Want to get married in a unique venue that almost feels like you’re stepping back in time? Consider getting married or having your wedding reception aboard a train! Trains take us back to a romantic, slower-paced era, so it’s a perfect, yet unique venue for tying the knot.
Which trains might you consider for your wedding?
Skunk Train – Mendocino Coast, California
Traveling at 29 miles per hour, the Skunk Train takes you and your wedding guests on the same northern California coastal “Redwood Route” that it has traveled since 1885. Leaving from the train station at Fort Bragg or Willits, California, the train takes your wedding party to either the Camp Mendocino Dining Hall, or the Northspur outdoor reception site, a remote outdoor site set amongst the towering redwoods, for a truly unforgettable wedding adventure.
The Skunk Train staff works with many local entertainers, so you have the option of providing live entertainment for your guests while aboard the train. Local entertainment includes the Skunk Train’s famed “Trainsinger,” as well as jazz bands, big bands, and rock bands. And, for great wedding photos, nothing beats the open observation train cars. Of course, the train pulls covered cars as well.
For those unfamiliar with the Mendocino area, it is truly breathtaking, punctuated by meadows, towering redwood forests and rocky cliffs. For more information about weddings aboard the Skunk Train, call 530-666-6781.
Napa Valley Wine Train – Napa Valley, California
Napa Valley, California is known as a great wine producing region of California, so it’s only natural that any wedding taking place in the Napa Valley includes wine. If you’re a wine buff, gourmet diner and train enthusiast, you may want to consider a wedding or reception aboard The Napa Valley Wine Train, a three-hour round-trip rail and gourmet dining adventure from the town of Napa to St. Helena. While on board, your guests can be treated to views of vineyards and wineries from restored train cars dating back to 1915-1947. Wineries you will pass by include such fine labels as Trefethen, Clos du Val, Cardinale, Domaine Chandon, Neibaum/Coppola and Grgich Hills.
You have your choice of three dining car experiences: the Vista Dome is a glass-domed rail car which can seat groups up to 56; the Silverado Grill is a casual dining car with sliding windows, which can seat groups up to 54; one of the Gourmet Express Pullman dining cars from 1915 – 1917. If you have a large wedding party you can charter the Gourmet Express, Vista Dome and Silverado Grill for up to 370 people. For Group information, call 707-253-0920.
Roaring Camp Railroad – Felton, California
Yet one more California wedding rail adventure, the Roaring Camp Railroads operates out of Felton, California, which is just north of Santa Cruz. The Roaring Camp Railroad offers wedding events at their camp, as well as Cathedral Grove, located on Bear Mountain, which is accessible by a vintage steam train. While at the Cathedral Grove site, couples exchange their vows underneath ancient, towering redwoods. For more information regarding wedding parties, call 831-335-4484.
Sugar Cane Train – Maui
We’re leaving California now and heading to Maui, a favorite wedding spot for couples around the world. Maui, of course, is famous for its beaches. But, if you’re a train buff you’re also in luck, as Maui is also home to the Sugar Cane Train which can transport your wedding party along a six-mile scenic journey between Lahaina and Kaanapali. You can call toll free at 800-499-2307 for more information.
Spirit of Washington – Renton, Washington
The Spirit of Washington operates out of Renton, Washington, which is southeast of Seattle, and has the distinction of traveling over the historic Wilburton Trestle, which is the longest wooden trestle in the Northwest at 975 feet long and 102 feet high. Should you choose a wedding or reception on the Spirit of Washington, you will be treating yourself and your guests to great dining, as well as a scenic ride along Lake Washington, over the Wilburton Trestle, and into one of Washington’s best wine growing regions, with a winery stopover at Columbia Winery. Call 800-876-7245 for more information on wedding parties on the Spirit of Washington.
Grand Canyon Railway – Williams, Arizona
If you haven’t been to the Grand Canyon, you absolutely must. And if you’ve already been, go again, this time by train. You embark The Grand Canyon Railway at their depot in Williams, Arizona for the 2-hour, 15-minute train trip to the Grand Canyon, all the while being entertained by cowboy characters and strolling musicians. This unique wedding venue is definitely one to consider if you have children in your wedding party.
You have the option of chartering a car on the train for your wedding party, and have the choice of five classes of train service, rim tours, entertainment and food options. Prices start at $2,000 for seating of 88 people in coach class, and $7,500 for a seating of 65 people in luxury parlor car. Call 1-800-843-8723 for information on group seating.
If you want a unique wedding venue your guests will talk about for years to come, you definitely should consider train travel. It’s romantic, relaxing, and nostalgic, and suitable for guests of all ages.