The Most Unique Places You Can Actually Get Married

Choose a ceremony or reception venue that's entirely out of the norm to instantly set the scene for a wedding your guests will never forget. Bonus: You'll seriously save on decorations — these supercool spaces speak for themselves.
  1. Museum Venues

    Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta wedding reception
    Photo by Scobey Photography

    While art museums are a classic choice, there are many more conservatory options worth entertaining. Natural history museums, city museums, air and space museums, and even children's museums often have spaces to rent after-hours. You'll have exhibits as your backdrop (like a historic propeller plane or awesome dinosaur skeleton), which are not only jaw-dropping but the perfect conversation starter for your guests.

    Tip: Ask whether the staff can provide guided tours or open certain exhibits for your guests to explore and enjoy during cocktail hour. It's instant entertainment for family and friends of all ages.

    Above: Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta

  2. Converted Building

    Mill City Museum in Minneapolis wedding ceremony
    Photo by Amy Rae Photography

    Wedding venues are popping up all across the country in buildings that at one time had an entirely different use. Former warehouses, monasteries, factories and even airplane hangars can be rented out for your party—like your wedding. These unconventional and raw spaces are like blank canvases that can be decorated to fit almost any theme or aesthetic, not to mention that the addition of flowers and décor creates a beautiful contrast. And since some converted buildings are now run by event companies, many amenities (like a kitchen) will be built in.

    Tip: f the space doesn't hold regular events, you may want to hire an event designer and wedding coordinator. They can help you navigate trickier elements like rentals and liquor licenses.

    Above: Mill City Museum in Minneapolis

  3. City, State and National Parks

    National park wedding venue
    Photo by J. Anne Photography

    Public parks provide some of the prettiest backgrounds you'll find for your fete—not to mention your wedding photos. And while they're the perfect spot for an intimate, casual wedding, pulling off an affair on a grander scale can be done. The trick? Scout out the scene and do your research: Many public spaces require you to apply for a permit ahead of time and will have some restrictions as far as bringing in rentals, sound, equipment, and food and drinks.

    Tip: Because you might not be able to set up a tent or book a spot for a long period of time, public parks are typically better suited for your ceremony. As for the rest of your event, research nearby resorts, hotels and restaurants with a view of the spot you love for your reception.

    Above: Valley of Fire State Park in Moapa Valley, NV

  4. Conservatory or Botanical Gardens

    Conservatory wedding venue
    Photo by Jess + Nate Studios

    If you've always imagined getting married surrounded by flowers, consider having your wedding at a local botanical garden, conservatory or horticulture center. Besides lots of beautiful blooms, many gardens have pretty fountains, tree-lined paths, perfectly manicured flower beds or an ethereal greenhouse where you can marry but also hold your reception.

    Tip: With high glass ceilings and tons of natural greenery, you won't need to bring in many of your own flowers; decorate with non-floral elements like candles (if they're allowed) and glass vessels.

    Above: Planterra Conservatory in West Bloomfield, MI

  5. Historic Libraries

    Library wedding venue
    Photo by Readyluck

    Iconic libraries make the perfect backdrop for a sophisticated soiree, as the spaces are usually historic and sprawling, with beautiful architectural details. If you love literature, you'll totally fall for the idea of marrying in the midst of some of the world's best love stories and classic tales.

    Tip: Take inspiration from your favorite novels to plan your party. For example, channel the 1920s with a glamorous The Great Gatsby-inspired art deco affair or a swinging Harlem Renaissance-themed bash drawn from the setting of Toni Morrison's Jazz. Add a passage from your fave book to the ceremony to bring the theme full circle.

    Above: The George Peabody Library in Baltimore

  6. Boats

    Boat wedding venue
    Photo by Photos By Miss Ann

    Love the water? Plan to wed on any seaworthy vessel, whether it's a sailboat, yacht, riverboat or ferry. Your guests will love it, and your photographer will be thankful for the changing backgrounds throughout the day.
    Tip: Marrying on the water doesn't necessarily mean on the high seas. For example, some historic ships or out-of-commission military vessels are permanently docked but open for weddings.

    Above: Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington, NC

  7. Antique Stores

    Antique store wedding venue
    Photo by Kate Harrision Photography

    If you spend your weekends antiquing and your house or apartment is filled with flea market finds, then you might be sold pretty easily on the idea of an antique-store wedding. Think about it: All that kitschy-cool decor you'd buy or rent anyway is built right in!
    Tip: Mix and match everything on your tables, from the centerpiece vessels to the chargers and glassware, to fit the laid-back vintage vibe.

    Above: Big Daddy's Antiques in Los Angeles

  8. Tree Houses

    Tree house wedding venue
    Photo by Amanda Lloyd Weddings

    Yes, you read that right. You can actually get married in a tree house. Typically these are cottages on stilts in the middle of a forest with stunning views of the surrounding woodlands. This is a great option for a more intimate affair, as these cottages usually hold a smaller number of guests. Talk about taking the woodland wedding theme to new heights!

    Tip: Plan a rustic outdoors-inspired wedding weekend full of fun activities like group hikes and big meals (and s'mores) around a campfire.

    Above: TreeHouse Point in Fall City, WA

  9. Theaters

    Theater wedding venue
    Photo by Alison Conklin Photography

    If you're into the performing arts, then you should probably entertain (pun intended) the idea of saying “I do” on stage. Theaters almost always offer refreshments during productions, including adult beverages, so most will already have a liquor license and the ability for a bar setup. Love the theater but want to get married outside? Then look for amphitheaters in your area. Just keep in mind that summer is usually a big time for events, so you may want to consider early summer or late fall.

    Tip: Raise the curtains for your entrance, and have your bridal party enter from stage right and left to play up the theme. Suggest your string quartet or four-piece band set up in the orchestra pit—they'll most likely feel right at home.

    Above: The Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre in Jersey City, NJ