When Westminster Abbey Isn’t Available

When Westminster Abbey Isn’t Available

Actress Meghan Markle won’t have a problem booking a venue for her upcoming nuptial to Prince Harry. Unlike the late Princess Diana, who famously graced Westminster Abbey’s hallowed halls and sanctuary, Great Britain’s future princess will take a walk down the center aisle of St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. For a royal bride, the choice of venues is easily made.  The rest of us should be so lucky.

The venue sets a wedding’s overall tone.

Wishing to choose a venue that is just right, couples spend time agonizing over the search, looking for one that meets every need, but that will also add a touch of magic to the event. The venue choices are as varied as the brides and grooms in pursuit of them. Locations range anywhere from neighborhood churches, backyard oases or fantasy and dream destinations, which captivate the wedding guests lucky enough to attend.

Given the enormity of the choice, perhaps most brides would prefer, like the royals, to be presented with fewer (though grander) venue alternatives. We’re sure that your groom is a prince of a guy, but unless he’s a real prince in a royal family, that’s probably not going to happen. It’s okay. A few considerations will assist in narrowing the choices.

Bank on the venue.

Couples should expect to spend nearly 50% of the cost of the wedding on the venue. On average the wedding venue will cost between 13 and 14 thousand dollars. This number fluctuates depending on variables such as: the number of guests invited, the location of the venue, the food served and of course any taxes and fees that are added on to the upfront costs. Before making a decision and signing on the dotted line, ask a lot of questions. What is included in the cost of the venue, tables and chairs, cleanup after the wedding, etc.?

Destination weddings make up about 15% of weddings.

Aside from the bride and groom, destination weddings generally include only close family members and friends. The cost varies depending on the location, but couples can find deals at many resorts that provide destination packages. Couples should really crunch the numbers to be sure that a destination wedding is within their budget, but it’s important to note that many of the destination packages include a wedding planner to help make your wedding/vacation the stuff of which dreams are made. In addition to a smaller guest list, an onsite wedding planner keeps costs down. However, a bride may choose to hire a planner who lives close by and will travel to attend the destination wedding.

So, Westminster Abbey is booked? No problem. Royalty isn’t required to find the perfect venue for your wedding. It’s all about determining what you want as a couple.