I can not even begin to tell you how many brides of mine have told me the hardest part of wedding planning was picking a venue. Between finding a venue that fits your dream but is within budget, combed with catering options, guest count fitting the space, and making sure it is located perfectly rather it needs to be close to a ceremony site, or accessible of out of town guests, finding a venue that is perfect for you can be insanely stressful. It is something I can easily help you with because being a wedding photographer has me in the middle of so many venues, and in a position where I hear the bad and the good of every venue. So I am here to help you because like I said, I have been in quite a few venues and have a little bit of the inside scoop. Plus anything I can do to help minimize your stress, I am down for. Let's dive in!
I will however say this doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of venues, or venues I have even shot at. This is a good starting place for you, and if you cant find something in this list that is exactly what you want, keep searching. There is literally thousands of venues, and a ton I have never heard of, so keep searching away!
This venue is brand new, and by brand new I mean it just opened this year. It is a little bit outside of Fort Wayne, located in Columbia City, but definitely worth the 20ish minute drive. Everyone is flocking to this venue, literally, so if you want to get married on a Saturday in 2019 this is not the venue for you. Literally nearly every Saturday in 2019 is booked, as well as a good chunk of Friday's in prime season. However Sunday weddings are still the bomb, so be sure to check this venue out if you are open to the idea of a Sunday wedding, or don't mind waiting till 2020.
The reason I love this venue is because it is a barn, but has a high class feel to it. It is not your typical red barn, in fact it is white. Between the clean lines and the white walls this venue is the perfect blank slate for you to create the wedding of your dreams. It also hosts an option for indoor and outdoor ceremonies, as well as receptions, and a ton of gorgeous land for photos. Seriously the land is a photographer's dream, so your photographer will thank you for booking this venue. This venue also has the prettiest bridal suite ever, seriously I wish other venue's had a bridal like this and gives you the option to bring in your own catering which I know a lot of people love.
I'm going to be honest, I may be single but I definitely have venues that I walk into and think I could totally get married here. Then I go home and add it to my list, this is one of those venues. I love Pine Valley for so many reasons. This venue hosts an array of options for your wedding, both indoors and outdoors, with multiple rooms to chose from for your reception space, and let me tell you they are all gorgeous. I have only shot here in February, but I have seen so many outdoor wedding set ups at this venue that are to die for. If you are looking for a venue with ample options for photos and for spaces to have your exception and ceremony this is the one for you.
The main reason I love this venue, besides the fact that it has so many options, which I do totally love, is the fact that the grounds are gorgeous and the food is so yummy! But besides the food, let's focus on the grounds. This venue offers several indoor spaces for your ceremony an/or reception but also several spaces for photos which you will get a good idea of you creep on Taylor and Ryan below. There is a gorgeous staircase that is perfect for photos, especially if you want to feel like a total princess. There is a gorgeous porch overlooking the golf course, as well as a patio that is level with the golf course that is gorgeous. This is another venue that your photographer will thank you for choosing. The venue also offers a ton of natural light for their indoor reception spaces which I love because it makes the rooms feel so much bigger and brighter, they also offer getting ready spaces for both the guys and girls that are ample in size, as well as they lock up the rooms you get ready in so you can keep everything there and not have to worry about shoving it in your car. All in all this is one of my favorite venues in Fort Wayne.
I did not have the pleasure of shooting at this venue in 2018, but I will be in 2019, and have shot here in the past and it is still hands down one of my favorite venues in the area. Although located outside of Fort Wayne, it is an easy 45 minute drive that is SO dang worth it because this venue offers it all. Not only is the indoor space gorgeous, I am talking huge valted ceilings with massive crystal chandeliers, and all dark wood, the outdoor space is equally incredible, and offers so many options for your ceremony and photos.
The main reason I love this venue is because of the ample outdoor options for photos. This venue sits on a ton of land which offers 5 different barns to shoot in front of or near, an apple orchard, some gorgeous fields, and sits next to an abandoned retreat center, which has been well maintained and offers more of an urban vibe for photos if that is the direction you want to go. Truly one of my favorite venues to shoot at due to the ample options of shooting space and ceremony spaces. I also love that this venue offers getting ready spaces for both the brides and grooms, and sits in a way that gorgeous sunset photos are super possible and a must. All around this venue has some amazing features and I always look forward to shooting there.
This is a venue I have actually never shot at, but it is a brand new venue, and by brand new I mean it literally opened this fall. Therefore a good chunk of people have never heard of it, so here I am making you aware of a new venue. It is located a little bit outside of Fort Wayne in Decatur, but it is sooooo worth the drive. The second I saw photos of this venue I was in love and knew it was exactly what I was looking for when it came to a venue I wanted to get married in, so it is at the top of my list. But it is also at the top of my list for venues I want to shoot at because it is to die for. It is more of an urban, industrial venue, but is is so gorgeous and I am dying to shoot there. So if you know someone, or if you are looking to get married there be sure to reach out because I am offering a discount for the couple who makes shooting at this venue a reality.
This is another venue I have actually never shot at, but I follow on Instagram and I am in love! This venue is outside of Fort Wayne, but definitely worth the drive if looking for a more urban venue with an industrial vibe. I am totally dying to shoot there. One of my good friend's got married there and I was unable to attend and I was so bummed. However I spent a lot of time looking at their photos and know that the options for photos there are ample and incredible. So if you know someone, or if you are looking to get married there be sure to reach out because I am offering a discount for the couple who makes shooting at this venue a reality!
This is a venue I have never actually shot at but attended multiple weddings at, hence why it is on my list. This is another more urban venue, with a brick building offering white marble floors and white walls, which makes it a blank space when it comes to decorating. However due to the fact this venue only offers one room it is definitely more ideal for couples looking for a reception space only. However the space features a vaulted ceiling making the venue feel 10x bigger then it actually is. It also offers getting ready spaces if needed, and is right in the heart of downtown. Therefore if you are getting married at one of the gorgeous churches in Downtown Fort Wayne, this would be a perfect venue for you.
This venue being located in downtown is a major plus on my list. Because of its convenient location you have ample options for photo locations. Right down the street is Lincoln Financial, Botanical Gardens if you want nature, a few pretty amazing mural walls, and awesome parking garages which could give you those dreamy rooftop photos for sunset. All in all this venue has a lot of perks and its location is the best of them.
Ceruti's is a pretty big company in Fort Wayne that offers 5 great venues with a rumor of a sixth in the making. I have had the pleasure of shooting at three but my favorite by far is Ceruti's Innovation Park. Located right off of Lima Road, minutes from hotels which is perfect for out of town guests. Ceruti's offers two indoor options for receptions and ceremonies as well as an outdoor space as well. Not only do I love the options, but I also love the food at this venue.
Besides the fact that you have options for your reception and ceremony you also have ample options for photos. In the wedding attached below you are going to get a glance at 3. Due to the fact that Katie and Bobby had rain on their wedding day we didn't really get a chance to venture into more of the nature areas because they were totally soaked. Plus it rained a good majority of the time we were doing photos, so we definitely utilized the overhang, as well as the courtyard while it wasn't raining. We also used a little bit of the nature for a few sunset photos, but we didn't scratch the surface. Like I said I also love the food at this venue, it is totally yummy. Seriously my second shooter and I always get excited when we are having Ceruti's food. They also offer space for both the guys and girls to get ready in. One of my favorite things about the venue is the fact that the space has these massive windows providing a ton of natural light, which I love. I hate reception halls with no windows because they always feel so stuffy. But between the giant windows and the valuted ceilings this venue feels so open and ample in size.
If you are looking for a unique venue this is the one for you. Hileman's Round Barn is as the name says, a round barn. Located just an hour outside of Fort Wayne in Silver Lake this barn is definitely unique and something you won't see anywhere else, mainly because well it is round. Definitely not like any barn you will see else where. It hosts two options for indoor reception space, as well as ample spaces outside for your ceremony or reception as well. I do have to say the land it is sitting on is gorgeous as well and offers many great spaces for photos.
Besides the fact that the barn is round, there is also a very unique floor plan should you chose to have your reception on the main floor. The main floor is round, so your guests will sit in a giant circle. It is a venue made if you want to do a lot of decor and have a vast amount of seating space for your guests. If you are looking for a more open space the upstairs is available for that. The only downfall is this venue is a typical barn venue meaning no indoor plumbing, and it does not host a place to get ready. But Wabash and Warsaw are within 15 minutes and both host historic hotels for you that you could use to get ready which is what my couple did. This venue also offers a lot of land making it perfect for a lantern send off, and a ton of options for photo backgrounds!
If you are looking for a perfect half way point between Fort Wayne and Indianapolis that has a gorgeous venue, look no further. Muncie's Elk's Country Club is a quaint little country club located on the outskirts of Muncie. Given the name once can assume it is on a golf course meaning your guests will have gorgeous views, and you will have ample options for your ceremony, as well as the option for outdoor space for your guests to enjoy during your reception.
As a photographer for me to like the venue, the venue must have ample outdoor space for photos and a variety of options. Elk's Country Club hit that right on the head. Obviously there are 18 holes of golf awaiting meaning a ton of beautifully cared for land that includes a ton of gorgeous old trees, lots of places that are perfect for walking shots and fitting a large bridal party, and some cute little bridges perfect for photos. This venue is a favorite based on just the outdoor space, and once you see Myriah and Brandon's blog post, you will see what I mean. The land is totally gorgeous! I also love the fact that this space provides an outdoor porch right off the reception site, so your guests can mingle inside and out and enjoy the views.
Last but not least another fantastic downtown venue in Fort Wayne. This venue is an old theater turned into a venue, providing the perfect mix of vintage and urban vibe in a great location! This venue is located just minutes from Headwaters, and every downtown mural, brick wall, ally way, or basically any backdrop your heart could desire, which is why I love this venue. It is also close to a ton of churches, and within 15 minutes of ample parks if you are looking for a more nature setting for your ceremony or photos. Plus they still have the big light up theater sign out front which you can have customized to include your names and weddings dates making it a must for photos.
I love this venue because of its location, but I also love the fact that this venue feels cozy and welcoming. While this venue is ideal for smaller weddings, it makes it so your guests are all close and within reach instead of being a venue that spaces your guests insanely fall apart. This venue is a really great one for conversation and mingling. It also offers an upstairs for more space, and a built in bar that is really cool. Overall I think this venue is a fun one, and it also offers an outdoor space for your guests who need to get a breath of fresh air, or just want a break from the music.