Extreme Wedding Venues: Cave Wedding

For couples in search of a unique setting for their nuptials, caves can be the perfect venue. Read our guide to learn how to pull a cave wedding.

By Maggie Mahoney

 Cave Wedding
Photo by Shutterstock

The First Look ✨

  • Some of the benefits of cave weddings are stunning acoustics, constant temperature, cost, and unique natural features.
  • Explore four popular cave venue options in the U.S. that are spacious, affordable, and experienced in hosting weddings.
  • Remember to take advantage of your cave venue’s natural beauty and features and plan for logistical challenges in advance.

When we think of caves, images of dim, spacious cavern mouths, clusters of stalagmites and crystal-like stalactites, and ceilings adorned with bats probably come to mind. What we don’t often associate with caves are wedding scenes. But for off-beat couples in search of a unique and otherworldly setting for their adventure wedding, a cave wedding can be the perfect choice.

Extreme Wedding Venues: Cave Wedding Photo Credit // Shutterstock

The Historic Appeal of Caves

Caves have existed since primitive times and have played important roles in our human development. Our earliest ancestors used caves as shelters, and during ancient times, caves were even considered to have magical and mystical properties. Some of the first human fossils have been discovered in caves and cave drawings, etched in stone often thousands of years ago, provide some of the earliest forms of recording keeping, telling stories of primitive human life.

Benefits of Caves

In addition to their history, caves offer a wide variety of benefits to their visitors. Some of the top advantages to keep in mind are:

  • Quality acoustics that make it easy for sound to travel
  • A constant temperature inside, despite outdoor fluctuations
  • Individuality (unique rock formations, water features, and animal inhabitants)

In general, cave weddings are also budget-friendly. Couples can save money by not needing sound equipment and keeping decorations minimal (or having no decorations at all). The cost of using a cave for a wedding will vary, but often only costs a couple a few hundred dollars. For example, Rickwood Caverns State Park charges $400 for a cave wedding. Overall, in comparison to upscale or traditional venues, caves can be a massive bargain. These wedding savings can also roll over into the budget for the honeymoon.

Challenges to Consider

Despite the positive qualities of cave wedding venues, these natural settings are not without their challenges. Some obstacles to consider when planning your cave wedding are:

  • Dim lighting (caves can often be dark, so come prepared with tea lights, candles, or electricity solutions)
  • Lack of parking for friends and family (make sure there’s room for all your wedding guests)
  • Accessibility concerns for any disabled guests
  • Restroom access (you may need to rent portable toilets)
  • Seating inside caverns (you will probably need to rent chairs and prepare for uneven surfaces or have guests stand for the ceremony, unless you want to utilize rocks and the natural formation of the cave as seating)

Make sure to do your research when planning your cave wedding to ensure you can accommodate guests of all ability levels and solve logistical challenges like travel to and from the cave before the wedding day.

Choosing Your Cave Type

There’s an abundance of caves across the country from coast to coast, as well as overseas. But before you dive into specific venues, you may want to decide what type of cave you envision getting married in. There are ice caves and stone caves. There are landlocked caves and caves off of bodies of water like the ocean. Of all caves, there are seven types, the most common being solutional caves, or those made of soluble rock like limestone.

Best Cave Venues

Many cave venues have wedding packages, so planning your special day is as easy as selecting your package. If you want to be married in a cave that doesn’t have wedding accommodations already built in, planning for you and your SO will be a bit more intensive, but still do-able if you’re communicative and proactive.

Below are a few wedding-specific cave venues that would be ideal for your special day:

Longhorn Cavern State Park Located in Burnett County, Texas, Longhorn Cavern State Park is spacious enough to accommodate full-table seated receptions. Costs for using the cave range from $250 to $350.

Ash Cave This cave is located within Hocking Hills State Park in South Bloomingville, Ohio. The cave’s beautiful overhangs and waterfalls and indoor-outdoor setting make it picturesque. Not to mention it provides plenty of parking and handicap accessibility.

Ruskin Cave Found in Dickinson, Tennessee, Ruskin Cave is a stunning natural wonder, complete with a fountain. The venue has plenty of space and can seat up to 1,000 guests.

Bridal Cave at Thunder Mountain Park This cavern is located in Camdenton, Missouri and is a highly popular attraction in the Lake of the Ozarks. Over 3,000 weddings have been performed here and the costs range from $495 to $685.

Takeaways

If you plan to host a cave wedding, highlight the natural beauty of the cavern of your choice, keep decor minimal, make good use of the beautiful cave acoustics with a killer playlist, and don’t forget to think about any accessibility issues in advance of the celebration. With all these factors in mind and the guide above, you and your SO will be well on your way to stunning cave nuptials.

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