If you are thinking of cool outdoor places to get married, there are so many options available. From the more typical outdoor wedding locations like a garden wedding or beach wedding – to more creative locations like an underwater scuba-diving ceremony, you can tailor your wedding to be a true representation of you and your partner.
No matter how in love you are, getting married is truly a leap of faith. If you want to manifest this literally, you may consider a skydiving wedding. A skydiving preacher usually performs the ceremony either on the ground or in the airplane and then the couple jumps from the plane to signify their first adventure together.
While a skydiving or underwater wedding might be a bit too extreme for most people, we have a few recommendations for those couples that are looking for a cool outdoor venue – somewhere between traditional and wild.
Yosemite Weddings: Your Big Day Among the Giant Sequoias
Having your wedding in Yosemite National Park in California gives you the opportunity to choose from a variety of breathtaking, natural backgrounds for your ceremony. Waterfalls, giant sequoias, lakes, streams, mountains and, of course, El Capitan, all can be found in the park. If you would like to plan your Yosemite wedding through the park itself, they have wedding planners and a culinary team on staff, making the planning process that much easier.
If you decide to take advantage of Yosemite’s official wedding facilities, there are three venue choices: The Ahwahnee, the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, and the Wawona Hotel. The Ahwahnee is one of the nation’s most distinguished grand hotels; it is a great choice for intimate wedding ceremonies and receptions either outside or in the hotel’s solarium. As its name suggests, the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, has a beautiful location next to a breathtaking waterfall. Darrin Gleeman, who recently attended a Yosemite wedding, notes, “This location is ideal for a relaxed, informal wedding.” The last location, Wawona Hotel, has a more formal atmosphere with its Victorian décor, romantic verandas, elegant sunroom, and lush green lawns. Yosemite National Park certainly has something to meet any wedding couple’s needs.
Vermont Weddings: Bask in New England’s Beauty
No matter the time of year you are planning your outdoor celebration, a Vermont wedding might be just what you are looking for. While Vermont winters can be quite chilly, ski enthusiasts can ski or snowboard to a beautiful mountain location to take their vows – with a reception following in a rustic ski lodge. Summers are always beautiful, making more traditional outdoor ceremonies popular on lush green hillsides or near a picturesque farmhouse. Reception sites are numerous and include inns, resorts, museums, and more. Fall is an ideal time to schedule a wedding in Vermont as the fall foliage is stunning and will add a warm background to all your wedding photographs. The crisp fall weather is a nice change from the typical summer swelter that accompanies many outdoor weddings. And spring is an ideal time to take advantage of the spring gardens throughout the state.
A note on marriage licenses in Vermont: You must apply and receive a marriage license in Vermont to have your ceremony take place there. Luckily there is no residency requirement or waiting period, and the license is valid for sixty days. Darrin Gleeman advises, “With any destination wedding, make sure you research the licensing requirements and give yourself enough time to get everything in order.”
Santa Fe Weddings: Red, Gold, and Orange All Year Round
Dream of having red, gold, and orange in the background of your wedding photos, but just can’t commit to a fall wedding? Santa Fe, New Mexico’s rustic landscape offers a unique dessert beauty that most Americans don’t get to see on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, Santa Fe is the nation’s third most popular destination wedding spot. With fabulous weather year-round and tasty local cuisine, this ideal wedding city is perfect for either a rustic, outdoorsy celebration or an upscale, elegant event. Darrin Gleeman offers some creative suggestions, “Think about hosting your celebrations at a Santa Fe Wild West ranch or at an ancient ruin site. You’ll have your guests talking for months!”
Marigot Weddings: A St. Lucia Wedding on the Bay
If you’ve always dreamed of a beach wedding, you should consider planning a destination wedding at St. Lucia’s Marigot Bay. A ceremony at any location in this paradise is sure to be a day to remember. Some of the most popular options for ceremonies are on a secluded beach, on a sunset cruise, or in a resort veranda overlooking the ocean. Plus, a beach destination wedding is a great excuse for friends and family to join you for a tropical island vacation.
If you plan to marry on St. Lucia, you must plan a few extra days into your trip. Luckily if you use a wedding planner or a resort wedding package, most of the planning is standard and done for you. This is great for the bride who wants a less stressful planning process; however, you must spend two full days on the island before you meet with the lawyer for your marriage license. The two days can be weekends or weekdays. After your first two days, your lawyer can submit the papers and then it takes two to three days for the license to come through the system. If this is a second marriage, count on three days. Of course who would mind spending an extra few days in paradise?