The chapter I’m working on right now in my Wedding and Event Institute course covers one of the most important aspects of your wedding – the venue.
Your wedding venue will set the tone for pretty much the entire day. It will determine the look, the color palette (your colors shouldn’t clash with your venue’s colors – they should work with it!), and it’s a pretty big portion of your wedding budget.
Unusual and unique venues are my favorites – they provide that extra WOW factor, but some of them come with special challenges.
1. Empty Swimming Pool
Finding an empty swimming pool that is pretty (read as: tiled) is the trick here. Some pools are seasonally drained and many historic homes, hotels, and museums have pools that have long since been emptied.
2. Art Museum
I just love the idea of tying the knot in front of a favorite work of art! But art museums can be tricky venues. Museums can be “downright difficult when it comes to power, rigging, and special events needs” (via The Wedding and Event Institute). My advice? Hire a wedding planner who has already produced a wedding in your museum of choice.
3. Tennis Court
Tennis courts are a fabulous alternative to the typical country club wedding. Public tennis courts also do the trick since you can rent them from the city – but (at least this is true here in Hawaii) you need to check on the restroom situation beforehand. Cleanliness is often an issue with public courts and bringing in portable potties will add to your budget.
Greenhouse weddings are so gorgeous! They’re absolutely perfect if you want an outdoorsy feeling in colder months. Plus – the flowers and décor are practically all taken of!
5. Artisan Factories
Factories can be quite spacious and empty feeling which is a challenge to overcome if you want an intimate and romantic wedding. The Wedding and Events Institute covers this exact issue: “You don’t need to use all of it [the space] but keeping the guests together in one place at all times and moving them as a group from site to site makes for a more ‘intimate’ feeling.”
Set up separate areas for your ceremony, cocktails, reception, and dance floor & get creative with the environment!
Treehouse weddings are perfect for playful couples who want a small and intimate wedding. A couple of things to make sure you discuss with your wedding planner and venue: 1. Catering – where will they be? 2. Restrooms 3. Transportation for the elderly to and from your venue 4. Power & lighting.
Sailboat weddings are some of my favorites but they’re definitely for couples who really want something small and intimate. Don’t use this venue if you haven’t sailed much; even the gentlest of waves can often induce sea sickness. However if you, your hubby, and your closest friends and loved ones are tried and true – go for it!
8. Antique Shop
If you’re a vintage bride then an antique shop wedding just can’t be beat! The décor is already perfectly styled and eclectic, and oftentimes you can also rent the chairs and tables that are already there. Remember to use tasteful drapery to define your space!
If you have a favorite quirky coffee shop, bistro, café, or bakery – consider getting married there! You’ll probably have to rent the entire space, but the ambiance and amenities can’t be beat.
10. Your Own Home
See if you can enlist your neighbors’ driveways for overflow parking and don’t forget to tell them about your wedding if you haven’t already invited them. You don’t want anyone starting up their lawn mower right as you’re saying your vows.
The Wedding and Events Institute is a BB Vendor.
photo credits: swimming pool via Bridal Musings, photographed by Howell Jones Photography, venue: Victoria Baths // art museum via Whimsical Wonderland Weddings, photographed by Foley Photography, venue: Manchester Art Gallery // tennis court via 100 Layer Cake, photographed by Feather Love // greenhouse from Found Rentals, photographed by Beaux Arts Photographie, venue: Dos Pueblo Ranch // artisan factory from Green Wedding Shoes, photographed by Kate Ingnatowski Photography, venue: Knockdown Center // treehouse via Green Wedding Shoes, photographed by Jagger Photography, venue: Treehouse Point // sailboat from Style Me Pretty, photographed by Sophan Theam Photography, venue: Key Sailing Sarasota // antique shop from Inspired By This, photographed by Amy and Stuart, venue: Big Daddy’s Antiques // cafe from French Wedding Style, photographed by Alea Lovely // home wedding from Style Me Pretty, photographed by Heather Cook Elliott.