Get Hitched! 10 More Places to Get Married in Memphis
Way back in 2011, there was this post about 10 places to get married in Memphis. It’s time to add to it. Here are numbers 1-10 from the original list (click here for photos and descriptions). Below that, I have another ten Memphis wedding and reception venue ideas that go beyond the boring banquet hall.
1. National Ornamental Metal Museum
2. Lichterman Nature Center
3. Cadre Building
4. Elmwood Cemetery
5. Stax Museum of American Soul Music
6. Brooks Museum of Art
7. Hi-Tone Cafe
8. Central Station
9. Center For Southern Folklore
10. Memphis Botanic Gardens
Part 2: Uniquely Memphis/Mid-South Places To Get Hitched
If you want the art gallery feel but have a large guest list, 409 South Main is your go-to place. It’s spacious, and it has two stories, wood floors, and a nice staircase if you feel the need for a grand entrance. It’s in the South Main district, a plus if you like a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Go here to read more on the history of 409 S. Main and to see the photo-ready mural on the side of the building.
12. A Schwab (163 Beale St.)
If you haven’t wandered into the refreshed A. Schwab general store/soda fountain on Beale in a while, you need to. It has all of the same hodgepodge charm, but now it’s much less, well, dusty. The second floor has a big open room with a small stage for events, and I can’t imagine anything cuter than post-wedding pictures at the old-fashioned soda fountain.
While there aren’t a ton venues in Midtown, The Atrium is a newish one in Overton Square. It’s an open room on the second floor of the main building (right by the big wind chimes) and has been completely restored with Art Deco-style metal arches and glasswork. There’s natural light if you’re doing a daytime affair, and the dressing rooms are pretty fancy, too. You may also have access to the Tower Courtyard, and parking will be no issue with the garage nearby.
In my previous life as a writer-of-wedding-stories (crazy, I know) I described the Dixon as the perfect place for a small- to medium-sized garden party weddings and receptions. I stand by this. There’s a little indoor space (see above) and the galleries, of course, but the best part is the variety of options for outdoor areas, i.e., different gardens with all kinds of seasonal blooms. The Dixon is good for spring, summer, or early fall weddings, it’s versatile, and it’s very Memphis.
I’ll admit my bias now: Heartwood Hall and its owner, Denise, are two of my favorite places and people, respectively. The antebellum mansion is stunning outside and inside and the grounds are immaculate, but everything still manages to feel hospitably relaxed and charming. Heartwood Hall has history, and Denise spared no expense when authentically restoring the home and property (it was almost condemned). The location is far out of the way of Memphis proper, in Piperton, but you’ll put Pinterest to shame with a wedding in the mansion, rose garden, or the big barn.
While the Peabody will always be the place for grand Southern affairs, the Madison Hotel is perfect if you need something more contemporary and fresh. You can exchange vows on the roof with perhaps the best views Memphis, have a cocktail hour in their swanky lobby lounge, dance the night away under the stars, take photos in their super cool bank vault, then head upstairs to your honeymoon suite.
If you’re looking for a straight-up Southern farm for your wedding weekend, Maple Grove Farm in Collierville has all the charming chapels, rustic white fences, lovely lawns, fountains, and mid-pond gazebos a couple could wish for. It’s kind of like a country wedding wonderland. The grounds are so large, it’s really up to you how you’d want to use the space, no matter the size of your guest list.
Do you want to get married on a rock in the middle of the sea lion exhibit? What about in a rustic lodge with bears and wolves right outside? In a Chinese garden while pandas chomp on bamboo? Of course you do! In all seriousness, the Memphis Zoo is one of the best in the U.S. and has several locations on the property for ceremonies and receptions, i.e. the Teton Trek, Northworst Passage, China Exhibit, front entrance by the water features…the list goes on. The animals aren’t actually out and about in the evenings, but the facilities are unique and weddings at the Zoo are some of the best and most comfortable I’ve attended, venue-wise.
Propcellar in the Broad Avenue District will not only provide you with seriously one-of-a-kind decor, but also a place to have your reception in their warehouse. The industrial space is a bit of a blank slate, which seems perfect for a venue that can set you up with anything from Victorian sofas to antique chandeliers to vintage china place settings. Keep your eye on this one if you’re planning a long engagement – the Propcellar team is planning some upgrades to the space in the next year or so.
Tie the knot on Memphis’ original Millionaires Row. The Woodruff Fontaine house is a French Victorian mansion built in 1870 in what we now call Victorian Village. It’s been restored in the last few years and the interior is full of absolutely gorgeous stained glass, grand staircases, and antique furnishings, and the front and back lawns are lovely, especially when in full bloom. In keeping with the Victorian vibe, Mollie Fontaine Lounge across the street would make a lovely rehesarsal dinner or engagement party space.
This is just a short list – there are a ton of unique places in Memphis to get married. Other ideas: ask your favorite restaurant if you can rent out a private room for the reception (lots of restaurants are doing this now). Ask the owner of that building or outdoor space that you love if you can get married there. Just make sure the food is good, the music is awesome and the bar is open – people will have fun no matter what.