Photo: Front Room Photography

Photo: Front Room Photography

Written by: Julie Morris
Juliemorris.org | jmorris@juliemorris.org

It’s your special day, so you want your wedding location to be memorable.  It should be a venue that reflects something unique about you and sets the tone for your future together, whether you opt for someplace fun, rustic, whimsical, or elegant.  Consider these exciting alternatives from traditional locales to make your wedding day extraordinary. 

Amusement park.  Think Ferris wheels, carousels and cotton candy - a little whimsy and magic to make your wedding day sparkle!  Note that you will likely need to work around the park’s schedule, but as some experts point out it’s a great option that includes the perfect location for your guests to enjoy a getaway in conjunction with your event. Choose from options like Belmont Park, Michigan’s Adventure, Riverfront Park, and Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

Tree house.  Yep, an adult-sized tree house, perfect for special occasions!  Generally a pastoral cottage in the woods built on supporting beams, tree houses are a fun and rustic venue for brides and grooms who want to enjoy nature on their wedding day.  This is a great option for a casual and outdoorsy wedding. Throw in a campfire and hiking for terrific photo ops!

Dog parks.  Is your pooch going to be your ring bearer?  Many couples are including their furry family members in their weddings these days.  Why not invite Fido’s friends?  Selecting a dog park for your big day provides opportunities for furry guests to join in the fun, and you’ll enjoy built-in memory making for photo albums galore.  Fortunately, there are great dog parks in most US and Canadian cities, including: Calgary, Saint Paul, MN, Madison, WI, Indianapolis, IN, Knoxville, TN, Raleigh, NC, Portland, OR, Miami, FL, San Jose, CA, and Albuquerque, NM. And, as Country Living suggests, consider stationary and decor reflecting a dog-theme to pull the event together!

Zoos.  A bit wild, a bit exotic, and just enough unusual, many public zoos have rentable spaces for special events.  If you’re animal lovers or just want to have fun with the potential themes a zoo will inspire, a zoo may be the perfect choice for commemorating your day. 

Hot air balloon.  Do you dream of floating peacefully through the air on your wedding day?  A hot air balloon wedding could make your dream come true!  Glamour notes some balloon gondolas can carry up to a dozen passengers, so you can gather a small party to share in the event.  Enjoy traditional champagne after the flight to wrap up your elegant and colorful ceremony.

Historical sites.  Flavored with ambience and textured by yesteryear, many historical sites can be rented for special events.  Some professionals suggest beautiful libraries, restored barns or  Victorian greenhouses to for an event that’s truly unique.  Take advantage of surrounding grounds for catering and a beautiful reception, and your package will be unusual and unforgettable.   

Public parks.  Adventure and elegance meet in the great outdoors - state and national parks usually offer some of the most beautiful and scenic outdoor settings available.  Some have amenities including restaurants and inns, some are more simple with just picnic spots and patios.  Explore area forestries and parks to find what locations offer appropriate facilities for your event. 

Converted building.  Many weddings are housed in converted buildings, such as rehabilitated warehouses or factories, or monasteries-turned-event halls.  These each bring their own special vibes, offering unusual structures like exposed brick interiors, vintage handmade tiles, and open beam construction.  Add your own vision to create a tableau all your own. 

Bowling alley.  Whether you choose bowling shirts with his and hers teams or opt for traditional wedding attire, a bowling alley is a truly unique locale for getting hitched.  And if you’re thinking you’re limited to humdrum lanes and a hot dog vendor, some experts say think again - there are bowling facilities across the country which offer elegant ballrooms well-suited to a funky event with classic flair.

We hope this list inspires you to select a location truly personal for your wedding day.  Whether you prefer an outdoor adventure or indoor setting, your options are virtually unlimited.  Think outside the box and find a venue that honors what is unique about you!

- Julie Morris

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