The Grand Reserve
The Grand Reserve, which is part of the Venues of The Grand Reserve, is located in the heart of
downtown in the historic Lexington Distillery District. I have photographed there several times, for both ceremonies and receptions, and the venue has a lot to offer for the Kentucky Bride. Whether you want to take photos in the garden across the street, in one of the unused venue rooms, or down the street at Crank N Boom for ice cream, The Grand Reserve has a lot of inside and outside options. The venue is also large and can accommodate almost any size reception without it feeling closed off and crowded.
Read on to see examples through the wedding day:
Bridal details like the dress and jewelry are usually taken first thing when I arrive. Brides usually opt to get ready at an off-site location, because The Grand Reserve doesn’t really offer a good spot for the bride to get ready, or a traditional bridal suite. Because of this, the kind of details I would be photographing in The Grand Reserve are the reception and ceremony details and decor. Every bride can use her own touches to personalize her wedding, but one running theme for any bride using The Grand Reserve is the space is dark and intimate, which works with the masculine bourbon feel of the venue.
Not a lot of people opt to have their ceremony at The Grand Reserve. It is a large space but dark, so some brides use the venue as a reception and get married in a more traditional space like a church. You can choose to have your ceremony outside on in their beautiful garden across the street. Brides who want to have their ceremony outside have the option of moving inside if it rains, which is a bonus! If you choose to get married in The Grand Reserve, artificial light will need to be used.
Because The Grand Reserve has a lot of cool design elements in their indoor space, portraits can be easily taken, no matter the time of day, season and weather. The Grand Reserve has some beautiful spots with fun backgrounds no matter the light but my favorite is shooting in the garden across the street.
With the vine wall, and lots of greenery in that small spot, there is a lot you can accomplish in just a little amount of space. There is also a white pergola for some architecture, and a bit of concrete for the bride who struggles to stand in grass with her heels.
While The Grand Reserve has garden space, there isn’t a lot of even shaded areas, so sometimes the light isn’t flattering at certain times of the day. Be sure to think about what time of day you want to shoot portraits if you plan on using this space and pay attention to where the sun is at that time. Also be aware that in the winter months, most of the greenery will be bare, as there are few evergreen bushes in the garden.
There are also options of shooting in front of Manchester Music Hall next door, on the street in front of the venues, or behind the building in the allyway. The ally way is the best option for afternoon family portraits since it doesn’t require the older crowd to travel far to the garden.
In case of rain, portraits and family formals can also be shot in one of the venues not in use that day. For these photos, artificial light will need to be used. It also is a great spot for group portraits, as there is a lot of space for large parties.
Some brides opt to shoot most of their portraits elsewhere for more variety or more greenery, but whatever you choose, you can get some amazing shots around The Grand Reserve.
Sunsets at The Grand Reserve are rare. Because of the surrounding businesses and the fact the venue sits down in busy district, the sun does not set in a way that lends itself to silhouettes. You can sometimes get a soft pin sky, but usually the only places to photograph it is in the street outside the venue.
The Grand Reserve’s reception area is a good option if you plan of having a large guest list with lots of dancing. The reception space is huge and the dance floor can accommodate a lot of people. One downsize is if you don’t plan on having a lot of guests dancing, it can seem vast and overwhelming. The space is pretty dark with a lot of dark wood accents and black walls and ceilings, so artificial light is crucial for well lit photos.
The Grand Reserve is a great place to have a final exit, for example sparklers. With the lights coming off the building and the awning stretching the length of the sidewalk, you can get some magical photos of you leaving your wedding, even in the rain!