Finally walking down the aisle with the person you love may seem like a dream come true, but as you start planning the details of your wedding you’ll quickly realize that there’s a lot more work involved than fun and games. One of the first things you’ll need to choose, and it’s one of the most important things, is the location of your wedding ceremony. Your wedding ceremony is going to be the heart and soul of your entire wedding day, so it all starts with the proper location that will set the perfect tone for how the rest of your wedding will unfold.
There are a lot of different places that couples choose to have their wedding ceremony. Some couples choose a traditional venue such as a church, while others simple head down to the Justice of the Peace to sign their paperwork with very little fuss. If you’re starting from square one in your ceremony venue search, you have a long path ahead of you; but even it you know where you want to get married because of a religious affiliation or you just have your heart set on a particular venue, there are some important details that you need to figure out before you can start planning the other details of your wedding.
The very first thing you need to find out is if the venue is available for your preferred wedding date. If it’s not available, you’ll need to find another venue for your ceremony or consider switching dates.
It’s always good to know the approximate size of your guest list before shopping for wedding venues because each one will have a maximum capacity. If you choose a ceremony location that isn’t big enough, you’ll need to cancel or make tough choice on who you invite.
Does your wedding officiant require couple’s counseling ahead of time or special classes? If so, are you willing to accommodate those requests? Are you comfortable with this person joining you in marriage? Can you bring your own officiant if you choose to do so?
You’ll want to find out if the venue you have chosen provides ceremony music or if you need to make your own arrangements. Some churches require that you use their organist while other venues require you supply your own musicians.
Though it is rare, there are some venues that either don’t allow photographers or require that you choose from a pre-approved list. Make sure you’re comfortable with the wedding photographer options that a ceremony venue offers.
Does the venue that you’re renting offer any services such as pew or chair decorations and aisle runners? Do you need to clean up the venue afterwards or is that included in the fee? You’ll need to know what services are covered so you can make other arrangements if needed.
You will need to find out how much the ceremony venue will cost to rent, but you also need to factor in the other small expenses that come along with the booking. Does the officiant get paid? Is there a permitting fee for the venue? What about parking and clean up fees? Knowing these answers in advance can make budgeting your wedding a whole lot easier.
Knowing when you can start accessing your ceremony location can be very important, especially if you need to decorate it yourself. Knowing things like when the florist can get in to setup flowers and when is appropriate for your rehearsals to take place are important things to consider.
Considering every aspect of your wedding day will be important, and taking into account the weather is very important. If you’re having an outdoor ceremony, make sure you have a safe location in case there’s a storm. If you’re having a summer wedding, you’ll need air conditioning and heat if it’s in the winter.
Securing the Location
If everything goes well and you’re happy with a location for your ceremony, you’ll need to put down a deposit to secure it for your date. It’s always good to know what their cancellation policy is in case the date needs to switch for whatever reason. If their cancelation policy is somewhat lax, you can even continue looking at other venues knowing you have a good one already lined up. After you’ve locked down your ceremony location, the next step is finding the perfect wedding reception location.