Hi, there – we are Becky and Richy – a Central Florida engaged couple planning our wedding. Everyone has been asking us “Have you found your dream wedding venue?” and we finally can answer with a big YES! If you’ve been following along with our wedding planning process, you already know that we toured a lot of venues! Read more about the venue shopping process in our recent post here.
We are so excited to have found our venue and saved our date of January 23rd, 2022 with the incredibly beautiful and charming Howey Mansion.
We’re going to tell you a little bit about why we chose The Howey Mansion with both of our points of view to give you an inside look at a real couple booking our dream wedding venue.
What made us fall in love with our dream wedding venue?
Becky: The unique historic charm of the Howey Mansion. There is no part of the venue you don’t feel stunned by its beauty. Looking online there are so many amazing pictures from weddings there and when we got to see it in person, it was like the special spots never ended and they were so much more than what you could see in a picture. Throughout the whole tour, we both were beyond happy with huge smiles, and afterward, we both felt like we couldn’t imagine getting married and starting our happily ever after anywhere else.
Richy: Definitely the charm and characteristics that this one of a kind historic mansion has. As well as the photo options you have. We both walked out, got in the car, locked eyes, and said “Did you get the feeling like this is the one?”
Flora Bloom Photography
Wedding Ready Room Spaces
Becky: A really nice relaxing place to spend some time before the ceremony with my mom, grandma, soon to be extra mom, and bridesmaids was something I was looking for in a venue. This space certainly exceeded expectations with the historic furniture perfect for pictures and the INCREDIBLE balcony to relax before.
While it was certainly perfect for me and the girls, they made sure to take care of the guys too where some venues really really fall short. Who says the guys don’t want a unique and special place to get ready? (like this photo below)
Flora Bloom Photography
Richy: So this is the part most of the Brides are most excited about or so I learned through my experience, that the ready room is a break or make for a venue. SOOO to all my fellow grooms out there, it’s true the common saying “bigger is better” hahaha.
The brides get a ready room that is practically one-third of the upstairs. Antique but with so much charm, spacious filled with a bunch of photo opportunities for the girls to hang and get glammed up.
Also, Howey listened to their guests’ needs and added a bed for them to have fun poses for the bride and her ladies. With not one but two bathrooms because they definitely need more than us guys. NOWW gents if y’all still reading stay with me here.
Don’t get disappointed we have a huge room as well. Super manly with some awesome decor, couches, a tv, and last but not least a mini-fridge for some last-minute drinks with our BOYSSSS!!! So relax and drink up! SALUD gents! WAIT… did I mention that the mansion has two balconies, brides and grooms take full advantage and make sure the photographer y’all choose takes advantage of these areas.
Wedding Ceremony Spaces
Becky: At The Howey Mansion, there are probably 4 or more (if you’re creative) spaces to have your ceremony on the property. We loved the idea of using the side location with us and our wedding party standing in front of the gorgeous windows looking into the grand ballroom space.
Our favorite part about this location was the venue spoke for itself, it didn’t need an arch with floral or garland or any other decor to make it feel special. Definitely would say seeing ceremony spaces in person really gives you the chance to feel like you’re in that moment – if you don’t feel like you could walk down the aisle right then and there you’re probably going to need to keep looking.
Daylin Lavoy Photography
Richy: Howey has a ton of options for their ceremony areas. Our favorite was on the side of the building where you can get a feel of the architecture of the home and a more Spanish feel to the house.
Some things we didn’t like about this option was that the guests come straight from where they park and walk roughly a hundred feet and are asked to be seated. With that also comes a lot of variations to where the bride will walk down.
Side note: if anyone is unsure go down the balcony, it makes for beautiful photo opportunities. Another cool option is the front of the house. The iron of the front doors and the tall wood church-like doors have such an in awe feeling that is for sure a great runner-up.
Wedding Reception Spaces
Becky: As we walked through space, we had some choices for our reception space as well. But the minute we stepped outside into the courtyard, we fell in love with the outdoor reception. The all the time market lights (surprising because a lot of places make you add them for an additional cost) and the pond.
We’re still considering switching cocktail hour and reception spaces but really want to make sure we take FULL advantage of the entire venue because it’s absolutely incredible. Something we thought was perfect for the outdoor space too was the little sort of stage coming down from the house to the lawn, it creates the perfect space for our sweetheart table or possibly (Richy really likes the idea of) a table with our entire wedding party.
The reception space and really entire venue is so beautiful, historic, and charming on its own but yet gives you the ability to transform spaces or utilize them in SOOO many unique ways. Planning every single event of our special day will be so much fun with us both getting to put our own personality into it.
Emma Anne Photography
Richy: If you are looking at The Howey Mansion as a possible option, then you most likely have seen the images of their tranquil garden where most couples, like ourselves, are imagining being brought out as Mr. and Mrs. This was by far our favorite option for the reception.
I mean, as a customer spending all this money, I’m trying to use every inch of this mansion as I can! Being that we live in the sunshine state, it gets crazy hot in Florida, so we chose the cooler month of the year to get married in January. We both are very hot people (not like that… I mean don’t get me wrong my lady is definitely a schnacckkkk. and I would say I am a solid presentable individual) – but we tend to run warm temperature!
Our parents then, on this cold weekend day when we visited, were like “So your guests are gonna freeze out here especially with daylight savings playing a factor.” Now we are thinking of heat warmers or a cocktail hour outside in the pretty garden and reception in the grand ballroom where we could all eat and then get our groove on. I mean, I can’t dance but I’m definitely going to get loose and break a leg (stanky-leg) I mean.
Becky: Of course, Arthur’s Catering being the only caterer for The Howey Mansion it does help take one more thing off of our list to look for and book. We were curious though how the food would be and was concerned since it was the only option, but Lori invited us to an open house before we decided for sure and I ended up enjoying types of food I normally hate.
We’re excited to pick our own wedding day menu from all the amazing choices and maybe even try out some more options. More to come on the catering and menu in a future blog post!
Our Favorite Parts
Becky: Overall, I think my truly favorite part was that it felt like our place. It didn’t feel like just any other venue and was something we both constantly are still starry-eyed talking about. The love we both have for our dream wedding venue compliments our love for each other so well, and the feeling we both got there together was something made of magic.
I’m not sure it’s even possible to pick my favorite part of the venue itself, but if I did it would probably be between our surprise for the guests or the breathtaking staircase and all the picture opportunities.
Flora Bloom Photography
Richy: Favorite Part of the Venue… hmmm tough question for sure. For me would have to be seeing my soulmate glow up and be all child-like imagining walking down that aisle and saying “I DO!” to the person we both can’t live without.
You can’t paint that smile on paper. I mean Gents am I right “HAPPY WIFE HAPPY LIFE”! If yall still here with me reading this and end up booking or have already got married in this magical place, please let us know your experience and what y’all fell in love with.
Flora Bloom Photography
Why we picked this Central Florida wedding venue!
Becky: It was our dream wedding venue! We struggled some with the opinions of our parents and the price, making sure to stick to the budget. Ultimately, the overwhelming feeling of joy and love that we got from being at Howey with the charm of the venue overshadowed anything negative anyone could say.
While we definitely could have picked one of the 7 (I think) venues we visited, none of them would ever have compared to our once in a lifetime wedding fairytale at Howey.
Richy: I believe it was the all-around charm and vintage feeling you get when you are at this amazing venue along with the number of photo options this one place has to offer. It was by far the best out of all the venues we visited. We had the chance to visit some extremely nice venues from all price ranges.
The Howey Mansion is definitely a dream wedding venue and for the price range. You really are getting your money’s worth!
Michael Freas Photography
How we decided for sure to choose our venue, The Howey Mansion.
Becky: After we fell in love with it, we both agreed we absolutely had to show our parents before we officially picked it. We did have some second thoughts, it’s easy to get swept up in the beauty of something and suddenly forget you need to purchase other things with that money, not JUST the venue. At the end of the day, we felt the same way about it after thinking it over, trying Arthur’s catering, and looking over the budget.
Richy: A couple of things went into factor. Number 1 is having another tour with our parents and showing them the place we fell in love with and hopefully hearing the same response back. Second, the food tasting of course. Arthurs is known for their food and with the pretty penny that the cost per plate is, we had to try it out. We went with our parents to the food tasting and everyone left with a full stomach and a happy heart.
Cricket’s Photo & Cinema
How the process of booking our dream wedding venue went.
Becky: Booking the venue was SO simple. We asked Lori for a few different versions of the price quotes as we narrowed down exactly which package and anything additional we were considering.
She sent us the final quote (number 4) for our exact needs and then we were able to see the contract a few days before we were planning to book it. The online contract was so simple and making the first deposit was also really easy. Now everything is all set and our date is saved reserved for our special day.
Flora Bloom Photography
Richy: The process was simple. Lori was very helpful in creating the perfect package for us and catering to our needs and helped us with a sweet surprise. Can’t wait to show our guest. My dad told us that a weekend would be 1000 times better for our guests instead of Thursday like we originally planned.
And from there we picked our forever and ever date (1-23-2022). Nothing in particular other than the two gods of the NBA number is 23 ( Lebron and Jordan) not like we watch sports and 1-23=22 hahaha. The booking was done online with a deposit to hold the date and now we are all set till 30 days before our big day.
Flora Bloom Photography
What challenges did we face?
Becky: When we fell in love with The Howey Mansion, we fell HARD. So when we took our parents and they were less than excited about it, maybe negative is the word I would use, it was hard to get through the rest of the tour. Both of us felt like we had our hearts broken and had no idea what to do from there.
At the end of the day, we just talked to both sides of the parents and were able to see their concerns and mediate some of the problems. However, I’ll let any parent of an engaged couple, who’s reading this know, there is NO perfect venue. Other than that, there were next to no challenges aside from finding times to visit that matched both of our schedules.
Richy: So like I mentioned, we were hoping our parents had the same reaction and would love the venue. Let’s just say for lack of better words, my parents weren’t as thrilled as Becky and I were. Becky’s mom had her doubts but she sent me a sweet text giving us her blessing on the venue.
We definitely felt like Muhammad Ali gut checked us when we left the venue that day. But after some long talk with my parents and finding some possible solutions to everyone’s concerns (with the help of our wedding planner, Anna Christine Events) they gave me their blessing.
Kristen Weaver Photography
What comes next after you’ve booked your wedding venue?
Becky: Now, on to ALLLLL the other things and searching for more incredible vendors to help make our day come alive at our dream wedding venue.
Richy: SO NOW? The show goes on! And it’s time to book the other million vendors with my hard-headed partner, although, I’m more stubborn than she is.
Kim Rogers February 26, 2021
Very well written and from one of the concerned parents I think it will be just beautiful for their special day. No matter the weather we have a plan for that with help from many on this venue.
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