The reception is where the party’s at, but the wedding ceremony is where all the feels are. As such, you need a space that stuns and complements you as a couple when you finally tie the knot. And as the first event to kick off your new union, your wedding ceremony will set the tone for the rest of the big day. It’s the chance to wow guests with the unexpected, establish your wedding theme or style, and give a hint at what’s to follow at the reception—making finding the perfect wedding ceremony venue all the more important.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from gazing at wedding after wedding each day, it’s that there are a ton of beautiful places to say “I do,” from rustic barns in the Catskills and vineyards in California to beaches in Bali and rustic chapels in France. And that’s not to mention backyard weddings and garden nuptials! But the real beauty of your wedding ceremony venue lies in what you do with it.
Wedding ceremonies can get really creative, after all. Sure, wedding receptions can too, but guests generally have some idea of what to expect—tables and a dance floor; it’s mainly the decor that leaves room for a surprise. But as the first event of your nuptial celebrations, your wedding ceremony is really what establishes the tone for the rest of the festivities—so don't be afraid to get creative with it! If it’s in an epic spot outdoors with panoramic mountain views or stunning seaside scenery, let nature do most of the work and keep the decor simple. On the other hand, certain outdoor settings like a garden or grove get even more beautiful when you amplify their enchanting effects with additional flowers and greenery. And no matter your style, you can perfect an indoor wedding ceremony by filling the space with decor and glowing lighting to set the ambiance. But if your indoor wedding ceremony venue has historic character or a striking look, sometimes a minimalist touch is the best complement to let it shine—less can be more, after all.
And no matter where you hold your ceremony, don’t forget the aisle and the altar or chuppah. You can get super creative with either to make a statement or forgo both so that your surroundings take center stage.
From fairytale woodlands and castle courtyards to desert landscapes and traditional churches, you’ll be saying yes to these beautiful wedding ceremony ideas.
An Artful Mountaintop Event
What’s not to love about this ceremony setting? A stained glass altar and desert-inspired floral arrangements create an eccentric vibe while rolling mountains make for a stunning backdrop.
Alongside a Picturesque Lake
A Persian rug, an aisle of rose petals, tall grasses, and wooden accents create an indie feel, but the real winner in this setting is the picture that Moke Lake in New Zealand paints behind the ceremony.
Deep in the Forest
This woodland wedding ceremony is all magic and allure. With towering trees and glowing candles, simplicity has never looked so beautiful. We could seriously stay here forever.
Under a Rustic Italian Arch
Simplicity at its best. What’s more stunning than the natural beauty of Italy and its architecture? La Badia di Orvieto needs no decoration—just some ceremony chairs and a minimalist runner.
In an Elegant Museum
Gorgeous, much? We certainly think so. With intricate architectural detailing and light reflecting windows, Flagler Museum certainly serves up a dose of sophistication and glamour.
On a Sunny Greek Isle
How jaw dropping is this Santorini view at Rocabella Hotel? Olive trees bring a local touch without distracting from the natural backdrop.
Rustic Wood and Greenery
The bucolic charm of Cedarwood Weddings is heightened with greenery accents and benches draped with neutral linens.
Modern Moroccan Vibes
We can’t get enough of this beautifully breathtaking ceremony on the property of Palais Paysan in Morocco, which takes on an intimate feel nestled in an olive grove. A statement wreath arch takes on a circular shape to represent the couple’s unity.
Boho Modern Desert
The natural beauty of Arches National Park is unparalleled, lending this ceremony a Coachella-inspired vibe complete with tapestry and pillow seating. A diamond backdrop looks chic while allowing the background to shine through. (And...THAT PUP!!)
There’s something slightly whimsical about a sweet and simple orchard wedding, especially when it’s complemented by an arch of apple blossoms.
The colorful style of the Fig House in Los Angeles pops with fun! This couple heightened the venue’s modern vibe with industrial lighting, geometric furniture, and a glam gold sequined backdrop.
Take your beach wedding to the next level by setting your ceremony up on the pier instead of the sand, like this destination wedding in Phuket. Small, intimate, and elegant, its palette of white and greenery allows the surrounding scenery to pop.
Inspired by the couple’s wanderlust, bohemian chic takes center stage in the gardens of Arlington Hall thanks to an aisle runner of Persian rugs, lantern accents, and climbing floral branches for wildly romantic look.
With towering floor to ceiling windows and a sleek modern archway, Court in the Square in Seattle lends architectural splendor to any ceremony. We love how this one dressed up the contemporary space with trailing eucalyptus and tufts of pampas grass.
An old stone barn gets an elegant and glamorous makeover with string lighting and overflowing florals without sacrificing classic rustic touches like burlap and baby’s breath.
This Jardins de Abril ceremony is simply enchanting, especially with the creative touch of additional florals suspended from the bower of trees.
With sweeping oak trees, wrought iron and stone gates, and a 15th century chapel set against the bucolic countryside, The Clubs at Houston Oaks gives off an old world romance vibe.
There’s not much we love more than a rooftop ceremony, especially when it has sweeping picturesque views of the city like lower Manhattan. Floral and greenery details juxtapose with the Glasserie’s industrial lines and colors.
Someone transport us to this chic, tropical ceremony at Khayangan Estate in Bali, stat. Local flowers and greeneries and natural wood décor, including a Balinese arch, complement the natural surroundings.
A warehouse venue with white-washed walls takes bohemian for a spin with indie accents, from a macramé backdrop to tribal print rugs.
Drama and romance unfold at Holman Ranch with twin antique mirrors that reflect the beautiful outdoors, lush greenery, and a crescent of pampas grass at the altar.
Moody romance with a hint of edge dominates this ceremony at The Booking House in Pennsylvania. It can’t get much more intimate than cozy wood, cascading greens, and fairy lights.
Snowy evergreens, epic scenery, and lakefront charm? Sign us up for this minimalist winter wedding that omits decor in favor of Mother Nature.
Modern minimalism is brought to Chateau De Lartigolle with simple organics and wreaths for a setup touched by a hint of French elegance.
A tropical oasis is brought indoors to meet industrial minimalism with a statement altar of palmetto leaves popping against warm brick tones and copper chairs. We love how the seating extends to the balcony above!
A graceful colossal oak serves as a masterpiece of an altar, highlighted with romantic touches of draped champagne linens and a dazzling chandelier.
We gasped when we saw this breathtaking Lake Como ceremony, set on the property of an Italian villa right on the water. A simple and elegant arch of baby’s breath is all this dreamy location needs.
Rustic and industrial work some serious magic in this refined barn setting with modern lights, simple black chairs, and old wine barrels.