Reception Spaces that Rock

 Reception Spaces that Rock

The Miami Valley offers a plethora of unique wedding reception facilities

Eric Spangler

If you’ve been dreaming about a unique venue for a wedding reception there are plenty of facilities in the Miami Valley that can fulfill that requirement.

How unique? Well, the event space available through Dayton History is out of this world. “We have that historical aspect that makes our venue completely unique and unlike any other facility visually or historically in the Dayton area—or anywhere else in the world, really,” says Lauryn Bayliff, director of community development with Dayton History.

Dayton History’s most popular wedding venue is the James F. Dicke Family Transportation Center at Carillon Historical Park, she says. Not only is it a popular spot for outdoor wedding ceremonies conducted on the nearby Morrison Bridge, which was originally built around 1881, but it includes an outdoor patio and room for about 120 people inside the Transportation Center, says Bayliff.

Inside the Transportation Center guests can walk around a 19th century parlor rail car, the 1835 B&O #1, John Quincy Adams—the oldest existing American-built locomotive—a summer trolley, an authentic Conestoga wagon and many other historic transportation artifacts, she says.

Rental of the Carillon Park site also includes a rental coordinator to make sure everything runs smoothly and according to plan, says Bayliff. Alcohol can be included as part of the rental agreement and there’s also an option to have Carillon Brewing Co., located on-site, serve its beer as part of the wedding bar, she says.

In addition to the Carillon Park sites, Bayliff says Dayton History also operates other historic sites throughout Dayton where couples can conduct their ceremonies and host receptions. “We have the Old Courthouse downtown and Memorial Hall and Patterson homestead, so those are three other venues where we facilitate special events,” she says.

The largest venue is Memorial Hall, where receptions can accommodate up to 225 people, Bayliff says.

If more space is needed for larger reception parties Bayliff says Dayton History is currently constructing the Heritage Center of Regional Leadership, which will connect the Carillon Brewing Co. restaurant and the Kettering Family Education Center at the gateway to the historical park, she says.

The new facility, expected to be completed in the second half of 2019, will include meeting spaces, classrooms, an exhibit gallery, terrace area and a reception gallery that will accommodate more than 500 people for a wedding reception, she says.

In addition, the new facility will also be suitable for parties of 200 to 300 people based on the layout and design, Bayliff says. 

Another unique venue in the Miami Valley that can accommodate 200 to 300 people is Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway, says Bimini Turner, assistant manager of food and beverage.

“We have a racetrack and kind of in our basement/lower area we have a large open area that opens out to the racetrack where we host large events,” says Turner. The facility can comfortably accommodate about 250 people, she says. The space for large receptions, however, is only available during the racing off-season.

And if partying after midnight sounds like a good time then Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway is the place to host a wedding reception. “(At) most wedding reception venues the party’s over at midnight,” says Turner. “We are open 24 hours, our bars are open late, the party can continue all night long,” she says. “And we have our own built-in cleaning crew and security.”

In addition, Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway offers full-service catering options including breakfast and theme buffets, food stations and full bars, says Turner. The facility also offers audiovisual packages with boom microphones, projectors, screens, audio mixers, laptops and more.

If it’s books that couples are looking to surround themselves and their guests with during their wedding reception then the Dayton Metro Library’s Main Library in downtown Dayton has just what they’re seeking.

Diane Farrell, director of external relations and development with Dayton Metro Library, says, “For the bride and groom who are looking for a unique venue the library offers not only an amazing array of unique spaces with unparalleled ambience, but also makes a statement about the couple—they are starting their journey rooted in the continuous quest for information and understanding, vision, imagination and a desire to write their own story.”

The Main Library offers wedding parties sweeping views of downtown and Cooper Park with plentiful natural light, says Farrell. With more than 120,000 square feet of space the Main Library boasts a variety of spaces to accommodate intimate settings as well as large-scale events, she says.

The largest space for a sit-down dinner can accommodate up to 300 people in one room; for stations and reception-style events the Main Library can accommodate up to 500 people on a single floor, or more than 1,500 people if multiple floors are used, says Farrell. Its smaller rooms provide a nice setting for functions with 30, 50, 75 and 125 guests, she says. 

Amenities at the Main Library include beautiful original art, a grand staircase perfect for memorable “entrances” and plenty of space for dancing, says Farrell. Other amenities include an underground parking garage, state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, a grand piano, a performance stage and the ability to conduct ceremonies and receptions in the same building with completely different settings, she says.

The Dayton Metro Library works with Elite Catering as its exclusive wedding caterer and a small catering kitchen is available, but most food is prepared off-site, Farrell says.

The Main Library’s event spaces are conducive for traditional buffet service, stations or sit-down meals depending on the number of guests and rooms selected, as well as the time of day, she says.

No matter what type of venue you’ve been dreaming about it’s more than likely located right here in the Miami Valley.