Cave weddings: super amazing, and super affordable?

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Stephen's Gap
(Photo courtesy of Nathan Williams)

Lately, I've been hearing about more cave and cavern weddings. The above photo from Brinabat's amazing wedding is just one example…

Here's another great example:


Location & date of wedding: Ash Cave, Hocking Hills, OH — 14 November 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: What wasn't offbeat!?

  • It was in the middle of the forest, in a cave, at sunrise.
  • The actual wedding and reception (not counting clothes) was under $100.
  • Most of the decorations and what we wore were vintage. So, I really didn't need to spend much because I used lots of inherited depression glass and jewelry.



  • We handed out save the date business cards that I handmade with the url to our site en lieu of invites.ceremony
  • It was open invitation.
  • The food was home made by friends & family.
  • We had a traditional registry and a honeymoon registry, so we got a completely free honeymoon!
  • We hired a fashion photographer instead of a wedding photographer. We also had five other professional and freelance photographers and videographers.
  • Although I had bridesmaids, it was more of a gesture. I gave them no requirements.
  • No processional.
  • Before the wedding, there was a breakfast reception to allow people to mingle and warm up.
  • We walked each other down the aisle – an Irish tradition.
  • My dress was light blue (an Irish tradition but also a bit Alice) and tea length. It was custom made using vintage fabric.
  • the groom played Irish fiddle to welcome everyone and devanna sang to close.
  • My flowers were monochromatic — they were all shades of green, organic, and locally grown.
  • I wore my hair down in finger waves.


Our biggest challenge: The hardest part was NOT being married to my groom.

sunrise ceremonyChanging everything and planning a wedding in three months was daunting. We were planning a much later wedding, but I'm disabled and My groom wanted to start taking care of me. Honestly though, it wasn't hard. It was just a bit “Ack, how in the world will I plan this?” for maybe a day. If you actually trust who you're with, it's not really that scary.

Other than that, my only issue was a friend giving me the you'll see's. Ariel hit the nail on the head with that one.

My favorite moment: Walking down the aisle.

Our “aisle” was actually a winding quarter mile trail through the woods. We walked together to the wedding. This is an old Irish tradition. Mid-way through our walk, my groom stopped us and prayed. That was such a beautiful moment for me. It was gorgeous to see the sun rise through the fog and trees, leaves all over the ground, the water fall and hearing Irish fiddle echoing all around. It was perfection.


My offbeat advice: When we discussed our wedding, we both asked each other, if nobody but the two of us attended our wedding, what would it be like? Oddly enough both of us had imagined getting married in a forest, but thought it would be impossible to do. It wasn't.


Another important thing to do is REMEMBER. People get so stressed about planning that they forget and get distracted. If you keep plans simple, you'll enjoy yourself. I also made it a point to keep the week of the wedding fairly free of any activities. And the night before the wedding, I focused on how blessed i was and meditated on the seriousness of what I was embarking on. Going to bed early really helped.

Also, don't become a burden to those who care about you. Demanding everyone buy matching outfits and bend to your will puts un-needed stress on everyone. We didn't ask anyone to wear or do anything but arrive on time. People stepped up and helped us without us having to ask for anything. People will show their true colors. Just let them.


Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

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Comments on Cave weddings: super amazing, and super affordable?

  1. WHAT! This is yet another “why didn’t I think of that?” moment. You can get married in caves!

  2. I SERIOUSLY thought about that when visiting Luray caverns (in VA) a couple of years ago, but sadly all the Valium in the world wouldn’t get my claustrophobic father into a cave.

    • My fiancé and I, had the same thought while visiting Luray Caverns last summer. Except we have no claustrophobic relatives, so we are getting married in Luray Caverns in September 2019!

  3. Wow, Im torn between my love of nature and my fear of cannibal mutant rat people….

    • I see someone else watched the movie “The Descent.” My thoughts exactly, LMBO!!

  4. what a great idea!!! you always open our eyes to such great ideas! thanks Ariel!

  5. Holy crap, indeed.
    No one told me about caves! Someone needs to make a public service announcement. Or rather, I wish THIS public service announcement had come sooner.

  6. YES! I love the whole goddess/yonic imagery of marriage in a dark, wet cavern… not to mention the matching dork-lamps in the last photo.

  7. We really wanted to do this until we realised one little detail… 90% of our families are quite claustrophobic!!! I recommend for any Aussie Brides wanting to do this- there is a cave called the Cathedral Chamber with brilliant acoutstics for weddings!

  8. Ariel,
    I gotta say I am really hoping you do a profile on Brinbat. Her dress is amazing, the photos are gorgeous and the cave setting is fantastic. And I love her hiking boots – even more than I love Fluevogs.

  9. that first photo is soooooooooo striking! i am not really a nature person, but that makes ME start to consider getting married in the caves…

  10. Wooohoooo!! So fun to see my fun cave wedding up on your site!

    One thing though – the Nathan Williams link is the wrong person. (Eeeeek!) His site is Realms of Reality – you can also look him up on Flckr too – where he has current caving photos.

  11. I’m definitely diggin’ the cave wedding thing. It sounds like such a neat idea!

  12. I JUST recently drove by Luray Caverns in western VA, and for a split second I wondered what a wedding in the caverns would be like. Now I see the vision!

  13. ok, i wish i
    A. lived near caves
    B. had the guts to go in one

    those are AWESOME!

  14. The couple in the second picture is just darling. I love her dress… and Fairyland Caverns — how fabulous!!!

  15. I’m planning a cave wedding myself! I didn’t know it was becoming a popular thing, that’s great. My fiance and I love caves and we live in Missouri, which is full of them.

  16. i had a cave wedding in the show caves in wales we dressed as the flintstones was great day very memorable and funny

  17. My fiance and I decided to go the cave wedding route about two months ago. We’re going to be married in Howe Caverns. 🙂 I didn’t realize it was so popular.

  18. As of yesterday (yay!) we’re planning to have our wedding in the show caves in Wales. I’m so excited. It’s lovely to see others choosing to marry underground 🙂

  19. For my and my husband’s 1st wedding anniversary, we went down to Kentucky to stay in a b&b, go to mammoth caves, and see the other caves in the area. One cave, which was called “lost river cave” in bowling Green had this absolutely stunning carved historic nightclub/speakeasy in the mouth of the cave; they initially built it because it had natural AC, being in the mouth of the cave. It has a large flat area, and built-in stage and bar. Because the group that runs the cave is a non-profit, having parties in that area is one way they fund cleaning up the cave (it was used as a garbage dump for a long time). It was so stunning and unique, I got a bit jealous that we have nothing like it in WI! Someone from that area needs to have their wedding there, and post it on offbeat brides so I can live vicariously through you 🙂 I honestly just want to see more picture like the above 🙂

  20. Oh, and I’m gonna be zoologist killjoy here, but warning for people in America getting married in caves; if you go very far into the cave, or if you know that the cave has bats, ask people to clean their shoes- especially the bottoms (and maybe their clothes, depending) before going to caves in other areas to reduce the spread of white-nose syndrome. I realize with weddings you guys will probably only be right in the mouth of the cave and wedding guests probably won’t run immediately to another cave, but you never know, especially if people (you, photographers, videographers, etc) are exploring the caves themselves. Also, please be mindful of flora and fauna in the cave before entering; artificial light, and any chemicals you bring in can affect them. If you want to know what precautions to take, or about the conditions of the cave you are utilizing, you can check with your local DNR or nature center. White-nose syndrome is an incredibly pervasive disease that is devastating bat populations across the US (see the maps of where caves are affected below). Bats are sorely needed for pollination, so if the bats go, we could too. For more info, see

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