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Many women have dreamed of their perfect wedding. While I’m all for new ideas and doing away with tradition, I’ve always dreamed that my own wedding would be a whimsical fairy tale wedding complete with a white flower arch and a wedding gown with a long train. As someone who isn’t religious, though, I’d want my wedding in either a fancy hotel function room or a semi-outdoor venue rather than a church.
While my idea breaks from tradition, there are actually plenty of brides who think this fall under the traditional conventions of a wedding and want to opt for something more unique. Which is why, when it comes to venues, these brides would prefer some of these unconventional venues rather than the more popular choices.
A Fairy Tale Wedding: Disneyland
Renting out Disneyland for a wedding is possible, but it will cost you an arm and a leg and will limit your wedding’s time since you can’t have it during operating hours. Apparently, Disneyland does not close down their park for any event, and the only time they’ve ever done so was back in 1992 for Liz Taylor’s private birthday bash. Now, however, it’s clear that they have firm rules with events disrupting operations as, in 2013, a Saudi Arabian prince could only host a three-day Disney-themed celebration that took place before and after operation hours.
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Having a wedding in Disneyland starts at $6,500, but this is only for the venue and some of the basic things provided in a wedding. But if you want to give a new meaning to “fairy tale wedding,” then why not celebrate it amongst the princesses and popular Disney characters and say your vows in front of friends and family in front of Cinderella’s castle?
Haunted Jail: Bodmin Jail
For couples with the love of all things Gothic and macabre, a black-themed wedding in a haunted jail is more of their type than the usual white wedding. In Cornwall located in South West England, there’s a historical landmark called Bodmin Jail that used to be a prison that executed at least 60 of its prisoners, which is why many believe the place to be haunted. Today, it’s a place people visit for its history, architecture, and wedding events. Yup, you read that last one right.
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According to its wedding brochure, the site offers to handle the food, drinks, and the registrar. While it’s still possible to host a normal white wedding in one of its function rooms, the beauty of the venue is that it can cater to couples who prefer a more unique wedding.
Wild West: Paramount Ranch
When some people think of rustic weddings, they may be thinking of an outdoor wedding accented by wood, fairy lights, and wild flowers. While the Santa Monica Mountains of Southern California offer plenty of venues to make this a reality, if you want to take rustic to a new level, the Paramount Ranch offers a Wild West town where you can have a real cowboy wedding straight off the movies.
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The area used to belong to Paramount Pictures, where they ended up building a ranch and Wild West town that was used in many of their productions. While the ranch is still used by moviemakers, when the place doesn’t have anything filming, it’s an ideal location for people who want to channel the old west for their outdoor wedding.
Museum Wedding: The Smithsonian
For the couple with a love for all things historical but are looking for a more indoor wedding, good news: The Smithsonian allows wedding events! From 2019 to 2021 during its three-year trial, the Smithsonian can allow couples to host their wedding in one of their available spaces.
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However, the restrictions are tough: only four weddings are allowed every year, with only one wedding per month and not during peak months. While prices aren’t listed publicly, you can bet that it’s not going to be cheap: for the Smithsonian to authorize your wedding, you’ll need a professional wedding planner to coordinate with the museum. You can opt to rent one of six spaces: the Rotunda, the Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals, the Ocean Hall, the Hall of Human Origins, the Hall of Mammals, and the Baird Auditorium.
Before you enter the next step with your partner, a wedding is a ceremonious way to symbolize your love for each other. Should you decide to spend the next chapter of your lives traveling, exploring, or settling down and starting your own family, you’ll look back years from now to the day you said “I Do.” And for some, they may smile and laugh at their wedding and how their unique venue provided them with a completely different experience.
But in the end, does it really matter where you and your partner say your vows? As long as you and your partner are together, any place you choose to get married in will be fine.