Finding the perfect local wedding venue may be just a trolley ride away.
At least, that’s the goal of Tie the Knot Ybor.
The inaugural event, scheduled Sunday, will help guests tour six historic Ybor City wedding venues in one day. Brides and grooms to be will be able to hop aboard a trolley to each location, chat with vendors, check out table sets and invitations up close, and even try a slice of cake.
“We want people to walk into any one of [the venues] and feel like they’re attending a wedding reception,” said Cristal Lastra, vice president of sales and marketing at J.C. Newman Cigar Company.
J.C. Newman Cigar Company recently finished renovations, transforming several spaces in the cigar factory into potential wedding destinations. The organization reached out to the other historic Ybor City venues about teaming up together, and Tie the Knot Ybor was born.
“There’s really, in Ybor City, something for everyone,” Lastra said. “It’s the most historic, and it’s beautiful, and we want people to be aware of that.”
The tour also includes stops at the Cuban Club, the Italian Club, Centro Asturiano, the Ybor City Museum and Hotel Haya. A $10 ticket grants guests refreshments at the venues, two drink tickets and a gift bag, plus trolley rides between event spaces. Over 70 local photographers, caterers, florists, DJs and other vendors will be stationed throughout the venues. Guests can also enter to win a $5,000 honeymoon cruise courtesy of Expedia Cruises and Celebrity Cruises.
For the participating venues and wedding vendors, the event comes at an important time. The wedding industry is still trying to recover after a devastating period.
“We suffered some pretty significant venue losses because of the pandemic,” Lastra said. “A lot of people postponed, but a lot of people didn’t.”
As a layer of precaution against the coronavirus, unvaccinated guests will be asked to wear masks. The starting points for guests have also been staggered to prevent overcrowding at the venues.
Each space has different vibes and features, said Patrick Manteiga, president of the Cuban Club Foundation. He hopes that attendees find the right spot for them during the event.
“We wanted to sell Ybor as a whole as a good place to have a wedding,” he said. “You can do a church wedding, you can have your reception at one of the clubs, you can have the rehearsal dinner there the night before.”
If you go
Tie The Knot Ybor takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 22 across six historic Ybor City venues. The trolley rides run every 25 minutes. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at www.tietheknotybor.com.