Unexpected Wedding Venues for Couples who Love All Things Unique

 Photo: Pexels

Photo: Pexels

Weddings are amazing events where people from all over the country-- even the world-- get together to drink, eat, dance, and celebrate a couple's love. Because weddings are so fun, people have quickly found a way to make them into an industry-- and a massive one, at that. The United States wedding industry makes an estimated $72 billion in annual revenue. That's an average cost of $35,329 per wedding, according to The Knot's 2016 Real Weddings Study. The average annual salary of a 20-24 year old in the United States is less than $28,000, so that means it stands to reason that some people are spending more on their nuptials than they make in an entire year!

One of the biggest expenses couples have to make is the cost for reserving the wedding venues. For a simple church ceremony, you may be able to get away with paying only $500 before any officiant fees and decorations. However, for a ballroom or large entertaining room in a hotel, museum, or community center, be prepared to fork over $2500 to $10,000 just for the reception. Note that these reception halls often hike up the prices once they find out the event is a wedding. Try booking the same place for a "family event" and see if the quote isn't lower.

Finding alternative venues for a wedding is one of the simplest ways to cut down on the huge expense. Not only can it help the couple save money, but an unexpected wedding venue helps couples in love express themselves in a way that is fun and unique.

 

Backyard Wedding

 Photo: Gina & Ryan Photography, CA

Photo: Gina & Ryan Photography, CA

 

Okay, so having a wedding reception in the backyard isn't exactly the most original idea. However, with the money you save not renting a space, you can make your backyard the venue of your dreams. Plus, there is the added comfort of having such an important day celebrated in an important place.

Personalizing a backyard wedding reception is a lot of work, but you don't have to do it all yourself.  Places that rent out things like tables and chairs for other wedding receptions are more than happy to deliver to your home. You can even have things like a trellis or arbor pergola built to add a touch of class. The national average cost to build a pergola is $3,501. Finally, having a sound system set up means you can save on having a DJ or band and simply play songs from your playlist. Plus, you will be able to enjoy your new professional sound system long after the ceremony is over-- a wedding gift from you, to you!

 

National Park Wedding

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Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite National Park

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Moran Point, Grand Canyon

 

Nature lovers can say their vows surrounded by the glory preserved by our National Parks without breaking the bank on their wedding budget. The costs and requirements for a park's special use permits varies depending on where you are. However, the fees should only run you around $100. Some popular national parks for weddings to consider:

 

  • The First African Baptist Church, Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia

  • Hoh Rain Forest, Olympic National Park, Washington

  • Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite National Park, California

  • Moran Point, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

 

Library Wedding

Sure, a library wedding didn't work out for Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City movie, but that doesn't mean your local book stacks aren't the perfect location for you to say "I do." The cost of renting out a library for a wedding really depends on the size and scope of both the library itself and the wedding. Getting married in front of 200 people at the Chicago Public Library is going to cost more than, say, getting married in front of 50 at the little library in your hometown. However, most libraries-- big and small-- employ unique architecture and design that make them perfect for wedding ceremonies. Many of them have connecting outdoor spaces that can be used for receptions, as well.

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Weddings bring people from all over together to celebrate love-- there's nothing wrong with that! However, the cost of that celebration can run pretty steep. One of the easiest ways to save money for other parts of the wedding is to find cool but inexpensive venues for the ceremony and reception. Venues like backyards, national parks, and libraries help save some money while showing how unique the couple's love really is.

Destination Wedding "Must Do"

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Are you planning a destination wedding?  Then you may want to read this...   

Your wedding gown is one of the most important items that you'll take with you.  Whether it's a long or short distance, traveling with a wedding gown is a nerve racking task, but taking the right precautions and knowing some information ahead of time will alleviate some of the stress.  Before you head for the airport, consider a few things:

Put your dress in a garment bag. A garment bag will keep dirt, dust and anything else from staining your dress and it also makes it easy to carry. Most airlines require wedding gowns to be in garment bags if they are carried on to the plane.    

Call the airline ahead of time to find out their policies on taking a wedding dress on the plane. Some planes have closets which the airline will allow brides to store their dresses in, while other airlines may require you to put your dress in the overhead compartment. Whether they have closets or not, if you call ahead you’ll know what to expect when you get on board.

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Don’t ship your dress! Although shipping your dress may seem like the best option, it’s not. Many brides ship their gowns to the wedding destination, which is a huge mistake. It’s likely the dress will get stuck in customs and no one wants to be without a dress come wedding day. Rather than ship it, take it with you and bring it on the plane to avoid it getting lost in customs or at the baggage claim.  

Bring a handheld steamer. Although your resort may have a steamer you can use, bring your own in case you aren’t sure one will be available. The steamer can help you get out any wrinkles from the flight.

Make an emergency kit. Pack an emergency kit in case something does happen to your dress. Bring baby powder to cover a pesky stain that won’t come out, a needle and white or cream thread and some pins, just in case there’s a fashion emergency.

Now that you've taken some measures to ensure that your dress arrives safely, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the rest of your destination wedding!  CHEERS!

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