THE DONNELLY HOUSE
Birmingham’s premier wedding and event address.
The historic Donnelly House, an example of Neo-classical architecture, was built in 1905 as the residence of James W. Donnelly. This magnificent Georgian-colonial mansion features over 12,000 square feet of living space and spectacular white marble floors.
The home was listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage on May 20, 1975. It is also a contributing property to the Highland Avenue Historic District, a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.
Reserving the Donnelly House for your wedding
A $750 (refundable) security/reservation deposit is required to reserve your date. The deposit is in addition to the rental fee. The deposit is fully refundable provided there is no damage to the facility, and is returned to client within 30 days following the event. The Deposit can be transferred to another date within 14 days of the initial booking date. The deposit is non-refundable due to cancellation.
Rental fee: $3500 (Add $300 for ceremony)
These items/services are included in the rental rate:
(Note: There are additional costs for staffing events exceeding 150+ guest)
The Reception / Ceremony rental fee is due 90 days prior to your event. Additional fees, such as valet, security, etc., are due 21 days prior to event.
If an event is cancelled after reserving a date, client will be charged a service fee calculated based on the timing of the cancellation. Below is our fee schedule. Security deposits are non-refundable due to cancellation.
If you cancel
from Booking date to 270 days before event
from 269 days to 180 days before event
from 179 days to 120 days before event
from 119 days or less before event
Service fee will be
20% of rental fee
50% of rental fee
75% of rental fee
100% of rental fee
You have a choice of having your ceremony inside or outside. Outside locations include our Gazebo Garden, back patio, or front lawn. Capacities: Gazebo–300, back patio–300, front lawn–120. Outdoor ceremonies include 150 white-wood padded chairs. Inside ceremonies include 50 gold Chivari chairs. Additional chairs are available for rent.
Rehearsal Dinners – $500
This includes 3 hours of house rental time, table/chair inventory, setup and cleanup. There are additional staffing costs for parties with 50+ guests.
If your wedding ceremony is not at the Donnelly House, the rehearsal dinner fee is $1200.
The Donnelly House handles all bar service. We allow you to bring your own alcohol, but there is a corkage fee of $5 per person (ages 21 and over) to do so. We usually subtract approximately 20% of the guest count to determine the corkage fee. The corkage fee covers all bar setups, bar equipment, ice, acrylic drink ware, and beverage napkins. Glassware (wine and cocktail glasses) can be provided at 75¢ per person.
The client will provide the Donnelly House with whatever they want to serve at least one day prior to event. This includes: beer, wine, liquor, mixers, fruit, soft drinks, etc. No kegs.
The Donnelly House provides bartenders at $125 per 4-hour event. One bartender is required for every 50 guests. All bars are shut down 30 minutes prior to the ending time of an event. After the event, all remaining beverages are packaged and returned to client that evening. There is a 15% gratuity based on corkage fee. Bar-backs are $75 per 4-hour event, when needed. Last call for bar service is 30 minutes before the ending time of event.
Security – $35 Per Hour
Security is required for any event that has: an outdoor ceremony, an outdoor DJ or Band, and/or alcohol. The Donnelly House will book the security for the event. Security will arrive 30 minutes prior to start of ceremony. Reception-only security will arrive at the starting time of the event. Events with over 150 guests will require two security personnel. The Donnelly House will schedule all security personnel.
The Donnelly House allows bands and DJs. There is a $50 service fee for all bands and DJs. All outdoor entertainment has to end by 9:50 p.m., no exceptions. Noise levels are monitored and adjusted accordingly. The Donnelly House is respectful to its neighbors and neighborhood concerning noise volume. All bands and DJs are required to contact the Donnelly House prior to the event to review and understand loading and unloading procedures, and noise volumes.
Events with over 50 guests are required to have valet parking. We suggest that all events have valet parking due to the limited number of spaces available. Apex Valet is our contracted valet service for the Donnelly House. Apex is licensed and insured and has provided the Donnelly House with excellent service. Valet rates are based on the number of guests attending the event. Below is the rate schedule:
# of Guest
# of Valets on site
We will sit down with you to determine the number of valets your event will need. Shuttles, taxis, and Uber all affect the number of guests using valet. Valet fees are based on a 4-hour event. Valets will arrive 1 hour prior to start time of an event. Additional valet fees are required for events over 4 hours.
Table Linens – $15 Per Table
The Donnelly House can provide table linens in white, ivory, and black. Linen rental includes delivery, placement, removal, and pick up.
Cake Stands – $35 Each
The Donnelly House cake stand inventory includes: 23-inch round, 18-inch round, and 18-inch square.
Outdoor String Lighting
The Donnelly House provides all outdoor overhead string lighting. Light locations and pricing available upon request.
“Day of” Wedding Coordinator
The Donnelly House offers a “Day of” Coordinator. The fee is $300. This includes: coordination of the Donnelly House ceremony rehearsal practice, coordination of the ceremony and reception, a flexible timeline of the event flow, and coordination of the send-off. The Donnelly House Coordinator will arrive 3 hours prior to the ceremony and will remain until the end of the event. Additional time for coordinator is $35 per hour (day of only).
“Brad and I would like to thank you and your staff for a job well done. Could not have asked for a better group to work with. Guests were amazed with the house. The service, food, valet, etc. were outstanding.”
— Linda C., November 2011
“I just want to tell you thank you. It was wonderful for everyone involved. My friends are still talking about the Donnelly House and how much fun they had. Your “McDonald’s Happy Meal” idea was a big hit with the kids. I will definitely use your facility in the future, hopefully for a baby shower.”
— Anna P., September 2012
“Thank you so much for making Cammie’s wedding wonderful. All our friends have commented on how beautiful and clean the house was. Your southern hospitality so impressed the groom’s family. Working with you and your staff was so easy. Please tell your wife thank you helping Cammie the morning of; we don’t know what we would have done without her. Your venue is great, your staff was excellent, and the experience was wonderful for my family and guests. Again, thank you so, so much.”
— Laura T., August 2012
“Roll Tide. The big screen TV in the groom’s room was great to watch the Alabama game before the wedding. I am just glad it ended before the ceremony started; I may have been a little late for the ceremony. Pennie and I just want to thank you and Karen for being great business owners and great people. You hear and read of the horror stories couples have with their wedding site, reception, etc. We honestly have nothing negative to say with the entire experience. There were no surprises and your service and professionalism were more than we could have wished. It was nice getting to know the both of you before the wedding. You have a great place and hope that others can experience what we did at the Donnelly House.”
— James and Pennie C., October 2012
“Our wedding ceremony and reception were exactly what I had envisioned. The outside was manicured and the inside was elegant. Thank you for picking up the champagne that my father forgot. You and your staff made it so easy for us. You where right: all I had to do was to show up and say, “I DO,” eat, party, and ride away. Again, thank you for making our wedding day a great experience.”
— Karen E., March 2012
“What an evening. Just want to tell you and Karen one thing, “WOW.” You and your staff are a machine. Everything was perfect. I know it was warm, but y’all were prepared for the heat. Thank you for suggesting the patio fans and for keeping the inside so cold. I know my father would like to move in. If there is anything I can ever do for you or your family, please do not hesitate to call me. You have an excellent venue and y’all are great people to work with. It meant so much to me that you made my parents feel special the entire evening. Stay in touch.
— Julie S., July 2012
“We could not have asked for a better experience. You and your staff made the day go so smooth. The rain plan worked better than I could have imagined. Who would have thought that moving everything inside at the last minute would have been so nice. Please thank your staff. I know they worked extremely hard to make everything happen. Please thank Karen for taking care of our grandparents. It meant the world to my mother and I.
— Jen C., September 2012
“Your venue was perfect. The out of town guests were amazed at how big and nice the house was. Thank you for arranging the hotels and transportation for our wedding party, too. Your beer cooler and Xbox in the groom’s room were big hits with my groomsmen. The outside bar service was killer. Please tell your guys they were great.”
— Marty L., November 2012
“Thank you for all of your help. Twenty days before our planned wedding day, we get a call from our original venue canceling our date due to problems with the site. We were scrambling at this time thinking we were going to have to cancel the wedding. A friend of mine told me to call the Donnelly House because she had gone to a wedding there a few weeks before. Not being form Birmingham, I did not know about your venue. I called you and you had my date available. I came by the next day to look at the house. After we left that day, my mother and I said there was a reason for the original venue to close, because the Donnelly House was suppose to have my wedding. Hands down, the Donnelly House is the best wedding venue in town. You and your staff make it stress free and simple. You could not have had a more stressed-out bride. I felt so relieved after you and your wife told me that everything was going to be OK and for me not to worry about anything. You did take care of everything. You made the worst news the best day of my life.”
— Ashlee T., December 2012
“Thank you for everything regarding the rehearsal dinner. I can’t say enough nice things about your venue and staff. You and Karen were so kind to our guests and us. Thanks again so much. We all had a great time.”
— Daphne K., Oct. 2013
“You and your staff did a great job with our son’s wedding and reception. You have a great venue and excellent staff. You guys truly understand the meaning of customer service. Again, thanks for the great job you do. ”
— Dan K., Oct. 2013
“Thank you and your staff for helping us have a beautiful day. Your hospitality was off the chart. You made the process so smooth. We appreciate everything you did for us.”
— Vin & Norm, April 2013
“Thanks again for everything that you did for our wedding. Your staff was great. Your house was beautiful.”
— Callie P., May 2013
“From the moment we walked into the Donnelly House, we knew that it was the place for us. Aside from the astounding beauty of the mansion, your warmth and compassion won us over. We are so grateful that we spent the best day of our lives there. We were so blessed to work with the sweetest people throughout our wedding planning. You guys made planning fun and so much less stressful. We love the house and we love you all. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for making our wedding day feel as though we were getting married at a friend's home (a very nice home). It meant the world to us.”
— Anna & Matt, March 2013
“I only write “thank you” notes when I truly feel thankful. This is one of those moments. Our wedding was as close to perfection as you can get, besides my sister-in-law’s dance moves. You and your staff we outstanding. I noticed two of you guys helping my grandfather up the stairs of the house because he wanted to see the second floor. They didn’t have to help him and my grandfather did not ask them to help him. They just did. I can’t say enough on how kind you and your wife are. We never felt uncomfortable asking you guys anything. What I am trying to say is, you made us feel like we had known you all for years, like friends. Much success, you deserve it.”
— Joey T., August 2013
All catering is provided by Donnelly House Catering.
Client is free to use any vendor of their choice to perform their floral, cake, entertainment, photography, video, etc. All vendors contracted to perform services at the Donnelly House must be professional and follow all Donnelly House rules and procedures. The Donnelly House has the sole discretion to disallow any vendor chosen by client. Client is to provide the Donnelly House with the vendors they have chosen prior to the event to be pre-approved. All vendors selected must contact the Donnelly House to review any pertinent rules/procedures/policies.
There is a $75 service charge for tent setups.
Table and Chair Inventory
Tables and chairs are included in the house rental. Below is the inventory that is available for client to use:
• Ten 5-foot round tables
• Four 4-foot round tables
• Ten rectangle tables (30 x 72 inches)
• Ten highboy tables
• 50 gold Chiavari chairs (inside only)
• 75 white padded chairs (outside only)
Note: Table and chair setup and breakdown (Donnelly House inventory only) is included in our wedding package. There is a $50 fee for any outside vendor rentals that require Donnelly House staff for setup.
We'd love to hear from you.
For venue availability, information, or to schedule an appointment to view the Donnelly House, please fill out and submit the form below.
2838 Highland Ave. South
Birmingham, AL 35205
The Historic Donnelly House is located in Birmingham, Alabama.
THE DONNELLY HOUSE