Creating Space: New Event Venue Opens in Wilmington
Belle Vue Wilmington is the latest venue to meet the needs of the local wedding and event industry.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Lindsey A. Miller
Ray Baca spends a lot of time at weddings. As a photographer who relocated to Wilmington in 2000, he has had the honor of photographing a lot of ceremonies. Over the years, he has learned that he also loves creating event spaces that other photographers will look forward to working in.
For the past five years, Baca has lived, worked and played in downtown Wilmington. Four years ago, he started the event space The Loft on Front. The Loft (as it is known) was designed for larger parties. Rehearsal dinners and parties of approximately 60 people fit the space perfectly. Over time, The Loft became wildly popular with brides.
But Baca noticed that there was still something missing.
“As I progressed through my bookings I saw a need for something smaller, more intimate,” he says. “As people started asking me about bridal suites and baby showers, I thought to myself, ‘Wow, there isn’t a fashionable or upscale venue for smaller parties.’”
So Baca partnered with Kelly Marie Farrell to create a brand-new event space downtown: Belle Vue Wilmington.
“With so many weddings in and around the downtown area, we found a need for an upscale, spacious venue for brides to get ready in,” Baca says. “With The Loft being so popular we needed a second one that is primarily dedicated to an amazing bridal experience.”
Farrell, known for her artistry and eye for detail, had been in the wedding industry for more than five years as director of Silverceiling Makeup Artistry. After working several weddings on-location in downtown Wilmington, she found herself dragging beauty lights, director’s chairs and a whole “production” to work in dimly lit hotel rooms. She dreamt of a place that would be fashionable and cater to bridal parties without requiring everyone to be running all about town.
Belle Vue is perfect for smaller, intimate events of 49 people or less. Baca and Farrell outfitted the space with everything they could think the modern bride and her bridal party will need.
The space is adorned with more than ten windows, so natural light pours in from every angle, making it a makeup artist’s and photographer’s dream. Farrell can’t wait to welcome other makeup artists and stylists to enjoy the space.
“We have everything you would find in an upscale bridal salon,” she says.
At about 2,000 square feet, it offers plenty of room for a bridal party to spread out while still sharing the pre-wedding experience together in the same room. Bridesmaids and the bride can enjoy each other’s company all morning while they are pampered before walking down the aisle for the big event.
Baca and Farrell designed Belle Vue to be versatile, and they also plan to host bridal showers and luncheons, baby showers, bachelorette parties and other small events.
“We have plans to offer brunches, sparkly beverages, as well as anything and everything for the bride to feel at home,” Baca says. “With the location being in the heart of downtown, the beautiful spacious feel and the gorgeous natural light, we knew this would be a cocktail for success.”
Baca and Farrell are thrilled to open the space to all wedding professionals.