Ancient Spanish Monastery
The Ancient Spanish Monastery is one of the most popular wedding venues in South Florida with its arched columns, spacious gardens, and authentic European architecture. The monastery, which was originally constructed in Spain, adds a nostalgic touch of European grandeur right in the heart of southern Florida.
Couples that choose the Ancient Spanish Monastery as a wedding venue always walk away with an array of various photos. Regardless of whether you choose to have your ceremony in the chapel or outdoors, your wedding portfolio will consist of both traditional, church themed photos as well as organic, natural photos.
We usually shoot in the cloisters (the arched walkways surrounding the courtyard) to capture traditional shots as well as the gardens. You’re allowed to bring your own decor, though you’ll probably be surprised by how little you’ll need.
The Ancient Spanish Monastery was originally constructed in northern Spain in 1141 AD and survived for nearly 700 years until social revolutions overtook the church. In 1925, William Randolph Hearst purchased the Cloisters and Outbuildings and shipped them to the United States in 11,000 different packages. It wasn’t until 26 years after Hearst’s death that the Monastery was reconstructed here in southern Florida. To this day, much of the monastery’s construction pieces are from the original design that stood in France for hundreds of years.
The Ancient Spanish Monastery has multiple shooting locations and offers a perfect balance of organic scenery and architectural history. If you choose to have a chapel ceremony, there are three chapels that can accommodate any guest list and budget.
The Main Chapel seats up to 150 guests and includes both an organ and organist which is covered in the rental fee. It’s perfect for larger parties that want their wedding in a traditional church setting.
The Chapter House
The Chapter House is more intimate than the main chapel and can accommodate up to 80 guests. The rental fee covers a keyboard and keyboard player. The Chapter House’s stone walls and arched ceilings give you the feeling of a church without the vast intimidating space.
For couples that want a ceremony with just family and friends, the French Alter is a perfect choice. It can accommodate up to 10 people and you can bring your own music if you wish.
They’ll help bring your ideas to life with elaborate decor services and floral arrangements.
They also offer a world-class catering service where you can customize a menu with their head chef. If you haven’t ordered a cake yet, they can do that for you as well!
The gardens at the Ancient Spanish Monastery are some of the most picturesque spots in all of southern Florida. There are five different gardens, The Loggia, Prayer Well, Banyan Tree, Saviour Garden, and St. John Garden, and each one can hold up to 300 guests.
Each garden features Spanish Oaks, flowering trees and 200 other rare plants that make for a stellar backdrop along with the monastery’s famous arches.
The gardens can accommodate both day and evening ceremonies with lights from the monastery illuminating the gardens.
Receptions are held on the covered stone passages that run along the perimeter of the courtyard. If you wish to have cocktails before the reception, you can do so in the gardens. Receptions are 3 hours long and each additional hour is $500.
You’re also free to bring your own vendors to the reception and decorate as you wish. Should you choose to have an evening wedding, you’ll still be able to have a reception as long as it ends by 12:30am.