When you close your eyes and think of where you might get married, what comes to mind? Is there a long red aisle inside an ornate, classic cathedral? Or maybe your toes are buried in white sand somewhere on the Caribbean coast, or you're in front of a picturesque grassy knoll set against a mountain range. While these are certainly some of the more typical wedding-day settings that many of us dream about, not everyone has his or her heart set on tying the knot in a traditional way. It's becoming increasingly common for couples to seek out locations that are a bit more unique and memorable. These six awe-inspiring places—from simple to simply over-the-top—are sure to leave you and your guests breathless.
1. Say "I Do" on a Choo-Choo
Harken back to yesteryear and exchange vows on a train. The California Western Railroads Skunk Train, which still chugs along the same Redwood Route that it traversed in 1885, was originally built and used as a logging train. You can catch it from either Fort Bragg or Willits and take it to one of two romantic reception locations: Camp Mendocino Dining Hall or Northspur Reception. You can also hold your reception right there on the train. Together with your loved one, you'll journey up the coast, crossing thirty bridges and passing through two mountain tunnels. The locomotive comes complete with observation cars, so you won't miss any of the scenic views along the way. It's the perfect combination of exploration and romance. I Want A Fairy-Tale Wedding!
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2. Swing Your Partner 'Round and 'Round
If roasting s'mores and square-dancing till the cows come home sounds like one way you and your sweetie pie might like to spend an evening together, then look no further. Make hay while the sun still shines and look into holding your wedding in a barn. There's a plethora of beautiful, historic barns across the United States to choose from, for a whole lotta charm and a little bit of country. Check out the Blue Dress Barn in Millburg, Michigan—it was featured in the fall 2008 issue of Martha Stewart Weddings.
3. Light Up Your Love
Get in touch with your nautical side and let a lighthouse guide you to your perfect wedding day. What better place to tie the knot than one of these historic seaside structures? The East Coast harbors many of the country's most incredible lighthouses; a particularly splendid one is the Montauk Point Lighthouse in Montauk, Long Island, New York. This was the first lighthouse in the state of New York, and it's the fourth-oldest still in use in the United States.