SITE: Ceresville Mansion
ADDRESS: 8529 Liberty Road, Frederick, MD 21701
WEB SITE: www.ceresville.com
VISUALS & HISTORY: The 9,000-square-foot Ceresville Mansion, built in 1888, sits on 26 acres in western Maryland. The mansion is a popular venue for wedding ceremonies and business dinners; the site's 10-acre riverside meadow is often requested for company picnics and outdoor receptions of up to 400 guests.
EVENT AREAS: The 2,000-square-foot ballroom, which overlooks the site's Victorian gardens, can accommodate 225 for receptions. The adjacent terrace — which is surrounded by foliage for eight months of the year, creating an outdoor walled room — can seat 200 guests theater-style. The two parlor rooms can each accommodate 25 guests for intimate events.
OLD & NEW: Original decor details include chandeliers, mirrors, gaslight lamps, servant buzzers and woodworking. The modern ballroom, added to the house in 1989, is completely air-conditioned, making it an ideal setting for summer events.
“One of the trends that I have seen in the past year is alternative wedding days and times. Brides are definitely more flexible with dates and times, and often seek alternatives [to Saturdays] if they are on a budget.”
— Jennifer Meisner, director of sales
SITE: Flint Hill
ADDRESS: 539 S. Peachtree St., Norcross, GA 30071
WEB SITE: www.flinthill.com
VISUALS & HISTORY: The antebellum mansion sits on three oak tree-covered acres 20 miles north of Atlanta. Rental of the property includes both the house and grounds, allowing event guests exclusive access to the site.
EVENT AREAS: The 6,400-square-foot house includes the 3,200-square-foot ballroom, which was added in 1993. The space can accommodate 350 for receptions and 200 for seated events; tenting outdoor areas is also possible to create covered space for up to 1,000 guests. A landscaped terrace with a gazebo in the back garden seats 300 guests for wedding ceremonies.
OLD & NEW: The home retains design elements such as pine floors, mantles and “haint blue” paint — used by 19th-century occupants as protection against evil spirits — on the ceiling of one room. A commercial kitchen in the carriage house next to the mansion provides modern catering capabilities.
“Because of the size of Flint Hill, we have been able to expand the venue with the addition of outside garden rooms and a large area for guest parking. To take advantage of the warm southern weather, we have maximized the use of the gardens through extensive outdoor lighting.”
— Kendall Collier, CSEP, co-owner
SITE: Dunsmuir Historic Estate
ADDRESS: 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland, CA 94605
WEB SITE: www.dunsmuir.org
VISUALS & HISTORY: Built in 1899 as a wedding gift from original owner Alexander Dunsmuir to his bride, the 16,200-square-foot, 37-room mansion includes 50 acres of landscaped gardens and is a popular setting for weddings, corporate retreats and company picnics.
EVENT AREAS: Spaces include the 200-reception-capacity Carriage House; the oak-paneled, 300-capacity Garden Pavilion, which has an adjacent terrace that can seat 100 guests; and two outdoor areas, the 500-capacity South Pond & Gazebo and the 300-capacity Meadow.
OLD & NEW: The main house, which features 10 fireplaces, a Tiffany-style glass dome above the main staircase and inlaid parquet floors, is furnished with period pieces; the modernized Pavilion is fitted with a prep kitchen.
“With its indoor and outdoor capabilities, Dunsmuir Estate is private and larger than most event facilities in the Oakland [Calif.] area. With some creativity and imagination, it can take on any theme you have in mind, providing a versatile setting for a wide range of special events.”
— Roselyn Mathews, sales & booking manager