February 13, 2018

Spice up your wedding with these 5 offbeat venues

Many people opt for a traditional wedding setting — like a church, landmark or tourist destination. These settings have timeless appeal.

But some couples want to break out of the usual wedding venues, and try something different. Cut loose and let your personality shine by choosing one of these five unusual venues for your wedding. Your guests will talk about it for years to come.

1) An Alpaca Farm

Country weddings have a lot of appeal. Head out to a beautiful field to enjoy the sunshine, rustic charm and … alpacas?

Dragonfly Alpacas is a Maryland ranch that’s home to several of these friendly, fuzzy Peruvian creatures. The venue specializes in down-home, intimate settings and offers event space from May through November, for up to 130 guests. The grounds are filled with lush gardens, charming ponds, a farmhouse dating back to 1910 and other beautiful scenery. Just make sure one of the farm’s gentle denizens doesn’t steal the show!

2) Underwater

If you’re like most fiancees, you take your partner’s breath away. But you’ve probably never considered handing them a SCUBA tank to make up for it.

Over the years, the Georgia Aquarium has hosted several weddings. Couples love to pose with for photos with colorful fish, curious octopi and other underwater creatures. But in 2016, Justin and Crystal Reynolds proposed something unusual to the aquarium’s staff: a wedding at the bottom of the 6.3 million gallon Ocean Voyager habitat.

The aquarium gave the go-ahead, and the couple married underwater, with breathing gear and heavy weights to keep Crystal’s tiara from floating away. Why share your first dance surrounded by party guests when you can have manta rays on your dance floor, instead?

3) A Bowling Alley

You probably don’t associate bowling alleys with high-class events. But Pinstripes is different. This chain owns businesses in some of America’s most upper-crust neighborhoods and offers bocce and a full high-end bistro experience, in addition to bowling.

Pinstripes hosts many events, including weddings, private meetings and other parties. They’re dedicated to the idea that upper-class dining and entertainment don’t have to be stuffy or dull. Besides, what could be better than getting a strike in a wedding gown?

4) A Star Trek Convention

You can’t board a starship for your wedding. (Elon Musk is still working on it.) So why not something a little closer to home? If you’re a Trekkie, a Star Trek-themed wedding is a dream come true.

There’s no out-of-the-box plan for a Star Trek wedding, so you’ll have to do like Gerald and Stormy Milewski did and improvise. A fan convention is a great setting, and of course Starfleet uniforms are a must. The show’s epic, sweeping music themes make great music to walk down the aisle to, and a creative baker can put together a retro-future cake for you. Just make sure the bar’s stocked with plenty of Romulan ale, and any pon farr duels should take place off the dance floor.

5) In Niagara Falls

No, not on Niagara Falls. Anyone can do that. Getting hitched underneath the famous falls takes daring, a real delight for optics — and, of course, a willingness to get a little wet. Jim and Pam from “The Office” did it, and you can, too!

Maid of the Mist is a company that will wed any Canadian citizens (sorry, Americans) who book a wedding trip on one of their eponymous cruise ships. Rev. MacQuarrie and the ship he works on have brought countless intrepid couples beneath this thundering waterfall to take their vows. He’ll help you take the plunge, too.

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