Important Things to Consider Before Settling on a Venue

When it comes to planning a wedding, location is everything. In fact, one of the first things people usually ask a newly engaged couple is, “Where are you getting married?”

There are so many unique venues to consider, both locally and abroad. If you’re torn on whether to stay close to home or put everyone on a plane, here are a few questions you and your partner should consider:

Size of Guest List
If you are overwhelmed by the number of people you feel you need to invite, you may want to consider a destination wedding. Rachel Dalton, from Lynchburg, took this route. “We knew [having a destination wedding] would help narrow our guest list, and we wanted an intimate wedding,” she explains.

Since both Rachel and her husband are from the Lynchburg area, they knew a local, traditional wedding would result in a huge guest list. So they decided to pick a location several hours away. “We invited almost all family with a handful of friends to celebrate with us in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina,” Rachel explains. “We had 50 people there, no wedding party, and everyone we invited was able to attend!

I have never regretted it in the almost seven years since wegot married.”

Preferred Photo Ops
The wedding world has no shortage of stunning venues. If you are someone who values your wedding photos, consider the pros and cons of having photos taken at a local wedding versus a destination wedding.

At a local venue, you will most likely have more guests and will be able to take photos with most of your relatives and close friends. On the other hand, while you may not have as many family and friends at a destination wedding, these venues can offer stunning, intimate photos of you and your spouse that you may not be able to get at home, such as a sunset on the beach.

Involvement in Planning
Brooke Spencer and her fiancé are both from out of state. When they began planning their wedding, they considered having a destination wedding since both families would have to travel anyway. As they started looking at locations—such as Asheville, Lake Tahoe, and Crater Lake—Brooke quickly realized that coordinating a wedding hours away would make things difficult.

Also, while both destination and local wedding venues offer all-inclusive packages so you don’t have to handle every small detail, you will still have more involvement in the process if you stay local. Brooke settled on a Lynchburg wedding and loved being able to visit the venues (University of Lynchburg chapel and Craddock Terry Hotel) regularly. “Our wedding will be about sharing what we love about our new hometown with our loved ones,” she says.

Starting Honeymoon Early
For those who take the destination route, travelling before the wedding can cut down on stress between the ceremony and honeymoon. By arriving at your destination a day or two before the wedding, you won’t have to risk cancelled or delayed flights en route to your honeymoon. Instead, you’ll get to relax with your new husband immediately after tying the knot.

Doing Both
Still conflicted? Consider a completely non-traditional route of having a destination ceremony, but a local reception. The private ceremony allows you to begin your life together in an intimate setting, focusing only on each other. Upon returning home, you can celebrate with all of your friends and family, show off your dress and enjoy the night without having to deal with the stress of everything all in one day.


By Leah Jones
Photography by Mindy Sargent

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