Not a Ballroom Bride? Check Out 5 of the Country's Most Gorgeous City Halls

Lisa Lefkowitz Photography

Beyond the fact that a city hall wedding can be as romantic as any other (just ask Carrie Bradshaw), there are tons of reasons it might be right for you. Maybe you love the small, intimate setting or want to officially say your "I dos" before heading out of town for a destination bash. Whatever the reason, you're in luck: City halls tend to be the most architecturally beautiful buildings in the country. Check out five stunning city hall locales from coast to coast — perfect for your nuptials.

© 2010 Shanna Baker

Photo: Getty Images

The Beaux Arts-inspired building just might be the crown jewel of the entire country's civic architecture. And it's a sight to behold: Rows of trees on each side of a grassy patch lead up to the monumental structure that occupies two full city blocks. Inside is just as breathtaking, with a grand staircase and elegant rotunda offering the perfect backdrop to your post-ceremony photos — or as a reception venue unlike any other if you decide to rent it out for the entire night.

© 2009 Mike Shaffer

Photo: Getty Images

Parks and Recreation fans might recognize Pasadena City Hall as the building used to represent Pawnee City Hall on the show. The six-story domed structure and surrounding grounds take you to the Mediterranean, with one wall studded with more than a dozen arches, a picturesque fountain, and plenty of palm trees. Brides should note that while there isn't a Commissioner of Civil Marriages at the City Hall itself, you can bring in a wedding officiant and rent out the space for your ceremony and reception.

M.Torres /

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Once your civil ceremony wraps up, celebrate your new relationship status with photos around the Neoclassically designed building, the outside of which has remained pretty much unchanged since it was first built 100 years ago. Inside, the rotunda's high, domed ceiling and stately columns make for the perfect spot to capture just-wed shots. Or, you can rent out the rotunda for your reception. Bonus: The second floor mezzanine offers the ideal place to enjoy cocktails and marvel at the building's architecture.


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St. Louis's elegant, Parisian-inspired City Hall can be rented for a quick ceremony and photos for $150 or $1,200 for a large-scale evening reception. You and your hubs-to-be can exchange vows on a grand white marble staircase beneath a ceiling of stained glass that's been making visitors "ooh" and "ahhh" since the 1890s. Follow the ceremony with photos in front of the building as the Missouri pink granite and brick façade give off an old-world European vibe.

Alex Potemkin

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Francophiles will swoon over Philadelphia's City Hall building, which takes a cue from the Louvre and Palais des Tuileries in Paris. You can invite eight of your loved ones to join you and your fiancé on the big day (just be sure to make an appointment in advance — the awe-inspiring architecture means it's a top pick for Philly brides). Even if you go the more traditional ceremony-and-reception route, plan to do a drive by during your photo session. The shot taken from Broad Street with City Hall in the backdrop may be cliché, but it's worth it.

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