One of the first decisions you and your fiance’ will make regarding your wedding is its location. There are so many locations available that the decision can seem overwhelming. Many couples decide to have their wedding ceremony in a church, and their reception at a different location. Others have their ceremony and reception at the same location.

Whichever you choose I am certain your wedding day will be the most beautiful day of your life! It is very popular today for wedding ceremonies and receptions to be held in either residential homes, at poolsides, in a garden, a hotel banquet room, and in a natural scenic setting. The following is a brief look at each one.

Cozy Home Weddings: Wedding ceremonies that take place at the home of a special friend or family member are truly wonderful and filled with a cozy warmth you may not find elsewhere. Just remember to first check with your religious institution to make certain it will recognize a non-church wedding ceremony.

Also pay attention to the number of invitations you plan to send out, since the seating will be limited. I would also keep the decorations and refreshments to a minimum since the setting may be more confined than other locations, and these items usually take up a good deal of space. Keep it simple, and it will be magnificent.

Make certain to use your local bakery and catering service for your home wedding, as the entire community will want to be a part of your celebration. To thank your guests for sharing your special day with them, I suggest wedding favors, which are very popular today, but are not always easy to find within your community.

Poolside Wedding Venues: A reception planned for the poolside will truly be a special event. This allows you to bring out all the tropical and beach themed items on the market today, and there are many to choose from.

You will definitely want a bar set up serving tropical drinks. Your decorations should be bright and breezy. Float tropical flowers in the pool, or hand out leis to your guests, and when evening comes float lighted candles in the pool and on your reception tables in bowls.

Make certain to anchor lightweight items with shells or any item of your choosing so the wind will not blow them away. I believe buffet style food stations will be best for your poolside event, using non-breakable items if possible. Then, relax and enjoy! This is one of the most fun and creative settings you can choose, and your guests will remember it forever.

Banquet Room Reception Venue: Banquet rooms are the perfect location for weddings and receptions for larger crowds. Banquet rooms whether they are located in hotels, country clubs, mansions or museums are very popular, so it would be best to book this location as early as possible.

The good thing about these types of wedding venues is that it makes it quite easy to decorate using just about any theme. You can choose to be as simple or as elegant as you want; however, a good rule of thumb is the larger the room the more extravagant the decorations should be.

A sit down dinner is ideal for a banquet room reception, especially when there is an onsite staff ready to handle all the details. Fully stocked bars are popular at these locations, as well as a full menu and a lively band.

Though this type of wedding and reception site may seem daunting in size, it can actually turn out to be a warm and cozy setting with the proper decorations. So don’t hesitate to select a banquet room, and invite as many guests as you want to help you celebrate the most special day of your life.

Garden Wedding Venues: Garden weddings and receptions are simply gorgeous. There is nothing more divine than to be married in a garden setting surrounded by flowers, birds and your friends and family. Whether it is a friend’s manicured lawn, a public park or a lush botanical garden, this is the ideal setting.

Don’t overdo the decorations with a garden wedding or reception; let the beauty speak for itself. This is actually the perfect setting for the budget minded bride, since the scenery will be so beautiful, and is usually free. It would be a good idea to set up buffet style food stations under tents if you are concerned about the weather. Otherwise, a seating arrangement of white tables and chairs would be perfect for your guests to enjoy the fare you have planned. You can go with without tablecloths, using only a small arrangement of flowers as centerpieces.

As evening comes lighted candles will be the perfect touch. To keep the atmosphere romantic you can hire a strolling violinist to wander among your guest playing soft music. And when it is all over, you will be amazed at how beautiful your wedding photographs are with the beauty of flowers in bloom, green grass and fresh air in every shot.

Outdoor Wedding Venues: The beauty of an ocean or the majesty of the mountaintops is just a few of the many dramatic and romantic sights available for your wedding.

No matter what location or setting you choose, this is the most important day of your life, so relax and enjoy every moment.

by Brenda Daube