When it comes to your wedding venue, we at Inside Weddings want you to dream big! Hotels and standard event spaces aren't your only options for a memorable affair. With a little bit of research, you can discover alternative venues that offer surprisingly lovely spaces for indoor parties and stunning outdoor backdrops for alfresco celebrations. And, you don't need to be a celebrity in order to secure an off-the-beaten-path venue.
We've rounded up real weddings held in completely unexpected places, from the most famous theatre in Hollywood to an iconic New York City museum. By choosing a venue with tons of personality, you'll be sure to plan an event with a strong sense of style and theme – the recipe for an unforgettable wedding. Bored of banquet halls and cookie-cutter resorts? Picture yourself saying your heartfelt vows at these awe-inspiring venues!
A French Château
If you've always dreamed of marrying in the style of Marie Antoinette, you might be surprised to learn that there are historic French villas that accommodate weddings, even for "commoners!" Château de Santeny is located in the countryside east of Paris and features classic French architecture and beautifully manicured grounds. See more photos from an inspirational wedding event at this fairy-tale château here! Photo by Milton Photography
The Dolby Theatre
Couples who love the glitz and glamour of Hollywood can celebrate their wedding at the exact spot where countless actors have received Academy Awards. The Dolby Theatre, formerly the Kodak Theatre, offers its famed stage as a wedding venue. See how one couple said their vows on the stage, then dined at tables that had been placed on flooring laid on top of the seats of the iconic theatre! Photo by Lawrence Crandall Photography
The New York Public Library
This may not come as a surprise to anyone familiar with Carrie Bradshaw's wedding in Sex and the City, but the New York Public Library contains a number of grand event spaces ideal for lavish weddings. The Celeste Bartos Forum (pictured above) is particularly dramatic! Photo by Ira Lippke Studios
Greystone Mansion, a 1920s estate in Beverly Hills, California, boasts views of Los Angeles and a number of appearances in movies, including Ghostbusters, The Big Lebowski, and The Social Network. Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx married his bride Courtney Bingham on the mansion's lovely manicured grounds – see photos here! Photo by Marc Royce Photography
The American Museum of Natural History
Want unique wedding décor your guests will be talking about for years? At a wedding held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, dinosaur skeletons greet guests for cocktail hour and a life-size blue whale watches over the reception. You have to see a real wedding here to believe it! Photo by Ira Lippke Studios
No need to travel to Europe for a castle wedding! Oheka Castle in New York was built in 1919 and hosts weddings both inside the richly decorated estate and on the lush lawn. If the property looks familiar, that may be because it was the backdrop for Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" music video. The venue looks gorgeous outfitted in white flowers for a classic celebration! Photo by Brett Matthews Photography
The San Diego Zoo
A zoo might not immediately come to mind as a potential wedding venue, but many zoos (including the San Diego Zoo, pictured above) offer packages for nature-loving couples. The wedding may even include an animal encounter! At Ellen and Peter's San Diego Zoo reception, guests rode an aerial tram across the park to view the lights after dark! Photo by Paul Barnett Photographer
Empire Polo Club
Empire Polo Club, located in Indio, California, is home to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Music fans will be delighted to marry at the same spot their favorite bands performed. The venue accommodates outdoor and tented weddings on the expansive lawn or at the lake, rose garden, or Hacienda del Toro. See more photos from the Empire Polo Club wedding pictured above in our Summer 2015 issue! Photo by Jay Lawrence Goldman Photography