Whilst popping bottles at the club, one rarely thinks, Yes, this is where I shall wed. But it's 2014, and with enough imagination, couples are finding they can marry just about anywhere — from their favorite Friday night hot spot to the most popular local brewery. Here are some unique venues couples have used to say "I do."
McGill Rose Garden
Between the bustling I-277 freeway and NoDa neighborhood is a secret garden. Once a coal yard, McGill has transformed into a living, breathing work of art, featuring sculptures and more than 1,000 roses, plants and herbs. Along with the occasional meditator and flora enthusiast, the rose garden hosts about 15 weddings a year, typically during the spring and fall. The 2.5 acres can comfortably fit between 10 and 120 guests, and the adjoining flower shop (naturally) offers arrangements. Plus, a nearby train's random schedule makes for a more, err, musical ceremony. For more information, email email@example.com.
Yes, that Label. The nightclub in the N.C. Music Factory has recently upped its wedding game, hosting one to two receptions and ceremonies a month. The club, which is divided into different-sized spaces, can host parties as small as 10 and as large as 400 between 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., when the space reverts to what it's really known as: one of Charlotte's largest clubs. Just because the wedding's over doesn't mean guests leave. President Lisa Bennett says about 60 percent stick around until 2 a.m. "It's all about the party and the after-party," she says. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
You've tried their beer, but have you tried their wedding venue? Adjacent to its "brauhaus" is Old Meck Brewery's "festhalle," a 1,700-square foot space that can accommodate parties as small as 40 and upwards of 140. Not only will you have immediate access to some of Charlotte's finest suds, but you can impress your buddies with all your craft-brew knowledge (sobriety not required). For more information, visit oldemeckbrew.com.
The Palmer Building
Built in the 1930s by members of the Charlotte Fire Department, the Palmer Fire School was purchased in 2003 by a developer who restored the historic building into a 3,800-square-foot reception space that can host up to 250 guests. The plot of land also features space for outdoor ceremonies.
What makes it a contender for this list — it's a fairly mainstream wedding venue — is the possibility that (in the right storyteller's hands) it could be haunted. During the renovation, construction workers found a child's toy — a tomahawk — that dates back to the '50s in a hallway. Photos taken during the renovation revealed floating white orbs that one of the subcontractors believed to be spirits. Historical records show no unusual deaths or previous ghost sightings in its history — in other words, there's no indication that the place could be haunted. But your guests don't have to know that. For more information, email email@example.com.