Everyone wants their wedding to be memorable. Whether you are a traditionalist who wants a church wedding followed by a banquet hall dinner, or you're someone who wants to pay tribute to your family, how you met, or a mutual hobby, there are many different ways you can plan your special day to make it uniquely your own.
Editor of TheKnot.com Anja Winikka says, “People don’t want their big day to be cookie-cutter. First, the crazy new thing was destination weddings (which now represent around 20 percent of all wedding ceremonies) and now, just in the past five years, we’re noticing many more couples seeking unusual settings, from treetops to airplane hangars. For many couples, I think, it’s the weirder the better.”
Maybe reality TV Shows like Four Weddings and our increasing obsession with Pinterest and Instagram have us digging deeper to create something truly unique. However, Winikka believes that one of the biggest reasons behind the increase in offbeat weddings is the age at which many are marrying, meaning they’re using their own funds for the big event and can do what they want, without the same pressure from parents holding the matrimonial purse strings. Here are 25 highly unusual places you can tie the knot and celebrate your love at the beat of your own drum.
25 Run to the Alter at Taco Bell
Looking for a value meal priced wedding? Look no further than your Taco Bell who is now officially in the business of hosting weddings. Beginning in the summer of 2017 you can say ‘I Do’ at the flagship Las Vegas strip Taco Bell. You can host up to 15 guests and enjoy a branded garter, bow tie, and a bouquet of hot sauce packets. Guests can share a 12 pack of tacos, while you cut the Cinnabon Wedding Cake. The entire package costs around $600 USD, and both the bride and groom will also get Taco Bell T-shirts to remember the day.
24 Rocking Roller Coaster Wedding
Thrill seekers are able to get married at a couple of different amusement parks in the US. Each year a few lucky couples board the Coney Island Cyclone and get married on the ride, with the ceremony usually taking place at the platform of the ride, and the wedding party jumping into the 12 cars after the first kiss, to scream in style. Those who want to wed in Ohio can visit Cedar Point Amusement Park where you can get married on The Millennium Force Coaster. Bride Angie Brashares joked of her coaster wedding, “I finally got him to marry me, so I was going to do whatever he wanted. He wanted to do the coaster, and I went along for the ride."
23 Voodoo Donut Shop Wedding
When you say you ‘love donuts’ do you really mean it? Portland’s donut shop Voodoo Doughnuts has such a cult following that they even offer a wedding package, where you can have a non-binding commitment ceremony or something a little more official. The deluxe package includes your hotel, round-trip airfare, a service by a Universal Life Minister, and coffee and doughnuts (naturally). Depending upon where you live and what you select, a wedding here will generally cost $35 to $6,600. Do you think having a wedding here is weird? Someone once had two cats get “meowed” at this wedding venue.
22 The Top of Mount Everest
You know those song lyrics about ‘climbing every mountain’ to be with your true love? People who really believe that can do so by getting married at Mount Everest. In 2005, a Nepalese couple was the first couple to exchange vows on the summit of Everest at 17,600 feet elevation. In 2017, a Sacramento couple, that had trained for a year for their big day (including for two weeks at Everest to get used to the conditions), became the first couple to wed on Everest in formal attire. The wedding was documented by adventure photographer Charleton Churchill.
21 The Bargain Wedding at the 99 Cent Store
Getting married is quite the contest. The owners of the Los Angeles based 99 Cents Only Store, who held a contest where 2,999 applicants applied to get married in their store on September 9, 2009 (i.e. 9/9/09) felt it was a perfect choice. Nine winners were selected (at random) to be married in ten-minute service intervals between 8:09 AM and 9:09 AM in aisle nine of the store. A local designer (who goes by the name Discount Store Diva) utilized store inventory to create a discount décor and dresses. The wedding cost couples a mere 99 cents.
20 In the Icy Yenisei River
Polar Bears aren’t just animals in the Arctic. It’s also the nickname that some people have to like to dive into the ice-cold water during the winter. Sergei Kaunov, who goes by ‘the Walrus’, thanks to his penchant for icy waters, married Irina Kuzmenko in the brisk water of the Siberian Enisei River in 2011, which has a temperature of around minus 30 degrees Celsius. While Sergei’s fiancée wasn’t thrilled with the idea of marrying in cold water, she took the plunge after a hot bath, allowing him to follow of his dreams of getting married in the icy water. Guests then enjoyed an indoor celebration in a heated wooden cabin.
19 iPromise Forever at the Apple Store
Ever love something so much you want to marry it? Couple Josh and Ting Li are smitten with Apple products and decided that they wanted to be ahead of technology and the wedding trends by becoming the first couple to get married inside an Apple Store. The duo tied the knot in 2010, in New York’s Fifth Avenue store on Valentine’s Day, in a custom ceremony that included many of their favorite Apple products. The two met at an Apple store, and even had their priest dress up as Steve Jobs to perform the ceremony. They recited their vows from their iPhones and had their rings affixed to an iPod.
18 Costco Bulk Wedding
Many people buy party supplies at Costco to save by buying in bulk. Santa Maria couple Robert and Meredith Bonilla decided to marry in the Costco store where they first met, in the frozen food aisle. The two married in 2015 in the store after it had closed for the day, while standing on wooden pallets. In true Costco tradition, instead of a formal head table, the couple relaxed in a double recliner chair, as a newlywed king and queen of discount deals.
17 Jet Packed Vows
Some people dream of riding a horse down the aisle, but what about a jetpack? Amanda Volf flew across the water of Newport Beach, before landing at her picturesque wedding on the California beach. Her groom Grant Ingler also flew in on a jetpack, making their wedding the first jetpack wedding in history. Want one of your own? Buying a jetpack is said to set you back around 90K apiece. Going with the casual theme, the bride wore white board shorts and the groom, a wetsuit. But don’t worry, they didn’t totally buck tradition, she wore a veil and he sported a white bow tie.
16 Wedding Sky High
There’s a new meaning to the ‘mile high club’ when it comes to people getting married in the sky. In 2008, a couple decided to hold their nuptials on the wings of three planes at an altitude of 1,000 feet. The groom stood on the wing of a biplane, and his bride stood on the wing of another, identical plane, all while in a full wedding gown. The officiant was on a third aircraft to perform the ceremony, which was blasted through loudspeakers to the guests who were waiting nearby at the RFC Rendcomb Airfield, Gloucestershire.
15 Married Among Sharks
Can’t get enough of shark week? What about a shark wedding? The Long Island Aquarium has become a popular spot for weddings, but one couple wasn’t satisfied with being beside the tanks. In June 2010, April Pignataro and Michael Curry put on underwater breathing helmets, and wedding wet suites (black for him, white for her), and went underwater with expert divers in a steel cage with 10 unaggressive sand tiger and nurse sharks to say ‘I do’. Hooked up with radio communication, a minister on dry land was able to perform the ceremony.
14 NASCAR Wedding
Ballpark proposals on the JumboTron are a thing of the past when you can get married in the fast lane. On Valentine’s Day 2009, 31 NASCAR enthusiast couples were married at the Daytona with an audience of thousands. One couple decided on tattoo rings to make their vows extra permanent. The cost for a fast and furious wedding is around $3,250 and includes the Victory Lane rental and a small reception room to refuel your guests' engines after a race to the altar.
13 Frozen in Time Ice Chapel
Disney fans of Frozen may want to opt for this chilling wedding reception at the Hotel de Glace in Quebec City, Canada. Brides and grooms who decide to wed in this 25 degree Fahrenheit ice palace often wear fur-lined capes and boots to make sure they stay cozy while saying ‘I do’. Guests get to sit on animal skin draped ice benches, to keep their bums toasty and will enjoy iced glasses of champagne. The cost to get married here starts anywhere from $1800 to $5500.
12 No Wedding Dress Required
Why worry about wearing white when you can opt to wear absolutely nothing? A notary, who is also a nudist, named Carolyn Hawkins, usually performs 10 nudist weddings where it’s not black tie optional, it’s clothing optional. Located in Florida, nudist weddings are becoming more common. With the backdrop of Lake Toho guests are encouraged to bring extra sunscreen while watching a wedding at Cypress Cove Nudist Resort and Spa. Members of Cypress Cove can get married at no cost for the ceremony, but their annual membership starts at $120.
11 Deep Dark Cave Wedding
For those who want to wed caveman (or cavewoman) style, they can have their wedding in a Bridal Cave in the Ozarks, Missouri. It’s believed that a couple first tied the knot here in the 1800’s and since that time more than 2,500 dynamic duos have tied the knot there. One of the notable weddings was from a couple from the Virgin Islands who felt a beachside wedding was too regular, and wanted to mix things up with a wedding in a cave. As unusual as it is, put in some candles and we’re sure it would be lovely.
10 Alaskan Glacial Wedding
The Glaciers of Alaska are breathtaking - add in a couple getting married, and you’ll have the photos and experience of a lifetime. Couple Amy and Gregory Rhoden worked with Pearson’s Pond (an Inn located in Juneau, Alaska) to have their family arrive on a cruise ship, and then everyone took a helicopter to the actual glacier. Photos for these weddings are taken in such a way that people can’t see the giant boots with crampons (spiked) on the bottom to keep from falling off the side of the iceberg. The photo above is an example of another couple.
9 Lions and Tigers and Vows (Oh My!)
For those who love animals, a ceremony at Lions, Tigers & Bears, a not for profit animal sanctuary in San Diego may be the perfect place to say ‘I do’. Guests get to sleep at the sanctuary retreat and hear the sounds of animals feeding. One Bride says, "The open land, big shady trees, and soundscape of the birds was everything and more (than) I could have asked for." Those planning a wedding here can also rent vintage furniture to lounge on during their reception in the fields of the sanctuary.
8 Car Museum Matrimony
Many couples have cute stories about how they met. Kimberly Dominick LeFloore was a car salesperson when she met her husband-to-be, because she sold him a brand spanking new Corvette. Kimberly says of their introduction, "The part my husband would like to tell is how I suckered him into buying the car. He had been a friend of the family for years, and my dad has always owned 'Vettes since I was a little girl, so that was always my dream car." Once he owned her dream car it was only a matter of time before they made it official, at the National Corvette Museum, in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
7 Walk the Plank (or the Aisle)
Arrr Me Matey, if a Pirate Wedding be your lifelong dream, sail away to Vegas to tie your sailor’s knot on the pirate ship at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino. Bride Bobbi Kelty knew she didn’t want a standard wedding and says, "Getting married on the pirate ship was like stepping into a fairy tale. The ship was beautifully arrayed and the service performed by the captain was divine." Of course, it’s a biased opinion, but house Pastor Jerome Blankenship, who's officiated weddings here since 1993, says pirate weddings are usually more “energetic and fun” compared to standard dry land affairs.
6 Olympic Track Race to the Altar
Couple Morgan Sjogren and Sergio Gonzalez met when the two attended Cal State San Marcos on an athletic scholarship. Each became the other’s biggest cheerleader, so it was not all that surprising when Sergio proposed when they were on the 2012 Olympic Track and Field Trials. The two decided it was only fitting to get married where they met, on the track. Morgan says, "My dad walked me down lane four to the start line, where our ceremony took place." The couple’s coach officiated and friends and family watched on the lane lines. Once they said I do (and presumably kissed) the pair enjoyed a victory lap around the track.
5 Grand Wedding at the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is a spectacular site, which is why many people have begun to enjoy a wedding ceremony on both the Northern and Southern Rims, as well as deep inside the canyon. With such great views, and a wide-open space, we’re guessing everyone wants beautiful weather for their big day, and should probably spend their extra money on a photographer who can capture their ceremony as well as the natural beauty that surrounds them. We’re guessing sunset is the best time of day to take it all in and then kiss under the stars.
4 I Vant To Marry You at Dracula's Castle
As a former Goth, everyone was convinced I was going to have a Halloween wedding. Maybe I would have changed my mind had I known I could have been married at Bran Castle in Transylvania (i.e. Dracula’s castle). The castle can be rented out for private events, including weddings, but most guests are probably more worried about something other than running into Drac – there are no bathrooms in the Castle. We wonder if they’ll let you place portable potties on the outskirts of the castle - probably not.
3 Bungee - Tying the Knot Before the Big Leap
Why not knock two items off your bucket list at once – getting married and bungee jumping at the exact same time, or are you going to get cold feet? Couple Ross Basham and Hannah Phillips exchanged their vows on the jump platform and then performed a tandem-jump where they fell head over feet (140 feet to be exact) together. Despite the daredevil feat, the pair were both fully dressed in formal wedding wear, you know, for the pictures and tradition.
2 Molten Lava Volcanic Love
Some say marriage is the ultimate sacrifice, so what about tying the knot in Hawaii at Volcanoes national park, while overlooking Kilauea Caldera, a live volcano complete with smoke and lava entering the sky. Park representative Jessica Ferracane said that some couples find the way this ancient area recreates and renews itself each day is a good metaphor for entering the commitment of marriage. Unfortunately, this popular wedding venue is no more since much of the island has been taken over when the lava began taking over the island earlier this year.
1 Grave Side Wedding
Couples will often pay tribute to a parent who has passed away during their wedding ceremony, but a Minnesota couple took things to the next level for their 2012 wedding. The pair were married in front of their parents' gravestones at the Oakwood Cemetery in Austin, Texas. While not everyone was a fan of this venue, around 50 to 60 attendees made their way to the cemetery for the service. The couple said they felt this was the best way to include their parents in their wedding. In the time since more and more couples are taking advantage of the beautiful background a cemetery offers.