I am in the beginning stages of planning my Summer 2014 wedding. I DO NOT want to do it at a hotel/catering hall! Any suggestions for a UNIQUE venue for the ceremony/reception?
Where are you located? All sorts of venues are available from historic sites to wineries and restaurants and gardens.
It's very important to you that it be UNIQUE? Well, we don't know what unique venues exist in your area. So if you truly mean "unique," you have to tell us!
If what you mean is "unusual," that still depends on what is available in your area, how many people you want to have, what kind of event you want, and how much you can spend.
I've seen weddings in park shelters, museums (art, science), beaches, Pike's Peak, ballparks, wineries, restaurants, synagogues, churches, theaters, and people's homes.
Rather than start with trying to find a venue that people will consider unusual, I advise you to picture the size and type of event you want to have. Then start thinking about all the possible places in your area that would work for it. I bet you'll find something unusual that will work well.
But keep in mind that places that don't usually have weddings or other big events may not be set up for it. If you have to start with bringing in chairs, tables, portapotties, water, and so forth, it may not be worth it, unless you have a really good caterer who will take care of ALL that stuff.
I agree that hotels can be overdone and tend to lack originality. Hotels, however, tend to be one of the less expensive venues because they have tables, chairs, linens and on-site catering. Have you set a budget? Once you know how much you can spend, then you can look for a more interesting location with the understanding that you may need to rent many things. That is where a wedding coordinator can help, by providing sources to secure everything you need. If your area is like mine, caterers no longer want the stress of also being wedding planners, so they will provide linens but that is about all.
One place to start looking is right in the city/town where you live. My town will rent out the skating rink, the town pond with swimming beach, the library's Italianate reading room, and a few rooms in the 1880s town hall for events.
I've heard of weddings at water parks and in state parks. I've been to weddings where I had to take a ski lift up to a lodge on a mountainside and where the reception was held in a huge tent pitched in a hayfield on the happy couple's farm.
But as gellchom warns, the more "unique" the setting, the more planning and purchasing and renting you will have to do.
This is why the advice of an experienced wedding planner is so important. She will know all the places, their pros and cons, what they have and don't have, etc. There are many things you can do yourself for the big day, but having a coordinator makes it all so much easier, so you can relax and enjoy the day.
(No, I'm not a wedding planner, just have been to about 50 - 75 weddings and have seen it all.)
I second Scarlett's advice. I think wedding coordinators are a huge help and moneysaver in any event. I for sure would want one if I were using a venue that had never been used for a wedding.
This post was edited by gellchom on Mon, Oct 21, 13 at 11:22