37 Types of Wedding Venues You Need to See Before Making Your Final Decision
When it comes to where you will marry and have your reception, it can be difficult to narrow down which type of wedding venue you want. Before starting your venue search in earnest, we recommend sitting down with your partner and any family members who are contributing financially, and answering the following questions:
- Are we hosting a hometown or destination wedding? Where (city, state, region) do we want to get married?
- Do we want a big wedding or a small wedding? How many wedding guests do we want to invite?
- What is our total wedding budget, and how much can we spend on venue and catering (usually about half of your budget will go to venue and food)?
- What do our favorite venues look like?
That last question is an important one because the wedding venue style you choose will help inform many of your wedding planning decisions, like your big day's theme, what you'll wear, what wedding transportation you'll need and much more.
To ensure couples had a comprehensive idea of all the wedding spots out there, we used data from The Knot 2022 Real Wedding Study, which surveyed over 12,000 married couples, to help us compile a list of the most popular wedding venues. Plus, ones that are too unique not to include. So use this to pick your favorites, then start your venue hunt on The Knot Marketplace and book those tours ASAP.
In this article:
Amusement Parks | All-Inclusive Venues | Banquet Halls | Barns | Beaches | Bed and Breakfasts | Boats and Yachts | Breweries and Distilleries | Cabins and Cottages | Campgrounds | Castles | City Halls | Conference Centers | Country Clubs | Farms | Private Gardens | Greenhouses | Historic Homes and Buildings | Hotels | Lake Houses | Libraries | Lofts and Rooftops | Museums and Galleries | Nightclubs | Private Homes | Public Spaces and Parks | Ranches | Religious Institutions | Resorts | Restaurants | Sports Stadiums | Summer Camps | Theaters | Tree Houses | Universities and Colleges | Wineries and Vineyards | Zoos and Aquariums
PLUS: What's Best for You?
1. Amusement Parks
If you and your partner love thrills and adventure, share that passion with your guests by hosting your wedding at an amusement park. This wedding venue option allows guests to embrace their inner child with fun carnival games, roller coasters and Ferris wheel rides. Take advantage of the location by asking the staff to keep the park's food stations open or by hiring caterers that specialize in tasty festive treats like cotton candy, funnel cake, corn dogs and burgers––don't be afraid to add a unique spin to your menu.
2. All-Inclusive Venues
For couples who want a streamlined planning experience, an all-inclusive wedding venue is the most ideal. This popular wedding venue can provide just about everything you need, like catering, rentals, bartenders and much more. There are a lot of pros to choosing this location beside the simplified process. You get an on-site staff that knows the space thoroughly and have a better chance of receiving your total cost upfront since there won't be delivery fees or travel expenses added for out-of-town vendors.
3. Banquet Halls
According to The Knot 2022 Real Wedding Study, 20% of couples had their wedding receptions at banquet halls, making it one of the most popular wedding venues. These venues tend to be larger event spaces but come in numerous styles, from classic and elegant to modern and minimalist. And perhaps best of all? Most banquet halls offer all-inclusive wedding packages making your planning process an absolute breeze.
Going for a country or rustic vibe? You're not alone. Barns are in-demand wedding venue styles, with 20% of nuptials happening at a barn, farm or ranch. Many couples choose barns as their dream wedding venue because of their casual and chic potential and the beautiful scenery for outdoor wedding ceremonies and photo backdrops. These venues are often located in more rural areas, meaning finding nearby hotels for out-of-town guests may be tricky. And modern amenities like climate control and convenient bathrooms aren't a given at these venues, so do your research and ask lots of questions before booking.
From the stunning views to the relaxed vibes, beach weddings are a favorite destination among couples for a reason. Our study found that 3% of couples host their celebration at a beach location. While beach weddings are certainly gorgeous, they are very weather dependent. If you're considering a beach venue, it's important to carefully pick a wedding date with the best chance of good weather and ensure you have an indoor plan B you're happy with.
6. Bed and Breakfasts
Bed and breakfasts and inns are charming venues for more intimate wedding celebrations—2% of couples choose these spaces for their wedding. These types of wedding venues typically have outdoor and indoor space for events and are often best suited for small weddings, rehearsal dinners, showers and more. Depending on the size of your wedding, these venues may not have the space to accommodate all of your guests for overnight lodging—though the couple and wedding party may be able to stay on site.
7. Boats and Yachts
Couples who don't want to stay still during their wedding celebration might be interested in a boat or yacht venue. These venues allow the couple and their guests to view the seascape, providing a unique vantage point and experience. And many boat wedding venues offer all-inclusive wedding packages. However, some guests may balk at the fact that once the boat leaves, they can't get off until it docks again.
8. Breweries and Distilleries
We've noticed that weddings held at breweries and distilleries have slowly increased in popularity over the years, and we love this industrial-chic idea. The number one intoxicating perk about this wedding venue option is that it has plenty of craft beers or spirits made and sold on-site, so there's no need to worry about hiring a bartender or buying alcohol elsewhere. Plus, some breweries and distilleries serve food, making it the perfect reception space.
9. Cabins and Cottages
Romantic and quaint cabins and cottages are perfect locations for mountain or garden-themed weddings. We suggest couples with small guest lists consider these types of venues for their weddings because you can celebrate with and accommodate your guests all in one place. Some cabins and cottages even offer fun activities for you and your loved ones, like hiking, spa treatments, water sports and much more.
In recent years, we've seen a surge of interest in campground wedding venues, resulting in 1% of to-be-weds choosing to have their receptions there. At these wedding venue types, guests usually stay on a campground site, and the couple plans a fun-filled weekend. Campgrounds are inherently outdoorsy, so couples and their guests should be comfortable with roughing it, especially if actual camping (like sleeping in tents and cooking one's food) is involved.
Saying "I do" in a castle is truly the definition of a fairytale wedding. Manicured gardens, beautiful halls, grandiose chandeliers and breathtaking architecture are just a few things you can expect to see at this type of wedding venue. And if "Bridgerton" is one of your favorite television shows, why not realize your regencycore dreams by asking your guests to dress up in true British high-society fashion?
12. City Halls
Planning an elopement or civil ceremony? These types of couple-only (and sometimes a few loved ones) ceremonies often take place at a city hall or courthouse. These are typically no-frills events because of space and timing but are romantic in their own right because of how intimate it is. Receptions held after the "I do"s are usually at a restaurant or other low-key location nearby.
13. Conference Centers
If your guest list is climbing, you're probably looking for a large space for your big day. Conference centers are accustomed to hosting huge events and can be ideal for supersized weddings––7% of newlyweds said their receptions took place at one. These venues tend to be more of a "blank slate," meaning that you'll have to bring in decor—but that allows you and your wedding vendors to start from scratch, be creative and bring your vision to life.
14. Country Clubs
A country club wedding venue, where 8% of couples celebrate, offers the best of both worlds—scenic outdoor space plus the convenience of an all-inclusive venue. Country clubs allow to-be-weds to host outdoor ceremonies (often on a golf course) and indoor receptions with room for many guests, plus they usually have on-site catering and other amenities. These venues are ideal for couples whose taste leans more classic, preppy or traditional.
If you're planning a rustic-themed wedding, a farm venue is the perfect environment for your vibe to shine. We love that couples have the flexibility to use the gorgeous open fields and party indoors in the farmhouse. Plus, many farms allow you to take advantage of their amenities like a cozy fire pit, tractor transportation and on-site accommodations. And if your nuptials are taking place around Christmas, book a Christmas tree farm where the jolly and festive spirit is omnipresent.
16. Private Gardens
Another fairytale-inspired wedding venue style are gardens, with 5% of survey respondents booking one for their celebration. Botanical gardens offer gorgeous natural surroundings for ceremonies, receptions and photos, meaning you likely won't need to bring in lots of flowers and greenery to decorate your garden-inspired wedding. As with other venues that operate as public sites, there may be rules and restrictions you'll want to know before booking.
Settle into an intimate haven of fresh blooms and lush greenery when you book a greenhouse wedding venue. You get the best of both worlds with beautiful nature within a structure that protects you from the elements. Our favorite part about this type of venue for a wedding is that greenhouses are usually sustainable and have cool features like renewable energy generating power for the space or recycling services to compost leftover food.
18. Historic Homes and Buildings
Whether you're a history buff or love beautiful architecture, a historic home or building is a lovely choice for a wedding venue. According to our findings, 13% of wedding celebrations take place in a historic space. These venues tend to be picturesque, with indoor and outdoor spaces. While many historic homes specialize in smaller, more intimate weddings, others can accommodate larger parties. Some historic homes have rules and restrictions to maintain the integrity of the space, including rules banning open flames and noise restrictions, so read over any contracts carefully.
Hotels are known as the one-stop shop of wedding venues—and 7% of couples host their weddings at these spaces. Most hotels offer indoor and outdoor event space options in different sizes, as well as in-house catering, rentals and other amenities. But the real bonus of hosting a hotel wedding? The on-site accommodations for everyone on your guest list which is especially important if you're hosting a lot of out-of-towners. By choosing a hotel wedding venue with a hotel room block large enough for your loved ones, you won't have to worry about transportation and your guests will love the convenience of just heading up to their room after your reception. Note that hotel venues don't have a lot of flexibility in terms of decor, so it's important that you like the carpet, chandeliers, wallpaper and more, as those details will affect your wedding style.
20. Lake Houses
A lake house offers the scenery of a waterfront event space combined with the rustic charm of a barn or farm. 4% of couples booked a lake house or cabin in 2022 and used it as a beautiful getaway. There are numerous fun activities you can plan at a lake house, like boat rides, lawn games and s'more roasting. Just remember this type of wedding venue is best during the spring and summer months because it lends itself well to outdoor festivities.
If you and your partner are bookworms, consider having your wedding in a library. Many libraries have modern or classic architecture that's stunning in its own right, but with the right decorations, can be elevated even more. These venues usually have lots of space, so it's an excellent choice for big weddings, but if you want to be surrounded by your favorite titles for your small wedding, consider having your event at your favorite bookstore. By booking a public library, you're supporting a venue that provides education and jobs for the local community.
22. Lofts and Rooftops
Couples opting for a modern, city-chic aesthetic should definitely consider loft space or rooftop wedding venues––2% of newlyweds selected one. These venues are usually the most popular in urban locations and provide a clean canvas, which allows couples and vendors to create a unique and personalized vibe with flowers and decor. Lofts, in particular, are typically indoor-only venues though some may offer outdoor space.
23. Museums and Galleries
If a unique wedding venue is what you're after, then a museum or art gallery may be just the space for your big day. Not all museums and galleries can accommodate private events, but some can. And while they may be pricey to rent, the dramatic and gorgeous spaces are worth it––2% of married couples in 2022 agreed. Who wouldn't like to enjoy dinner and dance in the shadow of a giant dinosaur skeleton? Guests may also be able to tour the museum or gallery's exhibits during cocktail hour, a definite bonus. Museum wedding venues are certainly special but be mindful of any rules or decor restrictions aimed at protecting their valuable pieces.
You might not have given thought to this, but nightclubs or lounges aren't only acceptable for bach parties and wedding after-parties. The potential is endless with this trending wedding venue type since it can transform into a modern event space with the right lighting and decorations. Some of the best perks about nightclubs are the built-in dance floor, preapproved DJ, lounge seating, party lighting and decreased risk of having noise restrictions.
25. Private Homes
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many couples opted to marry at home. Backyard weddings are a little less common now since about 5% of wedding receptions took place at a private home, but they are certainly beloved for being intimate and personal. While hosting a backyard wedding might sound easy, it actually can be a pretty complex process, especially if you're hosting more than just a few guests. You'll likely need a full team of vendors, permits, tents, and even generators and outdoor kitchens. A wedding planner is an absolute must for at-home weddings.
26. Public Spaces and Parks
A public space, like a national park, can be a great location for a casual wedding. Outdoor space galore, areas for lovely wedding photos and more make for a very special event. While these spaces may seem low-key, you'll likely need to obtain a permit to host an event at a public park. But the affordability of hosting a park wedding may make up for it, which might be why 2% of couples used a park for their reception location in 2022.
Ranch wedding venues are ideal for couples who want to showcase their Western flair on the big day. Large expanses of land, wildflowers, cactuses and more highlight the natural beauty of the environment and can put you in the perfect position to do minimal decoration. There really are greener pastures with ranches since some offer all-inclusive wedding packages and lodging for your traveling guests.
28. Religious Institutions
Religious settings, including churches, chapels, synagogues, mosques and more, are popular wedding venues—17% of couples host their ceremony at a house of worship. Typically, couples who host their ceremonies at a religious institution host their reception elsewhere (but 3% of couples host their receptions at a house of worship as well). This means additional transportation is required to ensure everyone can get from the ceremony and reception in a timely fashion.
If you're planning a destination wedding (particularly one that takes place abroad), a resort is a clear favorite wedding venue. According to our study, 31% of international destination weddings were at a resort—and it's easy to see why. Resorts offer a variety of event spaces, in-house wedding vendors, lodging, dining, activities and more, so you and your guests won't have to leave the premises at all.
Couples looking for an intimate setting and delicious food may gravitate toward a restaurant with private event space. Our study found 6% of newlyweds host a reception at a restaurant. Some of the benefits of a restaurant venue are that they're usually well decorated, which means you can save on deco,r and the food and service are typically top-notch. However, restaurants tend to be smaller, so if you're hosting a more intimate wedding day or a rehearsal dinner, this venue is the one.
31. Sports Stadiums
Sports stadiums aren't only for the games they can also be used during the off-season to host your wedding reception. Try to rent out the stadium of your favorite baseball, football or soccer team and serve delicious crowd favorites like popcorn, hot dogs and candy. Make your event even more unique by handing out party favors that complement the sports theme––think football-shaped cookies or referee jerseys with your and your partner's initials on the back.
32. Summer Camps
Similar to campgrounds, this type of wedding venue is made for outdoor-loving to-be-weds and guests, but this has a pinch of nostalgia mixed in since it allows you and your loved ones to relive memories of your youth. To increase the personalized feel of your wedding, try to book the summer camp you went to as a kid or discover a new one to love. Plan your affair with the summer camp theme in mind, so create a camp-inspired food and drink menu and host competitive games. Just remember there's limited to no phone service at some summer camps, so choose wisely if you're not trying to have an unplugged wedding.
Reveling in postceremony bliss center stage at a theater is legendary, to say the least. Plus, who doesn't want to see their name on the marquee amongst twinkling lights? Theaters usually have great acoustics and sound systems, so a DJ or live band would do well in this kind of wedding venue. And if it's a movie theater you're booking, you can use the venue's screen to present your love story video.
34. Tree Houses
Tree houses have always been a kid's dream hangout, but they can also double as your ceremony and reception location. Some venues have bridges that connect multiple tree houses so guests can walk among the treetops and visit one another's living quarters. It really is an enchanting scene when fairy lights and nature come together. Research what tree houses are available for your wedding date if you're planning a small boho, casual or rustic gathering.
35. Universities and Colleges
If one or both of the engaged duo attended a particular college or university, it's fitting to celebrate their nuptials at their alma mater––1% of newlyweds said they booked this option. Many colleges have their own event spaces available for rent, and a scenic campus is a bonus. Don't forget to have a secondary cake at the reception that honors your school as well.
36. Wineries and Vineyards
Vineyard wedding venues aren't just for wine lovers. These venues often have some of the most beautiful outdoor and indoor event spaces, and it's pretty much a given that you'll have some truly spectacular photos (and yes, the amazing wine is a plus). According to our study, 4% of wedding receptions in 2022 took place at a winery or vineyard. These venues are most common in certain parts of the country (California, Washington State, Upstate New York, Texas Hill Country, Virginia), so travel may be required for some people.
37. Zoos and Aquariums
Think really hard about what your and your partner's favorite animals are. Now that you've done that, it will be easier to decide if you want to have your wildlife wedding at an aquarium or a zoo. Some zoos and aquariums have catering, while others offer special tours of their facilities for the couple and their guests. Our favorite thing about this wedding venue is that some use a portion of the fees paid by the couple to help fund animal conservation around the world.
What's the Best Type of Wedding Venue for You?
Now that you know every type of wedding venue that exists it's time to make your final decision. Use this fun flowchart to help you decide which wedding venue is best for you––remember, these are just a few of your options.