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13/12/2014

4 Unexpected Wedding Venues, and Why You’ll Love or Hate Them

Anyone can get married in a country club or an event space, but most brides and grooms don’t want their big day to feel like any old wedding. Here are four wedding venues that are a little less “by the book”—and why you’ll either love or hate them.

YOU’LL LOVE When we first started wedding-planning, I had my heart set on getting married at my mom and stepdad’s house. I mean, Hi, view. I liked the idea of creating a wedding “space” where the wasn’t one before, and having complete control over every little detail.

YOU’LL HATE You really have to worry about EVERY little detail. Every fork, every napkin, every glass, every toilet has to be brought in. And you—as in, the bride and groom—have to worry about noise ordinances and serving alcohol in a way you just don’t with a venue that’s held thousands of weddings before yours. In the end, it was just TOO much for me to deal with.

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picture: wedding dress online

YOU’LL LOVE This is where we wound up getting married, at Jonathan Edwards Winery in North Stonington, Connecticut. Rory worked (and still works ) at Food & Wine, so it felt very “us.” I loved that our entire wedding was outside. (There was a tent for the reception, but the floor—except for the dance floor area—was grass.)

YOU’LL HATE We looked at several wineries before picking Jonathan Edwards, and more than one didn’t have an alternative space for inclement weather. So that’s definitely something to ask about. Also, most wineries will only let you serve their wines at the reception, and bottles from a small, boutique winery are a lot spendier than the “house red” at an event space.

YOU’LL LOVE You guys might remember my friends Jackie and Andy’s wedding at the Bronx Zoo in 2012. Jackie had SO much fun doing safari-chic, and the wedding was definitely memorable because of that.

YOU’LL HATE Rory and I also looked at a zoo event space, which was lovely, but at the zoo we checked out, it felt like there was too much of a disconnect. Like, it wasn’t a zoo-themed event space; it was an event space in the middle of a zoo. It just felt weird. (At the Bronx Zoo, the event space is the old Lion House. So cool!)

YOU’LL LOVE We looked a museum venue too. (We look at a LOT of venues!) I loved the idea of my guests wandering a museum, enjoying the art during cocktail hour. (That picture is from the American Museum of Natural History, by the way. And you CAN host a wedding there!)

YOU’LL HATE Then I remembered who my actual guests were—a loud crowd who loves to dance—and that just seemed weird. Plus, museum venues are often extra strict in an effort to preserve their art or their artifacts. At the museum we looked at, red wine wasn’t allowed.

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