In the realm of weddings, there’s a timeless allure surrounding vintage venues. As modern couples search for unique settings to mark their special day, small personal chapels from the 1800s have emerged as hidden gems. These intimate structures, often set against the backdrop of sprawling estates or in quiet, pastoral settings, offer a multitude of benefits for today’s couples. Let’s delve into why these historical sites are becoming the preferred choice for many:
1. Historical Significance: A chapel from the 1800s brings with it a tapestry of history. Tying the knot in such a setting connects the couple to past generations, imbuing the ceremony with a sense of continuity and tradition. Every brick and beam in these chapels whispers tales from centuries past, adding depth to the nuptials.
2. Intimacy: Unlike grand cathedrals or modern event spaces, personal chapels offer a cozier environment. Their smaller size naturally limits the guest list, ensuring that the ceremony remains an intimate affair shared with one’s closest loved ones.
3. Unique Architecture: The 19th century was marked by distinct architectural styles, especially the Gothic Revival. This ensures that the chapel will have unique architectural features such as stained glass windows, pointed arches, or wooden beams, providing an inimitable backdrop for wedding photos.
4. Authentic Vintage Aesthetic: For couples aiming for a vintage-themed wedding, these chapels provide an authentic setting that requires minimal additional decoration. The inherent charm of the chapel, combined with some vintage or rustic decor, can transport attendees to another era.
5. Natural Settings: Many of these chapels are situated in serene, pastoral settings. Whether surrounded by ancient trees, overlooking a still pond, or nestled in a blooming garden, the natural beauty amplifies the romance of the occasion.
6. Acoustics: The structure and materials used in old chapels often lend themselves to excellent acoustics. This makes for a unique auditory experience, be it the exchange of vows, the subtle notes of a string quartet, or the soft hum of a choir.
7. Spiritual Depth: For those with a religious or spiritual inclination, saying vows in a space that has seen countless prayers and moments of reflection adds profound spiritual depth to the ceremony.
8. Eco-Friendly: In an age where sustainability is key, using an existing structure, especially one with so much character, can be seen as an eco-friendly choice compared to constructing or booking a new venue.
9. Cost-Effective: Some of these chapels, especially those on private estates or in rural areas, might be less commercially exploited. This could make them more affordable than popular, in-demand venues.
10. Narrative Charm: Last but not least, using a historical chapel provides a unique narrative for the couple. It becomes a talking point, a story to be shared with future generations about the special day and the timeless setting in which it occurred.
In conclusion, as modern life becomes increasingly fast-paced, many couples are looking to the past for inspiration, seeking depth, authenticity, and intimacy in their wedding venues. Personal chapels from the 1800s offer all this and more, making them an enticing choice for those looking to make history on their big day.
Why Small Venues Offer a Unique Charm
The rise in popularity of small wedding venues is not just a fleeting trend. Couples are deliberately choosing to celebrate their union in more intimate settings, turning away from the large banquet halls and opulent ballrooms that were once the norm. But what is it about these cozier venues that captivates the hearts of modern brides and grooms? Let’s explore the unique charm and allure of small wedding venues.
1. Personal and Intimate Atmosphere
In a world that often values grandeur and spectacle, there’s something profoundly touching about sharing one’s special day with only the closest family and friends. Small venues provide an environment where every guest feels personally connected to the couple and their love story. There’s no distant cousin or forgotten classmate sitting in the back row; everyone present has a genuine relationship with the couple, making the entire affair more heartfelt.
2. Unique Character and Personality
While larger venues might impress with their scale, they often lack the individuality and quirkiness that smaller places offer. Whether it’s a vintage home, a restored chapel, a beachfront cottage, or an art gallery, small venues often ooze character. They tell a story, not just of the couple but also of the history and culture of the place.
3. Greater Flexibility
Smaller venues generally offer more flexibility in terms of decor and layout. Without the constraints of a vast space to fill, couples can get creative, making the venue truly reflective of their personalities and tastes. They can experiment with seating arrangements, lighting, and thematic elements to craft a unique experience for their guests.
4. Economic Considerations
Budget plays a significant role in wedding planning. Small venues are often more cost-effective, not only in terms of rental fees but also in associated costs like decor, catering, and entertainment. With fewer guests to cater to, couples can allocate their budget to ensure each guest has a memorable experience.
5. Enhanced Guest Interaction
The close-knit environment of a small venue fosters better social interactions. Guests are more likely to mingle, share stories, and celebrate together, rather than sticking to their designated tables or familiar groups. This results in a warm, communal atmosphere where everyone feels included.
6. Attention to Detail
With a limited space and guest list, it’s easier to focus on the finer details, ensuring that everything from the table settings to the music selection is tailored to perfection. Small venues allow couples to elevate the overall quality and thoughtfulness of the event.
7. Environmental Considerations
In an age where sustainability is a growing concern, small venues are inherently eco-friendlier. With fewer resources needed for lighting, heating, cooling, and catering, the environmental footprint of the event is reduced.
8. Enhanced Service Quality
A smaller guest list often means better service quality. Whether it’s the catering team, the event planners, or the venue staff, a smaller crowd allows for more attentive and personalized service.
9. Memorable Experiences
Small venues often provide unique experiences that larger venues can’t. Imagine a wedding in a secluded forest clearing, a historic library, or a vineyard. These are the types of memories that stay with guests long after the event.
10. Authenticity Over Showmanship
Modern couples are prioritizing authenticity over spectacle. Small venues align with this value, emphasizing genuine emotions, relationships, and experiences over showy displays.
The charm of small venues lies in their ability to create intimate, personalized, and memorable experiences. In such settings, every detail is infused with meaning, every moment feels profound, and every guest plays a pivotal role in the celebration. It’s a reminder that weddings are not about grand displays but about love, relationships, and shared memories. In a small venue, every heartbeat, every tear, and every laugh resonates, creating a symphony of emotions that will be cherished for a lifetime.
A wedding is a very special day for any couple. It is the day when they exchange their marriage vows and start their new life together. If you are looking for non religious wedding vows, you are in the right place.
When you are getting married, it is important to choose wedding vows that you truly believe in. These vows should represent who you are as a person, what your relationship is all about, and what you want your marriage to be like.
Why Non Religious Wedding Vows?
There are many reasons why someone might choose to say vows at a nonreligious wedding. For some people, it may be a way to express their personal beliefs without having to reference any religious texts. Others may simply prefer a ceremony that is devoid of religious undertones. Whatever the reason, vows can be a meaningful way to celebrate your wedding together.
Ideas For Your Non Religious Wedding Vows
There is no one right way to write your wedding vows, but here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Express your love for each other in your vows.
2. Talk about your hopes and dreams for the future together.
3. Promise to always support and be supportive of each other.
4. Promise to always be there for each other, no matter what.
5. Promise to always cherish and respect each other’s beliefs and values.
6. Promise to always be there for each other through good times and bad.
7. Promise to always be there for each other when one of you needs support.
8. Promise to always be honest with each other, and to always trust each other
It can be difficult to know where to start when writing vows for a nonreligious wedding. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Start with what is important to you as a couple. What values do you share and what are your priorities? What are your favorite memories together, and what do you hope to create future memories based on? Write down some of these things so that you have a starting point for your vows.
Consider the tone of your wedding. Are you looking for a solemn ceremony, or something more lighthearted? Vows can be tailored to fit the tone of the wedding, so be sure to consider what you want.
Consider what kind of vows you would be comfortable with.
How to Write Your Own Vows?
If you are planning a non-religious wedding, it is important to create your own vows. This gives you the opportunity to express your own personal sentiments and to reflect your own personal beliefs. Here are some tips for writing your own vows:
Start by thinking about what you want to say. What are your main priorities for your wedding? What are the most important values to you? What are your thoughts on love and marriage?
Once you have a good idea of what you want to say, start writing. Try to be concise and to the point. Keep in mind that your vows should be personal and unique to you and your spouse.
After you have written your vows, it is important to remember to keep them in mind during the ceremony. A few best practices to follow are to avoid making any promises that you cannot keep, be specific about what you will do if one of you breaks the agreement, and make sure that your vows are heartfelt and meaningful to both of you.
Here are ten sample wedding vows that can help you create the perfect vow for your wedding.
We will love and respect each other, always. We will be kind and understanding and always work together to make each other happy. We will be there for each other through good times and bad, forever. We will always have each other’s back, no matter what. We will never forget our wedding day, or how we first met.
Here are 10 ideas for vows that can work well at a non-religious wedding.
1. I will always be here for you.
2. I will always be honest with you.
3. I will always be faithful to you.
4. I will always be supportive of you.
5. I will always be there for you when you need me.
6. I will always be willing to help out around the house.
7. I will always be willing to make you laugh.
8. I will always be there for you when you need to talk.
9. I will always be there for you when you need a hug.
10. I will always love and cherish you.
Writing your own wedding vows can be a very personal and memorable experience. If you follow these 10 best practices, you can be sure that your vows will be perfect for you and your spouse.
Wedding Trends for 2018. The 2018 trends include more intimate weddings with a smaller wedding party. Weddings are becoming more of a multi-day event. What better place to have your wedding than the historic wedding venue of Old Church Chapel in Lake Orange Florida
Having your wedding ceremony at Florida’s finest historic wedding venue can be a bit more informal than a traditional church wedding. However, even if you choose the intimate setting of our Old Fashioned Southern Historic wedding venue, there are still items of common courtesy that guests should follow. The following is an article that was orginally published by CBC news and does a great job of itemizing the top nine mistakes that guests should avoid at any wedding.
Wearing white and 9 other wedding faux pas
Weddings have changed a lot over the years, which may have guests heading to nuptials this summer unsure of the rules.
“2018 is bringing more modern concepts to weddings. While this might mean less rules to follow, it does not mean as a guest you get to ignore all the wedding faux pas,” said Amy Brace, who’s been a wedding planner for more than a decade and owns Kiss the Bride Wedding and Event Coordination.
1. Be on time
Arriving at least 10 minutes early for the ceremony “so the bride doesn’t have to wait for you as she is ready to walk down the aisle,” said Maribeth Roberts of Clinton Hills Weddings and Events in Clinton, P.E.I.
2. Don’t wear white
This is the bride’s moment to shine — she should be the centre of attention.
“The only time this is OK is an all-white event which the couple will specify in advance,” said Brace.
“As for men and shorts, we know P.E.I.’s peak wedding season is our warmer months and our Island is known as the gentle Island, but it is still important to remember you are going to a formal event.”
3. No talking or texting
Even if the venue is less formal than a church, during the ceremony do not text or talk amongst yourselves, said Roberts.
“The couple have spent a lot of time and money on their big day and they invited you to share it with them, not someone who you are texting,” she said.
4. Limit photo-taking
“Be mindful of the professional photographer/videographer,” said Roberts. “Jumping up to take your cellphone photo in front of them can lead to missed opportunities for the professionals such as exchanging vows.”
“Technology is constantly at our fingertips this day and age so it is easy to want to capture the moment for social media as it is happening,” said Brace.
“It is important to remember for our couples this is an intimate moment and they have hired a professional to document it for them. A wedding ceremony is one of those few occasions in life you should put down your phones or cameras and just be in the moment, take it all in and share in a couple’s love.”
Many couples nowadays will ask guests to relinquish their cellphones at the entrance to the wedding, so their photos will only be professional ones and guests can enjoy the festivities tech-free.
5. RSVP properly
Remember to RSVP, and only bring the number of guests you specified, both planners said.
“Couples provide guests with plenty of notice of their upcoming wedding by sending out an invitation — a lot of final details can only be confirmed with your RSVP,” notes Brace.
“Often they ordered exactly enough food for 120 guests for example not to mention all place settings are set well ahead of the reception for the exact number of people coming. Adding an extra few people may require another table/chairs/place settings being all brought out when the meal is supposed to begin,” Roberts said.
Conversely, if you are not able to attend, RSVP promptly.
“Caterers are a huge financial expense for a couple on their wedding day and RSVPing yes without showing up is extremely disrespectful. They have taken the time to extend an invite, have accommodated for you to be there — possibly over someone else,” Brace said.
“Final numbers are always due well in advance so when you bail on a couple you leave them paying for a meal and possibly wasting food.
6. Dietary restrictions
Express dietary restrictions or needs on your reply card, said Roberts.
“If you are severely allergic to shellfish for example, the kitchen/wait staff require this information long before they are placing the plate in front of you!” she said.
7. Don’t change places
Sit where the seating plan has you designated, the planners said.
“Kitchen staff have the same table layout that was given to them by the couple — by switching you may cause yourself and someone else to get the wrong meal.”
8. Don’t over-drink
“It is never OK to be the intoxicated wedding guest,” said Brace. “A wedding is a celebration, not a backyard summer party from college. It is important to remember the meaning behind why you are there.”
Also, Roberts urges guests not to bring in outside alcohol to a licensed venue, or to drink alcohol if a venue is not licensed.
“This can cause issues for both the couple and the venue when the liquor inspector drops by,” she said.
9. Don’t bring large gifts
Many weddings these days are destination weddings — the couple is travelling to get married and may not be able to take home large gifts. Even if they are local, they may not have a way to transport gifts from the venue.
“It is important to remember as a guest, even though you might not be travelling a far distance to get to the wedding, a small gift/monetary gift is more appropriate for couples who are travelling,” said Brace.
10. Keep the speech short
“Speeches should be short and sweet,” urges Roberts. “Giving a 30-minute speech filled with college stories gets very uncomfortable for everyone present especially the bride and groom.”
Read the original article Wedding Faux Pax
How the Royal Wedding Might Influence Weddings to Come- Simplicity and an intimate wedding, even for a Royal Wedding! Here is an Article from the New York Times that details how a Royal Wedding was simplified.
You can use some of these same ideas when planning your intimate wedding at Florida’s Finest Wedding Chapel – Old Church Chapel in Orange Lake, Florida.
Simplicity and informality joined hands with pomp and circumstance when Meghan Markle, 36, married Prince Harry, 33, Saturday in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. She looked a bit Audrey Hepburn-ish (or was it more Jennifer Lopez in “The Wedding Planner”?), and he as uninformed as a man could look.
The world witnessed a transformative moment for the Royal House of Windsor, but will the couple’s personalized, multicultural wedding affect bridal trends to come? Here are a few ways it might.
A Divorcée Wears White. And Why Not?
Yes, she is now Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Sussex, but no one would have imagined her transformation while watching the understated, divorced American bride at her second wedding.
Will divorced women take Ms. Markle’s lead and have big weddings, even bigger than the first, and wear white gowns? Both have been no-no’s in the past for American weddings.
And will green be the new complementary color for mothers and the rest of the bridal party?
A Simple Dress (and a Long Veil)
There was no ostentatious bling on the unadorned bridal dress Ms. Markle wore, designed by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy.
In 2011, when Kate Middleton married Prince William, owners of American bridal emporiums assumed they would sell high-neck, long-sleeve lace dresses, similar to the one Ms. Middleton wore. After all, doesn’t every bride want to look like a princess?
Designers and store buyers were so certain that they quickly stocked their showrooms with similar designs in many price points, low and high.
How wrong they were.
Brides-to-be here admired the royal gown from afar, but then searched out the barest, strapless, most embellished dresses available for themselves. Let’s just say many American brides preferred to look more Kardashian than Middleton.
“We probably still have a few left,” said Ronnie Rothstein, an owner of Kleinfeld in New York, a store that was well stocked in dresses that looked like Kate’s and now has at least a half-dozen that resemble Meghan’s.
“Remember, women want to dance at the reception, and you can’t move in a dress with sleeves. They are too restrictive,” he added, trying to come up with a polite reason for the unsold goods.
Darcy Miller, an editor-at-large for the magazine Martha Stewart Weddings, said she was noticing more classic, simpler bridal dresses paired with dramatic veils. Just like Ms. Markle’s (although her veil was 16 feet long — probably not in the future for American brides).
Ms. Markle wore a simple diamond tiara once worn by Queen Mary; of course, that was a royal privilege — a loan from Queen Elizabeth — but stores do sell simple tiaras and embellished veils.
The Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, an African-American from Chicago and the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, gave a spirited homily alongside Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, who was the officiant. Bishop Curry’s sermon spoke of love and inclusion and took the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to invigorate — and surprise — the royal family and other guests.
Natalie Neilson Edwards, who owns Broomstick Weddings, a company that specializes in organizing interfaith, interracial and mixed cultural events, said it was more and more common to see two clergy members at weddings today because many couples have different backgrounds. And that is a trend very likely to continue.
Music was another way this royal wedding was more personalized than those of the past. So long, Anglican hymnal.
“Stand by Me,” sung by the Kingdom Choir, which is based in southeast London, was unexpected and seemed to create a stir among some in the church. Ms. Neilson Edwards said, “It was magical.”
And, the 19-year-old cello soloist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, wowed churchgoers immediately after the ceremony. (He is the first black musician to win the BBC’s Young Musician Award in its 38-year history.)
“I was blown away by the inclusion of the bride’s culture,” Ms. Neilson Edwards said. “There were many African-American guests and an African-American bishop. It was very empowering to see how clear the bride was about her culture.”
Ms. Neilson Edwards added, “According to the 2010 census here, one-sixth of weddings in the U.S. are mixed racial.”
And with more modern vows like the newly minted duke and duchess chose — there was no mention of “man and wife” (they said “husband and wife”) and no mention of obeying — places of worship might seem more inviting for couples who want to personalize.
The Children as Bridal Party
Move over, bridesmaids and groomsmen and make room for the children.
The weekend’s royal wedding might have finally changed some longstanding bridal traditions like who makes up the bridal party. Enlist the little ones! They are much cuter anyway! (And you can only hope as well behaved as the royal children were for the duke and duchess.)
Forget asking your best friend to be a bridesmaid or groomsman. Let them save (lots of) money, take a seat and watch your happy day. Don’t make your best friends buy dresses they’ll never wear again.
Another advantage to skipping the bridesmaids and groomsmen? Nobody’s feelings are hurt when they don’t make the cut.
Walk Down the Aisle: I’ve Got This
Ms. Neilson Edwards said couples were moving away from traditional wedding rules. “Brides are escorting themselves down the aisle, like Ms. Markle did, for example. Now we are getting married our way,” she said.
Yes, Ms. Markle ended up walking alone most of the way down the aisle after her father bowed out, but now, can you imagine her wedding any other way?
Vishal Joshi, the chief executive of Joy, a wedding planning website and app, said: “I think brides should do what they feel like doing. Literally, brides used to be given away by their father to their husband, like property. There was a negotiation before a wedding. There is some cuteness to tradition, but not all traditions have good origins, and some have to be taken down.”
Now many couples live together before marrying, he said, adding, “Our generation should create new traditions.”
Less Jewelry, Less Makeup
Will brides wear less makeup and be adorned with just a little jewelry after seeing Ms. Markle, wearing diamond stud earrings (forget big chandeliers) and a thin diamond bracelet, both from Cartier?
“Hair styles are looser,” Ms. Miller said, “and makeup is more natural now.”
The bride’s mother, Doria Ragland, wore a mint green Oscar de la Renta dress and coat with a coordinating fascinator reminiscent of Jackie Kennedy’s simple 1960s style. But her nod to modernity and individualism was the demure but noticeable diamond nose stud.
A White Bouquet. Also, Go to Your Garden.
It would be elegant if white floral bouquets like Ms. Markle’s made a comeback now, even though there has been a lot of color added to American weddings.
The language of flowers is important and romantic, too; Ms. Markle’s bouquet had a sprig of myrtle in it — a sign of hope and love, often in British royal bridal bouquets. It also included some flowers handpicked by Prince Harry (forget-me-nots, a favorite of his mother, Princess Diana) from the Kensington Palace garden the day before the wedding.
Out With the Old. A Fresh and Local Cake.
Americans, it may be time to deconstruct those towering, tiered (or do we mean tired?), sugary wedding cakes that most people don’t eat anyway and get creative with flavor and design.
Ms. Markle and Prince Harry went a very different direction with sponge cake, skipping the traditional, no-expiration-date English fruitcake.
They chose the flavors of lemon and elderberry flower baked and heavily decorated with fresh flowers by Claire Ptak, a London-based baker who owns Violet Cakes and uses local organic and seasonal ingredients. Instead of the towering tier, it was presented as four cakes on three separate resting places (one golden plate and two golden goblets) situated at varying heights.
There were 600 at the reception. We don’t know if they all ate cake. But here is what it was made of: 200 Amalfi lemons, 500 organic eggs from Sussex, about 44 pounds each of butter, flour and sugar, and 10 bottles of Sandringham elderflower cordial.
You can be sure that none of these weddings happened at Florida’s Finest Wedding Chapel, Old Church Chapel in Orange Lake, Florida – your home for Simple and Sincere Wedding Services!
30 Of The Shortest Celebrity Marriages Ever
We’ve rounded up 30 celebrity couples whose marriages didn’t stand the test of time. In fact, some of these pairings split not long after the ink dried on their marriage certificates!
For pictures and details, see the original article at shortest marriages ever
Ali Landry & Mario Lopez — 18 Days
Eminem & Kim Mathers — 2 Months (Their Second Marriage)
Ethel Merman & Ernest Borgnine — 32 Days
Eddie Murphy & Tracey Edmonds — 2 Weeks
Johnny Depp & Amber Heard — 15 Months
Fred Armisen & Elisabeth Moss — 8 Months
Cher & Gregg Allman — 9 Days
Milla Jovovich & Shawn Andrew — 2 Months
Kid Rock & Pamela Anderson — 122 Days
Kenny Chesney & Renee Zellweger — 225 Days
Dennis Hopper & Michelle Phillips — 9 Days
Mike Tyson & Robin Givens — 1 Year
Jim Carrey & Lauren Holly — 9 Months
Katy Perry & Russell Brand — 14 Months
Helen Hunt & Hank Azaria — 11 Months
Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Esposito — 4 Months
Colin Farrell & Amelia Warner — 4 Months
Carmen Electra & Dennis Rodman — 9 Days
Britney Spears & Jason Allen Alexander — 55 Hours
Britney Spears & Jason Allen Alexander — 55 Hours
Shannen Doherty & Ashley Hamilton — 6 Months
Jennifer Lopez & Cris Judd — 218 Days
Nicky Hilton & Todd Meister — 85 Days
Chris Kattan & Sunshine Tutt — 59 Days
Amber Rose & Wiz Khalifa — 14 Months
Aaliyah & R. Kelly — 6 Months
Chad Michael Murray & Sophia Bush — 5 Months
Chad Johnson & Evelyn Lozada — 41 Days
Hold your wedding at Old Church Chapel, a Wedding Chapel near Gainesville Florida and avoid most of the “regrets” that couples have mentioned.
Ah, weddings. It’s supposed to be one the happiest days of a person’s life — but is it actually?
There’s a ton of stress involved in planning the big day, not to mention the expenses and, of course, second guessing all the decisions you’ve made leading up to the ceremony.
“Is this the right dress? Do we have enough food? Did we spend too much money? Will anyone be offended by the seating chart?” The list goes on … and on … and on.
Our staff at Old Church Wedding Chapel near Gainesville Fl will abe happy to assist you and prevent most of these regrets from happening!
What Would They Change?
Most couples that took part in the survey were in agreement that they should have spent more money on their honeymoon, rings and photographer, and less on the dress and invitations. Nearly half of the couples surveyed also said they should have enjoyed it more, while 28 percent said they regret how much they spent, 20 percent regret the guest list (ouch!) and 19 percent said they should have just eloped.
Another interesting note from the survey is that 70 percent of those asked spent less than $25,000 on the big day, while 17 percent spent $25,000-$50,000 and only 1 percent spent more than $100,000.
And when it comes to planning and paying for it all, women were three times more likely to say they made the most decisions, while 41 percent of couples said they split the wedding costs evenly. Only 16 percent said their families paid for the wedding, but 80 percent of that was the family of the bride.
But it wasn’t all bad news from the Dana Rebecca Designs survey. In the end, although 58 percent of couples said they were stressed on the day of the wedding, 90 percent said, despite it all, the good outweighed the bad. Nearly 60 percent said they were able to enjoy their wedding day and 72 percent say it was one of the best days of their life.
The couples who were surveyed also offered some words of wisdom for future couples, saying not to worry about spending too much on a wedding planner, the rehearsal dinner, bridal party gifts and a videographer. Because honestly, how often are you really likely to rewatch your wedding video?
How to keep your dream Pinterest-inspired wedding venue from blowing up your budget
The answer is super, super simple. Choose the beautiful, historic OLD CHURCH CHAPEL the Gainesville Florida Wedding Venue that will give you the best value while providing an elegant option for your wedding!
Planning your wedding reception in a charming Pinterest-inspired barnor at the Gainesville Florida Wedding Venue – Old Church Chapel, instead of the typical banquet hall? If you’re not careful, it could skyrocket your wedding bill.
Social media has heightened the appeal of unique locations instead of traditional places with all the bells and whistles built in.
For example, the number of couples booking farm, barn and ranch reception venues has jumped from 2 percent in 2009 to 15 percent in 2017, according to data from The Knot, and historic home bookings now account for another 14 percent of weddings. Meanwhile, banquet hall bookings fell to 17 percent in 2017 from 27 percent in 2009, and country clubs to 10 percent from 13 percent over the same period.
Alternative venues — like industrial warehouses, public parks, summer camps, museums and lofts — may not cost much up front. But experts say the do-it-yourself aspect of filling in the service gaps a traditional venue provides, from silverware to portable toilets and kitchen appliances, can blow up a wedding bill.
“This is how brides are misled,” said wedding planner Angela Christoforo, owner of Elite Wedding & Event Planning in Hudson Valley, New York. “The venue gets the bride in the door, booked, based on a low site fee. Then after she books — bam — she finds out how costly her wedding really is going to be.”
The costs can be $20,000 to $30,000 more than a couple anticipated spending, Christoforo said. (Not ideal, considering that a recent Student Loan Hero report found three-quarters of engaged couples already expect to take on debt to cover their wedding bills.)
Banquet halls and hotels charge more up front, with starting prices of more than $100 per head plus other fees. But in the end these one-stop shops can be the cheaper bill, wedding planners say, because they use the same equipment and staff for various events.
“Once you start bringing in all these different vendors, each of them have to make their own profit,” said Janice Carnevale, owner of Bellwether Events in Washington, D.C.
Here’s how couples can control costs while hosting their fantasy Pinterest-inspired wedding:
1. Check for key amenities
Many alternative venues weren’t built to host events and don’t come with major amenities like bathrooms, a kitchen, and heat or air conditioning. That can result in thousands of dollars in extra rental costs for must-haves like portable toilets or commercial kitchen appliances.
Some offbeat venues, like barns and warehouses, are being renovated to include those amenities, now that the rustic and industrial look is on trend for weddings.
If the venue doesn’t come with a kitchen, you can still minimize costs by hiring a caterer who is near the venue so they “can do most of the cooking at their kitchen, and then finish cooking at the venue with minimal equipment,” said wedding planner Deanna Nash, owner of Deanna Nash Events in Los Angeles.
2. Review the alcohol policy
Check your venue’s policy on alcohol. Some require that your caterer provide the alcoholic beverages, for liability reasons.
But many venues allow the wedding party to provide their own alcohol, which “significantly reduces costs,” said wedding planner Jesse Reing, owner of Jesse Reing Events in New York.
“You just want to make sure your caterer will allow you to either use or pay a small fee for the use of their liquor license for the day,” she said.
Providing your own alcohol can cost under $3,000 for a 200 person wedding, while you’re looking at $60 to $90 per guest if the caterer provides it, Reing said.
3. Scrutinize parking
Think about where you and your guests will park.
Alternative venues may not come with many parking spots because they aren’t required to have them, the way banquet halls are, said Elite Wedding Planning’s Christoforo. Venues in remote areas could require shuttle services to take guests to and from the venue, on buses that cost from $900 to $1,500 each, she said.
If Uber has a large enough presence in the area, couples can save money on transportation services using Uber Events, if driving distances aren’t too far, said Reing. The service lets couples provides their guests with a ride promo code that bills each ride to the couple.
4. Take advantage of natural beauty
Flowers and décor can be a significant wedding expense, ranging from $3,000 to $12,000 on average, said wedding planner Marni Farmer, owner of So Smitten Special Events based in Long Beach, California.
Venues that make the most of Mother Nature can help minimize those costs. California has plenty of state parks, botanical gardens, forests, and dramatic coastlines for that purpose, Farmer said.
“When the rest of the venue is trees, flowers and ocean, then you don’t need to do much more than the bare minimum with flowers,” she said.
5. Ask about Plan B
For an outdoor wedding, ask the venue what their options are in case of rain or other inclement weather during the ceremony. “If they don’t have a backup location protected from the elements then you will have the added expense of a tent for your rain plan,” Cristoforo said.
That tent may cost from $300 to $1,200 depending on how many people it needs to fit, she said.
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