Going to the chapel and we’re going to get married…
Well, maybe not the chapel; it’s actually a warehouse in Downtown Phoenix, but that works, too! Nowadays the traditional church wedding followed by a reception seems to be a thing of the past. The all-in-one ceremony/reception is becoming increasingly popular, and Downtown Phoenix is clearly adding its own twist with locations certain to set your big day apart from anything else you’ll find in the Valley.
“We are anything but generic,” says Riëtte Pretorius, a private event coordinator in Downtown Phoenix. “I have had quite a few people in the industry actually choose my venues because they are looking for something different and unique.”
While these venues are located within close proximity to one another and offer similar event options, they all provide a different atmosphere.
The Icehouse began its operations in 1910 as, ironically enough, an icehouse. In 1990, the building transformed into a center for exhibits, housing new and unique art forms. Today, along with plenty of other uses, the Icehouse converts into an ideal location for a wedding, reception or both. The steel beams and barren walls can be garnished in white fabric and gorgeous flowers, transforming a blank canvas into a fairytale, facilitating up to 300 guests.
“Many people don’t realize the magic that can be created in the Icehouse; you just have to have some creativity,” says MaryAnn Ortiz-Lieb, a wedding coordinator who has worked in the Valley for over 20 years.
With the same ease the Icehouse undergoes a transformation to the modern, the industrial gallery space know as monOrchid can effortlessly become an ideal wedding site. Accommodating everything from large receptions to intimate sit-down dinners, monOrchid offers stunning décor with a warm industrial feel. Of course, like other venues, monOrchid serves several purposes, hosting musical performances, photo and film shoots and even fashion shows. The space is so versatile, whether you’re looking for a clean minimalist feel or a warm and colorful décor.
Bentley Projects, as versatile as monOrchid, is also among the different and architecturally diverse venues in the Warehouse District. The space originally housed a commercial linen laundry company dating back to 1918, and it still recalls a time when this neighborhood was a bustling commercial hub of produce, ice and textile warehouse spaces. Original brickwork and exposed wooden beams are just some of the distinct architectural details.
On a more consistent basis, Bentley Projects serves as a gallery featuring contemporary artists, most which are viewable by appointment only. Combine that with the stunning architecture of the 13,000-square-foot warehouse and the possibilities are endless.
Those who have planned an event as elaborate as a wedding or are in the midst of it know that there is more than just the venue to take into consideration. One must think of room accommodations for their guests, flowers, food and more. But, in Downtown Phoenix, those concerns are put to rest by top-of-the-line hotels, critically acclaimed food options and countless vendors. To simplify your search, Pretorius has consolidated a list of vendors at downtownphoenixvenues.com ready to assist your ceremony in becoming an urban night to remember. To tour any of these venues and others, contact information is also listed on the website.
“Why do the same as everyone else?” Ortiz-Lieb asks. “I love different, and different is definitely in Downtown Phoenix.”
Bentley Projects is located at 215 E. Grant St. in the Warehouse District.
The Icehouse is located at 429 W. Jackson St. in the Warehouse District.
monOrchid is located at 214 E. Roosevelt St. in Evans Churchill.