upscale eating places, and resorts.

Because of this, many {couples} have been compelled to get inventive with their search and think about every thing from bowling alleys and film theaters to bookstores and libraries. Listed here are 4 outdoors of the field venues that may host weddings.


JC Newman Cigar Co. in Tampa, the place Davis and Grey booked their wedding, is among the oldest family-owned cigar makers within the nation. Final 12 months, the power, which produces 50,000 to 60,000 machine-rolled cigars and 300 hand-rolled cigars day-after-day, added occasions to its checklist.

“Little did we all know this was going to be such a fascinating expertise,” stated Karissa DiPillo, the corporate’s occasion and neighborhood partnership coordinator. “We thought we would solely get a couple of {couples}. We have now already booked 23 weddings in 2022 and booked them each Saturday in October and November.”

Other than the shortage of availability in additional conventional venues, DiPillo attributed the surge in curiosity to {couples} searching for particular areas and experiences. “We do the cocktail hour on the primary flooring, which is the place the store and museum are; our reception doubles as a bar and cigar lathes are used as tables,” DiPillo stated. “The second flooring is the visitor room the place we’ve dinner and dance. We have now the ceremony on the third flooring.”

The room can accommodate 150 company. The fee to hire a flooring is $ 4,500; every extra flooring prices $ 500. The room may be rented from 10 a.m. to midnight. Tables, chairs, parking, and safety are included. Meals is additional.

Nearer to residence

Are you a pair from the Chattanooga space planning a wedding in a non-traditional location? Or have you ever already held your ceremony in an unconventional room? Ship particulars to [email protected] for story consideration.


For the bibliophile, retailers like Manhattan’s Housing Works Bookstore and The Strand present a nostalgic, romantic, and comfortable setting. The Strand hosts weddings in its uncommon bookroom; For occasions within the Housing Works bookstore, the lighting on the mahogany bookshelves is dimmed and the spiral staircases are supplied with votive candles. Ceremonies there often happen in one of many corners underneath the balconies, whereas seating, cocktails, and dancing are served on the bottom flooring.

“Up to now 4 or 5 months we have seen requests improve by 40%,” stated Elizabeth Koke, inventive director at Housing Works, a New York Metropolis-based nonprofit group targeted on preventing AIDS and homelessness.

The group’s mission, she added, “is engaging to individuals who need to spend their special occasion giving again.

On the Housing Works bookstore, Koke stated that “the reserving fee hasn’t modified, so we nonetheless host 40 to 50 weddings a 12 months.” However she stated, “We’ll preserve reserving forward, particularly since so many individuals desire a Saturday.”

Seated dinner capability is 135; for cocktails, it is 175. The price of a five-hour occasion features a tax-deductible membership charge of $ 5,000 and an extra $ 5,000-10,000 in money, hire, and workers. Catering is extra.


In 2016, 4 Brothers Drive-In and the adjoining restaurant in Amenia, New York added weddings to their choices. John Stefanopoulos, a 4 Brothers proprietor, together with the close by Millerton Inn in Millerton, New York, stated bookings have elevated because the pandemic started.

“When COVID occurred, folks went nuts. It fueled the motion to host non-traditional weddings, ”he stated. “{Couples} usually tend to go to native areas than franchises.”

As points of interest, Stefanopoulos named the need for experiences off the crushed monitor and outside choices. {Couples} even have the choice of taking part in their favourite movie within the background. “We often have the reception and cocktail social gathering on our terrace,” he stated. “The ceremony is underneath the tents and dinner and dancing are in entrance of the large display so you possibly can watch when you eat.”

An eight-hour occasion for as much as 200 folks on the 4 Brothers prices $ 30,000 to $ 45,000 for area, movie, meals, and repair. Add-ons akin to tents, tables, chairs, DJ, photographer, and flowers, or different preparations 4 Brothers can provide, akin to shuttle buses, add one other $ 10,000 to $ 15,000 to the associated fee.


FlowerSchool New York is a floral design faculty by day and an occasion venue at evening often known as the ILA Penthouse. All the pieces from the design, staffing, planning and execution of the plant-based menu is finished in-house, unfold over 4,000 sq. ft on the seventh flooring of a constructing in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.

“The variety of venues and workers has decreased whereas the variety of marriage proposals has elevated,” stated Calvert Crary, the college’s government director, who estimates the premises will host 100 weddings over the following 12 months.

Crary stated flowers are one of the vital festive events in life and attraction to all company. “A flower design studio is smart for internet hosting a wedding as a result of we’ve sturdy aesthetics and plenty of flowers,” he stated. “It is very easy to set them up as a result of they’re all right here as an alternative of transferring them to a different location.”

The area, which begins at $ 4,000 for a six-hour rental and prices $ 500 an hour thereafter, seats 200 company for cocktails or 150 for cocktails and dinner, and contains flowers and tables with decor, linens, and chairs. In-house catering and botanically enriched cocktails are charged moreover per individual.

The entire decor, added Crary, “is both composted or recycled by us.


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