Photo: Tec Petaja
Sometimes in the great search for the perfect wedding venue, you don't even know where to begin. The answer? Browsing the top-notch spots to get married. Ever. In our new February/March 2016 issue (on newsstands now!) we call out the best venues— indoor and outdoor, big and small, luxury and budget-friendly— across America. How did we go about creating such a list? We asked more than 1,500 real brides and grooms nationwide to weigh in on the best spots to say "I do" by rating their own wedding location on everything from the service to the food to the view. From great plantations and rustic farms in the South to elegant libraries and grand hotels in the Northeast to romantic, swoon-worthy wineries on the West Coast, we found them all. So take note, brides-to-be! These are our readers' favorite venues in the South.
The Hay-Adams, Washington, D.C.
Choose the Top of the Hay as your reception space and your guests will be Instagramming views of the White House and Washington Monument all night. Back in the bridal suite, you'll bed down on a cool souvenir: pillows monogrammed with your married initials.
The Willard InterContinental Hotel, Washington, D.C.
Seeking a fete with an old-world feel? Book this 150-year-old hotel a block from the White House and you can host a megaparty for 450 under glittering chandeliers in the ballroom or a bash for 250 in the columned Crystal Room.
Boca Raton Resort, Boca Raton, Florida
Spa gardens, pools, private beaches, marinas— there are almost too many ceremony spots to count at this sprawling upscale resort. Also winning kudos: the amazing cakes by pastry chef Jordi Panisello.
Sunset Key Cottages, Key West, Florida
If there were ever a place to do a sunset wedding, it's this island resort just 500 yards off Key West. Take over all 40 beachy cottages to make it your own private isle for the weekend.
Villa Woodbine, Miami
All arches, fountains, and Spanish tile, this private mansion feels way more Mediterranean than Miami. Make it official in an elegant courtyard or under a grand oak tree strung with lights.
Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Jekyll Island, Georgia
After beachside vows, take your pick of seven reception sites, including the manicured lawn of Crane Cottage or a riverside clearing dripping with moss.
Old Edwards Inn, Highlands, North Carolina
Brides love the staff and spa at this charming Relais & Châteaux hotel, home to an haute barn with sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Mayo Hotel, Tulsa, Oklahoma
The 21st century meets the Jazz Age at this just-renovated 1920s landmark hotel, where sleek furnishings mingle with original art-deco details, like the ballroom's dazzling terrazzo floors.
Lowndes Grove Plantation, Charleston, South Carolina
Built in 1786, this grand Georgian-style plantation home sits on 14 acres in downtown Charleston, a sweet spot for a tented reception by the Ashley River.
Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tennessee
The five-star, 9,000-acre retreat, located in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains, is a working farm, so expect next-level southern eats from the welcome dinner through the morning-after brunch.
Crystal Ballroom at the Rice, Houston
Go big or go home at this century-old downtown classic, which features 5,000 square feet of airy, chandelier-lit ballroom space. That's enough room for 450 guests.
Gage Hotel, Marathon, Texas
Just 45 miles away from Big Bend National Park, the mission-style hotel specializes in boho-chic affairs with a West Texas twist. Throw your party in the succulent-filled gardens or fountain-dotted courtyards.
Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards, North Garden, Virginia
This boutique winery pours on the charm with its elegant barn, panoramic mountain views, and customizable menu featuring fresh-from-the-barrel wines and southern-inspired fare.
The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
When a resort has a new white chapel (in this case, built by the owner for his daughter's 2015 wedding), you know it's serious about weddings. Your photographer will swoon over the colorful, lavish Dorothy Draper designed interiors.