Photo credit: Caught the Light
Choosing the venue for your wedding is one of the most important decisions you will make in your planning. And where you have your ceremony is key in the decision-making process.
So where and what are your options?
- The traditional venue for your wedding ceremony.
- A licensed venue or registry office
- A venue of your choice. In other words, somewhere relevant to you.
Where else but church?
For many, especially of older generations, the thought of marrying anywhere other than church was inconceivable. I know I didn’t. My parents were married in church and so my husband and I just followed suit. No questions asked.
However with religion becoming increasingly less popular and weddings becoming more social and less sacred, millennials and the generation that follow are not such a ‘pleasing society’.
Many feel uncomfortable using a church purely as a venue when they have little or no belief and are therefore looking for alternative locations and not just those approved by the Council.
Photo Credit: DHW Photography
The 1949 Marriage laws were amended in 1994 to permit civil marriages to take place on approved premises heralding the arrival of licensed venues. This amendment provided a useful and very welcome income stream to the owners of glorious historic country houses, and even castles and has given couples the opportunity to use these beautiful locations for their wedding.
It’s no wonder they are so popular with couples from abroad or the UK itself. The historical architecture lends a grandness to the proceedings, and makes for a stunning backdrop for wedding photographs and the perfect environment for that quintessential English wedding.
These licensed venues come in many guises and are not just grand stately homes ; rustic barns, renovated farm buildings, vineyards are among the many options available. There really is something for everyone.
All will have spaces that will have been approved by the council but there may also be areas that do not have a license which you may prefer. So if you have fallen in love with a particular venue but the ceremonial space you would like is not licensed don’t despair because if you the services of a wedding celebrant it can still happen.
Photo credit: Amy Sampson Photography
Have your ceremony where you want it
Nowadays more and more modern couples want to take control of such a personal event and be able to choose where they wed. Wedding celebrants like myself consider any location a possible venue for a ceremony. When it comes to your wedding you should have your ceremony where you want it.
However from a practical perspective bear in mind where it is in relation to where you and the majority of your guests will be travelling from. The closer and more conveniently located the easier it is for everyone to get to you and in this eco-friendly world the smaller the carbon cost from travel.
Stunning locations are not always the most practical! Make sure your guests can get there.
Will this ceremony be legal
The short answer is no. The key here is that there is a big difference between a wedding ceremony and a marriage. I am talking about wedding ceremonies in this article not marriages.
To legalise your marriage you will need to visit a registry office at some point beforehand, or even afterwards, to sign a marriage contract. Your wedding ceremony at your chosen location can then be conducted by a wedding celebrant.
Independent wedding celebrants are not tied to any religion or any location. We may not be able to legally marry you, until the archaic marriage laws are amended, but we can deliver highly personalised ceremonies in a location of your choosing without regulation or restriction.
You could have your ceremony at home
Wedding receptions at home are commonplace but the concept of having the ceremony at home as well is relatively new. Backyard wedding ceremonies in Australia and America have been happening for years and the penny is finally dropping over here too.
For some there is a powerful connection to home. It is a place that shapes us and there is nowhere more reassuring and peaceful than to be at home surrounded by everything that is familiar to you.
Where could possibly be more special than planning and hosting one of the most personal and important events in your life? So if you have a beautiful family garden or farmland – don’t disregard the possibility of having your ceremony there. Marquees and barns make wonderful ceremonial spaces if the weather disappoints.
Where is special and relevant to you?
So where is your special place?
Could it be a beach where you have spent family holidays?
Have you always dreamed of the magic and atmosphere of tying the knot in ancient woodland?
Are you after the Wind and the Willows vibe and would like to wed on a beautiful river bank.
At a festival perhaps? Moorland? A lighthouse? Clifftops? The village green? Your favourite pub garden. Honestly the world is your oyster. Obviously some of my suggestions are more obscure, and possibly a little more impractical than others but the point is that it is possible to hold your ceremony literally anywhere
All the images in this article feature weddings that have been conducted at the bride or groom’s family homes and I feel demonstrate perfectly how relaxed and special they can be.
Are you wondering where to have your ceremony?
Do you know of a couple who feels this way?
Is your son or daughter recently engaged? Do you think if they knew it was possible they would like to have their ceremony somewhere deeply personal and special to them? Are you or they looking for the traditional atmosphere but are not wanting religious location? This can be created in a location of your dreams.
I would simply love to chat with you and explain how we can make your ceremony something you and your guests will cherish forever. If you would like to learn more about the service I provide, please do get in touch.