How to Throw a Wedding in a Non-Traditional Space

It can be easy for a recently engaged couple to slide from wedding planning into wedding madness. Inspiration and ideas abound; what couples really need is clear guidance on how to assess this information and sort the useful from the disastrous. The new book A Practical Wedding Planner: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating the Wedding You Want with the Budget You've Got (without Losing Your Mind in the Process) offers no-nonsense guidance for planning a dream wedding on a real budget. Here, author Meg Keene provides useful tips for couples who want to get married in a non-traditional venue.

There are so many places that you can get married that there is no reason to limit yourself to venues specifically marketed to weddings. If you’re not quite sure what kind of venue is right for you, Alyssa Griffith of Rose Gold Events suggests that you “keep an open mind. Think about places you loved as a kid, trips you’ve taken with your partner, fun adventures, and the like. Weddings can happen almost anywhere.”

Instead of taking to the Internet to search specifically in wedding-venue directories, you might want to start searching generally for weddings that have taken place in your area. This might just give you new ideas (maybe you never thought of hosting a dinner-party wedding in your own home), and it may give you very specific leads. Alyssa says, “Maybe you’ll find someone who was married at a private estate you never would have found otherwise. Or Yelp will pop up with a family-owned property or an art gallery that rents their space.”


  • Beaches
  • Public parks
  • Forests
  • Mountaintops
  • Cliffs by the ocean
  • Open fields
  • Barns
  • Backyards
  • Inside your home (or your parents’ home, or a friend’s home... )
  • Private homes
  • Private estates
  • Vacation rentals
  • Restaurants
  • Art galleries
  • Art studios
  • Any museum (particularly less mainstream museums)
  • Kids’ museums
  • Church halls
  • Public social halls
  • Lofts
  • Warehouses
  • Big hotel suites
  • Parking garages
  • Parking lots
  • Firehouses
  • Schools
  • Anywhere else you can imagine...

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Posted on March 1, 2016 .