NON-TRADITIONAL WEDDING AND ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER ✶ CO, IL, FL, INFINITY & BEYOND
HENNESSEY PHOTO CO
As a Colorado-based, alternative wedding photographer that specializes in introverted, nerdy, offbeat weddings for couples that aren’t afraid to embrace their “weird”: hello, you’re in the right place. I’ve broken this guide down into a few different parts so that you can get exactly what you need out of it, and then also added a section for couples looking for Colorado specific ideas (because this is where I’m based); overall, however, this guide is for everyone and anyone looking to have an alternative, Lord of the Rings Wedding theme in an elevated way.
About 75% of my year-around work is travel-based, heading all over the United States and internationally. With that experience, I’ve spent a lot of time digging for dream fantasy, whimsical, and alternative, Lord of the Rings wedding vibes in unique venues. Pro tip? Your venue sets the mood, stage, and styling for how your wedding gallery will look and feel, and then an alternative wedding photographer (hi, me!) will come through and elevate the space in their storytelling ability. But, we can only work with what we are given: this doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of money, but it does mean you have to be intentional with your setting! Fantasy weddings are known to feel gimmicky, but I can promise you, you can inject your day with your personalities without it feeling like cosplay (OR, you can totally go full cosplay, I support the hell out of that, too!). Here are a few of my favorite Lord of the Rings wedding venues that I love, and some additional ideas on where you could have a wedding in general that would give you these vibes.
Hobbiton, New Zealand – I mean, obviously. But here’s the thing: most people don’t even know you can hold a wedding here, or that it’s incredibly affordable! It would truly be the adventure of a lifetime, for everyone involved!
Redwood National Forest, California – for true Tolkein vibes, this National park gives the ultimate elvish setting for your day. Keep in mind, this venue is best for elopements and intimate weddings, as the capacity is under 20 people (including yourselves, your guests and any vendors, like a photographer or videographer), so best to keep the event smaller here!
Bishop’s Castle, Rye, CO – Since I’m based here in Colorado, I cannot stress this enough – this is the ultimate fantasy wedding venue in the state, and it’s absolutely stunning. You aren’t allowed any receptions or dinner parties here, but you can host your ceremony for just $500, and it’s absolutely epic.
Treehouse Point, Fall City, Washington – offering treehouse venues and lodging, with multiple cabins throughout, this is a stunning option for both larger and intimate weddings, and a true elvish feel!
Anthony Chapel, Garvan Woodland Gardens, Hot Springs, Arkansas – nothing truly feels more like the inside of Rivendell than this phenomenal, completely glass-paned venue. The property is also amazing and allows for multiple gardens for use for your wedding portraits! For a similar vibe, try Thorncrown Chapel, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Ancient Lore Village, Knoxville, TN – a truly, fantasy-to-the-heart wedding venue in the smokey mountains of Tennessee, this venue offers multiple ceremony and lodging options for everyone! They even have activities like archery and axe throwing, for a true medieval experience.
Noble Ridge Tree Deck, Washougal, Washington – surrounded by trees in the quiet depths of the forest, a true whimsical option that also meets elevated, modern style
At The Shire Weddings, Huntsville, TX – this venue accommodates larger groups up to 150 guests in a very Bilbo’s-birthday-party-style backyard tent venue!
Wadley Farms, Lindin, UT – an absolutely stunning, mountainside, castle-like venue with vineyards and rolling hills, and gorgeous Tolkein-like details throughout
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And some less-than-specific Lord of the Rings venues, that you can apply to almost anywhere!.
A Ren Faire Wedding – here’s the thing, I don’t think a lot of couples have considered this! You don’t have to make it feel gimmicky or costumey, but this allows for a fun, fantasy setting that also offers activities and options for everyone to enjoy themselves! You can dress it up or down as much as you want, and it’s so cost effective!
A Library Wedding, like this one at 190 S Lasalle, in Chicago, or the one at The Manor House, or the McGregor Square Tatted Cover Book shop in Denver (although I’ve never seen a wedding here, I’m dying to have a couple throw one and see if they get the ok!), Battery Park Book Exchange in Asheville, NC, – it may not exactly scream “Tolkein”, but it does give nod to the fantasy book lovers you are, and can upscale your wedding day!
A Greenhouse or Botanic Garden Wedding Venue, like the Woodland Mosaic at the Denver Botanic Gardens (pictured here) – again, while it doesn’t exactly scream Middle-earth, it does give a beautiful nod to the whimsey vibe you’re looking for!
A Backyard Wedding, like Your Family Home or Airbnb Estate, which would allow for a true Bilbo Baggins Birthday Party vibe! You have so much control over planning your day like this, and it can be so intentional.
Again, when planning a Lord of the Rings wedding theme, or any type of fantasy wedding theme, we don’t have to go costumey or gimmicky, and it doesn’t have to feel “cheesey”. The biggest pieces in how you’ll achieve that, is through your venue and then Lord of the Rings wedding attire that’s inspired by the themes, and not necessarily a replica or costume. So here’s a few of my favorite ideas, boutiques, vendors, that offer stylized versions for you!
Lord of the Rings Wedding Dresses
Lord of the Rings Wedding Attire
Ideas on how to style Lord of the Rings wedding attire
Lord of the Rings Wedding Rings
Overall, think lace, and lots of interwoven details to give the style you’re looking for! Think also on alternative materials, like wood! Some options I love:
Verragio – this is actual designer of my own wedding band and engagement ring, and I love their trustworthiness, but also their vintage, laced, interwoven style
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Ready to start planning your day together? Here’s what you can expect from me as your Alternative Wedding Photographer who specializes in nerdy, offbeat, non-traditional weddings:
STARTING AT $4,500
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