3 Dreamy Open-Air Spots to Get Married – rachael

Photo courtesy of Jordan Quinn Photography

3 Dreamy Open-Air Spots to Get Married

In partnership with our friends at Graff

Couples opting to tie the knot outdoors have the why down pat. Then comes the when—which can be tricky to pin down for myriad reasons (hello, rainy season and conflicting family schedules). But it’s the where that can feel near-impossible, given that wildly beautiful landscapes and exquisite properties abound in all fifty states. If you’re in search of inspiration, New Orleans, Napa and Sonoma Valleys, and Aspen all deliver on three wedding wants: great food, and a seriously good time for fifty or five hundred.

New Orleans

New Orleans is a gloriously eccentric, sultry city cloaked in hazy, hot glamour. In other words, for those contemplating a small wedding with a twist, it’s a no-brainer. Of the dozens of unexpected, steeped-in-history venues—many with lush, Spanish-moss-strewn grounds—the sculpture gardens at the New Orleans Museum of Art stands out. If all you’ve ever wanted is a courtyard wedding surrounded by dramatic tropical greenery, choose the Pharmacy Museum patio. Meanwhile, the plush guest rooms and great food at the Peter and Paul Hotel, the Chloe, and the just-opened Hotel Saint Vincent will inspire a hundred return visits for your guests.


No other mountain town marries (ha!) luxe and laid-back quite like Aspen. While sweeping ranches are not exactly hard to find here, we have it on good authority that T Lazy 7 and Chaparral Ranch are the top two for an open-air, Western-style wedding. (Both win bonus points for wild horses, views for days, and in Chaparral’s case, a lake that reflects the sky in the most stunning way.) The Sundeck at the Little Nell is all earthy elegance—at 11,212 feet—for the couple who want a sumptuous celebration with peak views. Wedding ceremony aside, the rehearsal dinner and choose-your-own-adventure day two are your chance to lean into Aspen’s ritzy-rustic vibe: oysters and champagne at Clark’s, Betula for a French-inspired supper, and a nightcap at Hotel Jerome.

Napa and Sonoma Valleys

The same siren song that draws gourmands and oenophiles to Napa and Sonoma—hillsides of emerald vines as far as the eye can see plus an ever-expanding roster of world-class restaurants—makes both valleys sublime settings for an alfresco ceremony. Scribe and Promontory lead the winery-as-wedding-venue pack with vistas, pretty patios, and vintages worth traveling for. We can’t wait to see what the freshly remodeled, romantically rustic Meadowood has in store when it comes to accommodations and amenities. Oh, and that meal at the Charter Oak you’ve been fantasizing about? Vow to do it now, with your nearest and dearest before the big day.

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