After some delays, the monthslong first phase of the Delaware venue is now complete.
When the COVID-19 pandemic swept the nation this spring, many wedding venues slowed down. Brookshire Event Venue in Delaware was not among them.
Of course, the space closed for business per state mandate. But behind closed doors, work continued on an extensive, $400,000 renovation project that was announced in December (albeit with some delays to allow contractors to socially distance and engage in other safe work practices) and began on Jan. 1.
"With next year being our 15th year executing events at Brookshire, we knew it was time to not just update but totally transform the space and grounds," says owner John Brooks.
The project includes updates to the guest bathrooms, the two “ready rooms” for the to-be-weds, new flooring in the foyer, and in the main ballroom, a new dance floor, bar and new ceiling tiles. The pièce de résistance, however, is the matching set of foldable, sliding glass doors flanking the ballroom, which replaced closed-off walls and dated, decorative columns. The doors open fully to “bring the outside in and make the space feel really big,” says Brooks.
In the bridal suite, a new layout and updated fixtures lend a modern yet cozy vibe with a neutral palette and soft seating. A large, en suite bathroom gives the bride privacy and the opportunity for a dramatic reveal to her girls in front of a massive, full-length mirror leaning against the opposite wall.
The groom’s suite features a warmer palette, wooden storage lockers and an equally cozy vibe.
“The common theme at all BTTS venues is really just privacy and being able to have and feel like you have this wonderful, big, beautiful venue all to yourself,” says director of business operations Rachel Hellerman. “We truly keep it where whoever is getting married here that day has this and feels like it’s all theirs.”
In the foyer, Tuscan-style terra cotta cement tiles were blasted down and painted a modern, neutral gray. Columns were removed to open up the space.
During our late-August media tour, the main ballroom was arranged in a COVID-friendly setup that seated 110 guests; during non-pandemic times, the venue can accommodate parties of up to 300, says venue director April Smith. Natural light floods the space, thanks to the new glass doors to the left and right.
“When you have all four doors open … it’s amazing,” Smith says. “You kind of get that tent feel, while also having the luxury of air conditioning.”
The patio on the left, accessible via the aforementioned glass doors, features café lights, a wooden pergola and a barrel table that Smith says is perfect for a cigar bar.
In the center of the room sits a new dance floor in neutral gray, which replaced its warm-toned predecessor. And just to the right is a new bar, complete with a luxe lighted top.
Through the glass doors on the right of the ballroom is the ceremony patio, with more café lights and a gazebo under which the couple may stand to wed. Guests are seated comfortably on a turf lawn (a blessing for those wearing heels) that can hold up to 220; additional seats may be added along the patio itself, though Smith says the ceremony space has been operating at a lower capacity for social distancing reasons of late.
To the left of the ceremony space you’ll find a flower wall, fire pit and what Smith calls a “micro vineyard,” as well as a small garden, fields and a wooded area that extends to behind the ceremony gazebo.
“We sit on a little over 5 acres, and we own the field on the other side [of the woods behind the ceremony pergola] too, so a lot of clients will go out into the field [for pictures],” Smith notes.
Brookshire takes pride in its all-inclusive packages, which come in a range of price points and comprise tables, chairs, place settings, a variety of linen options, floral centerpieces, a customized cake, a DJ, open bar for wine and beer, two appetizers, a fully catered dinner, setup/teardown and full service staff. Available upgrades include a Champagne toast for all guests, premium menu items, additional appetizers, late-night bites and more. BTTS Holdings partners with Simple Times Mixers to craft signature cocktails that include mules, lemonades and iced tea.
The venue is owned by BTTS Holdings, which also owns The Estate at New Albany, WatersEdge Event Center in Hilliard and the newly opened Fig Room in the Short North.