It’s Spotlight Day! Where we introduce you to incredible Orlando wedding venues and the stories behind their companies who help Wedding Venue Map couples have their best wedding day.
Hiring the right wedding venue is so important on your wedding day. The venue is the backdrop of every moment, every picture and every memory. It gives us great pleasure to introduce this week’s venue spotlight, Helen Tillem of Orlando Science Center.
What did you do before you did this?
When I was in high school, I had the BEST job ever! I worked for a theme and decor company in South Florida, where I would spend hours in a warehouse covered in glitter, paint, and glue, creating back drops, props, and center pieces. I would then get to visit venues to set up the decor pieces for each event. This introduced me to the event industry at a really young age. From there I decided to go to UCF and take classes at the Rosen School of Hospitality Management. While attending UCF, I received an email that the Orlando Science Center was hiring for a part time coordinator position. I applied, and was hired shortly after. I spent a year and a half working part time as I finished college. I spent a few month traveling after graduation and while I was on my last planned trip, I received a call from my old boss at the Science Center, telling me she was leaving and told me to apply for the Manager of Events position. I applied, moved back to Orlando, and that was 10 years ago.
What is your favorite thing about what you do? What’s your WHY?
Seeing the uniqueness of each event in the same space always keeps my job exciting. Being a non-traditional venue, I get to work with non-traditional people. The creativity that comes from each event through the clients and the vendors always excites me. I love seeing how people make my venue their own for each event.
I also get to a build a team of incredible people every few years and watch them learn and grow. Most of our team members spend around 2 years working part time with us and find incredible, long term careers, through the experiences they’ve had while working at the Orlando Science Center. It always makes me so proud to see how my past employees are doing and how much they learned while working with me.
What is important for clients to know about your company before they book you?
We have a great combination of both indoor and outdoor space that can make for great backdrops for your celebration. While our outdoor space, is romantic, softly lit, and offers beautiful views of downtown, our indoor reception space, DinoDigs offers high ceilings, great photo backdrops, and guests that are larger then life….dinosaurs, we want our couple to love both the indoor and outdoor spaces that we offer. In the chance of bad weather, we have you covered! We make our weather calls around 3:30 the day of. Florida is unpredictable and we want to wait out whatever weather might come our way, the day of.
Tell us about your favorite type of engaged couple.
Our favorite kind of engaged couple wants to embrace the theme of our spaces and creatively add to it. We love to brainstorm with our couples and share suggestions of what has worked and hasn’t worked in the past and connect them with vendors that can make all of their dreams comes to life. We love when our couples think of out of the box and put personalized touches on their celebrations. From using the Jurassic Park Jeep as a get-away vehicle at the end of the night, to having Star Wars characters greet guests during cocktail hour, while the Death Star projects onto our Science on Sphere exhibit we LOVE seeing our couples and guests reactions to it all.Why do couples hire you?
What does your most popular package include?
Our most popular package is a rental of all of our spaces on level 4 of our building. This gives our couples access to our picturesque SunTrust Terrace, interactive Our Planet exhibit hall, and a few larger than life friends in DinoDigs. Couples will choose to use each space for a different part of their wedding, giving guests 3 completely unique experiences throughout their evening. These spaces are all located on the same level and connected by a rotunda space making for a seamless transition from area to area.
Best piece of advice for brides or grooms.
Always ask questions! Communication is something we encourage and you will never be a bother. We want you to be as comfortable as possible when it comes to your big day!
Here is what some previous couples had to say…
“This venue is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! We had our Ceremony off-site and held our cocktail hour in the My Planet room, and the reception in Dino-Digs. The venue itself doesn’t need much help with decorating it, but the staff was so kind and helpful. Every question that came up, they were in contact with me to answer. I absolutely loved this venue and so did my guest! Thank you OSC for everything!”- Amanda & Matthew
“OSC was absolutely fantastic! All night our guests kept telling us how much they loved the venue and how cool everything looked. Tons of people were getting up all night to take photos with the dinosaurs. Cost of the entire Level 4 for our ceremony and reception was very cost efficient and also one of the better options around for those who don’t want to do a church and don’t like hotel ballrooms. The OSC Staff were all incredibly professional and friendly. Helen was quick to respond to emails and was very patient with us with all our questions about the booking and planning process. Laura and Hannah were our day-of coordinators and they were on top of everything, keeping us in the loop of what’s happening and were quick to help deal with minor glitches like wrangling family members for photos, tracking down the guestbook, unlocking the terrace doors for photos etc. They all did such a wonderful job communicating with our vendors as well and the entire night went smoothly from start to finish. We cannot recommend them enough as a wedding venue!!!” – Esther & Ross
“The Science Center was the most incredible venue. I am still just giddy over the perfect atmosphere. Our guests were shocked by the gorgeous views and stimulating exhibits. We started with a picture perfect ceremony on the water at Lake Formosa just across the street from the Science Center. Then guests walked to the Science center for cocktail hour in Dino Digs where everyone was blown away by the massive dinosaur sculptures and elegant cocktail set up. Then guests were wowed a 3rd time for our reception held outside on the SunTrust Terrace. The gorgeous string lights and breathtaking view of the City skyline at night was the icing on the cake for our guests. We got so many compliments about our unique and trendy venue. I couldn’t be more happy with how everything turned out. Mikaela was our day coordinator provided by the venue at no additional cost and she was an absolute JOY to work with. She made it so easy. Helen, the director, was wonderful as well. I had zero stress throughout the planning experience thanks to this amazing team. Truly can’t say enough. My wedding was perfect!” – Elizabeth & David