When choosing where you want to hold your ceremony and reception there are many things to consider. The first and most important question you will need to answer is how many guests will you have? The number of people in attendance can determine whether or not you your dream venue will accommodate everyone.
Next, can your guests travel? Yes, this is your day, but it is good to also consider your guests. Do a lot of your guests have kids? Do you have older relatives who might not travel well? These are all things to consider when picking your destination. It might be hard for your closest friend with three kids to make it to your Jamaica venue.
What is your venue budget? Some locations and venues are much more expensive than others. It is good to know your budget so that you can quickly eliminate those venues that are too expensive.
Do you want a traditional, religious ceremony? If so, this focuses your venues on churches and eliminates some of the other options.
Once you answer these basic questions then you can decide what TYPE of venue you want.
Traditional: Most churches can accommodate hundreds of people. Some religious venues have rules about who is eligible to be married there or about attire, so be sure to inquire about this up front. If you and your fiancé have different religious beliefs, think about having the ceremony at a neutral location, like a reception hall. It’s good to talk early on with both families about your decision.
At a Home: Marrying at your house or a friend’s property lets you share with your guests a place that’s meaningful to you, not to mention you have the comforts of a private home (that you may be very familiar with) on your big day. A home wedding can be more intimate, but also may be pricey. If you have to have everything from china to tables and chairs, etc. this can be more expensive to bring in than some venues where all of these items are already available. On the other hand, if you are having a small wedding and some of the items needed for your big day already exists at the home then you may actually save some money.
Country Club: Country clubs are great for more formal weddings. You can count on a landscaped and clean setting. There’s usually plenty of room for a ceremony and reception at these venues. You would probably not have to worry about tables, chairs and linens either. Jacksonville offers many great locations for this type of venue. For example, the Golf Club of Amelia Island offers the Atlantic Ocean or the 18th fairway as the backdrop for your big day.
Restaurant: A bride and groom may choose a restaurant wedding because they want to give their guests a fine dining experience. It might also be that was where your first date or proposal took place. A restaurant might not be able to hold hundreds of guests, so this is a good choice for a smaller guest list. This can also more cost effective because the flatware, china, tables, bar (at a cost), and more are available there.
Beach: The Jacksonville area boasts a beautiful (practically free) outdoor space, so why not take advantage of it for your ceremony? Beaches are beautiful, open, and have plenty of seating room. When considering a beach location know that some parks and beaches impose a time limit and there might be rules about noise levels as well as restrictions for glass bottles and containers.
Hotel: Hotels are very popular for weddings. They have ballrooms, courtyards, and various spaces to use for any size party. Larger hotels typically have an in-house wedding planner, so it is possible that you might save money vs. using an outside wedding planner.
Uncommon Venues: Cookie cutter weddings are no longer the only option. Getting married in a non-traditional location can be more memorable and sometimes more cost effective. If you find a spot that doesn’t often do weddings, you might be able to get a lower price than at a place where weddings are more frequent. Museums, historic estates, zoos, libraries, public gardens are all options for out of the norm wedding venues.
It’s your special day, so make sure to explore all of your wedding venue options!