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13 Reviews for The Hanover Arts & Activities Center
Recommended by 99% of couples
8 User photos
Jessie · Married on 12/14/2019
Unbelievable find! A magical winter venue ✨
It hasn't even been 24 hours since we were at the historic Hanover Arts & Activities Center, but we had to review it right away. From start to finish, the venue was absolutely perfect. We didn't want to spend an arm and a leg for a venue that would then require us to use their caterer, their bar, their preferred rentals, etc. Flexibility was incredibly important to us, as was a space that was unique. We wanted something elegant enough to feel romantic and high-class, but relaxed enough so we didn't need a black tie, sit down dinner. We knew were having a live band, so we needed a space for that. And we were dismayed to find so many venues required wedding parties to be completely out by 11pm. I stumbled upon the Center and was floored by both the affordability and the flexibility. I then came across photos of the venue in December when the town of Ashland does it's mile of lights as a postcard to Amtrak travelers, and my then-fiance agreed that we had to go look at it.
I reached out to the venue and Sara responded. This was the start of a beautiful friendship. Sara was the most incredible venue director; she went above and beyond to ensure our day was everything we could have dreamed. She worked with us from everything from having to access the venue several hours earlier than anticipated to moving in a chest freezer two days before the wedding for my Dad's hundreds of large ice cubes he absolutely had to have for my husband's drink of choice. During the process, she learned how stressful my job is and how intense an election year can be, and literally did everything in her power to remove any stress that was within her control. She is a VERY experienced venue director and gave me great advice regularly, keeping me from having to hire a full-on wedding planner.
The venue is gorgeous, from its statement red door to its wrapped white lights on the outside & its massive windows and old wooden floors on the inside. Sara's husband built a white backdrop for the stage that is covered in lights -- an insanely romantic backdrop for your band, cake table or head table. There are soft fairy lights everywhere, and gorgeous chandeliers that can be dimmed. There is a bridal suite on site, a full kitchen with a massive caterer's fridge, separate rooms off the main room that work wonderfully for food service or photo ops (our choices) or for bars, and, for a small wedding, probably a cocktail hour.
The venue allows you to bring in your own caterer, your own alcohol and bartenders, your own just about everything -- which can help with cost and is really wonderful for creative families like mine.
At the same time, they have chairs, tables, linens, easels, galvanized tubs, etc -- all for you to use. We chose to use the white folding chairs for the outside ceremony + rent gold chairs for the reception inside. We supplemented the tables at the venue with rental tables as necessary and chose to rent linens only because we needed more than were available & wanted them to be uniform.
One of the best parts of the venue was that for an additional $500 you could rent the venue for an additional 7 hours the day before to set up and have your rehearsal. (If you just wanted to do a quick rehearsal, it is $50). Because Sara was at the venue, she allowed us to come in early. We arrived at 9 instead of noon, and my dad helped her change out some outside lights, move some Christmas decor and the early start allowed us to be completely ready for the event rentals, who arrived early. It was an incredible relief to get so much done the day before!
Sara and Cameron also worked with my makeup + hair stylist to make sure we could come in early on Saturday - 7am instead of 9am - and we needed every second of it.
To top it all off, the venue is set in the heart of downtown Ashland, quaintly known as the center of the universe. The railroad goes through the middle of the town -- talk about some GORGEOUS photos. Ashland is a little like Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls, from the people who live there to the types of little businesses and quirky festivals that call the town home. The whole town seems to get excited when a wedding takes place at the Center, which adds another layer of magic to the day. Even Amtrak passengers love it; we took photos on the tracks in the moonlight and jumped off when the train came -- only to hear a car full of passengers yelling congratulations to us.
The venue is charming year round, but it's especially magical during the month of December thanks to the mile of lights. There was no need to spend extra money on tons of flowers, outside decor or an altar -- the venue's lights, wrapped and draped, and gorgeous front porches + statement red door provide all of that.
And if you are looking to make a dramatic entrance, the center sidewalk from the train tracks to the red door is *long* and perfect for a long processional song, a cathedral veil entrance, etc.
Our wedding was absolutely magical and an insane amount of fun, and I can't tell you how many people were mesmerized by the venue. Over and over again I was asked how I found it, and I honestly think it's only a matter of time before the venue becomes a destination, especially for December weddings.Sent on 12/16/2019
Ashley · Married on 06/24/2017
I loved everything about the Center! It was an awesome experience! Sara was always there when I needed her!Sent on 07/09/2017
User4971521 · 2+ years ago
Adorable and affordable! This venue was the perfect setting for our intimate wedding. Sara is excellent to work with as well!Sent on 04/18/2016
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