Winter Park-based photographer Steve Graffham recently returned from a month-long photo shoot in Cuba. As part of his business, he photographs resorts for the tourism industry, and so he had been to Cuba before. (He was born in the United Kingdom and receives journalist credentials to go.) This time was different, though: “I had a rental car and before I knew it, when I stopped for directions, people headed the same way were opening my car doors and jumping in for a ride. By custom, it is expected that any driver will take passengers to their destinations.” Luckily, Steve speaks fluent Spanish!
The end result was Steve became more immersed in the culture and people than on previous visits. He began taking pictures of the things he saw around him and appreciating their historical context. He explains, “Right now, Cuba is a slice of history…with the classic American cars.”
When we attended the VIP Reception last night, my husband was quite taken with the vintage 50’s era cars set against colorful art-deco buildings. We both reminisced how our grandparents used to take a cruise to Cuba to gamble…it was the Las Vegas of the early part of the 1900’s. Such interesting history!
VIP Reception at the Chapel.
The Colors of Cuba exhibit is open this weekend to correspond with the Winter Park Art Festival. Just two blocks off Park Avenue (just down from the Farmer’s Market on New England), the Winter Park Wedding Chapel is an easy walk that many of you will go by when parking. If you can’t make it this weekend, you can stop by each Saturday from 8 am- 1 pm until April 17. The Chapel has been wonderfully transformed into an effective viewing gallery.
For more information on this exhibit, be sure to read The Park Press March 2010 edition.
Here’s a video the Top 5 took of the Winter Park Wedding Chapel when it first opened:
I visted the Winter Park Wedding Chapel (301 New England) yesterday and was very impressed. This quaint place is not only perfect for the charming small wedding, but it is also a wonderfully spiritual place for yoga, meditation, and meetings in general. Located a few blocks off Winter Park’s famed Park Avenue, the Wedding Chapel is down New England toward the refurbished Hannibal Square district, near Dexter’s and Hot Olives. The Winter Park Farmer’s Market is located within a stone’s throw and is the ideal place for a picturesque reception to accompany the Wedding Chapel.
Steve and Suzanne Graffham are the lovely owners who have taken this historic building (once a church) and have redone the floors, ceiling, lighting, and even landscaping of the structure. The Graffhams have also used their UK roots to become a destination wedding place for many British couples, helping to boost Winter Park tourism.
A professional photographer who specializes in fashion shoots and luxury resorts, Steve uses his Winter Park Photography as an additional service the Wedding Chapel can offer. The nearby salons, restaurants, and florists are also readily available to create a dream wedding for the right couples.
This smaller space fills a need in a high-demand area. The Winter Park Civic Center is reserved years in advance and many of the churches are difficult to book as well, leaving many hopeful couples hardpressed to find an ideal location. The Wedding Chapel provides a beautiful backdrop to create a dream wedding and as of now it is still readily available. As Steve told me, “We’ve done eight weddings and we have fourteen more booked. But, business is really picking up.”
What’s even more exciting is the Graffhams are putting the space to good use during the week when it is not being used for weddings. The Wedding Chapel offers yoga on Tuesdays and Sundays at 6 pm. As Suzanne points out, the wooden floor is forgiving and allows for more comfortable positioning than many other studios in the area. Instructor Dave Walsh charges $10 per hour and a half session.
Check out the short video below and then visit the Wedding Chapel website for more info.