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Focus Stories

Venue 1902 at Preservation Hall

by Georgia Fojo

Featured Photo from Venue 1902 at Preservation Hall

Pure magic.


That’s how I describe the moment my handsome fiancé Stefan popped the question at my family home in December of 2017. I tell anyone who asks about our engagement story that it was like time stood still.


As my dream of marrying my best friend became real, so did all the fun of planning a wedding. But the well-meaning questions started rolling in with a vengeance…


When are you getting married? Where are you getting married? What are your wedding colors?
I took a few deep breaths to avoid getting overwhelmed and dove headfirst into the first decision every bride should make: choosing your venue and securing your date.


Stefan and I visited a handful of popular Central Florida venues before discovering the ideal setting for our wedding day: Venue 1902 at Preservation Hall. The moment we saw the venue’s magnificent, red brick exterior and walked into its spectacular chandelier-lit foyer, we knew right away that this was the one. Owner Lisa Lessard greeted us with the biggest and warmest smile a bride could ask for. We toured the two-story venue, asking question after question, and were delighted at every turn. Our decision was made.


The Venue
Location, location, location. Situated in Sanford’s historic district, Venue 1902 is in walking distance to historic churches, downtown bars and restaurants, and local bed and breakfast spots.


The first floor of Venue 1902 features a grand entrance and spacious rooms including the bridal suite, groom’s quarters, social hall, historic classroom, and an outdoor garden for ceremonies and cocktail hours. Upstairs features a large auditorium that can host up to 175 people – great for a large reception and exactly what we were looking for. There is also a bonus room upstairs that is often used as the kids’ room. We are using that, too!


No matter your style – rustic, glam, elegant, boho-chic, modern, and in my case, tropical vintage – the venue’s stunning chandeliers, hardwood flooring, and white walls are perfect for any bride’s vision. The flexible space opens up all kinds of exciting possibilities. From indoor or outdoor ceremonies to cigar bars to food trucks, the venue staff works with you to see your wedding dream come true. Not even a rainy day or freezing cold weather can put a damper on your special day. With so many options, a backup plan is always available without sacrificing your vision.


Another plus – the venue is a naturally beautiful backdrop for wedding photos and has a lovely park across the street. The venue’s all-inclusive packages also offer a wide inventory of vintage décor at no cost, free valet parking, tables, wooden crossback and white resin chairs, and setup and breakdown.


When everything is already so fantastic, what’s the absolute best part of Venue 1902? It’s exclusively yours, all day from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and comes with a day-of coordinator. This is a huge plus that allows your bridal party to get ready at the venue and your vendors to set up. It’s such a relief to know that time is on your side at Venue 1902, and the accommodating staff is there to serve you and only you.


Décor and More
If you’d like to step it up a notch, there are a host of amenities available including a wedding day brunch, a sparklers exit, a wedding arch, custom chalk art, and Venue 1902’s Vintage Market featuring vintage furniture, décor, and accessories. I’ll be using a handful of these amenities to give our reception a little pizzazz.


The History
Venue 1902’s rich history and aesthetic was a major draw for us. Once an old schoolhouse flagged as a threatened historic property, the building has been lovingly restored by Lisa and her team into an elegant event venue. The building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and recently won a Historic Preservation Award from the Florida Trust.
I can’t wait for Stefan and I to make our own history here, and I can’t wait to say “I do” at Venue 1902.


Stay tuned for our wedding photos!


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