WILMINGTON — The Port City is no stranger to re-purposed buildings. Ironclad Brewery and Terra Sol are two converted buildings that also serve as wedding venues for ceremony and reception. For the bride looking for vintage inspiration that ties modern concepts with old Wilmington vibes, a re-purposed building in historic downtown could be a great place to start.
A setup with industrial characteristics including pinewood workings, exposed brick walls, and a wealth of metal accompaniments could lead many to imagine a modern warehouse wedding theme. But even with such raw construction, Ironclad Brewery bids way for a whimsical, rustic and warm atmosphere that innovative couples have captured on their big day.
This auto repair shop-turned-brewery still proudly displays much of the original material from when the building first went up. General Manager, Rachel Flecke, said owners reclaimed a lot of the furnishings to create a more presentable aesthetic, but other than that, it’s the same pine and brick from the structure’s earliest days.
Though vintage in foundation, the track lights and hanging orb light fixtures create a contemporary atmosphere. The softness of the string lights complements Ironclad’s overall organic simplicity. Flecke recalls one of the most memorable décor themes she saw accentuated the organic simplicity of the venue with delicate baby’s breath florals and white garnishes.
Couples have been known to spin this venue into their own DIY décor project, however the usual framework is just enough so that it works even if there is very little décor. Flecke said, “It’s absolutely gorgeous on it’s own, but even more so when couples add their own touch to the space.”
A sanctuary for boutique weddings
At first glance, it’s clear that Terra Sol was once a sanctuary. The white wooden siding, burgundy double doors and arched, Gothic windows sketch the sacred characterizations many associate with holy spaces. Terra Sol is still a place guests find sacred, as it serves as a yoga studio and general community gathering space that is available to rent for boutique weddings.
One of the founders, Jackie DeConti, described a “boutique wedding” as a ceremony with a maximum of about 40 guests. It caters to the couple looking for a cozy and private wedding. A boutique wedding is also a great option for couples planning a wedding that meets a higher level of environmental consciousness and health mindfulness.
Terra Sol has packages that include locally-vended flowers, a vegan wedding cake and pastries, and the option to have a champagne and kombucha toast. Add-ons consist of vegan catering and locally handcrafted wedding invitations.
Another option is to rent just the shell of this venue. Its interior walls are crafted from the heartwood of the ancient longleaf pine. Another of the Terra Sol founders, Alexis Abbate, describes the wood as her favorite part about the backdrop, when she explained, “it’s got a reddish hue to it. Everyone thinks it’s stained. It’s not stained, it’s the natural wood and it’s been the natural wood from the beginning.”
DeConti’s favorite part about the venue is how effortlessly the antique glass windows catch the sun. Occasionally, the sanctuary’s purple stained glass window focal point, drinks in the sunlight and brightens the room with a gemstone purple glow. Other times, DeConti said, “you’ll just find it reflecting this beautiful pattern of windows on the floor.”