A mecca for world-class cultural, health care and educational institutions, University Circle is known as the cultural center of Cleveland. Making up less than one square-mile, this unique neighborhood is home to renowned museums such as the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Western Reserve Historical Society. Case Western Reserve University, consistently ranked one of the top colleges in the country, is located within University Circle. Beyond the rich cultural experience, visitors enjoy diverse restaurants, charming coffee shops and beautiful green space, notably Wade Oval.

Perhaps you met your fiancé at Case Western Reserve or you went on your first date at one of the museums. No matter your story, University Circle is the perfect setting to begin a new chapter of your life as husband and wife. Whether your dream is to get married in a historic mansion, a grand concert hall or a museum surrounded by ancient artifacts, University Circle has endless options for traditional and nontraditional wedding ceremonies and receptions. 

Glidden House
Built in 1910, the historic Glidden House mansion has transformed into Cleveland’s only boutique hotel. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the French chateau-style mansion offers an intimate setting for special events, notably weddings. A majority of ceremonies are held on the grounds of the property with the Glidden House serving as a beautiful backdrop. The outdoor space is reminiscent of a park setting with lush landscaping, patches of ivy and mature trees. 

If guests prefer an indoor option or if the weather is inclement, weddings of up to 150 guests can be held in an elegant tent on the courtyard. Following a ceremony, guests are escorted inside the hotel for cocktail hour in one of the opulent rooms. For example, the Parlor is a warm space with a fireplace, wood paneling and hand-painted ceiling beams. During cocktail hour, the tented patio is transformed into a beautiful reception space. “Wedding parties are able to use the entire venue, both indoors and outdoors, for the evening,” says Leary Ledbetter, Director of Catering & Special Events at the Glidden House. “You truly have the best of both worlds.”

Wedding guests can stay in the hotel’s 60 rooms, including eight suites that are located in the original mansion where the Glidden family once lived in the early 1900s. The bride and groom receive a complimentary bridal suite for renting the venue. Special items are available upon request such as chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne. Room accommodations include a complimentary European-style buffet with hot and cold entrees, delicious pastries from a local bakery, fresh fruit, and more. “The Glidden House offers an intimate, cozy setting where the bride and groom can truly feel at home,” Ledbetter says. “Our goal is to ensure that every couple feels special on their wedding day.”

Severance Hall
Home of the Cleveland Orchestra, Severance Hall is known as one of the most impressive concert halls in the country. This beautiful venue has been a part of Cleveland’s history since 1931, when the Cleveland Orchestra played its inaugural concert there. According to the Cleveland Orchestra website, Severance Hall’s ­architecture is recognized by an array of preservation societies, including the National Register of Historic Places and National Trust for Historic Preservation.

With a mix of Art Deco and Egyptian Revival styles, the magnificent Grand Foyer is a popular venue among brides who want a unique setting for their wedding. Ideal for weddings of up to 200 guests, the Grand Foyer is the perfect alternative to a traditional church ceremony. The space features stunning marble pillars, a grand staircase and lotus flower pattern on the luminous ceiling. “The grandeur of the Grand Foyer sets Severance hall apart from other wedding venues – they simply don’t make buildings as beautiful as this anymore,” says Bob Bellamy, Facility Sales Manager at Severance Hall. “Couples who choose this venue want something different than a typical hotel ballroom or banquet hall.”

In the Grand Foyer, weddings are typically arranged with guests seated on the main floor and the ceremony held on the landing of the stairwell. Cocktail hour takes place in the First Energy Suite, which has an outdoor terrace. The Grand Foyer is then transformed into the reception space. Wedding ceremonies of up to 400 guests can be held on the stage of Reinberger Chamber Hall, a smaller concert hall. Additionally, the Terrace Room located within Severance Restaurant, is an ideal space for small ceremonies.

Marigold Catering, the exclusive caterer of Severance Hall, offers a variety of first-class food and beverage options. The bride and groom are welcome to bring in any vendor for the flowers, music, wedding cake, photography, etc. “We’re a very hands-on facility and work closely with the couple getting married and their vendors,” Bellamy says. “Severance Hall is a first-class facility, and we strive to give our guests a first-class experience.”

Cleveland Museum of Natural History
With a dedication to inspire through science and education, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History is world-renowned for its groundbreaking discoveries. Highlights of the museum include a planetarium, observatory, a wildlife center and numerous exhibits, including the Kirtland Hall of Prehistoric Life filled with various types of dinosaurs. The museum serves as a one-of-a-kind wedding venue, especially for couples with an affinity and appreciation for science.   

“Many of the couples who get married here have a background in science or have fond memories of visiting the museum as a child, whether on a school field trip or with their family,” says Anne Thompson, Manager of Facility Rentals and Events at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. “Others are actively involved in the sustainability and conservation efforts that the museum champions.”

Weddings of up to 500 people can be held in two of the museum’s main galleries, Sears Hall and Kirtland Hall. In Kirtland Hall, dinosaurs – including “Alice, the Allosaurus,” a 28-foot-long Triceratops, and a Tyrannosaurus rex – serve as a unique backdrop to wedding festivities. The two-acre Ralph Perkins Wildlife Center & Woods Garden, an outdoor gallery housing native Ohio animals and plants, is an ideal setting for cocktail hour. In addition, the Smith Environment Courtyard can beautifully accommodate smaller ceremonies of up to 75 guests. For couples with an interest in astronomy, ceremonies can be held in the Nathan and Fannye Shafran Planetarium with shooting stars, constellations and planets above.

According to Thompson, the unique feature of having your wedding at the museum is access to the amazing galleries. Since the galleries are open during the wedding, guests have the opportunity to walk through the museum and experience the array of exhibits. 

“The Cleveland Museum of Natural ­History is truly a gem of Cleveland,” Thompson says. “The ambiance is spectacular in the galleries – it’s not every day that you have the opportunity to dine with dinosaurs! A wedding at the museum is a memorable experience, not only for the bride and groom, but for their guests too.” 

InterContinental Cleveland
Located only minutes from University Circle, the InterContinental ­Cleveland is a modern, sophisticated hotel providing a personalized touch to every wedding. With only one wedding taking place at a time, InterContinental staff provides exceptional service and cater to the bride and groom on their special day. “Our brides prefer the exclusivity offered at the InterContinental where they are the focus of the evening,” says Mary Vanucci, Wedding Specialist at the InterContinental Cleveland. “Every aspect of the wedding planning process is customized to meet their vision.”

A majority of weddings are held in the Founders Ballroom, an 8,800-square-foot elegant space featuring 18-foot ceilings, crystal chandeliers and dramatic windows overlooking Carnegie Avenue. “The Founders Ballroom is one of the few hotel ballrooms with windows, which creates an open and airy feel,” says Craig Campbell, Director of Sales and Marketing at InterContinental Cleveland. “The space can be transformed to any style with the use of mood lighting, decorations, flowers and other design elements.” The ­ballroom holds up to 600 wedding guests for ­ceremonies and receptions.

Regarded for its delicious food and level of service, the hotel’s culinary team can create many types of dishes, including international cuisine. Highlights from the menu include pan-seared beef filet mignon with Portobello porcini ravioli, sage mashed potato and gingered citrus beef au jus; pan-seared salmon filet with garlic red skin potato brandade, green asparagus and lobster bisque; and Portobello, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper napoleon with feta cheese and sun-dried tomato coulis, to name a few.

Wedding packages include an open bar, butler-passed hors d’oeuvres, three-course dinner, a champagne toast, valet parking and a honeymoon suite for the bride and groom, among other offerings. During the wedding, the bride and groom as well as their parents are assigned a personalized butler who brings them hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and anything else they may need. “The responsibility of the personal butler is to make sure they are being catered to throughout the wedding,” Campbell says. “It’s the unique personal touches and little extras that set the InterContinental apart from other venues.”

A personal wedding specialist listens to the bride and groom’s ideas and works with them throughout the entire process to create their vision. “I really like to get to know the bride and groom, what they like and dislike, and personalize the wedding package accordingly,” Vanucci says. “They have a vision for their ­wedding, and it’s my job to make that vision come to life.”

Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art houses a diverse collection of more than 43,000 works of art from around the world. In 1913, the museum was founded with the mission of bringing great works of art to the broadest audience possible. Reflecting this mission and staying true to its founding, general admission to the museum’s art collections is free to the public. For couples with an appreciation for the arts, the Cleveland Museum of Art is the perfect venue for a masterpiece wedding.

The most popular space for wedding ceremonies is the museum’s South Terrace with spectacular views of the nearby Wade lagoon and Fountain of the Water sculpture. The museum’s impressive neoclassical architecture, complete with white Georgian marble columns, creates a beautiful setting for weddings. Ceremonies of 100 to 300-plus guests can be accommodated on the different levels of the terrace. The bottom level is the largest space and can be tented for inclement weather. “The South Terrace boasts
two stunning settings for the ceremony backdrop – the lagoon and museum’s magnificent columns,” says Sherri Schultz, Director of Catering, Bon Appétit Management Company, at the Cleveland Museum of Art. 

Opened in 2012, the museum’s stunning atrium is an excellent location for wedding receptions and indoor ceremonies. The atrium connects the original 1916 building with the 1971 Marcel Breuer addition. “The atrium is a magnificent space with a two-and-a-half story glass enclosed roof, indoor landscaping and an abundance of natural light that creates the feeling of an outdoor wedding while being indoors,” Schultz says. Depending on the reception setup, the atrium can accommodate weddings up to 1,500 guests. A portion of the atrium can be rented for weddings of fewer than 200 guests.

The Cleveland Museum of Art’s exclusive caterer is Bon Appétit Management Company, which operates the fine dining restaurant Provenance and Provenance Café. Renowned Cleveland Chef Douglas Katz, owner and executive chef of Fire Food and Drink in Shaker Square, is the chef partner of the museum. “Chef Katz is a wonderful partner and colleague, and everyone in Cleveland knows and loves him,” Schultz says. “He’s been instrumental in writing the menus as well as hiring and training the culinary team to execute his vision. The service and food we provide to our guests is truly exceptional and exceeds our client and visitor expectations.”

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