Choosing a Wedding Venue

Between the engagement ring and the wedding ring, there is a whole lot of planning to be done. One of the very first steps a newly engaged couple should take is choosing a venue. Why? The place you choose to get married will impact every other decision you make when planning your wedding. Here at The Plunge Project, we want to make sure you are well-informed about venue pros and cons. Let’s take a look at the various options to ensure your walk down the aisle is in the perfect location…

Marquee Wedding by David Higgs

The very first question to ask yourself is, what is most important to you? If having your entire family and circle of friends in attendance is your top priority, having a destination wedding may not be your best bet. On the other hand, if you’re envisioning a formal ceremony with a gourmet meal, you’ll need to choose a venue that can accommodate your vision (and your food). Determining the most important elements will help you to narrow down location possibilities.

Going Traditional: If you are planning to go the traditional route, the venue will most-likely have preset policies. While this may not allow for much wiggle room, it does ensure there will be few surprises. Be sure not to book a traditional wedding venue (or any venue) before you have had all of your questions answered. Common complaints come from brides who didn’t realize they couldn’t begin decorating until the morning of the ceremony, that liquor is not allowed, that wedding-goers must leave the location at a particular time, or that the venue must be left in pristine condition. To avoid additional fees, be sure to follow each and every rule. One huge bonus about going traditional? The staff will know exactly what to do, leaving very little for you to worry about.

Another note to take into consideration when planning a wedding at a traditional venue: It may take more work to create a unique experience. Consider what will set your event apart from other traditional weddings. The venue plays a big part in the overall experience.

Marjorie Powell Allen Chapel by Frank Thompson Photos

Religious vs. Spiritual: Differentiating a religious wedding with a spiritual ceremony may not be a big deal for some couples, but to others, it’s the deciding factor in choosing a location. A religious affair may align with some of the traditional guidelines above. Often, religious leaders will only marry couples in their place of worship; this is something to keep in mind if you have an idea of who you would like to officiate your ceremony. If your wedding wish is to create a spiritual vibe, consider being surrounded by nature. Does the thought of a beach or lake wedding make you giddy? Would you love to tie the knot surrounded by trees, flowers, and birds? In some cases, a well thought-out plan is in order; in others, it’s best to go with your gut.

DO-Wedding by Virginia State Parks

The At-Home Wedding A wedding at home may seem like a way to cut costs, but that’s not necessarily the case. Depending on the number of guests, rental fees can be over-the-top, and having supportive family and friends to help with the work is vital. An important step in determining whether you should have an at-home wedding is to find out if you’ll need a permit. You can contact your local city or town hall to get this information. You’ll also want to get in touch with your home owner’s insurance agency to see if you need additional coverage for your special day. Parking is an important consideration as well. While there are many questions to take into account, an at-home wedding can be intimate and unique. Don’t count it out if you can pull it off.

A Destination Celebration: One thing’s for sure... Nobody will every accuse you of having a cookie-cutter wedding if you go the destination route. Although planning a celebration from afar can be stressful, the benefits often outweigh the hassle. If you’re considering an event far from home, keep in mind who will (and won’t) be able to make the trip. Some couples choose to have a small destination ceremony and honeymoon, then host a party after they return home. One important factor to keep in mind is obtaining your marriage license. All states and countries have their own guidelines. If you have a destination in mind, you can check out their requirements at If you’re planning an overseas ceremony, check out

Beach Wedding by Lindsay Clark

The Totally Unique Wedding: So, you’re determined to have a wedding like no other? Let the fun begin! The most memorable weddings are often in the most unexpected places. Whether you’re dreaming of saying "I do" in your favorite sports arena, a castle, or an art gallery, you’re sure to make a statement. Because these venues don’t host many weddings, you may be able to negotiate price. Be sure the location can accommodate all of your guests, and if you plan to include booze, make sure the establishment allows it. You may also need to purchase liability insurance. If there will be non-ambulatory guests, make sure there are accommodations for them as well. It may take some extra prep, but your unique wedding will be worth the time and effort.

Before the Wedding by Jamie K Johnson

If you’re having trouble deciding on a location, ask yourself if the venue gives you the feeling you want your guests to have when they arrive. Once you do make the decision, book your wedding ASAP. If your heart is set on a specific spot and you miss out, you may feel like you settled. No bride should feel that way on her wedding day. Where you get married should be your idea of perfection! Choosing the perfect place is the first step to creating your ideal wedding. Well, after finding the perfect guy, of course...

A Little About Us

From before the aisle to after the plunge, the Plunge Project is a wedding and lifestyle blog for real women. The Plunge Project is a place for the detail-oriented woman to find ideas, inspiration and advice for everything that comes after that one little question, “will you marry me?”

From walking down the aisle, to building a home and entertaining, to keeping the spark alive (and one day even having babies…but we’re still getting there), the Plunge Project is written for the stylish, savvy, DIY loving, bargain hunting, detail-oriented, do-it-all woman who never lets a limited budget limit her style.

The Plunge Project’s mission is to provide wedding inspiration, stylish party ideas, unique DIY projects, tasty recipes and real world advice to the real woman.


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