One of the most fun tasks (and sometimes the most stressful) is choosing your wedding venue! It’s a pretty important piece of the puzzle and makes for a way to build your theme if you like.
We’ve covered some pretty cool wedding venues and are sure that you’ll enjoy seeing how they may work for your big day!
Empty Swimming Pool
The concept of weddings in a swimming pool is quickly catching on, and there have been beautiful nuptials hosted in such spaces. The magic comes alive when you deck out the space with rows of chairs and floral arrangements. It's best to keep it simple when working with such wedding spaces and team up with experts particularly to cover safety concerns.
For the aesthetics, settle for a pool located within an Edwardian building. Perhaps host the ceremony and photo shoot at the swimming pool area and choose a different venue for the reception. Make the most out of the venue by hosting a themed wedding, for instance, a secret garden-style party.
Worth having in mind is that you'll have to change your timelines because most museums are busy during the day. That possibly means having your ceremony past the establishment's closing hours which falls in the latter part of the evening. In most cases, you won't be able to bring in plenty of custom wedding decorations.
It shouldn't be a big deal because choosing an art museum as your wedding venue means that you fell in love with the building's aesthetics. With walls of artwork and the space generally pre-decorated tastefully, your efforts are best spent on making sure that you treat your guests to an unforgettable experience.
When settling for a tennis court as your wedding venue, have the location in mind. It's better if it's a private venue so that you won't have to deal with unwanted foot traffic and other distractions like street noises.
Make sure that you can access a power source and lighting in the area especially if you are using the space for your reception as well. The capacity matters once again if you are hosting your reception at the tennis court. You'll have to give more thought to the layout in terms of setting up a temporary on-site kitchen if need be.
Greenhouses typically come pre-styled with plenty of plants and blooms. They don't require much in terms of dressing them up, and that means that you should be in love with the particular greenhouse location you choose. You can still spruce the venue up by using wooden boards as signages, incorporating even more plants, and introducing hanging floral centrepieces.
Fact that most greenhouses exude modern glamour and yesteryear charms, it's the ideal place to host a contemporary or vintage-styled wedding. Set the reception tables in banquet styles to make the best out of the venue and add copper accents to the tablescape.
When shopping around for an artisan factory for your nuptials, settle for a space that's more or less bare to the bones. Such a venue allows you to merge the best of both worlds by giving the raw elements centre stage and reinforcing it with minimalistic, contemporary decor pieces. Look out for aspects like brick walls, visible pipes, cement floors, and exposed beams.
Think about how you'll illuminate the space because it's an important part of not only lighting up the venue but also playing up the industrial-chic aesthetic. String up Edison bulbs, have marquee signages set up around the venue, and set up lantern lamps or candelabras on each table.
Naturally, most treehouses are located in forests and you should remember to mark the path leading to your ceremony location. Make it creative by suspending photographs of you and your better half as well as your loved ones. A vintage or rustic theme compliments the location and you should play up the woodland elements as much as possible.
Use wildflowers for the centrepieces, vintage vases, colourful glassware, and wooden furniture. Most treehouses include suspension bridges and that's the perfect spot to host your couple's photo shoot. Wind up the day by spending the night at the treehouse, if accommodation is part of the package.
More than often, your entire wedding will unfold within the sailboat. Think about logistics related to other aspects like catering and photography. The best part is that most boats provide all-inclusive packages covering catering, bar service, onboard lighting, entertainment, and the cake. You can even get a licensed officiant as part of the deal.
Having a wedding on water is also cost-effective because you can either charter the vessel or simply hire a private room for a short period of time. They also offer various packages to suit couples with different budgets and needs. Last but not least, you can't beat the picturesque coastal and skyline views.
The air of fantasy and magic exuded by an antique shop is precisely what makes it an ideal venue for a vintage-themed wedding. Perhaps wedding flowers are what you'll need to add around the space. Lush greenery and floral arrangements made of wildflowers will best highlight the vintage aesthetic.
If you are using the same venue for both your ceremony and reception, ask if they allow food. If they do, you might need to collaborate with a food truck vendor for the occasion. It's a thoughtful gesture to send guests home with selections of wedding favours purchased from the antique shop.
Cafe venues are popular spots for micro weddings but depending on the capacity, they can also work for larger parties. The nostalgic air brought about by days spent at a local cafe makes the location ideal for past-era-themed weddings or cozy fall nuptials. The venue you choose should exude the look you want for your big day.
Keep in mind that you might not be able to switch things up but you can play up the romantic tone with your wedding decor choices. Gold-tone accents, as well as floral tablescapes, will do the trick. For a fall wedding, deck the tables with dark-coloured candles and consider adding berries to the centrepieces.
Your Own Home
Perhaps you have a spacious backyard or dreamy patio that would serve as the ideal backdrop for your nuptials. You'll still want to treat it as a wedding venue in the sense that a conversion will be needed to get it ready for your big day. Deck out your backyard with pampas grass if you are going for rustic or boho vibes.
Incorporate seasonal fruits into the centrepieces and use baskets filled with them as aisle markers. Introduce a geometric-shaped wedding arch or decor accents for an aesthetic contrast to the soft lawn. Have a barbecue-style reception with classics like hotdogs, burgers, and shrimp on the wedding menu.
10 unique wedding venues
The chapter I’m working on right now in my Wedding and Event Institute course covers one of the most important aspects of your wedding – the venue.
Your wedding venue will set the tone for pretty much the entire day. It will determine the look, the color palette (your colors shouldn’t clash with your venue’s colors – they should work with it!), and it’s a pretty big portion of your wedding budget.
Unusual and unique venues are my favorites – they provide that extra WOW factor, but some of them come with special challenges.
1. Empty Swimming Pool
Finding an empty swimming pool that is pretty (read as: tiled) is the trick here. Some pools are seasonally drained and many historic homes, hotels, and museums have pools that have long since been emptied.
2. Art Museum
I just love the idea of tying the knot in front of a favorite work of art! But art museums can be tricky venues. Museums can be “downright difficult when it comes to power, rigging, and special events needs” (via The Wedding and Event Institute). My advice? Hire a wedding planner who has already produced a wedding in your museum of choice.
3. Tennis Court
Tennis courts are a fabulous alternative to the typical country club wedding. Public tennis courts also do the trick since you can rent them from the city – but (at least this is true here in Hawaii) you need to check on the restroom situation beforehand. Cleanliness is often an issue with public courts and bringing in portable potties will add to your budget.
Greenhouse weddings are so gorgeous! They’re absolutely perfect if you want an outdoorsy feeling in colder months. Plus – the flowers and décor are practically all taken of!
5. Artisan Factories
Factories can be quite spacious and empty feeling which is a challenge to overcome if you want an intimate and romantic wedding. The Wedding and Events Institute covers this exact issue: “You don’t need to use all of it [the space] but keeping the guests together in one place at all times and moving them as a group from site to site makes for a more ‘intimate’ feeling.”
Set up separate areas for your ceremony, cocktails, reception, and dance floor & get creative with the environment!
Treehouse weddings are perfect for playful couples who want a small and intimate wedding. A couple of things to make sure you discuss with your wedding planner and venue: 1. Catering – where will they be? 2. Restrooms 3. Transportation for the elderly to and from your venue 4. Power & lighting.
Sailboat weddings are some of my favorites but they’re definitely for couples who really want something small and intimate. Don’t use this venue if you haven’t sailed much; even the gentlest of waves can often induce sea sickness. However if you, your hubby, and your closest friends and loved ones are tried and true – go for it!
8. Antique Shop
If you’re a vintage bride then an antique shop wedding just can’t be beat! The décor is already perfectly styled and eclectic, and oftentimes you can also rent the chairs and tables that are already there. Remember to use tasteful drapery to define your space!
If you have a favorite quirky coffee shop, bistro, café, or bakery – consider getting married there! You’ll probably have to rent the entire space, but the ambiance and amenities can’t be beat.
10. Your Own Home
Don’t overlook your own home! It is a great way to get married somewhere that matters, somewhere where you already have great memories, and somewhere where new memories will be made.
See if you can enlist your neighbors’ driveways for overflow parking and don’t forget to tell them about your wedding if you haven’t already invited them. You don’t want anyone starting up their lawn mower right as you’re saying your vows.
Credits: photo credits: swimming pool via Bridal Musings, photographed by Howell Jones Photography, venue: Victoria Baths // art museum via Whimsical Wonderland Weddings, photographed by Foley Photography, venue: Manchester Art Gallery // tennis court via 100 Layer Cake, photographed by Feather Love // greenhouse from Found Rentals, photographed by Beaux Arts Photographie, venue: Dos Pueblo Ranch // artisan factory from Green Wedding Shoes, photographed by Kate Ingnatowski Photography, venue: Knockdown Center // treehouse via Green Wedding Shoes, photographed by Jagger Photography, venue: Treehouse Point // sailboat from Style Me Pretty, photographed by Sophan Theam Photography, venue: Key Sailing Sarasota // antique shop from Inspired By This, photographed by Amy and Stuart, venue: Big Daddy’s Antiques // cafe from French Wedding Style, photographed by Alea Lovely // home wedding from Style Me Pretty, photographed by Heather Cook Elliott.