The stately elegance of Beauvoir, The Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library, attracts engaged couples from all over the country for their weddings and receptions. The historic estate located in Biloxi served as the home of Jefferson Davis and includes breath-taking views of the Mississippi Sound, centuries-old southern oaks, two quaint cottages, a veterans’ cemetery and the original house built in 1852.
Although the main house is not available for events, couples have many options for their ceremony and photography on Beauvoir’s 52 sprawling acres. Kitsaa Stevens, Development & Programs Manager, explained, “Beauvoir is such a beautiful, blank canvas where couples can create the wedding of their dreams. You can dress it up, keep it simple or modernize it. No two weddings look the same here.”
Another unique feature of the property is what Stevens calls the three-in-one wedding, which photographers love for its versatility. Standing in front of the house, couples can take advantage of the front steps and wrap-around porch for a historic wedding feel. At the front of the property, the Mississippi Sound, shore and a lighthouse in the background create the illusion of a beach wedding without the sand. A pivot to the left positions the couple in front of a lush backdrop of mature trees for the ethereal romance of a deep forest wedding.
The gorgeous estate is a venue only, allowing couples to truly transform the event spaces with décor and vendors of their choice. The Event Lawn is just 20 steps from the main house and has plenty of room for guests to gather under a large tent or to enjoy an evening under the stars. The West Field features columns of oak trees and a big clearing that encourages wedding planners to get creative. One father of the bride erected a large, wooden, custom-built steeple structure for the couple’s ceremony. Another wedding included chandeliers hanging from the trees. “There are so many possibilities that we strongly encourage engaged couples to take a tour of the estate to find a special place that speaks to them. Photos don’t do it justice. You really have to see the property in person,” Stevens emphasized. “We take them on a golf cart tour of 52 acres. If a bride finds more than one spot that speaks to her heart, she can get married in one place and take photos anywhere else on the property – except the house – but the wedding party can walk through the original house and down the beautiful 1800s steps.”
The wedding package includes both cottages and the outdoor event spaces. The bride and bridal party can use the Hayes Cottage to get dressed and ready. The groomsmen can prepare in Library Pavilion overlooking the Mississippi Sound. An overnight stay in the Hayes Cottage, which doubles as a honeymoon suite, is included in the package. In the event of inclement weather, Beauvoir can accommodate up to 350 guests in an indoor event space. To entertain guests, couples can add a historic experience and have the main house open with guide in period dress to give tours.
Beauvoir also offers an elopement package. “We have what we call a Shotgun Wedding for $200,” Stevens explained. “It is for weddings with 20 guests or less for two hours. We provide the location and chairs. You provide bride, groom, minister, guests and photographer. A popular spot for Shotgun Weddings is the magnificent Jefferson Davis Oak. “We do quite a bit of those and can accommodate them any time unless there is a full wedding schedule for that Saturday,” she continued. “As a matter of fact, a couple came to visit Beauvoir for their anniversary, which was the following day. When they heard about the elopement package, they booked a vow renewal the next day! It was really special.”
Beauvoir recently hosted what Stevens called an “emergency wedding.” The bride called after an outdoor venue canceled due to weather. Stevens said, “We all pulled together and planned her wedding in a week, put it together and less than five hours and it was incredible. That’s not normal for us,” she laughed, “but we were happy to go the extra mile under the circumstances.”
There are no preferred vendors but the staff at Beauvoir has worked with many area businesses and is more than happy to help couples choose their wedding team. And the staff is at the ready to help in many ways in the days and hours leading up to the ceremony. There’s even a wedding officiant on site who can assist couples with organizing the ceremony and writing vows.
photos courtesy of Beauvoir