Every bride wants her wedding day to be memorable; for me, that means hosting my big day at a beautiful Victorian estate. I toured several mansions in Massachusetts before choosing the venue for my upcoming wedding, a national historic landmark designed in 1793 that features expansive lawns, lush gardens, gazebos, and greenhouses.
On my first visit there, as I floated down the grand staircase, imagining myself gracefully navigating those same stairs in high heels and a full-length dress on my wedding day, the mansion’s caretaker shared some important details with me. She didn’t focus on the ballroom’s Federal Period architecture, the antique-filled parlors, or the pine paneling in the library and music room but on how the building could be enjoyed while the safety of the guests is maintained.
We talked about candles. She told me that I would have to comply with fire safety regulations. I wouldn’t be permitted to use traditional candles inside the building, on the veranda, or on the grounds, but I would be allowed to use battery-operated candles. My guest list includes several people with disabilities. I was relieved to hear that the building is accessible and has an accessible restroom. The caretaker touched on escape planning too. Only 65 people would be permitted in the ballroom for the reception’s sit-down meal because of life safety codes.
When I went home that day, I pulled out my bridal checklist that helps me remember to take care of important tasks. I was pleased to add “fire and life safety considerations” to the top of the list and give it a great big checkmark.