Soak In These 32 Mystical Waterfront Weddings
Have the backdrop of your dreams with these beautiful venues.
Photo By: Joseph Laurin
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Photo By: Kiva Sutton Annandale Photography
Photo By: Pelican Grand Beach Resort
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Photo By: Beau Jardin
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Photo By: Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina
Photo By: Cassandra Anton-Steer
Photo By: Rock Harbor Lodge
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Photo By: Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Square Station
Photo By: Joseph Laurin
Photo By: Besler’s Cadillac Ranch
Photo By: The Oasis Lake Travis
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Photo By: Misty Winter
Photo By: Grand Teton Lodge Company: Heather Erson Photography
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Photo By: copyright Cheryl Fallon - www.CherylFallon.com
Weddings on the Water
Water is deeply symbolic to many folks. It’s associated with all sorts of milestones and desires, from birth and fertility to renewal and overall life, and pretty much everyone on the planet appreciates a waterfront view. Whether you want to incorporate water into some sort of meaningful statement about the start of your new life with your spouse or you just want to soak in a gorgeous backdrop for the big day, here are 32 beautiful waterfront views around the United States.
Atlantic Beach, North Carolina
North Carolina’s Crystal Coast is one of the most natural and charming shorelines on the eastern seaboard. Nestled along the state’s southern Outer Bank, it boasts southern charm and rich maritime history with herds of wild horses that gallop straight past its gentle dunes. Celebration Cottage is the only public oceanfront venue on Atlantic Beach. The beach-chic structure has a large deck, ideal for soaking in the ocean breeze while dancing through the evening, and a well-rehearsed event team who can take care of all of the details. The crew is happy to help couples design a bespoke menu of fresh local fare, creative cocktails, flower arrangements and all the little touches to create the perfect beachfront ceremony and reception.
Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge
Say “I do” with sea otters, puffins and whales as your witnesses at Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge. The only accommodation on Fox Island, a short boat ride away from Seward, this remote lodge in Resurrection Bay is as holy a place as one can find for the kind of folks who worship the great outdoors. Pledge your vows on the flat stone beach before celebrating your union with up to 136 guests. Wine and dine everyone with a buffet of prime rib and Alaskan salmon as well as a Champagne toast, before sending most of them on their way back to the mainland. With just eight guests cabins on the island, it’s a perfect place to spend quality time with your closest friends and family members as you and your betrothed begin your life as a married couple.
Crystal Bridges Museum
Combining high art with spectacular natural scenery, Crystal Bridges Museum is one of the most spectacular weddings venues in the Ozarks and one of the best cultural institutions in the entire state. The 120-acre site features an original Frank Lloyd Wright house that was moved from New Jersey, an original Fly’s Eye Dome by R. Buckminster Fuller and four-miles of wooded trails that pass by sculptures and bubbling creeks that stem from Crystal Springs (hence the name). The entire museum has been built around the creeks and water features, which are just as prominent as the works in the venue, like The Great Hall (pictured above) with its pine-beamed ceiling and soaring windows that perfectly frame the Upper Pond.
Rancho Palos Verdes, California
Perched above the Pacific Ocean on the stunning Palos Verdes Peninsula, Terranea Resort has everything one could possibly want in a waterfront wedding venue. The giant 102-acre property is surrounded by the ocean on three sides. It’s right outside a major city—should any last-minute emergencies arise—but it feels like a relaxing escape from all the hustle and bustle that lies just beyond its driveway. The resort has three gorgeous ballrooms to pick from, one of which was where Dancing with the Stars’ Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson out-danced everyone at their recent reception, and 75,000 square feet of outdoor venues with sweeping views of the ocean.
Saybrook Point Inn & Spa
Old Saybrook, Connecticut
Hugged between the Long Island Sound and the Connecticut River, this luxe hotel and spa offer a New England seaside vibe. The original 82-room inn, painted a vibrant and nautical yellow, sits right over the marina: guests get an upfront view of all the masts swaying in the water. That’s the backdrop many husbands-and-or-wives-to-be choose for their big moment. Both Compass Rose terrace, located at the end of a brick walkway, and the Main Terrace right off the Main Ballroom feature prime views of the marina and the idyllic Connecticut shoreline where friends and family watch as you and your betrothed take the plunge into married life.
Pelican Grand Beach Resort
Fort Lauderale, Florida
One of just a handful of resorts set right on Fort Lauderdale beach, Pelican Grand offers couples a luxurious ambiance for their big day right on top of the sand. The modern hotel still boasts a bit of an Old Florida vibe—unlike many of its trendy neighboring properties—as well as seven different wedding venues featuring prime views of the Atlantic. Inside, couples can choose from the appropriately titled Oceanview and Atlantic Ballrooms with gorgeous panoramas and protection from any unsavory weather – something couples may want to consider in South Florida’s steamy summers. Outdoors, the Oceanview Terrace features a quaint gazebo with a backdrop of gentle water as far as the eye can see that makes for a gorgeous altar in a space that can accommodate up to 120 guests.
Sea Island, Georgia
As the name suggests, this Golden Isles place is surrounded by water all around. It’s actually a private island set in Georgia’s Lowcountry, a favored getaway among the well-heeled. It’s the only resort in the entire world to receive four Forbes Five-Star awards for eleven consecutive years and it’s the only U.S. resort to host a G-8 Summit of world leaders. While you and your crew prepare for the big moment, guests can play golf, ride horses or splash around the shore. Its Ocean Room, Patio & Courtyard is a wonderful waterfront venue to celebrate your union, offering serene views of the Atlantic and Sea Island beach from right behind the dunes.
Overlooking the downtown riverbank in Natchitoches Historic District, Beau Jardin is a whimsical place to pledge your love, like a real-life secret garden complete with small wooden bridges that connect the different spaces to one another. It features a winding brick staircase that leads to a series of stone landings that are encircled by iron work and curved brick walls. Cascading waterfalls flow down the plant-covered hillside right next to the steps, winding its way into a stream bed that babbles into Cane River Lake. The lushly landscaped garden features native plants, flowers and groundcover as well as “up lighting” that make it feel like some sort of magical haven once the sun sets.
Maine Maritime Museum
The Maine Maritime Museum tells the story of the state’s seagoing history. Located in Bath, once referred to as the “City of Ships” due to the 22 shipyards that filled its waterfront, this 20-acre campus right on the Kennebec River boasts gorgeous views and plenty of maritime significance. The riverfront institution has a number of historically significant waterfront venues including Percy & Small Shipyard, the only remaining dry dock of the original two dozen that built large sailing vessels. Many couples choose to anchor themselves to one another on the pier with the 1906 schooner "Mary E" as the backdrop. Talk about symbolic.
Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina
This 342-acre resort right near Chesapeake Bay has a lot to offer wedding parties. The AAA Four Diamond property offers an 18-hole golf course, full-service spa, 23-meter pool and a 150-slip marina. And, yeah, the waterfront views are pretty darn sweet, too. It offers a whopping 122,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space with an array of venues at which to tie the knot, ranging from elegant ballrooms to casual riverside pavilions and lawns. Most couples choose the resort’s signature wedding experience—for good reason—on the Grand Fireplace Patio. Say “I do” in front of the gorgeous stone hearth while guests take in lovely views on the Choptank River in the background. Receptions move next door to the adjacent Crescent Pool Patio, so everyone can enjoy the sunset while celebrating this new beginning in life.
For at least the past half century, Provincetown has been hailed as one of the best LGBTQ+ vacation destinations in the entire country. Its gorgeous beaches and quaint downtown have long been an inclusive haven and, since 2004, a top gay wedding destination. That’s partly why Cassandra Anton-Steer and her wife Katelyn chose Provincetown Inn as their wedding venue. The other factor was the killer views. The historic waterfront inn offers couples numerous outdoor areas to wed while soaking in Cape Cod’s blissful shores. Whether you want to say “I do” with your toes in the sand while looking back towards the town or on the verdant lawn with wide open views of Cape Cod Bay and Long Point Lighthouse, this place has got you covered in the scenery department.
Rock Harbor Lodge
There’s a reason for the high-ranking moniker: Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world. It’s so big a 700-plus-foot-long ship, SS Edmund Fitzgerald, sunk to the bottom. Point being: it holds some islands that are just as remote as their oceanic counterparts. That includes the ones that make up Isle Royale National Park. Couples who want to wed in secluded Lake Superior style can gather all their friends and family together at Rock Harbor Lodge. With prime panoramas of the rugged, tree-covered shoreline and a team that can help sort out all the details (ranging from picking the ceremony site to creating a dinner menu), a wedding at this tranquil waterfront is sure to be remarkable for both you and your guests.
Quarterdeck Boathouse Event Center
Offering fully customizable waterfront nuptial rites, from intimate ceremonies in front of Gull Lake or a glistening fete in a sea of winter white, Quarterdeck is one of the best wedding venues in Minnesota — no matter what the weather is doing outside. Its fully restored Boathouse Event Center features plank flooring, new rooms and a romantic landscaped patio with a pergola. The Boathouse was beautifully restored in 2017 with a 1950’s Chris-Craft boat bar and a two-sided fieldstone fireplace. Outside, its brick patio is adorned with lush landscaping, a pergola, gas log fireplace and beautiful lakefront views. You and your guests will never want to leave.
Flathead Lake Lodge
Those who want a waterfront wedding in Montana should look to Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the entire west. One of the best wedding venues on its shoreline is Flathead Lake Lodge. The third-generation family-owned-and-operated guest ranch has been welcoming visitors and wedding parties for nearly 75 years. It offers all of the activities and amenities of a high-end resort on a sprawling 2,000-acre spread, but with the warm feel of a family homestead — and spectacular mountain and water views from nearly every direction. The resort offers a number of ceremony and reception sites spread across the property from which couples can choose.
Alpine lodge meets lake house retreat at this High Sierras resort. Perched on the shores of Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America—with water just as clear as one can find in the Caribbean—Edgewood Tahoe offers some of the best scenery in an area that’s already known for its mind-bogglingly beautiful vistas. The 235-acre, LEED-certified property has 154 luxury rooms and suites, an 18-hole championship golf course, spa, salon, three restaurants, a ballroom and the area’s only private beach. Get hitched in complete seclusion on the North Deck with the glassy water and snow-capped peaks as a backdrop. After the nuptial rites, most couples like to move the party inside the mountain chalet-inspired North Room before the temperature drops.
Waterside Restaurant & Catering
North Bergen, New Jersey
New York may get all the international attention, but some of the best waterfront views in the area are actually in New Jersey. This stunning venue is located on the edge of the Hudson River, offering beautiful panoramas of the Manhattan skyline with its lights glistening in the current. The sprawling space boasts two ballrooms that can be decked out to be as elaborate or as simple as the illustrious couple would like. Essentially a one stop wedding shop, Waterside Restaurant & Catering staff will handle all of the details and help create the ideal menu. Culinary Institute of America-trained executive chef Gus Shizas is known for making unforgettable food—including a Grand Marnier duck station with traditional Chinese garnishes—that’s sure to be nearly as memorable as the glamorous view.
Greenport, New York
Since it opened in 1935, this mom-and-pop owned motel boasted some of the best waterfront views on Long Island’s nautical North Fork. But it got a major upgrade in 2017 when it was transformed by a well-known hotel group. Drawing inspiration from Greenport’s maritime history, the renovated inn combines a modern New England aesthetic with elements that honor the Golden Age of the motor hotel with sleek mid-century-style furnishings, lots of crisp whites and blues, and plenty of wood. It’s a cool and peaceful backdrop for a coastal wedding. Couples can say “I do” on the hotel’s private beach in front of 250 guests, before feasting on seafood at Halyard, the expansive on-site restaurant that features space for a dance floor and, as the name off the property suggests, gorgeous views of the sound.
Great Lakes Science Center
This museum and educational center in downtown Cleveland explores the natural environment and history of the Great Lakes region. It’s the area’s leading science and tech center, home to the NASA Glenn Visitor Center and hundreds of hands-on exhibits. It also has some fabulous places to say “I do” with stunning views of Lake Erie’s North Coast Harbor and downtown Cleveland. Couples can choose from a selection of indoor and outdoor venues, spanning from inside the dramatic waterfront six-story atrium to the outdoor decks and harbor level patio. The museum staff is happy to create a custom celebration that can move throughout the fun lakefront place — maybe cocktails near the 61-foot William G. Mather steamship? — as you wish.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
With scenic views of the Oklahoma River set against the scrim of downtown Oklahoma City, a wedding at the Boathouse District combines natural beauty with cosmopolitan flair. The area offers couples the ability to pick from several architecturally unique venues with dramatic views and expansive outdoor spaces right above the water. The largest space is Devon Boathouse, a two-level room surrounded by modern glass and polycarbonate walls that help to illuminate the space with tons of natural light. That cool design and bright setting is basically a photographer’s dream, so there’s no doubt the wedding photos will be great.
Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Square Station
Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square is the only riverfront property in the city. It’s a beautiful and seamless experience for out of town guests—or anyone who plans ahead—who want to be able to stumble to bed after the festivities. Ideal for summer, spring, fall and winter receptions, the hotel offers both indoor and outdoor options for ceremonies and receptions. The most sought-after area is The Reflections, a large space with dramatic views of the river and city skyline that can accommodate up to 300 guests in a reception-style setup and up to 700 people when combined with an adjoining room.
Castle Hill Inn
Newport, Rhode Island
This 1875 inn sits high on a hill above Narragansett Bay, commanding world-class views of the nearby lighthouse, ships passing through Newport Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean. The 40-acre property, located on its own peninsula, offers couples several venues to say “I do” with serene waterfront views. From its lantern-lit garden and white sandy beachside ceremonies followed by al fresco dining and dancing under a white sailcloth tent during the summer months to a cozy celebration in front of the fireplace, this gorgeous venue is sure to leave an impression on even your hardest to please guests. Invite your favorites to stick around the following day for the restaurant’s infamous Sunday brunch.
Besler’s Cadillac Ranch
St. Onge, South Dakota
Situated on the shores of the Redwater River right in the iconic Black Hills of South Dakota, Besler’s Cadillac Ranch is a breathtaking place to pledge your vows. Most couples choose to say “I do” in the gazebo as the river rushes past, before moving into the two-story barn to celebrate for the night. The venue has its own full-service bar, bandstand, dance floor, kitchenette and everything needed to throw a memorable bash. And the ranch—which also boards horses—has plenty of room for guests to stay overnight with a farmhouse, tiny house, cabins, tent space and complete RV hookups, so everyone can enjoy your rustic shindig without having to worry about driving at the end of the night.
The Oasis Lake Travis
Almost every day of the year, hundreds of folks from all over the world come to The Oasis Lake Travis to admire the breathtaking views as the sun fades behind the water. There’s a reason the place has earned the nickname The Sunset Capital of Texas. The sprawling complex features five different venues that all boast fantastic evening views as you bid farewell to the single life. Extend the panoramas at The Top of the Oasis. The elegant third floor space can accommodate up to 200 guests, who bypass the main entrance via a landscaped courtyard to enjoy the western sunset views that light up the lake and surrounding hills.
Zion Red Rock
Set near Zion National Park, Zion Red Rock Oasis offers all of the scenery of one of the county’s most visited parks with none of the hordes. The 360-degree views from its outdoor decks look out at billions of years of vibrant natural arches and slot canyons capped by crystal blue skies and its own private lake. One would be hard pressed to find a more majestic place to pledge one’s love. The sprawling home offers 14,000 square feet of living space—including a swimming pool, theatre, indoor soccer and a giant kitchen—that can sleep 55 people in eight different rooms.
Grand Isle Lake House
Grand Isle, Vermont
Grand Isle is a 14-mile strip of land located in the middle of Lake Champlain, set right between Vermont and New York. The serene island is the largest in the area, offering miles of rocky shoreline, acres of natural forest and scenery that looks like it hasn’t changed in decades. That’s why Grand Isle Lake House has become such a popular place to seal the deal. The 1903 hotel encompasses 55 acres and 2,500 feet of shoreline with beautiful panoramas in every direction. It offers Green Mountain views, gorgeous sunsets and soothing waters all around with grounds that can accommodate up to 250 people under tents (if you wish) and covered porches for 150 seated guests.
The Edgewater Hotel
This appropriately titled venue sits on the edge of Elliott Bay. It is the only waterfront hotel in Seattle—a city that’s basically surrounded by water—offering couples an easy, upscale place to tie the knot: no decorations necessary. Its stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and Seattle skyline across the water helped earn it the award for “Best Quintessential Seattle-Area Reception Site” by Seattle Bride Magazine. Those views are accessible both outside and inside its climate-controlled Olympic Ballroom, which is encircled by soaring windows that allow couples and their guests to enjoy the sights without getting soaked in the city’s notorious drizzly climate.
Geneva National Resort
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
This lakeside country club offers waterfront and fairway views from its party venues. Geneva National Resort has multiple reception spaces, ranging from a romantic tented pavilion on the impossibly green lawn to the Clubhouse’s cozy Lake Geneva Room with its roaring fireplace and the Legends Room with exposed brick, white-washed tin ceiling and rich oak entry space. But what most couples who choose to wed at this place like best are the two outdoor ceremony spaces that can accommodate up to 250 guests. Both the Lakeview Terrace and Lawn feature spectacular views of the lake and all the sailboats floating in the distance.
Jackson Lake Lodge
The snow-capped Tetons that ascend straight up from the surrounding valley are one of the most dramatic natural sights in the United States, which is why Grand Teton National Park and nearby Jackson Hole are such coveted vacation destinations. Oh, and the area also boasts tons of wildlife ranging from grizzlies and wolves to moose and elk as well as pristine lakes. All of those elements are on display—depending on which animals choose to pass by—at Jackson Lake Lodge. The hotel’s Southwest Terrace, right in front of the lake, can accommodate up to 250 guests who will probably be stoked you chose to get hitched in such a spectacular place.
There’s no need to head to the hills of wine country for a wine-centric wedding if you chose to celebrate at this place. District Winery is the first commercial winery in Washington D.C. and, while it's vistas don’t overlook neatly-trimmed rows of vines, it does boast some killer views of the water. Set in Navy Yard, a community saddled along the Anacostia River, this full-service wedding venue (and winery, and restaurant, and overall fun hangout) is an ideal place to host that sophisticated waterfront wedding you’ve always dreamed of. With indoor and outdoor space that can accommodate up to 200 guests, it’s a gorgeous place to toast friends and family in celebration of the big life change.
Brooklyn, New York
New York City is basically surrounded by water on all sides, so there are plenty of stunning places to say “I do” with a prime waterfront view without leaving the five boroughs. But few coastal locales can compete with the Brooklyn Bridge. That’s why many couples choose to tie the knot in front of the iconic overpass. The park offers permits for up to 100 guests for an hour and a half. To keep enjoying the view after the nuptial rites, move the party to Cecconi’s Dumbo. Set right in Brooklyn Bridge Park inside DUMBO House, the restaurant’s private dining room and outdoor terrace boasts sweeping views of the Manhattan Skyline and the historic arch.
Joe Wheeler State Park
Set on Wheeler Lake, an impoundment of the Tennessee River in the northwest part of the state, this 2,550-acre plot of land and freshwater is a sailor’s paradise. The sparkling waters are home to bass, bream and catfish, as well as a small fleet of yachts and sailboats. Every autumn, during the Fall Rendezvous, boaters navigating the Great Loop, the circuitous waterway that circles eastern North America along the Atlantic Ocean and inland waterways, gather together in its serene lake. Show off this inland maritime haven on your big day. Its cozy lodge offers a variety of wedding options both inside and out with gorgeous waterfront views as a backdrop.
Cape Henlopen State Park
Sloping sand dunes, singing shorebirds and waves gently crashing on the shore are just a few of the reasons that many Mid-Atlantic couples want to tie-the-knot at Cape Henlopen State Park. It also has an iconic lighthouse, rocky jetty and wildflower-strewn trail that passes through the dunes and wetlands, offering gorgeous beachside photo opps with a wide variety of backdrops. Suffice to say, the 5,000-plus acre public property is absolutely gorgeous. But what really makes it great for weddings is that it can accommodate a wide range of nuptial union options from a wallet-conscious barefoot ceremony on the beach to a grand tented event for more than 400 guests. And, just in case the weather isn’t going to cooperate as you’d like, there’s always the casual Officer’s Club that can host up to 200 people inside.