How to Choose a Unique Wedding Venue
Written by Erin Reynolds of diymama.net
When a bride-to-be wants her wedding day to be magical, she looks for a unique wedding venue. Most often, the venue has special meaning to her. But, there are several things to consider when choosing a location, and it’s important to keep them in mind to avoid a potential wedding disaster.
Outdoor Wedding Venue Considerations
Many brides look for a unique outdoor venue to make their day special. You may choose a barn if you love the country or grew up on a farm. Barns are beautiful places for weddings, but they bring their own challenges. First, many barns do not have restrooms, so you will need to rent portable toilets with sinks. Some barns also lack parking, so you should arrange for parking at a different location and provide shuttles.
Barns also may lack electricity, so be prepared to rent generators or safely light the space with lanterns, candles, and battery-operated lights. Not having electricity is difficult for caterers, DJs, and bands, so make sure everyone knows that you will not supply them with power. Keep in mind that a barn may have an uneven floor, so you should rent a floor covering or a dance floor.
Another option for an outdoor wedding is your backyard. Some couples choose to get married in their own backyard to create an intimate setting for a small wedding party. Or, the bride-to-be may dream of being married in her childhood backyard. One of the most common challenges with a backyard wedding is parking, so be sure to make arrangements with neighbors or with a shuttle service to get guests safely to your venue.
Despite the potential challenges, backyard weddings can be beautiful and meaningful, and Brides magazine shares 29 ideas to help you create the backyard wedding of your dreams. If you want to turn your backyard into a beautiful oasis, consider building an arbor or a pergola for the ceremony. Work with a florist to cover the structure with fresh flowers to create a lush focal point for your ceremony. According to HomeAdvisor, the national average cost to build a pergola is $3,506.
One challenge you need to prepare for when planning an outdoor wedding is the weather. It’s impossible to predict the weather months in advance, so have a contingency plan in place. BBJ Linen recommends using tents or creating covered areas and having an indoor alternative. You also could change the time of your ceremony to avoid rain, or provide fans or heat lamps to keep guests comfortable as the temperature changes.
Considerations to Make When Choosing Unique Venues With Special Meaning
Only the happy couple knows which places are most meaningful, so you’ll have to decide if you want to let your friends and family in on your secrets. For example, if you met in the library as undergraduates, consider holding your ceremony there. Many colleges and universities host weddings, and you should contact your alma mater to learn more about their policies and open dates. You may need to choose a date between semesters or a time that is after-hours, so be prepared to be flexible if this is the unique venue you choose.
Some couples are such die-hard sports fans that they dream of being married in their favorite stadium. From minor league baseball fields to NBA stadiums, sports venues can serve as an ideal location for your wedding. Not only do they have all the amenities and parking you need, but they also have event coordinators who can help you plan your wedding. Be prepared to get on a waiting list and to make some concessions. Some sports venues only allow their partner companies to provide the food and beverages for weddings, so you may not get to have the caterer of your choice.
Finding a unique wedding venue can be as simple as choosing a meaningful location. Keep in mind the various challenges that nontraditional venues pose. You may need to arrange for portable toilets, additional parking, or alternative locations for outdoor weddings. Or, you may need to be flexible with your date or ceremony time if you choose a public venue like a college library or sports venue.