Finding a Wedding Location
Choosing your wedding and reception location can pose an
incredible challenge. In order to save yourself some time
and effort, ask yourself the following questions before you
begin scouting sites.
Do either or both of you prefer to be married in a church,
synagogue, mosque, temple, or other place of worship?
If the answer is yes, finding a location for your ceremony
is easy. If not, you may want to consider finding a venue
where you can hold both the ceremony and reception in order
to consolidate site rental fees. Keep in mind, however, that
you may be required to pay additional setup fees if the venue
is to accommodate both the ceremony and reception in the same
What is your budget?
Perhaps the most important question. Don't look at places
you can't afford; you'll only end up feeling disappointed.
Do you want to hold your wedding ceremony and reception
at the same site?
This may be the most cost effective option, and it eliminates
the hassle of caravanning from one site to another.
Do you envision a formal or a casual ceremony and reception?
A beach wedding may sound romantic, but think of the sand
and the wind and the sea spray. And a formal wedding may be
just what you've always dreamed of, but will you be comfortable
making the rounds in a full-skirted ball gown (or a stuffy
tuxedo)? These are questions to ask yourself before deciding
on the appropriate mood for your big day, and the location
that best communicates that mood.
How many guests do you plan to invite? How many do you
expect to actually come?
You can't very well select ceremony and reception sites before
you know how many guests you have to accommodate. Make sure
to get complete lists from both of your parents, as well,
so that you aren't in for any unpleasant last-minute surprises.
Do you plan to have the same number of guests attend both
your ceremony and reception?
Some couples choose to have a more intimate ceremony and
then hold a big reception for all of their friends. If you
do this, you may even choose to hold the ceremony and reception
on different days so that you can better focus your attention
and energy on each event.
Do you prefer your ceremony and reception to be held indoors
or outdoors, or both?
Consider the time of year and the potential weather complications.
Even on a clear, sunny day, gusty winds can put a damper on
outdoor festivities. Also remember that the temperature can
drop dramatically when the sun goes down, even in the summer.
Make sure that you look for venues with heat lamps if you
plan to be outdoors after dark. Find more helpful advice in
an Outdoor Wedding.
Do you prefer to hold the event during the day or in the
Many reception sites and catering services are significantly
less expensive during the day. And some scenic locations,
such as the beach, may be considerably more breathtaking in
the daylight. A metropolitan reception, on the other hand,
may be lovelier with all of the skyscrapers twinkling in the
What time of year do you wish to hold your wedding?
The "off-season" (October through April) is usually
less expensive than peak season. Also take into consideration
seasonal weather conditions if you plan to hold the event
Will you have a live band or a DJ?
Many places have noise restrictions on amplified music, and
some don't allow it at all. If you have your heart set on
booking a live band to perform at your reception, make sure
you look at locations that do allow amplified music. If you're
not sure where to begin looking for a wedding DJ, visit WeDJ.com.
Will you be serving alcohol at the reception?
If so, make sure your reception venue has a liquor license.
It may also be wise to hold the reception in a hotel, where
guests have the option of booking a room in the event of over-consumption.
Keep in mind that you can save some money by holding your
reception at a location that allows you to bring
your own wine
or liquor to be served.
Do you have the time to plan everything yourselves, or
the budget to hire a wedding planner?
If so, the sky is your limit in terms of choosing a location.
But if you have neither the budget to hire a coordinator,
nor the time to plan everything yourselves, you should scout
reception sites that offer package deals. It may sound cool
to have your wedding and/or reception at a historic landmark,
but this may require hiring your own caterer, paying lofty
set-up and clean-up fees, renting tables and chairs and hiring
security, in addition to any number of miscellaneous fees.
Hotels and restaurants are better equipped to handle everything
on their own.