bride and groom embracing at waterfall wedding venue

Unique Wedding Venues: 20 Must-See Options

May 11, 2020
By Wedding Spot

You deserve a wedding venue that is as unique as the love you share with your partner. So why settle for anything less? Selecting a venue for your big day is typically one of the first steps in the wedding planning process, and can take up a significant portion of your budget. With the average cost of a wedding hovering around $30,000, it’s crucial to pick a wedding venue that fits your vision.

In terms of what’s popular, bold color palettes and more non-traditional themes are picking up steam. Sustainable wedding themes with rustic elements, as well as micro weddings in offbeat locations, are also increasing in popularity. Couples want their wedding to be an immersive experience, rather than just a typical ceremony and reception.

We’ve seen couples opt for unconventional and minimalistic venues such as forests, tree houses, barns, or camping sites. Others have taken it a step further, hosting their weddings in glasshouse venues and at carnivals, planetariums, or even zoos! Here are some of the most unique wedding venues for the anything-but-ordinary couple.

Explore 20 of our favorite types of unique wedding venues:

1. Yacht/boat

If you and your partner are inspired by the wonders of the ocean, hosting your ceremony on the water could be a cost-effective way to have the wedding venue of your dreams. An all-inclusive package that bundles entertainment, catering, and lighting could help provide a seamless execution and relieve stress. Imagine setting sail under the California sun in a romantic yacht, or celebrating an upscale evening in front of the Statue of Liberty. With a panoramic backdrop for your ceremony and a picturesque skyline for your reception, a wedding on the water will serve up some stunning views that your guests will never forget.


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2. Art studio/gallery

Let your wedding venue reflect your artistic style as you say “I do” in a quirky and cool location. An art studio or gallery celebration can help you save on decor, as all the installments and design elements you envision will probably already be there! Spruce up your intimate wedding with some candles or strategic lighting to highlight the works of art. Tying the knot among stunning sculptures, breathtaking paintings, or an impressive display of rare books is sure to be the dramatic atmosphere you’re looking for.

3. Nightclub/lounge

If a traditional wedding doesn’t interest you, why not select an upbeat venue to bring your modern wedding to life? If you’re looking for an extravagant reception that will keep your guests on the dance floor all night, a lounge or nightclub could be your go-to. Decorate your space to give off after-party vibes instead of traditional reception feels with fun food stations and lounge-style sofas, complemented by contemporary flowers and lights. Whether you want to invoke all the fun of Vegas or just host the party of the decade, modifying a lounge or club could be perfect for your celebration.

4. Rainforest

Shower your guests with serenity by exchanging vows nestled among nature in a lush rainforest. An adventurous wedding in a jungle or rainforest will create a laid-back feel, while still being in an exotic, grand setting. Deck out your ceremony with tropical flowers and infuse your reception space with the leaves and ferns around you to help your theme flow throughout. Experience unrivaled romance with an award-winning wedding venue like Haiku Gardens or an awe-inspiring waterfall in the paradise of Twin Falls.


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5. Farmhouse/ranch

Give your rustic theme the perfect backdrop by hosting your wedding in the countryside! While a romantic barn venue may not exactly be a new concept, make the space your own with DIY decor and vibrant colors to fit any season. This versatile setting will work with any style, from uncluttered minimalism to a medley of decorations – and luckily, you won’t have to shell out a fortune with expensive floral installments or pricey chandeliers to achieve pastoral-inspired perfection. Exchange your vows in a historic cattle ranch in Santa Margarita, California or opt for a European-style farm with southern flair. However you choose, you’ll end up with a dreamy venue to celebrate your romance.

6. Historic building/landmark

The past few years have seen a rising number of weddings held in historic venues, and it’s no surprise as to why. Celebrating your special day at a historic landmark will give you and your guests a one-of-a-kind experience – and maybe even special access to areas that are usually off-limits to the general public. If you’re California dreamin’, the Muckenthaler Mansion – built in the 1920s – offers historic charm and unique architecture that sets an exquisite backdrop. Maybe you’re in love with stained-glass windows and stunning woodwork, and a timeless atmosphere like the one you’ll find at the Brooklyn Historical Society perfectly suits your vision. Selecting a wedding venue with cultural and historical significance adds so much meaning to an already important day!

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7. Vineyard/winery

Whether you’re a wine aficionado or just love strolling through a scenic vineyard, what better way to wow your guests than surrounding them with exquisite wines and views? A vineyard wedding is an elegant way to showcase your flawless taste, not only with perfectly paired wines, but with a magnificent landscape to encircle your big day. You can even hand-select wines made from the grapes around you for a truly unique way to help enhance your theme. Host your wedding in the dreamy, rolling hills of Tennessee at Arrington Vineyards or head to the heart of Temecula Wine Country and say “I Do” just steps away from the vines at the luxurious Ponte Winery & Vineyard Inn.

8. Beach

Beach weddings have so much to offer and can be done at any time throughout the year. Incorporate the breezy ambiance of the coastlines and calming sounds of crashing waves with mesmerizing sunsets to reach peak romance. Situated right above white-sand beaches, the award-winning Malibu West Beach Club claims some of the most sought-after chunks of land in Southern California. For something a bit more intimate, head to Hawaii and share your vows on the stunning black sand at Punalu'u Beach, or stay on the mainland and seal it with a kiss on the cozy Black Sands Beach in Sausalito, California.

9. Treehouse

It may sound extreme, but for the adventurous couple, celebrating among the treetops will fill your wedding with a fun and lively energy. If you’re looking for a woodland setting, take it up a few notches with an enchanting treehouse wedding venue like this one in Atlanta. Plan a weekend in nature – complete with joyful music, fairy lights, and fun outdoor activities to take advantage of your setting. Enjoy a low-stress ceremony at The Mohicans’ treehouses for a unique and spontaneous experience. Note that these venues work best with smaller groups for an intimate and extremely special vibe.


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10. Museum

For an exciting and stylish celebration, opt for a wedding venue filled with historic sculptures or rare artifacts. A museum wedding is an ideal way to offer your guests an interactive experience where they can wander and take in the displays without large crowds. Imagine tying the knot underneath ancient fossils at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History or under the stars for an out-of-this-world celebration at the Adler Planetarium. Line up your aisle between classic airplanes at the Rockies Air and Space Museum to show your affection for aviation.

11. National park

Use the natural beauty of a national park for a stunning – and extremely cost-effective – ceremony. If your favorite dates involve hiking up your nearby mountain or trekking to grand rock formations, then hosting your wedding at a national or public park is the perfect fit. You won’t even need decorations with epic views and a natural canopy at Arches National Park in Utah. If you’re looking for a ceremony with more greenery, celebrate your love by the majestic waterfalls and towering granite of Yosemite National Park. Most of these breathtaking locations often require a special permit and have certain restrictions for weddings, so make sure you do your research before deciding.

12. Botanical garden

Naturally occurring decor and pretty scenery are already built-in to botanical garden wedding venues. Plant lovers will feel alive with a lush ceremony surrounded by beautiful blooms, exotic trees, and divine fountains. A natural aisle made from tree-lined paths and bordered by perfectly manicured flower beds is an effortless way to utilize the space. Let the morning light emphasize the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden’s world-famous tulip display that will fill your wedding with color. You can also guide your guests across a land bridge to an enchanting coconut tree grove ceremony at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Be sure to stop and smell the roses to soak in your dreamy garden venue before the day is over!


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13. Rooftop

Impress your guests with an upscale wedding ceremony in front of panoramic views of the city skyline. Raise the reception bar by hosting your big day atop a high-rise at a swanky rooftop venue with modern vibes. OUE Skyspace – the ultimate rooftop wedding venue in the heart of Los Angeles – offers unobstructed 360-degree views of the Pacific Ocean, Downtown, and the San Gabriel Mountains.

14. Castle/palace

Make your dreams of having a fairytale wedding a reality and tie the knot at a castle. You’ll feel like royalty as you waltz through the grandiose halls and take pictures in dramatic towers. Enjoy a fantasy courtyard ceremony in an authentic English Tudor castle on the sprawling grounds at Searles Castle. For a truly grand affair, splurge on the iconic Biltmore Estate with numerous award-winning ceremony options that can house up to 600 guests.

15. Mountain

There are so many reasons to get married in the mountains, but the first on the list is usually the spectacular scenery. Whether you’re seeking great adventure or you just love gazing upon an epic mountain range, you’ll have some unrivaled views when your venue is nestled in the foothills. Soak in the majestic Rocky Mountains with a destination wedding at The Stanley – perfect for any season, from a winter wonderland wedding to a sunny summertime ceremony! If you’re looking for a western feel, get married at the Diamond Cross for breathtaking views of the Grand Tetons.


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16. Stadium

Home plate is where the heart is! For the ultimate sports fan, what could be cooler than making your favorite team’s stadium the location of your wedding? Step up to the plate and say “I do” to access club lounges and team benches, get the VIP treatment, and even meet the mascot or some players on your wedding day. Minnesota Twins fans can walk the bases – instead of a traditional aisle – to exchange vows at the legendary Target Field. Football fanatics can host their ceremony at the 50-yard line for an electric on-field outing at Nissan Stadium in Tennessee.

17. Golf course

Combine the picturesque grounds of a golf course with an elegant clubhouse for an ideal all-in-one wedding venue. On-site catering options and well-equipped suites take the stress out of your planning as you can select a package that incorporates everything – all while getting you a sweet deal. Cinnabar Hills Golf Club is an idyllic setting in Northern California with lush greenery and rolling hills. Tall native grasses and green fairways surround the Celtic-inspired Ballyowen Golf Club, a secluded venue with a grand stone fireplace and deep woods.

18. Zoo/aquarium

Celebrate your vows under the sea or with your favorite furry friends for an over-the-top wedding. Gaze upon the stunning inner harbor and dance the night away with the sea life at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Send your guests on a wild expedition when you exchange your vows at an exciting Zoo wedding above the Kijamii Overlook – maybe even take it one step further and plan a special safari tour. Let your passion for wildlife come to life with your own animal kingdom wedding. The options are endless!


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19. Luau

There is something incredibly alluring about a tropical island wedding that is bursting with vibrant colors. So let your guests sit back and relax during a festive luau wedding. Embrace the rich culture of a luau to enhance your special day with an exciting performance of the romantic hula at Germaine’s Luau. From the fresh flower leis to a conch shell chant at your ceremony, the Old Lahaina Luau is an ideal wedding venue that captures pure Hawaiian romance.

20. Theater

The world is a stage, so why not celebrate one of the best days of your life on center stage? The more drama, the better, when it comes to a theater wedding for the couple who loves cinema, concerts, and the performing arts. Tall ceilings and amazing surround sound systems will liven up your special day in front of a historic backdrop. Country music enthusiasts can host their wedding at the iconic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville that has hosted performances by famous artists where guests are even free to explore the building. Or for a sleek and formal affair, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles is a dream with its striking architecture – perfect for classical music aficionados. Theater buffs can host a show-stopping ceremony at a spectacular Broadway venue or a majestic theater with vintage vibes at The Midland.

Wondering how to choose the right unique wedding venue for your big day?

When considering a venue to host your wedding, it’s essential to make sure that it embodies your theme – or at least can be adapted to fit your overall tone – as it will undoubtedly be one of the biggest wedding decisions you’ll make. While you want your guests to enjoy themselves, it’s so important to select a venue that reflects your personalities – no matter how eccentric your vision may be! Remember: your unique wedding venue could have extremely limited availability, so selecting your date far in advance is always a good idea. For more, check out our top 10 tips when it comes to picking the perfect venue

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Wedding Spot

The Wedding Spot blog is designed to help couples navigate every step of the wedding planning journey. From before the engagement to after you say “I do,” our goal is to give you the tips, ideas, and inspiration to prepare for your big day — and all that comes with it.