ST. MARYS — Maker’s Warehouse, a soon-to-be wedding venue on Brusselles Street, will be making dreams come true for couples looking to be married in the Elk County area.
St. Marys native Melissa Gornati, who works as an engineer in State College, said the idea for a wedding venue was something she mentioned to her mother, Marie Aul, two years ago. Soon their goal was to have a large space to attract people not just from Elk County, but surrounding areas, too.
Gornati said the old industrial building they are converting is in a convenient location, with wedding guests being able to cross a bridge behind the warehouse to reach nearby hotels. It’s also within walking distance of downtown St. Marys and nearby bars like the Straub Brewery Visitor Center and Tap Room on Brusselles Street.
She said she hopes to have the upstairs level completed by spring, with North Woods Homes as the contractor, Gornati said. Weddings are already booked for the fall season.
The venue has been a great mother-daughter project for Gornati and Aul, who are building their dream together, Gornati said.
The venue — a former office building and Beimel Baseball facility — encompasses around 7,300 square feet, Gornati said. The main hall upstairs will hold 450 people, with a galley kitchen for caterers in the back half, and a bar outside the kitchen. The downstairs can hold close to 250 guests.
Her favorite part, Gornati said, is planning the design. She drew all the blueprints herself with a clear vision of what she wants the building to be, including wood vinyl flooring, large beam trusses made of steel in the main hall, original brick walls and all-glass garage doors. There were a lot of items left behind in the building, too, which she plans to upcycle.
“We’re trying to keep its original integrity,” she said, adding she has been pulling inspiration from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia-area wedding venues.
The goal was to provide options and guide the bridal parties each step of the way, Gornati said, including a pricing package for all budgets, offering an in-house caterer, full bar and list of preferred DJs and flower vendors.
The warehouse will allow for larger-scale weddings, Gornati says. A concrete patio will be built in the back, and hopes of additional parking spaces in the future.