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Looking for a Unique Wedding Idea?

Planning a wedding? Then you know how hard it is to find a venue for your reception. After awhile all those hotel banquet halls begin to look alike. Why not put your creative thinking cap on and expand your thinking? Why not try something unique?

Museum Wedding Venues

Many museums rent out their spaces for weddings and other events. And, if you think having your wedding at a museum would be boring, think again. Consider the attractions your guests would be surrounded by at some of the following museums:

Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois

For a unique wedding venue in Chicago, consider the Museum of Science and Industry, located at 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive. The Museum of Science and Industry has so much to offer that it’s hard to know where to begin. You have your choice of numerous unique spaces within the Museum, such as the U-505 Exhibit, where your guests will have the opportunity to dine alongside a 252 ft. submarine. But not any submarine. This submarine was the only German submarine captured during WWII. Seating capacity is 120 guests.

Another space within the Museum is the Rotunda, which is a spectacular hall of marble, featuring a 120-ft. domed ceiling. The seated capacity in the Rotunda is 800 guests.

The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago also has several themed venues within their space which would make any wedding or reception stand out. These include “The Bronzeville Blues Club” with a theme of Chicago’s musical roots. Entering through the Rotunda, guests will enter the “Bronzeville Blues Club” awash in candles and blue lighting; dine on Creole inspired hors d’oeuvres, while enjoying the sounds of an authentic Blues Trio.

Or, perhaps you’d like to try the “Hollywood Canteen” – a recreation of The Hollywood Canteen, which opened its doors in 1942, and quickly became a hot spot for servicemen and Hollywood’s biggest names. Your guests will be welcomed into this recreation by a long red carpet, lined with red velvet ropes.

The Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts

The Higgins Armory Museum is the only museum in the Western Hemisphere devoted to arms and armor, housed in an Art Deco building with a vaulted Medieval Great Hall. Talk about a unique wedding venue! How many people have their wedding amid suits of armor from the Renaissance?

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, Florida

This tropical wedding venue is historic as well as beautiful. You can get married on a bridge overlooking a koi pond, then provide your guests with a private tour of Ernest Hemingway’s home. For guests who cannot attend, they can watch the wedding on the Museum’s live web cam.



Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia

The Poe Museum is dedicated to, who else, Edgar Allan Poe, the American author of short stories, detective fiction, poetry and science fiction. Imagine the theme wedding one could have by getting married at the Poe Museum! Treat your guests to a wedding and reception in Poe’s Enchanted Garden, which can accommodate up to 100 guests. The garden was inspired by one of his poems, “To One in Paradise.”

Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio

If the two of you are into football, why not consider the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Instead of a bouquet, the bride can toss a football. Well, it’s just an idea.

Train Weddings

Want to get married in a unique venue that almost feels like you're stepping back in time? Consider getting married or having your wedding reception aboard a train! Trains take us back to a romantic, slower-paced era, so it's a perfect, yet unique venue for tying the knot.

Which trains might you consider for your wedding?

Skunk Train - Mendocino Coast, California

Traveling at 29 miles per hour, the Skunk Train takes you and your wedding guests on the same northern California coastal "Redwood Route" that it has traveled since 1885. Leaving from the train station at Fort Bragg or Willits, California, the train takes your wedding party to either the Camp Mendocino Dining Hall, or the Northspur outdoor reception site, a remote outdoor site set amongst the towering redwoods, for a truly unforgettable wedding adventure.

The Skunk Train staff works with many local entertainers, so you have the option of providing live entertainment for your guests while aboard the train. Local entertainment includes the Skunk Train's famed "Trainsinger," as well as jazz bands, big bands, and rock bands. And, for great wedding photos, nothing beats the open observation train cars. Of course, the train pulls covered cars as well.

For those unfamiliar with the Mendocino area, it is truly breathtaking, punctuated by meadows, towering redwood forests and rocky cliffs. For more information about weddings aboard the Skunk Train, call 530-666-6781.

Napa Valley Wine Train - Napa Valley, California

Napa Valley, California is known as a great wine producing region of California, so it's only natural that any wedding taking place in the Napa Valley includes wine. If you're a wine buff, gourmet diner and train enthusiast, you may want to consider a wedding or reception aboard The Napa Valley Wine Train, a three-hour round-trip rail and gourmet dining adventure from the town of Napa to St. Helena. While on board, your guests can be treated to views of vineyards and wineries from restored train cars dating back to 1915-1947. Wineries you will pass by include such fine labels as Trefethen, Clos du Val, Cardinale, Domaine Chandon, Neibaum/Coppola and Grgich Hills.

You have your choice of three dining car experiences: the Vista Dome is a glass-domed rail car which can seat groups up to 56; the Silverado Grill is a casual dining car with sliding windows, which can seat groups up to 54; one of the Gourmet Express Pullman dining cars from 1915 - 1917. If you have a large wedding party you can charter the Gourmet Express, Vista Dome and Silverado Grill for up to 370 people. For Group information, call 707-253-0920.

Sugar Cane Train - Maui

We're leaving California now and heading to Maui, a favorite wedding spot for couples around the world. Maui, of course, is famous for its beaches. But, if you're a train buff you're also in luck, as Maui is also home to the Sugar Cane Train which can transport your wedding party along a six-mile scenic journey between Lahaina and Kaanapali. You can call toll free at 800-499-2307 for more information.

Underwater Wedding

How about getting married in the world’s only underwater hotel? The Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida is truly underwater, with guests having to scuba dive 21 feet beneath the surface of the sea and enter through an opening in the bottom of the lodge. Wedding ceremonies are held in the lodge, which consists of a wet room entrance area, two bedrooms and a common room, which is a combination kitchen, dining and living room area. Imagine having your honeymoon underwater, snuggled in your bed while watching the fish pass by your window.

Your wedding ceremony is conducted by a notary public, who dives down for the service, followed by a toast and the cutting of the cake, which, yes, has remained dry. For dinner you are offered a caviar appetizer and choice of two entrees, either lobster or steak and a hearts of palm salad and dessert. Your meal is prepared by a chef who scuba dives to the lodge. The chef will also scuba dive to the lodge the following morning and prepare breakfast. The Jules’ Undersea Lodge wedding is perfect for those who wish to elope to an unusual location.

The cost for the Jules’ Undersea Lodge is $1,495 plus tax. If you have any extra guests attending the wedding you will be charged an additional $60 per guest. Call (305) 451-2353 for more information.