Subject:  Greater Wilmington As A Popular Site for Non-Church Wedding
Submitted by:  Lyn Lewis, Director of Communications, Greater Wilmington CVB
                 , (302) 295-2212
Date:  January 31, 2011

The Greater Wilmington, Delaware Area is a popular site for non-church weddings. Unique facilities with panoramic views, a wealth of historic sites, world-class gardens, elegant mansions and museums add to the area's appeal.

Angela Kaiser and Emily Ferris, wedding planners at Deerfield Golf & Tennis Club, recognize that brides-to-be want to make their wedding day special.  According to Kaiser and Ferris, a decision to stage the wedding ceremony and reception in the same location is quickly becoming the norm.  The elegant, glass-enclosed banquet and conference center on the Deerfield property is an ideal choice for single-site weddings and receptions. Originally built by the DuPont Company and operated as the Louviers Country Club and later sold to MBNA, Deerfield was purchased by the State of Delaware in 2005 and is now open to the general public and managed by Forewinds Hospitality.

Other trends include week-day weddings, over-the-top entrances by the bride and groom, enhanced reception room décor with colored linens, chair covers and lighting, signature cocktails and food stations.  Wedding receptions are more informal today.  Kaiser and Ferris say  "...the events can still be large, but the emphasis is on creating a casual environment where guests can celebrate with the bride and groom without excessive structure."

Bellevue Hall is another popular choice for both indoor and outdoor weddings.  This stately mansion which was the home of Willy du Pont, great grandson of  E. I. du Pont, founder of the DuPont Company,  is located in Bellevue State Park just outside Wilmington's city limits.  Nearby is the Carriage House in Rockwood Mansion State Park.  Restored and newly expanded, its Shipley Room seats 225 guests and the adjacent Walled Garden is perfect for outdoor ceremonies.  Another option for tented weddings is Historic Odessa.  Located just 30 minutes south of Wilmington, this tiny enclave with tree-lined streets has remained untouched by time and features some of the finest examples of the country's eighteenth- and nineteenth-century architecture.  Five of the town's finest properties are operated by the Historic Odessa Foundation and known collectively as the Historic Houses of Odessa.  Their grounds are another wonderful option for outdoor ceremonies and gatherings.

For a truly unique experience, celebrate your wedding in the presence of 150-year-old dinosaurs at the Delaware Museum of Natural History which received Wedding Wire's 2010 Brides' Choice Award.  The Delaware Museum of Contemporary Arts in Wilmington's revitalized Riverfront has a special attraction for art enthusiasts, as does the Delaware Art Museum.

One Wilmingtonian recently got married on the stage at Theatre N and then invited one hundred guests to accompany her to the Delaware Theatre Company's Wine Feast and Auction Event at the Hotel du Pont in lieu of a formal reception.

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