This one's for all those kids who dreamed of going to Space Camp when they were young. The largest spaceflight museum in the world, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center routinely hosts wedding receptions. Guests can even dine under a massive suspended rocket, and the wedding party can pose for pictures on a simulated lunar landscape.
About 60 miles outside of Anchorage, stunning Hatcher Pass is home to the privately owned Gold Cord Mine, established in 1915. The site, in a gorgeous green valley, can host up to 150 guests in a nearby outdoor tent. Of course, this is Alaska, so the venue warns couples to "be mentally and emotionally prepared for any type of weather."
Car lovers, look no further: Get married at the G Collection, a swanky space surrounded by a massive collection of classic automobiles, many of them rare European imports. There's also a hand-painted bar, a full DJ booth, a private game room with classics such as "Missile Command" and "Pac-Man," and a barn with more cars awaiting their restoration.
The impossibly picturesque St. Catherine's at Bell Gable has it all: An English-style chapel with creeping ivy and stained glass, a reception-ready barn, and gorgeously manicured grounds. If that's not enough, you can even rent photo props including a fainting couch, a carriage, and miniature horses that are happy to play the part of unicorns — really.
California has no end of glittering urban wedding venues, but one of the biggest head-turners is tucked away in the Butte Creek Canyon, north of Sacramento. Finished in 1886, Honey Run Covered Bridge was built in the 1880s and now regularly hosts gorgeously rustic weddings and receptions for up to 200 guests.
It doesn't get much more interesting than this for your wedding ceremony: Ashcroft ghost town was home to up to 2,000 people during a silver-mining boom in the 1880s. Today, it's managed by the Aspen Historical Society and includes an abandoned hotel, saloon, and post office that are uncommonly cool backdrops for photos.
It's hard to think of anything more whimsical than hosting a wedding at the New England Carousel Museum, housed in a restored hosiery factory. Photo opportunities abound, with plenty of ornate old horses, crystal chandeliers, carnival memorabilia, and yes, a working indoor carousel for the bride and groom, as well as their guests, to enjoy.
City: Rehoboth Beach
Add a dash of history to a breezy beach wedding at the Indian River Life-Saving Station, part of Delaware Seashore State Park. Built in 1876 for crews to respond to shipwrecks along the coast, the station has been restored to its Victorian-era appearance. It functions as a gorgeous backdrop for ceremonies and tented receptions, and guests can even tour the museum with a historical interpreter.
City: Washington, D.C.
Southwest Arts Club is housed in an old Baptist church built in the 1880s, but it's anything but traditional. The exterior is painted in kaleidoscopic colors and patterns. The visual feast continues inside, with a lounge space featuring a graffiti wall, an edgy but elegant performance space, and an art annex that features rotating exhibits. There's also a courtyard with twinkling lights for dancing the night away.
City: St. Petersburg
A 1927 clubhouse is the centerpiece of weddings at the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club, which allows the bride and groom to also rent out its shuffleboard courts and staff to teach guests how to play. Outside, green space is available for food trucks, tents, or games such as cornhole or croquet.
Southwest of Atlanta, the Depot on Main Street is a 110-year-old train depot that can host up to 200 guests for wedding ceremonies and receptions. The complex includes a vintage pub and game loft, and there are also plenty of chances for photos on the historic train cars out back.
There's no shortage of jaw-dropping wedding venues in Hawaii, but Maui's Haiku Mill may still impress even the most jaded island hopper. Lush grounds contain the ruins of a sugar mill abandoned in 1879. Today, it has been reimagined as a fairy-tale-like space for up to 100 guests with a glass ceiling, dripping flowers, antique iron columns, and statues.
Idaho is known for its rugged landscape, so rustic venues abound. But a castle? Yep, you can also make those fairytale dreams come true in the Gem State. Castle Gardens is modeled after a medieval castle — think turrets and balconies — and can accommodate ceremonies and receptions. The ballroom can seat 90 and opens up to gardens with a waterfall for larger receptions.
Whether you're an ace at bowling or bocce — or just want a novel way to keep everyone entertained — historic Pinstripes Chicago has you covered. The River East venue seats up to 220 guests in an attached ballroom. There are also skyline views of Chicago from the outdoor balcony, plus a fire pit for a little extra ambience on those chilly evenings.
Got a flair for the dramatic? The Buskirk-Chumley Theater has been a downtown Bloomington fixture since 1922, and today it's the perfect setting for an offbeat wedding. See your name in lights — literally — on the marquee, and get married on stage. The space can host receptions, too, with a disco ball ready and waiting for your most impressive moves.
City: Des Moines
A salvage shop probably doesn't spring immediately to mind as a wedding venue, but that's part of the appeal at West End Architectural Salvage. Twinkling lights, exposed brick, wooden beams, and plenty of vintage signs and knickknacks make for great photos and a quirky atmosphere that guests won't soon forget. There's even a full-service coffee shop that can serve up baked goods and other treats.
Tanganyika Wildlife Park bills itself as a venue for "wildly different weddings," and it's easy to see why. Couples can incorporate animals into their special day — think lemurs at the altar, or on the dance floor — and snag discounted admission or guided tours for guests to wander through the park between the ceremony and reception.
City: Bowling Green
A cave wedding? Absolutely. At Lost River Cave, couples can have their ceremony beside a rushing stream under a lush forest canopy, then party in Cavern Nite Club at the mouth of a real cave. There's even an original bandstand and bar from the '30s, plus plenty of twinkling lights and one seriously cool chandelier.
City: New Orleans
Just when you think it's all been done, why not rent one of the Big Easy's historic street cars for your ceremony? Streetcars along all five of the Regional Transit Authority's streetcar lines are available for charter, and they can accommodate up to 75 standing guests. Officials even allow couples to decorate their streetcars before their trip.
Who says grown-ups can't go to summer camp? Camp Mataponi, an overnight camp for girls dating back 100 years, hosts weddings for brides and grooms looking for a rustic, whimsical location — and it's hard to beat the lakeside views. There's a reception hall for up to 300 guests, and in true camp fashion, canoes, kayaks, campfires, and cabins are available.
Twenty-foot ceilings, exposed brick, bamboo floors, enormous windows, and twinkling lights set the stage for a thoroughly modern wedding at family-run Corradetti Glassblowing. The space includes an elevated stage perfect for a ceremony or reception DJ, a built-in bar, and a gallery filled with blown-glass artwork to wow guests and provide plenty of ready-made décor.
Don't get married on just any boat when you can tie the knot on a 125-foot replica of an Revolutionary War-era tall ship, the Liberty Clipper from Liberty Fleet. Up to 100 guests can accompany you on your voyage around Boston Harbor, and you'll have all the essentials, including a Bose sound system and a full bar. Planning a smaller wedding? The Liberty Star can set sail with up to 39 people.
City: Mackinac Island
Get married surrounded by some of Michigan's oldest structures — Fort Mackinac was built by the British in 1780 -- on a bluff overlooking the water where Lakes Michigan and Huron merge. Big bonus: A historic New England-style church serves as a ceremony rain location, and the fort can accommodate receptions.
The Mill City Museum is more than its name suggests. Couples can hold their wedding in a courtyard amid the ruins of what used to be the world's largest flour mill. The footprints of old machinery, original stone walls, and steel trusses create an atmosphere like no other. Inside, a striking event space holds up to 250 seated guests for a reception.
Southern heritage abounds at Hopson Commissary, which is "in much the same condition as in its glory days 50 years ago," the owners say. From the rustic tin porch to the memorabilia-packed interior, it doesn't get much more authentic than this. Hungry? Barbecue smoked on site is the obvious food choice for a reception.
City: St. Louis
The Jewel Box, a glittering art deco greenhouse in Forest Park, is open again after a $3.5 million renovation that added amenities including a catering room, restrooms, and air conditioning. Available for weddings and receptions, it includes permanent floral displays, special seasonal displays, tropical trees and plants, and water features.
Turn back the clock with a wedding at Oscar's Park, which includes a replica old Western town that can make for some truly fun photos: There's a rustic chapel, old schoolhouse, train depot, general store, jail, blacksmith, barber shop, and much more. An event center with a wraparound deck can handle up to 350 guests.
What once was Omaha's massive Union Station now houses the city's Durham Museum, which focuses on the region's history. The building retains its art deco grandeur and is a stunning place for wedding ceremonies and receptions with its 65-foot ceilings, woodwork, and imposing chandeliers. A soda fountain and train cars from the '40s and '50s provide unique photo opportunities.
City: Las Vegas
What could be more Vegas than getting married on a 550-foot-tall observation wheel? We know: Getting married on a 550-foot-tall observation wheel with an Elvis minister. It's all possible at the Linq Hotel and Casino's High Roller, which can accommodate up to 40 guests a car, perfect for small ceremonies or elopements.
City: West Ossipee
New England and rustic weddings seem to go hand in hand, but having a wedding in a tavern steps things up a notch. The wood-beamed ceiling and iron fixtures at Hobbs Tavern provide plenty of atmosphere, and a recent renovation makes this 1885 original modern enough for any big bash. Guests probably won't complain about sampling beer from the on-site brewery, either.
City: Jersey City
Couples opting for a wedding at the Liberty Science Center can get married with the New York City skyline soaring in the background, in a massive atrium, or in the middle of its interactive exhibits. Even better, there are add-ons such as live science shows, animal presentations, mini experiments, and even IMAX or 3D movies.
City: Santa Fe
What could be better in artsy Santa Fe than trading the same old boring event space for a 200-year-old adobe art studio? Neptune Studio and Gallery hosts intimate weddings in its historic indoor spaces and beautiful gardens. Between the all of the flowers and foliage outside and the photography inside, couples won't need to worry much about décor.
City: New York City
Rooftop weddings are a dime a dozen in New York City, but at Brooklyn Grange, they come with a twist: Up to 150 guests can watch you get married in the middle of a 1.5-acre rooftop farm. Imagine those skyline photo opportunities, but with sunflowers and other greenery. An old water tower provides another photo op for couples who aren't afraid of heights.
Asheville is known for its offbeat vibe, and no wedding venue captures it better than the JuneBug Resort. It's full of vintage RVs (think shiny Airstreams and colorful retro campers) that are great in photos, or a unique lodging option for guests. There's also a 1950s working farm truck that doubles as a bandstand, and a vintage tractor and playground for photos.
Founded by outlaws in the late 1800s, Black Leg Ranch sprawls over more than 10,000 acres. Couples can make it a weekend by inviting guests to sleep in the property's three lodges. The property has all the staples of a rustic prairie wedding, too, from a ceremony site with hay-bale seating, to a rustic-barn reception. Bonus: There's a saloon.
Got a soft spot for neon? The American Sign Museum is the wedding venue for you. Get married on a '50s-style Main Street or in front of an iconic "Mail Pouch Tobacco" or "See Rock City" sign. You'll also get exclusive museum access and optional add-ons including tours and a late-night snack from nearby Camp Washington Chili, an icon it its own right.
City: Oklahoma City
The possibilities are endless at Myriad Botanical Gardens, in the heart of Oklahoma City. The city's iconic Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, home to 750 kinds of plants, is available for couples who want a garden wedding without worrying about the weather. Other venues include a garden terrace, bandshell with LED lighting, a "floating" water stage, and much more.
The restored 1911 Kennedy School can welcome up to 200 guests in a variety of spaces, including an adorable courtyard perfect for a ceremony, and a gorgeous gymnasium ideal for a reception (and maybe a little dodgeball). Guests can even stay overnight at classrooms turned into hotel rooms, and eat at a cafeteria reimagined as a restaurant.
There's just nothing else like the 3,000-square-foot maze of whimsical mosaics and found objects that make up the Philadelphia Magic Gardens in the city's South Street neighborhood. Up to 75 guests can watch a wedding ceremony or enjoy a reception here, and there is an indoor gallery that complements the dazzling outdoor space.
Calling all bookworms: In Providence, you can get married at the library. And what a library it is: There's the ornate Beaux Arts Grand Hall, complete with coffered ceilings, balconies, and a massive chandelier; the elegant Ship Room with Atlantic ship models; and the warm Rhode Island Room with dark wood and books lining the walls.
How's this for a wedding backdrop: The South Carolina Aquarium's Great Ocean Tank, a two-story, 385,000-gallon aquarium filled with sharks, a 220-pound sea turtle, and a dazzling array of salt-water fish. Optional experiences include animal encounters, a touch tank of stingrays, and even a diver who will congratulate you with a sign from inside the tank.
Hit a high note by holding a wedding ceremony at Homestake Opera House, built in 1914 and billed as "the jewel of the Black Hills." Up to 500 guests can watch while you get hitched on a grand stage. There are plenty of places for elegant photos among the sweeping wood staircases, restored lobby, historic courtyard, brick and plaster walls, and much more.
City: Pigeon Forge
As long as you're prepared for the inevitable jokes about the fate of your marriage, getting married at Titanic Pigeon Forge is undeniably unique. Couples can even get hitched on the grand staircase made famous in the movie, then treat guests to a tour of the museum afterward. There's also an event room for elegant, old-world-style receptions.
What was once a cement plant has become a one-of-a-kind venue at the Plant at Kyle, a mashup of industrial chic and sleek barn-style architecture. This Hill Country property can accommodate up to 300 guests with a flexible floor plan and plenty of parking. Couples can start off with a ceremony under the property's massive oaks.
"Glamping" is still a trend in camping — and can be the centerpiece of a wedding. You can rent the entire Zion Luxury Camping grounds, which includes 30 tents with king-size beds for guests, to create a wedding weekend no one will forget. You'll also be just outside of Zion National Park, guaranteeing plenty of amazing scenery for a ceremony.
Nature programs and hands-on animal presentations can make a wedding at the VINS Nature Center something to remember. Ceremony and reception space is available, and couples can opt for unique experiences such as cocktails in the bird enclosure area, a worker strolling with a bird on their glove during cocktails, bird wedding photos, and even a bird release during the ceremony.
Polegreen Church was built in the 1740s as a reading room for dissenters struggling against the Anglican Church. Sadly, it burned down during the Civil War. Today, the site been reimagined with a simple white frame marking the windows, doors, walls, and roofline of the church, becoming an evocative place for a wedding for up to 125 guests. Tented receptions are also welcome in the nearby fields.
City: Fall City
You get a 4-acre "fairy tale forest" for an entire day when getting hitched at magical Tree House Point, including treehouse lodging for up to 18 guests. The majestic pines, twinkling lights, rushing river, and treehouses provide plenty of fodder for pictures, and the site can host ceremonies and receptions.
The perfect wedding venue for a state that bills itself as wild and wonderful, Adventures on the Gorge lets couples wed on the rim of the imposing New River Gorge. There's also plenty of room for a reception with a view, and guests can stick around — or come early — for dozens of adventure activities, including zip lining, horseback riding, and some of the world's best whitewater rafting.
Party like a kid again during a wedding at the Madison Children's Museum, able to host ceremonies and receptions. Rentable spaces include a rooftop garden with a stream, a whimsical children's play area with a slide and a "bone bridge," and a large concourse with interactive ball runs, water exhibits, and much more.
Unique ceremony and reception spaces abound at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. They include a massive tiled floor map of the Yellowstone region under a three-story ceiling, a gallery featuring a Northern Plains buffalo hide tepee, and two outdoor sculpture gardens, one with a replica of Buffalo Bill's childhood home. Couples can also add on activities such as pony rides and live raptor programs.