It’s Spotlight day, where we introduce you to incredible Orlando wedding vendors and share the stories behind these 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, Cara Castelli of Estate on the Halifax.
When people ask “what do you do?” how do you answer?
“I run the Estate on the Halifax,” which I then tend to have to explain that we are a wedding venue located in Port Orange. As soon as I begin to describe our location, most people interrupt and say “The place with the train!” Yes, we are the place with the train; we have an 85′ long train car visible from the street, which stands out to most people passing by our location.
What did you do before you did this?
I was a triple-certified public service officer holding certificates in Law Enforcement, Fire Rescue, and Emergency Medical Technician. I also have a business degree from the University of Florida, which allowed me to transition into my role here.
When and how did you get into the wedding industry?
My family has always owned this location; it started as a wedding venue in 1999 and was run by non-family members until 2010. I came on board in 2011 just to do financials and learned the wedding industry along the way and became the General Manager here in 2015.
How did your work evolve to get you to where you are today?
I began knowing almost nothing about the wedding industry and a little about running a business. I have been able to learn valuable information from some great industry professionals about weddings and taught myself through trial and error and help from family how to successfully run a business.
What is your favorite thing about what you do? What’s your WHY?
My “why” is my grandfather. As the patriarch of our family, he accrued the most unique arrangement of buildings amongst the oasis of gardens and ponds we have. My grandfather was a visionary and a tremendously hardworking individual and he was never able to see our business be as successful as we’ve become. We work hard to share his creations with our clients and preserve the legacy he began.
What’s the best part of your job?
Working alongside my family.
What motivates you to do this every day?
Being able to see the faces of prospective clients when they fall in love with our venue.
How did you decide on the name of your company?
We wanted to make sure people connected us with the fact that our property is on the Halifax River, hence the name “Estate on the Halifax.”
What is important for clients to know about your company before they book you?
We are a family-owned company in business for 20 years and we pride ourselves in our property and our exclusiveness for our couples.
What is the most unique service/product you offer?
We have an historic 1897 chapel complete with an 1893 bronze bell rung each wedding day.
What makes your business stand out from others in your category?
We have 10 acres of the most uniquely designed property you will find anywhere in Central Florida.
Tell us about your favorite type of engaged couple.
All of them!
Why do couples hire you?
To host the wedding day of their dreams.
What does your most popular package include?
The exclusive use of our 10.5-acre estate.
Tell us briefly about some of your package options. What is the price range for these packages?
Most of our clients reserve the property exclusively and the price ranges from $3000 Monday – Wednesday up to $6500 on a Saturday in the fall.
Why do you think your business is successful?
We are successful because we are passionate about what we do and the service that we provide to our clients.
Estate on the Halifax shares some helpful information for engaged couples…..
What are the most common questions you get asked by brides and/or grooms?
How many hours do we have access to the property? – Depending on the reservation, most of our clients have access from 9 am – 11 pm on the day of their event.
How many people can we accommodate? We can fit 150 guests in the chapel and 200 in the tavern for the reception.
What is your best piece of advice for brides or grooms?
Know your budget and decide on what is most important to you and where you’re willing to spend a little more or less money.
What do you think are the biggest misconceptions that people have about your vendor category?
What is included in the venue – we include the usage of our full property, as well as the tables, chairs, and linens for use at reception.
What some of their previous couples had to say….
“The Estate on the Halifax was such an amazing place for our destination wedding. There is no way I could explain how wonderfully we were treated throughout the entire process. The manager Cara went above and beyond to answer any question, make suggestions, encourage, and reassure me. In the end, our guests were calling it the BEST wedding they had ever attended, compliments all around… I really couldn’t recommend the Estate and their wonderful staff enough.” – Christina
“Our day was absolutely perfect. Our guests could not stop talking about how GORGEOUS the venue was, and how well the staff took care of them. From prompt bar service to an organized buffet dinner, the staff took care of it all. Cara and Katie helped us plan every detail, and asked us questions we never would have thought to answer, including what color we wanted for bows on our cocktail tables! My beautician was so amazed by the gardens that he asked for their information to do a photo shoot in the future, and my photographers kept finding new and beautiful spaces to stage the photos. It truly was a magical experience and we could not have asked for anything more.” – Michele
“The Estate on the Halifax is a place like no other!! As soon as we toured the venue we knew this is where we wanted our wedding to be. Cara was extremely helpful and always very quick to respond to our many questions. She even responded while she was away on maternity leave, which was highly unexpected. The grounds are absolutely gorgeous!!!! There are so many unique and beautiful places throughout the property for amazing pictures. We have guests still commenting on how beautiful our wedding was there. Not only is the Estate a beautiful place to get married, but they also go above and beyond what I thought a venue would be. Our day was amazing and that was mainly due to the staff. We also used a lot of their preferred vendors and they were all fantastic to work with!!! The Estate has everything you could ever dream of in a wedding venue.” – From Brittany
Susie Weiss July 25, 2019
Quickly becoming one of our favorite places to work! From the other side of the picture as a wedding planner, all the hard work originally begun by Cara’s grandfather continues today. The grounds are beautiful, the pricing is commensurate with all that you receive, and Cara and Katie are always available for quick answers to questions. A true gem of Volusia County!
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