Live Wedding Painting The Ballroom at Park Lane in Cleveland, OH
Anyone else out there feel like you were born in the wrong era? I have a tendency to fantasize about other time periods. Maybe I’m just overly romantic, but things always seem so much better when viewed through a dreamy, nostalgic lens. Lately, I’ve been fixated on the 1920’s. Who wouldn’t want to live a night in the Roaring Twenties?! Glamour, jazz, hidden clubs tucked away, exclusive to only those who knew where to go… A Midnight in Paris experience, travel back to another age… Yes, if I could somehow buy that, I definitely would.
Lucky for me, and anyone else who shares my affinity for historical daydreaming, there’s a venue in Cleveland that does a great job of bringing that Golden Age feeling to our modern day - The Ballroom at Park Lane. This elegant event venue is located at the historic Park Lane Villa in the heart of University Circle. It was originally built 1923 as a luxury hotel and speakeasy for the influential and elite. Back in the days of Rockefeller and Millionaire’s row, Cleveland was the place to be. University Circle was born, our world class museums started to develop, and still today, this area remains a center of innovation in healthcare, education and the arts.
One of the MANY reasons I love living in Cleveland is the rich history at its core. The Ballroom at Park Lane is a perfect example of the gems that are waiting to be rediscovered here. It’s gone through quite a few transformations over the last century, and you can just feel this building has seen countless stories unfold. (In the 1960’s, it served as a concert venue where famous musicians like Bob Dylan and Arlo Guthrie performed!) The most recent restoration in 2007 made sure to preserve the early 20th century magic.
The space exudes vintage charm, with swanky, antique booth seating, marble floors, a wrap around balcony, art deco detailing, spiral staircases, grand columns and high ceilings. I felt like Zelda and Scott were about to make an appearance at any minute. But it’s another couple I have to thank for introducing me to this classic, chic venue. Meet Jen and Mike, the lovely couple who hired me to paint their wedding ceremony this past December.
Jen and Mike decided to have both their wedding ceremony and reception in The Ballroom at Park Lane, and what a perfect setting it was for a classy, romantic, magical Winter wedding. The color palette was inspired by the bride’s favorite color - purple! With accents of silver and white, sparkling snowflakes, Christmas trees and glitter, it was Winter wonderland meets VIP speakeasy.
Shoutout to everyone involved in planning this event, especially the wedding planners, Maria and Sara, of Elegant Events by Maria, and Heather from Spice Catering Co. They did an excellent job, especially with the transformation that happened halfway through the event. The room where the ceremony took place (set up with rows of chairs facing the stage) was completely rearranged and transformed into a dining venue, while guests were enjoying cocktails in another room. This was done flawlessly, and by the time guests returned, the space was ready for dinner. One of the nice things about this venue is you get multiple rooms to work with. Besides the ballroom where I was setup to paint, there’s also a private courtyard, a speakeasy parlour bar and a lounge.
This wedding was a nice change of pace for me. Usually I’m asked to paint the reception, but in this case, I was hired to paint the ceremony itself. What an honor to capture the moment Jen and Mike exchanged their vows on canvas. I was set up in the balcony, overlooking the intimate ceremony from a wonderful angle. The dramatic lines of this perspective were emphasized by the magnificent architecture, stone columns and ornate ceiling. It made for a great composition, with everything pointing towards the focal point of the bride and groom.
Now for my favorite part of this wedding - Jen’s pug-maids! These adorable little guys walked down the aisle looking quite dapper in their pug tuxedos! You can find them in the bottom right corner of the painting. This photo of the bride and her fur babies was taken by Spencer Photography, who did an incredible job shooting the wedding. If you want to see more, check out his blog post here.
Congratulations again to the happy couple, and thank you for having me there to paint your beautiful ceremony. I hope you cherish your wedding painting for generations. Cheers to happily ever after!