NON-TRADITIONAL WEDDING AND ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER ✶ CO, IL, FL, INFINITY & BEYOND
HENNESSEY PHOTO CO
Here’s the thing: when I was planning my own wedding in the midst of a pandemic, I had a really hard time sorting through which venues would work for us and our family (who were coming out of town), who included what, who was even still open and operating, and because I’m a local Colorado wedding photographer and have worked all over the entire state, I’ve done the dirty work for you and compiled an on-going (and ever-changing) list of venues in the state. I’ll continue to add and edit here as life goes on, and it’s still (and honestly can never be) an all-encompassing list, or should you consider all of this information to always be completely true because let’s face it, as small businesses we are ever-changing, and that means you’ll want to leave it up to the venue themselves to give you the most up-to-date information on their services, fees, and inclusions for renting their space. And, I’m also inclined to tell you that some of these links may be affiliate links (but I hope that means you’re also inclined to use them and support me?), but I’m not otherwise here to sell you anything. I have a ton of insider-information on some of the best venues that are in this area, locally, because I live here and have since 2013, a bit longer than most of the folks (and especially photographers) that you’ll find in this area, and my feedback, as always, is straight to the point without any bullshit. I’m hoping this Non-Traditional Colorado wedding venue guide and directory is helpful in your search, and when you’re ready, I’m here to also be the non-traditional photographer and nerdy best friend you need in your planning process.
You know the drill, so here’s my favorite non-traditional Colorado wedding venues for guest counts 50+. I left some of the more popular venues off this list, as well as anything that was a bit “too rustic”, “too commercial”, or “too ballroom”, so that you had a list of non-traditional Colorado wedding venues that are a bit more out-of-the-box, and a little more you.
Also keep in mind, if you’re looking for more of an intimate wedding option, most of these venues will accommodate a smaller event under 50 guests, too. Need non-traditional elopement locations? Good news, I have a guide for that, too.
Most folks come to Colorado looking for a mountain wedding venue, but I’ll be honest–some of these can lean a bit too rustic, and a little too honky-tonk (I get it, we’re in the wild west) for most of my clients. For that reason, I’ve compiled this list of Denver-area venues that are a bit more industrial, a bit more out-of-the-box, and have a more modern feel than what you might get in the mountains. These are also great options for local folks, and for anyone who is coming from out of state (because let’s face it, most of my couples are), it’s a great option to be close to the airport for your guests, and have the best selection of vendors without having to pay a hefty travel fee. The best part is, if you stay for a week or so, you can also adventure into the mountains later, but you don’t necessarily have to have a mountain wedding venue for a unique space.
Roof 16 – This venue is an expansive open-air venue literally on a rooftop in Denver, so if you’re looking for urban views, this is your spot. They also have an indoor dining space, and it works great for an elopement or smaller event, too!
Pelican Bay Cherry Creek – Okay, hear me out; you’ll notice the site doesn’t have the most up to date photos, but Pelican Bay is a really unique option for your wedding because it allows for the ceremony to take place on the water, and then you have the option to rent out the lakehouse. If it were me? I’d be renting a party pontoon for the after party and some rad night time photos.
This option works great for both a larger wedding, and an intimate wedding setting. It’s a super unique greenhouse-like setting, and they’ll even do a butterfly release after your ceremony.
Boulder is… really special, and I’m not sure how else to put it into words. Like Denver, it’s a much more urban feel overall, but gives a best of both worlds feeling, with the Flatirons hovering over the valley. I lived here, I got engaged here, and there’s nothing really like this area. If you want your guests to have a taste of true Colorado culture, events, and views (and all sorts of close-proximity hiking and mountain adventure options), Boulder is your wedding venue spot. Pro tip–there’s a ton more intimate wedding venues here, too, if you are willing to cut your guest list for a unique spot.
River Bend – River Bend and Lyons Farmette (below) are owned by the same folks, but these are two of my absolute favorite venues in the entire state. River Bend sits on the side of the St. Vrain River and is extremely private, whereas Lyons Farmette is more of a back-yard style venue, with an indoor option. They also offer floral from the farmette.
Lyons Farmette – similar to River Bend (above), but allows for an indoor venue or reception option, next to a creek, and allows for floral from the farmette and the ability to walk through the flower field! 10/10 service here, and I just can’t recommend them enough.
Wedgewood Boulder Creek – very similar to River Bend and Lyons Farmette for the “feel”, but Wedgewood Weddings owns this one and offers a more inclusive approach! I suggest checking out their site and ALL of their venues; I’ve worked with Wedgewood Weddings a ton over the years, and they just do it right.
The entire northern 1-25 Corridor and Northern Colorado itself is my home town in Colorado. I moved to Fort Collins first when I made it to Colorado, spent a couple years here and then moved all over the state, until we finally bought our first home in Berthoud, CO. The point is… I love the Northern Colorado area more than anywhere else in the state, and it’s because it has the best people, views, and accessibility to the rest of the state. These venues have a place close to my heart, and I hope to your’s, too.
Lionsgate Event Center – okay, normally I’d leave an “event center” off the list for non-traditional wedding venues, but this one is just so unique and rad; it has a backyard event space feel to it, while also a very vintage, industrial vibe in the chandelier barn
Rist Canyon Inn – an open-air venue in Laporte, CO; this venue is absolutely stunning, with the historic property adjacent to a brand new event venue on rolling meadows, and there’s a small amount of lodging onsite for your party
The Armstrong Hotel – one of my favorite vintage, dark academia venues in all of Colorado; if you’re looking for a classy space, with unique options (including a library that holds up to 70!), this is your spot
The Elizabeth Hotel – another unique hotel option, with historic touches throughout and the option for a rooftop ceremony and/or reception
McCreery House – The McCreery House and Avery House (below) have a similar feel to the iconic, historical landmark house feel of Tapestry House, but with a lower price tag and entry point, really allowing for you to make the most of your day as uniquely as you’d like
Brookside Gardens – an absolutely stunning, greenhouse and lodge venue in Berthoud, CO, full of tons of floral in a garden-like setting
The Barrell – this is a brewery in downtown Estes Park, and they have a beer garden to host up to 250, as well as a small stage for live music!
Sweetheart Winery – similar feel to Lyons Farmette (in the Boulder Section), but with a winery attached!
The Acerage – Lafayette, CO – this venue is absolutely stunning, with panoramic views of the mountains, ample parking, and in house catering and cider from Stem Ciders (because they own it!), it’s a new venue that can host 40 to upwards of 300 with a full buyout
Obviously saving some of the best for last, here’s some of my favorite mountain wedding venues that I just absolutely adore for your non-traditional Colorado wedding. These venues range all over the mountain ranges, so make sure to do your research before booking, and maybe pair with your favorite Colorado wedding photographer and planning assistant (aka, me) to help navigate if booking in these areas is going to be the best fit (since some mountain venues can be difficult when it comes to securing additional vendors, travel fees, and overall experience options for your guests while in town).
Keyah Grande – this one is a little further than most on this list, but it’s a hidden gem; if you want a lodge with an amazing view in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, this is your spot
When you’re ready to pair with a non-traditional Colorado wedding and elopement photographer that specializes in offbeat, alternative, nerdy couples… to create a day that actually feels like you, I’ve got you covered, and I would love to be there for you on your wedding day and throughout this planning process.
ALTERNATIVE ELOPEMENT AND WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER SPECIALIZING IN NON-TRADITIONAL, DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY FOR THE OFFBEAT AND NERDY COUPLE. BASED IN COLORADO, ILLINOIS AND FLORIDA. AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE.
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