Been there, done the big ballroom. If you’re ready to really think outside of the box when it comes to choosing where to celebrate your nuptials, you’ll be happy to know that the U.S. is home to dozens of unique wedding venues, so you’re bound to find one near you. From breathtaking nature preserves to stunning greenhouses and even delicious restaurants, there’s no shortage of interesting options, so don’t feel reigned in by traditional notions of what "is" and "is not" an acceptable scene.
Our advice? Think about the type of space where you feel the most celebratory—and the most like yourselves—and then whittle down from there. To start your search, we’ve rounded up some of the most standout options from coast to coast. Get ready to see some of the most unique wedding venues out there!
For couples with opulent fairytale fantasies, it just isn’t a wedding unless you marry in a real-life castle. Located on Long Island, less than an hour from Manhattan, this European-inspired estate was built in 1919 for investment banking mogul Otto Kahn, who threw legendary Gatsby-style soirées on the property. Today, though, the grounds might be best known as the setting for Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" music video. Exchange vows and pose for portraits in the manicured gardens, then head to the Grand Ballroom (capacity: 200) or Terrace Room (capacity: 350) for dinner. With 32 sumptuous Old World-style hotel rooms on the property, you and your wedding party can also comfortably spend the night.
Everly at Railroad
If you love spending weekends browsing antique malls, wouldn’t it be kind of major to get married in one? When Everly at Railroad is not hosting private events, it’s a 6,000-square-foot vintage shop filled with an eclectically cool assortment of secondhand finds. You can even use their chairs and pews as ceremony seating! Situated in Tuckahoe, New Jersey—just 30 minutes away from the charming seaside destination Cape May—the property was originally constructed as a train stop. Come dinner, you’ll share a meal with up to 250 of your favorite people at long farm tables in the industrial barn, then you can head to nearby Lokal Cape May or Beach Plum Farm for your wedding night.
One of the most fantastic tales of urban reuse in America today is happening at this former vocational high school in Philadelphia. The classrooms in this massive 340,000-square-foot building, which takes up a full city block, are now filled with all sorts of creative small businesses (Jewelers! Furniture makers! Interior designers!) and the rooftop bar and restaurant are two of the hottest spots in the city. When it comes to your nuptials, you can exchange vows on the roof or on stage in the school’s original auditorium, then dine and dance the night away in the "Boy’s Gym" (capacity: 300), which still boasts hardwood floors, gymnastics rings, and basketball hoops.
U.S. National Arboretum
For a different twist on a garden wedding, try this 446-acre center for botanical research and display in Washington, D.C. Through a new event partnership, the park began hosting weddings in late 2018 and is now the largest private outdoor events space in the city. Tented receptions can happen in a rolling meadow or in the National Grove of State Trees, but the real draw is the National Capitol Columns. These Corinthian-style columns were created in 1828 to hold up the Capitol Dome. Once it was realized they could not support its weight, they eventually found a resting place in the Arboretum—and now serve as a stunning Ancient Greece-inspired backdrop for wedding portraits and ceremonies.
The Neon Museum
Las Vegas still reigns supreme as one of the best places to elope, and no, that’s not (entirely) because Elvis will officiate your nuptials. Part of the reason modern couples are embracing the locale is for the Insta-perfect ceremony settings—and it doesn’t get more aesthetically pleasing than the Neon Museum. Founded in 1996, this non-profit outdoor museum is home to a larger-than-life collection of old casino and hotel signs from the Strip. The main events area can host a seated dinner for 200 guests, while smaller events of 70 or less can reserve the North Gallery. For those wanting to embrace the quickie marriage, the venue’s 60-minute "Sweetheart Package" grants enough time for a standing ceremony and photos amidst the glitz.
This architectural stunner in Eureka Springs, Arkansas was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright's apprentice E. Fay Jones and constructed in 1980. Careful attention was paid to using materials native to the northwestern region of the state, and the resulting structure is so spectacular that it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. (This honor is very rarely bestowed upon buildings less than 50 years old.) At first glance, it seems as though the 48-foot-high minimalist chapel is fully at home with the woodsy surrounds, but 425 windows—and air conditioning!—ensure that a ceremony for up to 100 will go on without any interference from the elements. (Afterwards, nearby Basin Park Hotel and the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa offer similarly steeped-in-history locales for your reception.) Important to note: Thorncrown Chapel is part of a Christian organization, so they do require that all ceremonies conducted in the space be "Christ-centered."
The George Peabody Library
While you can’t marry at Hogwarts, Baltimore’s George Peabody Library might just be the next best thing. First opened in 1878, the five tiers of cast-iron balconies rise 61 feet above the main floor, and the stacks contain approximately 300,000 books. Dinner and dancing for up to 170 happen underneath a latticed skylight and atop a black-and-white slab marble floor, and bibliophiles will be happy to know that event proceeds support the upkeep of the collection and founding philanthropist George Peabody’s original goal: to ensure the space stays open for all of the public to enjoy.
Say it with us: Summer. Camp. Wedding. Does it get any more fun than that!? Young-at-heart couples who love the idea of a weekend spent paddling canoes, sleeping in rustic cabins, and roasting marshmallows over an open campfire should absolutely consider this playfully adorned no-frills lake resort in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. A smattering of cottages, dorm-style lodges, and campsites can host around 50 overnight guests, but a reception for up to 150, which typically takes place on an old concrete tennis court, can last long into the night.
Atlanta’s oldest public park boasts 48 detail-laden acres of manicured gardens, unique architecture, and sloping hills. It’s also a working cemetery. (Gone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell is buried there!) While that might sound spooky enough to lay the groundwork for a Halloween-inspired wedding, it definitely doesn’t have to. The Victorian-era mausoleums are intricate enough to still exude romance, and, come springtime, the flowering bushes serve as a built-in backdrop for a garden wedding. Exchange vows in the open air, or for a bit more coverage, head to the on-site greenhouse.
Bear Flag Farm
Situated between Sacramento and San Francisco, this 33-acre vineyard estate in Winters, California combines all the best aspects of a farm wedding into one luxe Golden State experience. The property is dotted with orchards, lavender fields, and grapevines, making for stunning natural views—and picture-perfect ceremony backdrops—in whichever direction you turn. Reception spaces include an amphitheater ringed in sycamore trees or a tent in the vineyards, and the dinner menus are filled with fresh ingredients sourced right from the property. For a touch of whimsy, ask about the farm’s Ferris wheel add-on.
Dunton Hot Springs
The magic of a winter wedding often lies in its smaller scale. There’s something terrifically intimate about cozying up with your nearest and dearest while flurries fall from the sky, and the experience is made all the more special when you’re in a remote setting. Spring for a full buyout of Colorado’s Dunton Hot Springs, a rustic resort nestled in an alpine valley in the San Juan Mountains, and you’ll achieve exactly that. This former mining town sleeps up to 44 in a series of well-appointed log cabins, and the open-air chapel provides a picturesque spot to say "I do" directly in the snow. After a reception in the Dancehall & Saloon, guests can spend the rest of their time lounging in the naturally-heated mineral waters or dog-sledding and snowmobiling in the great outdoors.
If you need the space, convenience, and flexibility of a big hotel ballroom but don’t love the look of patterned floors and ornate chandeliers, New York City’s retro-chic TWA Hotel at JFK Airport has the answer. After a cocktail hour in a former first-class lounge or by the outdoor infinity pool overlooking Runway 4, head to the 4,200-square-foot 1962 Room for dinner and dancing, which will quite literally roll out the red carpet for your celebration. Connie, a 1958 Lockheed Constellation airplane turned cocktail lounge parked right on the tarmac, will host your after-party, and the upstairs Howard Hughes Presidential Suite, with its views of planes landing and taking off, is the perfect spot to sleep off the revelry.