Choosing A Wedding Venue: the 5 most popular locations

The first big dilemma: find your wedding venue

As you begin to piece together exactly how you want your big wedding day to look like, feel like, smell like and taste like, one of the first things you’ll have to figure out is what kind of wedding venue you want. There are a few classic choices, and it can be hard to sift through all of the beautiful visions of each that you might have. Sure, a wedding at a church that holds a special place in the hearts of your family may be tempting. But you might also be wondering if you want something outdoors, or a wedding at a big, fun venue.
Let’s look at five of the most popular kinds of wedding venues and why you might want, or not want, to have your wedding at each:

wedding venue

1. Church

This is the classic, traditional way to hold a wedding. For those of you who are religious that have gone to church much of your life, this might be a no-brainer. Especially for couples who have met at a church that each other their families hold dear, a church is a sacred place that is perfect to sanctify and solidify your marriage.

PRO

  • If you’re religious, it holds a very special meaning to you
  • It might mean more to your family if they are more traditional
  • Churches are often extremely beautiful, and set up in such a way that is already perfect for a wedding gathering. They often also have the perfect spot for a reception afterwards if you aren’t looking for anything too fancy.

CONTRA

  • Alcohol and general partying might be frowned upon if you choose to have a wedding here
  • For the same reason traditional religious people may love to have their wedding here, non-traditional non-religious people probably wouldn’t
  • Not all family members and friends may be comfortable in a church
wedding venue

2. Outdoor

This is a classic way to picture a wedding. Whether on a beachside, by a garden, or simply in a gorgeous field or park somewhere, having your wedding venue outside feels open, free and makes for beautiful scenery. If you have a nearby park, river or other spot that feels significant to you and your partner, you can hold your wedding there and let the outdoors do half the decorating for you.

PRO

  • You can count on the outdoors to make it a beautiful spot. While having a wedding indoors means you have to do a lot of cleaning and decorating to make everything pleasing to the eye, the right spot outside will be beautiful with nothing done to it at all.
  • There’s something about it that feels natural and right. Having the wind blowing through the bride’s hair and the little kids out playing in the grass just makes a wedding really come together.
  • There are endless choices; the great outdoors is full of variety, so you have plenty of scenery types to choose from.
  • It’s often less expensive to find a beautiful spot. While you could spend money on an expensive outdoor venue, you can probably also find a beautiful spot that costs little to nothing to rent out.

CONTRA

  • The outdoors is unpredictable. You could have rain on the big day and have to use a tarp, or there could even be a storm that force you to postpone.
  • If you have food outside, it can get messy. Bugs, dirt, grass, any of that fancy wedding food is game to nature if you leave it sitting out.
  • If you aren’t sufficiently far away from the rest of civilization, you could be dealing with unexpected noises or distractions during the ceremony.
wedding venue

3. Hotel

It could be tempting to pick a luxurious hotel as your wedding venue. It’s a good place to host guests, and it’s often pre-decorated, only needing a few finishing touches to show that there’s a wedding occurring.

PRO

  • There’s already a place for your guests to stay. If you have guests flying in from distant places, you can book them a nice room at the hotel that’s just steps away from where the wedding will happen.
  • You’ll also be able to have the reception right there in the same spot.
  • Speaking of receptions, you can probably also hire expert staff to make sure your reception runs extremely smoothly, and that everything is presented just right.
  • Everything is in one place, so if people want to party and have a few drinks for the reception, they don’t have to worry about getting transportation back to their rooms.

CONTRA

  • A hotel may not be as flexible with the details as you’d like them to be.
  • It may not be the ideal place to have children.
  • It can be extremely expensive, especially if you’re buying rooms for your guests
wedding venue

4. Travel Destination

The big dream is often to have your wedding at some famous travel destination like Majorca or the Bahamas. It might seem like a dream come true to marry your partner in the kind of place you’d always dreamed of visiting.

PRO

  • It’s absolutely stunning! Let’s get real – if you decide to have your wedding at a fancy travel destination, there’s no doubt it’s going to unforgettable, and your guests are going to be wow-ed.
  • There are endless things to do. In any tourist spot, you can keep yourself and your guests entertained throughout their entire stay.
  • You could have your wedding in the same spot as your honeymoon. While traveling right after the wedding might seem like something some couples wouldn’t want to miss out on, other couples might not want to waste any time before enjoying the honeymoon. By having your wedding in the same spot as your honeymoon destination, the vacation has already started!

CONTRA

  • Once again, the costs.
  • Not all your guests may be able to come.
  • The organisation could be difficult from home. It’s advisable to contact a local wedding planner.
wedding venue

5. At Home

Your home as a wedding venue? Why not! What could be more cozy and meaningful than having your wedding right at home? Particularly if you have a very nice home and yard, having a wedding at home could be the perfect choice. It’s the right place for everything from the ceremony to the reception. If you have enough room, you might even be able to give guests a room to sleep in.

PRO

  • It’s familiar
  • It won’t cost you nearly as much
  • It will feel like home – because it is
  • You can control every detail – no restrictions

CONTRA

  • It might not feel as special, some people want to have their wedding somewhere new.
  • You might be tempted to under-prepare.
  • It’s a lot of work unless you hire help.
  • You might really need a nice home to pull it off.

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