Selecting the Location of the Wedding Ceremony
Choosing the location for the wedding ceremony 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? Even more tricky, how is the situation handled when the couple doesn't have any religious affiliation?
This is when it is of the upmost importance for the couple to discuss 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, especially if you are looking at weekend dates.
Besides a church or synagogue, 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. Destination weddings are becoming increasingly popular as an inexpensive way to combine the wedding, reception and honeymoon.
Before selecting a location, 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 budget for 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. Sometimes the music may be included with the location. For example, often, 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.
To really add a personal touch to your wedding ceremony, you can write your own vows or make modifications to traditional vows. Just be sure to give a copy of your version of the vows to the person officiating so that everyone knows what to say.