Beautiful and unusual wedding venues: the illustrated guide

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Kayleigh Dray
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Finding the perfect wedding venue can be tricky, particularly if you're looking for something truly unique to you and your partner. After all, no matter how much bunting they string up around the place, there's only so many ways to dress up a hotel function room.

And, once you've seen one... well, you've kind of seen them all.

Thankfully, help is at hand.

We've teamed up with the clever folks at Wilderness Reserve to round up some of the most weird and wonderful wedding venues from around the world; think dinosaurs, underground caverns, gently bobbing hot air balloons, and plenty more besides.

It's time to bypass tradition in favour of a confetti-littered road less travelled: scroll through our illustrated guide for wedding venue inspiration now...

  • Dracula’s Castle, Translyvania, Romania

    Horror fans can enjoy the thrills of this eerie haunt, linked to warlord vlad the impaler-the inspiration behind the Dracula stories.

    Pro:  Visually, it’s the castle of fairy tales

    Con:  Historically, it’s the castle of nightmares

    Find out more here

  • Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

    Niagara Falls is one of the world’s most famous locations, so why not say your vows as you gaze out across the thunderous waterfall?

    PRO: It truly is stunning (and you’ll be just like Jim and Pam from The Office)

    CONS: It can get a bit noisy… and wet

    Find out more here

  • Ash Cave, Ohio, USA

    Embrace rustic simplicity with a cavernous backdrop for your big day. Ash Cave provides a serene backdrop for those who want a natural wedding.

    PROS: Breath-taking sunsets

    CONS: Natural acoustics make whispering about the guests problematic...

    Find out more here

  • National Space Centre, Leicester, UK

    For a wedding that's truly out of this world, you can't go wrong with the National Space Centre. Head to Leicester's Exploration Drive and make the most of their Rocket Tower, planetarium, and six themed galleries...

    PRO: You can finally take your place amongst the stars

    CONS: There's not much natural light for your photographer to work with

    Find out more here

  • Governors' Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya

    If a zoo sounds too tame, head to the Masai Mara nature reserve to really immerse yourself with the animals.

    PROS: Includes Maasai dancers and a blessing by Maasai elders

    CONS: Thunderstorms ate common (and dramatic) between July – September.

    Find out more here

  • The Subterranean Lake, Cornwall, UK

    Could there be anything more magical than venturing deep into an underground faery cave with your beloved? The crystal clear blue-green lake is the perfect spot for reflecting on your vows...

    PRO: There's a cavernous Rum Store on site for the reception

    CONS: You need 500 tea-lights minimum to fill your cavern with candlelight...

    Find out more here

  • Scott Island, Antarctica

    Andrew Perry and Molly Kendall became the first couple to brave the extremities and wed in Antarctic conditions in 2009

    PROS: Forget squeezing into a wedding corset, you’ll need a thermal suit

    CONS: Happy tears will freeze

    Find out more here

  • A Disney balloon, Florida, USA

    If an ordinary hot-air balloon doesn’t do it for you, how about the “Characters inflight” ceremony – where you’ll be wed in the land of your favourite cartoon heroes.

    Pro:  Stunning views across Walt Disney Florida

    Con:  Not everyone likes adults dressed up as animals, we guess...

    Find out more here

  • Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, USA

    Follow in the footsteps of San Diego couple MacKenzie and Sheeha, and elope on the world famous Golden Gate Bridge which connects to San Francisco andMarin County.

    PROS:  Relish the views of the San Francisco Bay and Alcatraz backdrop

    CONS:  Watch out for passing traffic!

    Find out more here

  • The Dino Museum, Manchester, UK

    Try tying the knot in front of Stan the T-Rex - it'll prove your love really can stand the test of time.

    PRO: Amazing prehistoric guests

    CONS: Ever seen Jurassic Park?

    Find out more here.

  • Battersea Power Station, London, UK

    This iconic disused power station is one of London’s architectural favourites

    Pro:  The ‘view’ space’s floor to ceiling windows for panoramic views and amazing photos.

    Con:  There’s no escaping the venues intensely industrial vibe

    Find out more here

  • The Whisky Vault, Edinburgh, UK

    Surround yourself with the good stuff and have your big day at the Scotch Whisky Experience in Scotland.  The private vault can cater for just 10 guests making it an intimate and exclusive booking.

    Pro:  All that whisky

    Con:  All that whisky…

    Find out more here

  • Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

    From Caesars Palace to The Little Wedding Chapel, there's so many places to tie the knot in Sin City. And we imagine the Mojave Desert would make a gorgeous backdrop for your wedding photos afterwards...

    PRO: Possibly the coolest wedding venue ever

    CONS: Flights cost a bundle, so we imagine you'll have to keep the guestlist very small...

    Find out more here

  • The Titanic, Tennessee, USA

    Step aboard a Disneyesque replica of the 1912 liner in Tennessee.  Your Titanic wedding experience includes ‘Captain Smith’ a white bearded helmsman who will carry out your blessing on the grand staircase.

    PROS:  Taste the recipes served on the actual Titanic, presented on gold-plated China.

    CONS:  Some may consider it a tad morbid...

    Find out more here

  • The Cinema, Bath, UK

    Many a first-date happen at the cinema, so why not have your first wedded kiss there too?  The Little Theatre in Bath does a full-on wedding experience with fake film trailers, drinks and popcorn.

    Pro:  Personalised film tickets that can be used as invites

    Con:  Let's just say it's very cosy...

    Find out more here

  • Walking Weddings, Herefordshire, UK

    Why stay in one place when you can take your wedding party on a personalised walking tour through the countryside?

    PRO: You'll be surrounded by natural beauty

    CONS: You'll need to pack brollies, just in case...

    Find out more here


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.