Suffolk wedding venue helps displaced couples

Published 9:43 pm Thursday, November 14, 2019

A Suffolk wedding venue is pitching in to help betrothed couples who were suddenly left without a location following the recent closing of a Chesapeake venue.

Noah’s Event Venue announced earlier this year it would close Oct. 31, and because of that, The First Lady co-owners Jennifer Seebo and Mickey Boyette decided to help.

They are offering a $1,500 credit for couples who were left without a venue following the closure of Noah’s. That credit includes paying the $1,000 deposit as well as not charging for linens and offering wedding planning at no charge.

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“We feel so sorry for these brides and grooms,” Seebo said. “They have put so much of their time, effort and money into planning their dream wedding, only to have their wedding date canceled.”

Boyette said The First Lady may not have the exact date couples are looking for, but he said they can likely fit them in near that date. He said they also help with sending out new invitations. He said it’s all about reducing the stress for people in an already stressful situation.

“I’m in a different stage in my life to where we can operate on less and still be OK if it helps somebody else’s situation,” Boyette said.

He said about two displaced couples have booked with The First Lady since the Chesapeake venue closed, and another reached out, but she was not able to book her wedding because her wedding party was too large at 200 people.

The First Lady, which seats 160 people, offers full-service custom wedding packages for each couple.

Boyette said The First Lady, located at 447 W. Washington St., still had some dates available through the end of this year, and could accommodate booking dates into 2020 also.

“We book every Saturday and Sunday for weddings, year after year after year,” Boyette said. “It’s not that I didn’t think we wouldn’t sell those dates, but really and truly, it was about trying to help somebody.”

The First Lady was built in 1907 and is a 12,000-square-foot Queen Anne Victorian mansion restored by Heirloom Homes in 2008, a company that has been featured on HGTV. It opened in January 2009 to host a variety of things, including weddings, church galas, vow renewals, birthdays, family reunions and corporate events. It is in its 11th year of operations and hosts about 70 weddings per year.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Boyette said. “You wouldn’t be invited to these weddings, and even though we work our tails off, we get to see these people start their new journey in life.”