Wedding Venues in Jacksonville, FL
Formerly home to one of Jacksonville’s most prominent families, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is a longtime favorite for area brides. The Cummers were from a long line of Michigan lumber barons and had several adjacent homes on what is now Riverside Avenue, once called “the Row” for its line of 50 riverfront mansions. Surrounding the Cummer mansions were Ninah Cummer’s exquisite, multi-tier gardens designed by the top, world renowned horticulturists and landscape artists of the day. Though the Cummer offers several auditorium, gallery and loggia options, Jacksonville’s near-year-round warm climate makes the gardens multi-tier gardens very popular. Top choice: The Italian Gardens created in 1931 an inspired by Ninah Cummer’s trip to Italy.
For the bride with a wild side, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens promises a wedding that guests will talk about for years. The open-air Shaba Terrace with a thatched roof, climate control, lighting and sound system make for a great reception dining and dancing spot. The Gardens at Trout River Plaza with 13 Grecian columns and a view of the Trout River is an elegant outdoor option. But the hands-down favorite is the Range of the Jaguar with a replica Mayan stone temple, three-tiered water fountain and a large stage. De facto wedding guests include jaguars, howler monkeys and giant anteaters left on display during events. And all guests get unlimited rides atop beautiful, hand-painted zoo animals on the Wildlife Carousel.
The royal palace of Seville, Spain inspired the design of this Spanish Renaissance Revival chapel built in 1888 by legendary oil tycoon and railroad magnate Henry Flagler. It’s built into the walls of St. Augustine’s Lightner Building (formerly the luxe Alcacar Hotel) and its visual centerpiece is an elaborate 12-foot stained glass window. Guests enter the chapel via castle-like iron gates that lead into a series of foyers and passageways covered by 18-foot arched ceilings with antique lighting, then into a lush tropical garden and spring-fed koi pond. Amore is a one-stop-shop with certified wedding consultants and a staff of ordained ministers.
Brides opting for a down-home kind of celebration will love the Keeler Property, a 40-acre farm located on Jacksonville’s rural Westside. The rustic covered bridge measuring 100 feet long and 26 feet wide brings to mind romantic scenes from Clint Eastwood’s 1995 Bridges of Madison County and is one of the area’s most unique settings for an intimate wedding ceremony. Owner Scott Keeler built the bridge by hand using rough-cut logs set in clay – just the way they did centuries ago. After your ceremony, the property’s spacious barn offers plenty of room for a rambunctious good time of dining and do-si-do’ing. And a spring-fed pond, open fields and wooded areas offer lots of beautiful photo options.
Established in 1928 as a playground for the nation’s wealthy elite, the Ribault Club has hosted decades of decadent soirees for foreign dignitaries, captains of industry and society mavens. It’s named for Jean Ribalut, a 16th century French naval officer and navigator who claimed this corner of the New World for France in 1562. And during the latter part of the Roaring ‘20s, it served as an exclusive resort for the likes of the Rockefellers, the Astors and the Carnegies. Twelve-foot ceilings, French doors, fluted pilasters and the original Terrazzo floors make for an elegant wedding locale. Outdoor weddings beneath centuries-old oak trees also are popular.