The Haunted, the Beautiful: Thirteen Alternative Wedding Venues
Whether you believe in “till death do us part” or you think the afterlife is only the beginning, finding suitable wedding venues for your wedding is one of the first and most important things you have to consider. Venues usually have to be reserved at least 9-12 months in advance. It can be overwhelming, so to get you started, Dear Darkling has put together this assemblage of stately haunted hotels, spooky historic castles, and assorted wonderfully weird places.
Founded in 1850, Oakland Cemetery is one of Atlanta’s largest public parks. Winding garden paths, ornate mausoleums, lush flowers, and amazing architecture are just the beginning. Guests have reported seeing the ghosts of Civil War soldiers who were buried on the grounds. Oakland Cemetery, 248 Oakland Ave. S.E., Atlanta, GA 30312; (404) 688-2107
Sure, you can get married quickly at Minneapolis City Hall, but did you know you can also have a formal wedding there? The building features exterior Gothic architecture, ornate interiors, carved Italian marble, stained glass, and in-house catering and banquet facilities. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (612) 596-9512.
Darklings in the Pacific Northwest will want to check out this 500-year-old Tudor Gothic historic site known as “the house that love built.” Weddings can take place outdoors in its authentic sunken English garden, inside in the Great Hall and Ballroom, or out on the grounds overlooking the lake. 8601 N. Thorne Lane S.W., Lakewood, WA 98498; (253) 584-4393
Get married in a European-style castle complete with a tragic backstory. Nestled in the 1000 Islands on Heart Island, the building was originally started in 1900 by hotel magnate George C. Boldt as a romantic tribute to his wife, Louise. In a story worthy of a Gothic romance, Louise died before completion. Boldt was so grief-stricken, he immediately stopped all construction, leaving the property vacant for over seventy years. Thousand Islands Bridge Authority / Boldt Castle, PO Box 428, Collins Landing, Alexandria Bay, NY 13607; In Season: (315) 482-9724; Off Season: (315) 482-2501
We would be remiss to leave out The Stanley Hotel, known for inspiring Stephen King’s The Overlook in The Shining. It is renowned for multiple paranormal experiences, including ghostly children playing in the hallways and the infamous Room 217. All spookiness aside, it’s also a top-notch historical venue with grand ballrooms and breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains. 333 Wonderview Ave., Estes Park, CO 80517; (800) 976-1377
Tie the knot in old Victorian elegance. This retreat, located in the Ozark mountaintops, was built in 1886 and boasts an award-winning wine cellar, a place on the National Trust for Historic Preservation list, and the nickname of “America’s Most Haunted Hotel.” It was even investigated by the TAPS team from Ghost Hunters. Resident haunts include a workman who died during construction, former patients, and a cat named Morris. Crescent Hotel, 75 Prospect Ave., Eureka Springs, AR 72632; (855) 725-5720
Get hitched with the kind of spooky theatrics that only Vegas can deliver. Whether you’ve dreamed of being united in unholy matrimony by Dracula, Zombie Elvis, or the Grim Reaper himself, this is the place to go. Delightfully dark wedding package themes include Dracula’s Tomb, Friday the 13th, Graveyard Wedding, Rocky’s Horror, and many more. 1205 Las Vegas Blvd., South Las Vegas, NV, 89104; (800) 574-4450
If Anubis and Eyes of Horus are more to your taste, consider this lux venue with more hieroglyphs, pillars, and gilding than you can shake a Pharaoh’s crook at. You can get married right on the main stage. Joe, the resident ghost, might even honor you with some flickering lights during the ceremony. 700 W. Main St., Boise, ID 83702 For information, email email@example.com or call (208) 345-0454.
What better place to have a darkling wedding than New Orleans? Let local Voodoo Queen Bloody Mary help you plan your fantasy wedding. Choose from themes including Wiccan, Voodoo, Celtic, and Secular, go for a zombie or haunted New Orleans package, or design your own experience. Straight and LGBT weddings performed. 941 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70116; (504) 523-7684
Formerly the Grand Hotel, this quirky venue is steeped in Old West history. Big Nose Kate was the town’s first prostitute, and girlfriend of Doc Holliday. The night before the infamous gunfight at the OK Corral, the Clantons and the McLaury’s stayed here as guests. Naturally, it’s haunted. 417 E. Allen St.,Tombstone, Arizona 85638; (520) 457-3107
The only thing better than getting married in a castle is getting married in a castle with a juicy history. This beautiful English-Norman style castle was designed by famous American architect A.B. Mullett. It is said to be haunted by the spirits of its former mistress, the lover she murdered, and an unknown 7-year-old girl. Berkeley Springs Castle LLC, Berkeley Springs WV 25411; (304) 258-4000
Get married in the majesty of this North American castle featuring a Great Hall with 60-foot oak-beamed ceilings, a marbled conservatory, secret passages, and an 800-foot tunnel. The picturesque gardens have beautiful fountains and unique sculptures. Casa Loma can accommodate weddings of up to 550 people. One Austin Terrace, near the corner of Davenport Rd. and Spadina Ave. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call at (416) 923-1171.
Begin your union in exquisite fairytale fashion in this hotel constructed entirely of ice and snow. Say your vows in the romantic Chapel, then spend your wedding night in a suite featuring fireplaces and amazing snow sculptures. 1860, boulevard Valcartier, Valcartier, Québec, G0A 4S0 Canada. For information, email email@example.com or call (888) 384-5524.
Feature image via The Stanley Hotel