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How to choose YOUR greatest wedding location

Of the several hundred couples my wife and I have married in the past eight years, I'm sure most of them thought they had chosen the greatest location.  And they had. Which doesn't make any of these the greatest location for you.  So what's the greatest location for you?

First, it's got to be a place that you think is special.  That could be a place you've always liked, one you go to a lot. Maybe a place other people would choose too -- like a park or historic site or resort.  But it could be an unlikely spot -- like your favorite restaurant or a bowling alley.  And if that's a special place for you -- why not?
But think carefully. Not every beautiful spot is ideally suited for a wedding.  We've done many weddings in Duke Gardens, a beautiful location at Duke University, but because of lots of stone walls, raised flower beds, long narrow paths, and other fixed landscape features, there is very little clear space for seating wedding guests, so planning for a wedding there often involves lots of work-arounds and compromises. Think of a beautiful space, of course, but then think about where you will stand for the ceremony and where the guests will be seated. Maybe you can plan around the difficulties, or maybe you'd do better to find another wedding location.

Next, your wedding should be at a location you (or your family) can afford. We've done weddings -- and attended receptions -- at country clubs and upscale restaurants. And they were very impressive. That's fine if the budget will handle it.  But we've done equally enjoyable and memorable weddings in much simpler settings, all the way down to a simple deck in the middle of a state park, rented by the couple for $35 for the day.  And there are lots of locations available for a few hundred dollars.

Finally, location: If you have lots of out-of-town relatives and friends, take pity on them and try to find a location that is easy for them to find and get to. The ideal is a location -- such as a hotel or bed-and-breakfast -- where guests can stay, and where the wedding and reception are all in the same building or within walking distance.  Worst is where the hotel and the wedding and the reception are all twenty miles apart, with very complicated driving instructions from one place to the other. (But we've known of couples who solved this problem by chartering a bus to carry guests from the hotel to the wedding and the reception.)
 I hope this helps you find your greatest wedding location.

Submitted By;
Christopher Sanford
Unforgettable Wedding

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