Because you've always wanted to get married in an ice church, right?
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. On an old logging train.
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.
Photo: Skunk 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.
2. In a barn.
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.
Photo: Blue Dress 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. By the glimmer of a lighthouse.
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.
Photo: Montauk Point Lighthouse
This was the first lighthouse in the state of New York, and it's the fourth-oldest still in use in the United States.
4. In a church made of ice. (Brrrr!)
Pack your Uggs and your rabbit-fur muff and head to the Ice Church at IceHotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, for the ultimate white wedding. This far-flung destination is the oldest hotel made entirely of ice and snow, and year after year it remains a popular choice for lovebirds who are looking to truly chill out.
(Temperatures average around negative five degrees Celsius.) Visitors who arrive closer to the beginning of December may be able to witness the extensive construction process, which is a real labor of love, considering that the church and hotel inevitably melt and need to be rebuilt each season.
5. Under the sea.
At Bora Bora Underwater Wedding, couples get to share their nuptials not with Auntie Midge and Uncle Art by their side, but with tropical fish amidst a spectacular ocean coral reef. Some companies also provide live video streaming and topside receivers so the guests above can hear and see everything that's happening below.
Photo: Bora Bora Underwater Wedding
After the ceremony is over, you and your other half can swim and sunbathe to your hearts' content.
6. Out of this world — literally.
Save for those in the know who run in celebrity circles, this aeronautical extravagance has been flying under the radar for some time. What's it all about? A modified Boeing 727 G-Force One takes you up in the sky and performs special aerobatic maneuvers called parabolas, which enable guests (or, more likely, just you and your partner-to-be) to achieve total weightlessness. During repeated "pull-ups," passengers feel the force of 1.8Gs.
Photo: Zero G
Different levels of parabolas are available, including lunar gravity (one-sixth your body weight) and Martian gravity (one-third your body weight). Before you book this weightless wedding, though, be forewarned that this experience does not come cheap: prices start at $4,950 per person.
Each one of these amazing places will undoubtedly make your day unique and unforgettable, but the most important thing is that you've already found that most special place in each other's hearts. Discovering the right location will just be "icing on the cake".