5 great alternative wedding venues

While traditional church or backyard weddings are certainly lovely, there is a strong trend towards using alternative venues for weddings. Places such as a park, castle, farm or other location that have meaning for the couple are becoming increasingly popular. If you are planning a wedding, consider having your ceremony are one of these somewhat unconventional locales.

Out-of-the-Box Ideas for a Wedding Venue

1. Beach

There’s just something romantic about sand on your feet and the gentle lapping of the waves hitting the beach. You don’t have to live in Florida or California to enjoy a beach wedding. Great Lakes and East Coast beaches are equally appealing. You can even create a romantic ceremony at the edge of a lake.

Beach weddings also have the advantage of being more casual, a big plus for that bride and groom who don’t particularly like getting dressed up in formal wear.

2. Farm

If you enjoy the rustic charm of the outdoors, consider a farm setting for your wedding. Some farms rent their properties for special events. Plus, there are farm-themed wedding venues with converted barns, petting zoos for the little ones and plenty of woods and pasture that make great settings for your wedding photos.

Your guests will likely appreciate not having to go out and buy a new dress or suit if you opt for a farm wedding. The dress code and the reception menu is casual and fun.

3. Castle

Castles aren’t just for royalty. Many cities have historic mansions or other elegant homes that you can rent for your wedding venue. You can even find some castle ruins for that eclectic outdoor wedding. A castle makes a great setting for that fantasy Disney wedding.

4. National Park

Most of America’s 400 national parks allow couples to host their wedding ceremony within the park. It’s important to plan early and you’ll need to apply for a permit. That keeps the park from being overrun with wedding parties on any given day. If you’ll be having your reception at the park also, be sure to review the park rules and regulations before you book your caterer. Some parks have strict limits to what you can and cannot bring into the park.

National parks that make a particularly lovely backdrop for a wedding include Yosemite National Park in California, Big Bend National Park in Texas, Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

5. Museum

Renting a room in a museum for your wedding is another great alternative venue, especially if you and your spouse-to-be are art lovers. Most museums will limit your party to a specific room or section and most have rigid rules about where you can serve food and beverages. However, getting married at a museum means you have automatic decorations and your guests will have something interesting to do while you are having your wedding pictures taken.

Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to art museums, car museums, botanical gardens, toy museums and even quirky venues like quilt museums also make fun and memorable venues.

If you’re looking to make your wedding stand out from other ceremonies you’ve attending recently, consider having your wedding at a non-traditional venue, such as a park, castle or beach. You’ll be creating memories not only for you and your spouse, but for your friends and family as well.

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