Jen Hearn

Jen Hearn's Fabulous List: Favorite Cleveland Venues

Ariel International Center: This venue has the most beautiful view of the Cleveland skyline! The Skyline Lake Room at Ariel International Center is gorgeous with exposed brick, vaulted ceilings, and beautiful lighting in a renovated warehouse. It's a really unique combo of urban and elegance.

Cleveland Botanical Gardens: The Botanical Gardens is a popular spot for wedding and portraits. I've been shooting for years and finally had a chance to shoot a wedding there in December. Unfortunately it was raining, but to my surprise the indoor options were beautiful. The room we used had huge windows facing the gardens, and we had an hour to shoot inside a rain forest that included butterflies. Pure magic!

Downtown Cleveland / E. 4th Street: This entire area of downtown packs so many great spots into a few blocks. Tons of great restaurants and clubs and a cool downtown vibe.

Crop Bistro: Located in Ohio City in the former the United Bank Building. Built in 1925, the structure was designed by architects Frank Walker and Harry Weeks features six massive arched windows along the building’s facade, a coffered ceiling, 12 bronze light fixtures ornamented in gold, and 17,000 square feet of floor space. The i 5,000-square-foot vault is now a private dining room. The views from the Skylight Penthouse is incredible and the food is amazing.

cleveland public library wedding portrait

Cleveland Public Library: This is another gorgeous spot right in the heart of downtown Cleveland. It's a mix of classical and modern architecture. There are beautiful marble staircases, sculptures, a reading room and a garden. It's always busy on the weekends and it's only $50 to have access for taking pics. The Saturday I shoot wedding pics there, we saw at least 4 other bridal parties. I enjoy the chaos.

House of Blues: This venue is the the heart of all the downtown Cleveland fun. AND it's where my husband and I had our reception (after we eloped in Vegas.) There are a few different venue rooms and all are decked out in funky old school rock and roll style. The staff are wonderful and there are so many great spots to explore all around the area.

Squire's Castle: This is a favorite spot for anyone who grew up in Lake County. It's an actual little castle in the MetroParks! It was built around 1895 and was meant to be a gatekeeper's house to a larger home. The project was abandoned and eventually the land became a public park. My granddad took me to the castle when I was young (back in the ancient time of the 1970's.) It was vandalized, covered in graffiti and full of empty beer cans. In 1995 the structure was restored and it's now a very popular spot for families and weddings.

Music Box Supper Club: Another great spot is Music Box, located on the West Bank of the flats in downtown Cleveland. There's a gorgeous waterfront view and a rooftop deck overlooking downtown Cleveland. The bar is fantastic and the staff are super friendly. It's got a hipster vibe, but they allow awkward camera nerds take pics of weddings.

Fairmont Creamery: A former ice cream factory is now the perfect spot in Tremont for a rooftop wedding. It was built in 1930 and closed in 1983. It sat abandoned until it was refurbished in 2013. It's a Cleveland landmark and offers a view of both football and baseball stadiums. I don't know much about sports, but if that's your thing, the Fairmont would be perfect!

NOAH'S in Mentor: Another popular East side venue is NOAH's. It's got great indoor and outdoor options, and ton of great spots for portraits. The reception hall is huge and quickly turns into an amazing dance floor.

Cleveland Zoo Stillwater Center: This might be my favorite venue. Because elephants! And there's a carousel!!!

cleveland playhouse square wedding

Crowne Plaza Theater District: This is just a great downtown spot. Everyone loves the big chandelier. I like being able to walk around the area, so many great spots for portraits.

Lakeview Cemetery: I know it might sound like an odd place for photos, but the grounds of Lakeview are gorgeous!!!!

But really, anywhere in Cleveland is going to be awesome!!!