The first time that Marta and I went to photograph a wedding at Mission Inn, we accidentally ended up in front of the Howey Mansion. Bewildered and lost, we called the coordinator after a few minutes. In that short period of time, the mansion stole my heart. There was this eerie and romantic vibe, all at the same time.
I didn’t really know too much about the history of the Howey Mansion and the family, but I was always curious as to why that place wasn’t a wedding venue. Fast forward five years and that’s exactly what was happening.
The Howey Mansion
I feel like the Howey Mansion is simply a place you have to go to and see in person. The photos simply don’t do it justice. As you walk around the property, you can feel the time that the mansion has experienced. The walls exude vintage, class, and elegance. As I was given the tour throughout the venue, I saw how the tall, open windows allowed light to pour into the all of its rooms.
The restoration, at the time of my visit, was around 90-95% done, so the property was almost to where it needed to be in order to host events and tours.
The Howey Mansion as a Wedding Venue
Wedding photographers see things differently than most. We look at light and notice angles. Marta and I are always looking for ways to construct and compose an image. We’re always trying to layer images so that they can allow the grandeur of the couple’s surroundings.
From a wedding planners perspective, I’m sure that this place is a blank canvas that can be made into anything that you’d want as far as decor and theme for your wedding.
Like I said, the light that comes in allows for a lot of versatility. With that, we can kind of escape from the craziness of the wedding day and take portraits in a more relaxed atmosphere. Heck, you can take a few minutes just to be together and collect yourself.
Getting Ready Locations for the Bride and Groom
Both the Bride and Groom have their own respective locations to get ready. Once you walk in through the front door, you’ll see the winding staircase. After you walk up, to the left is the Bride’s Room and to the right is the Groom’s Room. The Bride’s room has a little tiny bit less light than the Groom’s room, but that’s kind of to keep her hidden away. This makes it very easy for planning things before the wedding ceremony. The Howey Mansion is easily one of the best places to have everything in one location.
The beautiful part of the Howey Mansion in regard to the way it handles wedding ceremonies is the versatility of the venue. Depending on the size of the wedding, you could have a ceremony in the front yard, the backyard, or in the ballroom. The rainy day backup for the Howey Mansion is just as good as the main ceremony site.
With the ceremony in the front of the mansion, you virtually have unlimited space. If the ceremony and reception are going to be in the backyard, then the vendor team can flip it so that it’s prepared and ready for the reception during the cocktail hour. That being said, you want to make sure that you have a tent backup, just in case it rains.
Depending on the size of the wedding, you can have the reception both indoors and outdoors. Most couples would probably want the wedding reception to be outdoors. The light that comes in during the afternoon in the Howey Mansion’s backyard is to die for. It’s so elegant and perfect.
Just keep in mind that if the wedding ceremony is going to happen in the backyard, then you want to make sure that you have enough time to flip the space for the reception. Making sure that your wedding ceremony is at the right time is key here. It can make or break your wedding photos.
My Thoughts on the Venue Itself
So… What do I think of this place as a wedding venue? I freaking love it. It has a potential that is truly untapped. The Howey Mansion is a wedding venue that somewhat remains a hidden gem in an oversaturated wedding venue market. Looking at the surrounding areas and what is in Central Florida, this venue stands out on its own. I’d love to work there more in the future.
A level of elegance, luxury, and history that should make any wedding stand out above the rest in Orlando and the surrounding areas. Just look at the photos!