|The Upstate has no shortage of scenic backdrops available to provide the perfect picturesque setting for pending nuptials. Couples can opt to tie the knot at places like the Fred W. Symmes Chapel at Camp Greenville (aka Pretty Place), near Caesars Head in northern Greenville County. Or they may choose to get hitched at one of the area’s sprawling farms or historic houses.
But for a unique venue, happy couples need to look no further than a local university campus, which can provide the perfect venue and setting—at a reasonable cost.
In the winter 2015 edition of wedding magazine Unique Venues, the Melvin and Dollie Younts Conference Center at Furman University was named the “best place to say ‘I do’.” The magazine citied the reduced rates offered on Fridays and Saturdays as a huge incentive to those seeking the perfect wedding venue. Add in the ability to use the onsite chapel, outdoor Heller Terrace, and DeSantis Pavilion for one flat rate, and that makes it a winner, said the magazine.
What makes the Younts Center a premier location is its Georgian-style architecture, outdoor patios, and masterful landscaping, says its website. The popular wedding planning website, weddingwire.com, gives the Younts Conference Center a 4.5 out of 5.0 star rating.
When booking the center, one all-inclusive price covers a seated dinner for up to 320 guests, stand-up reception for up to 500 people, tables and chairs, audio-visual equipment, and facilities. An event coordinator is also assigned to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Also on campus and available for weddings is the Charles E. Daniel Memorial Chapel, which offers 27,000 square feet of space that can accommodate 352 people and has a lower level with a bride’s room, a sunlit Garden Room, and two conference rooms.
No secular music is allowed in the Chapel, but the University provides music coordinators who can assist with other types of music such as solo vocal music; organ works; solo piano; solo instruments such as trumpet, violin, or flute; and small ensembles such as string and brass quartets. Couples can also opt to use the Hartness Organ, a 2,900 pipe Opus 121 custom-designed by renowned American organ builder C.B. Fisk.
Furman also offers two standing-only venues. The Janie Earle Furman Rose Garden, which accommodates 60–70 guests among rose gardens, gazebo, and fountain, and the iconic Bell Tower, which can accommodate up to 60 guests.