Is there a wedding venue more Kentucky than Churchill Downs? We really don’t think so. But read on to see if this location is a good fit for you!
Churchill Downs, Louisville Kentucky
Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, is perhaps the most quintessential wedding venue you can get if your goal is to let your location define your big day.
The Kentucky Derby is stunningly the longest continually-running sporting event in America, which is quite a feat for an event that lasts all of 2 minutes.
Yet, it’s no surprise that this legendary location has been transfixed into a desirable event venue for weddings and other group gatherings also. Churchill Downs is truly unlike any other wedding venue out there, and no one else can ever come close when it comes to matching the accolades of this historical landmark.
First opened in 1875, Churchill Downs was inspired and dreamt up by Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark when he traveled from France to England to attend the Epsom Derby. His imagination ran wild with the thoughts of establishing his own attention-grabbing horse racing event in America. How marvelous it would be!
A savvy businessman, Clark leased the beginnings of the land, at 80 acres, from his uncles. To raise money for the building, he sold memberships to the racetrack, and then used the profits of those sales to pay for the clubhouse, grandstand, lodge, and stables. While those initial structures are still being used to this day, his endeavor did not stop here.
At almost 150 years later, the property currently expands over a vast 147 acres and what started in 1875 with 10,000 spectators now facilitates record-breaking crowds of more than 170,000!
Needless to say, it would be pretty much impossible to produce a sizable guest list that Churchill Downs couldn’t handle. With over 13 event spaces and more coming, you may find you almost have too many options. We really enjoy the Rooftop Garden for a cocktail hour that features track views and city views!
And of course it goes without saying that any establishment that can handle the fasting sporting event ever, with record-breaking guests count, can most certainly handle delivering you a memorable wedding day.
Churchill Downs prides themselves in timeline management with the obvious expertise of event staging, which is a vote of confidence when it comes to choosing the perfect Louisville wedding venue that will help you design the wedding of your dreams.
Not only that but your wedding photography will really stand the test of time with the timeless and iconic twin spires in the background. Many of the event spaces offer racetrack views and the opportunity to feel really close to the magic that lives at Churchill Downs year round.
We love the idea of gathering your group of friends and family and having everyone follow a theme to really up the ante of a Kentucky Derby wedding. To honor the space in a unique but picture-perfect way, you could have the women wear their finest fascinators and the gentlemen their sportiest blazer.
Actually, now that we’re talking about it, here’s something fascinating — a little baby pun intended — an interactive fascinator hat and fedora making experience complete with an abundance of embellishments, of course. It’s so perfectly on brand for a wedding at Churchill Downs that we hope if you do have your wedding here, that you’ll seriously consider adding on this amazing experience.
With the epitome of southern charm at every turn, there’s no doubt the elegance and stature of Churchill Downs will sweep your guests away into feeling like they’re at a live event.
In fact, you can even host a Mock Racing event where everything is set up to represent a live horse race, and guests can even place wagers through live Mutuel tellers — with Monopoly dollars, no real betting here obviously!
Of course if you are thinking, I want my guests to experience the real life adrenaline of the sport while at Churchill Downs, they’ll let you pre-purchase Mutuel Vouchers in various increments so that your guests can be a part of the action – for real!
Other noteworthy features that Churchill Downs has to offer includes a horse visit, historic walking tours, and commemorative favors for guests.
But we intentionally saved the best for last! What better way is there to be introduced at your wedding than with a Bugler! That’s right, Churchill Downs offers a Call to the Post whether you want to give the signal that it’s time for your guests to take their seat, or if you want to be announced in fashion, this fun add-on will for sure delight your guests and be something they remember forever.
Pricing & Collections
Full Service Dinner and Bar packages are available for your wedding day at Churchill Downs. Options are able to be customized to fit your budget needs.
There’s 17 pages of mouth-watering menu choices, from plated meals, buffet style, appetizers, and they can easily accommodate any dietary restrictions you need. You can click here to see the list for yourself, but warning, it may make you hungry!
Spend your morning here and you can enjoy the delicious brunch menu or the a la carte lunch specials.
Pricing is not readily available on the Churchill Downs website but you can reach out to them through their website here.
Available to Rent
There are tons of rental options available, from audio visual to equipment and can even include coat or restroom attendants among other services. The vast list can be found on the last page of the catering package through this link.
Want to learn more? There’s a wide array of information on the Churchill Downs website, so click here to explore every part of it you’d like.
Looking for something different when it comes to a wedding venue? Don’t worry! There’s so many great options to uncover, click here to be taken back to our main Louisville Wedding Venue page.