- As demand explodes in the wedding industry, competition for venues is fierce.
- That’s why some couples turn to unexpected places for their vows, like museums and hot air balloons.
- “Our wedding day was completely unconventional,” bride Megan Mikutis told Insider. “It was more than I could have ever imagined.”
There will be around 2.5 million weddings in the United States this year – the highest number for any year in nearly three decades – and competition for venues is fierce. But instead of delaying their wedding or choosing a less desirable date, some couples outsmart the competition by going somewhere no one expects.
One such couple is Stephanie Guerra and Mary Mayo, whose April wedding took place at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.
“A lot of places we emailed to verify said they weren’t booking weddings until late 2022 or even late 2023,” Guerra told Insider. “Or, we’ve had a lot of places say, ‘I’m sorry, but we’re not having any weddings right now because we don’t know when we can reopen and offer dates for our 2020 couples.'”
In search of the ideal place
After 10 of 15 or 20 sites said they had no availability, Guerra and Mayo contacted the museum. They fell in love with it on the spot.
“When we first walked into the room, I looked at Mary and I think I said, ‘We’re getting married here,'” Guerra said. “I haven’t even fully walked through the door.”
The couple had also visited a carousel museum, aquariums and other unique places. But in the end, they chose the air museum.
“It’s an amazing museum,” Guerra said. “See all the vintage planes and all the restorations they’ve done and all the work they still have to do. [Most] of their volunteers are also veterans who have flown some of these types of aircraft, so they are able to give you lots of detailed information and personal stories.”
The destination of their dreams
Minnesota resident Spencer Yeomans and his fiancee decided to turn one of their favorite wedding destinations after hearing negative stories from friends about planning a wedding in Minneapolis. They headed to Sitka, Alaska, instead of staying close to home.
“We thought finding a place in the area would be a problem, so we decided to ignore it altogether,” she said. “A friend of mine got married [in Minneapolis] at the end of last year, so we had already warned that it would be an unpleasant experience.
“We decided to do things differently. The decision was made because of the high demand for locations here in Minneapolis, but also because we’re both adventurers who wanted to break with tradition. The location we we chose is a trail shelter high in the mountains.
The couple, who married in early May, said they would have to walk a few miles in full wedding attire to get to the venue. But once there, the view would be “hard to beat”. They even limited the guest list to just 10 people to make it easier to get to the wedding site.
A surprise wedding venue
Another bride, Megan Mikutis, decided to pull out of the planning process with her husband altogether. They used vacation and elopement services to plan a sunrise vow exchange, waterfall hike and sunset hot air balloon experience in Seattle, Washington — all without the bride and groom knowing any details at all. advance.
“After coming through the pandemic, in addition to trying to lead productive personal and professional lives, we wanted to roll the dice and see where we landed,” she said. “Our wedding day – our elopement, really – was completely unconventional and a complete surprise. We decided to leave our wedding day to chance, and it was more than I could have ever imagined.
One of the services they used, Wander Kings, even handled the planning, found an officiant, and hired a photographer.
“We walked in our wedding attire, my dress was perfectly torn and tattered, but we were able to fully immerse ourselves in the day and the experience with each other,” Mikutis said. “No distractions. We were able to spend the whole day creating memories for the adventure of a lifetime.
“And, as a bride, I didn’t have to worry about a single thing on my wedding day. The only thing I had to worry about was whether I was packing properly. for the trip, because I didn’t know what we were doing on our wedding day until the day of.”