Take notes from our 2020 brides. You’re constantly riding the waves and facing the unknown in this wedding planning season that’s been anything but easy. Whether these turbulent months have led you towards postponing your wedding or scaling down to a more intimate fete, know that we are rooting for you hard. While we’ve shared a few resources with guidance from the experts on how to navigate wedding planning during a pandemic, today we wanted to talk about the rare opportunity that microweddings present for unconventional settings that may not be possible with a grand celebration. If you’ll be saying “I Do” surrounded by 20-50 of your closest friends + family members (or even just the two of you!), consider these unique microwedding venues you can probably find close to home.
So here we have listed our favorite wedding venue ideas for intimate weddings during and post-pandemic blues for a beautiful ever-after:
1. A Colorful Flower Field
Oh, how we love the rainbow blooms you often find in lush flower fields or local flower farms during spring. Perhaps you dine between rows of lavender or share a first dance beside a soft, bubbling brook. There are endless possibilities where local growers are concerned (and you’ll be helping a small business who could very much use some support at this time too)!
2. Your Family Home
Perhaps an obvious choice, yes. But you don’t have to look at your own backyard or living room as the end all solution. Consider any loved ones that you’d want present no matter what, and see if they might be up for offering their space as your venue. Though we’d imagine a space in your own home that’s sentimental for you both would do beautifully too!
3. Sailboat, Ferry, Riverboat or Yacht
Has there ever been a better excuse to set sail with your favorite people in the world? Embark as individuals and return as parts of one whole. The romance of tranquil waters is hard to beat, and the way the light reflects upon the sea makes for the most ethereal images.
4. Your Favorite Restaurant
Ask around with your favorite restaurants to see who is open to renting the space for your wedding dinner! The great benefit of this route is that you’ll get your venue + caterer in one fell swoop – not to mention your furniture + tabletop rentals too. Flowers may not even be necessary depending on the space’s natural aesthetic.
5. A Cute Wine Bar
Same goes for a local wine bar that’s basically an interior designer’s dream! With a range of styles to cover every type of wedding mood, there’s likely a wine bar near you that’s simply irresistible.
6. A Nightclub
This may not be the first space you’d think of, but many of the tasteful night clubs out there won’t shy away from renting their space too!
7. A Museum
Are you lovers of history, architecture and the arts? Many museums would serve well as unique microwedding venues too. Even if they do host larger fetes, those can’t always take place in your favorite gallery room or allow you to have a grand entrance down the central staircase. So you already have a leg up with a smaller guest count! We love the idea of dining beside an object or artifact of mutual affection – something that you feel reflects your own story or highlights what love means, how it stands the test of time, how it moves us all…
8. An Art Gallery
Similar to a museum wedding, an art gallery microwedding gives you the opportunity to focus on symbolism and longevity. Be it a gallery of portraits, paintings, sculptures or blown glass, we’re confident this would be a celebration your guests will never forget.
9. A Boutique Hotel
Can you think of a few darling boutique hotels near you? If you can wed there, most of the hard work is done for you as they need little decor to make a lasting impact! The coziness of the space makes everything feel more authentic, wholesome and shared as well.
10. A Secret Garden
Hidden corners, stone ruins, climbing ivy, blossoming cherry trees… there’s no end to our love list where secret garden weddings are concerned. Perhaps there’s an estate, vineyard, museum or botanical garden near you that offers up this very aesthetic with beauty overflowing during every season of the year.
11. A Historic Theatre
Historic theatres are making a comeback, whether 40s/50s vibes or opulent Art Deco all the way. If you’re looking for truly unique microwedding venues, this may be a perfect fit for you!
12. A Rooftop With A View
Embrace your inner Tom Hanks + Meg Ryan, and have your wedding day meet-cute atop the Empire State Building! When will you ever have another chance like this? Rooftop wedding venues have been on the rise, and for good reason. Some even come with sky slides as an added bonus to the cityscape views!
Major bonus points if you find yourself a helipad with a view!
13. A Courtyard Pool
A fountain or courtyard pool make for excellent centerpieces to your wedding floorplan – just see Exhibit A below! Float petals in the pool, line candles around the edge and add some unexpected entertainment such as synchronized swimmers or classic romance movies projected onto a screen to boot!
14. A Local or National Park
Few places spell romance more than intimate corners of a favorite park or epic nature views. Whether you opt for something poetic + timeless or all-out adventurous, rest assured that your celebration will be more memorable than any!
15. A Scenic Creek or River
Garner a sense of adventure, and head to a picturesque creek to backdrop your ceremony, spend your portraits or even dine alongside – though let’s face it…. this real dinner showcased below is pretty convincing that dining in the creek would be pretty epic as well.
16. A Long Dock
Love the look of boat docks and string lights? Take inspiration from the al fresco celebration below, and just let nature do the talking for your family style wedding dinner!
17. A Picturesque Valley
For some reason, we always think of folklore romances when imagining a mountain or valley wedding… of course, we think of Julie Andrews twirling in circles with her arms outstretched singing “the hills are alive!” as well. But you get the picture! Views like this were made for the hopeless romantic, the heart-led poet, the adventurer who aspires to a full + lived life. Can you think of any spots near you that have views like this?
18. A Secluded Beach Setting
Escape the crowds for a tranquil beach cove, and set your sails for the oceanside spot where the sun hits just right, the waves lap gently and the wind takes your portraits to total model level.
19. A Cliff Overlooking The Ocean
We’ve bookmarked this amphitheater setting atop a cliff probably a thousand times. If you’re fearless risk takers, and your guests are not faint of heart, take the idea of unique microwedding venues to new heights with a ceremony like this.
20. A Private Estate
Private estates are more often than not, closed to the public – even for events! But sometimes opportunity presents itself when your guest count is small and the owner can have better peace of mind that the property will remain unharmed. You may be able to gain access to the prettiest, most intricate interiors in your area if you use your bargaining power just right!
21. An Apple Orchard
An apple orchard can be a beautiful spot to exchange vows, especially if you theme your wedding menu accordingly and take advantage of the local goods in everything from the passed tartlet apps to the sweet-as-pie dessert.
22. A Greenhouse or Conservatory
Like flower fields, greenhouses and conservatories are darling options for lovers of botany. Though keep in mind that things tend to get hot in these spaces, so planning a meal spanning several hours inside a greenhouse during a heat wave may not be the best approach.
23. A Historic Library
Historic libraries, like the New York Public Library pictured below, are also beautiful options for intimate weddings or elopements. There’s nothing quite like being enveloped by grand architecture and love stories old + new.
24. A Converted Building
Warehouses, antique stores, airplane hangars… you’d be surprised how many converted buildings make for an aesthetically-pleasing venue space. While you may need to do a bit of digging to find the right style for you (they do run the gamut!), it can be so worth the effort when you find your diamond in the rough.
25. A Christmas Tree Farm
Could we leave our roundup of unique microwedding venues without mentioning the obvious appeal of Christmas tree farms? There’s a reason so many proposals happen in these cozy winter wonderlands, and a picture says a thousand words… Don’t worry, we’ve got THREE.
I hope this list of 25 unique types of microwedding venues at your disposal get your creative juices flowing, and help guide you into thinking what setting will tell your love story best. No matter how the next months unfold, we have a feeling the number of intimate weddings will continue to rise for their sheer ability to bring people closer together with authentic experiences, top-of-the-line vendors and unforgettable settings.