One of the first choices you are confronted with as you begin to plan your wedding is: “Where should we get married?” As you narrow down the location, you’ll need to consider the city, type of venue, and specific venue. Over the next few weeks, we’ll look at some of the key factors in these decisions.
Before you can even start considering venues, you’ll need to pick the city. For some couples, there’s a fairly obvious answer, but for others, there are a lot of possibilities to evaluate. One couple I know had their wedding ceremony in their college town, a reception in Illinois with her family, and a reception in Wisconsin with his family! While you might not go to this extent, you can probably think of at least two cities that are special or important to you as a couple. Here are the top four concerns you’ll want to consider as you choose a city:
Since many couples meet in college or after leaving their hometowns, chances are pretty good that you have immediate and extended family spread out across the state, region, or country. Because you don’t want travel expenses to be inhibitive to your guests, you’ll need to consider whether there’s a city that’s close to much of your family and/or roughly equidistant for both sides of the new extended family.
2. Romantic or Personal Value
You’ll want to get married in a place that has significance to your life as a couple. Possibilities include the city where you met, a city where you spent much of your time as a couple, or a city where you have important memories as a couple (first date, a fun weekend out, the proposal). What place means the most to your life as a couple so far, expresses an important facet of your relationship, or would mean most when you look back at your wedding? This can be difficult to reconcile with staying near family, so you may need to consider which of these concerns is most important to you.
3. Connections and Familiarity
Since your vendors will need to come from the area, you may want to consider a city that you have some familiarity with. Knowing a florist, caterer, or photographer can save you time and money as you plan the details later on. Additionally, making arrangements for each aspect of the wedding is much easier and less expensive if you live near your venue and vendors.
4. The Destination Wedding
Destination weddings are an increasingly well-known and attractive option for the adventurous. A beach in the Caribbean! A cathedral in Italy! A resort in Central America! The possibilities are wide-open and picturesque! However, a destination wedding makes other aspects of planning more complicated. By definition, it’s far from family and connections and may not have any existing emotional value in your relationship. If you consider a destination wedding, you’ll also need to consider travel accommodations, extra expenses, and long-distance planning with vendors.