Igloo Elopement

Unique Sites For Small Weddings

February 26, 2021
Words by Meredith Strodel
Photos courtesy of

With so many weddings put off last year, smaller events are forging on, and couples are getting creative with where they host ceremonies and receptions. With fewer people in attendance, weddings are taking place in never-before-considered venues and unique outdoor spaces with stunning backdrops. 

Pop-Up Igloos 

Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, MN has turned its popular pop-up igloos—typically reserved for warm, intimate meals with close friends—into a wedded winter-wonderland for couples to enjoy on their special day. A recent wedding at the historic lakeside retreat had a couple and their closest friends and family cozying up in the charming igloos, set against the picturesque backdrop of the resort’s expansive grounds. The igloos are heated and can seat up to six people, with blankets and food and beverage service provided by the hotel staff. They’re a perfect option for small wedding parties and a truly unique venue, ideal for socially distanced affairs.

Wilderness Weddings

At Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, AZ, one of America’s original, old-time cattle and guest ranches, couples have the opportunity to be wed in a natural archway of trees on one of the property’s nearby hiking trails. The Mesquite Arch is located just off of the Cottonwood Grove, enveloped by Cottonwood Trees. This brilliant, beautiful archway creates the perfect vision for photos.

Similarly, the hotel’s Old Homestead sits upon a hill overlooking Tanque Verde Ranch. In the early 1930s, this stone building was constructed for the ranch’s owner, Jim Converse, and his wife to reside in. Today, it continues to stand strong nestled atop the property, symbolizing the rich history of a still working dude ranch. A unique venue, the Old Homestead creates a true historical ranch backdrop for weddings with incredible photo opportunities.


In Santa Barbara County Wine Country, Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground offers themed cabins, cottages, and lodges, in addition to several glamping options, including restored airstreams, vintage trailers, safari tents and tiki tents. The property’s Santa Ynez Guest Ranches is a favorite choice for couples looking for privacy in the great outdoors. With charming decor and elevated amenities, this private community within the “glampground” is perfect for buyouts with its own pool and bocce court

Luxury Home Rentals

For couples dreaming of a wedding destination that feels like their own “home away from home,” private vacation rentals are just the answer. These iconic, luxury residences are an ideal place to host weddings and bunk up with the wedding party. With picturesque backdrops, catering and on-site events teams, all the wedding needs are taken care of.

Suncadia Resort, a 6,400-acre all-season resort community 80 miles outside Seattle, is a true outdoor paradise, offering over 85 unique homes available for rent with large back patios accompanied by the golf course or mountain views. Several wedding packages are available to choose from, providing everything from family-style meals, bartenders, floral arrangements, dessert options and much more.

If it’s white-sand beaches you’re after, Punta Mita introduced a collection of 40 luxury residential vacation villas. This resort and real estate community in Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit offers homes that range in size from two- and three- bedrooms flats to spacious five- to eight-bedroom villas with private beach access. With a unique and luxurious experience with world-class resort amenities, couples also have access to Punta Mita’s experienced staff, who can customize the wedding of your dreams in the comfort of a private home. 

Images courtesy of: Grand View Lodge (1st); Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground (2nd); Suncadia Resort (3rd); Punta Mita (4th)

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