South's Best Wedding Venues
The Grand Hotel Point Clear Resort & Spa (Point Clear, Alabama)
Dirty Dancing meets Steel Magnolias at this bayside resort that pairs historic character with luxury amenities. Say “I do” under hundred-year-old oak trees; then celebrate with a roaring reception at the hotel’s waterfront pavilion. Keep the party going with nightcaps at Bucky’s Birdcage Lounge, where “Sweet Home Alabama” is a guaranteed request.
One Grand Boulevard; marriottgrand.com
Baywood Greens (Long Neck, Delaware)
Not into details? This classic clubhouse coordinates everything from food to flowers on its picturesque greens. Given that it’s a stone’s throw from Rehoboth Beach, Baywood is ideal for couples who want to exchange their vows by the ocean and then celebrate in an elegant ballroom.
32267 Clubhouse Way; baywoodgreens.com
The Southernmost House (Key West, Florida)
No passport, no problem at this tropical destination. With sweeping views on the tip of the island, the colorful Victorian bed-and-breakfast lives up to its name. It boasts a historic guest book (look for Ernest Hemingway’s autograph), ample space (the house and veranda can accommodate 300 guests), and a breathtaking sunset for the ultimate vow exchange.
1400 Duval Street; southernmosthouse.com
Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards (North Garden, Virginia)
With panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this boutique winery serves fresh-from-the-vine wine and a locally sourced menu prepared by the in-house culinary team. Expansive indoor and outdoor event spaces include the barn-inspired, 3,600-square-foot, main event Granary; Ceremony Lawn, with beautiful sunset views; a stone veranda terrace and courtyard; and the winery’s tasting room. Brides prepare for their walk down the aisle in the Bridal Loft, while groomsmen relax pre-ceremony in the grotto of the Pippin Hill Wine Cellar.
5022 Plank Road; pippinhillfarm.com
Jekyll Island Club (Jekyll Island, Georgia)
This century-old, Queen Anne-style retreat once hosted wealthy snowbirds including the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts. For a wedding as refined and relaxed as the estate’s former leisure class, choose one of the club’s seven venues, such as the fountained lawn of Crane Cottage, or the Riverfront Lawn with views of the Intracoastal Waterway and the Marshes of Glynn.
371 Riverview Drive; jekyllclub.com
The Fox Theatre (Atlanta, Georgia)
Picture your name in lights on its iconic marquee for a wedding that epitomizes Old Hollywood glamour. Walk the red carpet in the former 1930s movie palace, which features an opulent Egyptian Ballroom and equally ornate Grand Salon.
660 Peachtree Street NE.; foxtheatre.org
Keeneland (Lexington, Kentucky)
Entertain guests in a variety of venues at this world-renowned racetrack. Some are large enough to hold your actual ceremony, while others are great for receptions, bridesmaids’ luncheons, and rehearsal dinners. Keeneland’s grandstand has several event spaces with floor-to-ceiling windows and impressive views of the track. Its largest venue is the Entertainment Center and Keene Barn. The newest is the recently renovated Keene Place, a stately, white-columned historic home, located away from the track, with a private entrance.
4201 Versailles Road; keeneland.com
The Bourbon Orleans (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Location, location, location. Nestled in the heart of the French Quarter between Bourbon and Royal streets, this boutique hotel is home to the oldest ballroom in New Orleans. With opulent crystal chandeliers, a balcony that overlooks the St. Louis Cathedral, and the finest seafood from the Gulf, this Crescent City favorite is sure to let the good times roll.
717 Orleans Street; bourbonorleans.com
George Peabody Library (Baltimore, Maryland)
A six-story, 19th-century research library that opened in 1878, the Peabody has a dramatic stack room that soars 61 feet from its marbled floor to a skylight. With five cast-iron balconies, gold-leaf embellishments, and over 300,000 carefully catalogued books visible from the main floor, it definitely makes a statement. Whether you need an intimate dinner for 40 or cocktails and dancing for 400, check out this monumental space for booking.
17 East Mt. Vernon Place; peabodyevents.library.jhu.edu
Stanton Hall (Natchez, Mississippi)
This Greek Revival mansion, completed in 1859 and then occupied by the Union Army during the Civil War, fills an entire block in the oldest city on the Mississippi River. Wedding guests can tour the palatial home and walk its surrounding gardens, and then savor Southern cuisine from the adjacent Carriage House Restaurant—so named because it stands in the original carriage house of Stanton Hall.
401 High Street; stantonhall.com
Peabody Opera House (St. Louis, Missouri)
This 82-year-old Art Deco jewel exudes Great Gatsby glamour. Reminiscent of Grand Central Station, the lobby has two-story marble columns and original chandeliers. Adaptable spaces within the opera house give brides plenty of options for a small celebration or a major blowout.
1400 Market Street; peabodyoperahouse.com
The Farm (Candler, North Carolina)
A mountain retreat on the outskirts of Asheville, The Farm is your one-stop shop for a rustic wedding. Exchange vows in its shaded gazebo with Appalachian views, wine and dine at the on-site barn, and then hit the hay in one of The Farm Cabins—rustic on the outside but well-appointed on the inside. You’ll be far from roughing it.
215 Justice Ridge Road; thefarmevents.com
The Mayo Hotel (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
Brides swoon over this Sooner State landmark in downtown Tulsa. It meshes contemporary decor with original Art Deco details including terrazzo floors and the spectacular chandeliers in its famous Crystal Ballroom. Can’t trim the guest list? No worries—having an occupancy of 500 is always a crowd-pleaser.
115 West 5th Street; themayohotel.com
The Legare Waring House (Charleston, South Carolina)
Exchange your vows along the avenue of oaks at this 175-year-old estate, which is now a State Historic Site. Besides the historic antebellum home, you’ll also have access to Lagoon Lawn, an antique wrought iron fountain, four bridal suites, and a two-story groom’s quarters. (Unless your wedding is very small, event coordinators here recommend renting a tent, as well as the house, in case of inclement weather.)
1500 Old Towne Road; legarewaringhouse.com
Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art (Nashville, Tennessee)
From manicured gardens to a world-renowned art gallery, this 54-acre historic estate is a Nashville landmark. Its 10 unique on-site wedding locations include the Frist Center Lawn, which has croon-worthy views of the Nashville skyline; the Italian-inspired Burr Terrace Garden; the Reflecting Pool and Boxwood Gardens; and the Georgian-style mansion that houses the Cheekwood Museum of Art.
1200 Forrest Park Drive; cheekwood.org
Blackberry Farm (Walland, Tennessee)
This Great Smoky Mountains luxury hideaway is also a working farm, so it already has authentic pastoral features—think white picket fences and horses grazing on 4,200 rolling, green acres. Be prepared for pampering in five-star lodging, and then celebrate in a refined on-site barn that’s fabulous for a rustic, yet elegant, reception. Guests also receive a complimentary Blackberry Farm Cookbook.
1471 West Millers Cove Road; blackberryfarm.com/reservations/groups/weddings
Vista West Ranch (Dripping Springs, Texas)
This Hill Country hideaway bills itself as “rustic bohemian chic.” And we think that works. Choose from two venues on this wooded site: VWR, a three-story barn covered in aged tin and weathered wood, or The Creek Haus, a rustic-meets-industrial, barn-like structure. Vista West has an on-site bridal suite and groom’s quarters, as well as lodging for guests.
4505 McGregor Lane; vistawestranch.com
Meridian House (Washington, D.C.)
One of two historic homes where the Meridian International Center is headquartered, this Louis XVI-style mansion and its sister, White-Meyer House, envelop an entire block with their European gardens and stately rooms. Looking for a sign? A Latin inscription above the Meridian’s doors reads, Quo habitat felicitas nil entret mali: “Where happiness dwells, evil will not enter.”
1630 Crescent Place NW.; meridian.org
The Hay-Adams Hotel (Washington, D.C.)
Get the presidential treatment at this historic haunt with unforgettable rooftop views of the National Mall and White House. After having a capital time at the reception, newlyweds can rest assured that their dream wedding really did happen, thanks to monogrammed pillowcases touting their new initials.
800 16th Street NW.; hayadams.com
The Greenbrier (White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia)
Only two years younger than the United States, this awe-inspiring West Virginia institution in the Allegheny Mountains will have guests reaching for their cameras the second they arrive. A new 12,000-square-foot chapel looks as if it has always held its tranquil spot on The Greenbrier’s North Lawn, thanks to white clapboard siding, a copper roof and steeple, and stained-glass windows. It offers pew seating for up to 500, and pairs well with the inn’s historic, grand, pink Cameo Ballroom. (Besides the chapel, the Greenbrier also has about 20 indoor and outdoor venues.)
300 West Main Street; greenbrier.com