As a professional in the wedding industry, I see a lot of weddings. A lot of bridal gowns, a lot of bridesmaids dresses, a lot of color combinations, a lot of photographs, a lot of venues.
And oh, those venues!
While I love every aspect of the wedding ceremony (see my last wedding post here for more details on that topic!), the venues fascinate me. While in the past most weddings were held in a church (for obvious reasons, I think) it has become increasingly popular — and accepted — to marry in a location outside the typical church setting. I perform music for weddings on a regular basis and I have played in locations that have ranged in variation from private country clubs, art galleries, outdoor settings, vineyards and barns.
Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite ideas on venue hunting with you. Whether you’re more traditional in the sense that you would never consider having your wedding anywhere other than a church setting or if you’re anxious to find that never-before-used-spot, I think you will appreciate the beauty in the ideas below.
1. The Rustic Venue
If you’re into the rustic-y kind of look, an option like this could be a really cool alternative to the increasingly popular barn venue option. It looks like this could be an old schoolhouse/historical building/original farmhouse type of place decorated simply with a few strategically placed chandeliers, flower petals and tulle. It combines the rural charm of a barn but adds a touch of sophistication with its uniqueness. Check with your local and/or smaller, surrounding communities for one-room schoolhouses, town halls or nineteenth century log cabin churches or houses for similar options!
This open-air chapel at Gruene Estates in New Braunfels, Texas is a clever combination of church/outdoor/rustic themes for the bride who wants to keep tradition alive by marrying in a church but also desires to incorporate a bit of sunlight into her ceremony, too.
2. The Regal Venue
If you’re really into the whole wedding planning process, you would probably frown at the idea of marrying your Mister in City Hall. But don’t scroll down yet! Have you actually been inside your City Hall? Many of America’s most beautiful buildings are town halls. Take San Francisco’s City Hall, for example. How gorgeous is this?! Because I’m not suggesting an elopement by any means, renting City Hall for your wedding ceremony might just be an option where you live; in some cities it may not be, but it’s definitely worth checking in to see if you have a hidden gem of a location right in your city’s downtown.
3. The Artsy Venue
For the bride who is artistic herself or really just has a love of artwork and history, an art museum would be a lovely wedding venue. The Cleveland Art Museum (local for me!) boasts gorgeous exhibits, royal staircases, beautiful outdoor gardens and an open atrium courtyard. Both locally-owned and public art museums are usually available for weddings, as well as art galleries and concert halls if the arts are your thing.
4. The Indoor-Outdoor Venue
Outdoor weddings are beautiful, whimsical and often economical; unfortunately, it’s a good thing to have a Plan B in case of inclement weather. Instead of worrying about the possibility of rain, snow or unpleasant temperatures, opt for an atrium garden wedding instead. You can have the beauty of the outdoors without actually being outside (and simultaneously save your allergy-prone guests a lot of sneezing, too!).
Complete with waterfalls, tropical plants, sunshine and plenty of romance, the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee offers the beauty of an outdoor wedding with the ease of an indoor wedding.
5. The Quiet Venue
Filled with plenty of architectural charm, public libraries are often thought of as a thing of the past. But look no further for your perfect wedding venue among tales of forever-romances, memories and hushed tones. These images from a New York Public Library winter wedding are beautiful indicators of a non-bookish wedding!
What are your opinions on wedding-day venues? Do you have any special ideas on how to incorporate your and your mister’s personalities into the choosing of where your event will take place? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below!