Raise your hand if you’re a teeny bit tired of standard hotel weddings. *Raises hand* When travel is more accessible than ever before, a cookie cutter wedding just doesn’t, well, cut it like it used to. For those stuck on where to get hitched, this article is your ally. From the weird and wonderful to the awe-inspiring, consult this list to avoid wedding cliches and make a name for yourself as the organiser of the best wedding ever. Don’t forget our invite.
In the Wild West
Photo via Tanque Verde Ranch
Between 60 000 acres of prickly pear cactus and the Rincon Mountain Range sits Tanque Verde Ranch, a working stud farm where wannabe cowboys and cowgirls put a ring on it. For old Western fans, or those who love Will Smith’s 1999 offering (pretty much all of us, if we’re honest) – this is the wedding destination for you. If you’re worried about the tacky factor, don’t be. The postcard views and rustic accommodation pay homage to the genre, without taking things too far.
Tutbury Castle, Staffordshire
Image via The Wedding Community by photographer Liga Stevenson
Murder mystery parties are one thing, weddings in the dead of night at a haunted castle are quite another. Considered one of the most haunted places in the UK, the medieval ruins of Tutbury Castle hosts many weddings throughout the year… in between a busy event calendar of terrifying ghost tours and visits from famous ghost hunters, of course. The popular midnight wedding ceremonies take place in the grounds by torchlight, with the ruins of the Norman Castle that imprisoned Mary Queen of Scots just behind the alter, as you do.
Governor’s Camp, Kenya
Nina and Sebastian’s wedding, shot by the wonderful Jonas Peterson
There’s no better place for wildlife enthusiasts to tie the knot than Governor’s Camp in Masai Mara, Kenya. Just steps away from the African plains and the Mara River (frequented by hippos), the luxurious tents and lodges puts you close to some of the world’s most remarkable wild animals and magnificent scenery.
Ice Hotel, Sweden
Ice Hotel Sweden, Photo by Asif Kliger
The whole ‘white wedding’ idea is taken up a notch in the Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi, home to the famous IceHotel. With everything from the altar to the chairs made entirely of ice, getting married here is truly unique (if not slightly on the chilly side). Sculpted differently year on year, how many couples can say that their wedding venue melted come springtime?
On the Amalfi Coast
Photo via Hello May by photographer Elisabetta Marzetti
One of the world’s real life postcards, a wedding on the Amalfi Coast is truly beautiful. Also, good pasta and gelato is guaranteed. Need we say more?
Victoria Baths, Manchester
Photo via by James Tracey Photography
Leave your togs at home, this is one swimming pool that doesn’t require – or indeed encourage – doggy paddles. Victoria Baths in Manchester is easily the cutest and most kitsch wedding venue on the list. The venue’s novelty, historic charm and dramatic ceilings make it a favourite for hipster brides and grooms.
Wedding in the Sky
Photo via Marriage in the Sky
What happens when a communications agency and a ride installation firm meet? Dinner in The Sky, apparently. After years of success creating sky-high fine dining events around the world, the unlikely group branched into a new sector: weddings. Marriage in the Sky hoists a 20-seater platform 50 metres into the air for couples’ big day. The wedding mobiles are available to hire in 45 countries, and can be anchored to any place where there’s 5000 square feet of secure surface area, so the chances of finding the perfect location for your open-air wedding are pretty good. Traditional wedding dresses, on the other hand, may be out – after the vows, many couples bungee jump off the altar.
And if all else fails… in the nude
While many toil away at the gym to fit into their wedding dresses and suits on the big day, others take a different approach. That’s right, ‘clothing optional’ weddings are on the rise. Nudist colonies in Jamaica, Florida, Las Vegas and New Zealand all offer venues for confident (read: naked) couples to say ‘I do’ and we’ve been told, plenty are.