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9 Unique Wedding Venue Ideas

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 super-cool spaces speak for themselves.

Museum Venues

Think beyond the art museum: Natural history museums, city museums, air and space museums, and even children's museums often have spaces to rent after hours. You'll probably have an exhibit as your backdrop (like an awesome dinosaur skeleton), which is the perfect talking point for your guests. 

Tip: If you're interested in getting married at a museum, ask whether the staff can provide guided tours for your guests during cocktail hour.

Converted Building Venues

Wedding venues are popping up all across the country in buildings that at one time had an entirely different use. For example, former warehouses, monasteries, factories and even airplane hangars can be rented out for your party. Adding flowers and decor to an unconventional and raw space 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: If you're working in a space where events aren't typically held you may want the help of an event designer and wedding coordinator.

City, State and National Park Venues

Public parks provide some of the prettiest backgrounds you'll find for your fete. And while they're the perfect spot for an intimate, casual wedding, pulling off an affair on a grander scale can be done. 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, 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. Research nearby resorts, hotels and restaurants with a view of the spot you love for your reception.

Conservatory or Botanical Garden Venues

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

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.

Historic Libraries

Iconic libraries make the perfect backdrop for a sophisticated soiree. If you love literature, you'll totally fall for the idea of marrying in the midst of the classics. 

Tip: Take inspiration from your favorite novels to plan your party.

Boat Venues

Love the water? Plan to wed on any seaworthy vessel: sailboat, yacht, riverboat or ferry. Your guests will love it, and your photographer will be thankful for the changing backgrounds throughout the day.

Tip: You don't necessarily have to get married on the high seas if you want to get married on a boat. For example, some historic ships or out-of-commission military vessels are permanently docked but open for weddings.

Antique Store Wedding Venue

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.

Tree House Venues

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 lodging for a few people and stunning views. Talk about taking the woodland wedding theme to new heights!

Tip: Plan a rustic outdoor-inspired wedding weekend full of activities like hiking and campfires.


Theater Venues

If you're into the performing arts, then you'll probably feel right at home marrying on stage. 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 curtain for your entrance and have your bridal party enter from stage right and left to really play up the performance theme.

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