There are many different options – but what is the best wedding location for you? The perfect location depends on your individual preferences and circumstances.
Your guests determine your location. While your Big Day is about you (it is called “your day” for a reason, after all) it also is about your family and friends celebrating your marriage along with you. You need to ask yourself if you are planning on having a big or small wedding. While destination weddings or far off locations that require a drive are exotic and romantic, many people can’t afford such extensive travel. In short, the bigger the guest list – the closer to home you should keep the wedding.
You also need to ask yourself how mobile your guests are. If friends have toddlers or granny needs a wheelchair, asking them to fly to Tahiti might not be the best option.
The amount of time you have to plan determines your location. More creative locations require more planning and grunt work. Keep in mind that destinations not usually used for weddings need chairs, tables sound equipment and cleaning and preparing before a wedding can take place, and then don’t forget the post-wedding clean up.
Outdoor weddings also require additional backup plans in case of bad weather. Seriously ask yourself if you can take on all the necessary planning and additional stress before you schedule your wedding location somewhere other than a reception hall.
The traditional church location. Couples who have strong ties to their hometown, large guest lists and religious beliefs often get married in a church or temple. Receptions are then held at a separate party hall, able to hold hundreds of guests and equipped with the necessary essentials. Be aware that many churches have specific times that they want weddings to end so they can prepare for evening or next morning services.
Getting married at a home. If you have access to a grand estate, have a beautiful home in the family or want to get married in your own house – a reception at a residence is a fun and homey way to celebrate your love. Getting married at a private residence requires that you rent all the necessities to host your guests – including extra restrooms, a dance floor, a generator for a band, and a tent in case it rains.
If these additional requirements don’t scare you away then a residence wedding is a great choice! Make sure to check with city hall to see if you need noise, tent or parking permits for your wedding.
Getting married far, far away. The fun of a getaway wedding is best for a couple who want a small, private wedding (about 75 people or less). Resorts in fun, exotic places offer all-inclusive wedding packages that take on the stress of planning so you get to do the fun stuff, like buying a dress and making flight arrangements.
It is important to research specific marriage license rules where you plan to get married, some places require you apply days before the wedding, and others require blood tests and x-rays. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into before you book!
Uniquely romantic wedding locations. It can be lots of fun to get married in a barn, museum, art gallery, sports venue, botanical garden, or planetarium. Since these venues aren’t normally in the wedding business you can often bargain a price or receive a discount by purchasing a membership. By offering your wedding photos to be used for the venue’s promotional purposes you can sometimes get a discount as well.
Be careful to check out if the unique location of choice has a liquor license, what their maximum capacity is, and if you are required to purchase liability insurance in case there is damage to the property.