What is your building capacity?
This depends on both the area and type of event, but we have capacity for 475 guests seated at tables for a reception. For combination weddings and receptions, we can seamlessly handle 275 with no need to transition any area. With a minimal amount of replacing chairs for tables (OUR STAFF - not YOUR GUESTS), we can easily accommodate 350.
Your guests won't have to carry their own chairs from the ceremony to the reception area (for real, I've done this!) and they won't have to go outside to wait while the ceremony area is being flipped to a reception area (my son had to do this).
Although there are two separate areas upstairs, one for the ceremony and one for the reception, they are joined and only separated by curtains. When you're ready, we draw back the curtains and the entire area becomes one continuous space. This allows all of your guests to see your entrance and your first dance. No separate rooms or floors so no need for anyone to feel left out when they have to try to peep around a door to watch you cut your cake.
Will someone from The Laboratory Mill team be present on our wedding day?
Absolutely yes! A Laboratory Mill team member is here before you arrive and will be here to assist with making your day a success. Our team members are not wedding day coordinators but they will be working behind the scenes to ensure all vendors have the help and information they need to perform their roles. We have team members here during your event and they'll be the last ones to leave so there will always be someone here to help you.
Do you allow outside caterers?
Yes, if you absolutely insist on a caterer not on our preferred list, for an additional fee (because this is an extra burden on our staff), you may use anyone who is licensed and insured.
BUT, we have carefully chosen our caterers with YOU in mind! They have been selected because of their level of service, quality of food, and attention to detail. Additionally, we have purposely selected small business owners because they are personally invested in the success of your event. (And because they're nice and we like them!)
Initially, we allowed our clients to choose any caterer but soon found many problems with this. Restaurants who offer 'catering' often know nothing about the difference in running a restaurant and running a catering service. We experienced problems with some caterers not providing enough staff to ensure timely service, not bringing sweeteners or cups or forks, not showing up on time, even running out of food.
We want a great experience for you and your guests!
Do I need to schedule a tour or can I just stop by?
We kindly request you call or email to schedule a tour.
Is there a food and beverage, or guest count minimum?
No. Many venues have minimums because they make a commission from the caterer based on how much you spend on food and drinks. We choose NOT to make a commission because we want your food and beverage options to be as elegant or affordable as your budget allows. We choose our caterers based on service and food selections, not on how much money we can make off of them.
Are there hotels nearby?
Yes! Although we appear to be "out in the middle of nowhere", we're actually only 4 miles from Lincolnton's Court Square. The Hampton Inn is in Lincolnton near the intersection of 150 and 321. There is also a Quality Inn for anyone who needs to bring a pet. Additionally, there are several hotels in Dallas (at the intersection of I-85 and 321) and Hickory.
Will there be another wedding the same day?
At The Laboratory Mill, we only host one wedding each day to ensure that couple's event is special and receives our undivided attention.
Are dogs allowed to play a part in our wedding day?
Yes! We have had as many as 12 dogs in a wedding (as well as a pig!) BUT, they must be on a leash, are not allowed into the reception area or near food, and must leave immediately after the ceremony.
Are candles allowed?
No. The only exception to this is a unity candle during the ceremony. This is an historical building that we'd like to ensure is here for future generations to enjoy!
We have allowed candles in the past, and after seeing candles hung directly beneath dried tree branches, floating candles at the very top of vases, moss burnt from being intentionally put in candles, and our own staff accidentally catching a cotton bole on fire, we no longer allow live flames. Wonderful alternatives are battery powered LEDs, water powered floating LEDs, or battery powered fairy string lights.
Are outside snacks and trays allowed?
Yes AND No. Yes, prior to the ceremony. No, after the start of the event.
Are we responsible for set up and tear down?
The Laboratory Mill staff will set up the tables to your pre-approved table layout, complete with linens. You or your florist (or your army of friends) will be responsible for all decorations, both before the event and for clearing them out after the event. The Laboratory Mill staff will handle all the standard clean up and trash removal both during and following the event.