It’s not hard to find a lovely place to get married in SoCal. Private clubs, estates, chic restaurants and hip lofts are just a stone’s throw from anywhere. But not everyone rolls with wedding day traditions. Whether you’re looking to lean out of the box or kick convention to the curb altogether, LA offers plenty of options for tying the knot in your own unique style.
The Silent Movie Theater
611 N. Fairfax AvenueLos Angeles, CA 90036
This is the perfect choice for movie buffs and theater geeks. Your guests will munch popcorn while you say your vows in one of Hollywood’s most apropos historical sites, a restored deco-style theater complete with a red carpet, your name on the marquee and a Spanish Patio for receptions (did I mention the popcorn?). Whether you’re going for old Hollywood glamour, Goth, Steampunk or romantic vintage, the folks at Cinema are happy to help you stage a real show stopper and will even bust out the karaoke and big screen video games for extra reception fun. Plus, you’ll be helping support a little bit of Hollywood history.
1000 Elysian Park AveLos Angeles, CA 90012
Whether you’re inviting 50 or 100,000 to witness your “I dos,” Dodger Stadium’s got you covered. This major league venue offers a surprising number of VIP reception options from the Dugout Club, the Dodger Martini Lounge and the Stadium Club. Heck, you can even serve Dodger Dogs for the complete baseball experience. But let’s face it; it’s the stadium itself that makes this an awe-inspiring locale for fans and nonfans alike. And having your first married kiss over home plate? Talk about a home run!
5464 Wilshire Blvd.Los Angeles, CA 90036
If your love for each other is rivaled only by your mutual passion for all things Harry Potter, this witch and wizard wonderland is sure to cast a love spell on soon-to-be marrieds. Recently relocated from Santa Monica to this more spacious location, Whimsic Alley has been likened to Harry Potter World in Orlando. Sure it’s mainly an over the top shopping opportunity — guests can stock up on magic wands, striped ties and potions. But it’s the replica of Hogwart’s Great Hall replete with floating candles that will make your wedding truly magical.
For more about Whimsic Alley, see our recent article “Magic on Wilshire Boulevard.”
The Culver Studios
9336 Washington Blvd.Culver City, CA 90232
Those with an A-list budget might consider starring in their own wedding masterpiece at this tucked-away historic movie studio where they filmed the original “King Kong”, “Citizen Kane” and “Gone With The Wind,” not to mention “Deal or No Deal.” Stretch out on the lawn of Tara, dance through the streets of New York or completely transform a soundstage into your fantasy location for 1,000 of your closest friends. They don’t call Hollywood the “dream factory” for nothing.
If you’re confident enough to risk being shown up by cuddly koalas and cheeky chimps, then a wildlife wedding may be perfect for you. The folks at the LA Zoo are pros at helping you arrange a picture perfect event, small or large, indoors or out. You can even pick a themed location – Adventure Island, Treetop Terrace, Zoopendous Center and Ludden Plaza. The fee includes trams in and out of the zoo and for evening weddings when the zoo is closed, trainers may allow “animal contact.”
Forest Lawn Memorial Park
1712 S. Glendale AveGlendale, CA 91205
6300 Forest Lawn Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90068
“Eww! It’s a cemetery,” you say. Exactly. Think about it — cemeteries are usually quite beautiful and Forest Lawn is especially picturesque, not to mention tying in nicely with the whole “Til Death Do Us Part” thing. There are two sites, Glendale and Hollywood Hills, each featuring lovely little chapels (Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman got married in one in 1940), various reception spaces and reasonable prices. You’ll need to plan ahead – the churches are usually booked 6 months out. For those hoping for an outdoor ceremony, please note that burials take priority.
Noelle Wright is a freelance writer in Santa Monica.