Have you seen the movie "Bride Wars"? Well if not, the movie basically centers around two best friends that are newly engaged who want to get married at the same venue on the same day, because both of them had been planning to get married at that specific place ever since they were little girls. Hopefully, choosing your ceremony venue won't be that dramatic, but not all brides have had their ceremony venue picked out since they were young. If you are one of those brides, here are some great suggestions for places you can have your ceremony.
1.) If you are a member of a church, that church should allow you to have your wedding there at no cost. If you are not a member of a church, most churches will allow you to have your ceremony at there, but will usually require you to pay a set amount that usually includes things like: custodial reimbursement, and rental for any decorations the church may have that you would like to use such as candelabras or decorative archways.
2.) A museum or art center might be an interesting place to hold your ceremony. Sometimes your local museum or art center will allow you to rent a room to hold your ceremony.
3.) Your reception venue may also have a room to hold your ceremony. For instance, if you were getting married at a hotel, maybe they would allow you to use one room for your reception and rent another for your ceremony.
4.) A lot of brides dream of an outdoor wedding, and here's interesting twist on this idea instead of getting married in your back yard or at grandma's farm: what about having your ceremony outdoors at nearby state park. Most state parks have field areas or pretty wooded lots. It shouldn't cost you anything to have your ceremony there, and if your guests are familiar with the state park it would be easy to find. A downside would be clean up before and after. You might have to enlist someone's help to mow/trim the area, clean up any trash that might be in the area, and set up and take down the chairs and decorations for the ceremony. If you do get married at a state park, you should respect the area and leave it cleaner than you found it.
5.) Another great idea for a ceremony venue is your home or the home of a relative. This works well if you are planning a small, intimate ceremony. The great thing about getting married at your home or the home of a relative is that you don't have to pay anything for it! The downsides would be working the home décor into the scheme of your wedding plans, and having enough space. Even if you are only inviting 20 people a living room may be too small. You might consider holding the ceremony in the back yard, or on the front deck.
These are all great ideas for your wedding ceremony, but you should keep in mind that every bride's ceremony is uniquely their own. An important thing to keep in mind is the amount of space you are going to need for your guests, be sure to pick a larger venue for a larger guest list and visa versa. Either way you go, selecting the perfect ceremony venue is important choice you will make and you should feel free to get creative and pick a place that has meaning to you and your fiance.
Needles and Pearls - Gil McNeil - May 2010
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