Love is in the air, and here in the Valley of the Sun, wedding season is more of a year-round thing. While we can't tell you what dress to wear, who should be on the guest list, or whether you should write your own vows, we can point you in the right direction of where to put it all together. Between museums, resorts, and art galleries, there are plenty of prime places to put a ring on it in metro Phoenix. Here are our top 25.
When longtime events company Angelic Grove finally opened its own warehouse venue last year, the downtown Phoenix wedding scene was taken to a whole new level. The Croft offers more than 10,000 square feet of space, including a reception area and ceremony room, which can each hold up to 350 people, as well as an outdoor garden patio. After more than 15 years in the events industry, Angelic Grove brings staging to the forefront of each event with in-house floral designs and a selection of decor so vast, there's another warehouse just to store it all. Catering, music, valet parking, and more is available through a list of preferred vendors on The Croft's website.
MonOrchid has made a name for itself, and not just as an art gallery. The 14,000-square-foot Roosevelt Row warehouse can be easily manipulated to accommodate parties of various sizes and styles thanks to rolling gallery walls, open spaces, and high-rafter ceilings. In house-catering is provided by Dressing Room Events, but the venue's liquor license is still pending (activation is expected in August of 2016, as soon as the adjoining Dress Room restaurant opens). Until then, the alcohol policy is BYOB, with optional bar services available. To find out more on MonOrchid, visit MonOrchid's website.
Musical Instrument Museum
The Musical Instrument Museum has become quite accustomed to playing love songs. The north Phoenix venue provides both indoor and outdoor settings for wedding ceremonies and celebrations. Featured spaces at MIM include the El Rio Atrium, Main Courtyard, Founders Room, and the Jill Dahlin Courtyard. The museum has in-house catering and more displayed instruments than you shake a drumstick at. Talk about some rocking wedding photos. For more information, visit the MIM online.
The Boulders has one of the most distinctive backdrops in the Valley and, as such, makes for some very memorable weddings. Marriage venues at the Carefree resort include Promise Rock (hosts between 60 and 130 guests), Cocopelli (hosts up to 150 guests), the Organic Garden (hosts up to 50 guests), and the Sonoran Ballroom inside the Main Lodge (hosts up to 100 guests). In addition to the scenic Southwestern setting, a wedding at this Waldorf Astoria hotel means in-house catering, on-site accommodations, and some much recommended pampering at the spa. Visit The Boulders online for details.
Different Pointe of View
Don't be surprised if you and your new spouse aren't the only things weddings guests are admiring. Different Pointe of View at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort is easily one of the resort's most popular wedding venues, thanks to its dramatic panoramic views of the Valley. Other perks of planning your wedding at this north Phoenix hotel include on-site golf, catering, and resort and spa accommodations. Visit the Different Pointe of View website for details.
Hotel Valley Ho
Matrimony gets Midcentury Modern at the Hotel Valley Ho. The beautifully restored 1950s hotel serves as a swanky setting for everything from photo shoots and ceremonies to retro receptions. Spaces at this Scottsdale hotspot include the SoHo Room, Valley Ho Room, Main Place Courtyard, Palm Court, and Sky Line Rooftop. Although the hotel offers its own food, drink, bar, spa, and accommodations, the location is central to old town Scottsdale so that, should your guests feel like venturing out, they have plenty of options available. For more on taking your nuptials to the Hotel Valley Ho, visit the Valley Ho's website or call 480-421-7725.
The Phoenix Zoo
Lions, and tigers, and bears — oh my. The Phoenix Zoo is a great venue for those in search of the exotic without the added expense of a destination wedding. The indoor-outdoor venue holds 15 on-site rental spaces including the Zebra Overlook, the Plaza De Los Niños (next to the Asian elephant exhibit), and the Orang-Hutan, which looks into the orangutan exhibit. The zoo is available for parties large and small, and it is probably your best chance at being the only one of your friends to have a giraffe photobomb your wedding album. Visit the Phoenix Zoo online for more information.
They don't get much more romantic than the Royal Palms. The luxury Phoenix resort features Mediterranean-style digs and lush floral accents ideal for couples seeking an upscale yet classic look. Wedding parties can be hosted in a number of intimate locations throughout the historic hotel, including the Alegria Garden, Vernadero Lawn, Jardin D'Amore, Estrella Salon, Palmera Salon, and the Orange Grove. Whether you're taking your vows or taking your honeymoon, the Royal Palms is all about doing it up. Visit Royal Palms online.
History buffs can find a soft spot in their hearts for Heritage Square. The downtown Phoenix venue features the iconic Victorian Rosson House, a small grassy outdoor park area, and a large pavilion ideal for hosting receptions. In addition to the square's own offerings, guests can also enjoy close proximity to such dining establishments as Pizzeria Bianco, Nobu at Teeter House, and, for a more casual cocktail hour, The Rose and Crown. For more details on planning a wedding at Heritage Square, visit Heritage Square online or call 602-261-8063.
The Japanese Friendship Garden
The Japanese Friendship Garden is one of the most green and gorgeous venues in downtown Phoenix — in fact, you'd might almost forget you're even in the city. But there is a catch to tying the knot at this scenic outdoor venue: It doesn't host receptions or really any events involving food and drink. Still, it's hard to say no to that garden backdrop. For details on arranging a photo shoot and/or a ceremony at the Japanese Friendship Garden, visit the Japanese Friendship Garden website.
They call it Sanctuary for a reason. The Paradise Valley resort that sits on Camelback Mountain manages to be in the heart of the Valley while still feeling like it's a million miles away. The high-end resort and spa is as reclusive as it is scenic, with views of Mummy Mountain and intimate spaces for saying "I do." Husbands- and wives-to-be can choose between several private settings including Paradise Views, Wedding Lawn, Sunset Garden, and Casa Montana, the private estate that sits above the resort and hosts a maximum of 40 people. For more on setting up your special day at the Sanctuary, visit Sanctuary's website.
Venue at the Grove
Not everyone's backyard wedding can be as picturesque as the movies. Lucky for us, Venue at the Grove knows how to set the stage. The Phoenix venue located in Harvest Groves gives private nuptials the personal feel of an at-home wedding with the professionalism of a banquet hall. To save its clients stress on the big day, Venue at the Grove offers all-inclusive packages to cover catering, music, cake, and decor. For details on how to throw a wedding at Venue at the Grove, visit Venue at the Grove online.
The Secret Garden in South Phoenix is actually no secret at all in the wedding community. The 1929 estate has hosted its fair share of nuptials — and it's not hard to see why. The venue has a storybook-like quality to it with chandeliers, fountains, garden areas, and a historic backdrop. Featured spaces here include the Wedding Garden, Traditions Pavillon, Hidden Garden, and Carriage House. For more information, visit the Secret Garden's website.
The Farm at South Mountain
You don't have to drive to the farthest outskirts of town to get a rustic-style wedding and farm-to-table dining. The Farm at South Mountain offers both while being conveniently located in south Phoenix. Weddings at the 10-acre property can be held at The Canopy, Stone Grove, and at the on-site restaurant, Quiessence. While it may not be the most weather-proof venue on the list, The Farm at South Mountain is ideal for those who enjoy fresh air and a fresh take on outdoor weddings in Phoenix. Visit The Farm online for more details.
Brides and grooms who dig the retro vibe can take their wedding to an old-school level with the help of The Duce. The downtown hang that operates as a bar, restaurant, retailer, and boxing gym, to name a few, also markets itself as a venue for corporate events and weddings. Here, weddings can get a little more laid back with a warehouse full of vintage throwbacks, mason-jarred cocktails, and hula-hoops on the dance floor. At The Duce, the motto is simple: "Party like it's 1929." Visit The Duce's website or call 602-866-3823.
At Boojum Tree, private events are the main priority. The colorful venue offers both seclusion and scenery with colorful walls, fountains, and beautiful greenery. Wedding parties can choose from several event packages including the Daisy, Tulip, Orange, and Bird of Paradise. Depending on the package you select, your ceremony and reception can be held in one or more of the Boojum's designated spaces such as the Outdoor Garden, Indoor Tropical Garden, Gazebo Garden, Mexican Cantina, and Old English Arbor. Boojum offers a list of recommended caterers. For more on the Boojum Tree, visit Boojum Tree online.
Old Main ASU
You and your loved one don't have to be Arizona State University alumni to appreciate the aesthetic of Old Main (although it would help you get a discount). The historic Tempe venue that predates Arizona's statehood is perfect for those who want a more traditional look for their big day and offers both indoor and outdoor rental spaces, including the Carson Ballroom and the Old Main Lawn. Couples can choose from several different wedding packages, which include catering and even a wedding cake. For details, visit Old Main's website.
Phoenix Art Museum
If you're looking to add some arts and culture to your wedding ceremony, you can do so with the help of Phoenix Art Museum. The modern venue has multiple options for couples getting married including the Rineberg Gallery, which can hold up to 200 guests, and the Cummings Great Hall, which holds a maximum of 500 guests. Weddings can be held inside and outdoors. Catering, while not provided in-house, is available through a list of recommended businesses. While the museum itself is lovely and centrally located, the best part about hosting a wedding here, is having the works of big-name artists hanging on the walls. (Prepare yourself for lots of wedding selfies.) For more information, visit Phoenix Art Museum online.
Desert Botanical Garden
For those who have a flair for flora, we can't think of a better option than the Desert Botanical Garden. The outdoor venue offers a number of scenic ceremony and reception settings including the Dorrance Center (300 to 400 guests), Binns Wildflower Pavillon (100 guests), Webster Center (150 guests), and Steele Herb Garden (75 guests). While the garden does not provide its own catering, it does ask wedding parties to choose from a list of pre-approved catering companies. On top of the hard-to-top floral backdrop for wedding photos, the garden also offers tours for wedding guests (note: they are not responsible if one of said guests has one too many cocktails and falls into a cactus). For more information, visit Desert Botanical Garden's website or call 480-481-8159.
Warehouse 215 at Bentley Projects
If you feel like ringing your wedding bells inside the warehouse district, Bentley Projects is accustomed to hosting a wide range of occasions. So much so that they've updated their urban art space to better accommodate the influx of industrial-style weddings. Now the venue is divided between Bentley Gallery and Warehouse 215, which on its own can hold up to 300 guests with 10,000 square feet of interior space and 1,500 square feet of landscaped patio. Warehouse 215 offers an aesthetic of vaulted ceilings and exposed brickwork, plus a list of preferred vendors and rental packages to help you set the mood just right. Visit Bentley Gallery online or call 602-340-9200 for details.
Clayton on the Park
This modern Scottsdale space is located right next to both Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza and Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture, which is one of our favorite places to take a selfie (or a professional wedding portrait). Contemporary couples who prefer the clean-cut looks of a neutral backdrop, natural lighting, and open space will be well suited at any one of the Clayton's available rental spaces, including the second-story gallery, the Clayton Room, and the Terrace. Room capacity ranges from 100 to 300 guests depending on the selected floor plans. Catering and bar service are provided by the venue, but additional wedding vendors can be brought in. To inquire further, visit The Clayton's website or call 480-990-7300.
For the architecturally-inclined couple, the Arizona Biltmore is a venue worth considering. The 1929 landmark hotel was designed by Albert Chase McArthur, who took much of his teaching and inspiration from the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright to create the intricate geometric patterns and block shapes that comprise the deco-style digs. Brides- and grooms-to-be can conduct their nuptials in a variety of scenic areas, including the the Cottage Court, the Paradise Garden, and the Squaw Peak Terrace, then bring the reception indoors with the help of the Aztec Room, the Gold Room, and the Grand Ballroom. If pre-wedding jitters are a concern, the Biltmore's on-site spa has special packages designed to put the blushing bride and her friends at ease. Visit the Arizona Biltmore website or call 602-955-6600.
There are many pros to getting hitched at this historic boarding school turned restaurant: a picturesque backdrop of Camelback Mountain, indoor and outdoor reception space, and in-house catering. At El Chorro, wedding parties can choose between the Casa Paloma Wedding Lawn, which hosts up to 300 guests, the smaller Classroom Event Lawn that fits 75 guests, or the intimate South Lawn, which seats parties of 50 or fewer. El Chorro also offers private dinning entertainment in a number of secluded rooms as well as inside the Classroom Bar and the Casa Paloma Pavilion. To find out more about planning your big day at this Paradise Valley venue, visit El Chorro online or call 480-948-5170.
We've got to hand it to chewing gum mogul William Wrigley, Jr. The man knew how to build a beautiful house — so much so that it continues to be used to this day as a wedding venue. The historic Wrigley Mansion is perched close to the Arizona Biltmore and offers lovely views of the Phoenix area. The mansion has 10 different rooms that can be rented for private events and can host parties ranging from 20 people to upwards of 1,500. For more information on how to make your wedding happen at the mansion, visit the Wrigley Mansion website.
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ASU Kerr Cultural Center
Old Main isn't the only ASU building up for marital grabs. The ASU Kerr Cultural Center is perfect for those in search of a historic venue. The adobe brick building with hand-carved wooden doors served as a music studio for composer Louise Lincoln Kerr upon construction in 1959. Now it houses concerts and other cultural events as well as wedding parties of up to 250 people. Couples can bring in their own choice of caterer and bartender. However, the venue is able to provide other aspects of the special affair such as seating, tables, and audio-visual. For more details on tying the knot at ASU Kerr Cultural Center, visit the Kerr Cultural Center website or call 480-213-0997.
Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version, which first appeared in February 2015.