The wedding ceremony is where two individuals unite to become one. Choosing
the location for this event would seem a simple task, but it's actually one that
requires much planning and coordination, especially if a non-traditional
ceremony is being planned.
Many couples will hold the wedding ceremony at a house of worship, usually one that the bride, the groom, or some other family member attends. When this is the case, selecting the location is fairly easy, provided the date is available. But what happens when the bride- and groom-to-be are of different denominations? More tricky still, how is the situation handled when the couple doesn't have any religious affiliation?
That's when the couple needs to get together to discusses their wedding ceremony location options. And there are many. Selecting the location of the ceremony should happen well in advance of the wedding date, up to 12 months if possible. If you wait too long to reserve the location, you may find it's already booked.
Besides a house of worship, wedding ceremony locations
can be practically anywhere – at home, at a country or yacht club, outdoors at a
local, national or state park, on a yacht, on a tropical island, at a
mountaintop retreat, in a medieval castle, at Disney World – you name it, it's
probably capable of accommodating a wedding ceremony.
Before selecting a location, however, you've got to make sure it'll accommodate your needs. Is the location large enough to accommodate all your guests? Are dressing rooms available? Are there electrical outlets for acoustics and/or music? Is the location easily accessible, especially for those with special needs? Can you find someone to officiate at the location?
The amount you'll pay will vary from location to location. When you're finding out the costs, be sure to ask what is included with the price. Make sure the items mentioned are written out on the contract, too. You'll likely be asked to provide a deposit to reserve the date. This needs to be reflected on the contract as well as the balance amount and due date.
There's more to consider about the wedding ceremony
than just the location. The music and the vows need special attention,
especially if you wish to break out of the 'traditional' mode. The music may be
included with the location. For example, oftentimes a church will use its own
organist. However, if your budget allows, you may wish to write your own wedding
songs and hire a soloist and accompanist to perform them. Or you can hire
musicians to match the theme of your wedding. If these types of arrangements are
in your budget, be sure to reserve the talent far in advance, right after you've
secured the wedding ceremony location.
You can also write your own vows or make modifications to traditional vows. This puts a truly personal touch on the event. Just be sure to give a copy of your version of the vows to the person officiating so that everyone knows what to say.