In the wedding world there are the traditional churches, reception halls, barns and ballrooms but whether you are a traditional bride or not think of all the possibilities of venues in your area.  Think about your favorite hobbies, passions, childhood memories, favorite past times and go beyond the traditional locations.   Did you know almost any place can be the place you say “I do?”  All you have to do is ask about special rental rates, after hour rates, private party rates or special requests.  If there is a place you and your fiancé absolutely love, just ask the manager or owner about the possibility of hosting your ceremony and maybe even your reception.  Just beware most non-traditional venues will require an intimate guest list, unique event times, special set up requirements and lots of rules.  However the memories and photos will be something you guests and family will be talking about for years to come.

Cedar Rock Park is a great spot for those that love long walks in the woods, history and local parks.   Most locals use this venue for engagement photos and bridal portraits because of all of the great backdrops and areas that make great photo opts.   There are several different areas couples have gotten married in the park.  You do have to rent tables and chairs but the décor can be limited because the park is beautiful.  I’ve seen weddings that focus on wood features and wild flowers to really add to the inspiration of the park setting.  Having a simple non-alcoholic afternoon wedding here offers a great setting for the simplistic bride looking for charm and outdoors.  Two of my personal favorite areas are the old buildings and the waterfall.  When looking for a quiet bench or a babbling stream to take a few post ceremony photos the Cedar Rock Park may just be the out of the box spot for you and your guests.

Now if your ideal park involves bases and bats, why not get married at the local

ballpark?  The Burlington Royals Stadium will allow weddings on the field after their final game of the season.  They also have several different areas you can rent for groups celebrating the wedding either for pre-ceremony fun or creating a weekend fun filled week of activities.  Why not plan a fun afternoon for your family and friends traveling from afar get to know one another better than by watching a baseball game.  Now if you are planning a fall wedding, they will even allow you to put tents up in the outfield for a full reception following your ceremony on home plate.  They also have a really neat locker that can be used for a unique rehearsal dinner spot.  They have connects with all kinds of sponsors to help create memorable party favors.  So allow The Burlington Royals make your event or activity a home run!

Are you a history buff?  What about a local museum?  The Alamance History Museum will offer a history making backdrop.  They will even open the museum with staff for cocktail hour as long as there is no red wine.  This is a great way for guests to be entertained while you and your family are busy taking photos with the wedding party.  There is plenty of space to park up to 200 cars and a flat area to add a tent.  My favorite area is the garden which could host little Italy lights over a dance floor and lots of cocktail tables for the perfect cocktail hour prior to grand introductions and first dances.  There is an old barn still on the property that would be a great backdrop for a gentleman’s smoking lounge.  Start picking out your vintage china and lace because this venue is begging to host a vintage party.  Want to know an interesting fact?  One of the first families were married in the foyer.  Come be a part of history add your memory to the history.

Hosting your reception in a children’s museum might not have been your first thought of a wedding or event venue.  But not only are museums great for teachers or kids at heart but anyone wanting to keep their guests entertained all night long.  The Children’s Museum of Alamance County has a few small rooms in the back great for birthday parties but you can rent the entire museum for an afterhours reception. You can place dinner tables in one bay, a stage and dance area in another bay, sprinkle cocktail tables throughout the entire museum to offer guests places to hang out and enjoy the evening.  One of the play areas makes for the perfect bar and beverage area.  Having food stations spaced out throughout the different rooms/bays allows your catering to have fun with the menu to play up the different areas.  This reception venue is one place your creativity can run wild literally!  

Love the idea of the Night at the Museum?  The Greensboro Science Center will offer several different options for ceremonies, receptions, and cocktail styled parties.   They even have a shark tank you can have as your centerpiece of your “I do’s.”  You can rent the entire museum after hours or use one of the small meeting rooms downstairs to host luncheons or a small rehearsal dinner.  There is a small garden area outside that has a

large patio that would be great for a cocktail party.  One of the meeting rooms downstairs offers a small stage, so you could dine in one room and dance the night away in the other.  Add the staff so your guests can check out exhibits during the event.  They will flip the aquarium area during the cocktail hour to create a dining and dance area as a possibility.  Depending on the time of day, you may have enough time for your guests to hang out in the zoo area for a cocktail party to remember for a lifetime. 

So if you find yourself asking questions like: “how do I make my reception memorable, what will make my wedding stand out, how can we let our personalities inspire our wedding?”  Then non-traditional venues are where you need to start viewing.  Be creative, add amazing lighting and linens to make your guests WOW from the moment they arrive.  So start scoping out the local parks, stadiums, and museums to create a starting place for your forever happily ever after.
(All photos are from their websites and/or their facebook fanpages)