It seems that more and more couples are opting for non-traditional wedding venues these days. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of options for where to have your wedding and/or wedding reception.
While some wedding locations can be very expensive, with a little thought you can probably find an interesting place which will fit any reasonable budget. At venues which don't usually cater to weddings, you or your Wedding Planner might be responsible for arranging things that you would not need to worry about at a traditional location (such as a hotel ballroom).
Unique wedding locations seem particularly appropriate if they are related to an interest shared by the bridal couple. In other words, a winery is probably the perfect place for a pair of oenophiles, and a SCUBA wedding is probably not appropriate unless the primary participants are PADI Certified.
Some examples of different types of wedding venues (from neo-traditional to off-beat):
A Garden: at your own home, a friend's house, or public or private building might be a good option during certain times of the year.
Golf Course or Country Club: A country club is likely to have facilities and staff. You might need a member to sponsor you.
On the Beach: In a nearby or exotic location. Many resorts in Hawaii, the Caribbean, or the South Pacific have wedding packages.
Bed and Breakfasts: Renting out a whole Bed and Breakfast (or more than one) for the whole wedding party is a good option. The owners of B&Bs often are well connected with local restaurants and caterers and can recommend some good options.
Wineries: In Northern California, wineries are popular locations for festive events. You usually need to make arrangements many months ahead to secure a weekend date at the well known wineries. Also, there are likely to be restrictions on times and they may insist on their own catering staff and wines being poured.
On Yachts: Some charter companies have wedding packages and will arrange everything from food and drinks to music and photographers. I attended a very nice event like this on a charter yacht in San Francisco Bay.
On Campus: The alumni association at your alma mater might be able to help you arrange to use a garden, theater, or other facility on campus.
Museums and Art Galleries (public or private): Sometimes may be used during off hours. You probably need to cover the cost of staff, security, and other fees. There may be restrictions on what type of activities can take place in certain rooms (such as no eating, drinking, smoking except in designated areas).
Las Vegas: There are a lot of options here. Many don't require much advance planning. Themed weddings from Disco, Gothic, or Harley, to the classic: Elvis Wedding! Actually, I have never attended a Las Vegas wedding, but have seen many happy newlyweds staggering along the sidewalk. But seriously, a Nevada wedding might be a good option for a couple wanting to do a fast inexpensive ceremony. There is always Reno, too.
Zoo or Aquarium: The San Francisco Zoo, for example, has a variety of different locations to have events. I have been to a couple of corporate events at the impressive Monterey Bay Aquarium, but they will also do weddings or other types of parties.
Hot Air Balloon Wedding: I don't think this is really my cup of tea.. and there are age, height, weight, and health restrictions on those allowed to fly.
Historic Buildings or Castles: Do a Google search for sites in your area. Some countries have more castles than others!
Theme Park Weddings: If roller coasters are your thing, this might be for you.
Cruise Ship Weddings: It seems that most of the major cruise lines have wedding packages.
Disney Weddings: Okay, this was also mentioned in Theme Parks, but Disney really seems to focus on this.
Fast Food Wedding: It could be Taco Bell, McDonald's, White Castle, Pizza Hut, or whatever strikes your fancy (if you can get the local manager to agree).
Wal-Mart Wedding: Easy to find. Convenient parking.
I hope that this list of wedding ideas primes your creativity pump!