In 1935, author and historian David Cohn said: “The Mississippi Delta begins in the lobby of The Peabody Hotel and ends on Catfish Row in Vicksburg. The Peabody is the Paris Ritz, the Cairo Shepherd’s, the London Savoy of this section. If you stand near its fountain in the middle of the lobby… ultimately you will see everybody who is anybody in the Delta.”
On September 1, 2022, the Peabody Memphis celebrated its 153rd anniversary, marking a long and esteemed past of being the go-to social and business hub of the region. Known by many as “The South’s Grand Hotel,” the Peabody boasts the same air of elegance and grandeur that it had when it was first built. Today’s version of the iconic Southern hotel was built in 1925, but the original Peabody vision began in 1869, when the original hotel was built by Colonel Robert C. Brinkley. Located at the corner of Main and Monroe in downtown Memphis, Tennessee, the project cost $60,000 and was named after the late philanthropist, George Peabody.
The Peabody Memphis is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International was awarded to some very special members of the hotel’s history – the Peabody Ducks. Arguably the hotel’s biggest attraction, the Peabody Ducks grace visitors with their presence by “marching” to the lobby fountain from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, guided by the esteemed “Duckmaster.” The charming tradition began during the 1930s, and the original Duckmaster, Edward Pembroke, held the position for 50 years.
With so much character, history, and old-world luxury infused into every aspect of this iconic Southern hotel (down to the duck-shaped ice cubes and rubber duckies used to garnish their craft cocktails), it’s an unforgettable wedding venue choice for couples who appreciate timeless elegance and tradition.
“The Peabody is fit for a classic, traditional wedding,” says Paige Goodwin, the hotel’s Catering Manager. “Our busiest time of year is Fall and Spring. We typically book weddings no further than a year in advance, so I would reach out around the one-year mark to inquire about booking.”
Weddings at the Peabody Memphis are naturally sophisticated and opulent, simply because of the hotel’s awe-inspiring architecture; yet the ambiance is still warm and inviting, with a palpable sense of Southern hospitality. A selection of ornate ballrooms provide options for intimate weddings to lavish celebrations alike, and guests will enjoy tucking in to a delectable wedding menu featuring elevated versions of classic favorites.
“We can accommodate interactive stations with a variety of carving stations, buffets, and plated dinners,” Paige shares. “Our buffets range from American Classic to Mediterranean, Southwest, and Italian. Our banquet team can also accommodate rehearsal dinners and farewell brunches. Guests may dine in Capriccio Grill for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Corner Bar and Lobby Bar are always open for cocktails. The Corner Bar may also be rented out for a private event. And brides may enjoy Afternoon Tea in Chez Philippe for a bridal luncheon.”
Whether guests are planning their dream wedding in Memphis or simply want to enjoy a stylish trip to the past, this is the perfect season to visit the Peabody Memphis and toast to the property’s 153 years of history.
Visit peabodymemphis.com for more information.