Something borrowed, something blue – a wedding begins with the perfect venue!
And if you’re lucky enough to be getting married in Alabama, you’ve got some fantastic locations to choose from. Here we take a look at eleven of the best. Whatever style or budget you’re working with, we’ve found a beautiful venue to suit.
Ready? Let’s get started!
1. Sterling Castle ($$)
Style: Fairytale castle
Overview: If you’re looking for something a little different, why not treat your guests to a wedding in a castle?
Despite its medieval appearance, stunning Sterling Castle in Shelby was built only 15 years ago. Nestled next to a lake, it’s perfect for couples looking for a romantic setting. The castle is floodlit after dark, making it a stunning backdrop for evening photos too.
There’s a spacious, climate-controlled reception room, and a ballroom for you and your guests to dance the night away. And if you dream of an outdoor wedding, you can tie the knot on the drawbridge or under the pergola.
The expert in-house team can take care of every aspect of planning your day. All you have to do is turn up and enjoy it! And they’ll cater to all levels of requirements – from every imaginable bell and whistle, to a speedy three-hour “elopement package”.
Go for: Losing yourself in the romance of a castle straight out of the pages of a fairy tale.
Address: 389 Deseret Dr, Shelby, AL 35143
Guest capacity: 300
2. Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art ($)
Style: Cultured elegance
Overview: The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art is a great choice for couples seeking a cultured and sophisticated vibe. Marble floors, lofty ceilings and of, course, the display of fine art, elevate this venue to something special.
The Grand Gallery is a great space for a sit-down meal. It’s light and bright, with arched ceilings and huge windows. And if you’re planning to entertain al fresco, the terrace overlooks a stunning modernist lake and fountain.
All this comes at a surprisingly modest price. Rental costs include all furniture, cake tables, cocktail tables and bars, as well as set-up and clearing away. You will need to pay for table linen and decorations and any marquee tents separately.
There’s plenty of flexibility too. A range of different spaces are available to rent, and you can choose between hourly rates and a whole evening.
Go for: Impressing your guests with your culture vulture credentials.
Address: 901 South College Street, Auburn, Alabama 36849
Guest capacity: 75-140
3. Gabrella Manor ($$$)
Style: Vintage glamour
Overview: Beautiful Gabrella Manor offers bucket loads of Spanish colonial charm. Sparkling chandeliers, stained glass windows and ornate stonework will provide a unique and romantic backdrop for your special day.
There’s a host of locations for distinctive photos – from the winding interior staircase, to the balcony overlooking the pavilion. And outside, the ivy-covered building is every bit as enchanting.
Seat up to 60 guests inside, with the option for the couple to dine on the balcony above their guests. Or choose the landscaped grounds to host up to 200. The patios and terraces are beautifully lit after dark, with candle-lined pathways and lights stung from the trees. You’ll find everything you need to continue celebrating long into the night.
There’s a choice of semi- or all-inclusive packages. You’ll need to use the experienced in-house team of caters, floral decorators and bar staff. There’s more flexibility when it comes to photography, but an in-house option is available should you wish to use it.
Go for: A stunning manor house with a real wow factor.
Address: 8912 Fourth Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35206
Guest capacity: 50 indoors, 200 outdoors
4. Oak Hollow Farm ($$)
Style: Enchanted forest
Overview: Offering either indoor or outdoor spaces, Oak Hollow Farm is the perfect choice for couples seeking a rustic setting. The barn offers spacious dining within pine clad walls and a sawdust floor. Decorated with lights and flowers it combines rustic charm with wedding sparkle.
But for us, Oak Hollow Farm comes into its own with its outdoor locations. With 300 acres of grounds, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Our favorite is the Tunnel of Trees, which provides a magical woodland setting that’s something special.
The rental price includes dressing rooms for the bride and groom, a bridal suite, ceremony arch, dance floor, and all furniture and tableware.
All food and beverages must be handled by the venue. You’ll need to bring your own alcohol, which must be served by a licensed bartender. The woodland setting also means no open flames are allowed. That’s easily dealt with by placing candles in storm lanterns – and they’ll stay lit in a breeze too.
Go for: A magical woodland location, tailored to your needs.
Address: 14210 S Greeno Rd, Fairhope, AL 36532
Guest capacity: Up to 300
5. The Sonnet House ($$$)
Style: Semi-inclusive farmhouse
Overview: Take the anxiety out of choosing between indoor and outdoor venues – with The Sonnet House, you can have both!
The venue hosts only one wedding a day, and the in-house team are skilled in coping with unexpected weather. Outdoor celebrations can be moved inside effortlessly, even at the very last minute. So if the clouds gather, you won’t have to worry about a thing.
The building itself is a traditional, white-painted farmhouse, which makes a wonderful backdrop for photographs. The open-plan interior allows plenty of flexibility to use the space as you wish. And the 18 acres of grounds offer ample space for an outdoor ceremony and reception.
The semi-inclusive package includes catering, floral decorations and coordination. There are also elegant rooms for the families of the bride and groom to relax ahead of the ceremony.
Go for: Traditional farmhouse charm, with no worries about the weather.
Address: The Sonnet House, 1487 Montevallo Road, S.W. Leeds, AL 35094
Guest capacity: Up to 500
6. Mathews Manor ($$)
Style: Classic manor house
Overview: Beautiful Mathews Manor is really three venues in one. Choose between Rebecca’s Garden, Micah’s Meadow or Grace Hall. Between them they offer indoor or outdoor dining, a pavilion, garden room, barn and stages. There’s even an oak tree hung with a chandelier.
You’ll have plenty of locations to choose from when it comes to photos too. There’s a three tier stone fountain, picturesque bridge and swimming pool. So whatever theme you’re looking for, you’ll find something to suit.
This is an all-inclusive option, with the venue taking care of flowers, food and drink, and the all-important cake. The on-site planner will work with you to take care of every last detail. Just be aware that you won’t be able to bring any of your own catering.
Although this is a venue that can cater to big events, smaller weddings will work just as well. The flexible space can accommodate intimate gatherings of down to 20 people, whilst retaining its warm and welcoming feel.
Go for: The all-inclusive package takes the strain out of event planning.
Address: 3279 US-11, Springville, AL 35146
Guest capacity: 500
7. The Birmingham Zoo ($)
Style: Unique and quirky
Overview: For an animal-loving couple, venues don’t get much better than the Birmingham Zoo. For a small charge, you can book animal demonstrations and walkabouts as part of your special day.
With a range of spaces available, the zoo can accommodate up to a massive 2,500 guests. So no matter how small or large your celebration, there’ll be an option to match. There’s a woodland setting, a lodge and a barn. You can even book a space overlooking the African elephants!
Catering is included with all bookings, but you’re free to bring in other vendors for anything else. So if you’ve got your heart set on a particular photographer or floral designer, this is a good option. A bridal suite and in-house bar are available as optional extras.
For a unique venue, this offers remarkably good value for money too.
Go for: Animal magic makes this a venue that really stands out from the crowd.
Address: 2630 Cahaba Road, Birmingham, AL 35223
Guest capacity: 20 to 2,500
8. Vulcan Park and Museum ($)
Style: Metropolitan elegance
Overview: For a metropolitan location with breathtaking views, you’ll find it tough to beat the Vulcan Park and Museum. Perched atop Red Mountain, if offers a stunning panorama over the whole of Birmingham.
You can choose from a number of different spaces. The Electra Room can accommodate up to 200 guests and offers floor-to-ceiling windows and its own private patio area. Outdoor options include the City Overlook, Kiwanis Centennial Plaza and Vulcan Plaza.
It’s possible to use the different spaces together, allowing you to increase capacity. And you can even hire the whole museum and park for exclusive use.
You will, though, need to manage your own vendors. The rental price may be very reasonable, but it includes only tables, chairs, setting and clearing up, and event coordination. Approved vendors must be used for catering and beverages.
Go for: Spectacular cityscapes for your photographs.
Address: 1701 Valley View Drive, Birmingham, AL 35209
Guest capacity: Up to 350
9. Russell Lands On Lake Martin ($$$)
Style: Rustic and lakeside
Overview: If you dream of marrying in a rural idyll, Russell Lands on Lake Martin could be the venue for you.
Here, you can choose between a huge range of different venues. Small rehearsal dinners of 12 people can be held in the cozy Well House. The Stables will accommodate up to 250 people in rustic charm, surrounded by forest. Or host up to 400 guests on the Vista Lawn, overlooking trees and hills.
There are waterside options too. The scenic Lodge at Cocktail Slough is positioned next to Lake Martin. You can book the whole thing, including 11 rooms to accommodate overnight guests.
Catering is provided on-site. There’s a choice of four different restaurants offering something to suit every taste and budget. Canapes, buffet menus and plated meals are available.
Go for: Wonderful views and top-class catering.
Address: 2544 Willow Point Road, Alexander City, AL 35010
Guest capacity: Up to 400
10. The Ledges ($$)
Style: Clubhouse chic
Overview: At the top of a mountain overlooking the Tennessee Valley, The Ledges offers breathtaking panoramas as the backdrop to your wedding photos. Come inside, and the views are just as good.
The stone-built clubhouse offers exposed beams, luxurious furnishings and huge bay windows. Glittering chandeliers hang from the ceilings, and there are six different rooms to suit wedding parties of all sizes.
Whether you’re looking for an indoor or outdoor location, there are options to suit. And if the weather necessitates a change of plan, the in-house event coordinator will arrange everything without breaking a sweat.
There’s full on-site catering prepared by executive chef Phillip Collier. In 2018, he was named Top Chef in Huntsville – so you know you’re in safe hands. As a licensed venue, you won’t have to worry about arranging your own bar either.
Go for: Impressive interiors and fabulous food to wow your guests.
Address: 32 Castle Down Drive, Huntsville, AL 35802
Guest capacity: 10 to 450
11. The Emporium ($)
Style: Sacred and historic
Overview: The first ever Catholic church in Troy, the Emporium was restored in 2013 as a stunning events venue. Now chandeliers hang from the barrel ceiling, and stained glass windows light the columned interiors.
Right next door is Chapman House where, for an extra fee, you can rent the bridal suite. This beautifully decorated room provides a calm space for the bridal party to relax and prepare for the ceremony.
The Emporium provides excellent value for money, and there’s even complimentary photography included in the price. You will, though, need to pay a rental charge for the chairs and tables. And there are extra charges if you wish to use the venue’s candelabra and columns.
Go for: A beautiful and historic venue offering exceptional value for money.
Address: 112 W. Walnut St., Troy, AL 36081
Guest capacity: Up to 250
Ready to choose your dream venue?
That brings us to the end of our round-up of eleven wedding venues in Alabama. Whether you’re looking for something simple and stylish or flamboyant and fabulous, the perfect venue is there waiting for you. All you have to do is find your dates and book it.
Now, onto the next stage of planning. It’s time to find something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue!