Cleveland’s Old Courthouse on Lakeside avenue is easily one of the most iconic event spaces in the entire city. It’s centrally located just a block north of Public Square and the ornate stonework, stained glass, murals and marble that surrounds the main atrium, the grand staircase, the mezzanine up above make it sight you have to see for yourself. The Old Courthouse is still an actual courthouse by day but the main atrium can be rented for wedding ceremonies and receptions on the weekends with the option of adding the mezzanine for cocktail hour. If you love the space but your wedding is taking place elsewhere, you can rent the courthouse an hour at a time for photos on your wedding day. Just be aware that the courthouse books up early so be sure to call as early as you can.
The exterior of the Old Courthouse is every bit as amazing as the interior and offers tons of great photo opportunities on a wedding day. The east side of the building usually offers the best light in the mid-afternoon but the front entrance can be quite spectacular later in the afternoon and early evening.
The Main Atrium
The main atrium is an expansive space surrounded by marble pillars, lamp posts and more stonework than your eyes can take in at any given moment. There are interesting features all through the space like a beautiful iron gate, the entrance to the grand staircase, marble banisters for the mezzanine up above.
The Grand Staircase
The grand staircase is probably the first thing that people think of when you mention wedding photographs at the courthouse, and for good reason. The two sweeping symmetrical staircases join at a landing just under a massive stained glass window. These staircases and the space that encloses them provide nearly endless photographic opportunities if you are willing to look for them. Just be aware that the can be a bit dark and the wall sconces that are available can cast a strange green light that doesn’t lend itself to photography. Having a photographer that is comfortable using flash indoors, and even better, having a photographer that is skilled at using flash creatively indoors is an absolute must for this space.
The second story mezzanine, reachable via the grand staircase or the nearby elevators, is another great space for photos as well as the perfect spot for cocktail hour if your ceremony was on the main floor and you need the main space emptied so the room can be converted for the reception.
The main atrium provides ample space for even very large wedding ceremonies. We have seen ceremonies set up so that the bride walks down the grand staircase on her approach to the aisle and the ironwork just opposite of the staircase is your ceremony backdrop. We have also seen the reverse where the grand staircase is the ceremony backdrop.
The main atrium is large enough to seat up to 400 guests plus a dance floor so not having enough space is rarely if ever an issue. The marble floors, walls, and ceiling do create a fairly reverberant space so we highly recommend higher a band or DJ that is familiar with the space and knows what is needed to make sure everyone can clearly hear the toasts, speeches, and music.
We have probably photographed more receptions and more bridal parties inside the courthouse than any other venue in all of Cleveland. We are very familiar with its features, opportunities, and challenges and we know how to get the most out of it. If you choose us to photograph your Old Courthouse wedding, we will create beautiful, unique images of you and your loved ones that you will treasure for the rest of your life. For more information about reserving the Old Courthouse for your event, visit the Cuyahoga County’s Courthouse Rental page.
If you are interested in having us photograph your Old Courthouse wedding, please fill out our contact form and will send you more information right away!