Photo: Jay and Jess
Beaches are out, and boats are in! Okay, not exactly because beaches will always be a great go-to wedding venue, but if you're looking for something a little more unique that hasn't been done to death and would love to save some dough on décor and rentals (um, who wouldn't?), then consider saying, "I do!" to one of these 5 naturally breathtaking wedding venues.
1. Desert Mountains
While any mountaintop is great, head to the desert for a different take on the typical mountain wedding. As wedding planner Chandra Keel, owner of Chandra Keel Events, points out, nature provides some of the most majestic backdrops and when you have that kind of décor built into your venue location, why compete with it? "For example, local to Arizona is the Superstition Mountains, where you get the best of both worlds: amazing cliff red rock backdrops and the open desert. It's breathtaking!"
2. A Boat
If you love the water but don't necessarily want to do a beach wedding, try getting hitched on a boat with a to-die-for view. Wedding and special events coordinator at Vision Entertainment Group LLC, Daniela Grafman, has planned weddings in NYC where the ceremony takes place while the boat is still docked by the pier and then it sails around the New York harbor for the reception. "The NYC skyline is your décor (a beautiful boat doesn't hurt either), and it creates a really romantic and interactive experience for everyone."
3. An Eclectic Store
Bet this one never even crossed your mind as a possibility, now did it? Well, celebrity event designer Brett Galley of Hollywood POP actually had one couple that opted to use a spacious 60,000 square foot furniture and art store in Philadelphia as their venue. "The existing unique décor worked beautifully with their adventurous personalities and off-beat style," she says. "Guests sat upon mix and match chairs and ottomans during the ceremony and long tables for dinner, eventually opening up the floor to dancing." And you guessed it, this bride and groom definitely saved big on rentals!
4. Urban Rooftops
One of event planner and owner of Simply Charming Socials Kristine Cholakian Cooke's favorite locations where her couples have said, "I do!" include urban rooftops. The city views and scenery speak for themselves. "We always look to the environment for inspiration, especially in non-traditional venues," she explains. "There's something so thrilling about whisking guests away to an unassuming location and have them be wowed."
5. Art Museums and Botanical Gardens
A museum can offer artwork and unrivaled beauty that you won't find in any other location, notes Regina Osgood, owner of Meant2Be Events. One thing to keep in mind though, she warns, is that these exhibits rotate and will likely change before your big day, but you can trust it will still be spectacular. Plus, you can probably plan your big day based on what exhibits will be on display at the time (check with the museum first). "Botanical gardens also create a beautiful backdrop for your memories to unfold. With Mother Nature bringing the floral and fauna, you can focus on personal details to make the space your own!"