In 2009, Carli and Hamilton Dixon closed on three buildings along East Third Street they wanted to renovate into something the Dayton community could use. While each building was in a state of serious disrepair, the Dixons—and the many friends, partners and neighbors who helped them in this project—committed themselves to bringing the spaces back to life.

After several years of work and different ideas for how to use the buildings—at various times, the buildings were planned to be an artist space with community gardens or just sold after rehabilitation—the couple’s artist friends intimated their interest in renting the space for events.

That apparent interest in making the warehouse into a rentable venue was accentuated by Hamilton Dixon’s appreciation for the building’s bones.

“Walking in and seeing these hand-hewn beams from the late 1800s and just the sheer scale of them—he knew what he was looking at,” Carli recalls, “even though the Realtors would say, ‘Well, if you can figure out how to get the demo paid for it would make a good parking lot.’”

It’s been a long process of breathing new life into these buildings. In late 2018, the 18,000-square-foot building at 905 E. Third St. was officially christened The Brightside Music and Event Venue and opened to the public.

Within The Brightside are two event spaces that can be used individually or in tandem. The tall, long Vodvil Ballroom comfortably seats 250 people—featuring brick walls and those same historic ceiling beams exposed to create a ceremony or reception space with a bit of edge befitting a rock show venue—whereas the smaller Brightside Bar area can hold seating for 65 or standing cocktail space for up to 110 people.

The two combined provide a trendy, varied space for both wedding ceremonies and receptions.

By design, there’s plenty of room for customization, Carli points out. The light fixtures, for example, are not permanently installed and can be removed or switched out with different lights upon request.

“That was completely with the objective of supporting wildly different visions for weddings and special events,” she says.

The Brightside Music and Event Venue has no specific vendor affiliations, allowing clients to choose their preferred caterer, florist, photographer or anything else, but it has a list of preferred vendors for any party that would like a referral.

The venue has two parking lots of its own, which can park a total of 320 vehicles. The Brightside Bar also has its own liquor license, providing an easy option for drinks at the reception.

For Carli and Hamilton they’re happy to have this place to offer to all parts of the Dayton community and all the various ways the people within it can think to use it for. The name itself came from a desire to break down any self-imposed divisions between neighborhoods.

“We just wanted to be The Brightside,” says Carli. “If you have good intentions, you want to get people together, this is the place to have your event. That’s sort of what’s been ringing true in the first year of operation.”

Just about 15 miles south in Miamisburg sits Canopy Creek Farm, another wedding and reception venue with a much more rustic atmosphere. Situated on a 24-acre, 150-year-old farm that owner-operators Danette and Andy Chance bought in 2012, the property offers an elegant and pastoral setting for ceremonies and celebrations to take place.

The centerpiece of the Canopy Creek Farm is the 6,300-square-foot Reception Barn, which can seat 250 in its gorgeous wood-lined interior. The barn has full heating and air conditioning so guests can experience its rustic charm comfortably at any time of year.

Close by is a separate covered patio area at the top of a hill that can be used in addition to or instead of the barn for a wedding day, as well as a paved walking path down to the property’s pond and the creek that runs near to it. Renters have full use of the entire farm allowing endless customization for outdoor wedding ceremonies. The Chances recently renovated the barn’s bride’s room while adding a new groom’s room near the horse barn.

Though the farm’s horses aren’t really part of the average Canopy Creek Farm wedding, there have been plenty of brides and grooms wanting to integrate the curious and personable equines into photo opportunities. Plus, the entire property is pet-friendly, allowing for any other furry friends of the family to join in the celebration.

Danette Chance recalls one bride whose wedding was taking place shortly after the first horses were meant to arrive at the barn and called several times to make sure they’d be there for her ceremony.

“Spirit [one of the farm’s horses] ended up trying to eat her bouquet,” she says with a chuckle. “And she loved it, she thought that was so great.”

Canopy Creek Farm allows brides and grooms to select any vendors that fit their budget and needs but also has an impressive list of preferred providers to offer. With so much room and potential for customizing the ceremony and reception, couples can plan their dream wedding without much worry of spatial constraints or limitations of design.

The venue is located at 600 Benner Road and can host weddings and receptions any day of the week except on major holidays. As such, any engaged couples worried that they’re too late to reserve Canopy Creek Farm can take solace in the availability of weekdays for their special day.