13 May 2024

Unique Wedding Venues in Norfolk

Your wedding venue is one of the most important choices you can make for your big day. After all, in years to come your guest may not remember your exact vows, who was there or what type of flowers you carried, but they will certainly remember where your wedding celebration took place. 

One key to success? Choosing a venue that’s as unique as your relationship. Your love doesn’t fit into a category, and neither do these destinations. No matter what you love, there’s a location to help you celebrate that and incorporate your interests into the occasion for your Norfolk, Virginia wedding. 

Locales for Lovers of …

Animals: Virginia Zoo

Take your love on the wild side by hosting your wedding at the Zoo. Take advantage of the venue’s grand event pavilion, featuring all the amenities of indoors but with a fresh perspective. To take your event to the next level, you can add on an animal encounter or train tickets, allowing guests to participate in a one-of-a-kind experience while celebrating your love.

Wedding at Virginia Zoo. @emilyweddings Instagram

Architecture: NEON House

This two-story event rental space in Norfolk’s NEON District blends historic industrial chic appeal with modern design elements. With multiple space options to hold your ceremony, cocktail hour and reception, the possibilities are endless to bring your vision to life. The studio features brick walls, exposed beans and an 18-foot glass garage door while the gallery boasts floor-to-ceiling brick walls, charming architectural details and tons of stunning natural light. 

Neon House wedding. Photo by @the.neon.house Instagram 

Art: Chrysler Museum of Art

For a couple immersed in the wonderful world of art, a wedding at the Chrysler Museum is a must. Whether you desire a small and understated affair or a large and extravagant reception, there is a space for you. Consider Huber Court, the museum’s magnificent atrium and their most impressive event space. Alternatively, the Perry Glass Studio provides an unforgettable experience for a seated dinner or stand-up reception, complemented by a live glass demonstration. 

@hhpva Instagram 

Barry Art Museum

Exchange vows under the stunning Dale Chihuly glass chandelier that hangs from the museum’s 40-foot ceiling. This ODU museum is available for night weddings. The first floor Sculpture Court seats 80, while the first and second floor encompass four galleries that can host up to 150 standing. Opt for the terrace for an outdoors ceremony or reception when reserved in combination with the Sculpture Court. Bonus: the terrace offers a dance floor and tenting for your big event. 

A Slover Library Wedding. @everlyafterevents Instagram 

Books: Slover Library

For couples who love to get lost in a good book, we can’t think of a more suitable venue than Norfolk’s architectural marvel, the Slover Library. Not your typical library by any means, Slover is a spectacular destination innovatively designed to create a vital and dynamic resource for Norfolk’s residents and visitors. Slover offers an array of spaces to accommodate groups up to 250.

A wedding ceremony at Norfolk Botanical Garden. @heather_hughes_photography Instagram 

Flowers: Norfolk Botanical Garden

Have you always dreamed of getting married among gorgeous blooms, in a secret garden-style hideaway or in the presence of lush landscapes and natural beauty? A Norfolk Botanical Garden wedding is like no other, encompassing 175 breathtaking acres. The garden is the ideal setting for a dream wedding, with 13 serene outdoor locations to choose from. From an intimate party of 20 to an extravagant affair for up to 400 guests, the garden has everything needed to make your love blossom. 

Hermitage Museum and Gardens

Tucked along the waterfront of the Lafayette River, the Hermitage Museum & Gardens features 12 acres of gardens and grounds. This Arts & Crafts style estate is an extremely popular Norfolk wedding spot, thanks to the views of the river, the majesty of the building and the grandeur of the grounds. Host your ceremony in the Rose Garden, the historic (and romantic) interior or on the sprawling central lawn. The Hermitage is suitable for parties of up to 200. 

Food: Four Eleven York

This elegant, beautiful and unique bed and breakfast with one of Norfolk’s most esteemed restaurants on-site is the ideal venue to host a rehearsal dinner, wedding reception or all three. The restaurant can accommodate 28 guests for a rehearsal dinner they’ll never forget, and the outdoor courtyard can hold up to 24 guests seated or up to 50 for a gathering. Four Eleven York is a true Norfolk treasure and ideal for intimate weddings focused on a love for one another and an adoration for unmatched cuisine. 

History: Woman’s Club of Norfolk

Located in the historic Martin Mansion (a 10,000-square-foot, 21-room Georgian revival built in 1909), the Woman’s Club of Norfolk is a stately and historic venue for couples who can appreciate the finest details and simple elegance of yesteryear. Celebrate the night away as dignitaries, celebrities and many presidents once did during the golden age of the Roaring Twenties. Create an extraordinary memory for you and up to 100 guests that will be recounted for years to come. 

@rovercruises Instagram 

Nautical: City Cruises / American Rover

Yes, that’s correct. You can join together in matrimonial bliss aboard one of City Cruise Experience’s two ships. Choose from daytime, sunset or nighttime ceremonies and dance the night away just offshore as the lights of Norfolk twinkle, adding to the magic of the evening. City Cruises hosts ceremonies, receptions, rehearsal dinners and other wedding-week events to get your whole crew into the maritime spirit. Packages include multi-hour cruises with meals, cake cutting, champagne toasts, cocktails and service staff to make the most of your day. Likewise, the American Rover sailboat can accommodate up to 100 guests for a dual ceremony/reception, along with a full bar, catering and DJ services. 

Weddings That Take Center Stage

If your love is the stuff that great stories are made of, go ahead and make your day a production for everyone to see. These locales will provide all the theatrics (but none of the drama) needed to produce a truly show-stopping event. 

Attucks Theatre

The Attucks Theatre was built in 1919 as a mecca for entertainment and commerce in the heart of the city’s minority community, much like New York’s Harlem. In its heyday, it was even dubbed the Apollo of the South. Today, the Attucks’ ornate interior and storied history as being the oldest remaining theater in the country that was financed, designed, constructed and operated by African Americans make it an exceptional venue to start a journey together. For intimate settings, the Lower Banquet Room can accommodate receptions up to 190. For larger celebrations, the Upper Banquet Room can hold receptions up to 400. 

Chrysler Hall

Conveniently located on St. Paul’s Boulevard Downtown, Chrysler Hall has set the stage for some of Norfolk’s top performances and Broadway shows. Make your wedding the main event by taking advantage of the venue’s rich decor and glorious chandeliers. The main lobby and two-level grand hall can accommodate bistro tables and buffet serving tables, while the dress circle will hold up to 450 for standing cocktails and 250 for a seated dinner. 

Granby Theater

The historic Granby Theater has been renovated into a beautiful venue for private events, including weddings. Originally opened in 1916, Granby Theater still maintains its historic beauty with crystal chandeliers, tall ceilings, gold leaf trimmed walls, velvet curtained stage and more. Enjoy superior service along with the classical ambiance and unique characteristics the theater has to offer, making your event one-of-a-kind. 

Harrison Opera House

Start your marriage on a high note at Harrison Opera House, a premiere facility for elegant affairs. Dramatic towers frame the dynamic facade and enclose an elegant staircase to the grand foyer and balcony levels. A three-story grand lobby with cantilevered balcony lobby, floor-to-ceiling windows and grand chandeliers makes the perfect setting for a wedding that’s dramatic in all the right ways. The grand lobby on the second floor can accommodate up to 350 guests for cocktails, up to 225 for a seated dinner and up to 210 with a dance floor. 

@abbiewg Instagram 

Wells Theatre

Even when a wedding isn’t happening, there’s something about the Wells Theatre that’s timelessly romantic, an intimate glimpse into the gilded age of days gone by. The intricate design of this magnificent historical theater adds a touch of extravagance to events held here, particularly weddings. The handsomely appointed facility can host receptions up to 250 and banquets up to 75.

@valerie.demo Instagram

Venues With Brews

Love hanging out at Norfolk’s breweries? Who doesn’t? In fact, your guests would quite enjoy the laid-back, welcoming vibe at some of the city’s most beloved breweries, not to mention the never-ending supply of craft beers. Consider one of these venues to host your rehearsal dinner or wedding. 

Bold Mariner Brewing Company

You already love the vibe of Bold Mariner’s wraparound porches and laid-back leisure in Norfolk’s Ocean View neighborhood, so why not make it your venue? Reserve the second floor of this beautiful brewery (and the porch as well for an additional fee) and plan to bask in their wide open space with walls of windows and gorgeous hardwood floors. Take advantage of BAR-Q’s full catering menu, plus your favorite Bold Mariner beverages stocked to your delight. 

Elation Brewing

For lovers simply elated to tie the knot, Elation Brewing offers stunning architectural details as the backdrop of a perfect day. A completely exposed brick wall, plenty of windows offering bursts of natural light and nearly 90-foot bowstring trusses are just a few of the visual elements that couples can look forward to. Meanwhile, their stellar assortment of beers are sure to please the palate of each guest. 

Smartmouth Brewing Company

Another one of Norfolk’s OG breweries, Smartmouth is ready to host receptions in thea most wonderful way. Consider their climate-controlled tasting room for up to 50 guests or their warehouse space that can accommodate up to 160 people. Best of all, you’ll have dedicated beertenders, Smartmouth’s full selection of beers on tap, choice of streaming music station and the option to provide your own food or hire a caterer or food truck. 

The Veil Brewing Co.

Whatever it may be, “The Veil Made Me Do It.” This iconic neon sign of Norfolk’s top-notch brewery in the Railroad District is a favorite photo spot among wedding guests and couples, but there’s also way more reasons to consider The Veil as a place for vows. Their third floor private event space is a coveted location with a surprisingly grand view of the city. Holding up to 100 guests, it’s the perfect vibe away from all the hustle and bustle if you want to have your wedding in a brewery without feeling like you’re in a brewery. The Veil offers catering from their in-house restaurant and their event coordinator will help you iron out any and all details. 

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