For couples who met at Auburn or are fans of the Tigers, hosting their wedding on The Plains can make their special day more sentimental and memorable.
Couples have the option to host their wedding reception inside the Auburn Arena, although, this is a rare opportunity because of a few limiting factors.
Because the arena is located on campus, the food and beverage vendors, along with the live music must be University-approved. The event approval process can only begin six months in advance because Auburn Athletics event coordinators must book the date around sporting events.
“Generally, we can’t nail down a date or save a room [in the arena] until six months out,” said Cayce Haylay, Auburn Athletics coordinator of athletic hospitality and special events. “It can be a little bit of a challenge because you plan weddings for a really long time.”
She said they must present the proposed wedding reception six months prior to a committee and the planning process begins upon approval. Since the arena is located on campus, the University and athletics’ protocols must be followed.
“We plan the logistics. Like if there’s alcohol, we get all the proper approvals to have alcohol in the space,” Haylay said. “We book the police officers, the EMS and just make sure we have everyone we need to secure the event.”
For the coordinating of the reception itself, the event planners encourage the bride to use her own wedding planner, but she must choose from University-approved vendors, Haylay said.
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There are six preferred catering vendors, two linen, two audio and visual, two floral shops and four photographers that are University-approved options that brides may choose from.
The receptions do not take place on the court, instead they are held in the Courtside Lounge, which hosts 150 guests, or the Scholarship Terrace and Mezzanine overlooking Jordan-Hare Stadium, which hosts 250 guests.
There have only been a handful of wedding receptions in the Auburn Arena, and the most recent reception took place last summer.
The Courtside Lounge has a $2,000 usage fee, and the Scholarship Terrace and Mezzanine has a $2,500 usage fee. Both spaces are subject to a $150 fee for additional hours.
“There’s been less than 10 [in the five years] I’ve been here,” said Taylor Pair, Auburn Athletics coordinator of athletic hospitality and special events. “It’s a little difficult because some brides don’t want to wait until the six-month mark.”
She said the Auburn Arena serves a different purpose than a traditional wedding reception venue. The volume of events is limited since the arena’s primary purpose is hosting sporting events, practices and camps.
“It is a unique location, especially if graduates either met here or it’s an important part of their relationship,” Pair said. “We enjoy the ones that are here.”
Despite the limiting factors that coincide with having a wedding reception in the Auburn Arena, the experience is special and memorable to couples who adore Auburn.
“It is special, and it is super unique because Auburn does hold a place in everybody’s heart,” Haylay said. “With the limited availability that we have, there’re not a lot of people that are able to come in and out of these spaces. It’s not a place you can go to every weekend, so it’s completely different than any wedding that I’ve been to.”
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