A large retractable door at the main entry allows for the space to be completely open to the outside patio area. Photos by Emily Green Photo

Venue Debut: The Mallory brings something new to St. Francisville

Despite bearing her name, St. Francisville’s new event venue, The Mallory, wasn’t built specifically for Mallory Charlet Vascocu, the daughter and sister of the space’s developers and builders, parents Don and Susan Charlet and brothers Cage and John Luke Charlet. When she became engaged in December 2022, the venue was already solidly in the Charlets’ plans for the downtown property, dubbed North Commerce, which also includes the family’s stores, The Corbel, Barlow Fashion and Deyo Supply Company.

“We’ve been working on these businesses for so long,” explains Cage. “We never tried to slow anything down, but it was just perfect timing.”

Mallory’s wedding to fiancée Jake Vascocu on October 7, 2023 was the first ever held in the space, a fitting debut considering the name the family landed on for the venue. But planning the event while the building was still under construction was no small task.

The large main area features space for a stage and simple but statement-making chandeliers overhead. Mallory opted to complete the space with long tables for her guests to eat and take a seat when not on the dance floor.

“I had to do a lot of envisioning,” Mallory explains. “It wasn’t finished until the weekend before, but I just kept telling myself to trust the process. If worse came to worse, we could just put up tents on the concrete slab. We could make it happen.”

Mallory’s positivity was a driving force during the planning process, and possibly the key to the overall flawless wedding day that resulted. Instead of hiring a wedding planner or florist, she and her close-knit group of family and friends took on the task of not only transforming the newly built space on Mallory and Jake’s wedding day, but also shaping the design during the construction process.

Mallory works as an interior designer herself, but rather than taking over the project, she relied heavily on her sister-in-law Lauren Charlet, who is also a designer. They dreamt up a grand entry that would be a true “wow moment” for guests, and selected finishes like the rustic entryway bar and simple overhead chandelier.

Newlyweds Mallory and Jake Vascocu

“I knew I wanted the first impression to be amazing,” Mallory says. “Especially with the door open, it sets the tone.”

The large space can accommodate more than 500 people. But thanks to details like sectioned-off areas with moody paint covering the walls and curated bar areas, the space still manages to feel intimate.

“I can’t exactly explain it, but the venue really reflects Mallory’s personality somehow,” explains Cage. “It was nice to have her be a part of this whole process, and it was especially special to have her wedding be the venue’s first. Mallory doesn’t work with us, and I think this made her feel like she was a part of it.”

Rather than hire a florist, Mallory enlisted the help of family friend Amber Thorne, who arranged the reception flowers in a deer shed. “The door actually fell off while she was working on the flowers,” Mallory recalls with a laugh. “But it all came together so beautifully in the end.”

The family has even bigger plans for the future of North Commerce, including concerts in the square outside of The Mallory, as well as a few restaurants and a hotel. And in addition to private events held at The Mallory, the Charlets are already planning a schedule of events hosted by themselves and other local vendors.

“It’s exciting to see St. Francisville have so much momentum and to be a part of that,” Cage says. “St. Francisville is the perfect quaint town with all the good things about a small town but the amenities and conveniences of a larger town. And it’s the ideal destination for a wedding. It’s still close but it’s far enough to give your guests a true experience.”