In Honor Of Gay Marriage, Here Are 11 Wedding Venues For History Lovers Of All Genders
Today's historic verdict declaring same-sex marriage legal in all 50 U.S. states is a perfect time to reflect on other great moments in U.S. history — and a great time to plan a wedding at the places where those great historical moments happened. These 11 seriously beautiful historical locations are open to weddings for all couples — so all people can get hitched/ take the plunge/ tie each other down/ jump the broom at a spot with supreme historical importance. If you and your partner are history buffs of any kind, this is the collection of wedding venues for you.
Whether you're into the Gold Rush, the World Wars, the American Presidents, Old Hollywood, upper-crust 1920s society or any other aspect of modern American history, these inclusive wedding venues across the country will to cater to your nerdery. The only problem might be that you're too busy getting married to appreciate the sheer coolness of the place (I had a wedding reception in a house built in 1739, and I'm damned if I paid attention to any of it).
All too often, LGBT couples have felt excluded from history — so if you're plotting your same-sex nuptials, holding them in a historical venue might be a seriously symbolic way of saying, "We're here, we always have been, and we are part of history." Plus, these awesome places aren't too hard on the eyes, either.
1. California: Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
Once upon a time, during the Golden Age of Hollywood, the Academy Awards were just a dinner party where actors got together in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and gave each other prizes. Because of this, there is literally no more glamorous Old Hollywood location in all the land than the Roosevelt. (Fun fact: on the night of the premiere of All About Eve, one of the most famous films ever made about the subject of Hollywood ambition, the Roosevelt blacked out its sign so that it read simply EVE.)
2. Connecticut: The Lace Factory
The Lace Factory is exactly that: once a beautiful lace production factory built in 1875, it's now a beautiful wedding venue in a red brick, industrial space. Bonus points if you wear lace yourself — though it'll have to outshine the displayed historical examples on hand.
3. Florida: Audobon House
Before you art/ bird nerds start hyperventilating: no, this isn't bird painter John Audobon's own house (though it's rumoured that he stayed here and painted birds in the garden). Rather, Audubon House belonged to Captain John Huling Geiger, who built it in the 1840s. It has both a huge garden and a historically significant collection of Audobon prints.
4. Colorado: Mile High Station
This is turn-of-the-century chic at its finest: Mile High Station, built in 1897, used to be a huge ironworks that employed thousands of local workers. Plus, it has a patriotic past — US Navy ships were made there during WWII. So it's brilliant for ship nerds, war history aficionados, and anybody who loves serious industrial style.
5. Illinois: Rialto Square Theatre
The Rialto Square Theatre is not a wedding venue for shrinking violets. This gorgeous theater — which was built in 1926 and is at least partially modeled on the famously decadent Hall of Mirrors at Versailles — is a place for people who like to put on a show, big-time.
6. Maryland: The Cloisters Castle
If you're jonesing for European art but can't afford to jet your entire family off to a wedding in an Italian chateau, this is your next best bet. The Cloisters is crammed with historical art treasures from across the Continent, collected by the Parker family at the turn of the century. And many parts of the house itself were medieval acquisitions from Europe. Plus, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Will Smith got hitched here — that's historical right there.
7. Massachusetts: Dr. Daniel Fisher House
Dr. Daniel Fisher House wasn't actually the home of a medical professional; rather, Fisher was a whaling tycoon who hosted huge parties at his 1840 house in Martha's Vineyard. It's managed by the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust, and looks pretty stunning — even total land lubbers will have to appreciate it.
8. Oklahoma: Jazz Hall Of Fame
The Jazz Hall Of Fame was once Tulsa's Union Depot— but now it is a glorious performance space devoted to the masters of the most American sound around. And this beautiful building will please your eyes as well as your ears.
9. Pennsylvania: Columbia Station
Columbia Station is a proper old-school train station — it was functional from 1858 to 1972. Now, however, it's an event space with its own ballroom and an antique wooden bar (which is not, alas, left over from the days of tipples on trains.)
10. Virginia: River Farm American Horticultural Society
If you're all about botanical history, the American presidents or just pretty flowers, prepare to freak out: River Farm, the official home of the American Horticultural Society, which once belonged to George Washington himself, is available for weddings. How's that for American pedigree?
11. Washington: The Arctic Club
The Arctic Club, built in 1916, was literally created as a club for gold-diggers. It was designed as a meeting place for the prospectors who came back from the Gold Rush up in the Yukon with their pockets bursting with nuggets (hence the walruses on the outside). If the walruses alone haven't sold you on this place as an ideal wedding venue, it also has a Northern Lights Dome Room with a full-sized golden domed roof.
Images: The Arctic Club, River Farm, Audubon House, The Rialto Square Theatre, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Columbia Station, Mile High Station, Jazz Hall Of Fame, Dr Daniel Fisher House, Cloisters Castle, The Lace Factory