In Texas we do everything big, and weddings are no exception. In the end, all that matters is making it official with the one you love, but there’s a little voice in the back of every bride’s head urging her to secure the just-right location.
We’ll leave the country clubs and hotels off this list, because a wedding at the Ritz-Carlton or Brook Hollow Golf Club is bound to be beautiful. To choose the wedding venue that works best for you and your beloved, Dallas party planning guru Todd Fiscus of Todd Events says it’s important to know the vibe you want.
“If you want a fun or funky party, don’t select a classic hotel,” he says. “It’s hard to get the energy right.”
So this list is for the couple looking for something different. Dallas-based wedding planner Kristin Mullen of Events by Kristin says that Dallas has many venues that make for breathtaking, unforgettable events.
“As a wedding planner, we love when brides select a venue that has some character on its own but is also a blank canvas that can fit any style or color palette,” she says. “That is when truly magical weddings are created!”
From the intimately elegant Arlington Hall to the larger-than-life Jerry World (aka AT&T Stadium), we present the top atypical wedding venues in Dallas-Fort Worth.
For the Love of Art
Dallas Museum of Art
If the Dallas Arts District gives you butterflies, this cultural mecca is the ideal spot for your special day. Whether you choose Hamon Atrium, Seventeen Seventeen Restaurant, the sculpture garden or Horchow Auditorium, the DMA staff delivers first-class cuisine and exceptional service. For something truly unique, consider incorporating the museum’s collections or exhibitions into the affair. Talk about a great conversation piece for guests. Get a proposal for your wedding by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nasher Sculpture Center
This event space is the epitome of big-city chic. Whether you dream of a posh garden party or an indoor affair among the art, the Nasher can accommodate. You can also be among the first to hold your ceremony here, because until 2015, the Nasher only hosted receptions. Rent out the entire venue (180 indoor seated, 200 outdoor seated, 1,000 standing reception) for a $5,500 rental fee plus $5,000 Matisse Circle membership. All rentals include admission, tables, chairs and tableware (for up to 180 guests). Security and a representative from the Nasher are also provided for assistance.
For the Love of Nature
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Not only does the Dallas Arboretum have the most gorgeous grounds in town, but it also offers scenic views of White Rock Lake. It takes you out of the hustle and bustle and into your own flower-filled fairy tale. Events can be as small as 12 or as large as 3,000 guests, making this one of the most flexible venues on this list. Peak month rental prices vary ($4,000-$7,000), depending on your selected site at the arboretum, and that includes a ceremony and a reception. Dallas Arboretum provides an approved list of caterers for your food and beverages, which are not included in the rental price.
Trinity River Audubon Center
Where else in Dallas can you find a 21,000-square-foot event center surrounded by wetlands and four miles of hiking trails? Picture guests admiring the Great Trinity Forest through 15-foot glass windows or enjoying champagne and appetizers on a covered deck amid the peace and beauty of a wetland pond. There are several rooms available to accommodate any size wedding, and all catering is handled by Bolsa ($7,500 food and beverage minimum). To reserve the space for your wedding, it costs $600 an hour, which includes your rights to host the event.
For the Love of Glam
Arlington Hall at Lee Park
If Cinderella were to get married in Dallas, she would probably pick Arlington Hall, which defies trends with its timeless, classic elegance. Whether you wish for a tented reception on the grounds or an indoor soiree, Arlington Hall can grant it, for weddings as small as 10 or as large as 1,000. You can rent the entire venue or just a part — formal garden, terrace, portico or Allman Pavilion — all the while enjoying cuisine from Food Glorious Food. A four-hour evening reception based on 200 guests ranges in price from $175-$225 per person. That includes food and alcohol, servers and bartenders, chef attendants, set-up fees, linens, chairs and additional rentals, valet, security, and tax and service charges.
Fashion Industry Gallery
If fashion is your first love (behind your husband-to-be, of course), then consider this downtown venue. With endless options for ceremony and reception, this blank canvas is a wedding planner’s dream: exposed brick walls, polished concrete floors, and natural and directional lighting. Have your wedding at FIG on a Friday or Saturday night during the months of April, May, June, September, October, November or December starting at $5,000. This includes the use of the Beck Park Promenade, level one lobby and level two; the fee also includes parking. All other amenities are available à la carte, including the venue’s exclusive catering services provided by Food Glorious Food.
For the Love of Texas
Are you a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan with a go-big-or-go home attitude? If so, consider this unconventional venue for your wedding and reception, which has more than 22 rentable spaces. You can rent the field for a reception up to 5,000, the Cowboys locker room — even the post-game interview room. Seriously, if you can dream it, you can plan it here. AT&T Stadium offers in-house catering, trained banquet staff and onsite coordinators. Ladies, you just might win the award for coolest wife ever after your groom’s buddies see your wedding photos on the 50-yard line of Jerry World. You can fill out an event proposal here.
Once a bustling thoroughfare with 80 trains arriving and departing daily, Union Station now hosts some of the most prestigious events in town. Noteworthy features include 48-foot ceilings in the Grand Hall, tall arched windows and original chandeliers. Plus, the site has recently undergone a $23 million renovation. It is also pretty clutch that Union Station connects to the Hyatt Regency hotel by underground tunnel, which makes it easy for your party guests to have a good time and get home safely. The Grand Hall holds 600 people, but there are spaces to accommodate smaller groups as well. Wolfgang Puck is the exclusive caterer for all Union Station events. More details can be found here, or you can email email@example.com.