Since moving to New England, I have learned a lot of people get married in a church and then have the reception at some sort of hall or space that is designed for weddings. This is kind of blowing my mind. Haha, now that might make me seem like I either live in a cave, or am the dumbest wedding photographer on the block. I assure you, neither is true. Well, I hope not at least to the dumbest part. In all actuality, I’m just not used to the majority of weddings being held in churches. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with doing it this way! I see the appeal here, most of these churches are old and beautiful and they take me back to colonial times which I love! However, if I’m being honest I love shooting weddings in places where most of the time, weddings aren’t happening there.
Me and Zack got married at a place called the Yorktown Freight Shed. Classy sounding, I know, haha. It actually is a building from the early 1900s that was a terminal for steamships. Now it’s been converted to a building you can use for meetings or weddings. It was right on the water on a historic riverwalk with a view of the James River. Right up the street is historic Yorktown (you know.. battle of Yorktown during the American Revolution) and we had our bridal party and portraits taken at the Nelson house, which was built around 1730! I LOVE the uniqueness of this. I mean, I know I’m not the only person who will get married there and have their photos taken there but I know it’s not just a wedding factory.
Photos from our wedding by Abigail Volkmann Photography
Get creative! Your wedding is supposed to be a day to showcase your love, pick somewhere that really helps tell YOUR story. So here are some alternative wedding venue ideas, and probably kind of a bucket list of places I would love to photograph a wedding:
I have seen quite a few weddings where the couple just got married in the middle of the forest. I feel like that might be pretty magical for a couple who loves nature. I’ve seen some very bohemian ones which is totally up my alley. Sometimes I wish we had chosen this option.
Being so close to New York City I’m sure this happens often there. And what a great view that could be. This definitely would be a great option for the city couples who love city living. What a great view, I bet you could get some spectacular and unique ceremony and reception views with a backdrop of skyscrapers.
Living in Virginia Beach, I shot quite a few beach weddings. I love how laid back they are. Half the time the bride or the whole wedding party is barefoot, and the beautiful sea breeze with surfers and beach goers watching along with your guests. For those who really love the water you could get married on a boat. I know there are some small cruising ships you can book for things like this but if you or someone you know has a sailboat you could have a beautiful and intimate ceremony out on the water. If you are getting married like this, please hire me! 😉
Okay, the book nerd in me is going crazy over this idea. I think Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex in the City movie was going to get married in the library but I’m not positive. Don’t kill me I’m not a huge watcher of that show. Now, any old library probably won’t do for this but I’m positive there are some grand old libraries out there where this would be spectacular. I actually already have a bucket list photo shoot for a couples or engagement session in a library.
Okay, this is probably actually done all the time. However, I’m thinking big.. like on top of a cliff big. I’ve only seen one photographer’s cliff wedding and oh my lord it was beautiful. I can’t remember who shot it otherwise I would link to it but it was so beautiful. The view was amazing and they just had an intimate ceremony with their family and friends literally surrounding them as they tied the knot.
These are just ideas, and I’m not knocking the traditional church and wedding hall ceremonies. Every wedding is unique because of the couple and their story, and I’m so lucky to be a part of any of them. Did you get married somewhere crazy or one of a kind? Let me know, I love hearing and seeing these weddings!
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