Best wedding places

Looking at event venues for a wedding? The best wedding places aren’t always what we see in our heads when we daydream about wedding receptions. Here are some important questions to ask yourself which can help bridge the gap between reality and fantasy.

  • Will the ceremony be religious?
    Although the numbers fluctuate, about half of all weddings happen in churches. Traditional ceremonies often need to be held in places of worship, so be sure to square that away before moving forward and book the church, synagogue, or what have you, before booking the location for the reception. The religious context may also have a bearing on decorations, flower choice, and the cut of the dress. If your fiance is from a different belief system, perhaps the best choice is a neutral location. Weather permitting, parks and beaches add a natural feel to a ceremony that can help depict a spirituality that’s non-denominational. This may require applying for a permit. Once you’ve determined whether the event venues for the ceremony and reception will be the same or different, you can move forward with a greater degree of confidence.

  • How many people? Are there any special needs?
    Along with the considerations above, you need to determine the overall feel of the event beforehand: is it a small, intimate affair? Or, will Andrew Lloyd Weber be conducting while Lady Gaga descends from the ceiling? Keep in mind that your vision of the event may not be practical for the people you want there. If many of your guests have young children, for example, that’s an accommodation worthy of considering — staging a wedding that isn’t child-prohibitive. Are there lots of elderly folks involved? This makes accessibility an issue – flat grounds, easy walkways, wheelchair ramps are all important concessions. It’s often impossible to accommodate every last need, but it pays to try.

  • How much of the burden are you willing to shoulder?
    This is where you may want to consider hiring a wedding planner. If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What do wedding planners do, exactly?,” now is a good time to find out. The reality is that they orchestrate between all of the outsourced services — food, music, decorations, photographer, etc. — to keep things running smoothly and on schedule. Many of them have their own pool of resources for these services, so you want to go with a planner that works with vendors that appeal to you. But insofar as the grunt-work of actually staging the event is concerned, you need to decide early just how “hands-on” you want to be. This will also hold some bearing on the location, because certain event venues (ones that aren’t truly event venues, per se) will need to be cleared out for a wedding to take place, and you can either do that yourself or hire people. If you’re planning an outdoor reception, there needs to be bathrooms, for instance… and what if it rains?
    Planning a wedding is a large undertaking, whether you hire a wedding planner or not. Good wedding places may not always be the ones you’ve imagined all these years, but that doesn’t mean a beautiful event can’t be staged if you’re willing to think practically.
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