5 Wedding Venues in Rochester, NY You Should Consider
A Wedding Photographer’s Perspective
Rochester, NY has no shortage of wedding venues. Engaged couples have their choice for great views, unique decor, classy environments and large spaces. As a wedding photographer, I’ve had the fun of getting to photograph many weddings in Rochester and I’ve seen what makes the venues listed below valuable to engaged couples looking for a place to hold their reception. This is not an exhaustive list as Rochester has many wonderful spaces I’ve yet to experience. These are, however, all venues that I have been a wedding photographer at and I can honestly recommend them based on their quality both in service and presentation.
Country Clubs are always a popular category for wedding venues. I’ve had the pleasure to have been the wedding photographer for events at Deerfield more than once.
Deerfield is a large venue that is able to accommodate two weddings and two receptions at once. The grounds are landscaped beautifully with which provides many outdoor spots for bridal party and couple portraits.
The interior of Deerfield’s building is no less beautiful. A rustic entry way leads to a staircase welcoming you with a grand archway into the venue itself (another great photo spot, by the way). Each ballroom is wonderfully lit with many windows looking out onto the grounds. Good and plentiful light is something I value very much as a photographer so windows are my friends! In addition to event space, Deerfield has beautiful “getting ready rooms” for bride’s to prepare makeup, get hair done and get into wedding dresses. These spaces are spacious and comfortable, a perfect fit for the bride and her ladies.
Lastly, Deerfield has outstanding staff. Their coordinators provide excellent communication throughout the day which enables the vendors including the wedding photographer to provide the bride & groom with the attention that they deserve. I’m happy any time a couple tells me that their wedding will be at Deerfield Country Club.
Deerfield Country Club - www.deerfieldcc.com
Artisan Works in Rochester is a very unique venue that produces a more creative and imaginative atmosphere for their events. They have a dozen spaces and rooms that host wedding receptions and other special events. I got to experience the “Casablanca” room. Artisan Works provides a visually memorable experience as guests are surrounded with dramatic works of art such as sculptures and paintings.
Wedding photographers are always going to prefer an interesting background. I always appreciate venues that take time to ensure that everywhere you look in their space, you see something new and appealing. No one has more interesting backgrounds that Artisan Works! I look forward to photographing more weddings there soon.
Artisan Works - www.artisanworks.net
If you want an impressive location with a stunning view, you NEED to visit the Penthouse at One East Avenue. This top story space provides a bird’s eye view of downtown Rochester from its balcony which surrounds the window lined event space. This scenery is gold for wedding photographers!
One of the best parts about having a wedding at the Penthouse is that the room and the balcony are all yours! The space is private to your party only. No strangers will be walking across the balcony while you and your spouse are enjoying the view. It also means that your wedding photographer doesn’t have to hold up tourist traffic while a portrait is set up…just saying.
Although this blog is about wedding venues in Rochester, it’s worth noting that The Penthouse hosts a variety of events in Rochester year-round including dances, cocktail nights and a silent disco. So consider them for events beyond weddings as well. The view, again, is brilliant!
I hope to photograph more weddings at The Penthouse soon. The staff were great to work with and prioritized the bride and groom over all else. Just as it should be!
The Penthouse at One East Avenue - www.penthouseroc.com
Wedding Photography from The Penthouse
Ravenwood was one of my first jobs as a wedding photographer in Rochester. And thankfully, the staff at Ravenwood revealed to me what a wonderful area Rochester was for weddings. Friendly and always on top of their game, the team made sure that everything went beautifully the day of the wedding. I was contacted well in advance to see if I needed anything or any information as the photographer, something that will always win points in my book. More vendor communication means a smoother, happier day.
Ravenwood offers much more than I experienced that day but what I saw was excellent service and quality. The space itself consisted of a large, beautiful ballroom which was adjacent to an outdoor, covered patio where the dancing took place for the wedding reception. Having the spaces separated like this by only a wall of windows provided guests with a way to take a break from the “party zone” while still being part of the day. Dinner was enjoyed in the ballroom and conversation could flow comfortably while the patio hosted the guests who had reached their more energetic levels.
Wedding photos at Ravenwood require no stretch of imagination to be beautiful. The grounds are gorgeous and we were even treated with golf cart rides out onto the course itself for even more options for portraits. Ravenwood Golf Club has been confidentially under my recommendations for Rochester wedding venues since my first experience there.
Ravenwood Golf Club - www.ravenwoodgolf.com
Wedding Photography from Ravenwood Golf Club
Harro East Theatre is truly a gem in Rochester wedding venues. This classic, Georgian-style complex is as big as it is beautiful. 15,000 square feet in size with a 1,000 square foot balcony that overlooks 6,000 square feet of open hardwood floor space, the ballroom can host even the largest of wedding receptions.
The balcony and stage proved to be very useful vantage points for me. One problem that I’m sure many wedding photographers have experienced is being outside of the various circles that spontaneously form during the dancing time at a reception. People naturally congregate in smaller dance groups and all face each other inward forcing the photographer to only get photos of their backs during the party. Usually, I look for various stools or chairs to stand on to solve this problem. Or I position myself so I end up inside on of these circles as it forms so I can photograph faces instead of backs. But being a level higher than the party on the stage was perfect. From that perch, I could see anyone on the dance floor I wanted to photograph.
I hope that I get the chance to be the photographer for a wedding at Harro East in daylight as well, The high, large windows lining the banquet hall would prove to make beautifully lit images. I was there in winter, when the sun sets at 4:30 PM so I didn’t get to see this venue in it’s pure glory. Nevertheless, Harro East remains on my list of recommendations.
Harro East Theatre & Ballroom - www.harroeastballroom.com