The informal wedding venue
If you’ve decided that the surroundings you’d like to get married in are a far cry from the country clubs and banquet halls your friends and relations have chosen, what should you be aware of?
If your style is more casual, you may gravitate towards a more relaxed wedding venue. The ideal venue will probably not need much research. You will have chosen the venue for your wedding because it is meaningful to you and reflects who you are and your style. Perhaps you have chosen a restaurant, pub, or your own back yard, or a spot at a remote park, or where you and your partner first met or created happy memories.
Weddings at more casual venues tend to be smaller than at the more formal locations. Brides often invite no more than a hundred wedding guests, and as few as a dozen, or even a couple.
Benefits of the casual wedding
The benefits of an informal wedding venue are that, apart from being less expensive, sometimes even free, you can make the place more your own, and have practically free rein in choosing food, decorations, music, and entertainment, time of day, and your schedule of events. You will likely not have the pressure of having to start or finish at a set time for photographs, ceremony, cocktails, and reception.
I have officiated and conducted weddings at informal venues ranging from living rooms to a dance studio, garden, a provincial park, and on board ship. Each one had its unique qualities and reflected the style of the couple getting married there.
Informal wedding venues—things to know
Some aspects to be aware of with informal wedding venues:
- It may be harder to have a backup plan if the weather does not cooperate, or if you have a sudden flood or power outage
- You will likely have to attend to every detail, large and small, yourselves, (which some couples love to do anyway, and others just don’t. They may prefer to focus on the ceremony, for example) rather than hiring a wedding planner or having an onsite wedding co-ordinator.
- It may be harder to improvise if there are glitches, as there would be fewer resources of people or technology to fall back on than there would be at a formal venue.
Balanced against all that is the joy of getting married in a very special place, and doing it your way, in every way.