We are so excited about our impending wedding season we have decided kick it off with our Venue Showcase series, where we will periodically showcase exceptional venues on our blog! We know that there are so many fantastic venues for you to choose from. We want to help you by highlighting the best wedding venues of the Gulf Coast!
-CASEY CAMPBELL | UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA HISTORIC TRUST
What makes the Barkley House unique or special?
“The awesome view of Pensacola Bay is hard to beat! It’s the perfect venue for an outdoor wedding with a southern flair, and works great for both elegant and rustic themes.”
What is the history of the Barkley House?
“The Barkley House was built around 1825 and is the only remaining example of a masonry high house in Pensacola. It is built on brick pillars nearly seven feet off the ground to prevent flooding due to its close proximity to Pensacola Bay, and to increase airflow in the house during the hot summers. The house is named after its builder George Barkley, who immigrated to America from England in the 1820s, first moving to New Orleans and then to Pensacola. Barkley was instrumental in the development of the modern port of Pensacola, running a very successful shipping business that exported locally made bricks and lumber. He served as City Treasurer and as warden of Christ Episcopal Church. He was reportedly the richest man in Pensacola when he built the home for his wife, Clara, and their nine children.”
Do you have venue tips for future brides?
“Since most Barkley House weddings are outdoor events, couples have to keep in mind the potential for rainy or hot weather. I encourage couples to have a weather contingency plan already in mind when they book. If you know from the start that you have two or three options for poor weather, it will help to eliminate some of the stress leading up to the big day. I tell clients to think about using clear tents and side panels so they don’t have to lose the view even on a rainy day, and to have fans as the ceremony program for weddings in warmer months.”
What is your favorite wedding memory at the Barkley House?
“I LOVE the large magnolia tree, so any wedding that has focus on the tree—either as a back drop for the ceremony or as an anchor for the reception—always gets me. One of the best Barkley weddings had light strands set up to come out from the tree like spokes on a wheel. Guest seating, band, and dance floor were set up on all sides of the tree under the lights. An intimate layout like this, decorated with large flower arrangements, hanging chandeliers, and natural hues can be so romantic.”
How can brides connect with the Barkley House?
“A phone call is best if a couple has a set date they need to check for availability before scheduling an in person visit. However, the grounds are open to the public so couples can also check out the house and grounds on evenings and weekends as long we don’t have an event scheduled, and then schedule a follow up with me. “