Saying “I Do” with a View

Vulcan Park and Museum’s Valentine’s Day wedding packages are perfectly simple and uniquely local.

By Lauren Lockhart

Photos by Alisha Crossley Photography


For the not-so-average Birmingham bride, allow us to introduce you to the not-so-average wedding. We think you two will get along just fine.

For the past four years, Vulcan Park and Museum, the ultimate Magic City landmark, has been offering up an elite number of high-quality, all-inclusive Valentine’s Day wedding packages to couples looking for something distinctively local for their big day. The result is down-to-earth ambience amidst sky-high views of the city—a complete wedding from start to end for less than the cost of a wedding cake.

“This is a once-a-year opportunity,” says Cristina Almanza, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the park. “Since Vulcan is Birmingham’s icon, we felt like it would be a very unique opportunity to offer it as a beautiful, stress-free, and affordable alternative to a traditional wedding.”

The focus of this wedding is intimacy—brides who have dreamed of a big, fat wedding reception need not apply—but for couples looking for a sweet, simple way to exchange their vows amidst close friends and family overlooking our gorgeous city, your perfect wedding couldn’t be closer to grasp. On this day, your day, the Vulcan team recognizes that it isn’t about months of planning each miniscule detail and spending thousands of dollars to achieve a magazine-ready affair; it’s about the love shared between two people. And if you bring the love, they’ll take care of the rest.

Vulcan’s assemblage of local, professional vendors work together to provide each and every detail of a traditional wedding ceremony. Since day one, Jennifer Gowers and her team at GoPro Event Solutions have been meticulously coordinating each Valentine’s Day wedding event.

Alisha Crossley (4)“We’ve been sponsoring this for years because we love Vulcan, we love Birmingham, and we think it’s a positive light for our city to have this event here,” she explains. This year, Gowers and the GoPro team have gathered top local vendors to provide each element of the wedding event, from ceremony music by Amerson Events, to post-nuptial hors d’oeuvres by D’Armond Catering, to a champagne toast and wedding cake by Cakes by Audrey. With such care put into the day by a community of Birmingham businesses, wedded couples don’t lose an ounce of the specialness of this day by relinquishing the planning process.

On a day that is usually surrounded with as much stress as it is joy, the Vulcan wedding package couldn’t be simpler for brides and grooms. Says Almanza, “Brides have to bring their own gown, and grooms have to bring their own suit, but everything down to the groom’s boutonniere is part of the package. You just need to show up!”

So here’s how it works: on Valentine’s day, 14 couples each get 30 minutes for the ceremony and reception with up to 20 guests—a package valued at $3500 for as little as $400.

“The way we achieve that price is in part by the wedding vendors donating their services and by having everything already made for you,” explains Almanza. “But, if you look at our pictures, you can see that there’s nothing standard about it. Every detail is taken care of from beginning to end on the day of your wedding.”

Such a memorable, romantic experience isn’t limited to first-time brides and grooms. Almanza describes the variety of couples who have chosen to spend their Valentine’s Day at this Birmingham icon.

“We don’t just see your traditional couple,” she says. “We’ve seen second marriages. We’ve seen vow renewals, which I think is also something really special.”

And one year, the park even wedded a representative from the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau at one of their Valentine’s Day ceremonies.

“I think that speaks volumes to the quality of the event and what we do for the community,” says Almanza. “She knows Birmingham inside and out, and she opted to get married with us on Valentine’s Day. It shows a lot about the quality of the package that we’re sending out to the public.”

As for this year, the team is looking forward to hosting another special guest for their Valentine’s Day event: Gowers herself will be tying the knot with her fiancé atop Vulcan Park and Museum.

“I’m excited about just being a bride; I’ve been an event planner for 20 years and never even imagined my own wedding,” says a beaming Gowers, who will be hanging up her event planning hat in exchange for a bridal veil this Valentine’s Day.

“I have a full staff that will be working that day, and I have a project manager who’s heading up the whole event,” she says. “I’m just going to be a bride!”

What started four years ago as a way to showcase Vulcan Park and Museum to the community has developed into an unmatched Birmingham tradition as unique as each couple that experiences it. For the rest of the year, only fourteen couples will get to smile and say they exchanged vows with the big guy himself, Vulcan, as a witness. For Almanza, it’s all about celebrating the specialness of your relationship in a truly remarkable way.

“Some people think Valentine’s Day is dated, but if you have been in a relationship for a long time, saying your vows on Valentine’s Day makes it something really significant and really special,” she says. “It’s not just another dinner. It’s not just another bouquet of flowers. It’s a little, special time for couples to share with each other. That is really what the day should be all about.”

This year, embrace your inner romantic and celebrate love from the most magical spot in Birmingham.

Vulcan logoThis story is sponsored by Vulcan Park and Museum. Valentine’s Day Wedding Packages are still available for 2014. More information & booking info can be found here.

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