Theater Wedding Venues That’ll Turn Your Big Day into a Movie
All the world's a stage—on which you can say, "I do."
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Photo By: Marigny Opera House
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Theater Venues Across the States
“All the world’s a stage,” William Shakespeare once said. That is certainly true for theater geeks, those proud folks who act, sing and dance no matter where they go. So, when it comes to one of the biggest days in life, the day two stars come together for their leading roles, the more drama and stagecraft, the better. From world-class opera houses and historic hippodromes to avant-garde performing arts spaces, here are the best wedding venues for lovers of the stage.
Marigny Opera House
New Orleans, Louisiana
This 1853 Baroque cathedral, known as the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, was built for the German Catholics of Faubourg Marigny. The parish was moved in 1997 and the building sat empty for a few years until it was transformed into the Church of the Arts. Now the nonprofit is a sanctuary for local performing artists who showcase their talent through ballet, chamber music, jazz, theater and other disciplines. A long list of artists—ranging from Solange Knowles and director Alan Ferguson to Michelle Branch and Patrick Carney of the Black Keys—have chosen the magical place as their wedding venue due to its creative vibe and support for artists who perform on its stage.
Arvest Bank at Midland
Kansas City, Missouri
These days, Arvest Bank at the Midland plays host to a wide range of performers and live shows, spanning from Vince Gil, Maggie Rogers and Neil DeGrasse Tyson to powerful dramas like King Solomon Lives: A Nubian Love Story and musicals including We Will Rock You. While the $4 million venue constructed in 1927 started off its life as the largest movie theater in the Midwest, it has since become one of the most beloved performing arts centers in the region. Bestowed with tons of Gilded Age elegance, the French and Italian Baroque-style auditorium features over 500,000 feet of gold leaf, five humongous Czechoslovakian hand-cut crystal chandeliers, one-of-a-kind objets d’art and gorgeous intricate woodwork.
Originally planned as a Yaarab Shrine Temple before the fraternity ran out of cash, this grand revival building was transformed into a movie palace by film mogul William Fox when it opened in 1929. The crown jewel of Atlanta’s Fox Theatre Historic District, the opulent theater has since transitioned away from silver screen showings to real live shows. From Cats and The Wizard of Oz to artists like Vampire Weekend and Jill Scott, this entertainment venue celebrates the stage with more than 150 performances a year. Theatre-loving couples who want to honor their union in opulence can rent out rooms like the Grand Egyptian Ballroom with its sweeping columns and elaborate design.
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Behind only New York’s Lincoln Center, Lyric Opera House is the second largest opera auditorium in the United States. The 1929 Art Deco and Art Nouveau-hybrid building plays host to lavish classics from Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and Mozart’s Don Giovanni, along with Broadway-style productions such as 42nd Street and The Light in the Piazza. Whether you’re moved to tears by dramatic opera or find yourself gently shimmying in your seat during a poppy musical, this grand theater honors the revelatory power of great art and opera. We doubt any theater-lover could find a more fitting temple to mark the transformation into married life than this glamorous place.
Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences
Charleston, West Virginia
This museum and performance venue is a one-stop-shop for Charleston, West Virginia's cultured class. The 240,000-square-foot institution combines visuals arts and science exhibitions with performances by both well-known and emerging artists and production companies. Theater geeks can say “I do” right next to the stage in the Maier Foundation Performance Hall that plays host to touring Broadway shows like An American in Paris, Waitress, The Color Purple and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Most choose to follow up their nuptials with a climactic reception in the Benedum Grand Lobby, a dramatic space with a three-story wall of windows, colorful patterned floor and grand entrance that’s sure to garner a standing ovation as you make your debut as husband-and-wife (or whatever combination fits).
Iconic figures from Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash to Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton—even president Teddy Roosevelt—have graced the stage of Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. This National Historic Landmark was the longtime home of the Grand Ole Opry, the longest running radio broadcast in American history. The “barn dance” spread country music across much of the United States. While the weekly show highlighted established and emerging artists in country, bluegrass and gospel, it also featured comedy and sketch shows, a little bit of everything for Americana theatre-lovers. But here’s the romantic kicker: The Ryman is the place where Cash first met and was totally smitten by his future wife and lifetime collaborator June Carter.
The Sheldon Concert Hall & Art Galleries
St. Louis, Missouri
Share the stage with Tony nominees and award winners Taylor Louderman, Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell at The Sheldon in St Louis. Designed by prominent World’s Fair architect Louis C. Spiering as the home of the Ethical Society of St. Louis in 1912, “The Carnegie Hall of the Midwest” has hosted scores of noted speakers, musicians and some of the most esteemed Broadway stars. Walk across that same stage to kickstart your new era as partners in life with up to 712 of your biggest fans watching the performance. The original curved wood theater offers seating on two levels with unrestricted views from every seat, so you and your betrothed can star in your own show in one of the nation’s finest performing arts facilities.
The Gem Theatre
Combining two great theatres in one historic complex, the Gem Theatre and Century Theatre are connected by a shared lobby. Both are great, but the ornate Spanish Revival and Arts & Crafts-style Gem would be an absolute dream for those who want to add some glamour their big day. The two-level auditorium boasts traditional row and aisle seating along with intimate cabaret tables right near the stage, a perfect setup for the standing ovation after your first kiss. And what really sets this gorgeous venue apart is that it even has a nicely landscaped garden patio outside, so your guests can enjoy cocktails while you and your new spouse strike a pose under the spotlight.
Mead Center for American Theatre
This 1950 multistage complex changed the course of American theater as a pioneer of the regional theater movement, recognized for a number of firsts. It was the first nonprofit theater, first to transfer a production to Broadway, first invited by the U.S. State Department to tour behind the Iron Curtain and the first to receive the “Regional Theater” Tony. So, yeah, it’s a big deal for American thespianism. Could there possibly be a more fitting venue for a theater geek’s special day? Probably not. Couples can say “I do” on the stage in the intimate Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle, an oval shaped room built to support the birth and nurturing of developing plays and follow up with a grand fete next to the soaring windows and waterfront views from the Grand Lobby.
Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum
This open-air theater in artistic Topanga Canyon is a Shakespeare superfan’s dream come true. The original 299-seat outdoor amphitheatre, made from salvaged planks from the old Santa Monica Pier, is set in a mountain canyon underneath a canopy of trees. It’s peak California cool, but it’s also an important piece of thespian history: successful actor Will Geer founded the theatre after he was called to testify before the U.S. Congress’ Committee on Un-American Activities and found himself and many of his performer friends blacklisted from the entertainment industry. Now a member of The Folger Shakespeare Library Theater Partnership Program, Theatricum is an internationally recognized destination for its interpretation of Shakespeare’s work—and a top place, as the playwright once wrote, to “Join hands, and with your hands your hearts.”
The Barns at Wolf Trap
As the official partner to the National Park Service in providing performance programming within the park, the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts hosts diverse artists and shows spanning from Tony-award winning leading lady Sutton Foster and Ben Harper to operas like Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and philharmonic productions such as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. There are a number of event spaces within the complex that couples can rent out for nuptial unions, but the live music venues are the most romantic. Both 18th century barns were relocated from upstate New York. The 1730 German barn seats a total of 382 people during its theatrical performances, which could include your special celebration if you so choose.
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
Kansas City, Missouri
While Kansas City is home to some beautiful old theaters with early 20th century design details, this 285,000-square-foot-facility feels like it came from the future. The circa-2011 center, created by internationally-renowned architect Moshe Safdie, features two main performance halls. Each of those rounded auditoriums are adorned with stainless steel panels that look like the ridges on a scallop shell. Those modern spaces are connected with a 20-meter-high, glass atrium that boasts sweeping views of the city. Couples who want to tie the knot in this space-like setting can pick from the stunning panoramas of the Brandmeyer Great Hall or throw a grand celebration right on top of either stage.
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Los Angeles, California
Home of the world-renowned Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is a dream venue to watch classic performances as well as contemporary music, jazz and more. The sound is incredible and so is the building itself. Designed by legendary architect Frank Gehry, the extraordinary building features a series of wave-like stainless steel curves meant to symbolize musical movement and the flowing motion of the city. Inside, the warm concert hall is free of columns, so there’s nothing to block the dramatic views. Couples can say “I do” in a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces by booking through the venue’s on-site caterer Patina Restaurant Group, a Michelin-starred favorite of the Hollywood set. The space is truly impressive, and the menu is bound to memorable.
Straz Center for the Performing Arts
From Broadway hits like Mean Girls and Miss Saigon to powerful operas such as Carmen and interactive events like Latin Nights salsa classes, the Straz Center for the Performing Arts is the cultural heartbeat of Tampa’s Riverwalk. This waterfront venue offers several event spaces for couples who want to wed in one of their indoor or outdoor settings, such as Maestros Restaurant, the outdoor Tent Pavilion overlooking the river and the soaring Ruth Silbiger Lobby of Carol Marsani Hall, which is right next door to the stage. Of course, those drama-loving couples who host their ceremony on-site are entitled to use rehearsal and dressing rooms before making their big debut on center stage.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Opened in the fall of 2016, the new Eccles Theater has quickly become a vital cultural center for Salt Lake City and beyond, bringing in touring Broadway shows, contemporary concerts, symphony orchestras and more. The $119 million building, designed by renowned architect Cesar Pelli, features a five-story grand lobby, flexible Regent Street black box theater and state-of-the-art Delta Performance Hall. The latter is by far the most striking venue in the dramatic facility. The 2,4000-seat theater, which has featured acclaimed shows like Book of Mormon, draws on Utah’s natural beauty with warm hues of the state’s southern deserts and a ceiling lit with an iridescent star field. It’s pretty hard to beat.