There is something magical about your wedding day. Many women spend years dreaming about the dress, color scheme and décor. However, an out-of-the-ordinary venue can take the cake. You want to leave a lasting impression and have the perfect backdrop for photos that will forever capture your special moment, plus offer a little something extra for your guests. Luckily, Missouri attractions have you covered.
Jack and Rose may have gone down with the Titanic, but the grand staircase scene was forever imprinted in our hearts. At the Titanic Museum Attraction in Branson, you too can make your descent down the gold-plated stairway to meet your intended in front of the clock. Wedding packages make planning easy, with an ordained "captain," wedding coordinator and photographer provided. Another perk? Free admission tickets for your guests to tour the museum!
With so many attractions in St. Louis' Forest Park, the difficulty becomes choosing only one to host your wedding. If you appreciate art, the Saint Louis Art Museum is a great selection. Not only are you surrounded by priceless paintings, you can also add a docent-led gallery tour to your contract. Green thumbs will appreciate the flora at the Jewel Box. The greenhouse's Art Deco design alone is beautiful, but add a couple hundred plants and you've hit pay dirt. Wildlife lovers can invite the birds, reptiles or hippos when having their ceremony at the Saint Louis Zoo. Pair it with a behind-the-scenes tour, animal meet-and-greet and ride on the Zooline Railroad, and guests will be talking about your wedding for years to come. History buffs can step back in time at the Missouri History Museum. Their rotating selection of exhibits makes for a new experience even for returning guests. And who can say they've been married underneath a plane – the Spirit of St. Louis, that is?
Missouri State Parks are known for their outdoor recreational opportunities and beauty, so it comes as no surprise that Echo Bluff State Park in Eminence is an "in-tents" location. Between the Betty Lea Lodge, cabins, on-site restaurant and campground, you have all the offerings for a one-stop wedding. If the local roaming wild horses end up in the photos, all the better. Have your guests extend their stay to take advantage of the floating opportunities nearby.
No one wants a rocky marriage, unless it's the kind of rock that comes with a wedding at Bridal Cave and Thunder Mountain Park. The drapery of stalactites in the Bridal Chapel provides an unforgettable backdrop, and guests can take advantage of a discounted tour before the big ceremony. Did I mention the bride and groom get free passes for life to the cave?
Craft distilleries are thriving, especially Tom's Town Distilling Company. Located in Kansas City's Crossroads district, the distillery is named after Tom Pendergast, whose illegal dealings got "the thirsty people" through Prohibition. Named the Best Craft Vodka Distillery in the country by USA Today in 2017, Tom's Town will make sure your guests will not leave parched. The exposed brick walls, beams and wood floors will have you feeling like you're in a speakeasy. And the view - looking out on the Kauffman Center, Power & Light Building and Bartle Hall - is pretty great, too.
Top of the Rock Ozarks Heritage Preserve is a storybook venue. Expansive rolling hills, a vista of endless lake shoreline and a quaint chapel overlooking the bluffs are just a few of the highlights. As striking as the views at Top of the Rock are, it also has a large selection of things to do and explore – which makes it perfect for your out-of-town guests! Have them arrive early to enjoy the Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail, Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum or even a round of golf.
There are too many Missouri attractions that double as wedding venues to list, but we promise no matter which site you select, your day will be one to remember – for both you and your guests!
Other sites to consider:
Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis – Save on florist fees by having your event at the garden. With one of the largest Japanese Garden's in North America, the iconic Climatron and Rose Gardens, this location offers flowers aplenty no matter where you turn.
The Fabulous Fox Theatre, St. Louis – The theatre's Siamese-Byzantine style offers limitless glamor. Towering faux-marble columns, gold trim and a sweeping ceiling mural will have you feeling center stage at the altar.
Garth Woodside Mansion Bed & Breakfast, Hannibal – There are many Victorian mansions in the state, but what makes this one unique is its history … and the roaming llamas and alpacas. But back to the history! The original owner of the mansion was a close friend of Samuel Clemens (better known as Mark Twain) and corresponded with him regularly. It's also said that the home was the model for Disneyland Paris's Haunted Mansion.
Firestone Baars Chapel, Columbia – Designed by the same architect who created the Gateway Arch, the chapel's square design lets in optimum natural light through stained glass windows and doors. The nearby Lela Raney Wood Hall houses the Historic Costume Gallery, which guests could tour during exhibit hours.
National Churchill Museum, Fulton – Get married in London … sort of. The Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, was moved piece by piece from London and reassembled in Fulton. The church's foundation survived the Great Fire of London and the Blitz of World War II. What better symbolism for your future marriage? The tracker organ, "Breakthrough" Berlin Wall sculpture and museum are great additions to this unforgettable venue.
Powell Gardens, Kingsville – The Marjorie Powell Allen Chapel is the perfect location to incorporate the outdoors from the comfort of inside. No need to worry about the chance of rain with a roof over your head, but the 2,550 square feet of glass walls will have you feeling like you are standing on the prairie.
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City – Whether your wedding takes place by the world's largest shuttlecocks or in the Italian-styled Rozzelle Court, guests can take advantage of this free admission, world-class museum before (or after) the big event – hours permitting.
Written by Ashley Sneed