Wedding Season is around the corner, start your planning with these domestic destination venues.
Maybe, like me, you came out by slowly adding more same-sex couples to your Pinterest wedding board and you’ve had your nuptials planned for years. Maybe you just got engayged and don’t have a clue where to start. Either way, we’ve compiled these Pin-worthy domestic destination venues for your wedding inspiration needs; whether it’s around the corner or just a daydream.
Married in the Midwest
If you’re from the Midwest, chances are that you already know about the historic Ivy Room in Chicago. The third-largest city in the US, Chicago has long been a cultural hub and a meeting place for the LGBTQ community. Since Illinois signed gay marriage into law in 2014, The Ivy Room has hosted its fair share—and for good reason! With a ballroom, courtyard, and lower-level lounge, the Ivy Room is a versatile venue that can accommodate a wide variety of small and large events. Located only a few blocks from the Navy Pier and a quick lakeside drive to Boystown and Andersonville, the Ivy Room hosts your celebration in the middle of the metropolitan action. Their partnership with over a dozen nearby hotels means that your entire guest list will get to enjoy Chi-town with you.
If the bustle of the city isn’t quite your speed, enjoy a peaceful retreat at Elkin Creek Vineyard. While much of Appalachia isn’t known for being the most gay-friendly environment, North Carolina’s Elkin Creek Vineyard—only a couple hours north of Asheville—offers beautiful scenery, friendly hospitality, exceptional romance, and quintessential charm for all. Your group of up to 150 can celebrate aside two merging creeks, by a gentle waterfall, or in a rustic barn adorned in glimmering string lights. With four cabin rentals available, your wedding party can stay on-site before or after the event. And, if you’re not getting married just yet but can’t wait to escape to Elkin Creek, they fire up their brick-oven every Sunday to serve up specialty pizzas.
Head even deeper into the South to host your wedding at the stately Sacred Heart Cultural Center in Augusta, Georgia. While Atlanta and Savannah may be better known for their gay-friendliness, Augusta is making great strides to meet them. Augusta’s 10-year-old Pride has grown to be the city’s largest festival and they’ve recently added an LGBTQ liaison to the city staff. Sacred Heart’s Great Hall can accommodate up to 600 for ceremonies and up to 240 for receptions, meaning there’s more than enough room to invite your ex who’s also your best friend—and her new girlfriend. For smaller groups, the lush courtyard can be adorned with twinkle lights. Inside or out, the fully equipped caterer’s kitchen and provided tables and chairs make your big day as effortless as possible.
Wed on the West Coast
California has earned its reputation as a gay-friendly destination with Los Angeles, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and San Diego as some of the top travel destinations for the LGBTQ community according to a 2018 Community Marketing & Insights study—so, it comes as no surprise that we had to include a Golden State destination. What might surprise you is that Millwick’s trendy “super-loft” was once a livery and a cold-storage warehouse. These days, you’ll find an urban oasis that marries (pun intended) indoors and outdoors with lush greenery throughout. Situated in the heart of the Arts District, Millwick is a stone’s throw to many of the best new and historic hotels, restaurants, and nightlife downtown LA has to offer. Millwick can accommodate up to 175 guests, but for larger (or more intimate) settings, look no further than their sister locations: Valentine, the Grass Room, Flora Chang, and SmogShoppe.
Pacific North Weddings
The PNW (that’s Pacific Northwest, technically) is well-known for being LGBTQ-inclusive and the Lolomo Lodge is no exception. Nestled in the Willamette National Forest along the McKenzie River in Oregon, Loloma offers comfortable cabin rentals, room for camping, a reception area, stage, and ceremony site all in one location. Sprawl out for your own mini-festival where food trucks are the common caterer of choice and your Big Day can last the whole weekend. For a more traditional menu, you’ll find a fully functional catering kitchen on-site. Don’t forget to bring s’mores fixings and cozy up next to the outdoor fire pits before the festivities end! To live out your deepest woodland fairy desires, we recommend a robust playlist full of Carole King and Stevie Nicks.
For more wedding inspo, let’s talk honeymoons!