Barboursville Vineyards, in beautiful hill and horse country in Virginia (less than an hour from charming Charlottesville) sit on an old 900-acre plantation featuring old Palladian ruins from buildings designed by Thomas Jefferson for Governor James Barbour. Bonus: It’ll be easy to decide which wines to serve with dinner.
In the Santa Monica Mountains within easy access of Los Angeles, Paramount Ranch was once owned by Paramount Pictures as a studio set lot (fans of Quinn, Medicine Woman, and other classic westerns will recognize the quaint, dusty streets). You’ll need a wedding permit from the National Park Service, but your wedding day will look straight out of, well, a movie.
Paramount Ranch, Cornell Rd, Agoura, CA, USA, +1 805 370 2301
For those who love contemporary art (or the desert), Marfa is an adventurous yet upscale option for a destination wedding. You’ll have an embarrassment of Instagram-worthy riches to choose from in rehearsal dinner and post-party venues, including the Chinati Foundation (a contemporary art museum founded by Donald Judd).
The woods outside of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, might be one of the last places you’d expect for a destination wedding, but Thorncrown Chapel makes it so. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright student E. Fay Jones, it is so architecturally significant and unique that it made the National Register of Historic Places before its 20th birthday. The glass-enclosed, open-air space looks especially stunning lit up from inside for a twilight ceremony.
Thorncrown Chapel, 12968 US-62, Eureka Springs, AR, USA, +1 479 253 7401
In the stunning woods of the Pacific Northwest, TreeHouse Point in Issaquah, Washington, offers an array of nuptial treehouses for couples who want to be close to nature (surrounded, really) on their big days.
TreeHouse Point, 6922 Preston-Fall City Rd SE, Issaquah, WA, USA, +1 425 441 8087
One of many Smithsonian museums to choose from for a wedding venue, the National Museum of Natural History wins points for the décor already in place, including dinosaurs and an elephant towering over the dance floor.
With over 600,000 square feet of what the museum describes as “an eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made of unique, found objects,” the St. Louis City Museum is one of the most unique public spaces in the country. Couples tying the knot here will effortlessly lay claim to best after-party status, which should be made all the easier by the combination of champagne, ropes courses, and Ferris wheels.
City Museum, 750 N 16th St, St. Louis, MO, USA, +1 314 231 2489
For a technology- and distraction-free wedding, Burning Man is a fantastic desert option, especially with the festival’s zero cell service and anti-phone ethos. If you want your I-Dos done at Black Rock City, you’ll need a Nevada marriage license ($60/each), but many couples marrying here focus on the intent behind the ceremony rather than the legality. Plus, excellent EDM DJs for the after-party are guaranteed.