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Choosing a Wedding Ceremony Site
The place you choose to host your wedding ceremony should reflect you and your partner. Whether you go down the traditional route and opt for a church, cathedral, chapel or temple, or whether a private home, garden, restaurant or beach is more your thing, there are some important things to consider:
- Examine the facilities first hand. Find out how many guests can be accommodated in the facility, and whether the size of the venue will suit your wedding party.
- Check 1-2-3. Ask what kind of musical equipment the facility comes with, and if there are any restrictions with the music (some churches will only allow religious hymns, for example). Also road test the acoustics.
- Check the restrooms. Ask if there’s a room for the bride to get dressed in, and if the guest restrooms are adequate.
- Place to park. Check out the parking facilities to ensure there’s ample supply for your guests. Consider your older, frailer or incapacitated guests - will there be car spaces for them right outside the ceremony site?
- Check for comfort. You don't want to be shaking with cold in winter or dripping with sweat in summer, so ask about the air conditioning and heating.
- Help your vendors. Determine whether any restrictions for delivery times apply, particularly to the delivery of flowers or decorations.
- Check for the celebrant. Ask whether you can bring your own marriage officiant to perform the ceremony. Can you family priest officiate at the ceremony even though it's not his church, for example?
- Think timing. Ask how much time you will be allowed for the wedding. Does this include time to take photographs? Check if other couples will also be marrying in the facility on the same day - this can have an impact on your timing.
- What out wet weather? Determine wet weather alternatives. Is there somewhere nearby you can use, all will you need to rethink altogether? See our tips on what to do when it rains on your wedding day.
- Ask about fees. Find out what the fees include. Some churches charge a single fee for all services, while others can add cleaning and musicians on top of their standard fee.
- Make it legal. Make sure you sign a contract or letter of agreement, and keep a copy on file.
Remember, you can be as different as you dare! Some couples have chosen to get married in a hot-air balloon, under water or even on a roller coaster! You can see some beautiful wedding ceremony galleries, pictures and ideas in our Wedding Galleries section.
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