Of course, your own hometown, filled with your family and friends, is a good place to have your wedding. But, if you want your special day to be truly memorable, you might want to combine your wedding day with your honeymoon trip.
If you’re in the Midwest, why not have your wedding and honeymoon in the Windy City? But, before you can get married in Chicago, you’ll need to get a marriage license through the Cook County Clerk’s office. Wednesday through Saturday, you can also be married by a judge at City Hall, for just $10. Be sure to call ahead to make an appointment.
However, while getting married at City Hall is cheap, it’s not very romantic. On the other hand, getting married at Stan Mansion, or on a Chicago River boat cruise is both memorable and romantic. From the Chicago History Museum to the magnificent Congress Plaza Hotel, there are dozens of fabulous wedding venues throughout the city.
However, venues in the city can be quite expensive, and guest parking can be a nightmare. On the other hand, staging a wedding in one of the nearby suburbs can be quite affordable. Take Skokie, for instance, it’s only 10-minutes from Chicago. After you’ve tied the knot, you can still spend your honeymoon exploring the Windy City.
There are several top wedding venues in Skokie, including the swanky Evanston Golf Club, which features both indoor and outdoor weddings. Zhivago Restaurant and Banquets not only provide a beautiful venue, but they also can cater your reception with a unique, Eastern European menu. The deluxe banquet menu features delicacies like blinis topped with red caviar, creme fraiche, and chives, as well as Japanese seaweed and crab salad, rolled in cucumber.
There are a lot of advantages to getting married in Orlando; for one, there are theme parks. Two, Orlando is very affordable. Three, the abundant Florida sunshine, and the lush, tropical landscape make Orlando one of the best places to stage an outdoor wedding.
The historic, Howey Mansion is probably the most sought-after wedding venue in the Orlando area. The mansion features lush gardens, delicate antique furniture, and Old World elegance. For an outdoor wedding, the Crowne Plaza Melbourne-Oceanfront gives your guests unrivaled views of the Atlantic Ocean.
For your honeymoon, there’s Walt Disney World, Seaworld, Univeral Orlando, and Legoland. But Orlando isn’t just for the kid in you, the surrounding area is a hotspot for ecotourism and outdoor adventure. Any way you look at it, Orlando is one of the top wedding cities in the country.
Las Vegas, NV
The state of Nevada became known decades ago for both quickie weddings and quickie divorces. In fact, between 1930 and 1970, nearly 2 million weddings took place in Nevada, nearly as many came to the state for a divorce.
Among the most infamous quickie, Las Vegas weddings include Elvis and Priscilla Presley, Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton, Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra, and Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow.
Today, Vegas remains a very popular and affordable wedding destination. While you still can be married by an Elvis impersonator, the wedding venues in the Las Vegas Valley have evolved; you can have an outdoor wedding in the Gardens at Springs Preserve or in the beautiful desert of Red Rock Canyon.
Of course, kitsch still rules supreme in Sin City. How about holding your wedding among the ruins of the Neon Museum? Or at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris Las Vegas? From sublime to swanky and kitsch, a Sin City wedding will surely not be forgotten.
Colorado Springs, CO
For lovers of the great outdoors, a wedding with towering Pike’s Peak as a backdrop can’t be beat. It’s not only a great place to have a wedding but has been repeatedly been voted as one of the best places to live in the United States.
An outdoor wedding at the Flying W Ranch or the Garden of the Gods Country Club offers you and your guests’ stunning views of the red rocks. On the other hand, The Pinery at The Hill is a stately, Tuscan-style resort, perched high above the city. Likewise, The Broadmoor is a stunning, European-style hotel resort nestled within the majestic Rocky Mountains.
Once you’ve tied the knot, what could be better than a romantic road trip? Colorado Springs is the launch point for outdoor adventure all across the Rocky Mountains, perfect for couples who love hiking, biking, and kayaking.
If you’ve ever dreamed of an Antebellum wedding, Charleston is the place for you. This charming, gracious Southern city is both elegant and laid back. Bride and groom can parade to the altar in a horse-drawn carriage, past wrought-iron balconies that rival those in the French Quarter of New Orleans. To put it simply, Charleston is a beautiful, historic city that epitomizes Southern hospitality and charm.
If you choose to get married in Charleston, you can tie the knot on the grounds of a historic plantation or home. For example, the fabulous Governor Charles Bennett house is a pre-Antebellum mansion built in 1825. The Boon Hall Plantation was built even before that, in the late 1700s. Choosing Charleston for your wedding guarantees an elegant beginning to your new life.