Facility Rental: Behind the Scenes

Scroll down the homepage on Pinterest or scan the magazines on display at the grocery store and you’re sure to see countless photographs of weddings gracing the pages—beautiful collections of flower arrangements and food displays alongside gaggles of giggling bridesmaids and stoic groomsmen. The wedding industry is expansive and wildly popular—there are countless blogs and websites dedicated to all things bridal, while hundreds of websites are dedicated to selling and sharing the latest wedding “it” items and ideas. Most people see the “after”—the event, live and in person, or the photographs that capture every happy, shining moment from that day. But few people see what goes into the making of a wedding—the “before”—and as an event venue, we are in the unique position of seeing everything come together on the big day.    


Lindsey Lissau Photography     

We start and end with the nitty-gritty details. We wipe down windows, spot clean carpets, scrub toilets, and mop kitchen floors. Outside, grass needs to be mowed, patio spaces need to be blown off, and flowers and trees need to look their best. Once we’re satisfied with the look of the space and the gardens around it, it’s time to set up tables (and sometimes chairs too). Big rentals, like a tent, go in early, while the things that go under the tent and inside are delivered on the day of the wedding. Typically rentals, including linens and furniture, go in first—chairs surround tables, linens add a pop of color and texture, and extra furniture is slipped in between our own pieces to fill the space.  

Morgan Trinker Photography   

Watching the florists work is one of my favorite parts—carts full of flower arrangements get rolled in and often, the floral team members are up on ladders, piecing together hanging floral centerpieces or stringing up twinkly lights.     

 Ramblin' Rose Photography   

Once the band or DJ arrives to set up, you can hear tapping drums and scattered streams of music across the property while they work to make sure everything is in tune and at the right volume. When the caterers arrive, you know it’s close to go-time: they take plain, linen-decked tables and add colorful displays of fruit and vegetables, steaming trays of pastas and meats, and other tasty dishes. The cake, often bedecked in flowers and taking center stage in the room, is usually one of the last things to get placed. By the time guests arrive, candles are lit, the bars are stocked, and everything is picture perfect.   

 Smash Studios Photography   

Weekend after weekend, our Hughes Pavilion is transformed from a beautiful, but empty, brick building—simply a location—to a stunning wedding destination. Lush flowers, fragrant food, happy people, and foot-tapping tunes fill the space for a single, glorious evening, and after it’s over, our small team and the vendors move back in to dismantle it, working late into the night to get it ready for the next group to make it perfect for their own special day.

- Sarah Schiavoni, Rental Coordinator, sschiavoni@dixon.org

Posted by Chantal Drake at 2:53 PM
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