Do you prefer concrete and brick over mason jars and chandeliers? Then a warehouse wedding might be right up your alley. These "unfinished" venues usually have an industrial vibe, neutral color palette, and open floor plan, which makes them ideal the ideal setting for modern, urban-inspired events. Before booking a warehouse venue, however, a bride and groom should consider these seven important factors.
Depending on the building's history, the outside and inside of your venue may have a very minimalist look. Even if that's not the vibe you're going for, you'll still want to at least tour the interior. These refinished spaces often have unmatched architectural charm with elements like concrete walls, exposed bricks, rustic wood, ceiling beams, and wrought iron. With a little decorating magic, you can transform the blank canvas into a memorable ceremony and reception location.
Some warehouse venues come with the standard necessities like tables, chairs, and lighting fixtures; others function as a blank slate. Either way, you'll likely need to supply linens and other rentals for your big day. These can set you back a few hundred or thousand dollars (in addition to your vendor prices) so plan your budget accordingly.
One of the major advantages of a warehouse venue is that the large, open floor plan can accommodate lots of wedding guests. But this unrestricted layout limits the set-up options for your ceremony and reception. Consider utilizing rentals (like furniture and draped linens) to create "rooms" for different events. Dividing the warehouse may also make the industrial building feel more communal and welcoming during your wedding.
If the warehouse has existed for decades, there's a chance it's not equipped with modern heating and cooling systems. This won't be a problem during spring and fall, but couples tying the knot in the summer or winter may need to rent fans, space heaters, and generators in order to keep the space comfortable.
Likewise, some non-renovated warehouse won't have proper plumbing, meaning you'll need to shell out for portable bathrooms. Don't worry about a bright blue box ruining your scenery, though; many "luxury" portable options exist today, complete with sinks, flushable toilets, and more.
Sound tends to travel in an open space, and certain architectural elements—such as high ceilings or metal construction details—amplify noise. As a result, guests may strain to hear the wedding vows and reception toasts at your warehouse celebration. Talk to the venue about ways to improve the acoustics. They may suggest, for example, having your DJ go easy on the bass.
If the warehouse wasn't designed for events, it likely has harsh artificial lighting. This can make you look washed out, shadowed, and tired in wedding photos. Consider renting softer lighting from an outside company instead, or, if the venue has large windows, rely on natural light for a daytime ceremony or reception.