Non-Church Options For Wedding Ceremonies

So you're getting married. Now

So you've made the big decision; you're going to spend your lives together. At least, you thought that was the big decision. Now everyone""everyone you know, and complete strangers""want to know, "Where are you having the ceremony?"

If you're both members of the same church, or if either of you attend church very regularly, the answer may seem obvious. But no law requires you to get married in a church. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

Remember, if you're planning a wedding somewhere other than a church, you'll have to arrange to reserve the location and to schedule for someone to officiate. Now, where will you have the ceremony? Consider"¦

If you've picked a June date and have your fingers crossed for a perfect, sunny, not-too-hot, not-too-windy day, you may have already eyed a park, or the backyard of a friend, neighbor or family member for the reception. But that same outdoor space may also make a perfect ceremony spot""and why not?

Many reception locations double as locations for wedding ceremonies.Some party hall and hotel reception coordinators have some experience in setting up for the ceremony, and they can help you (for a fee) rent chairs, a pianist or organist or even a soloist to make the ceremony happen according to your wishes.

Throughout Europe, it is expected that the "official" ceremony will take place in the town hall. A ceremonial ceremony, then, is typically held in a church later that day. In the U.S., mayors, magistrates, judges, and many government officials can marry two adults. But don't just limit your thinking to the town hall""look around town to consider a gazebo or club, or even a picturesque bridge or other landmark.

Outside the Church, and Outside the Box

As long as you're having your wedding outside a traditional church setting, why not think completely outside the box? The official makes the wedding official (well, that and your commitment to each other)""whereyou hold the ceremony is largely, well, ceremonious.

Why not consider holding the wedding where you met, or had your first date? One couple got married in a swimming pool. Well, of course, they were both S.C.U.B.A instructors, so it held a certain "˜deep' significance to them. Of course, if you're planning to get hitched in a highly unusual location, you'll need an understanding minister or other person to officiate. The owner of America's Unknown Destinations, a hot-air balloon company in Ohio, keeps a list of judges for couples who ask about tying the knot in the air. He took one judge off the list, he said, because he got so nervous in the air. "I thought I was going to have to finish the ceremony," the balloon pilot said.

Where else can wedding ceremonies be performed?

- in the air (skydivers)

- on horseback (animal trainers)

- under the big top (circus performers)

- in museums (art-lovers)

- on stage (for performers or artistic directors)

- on an airplane (for air stewards or pilots)

- in a tent (for dedicated campers or outdoors enthusiasts)

The possibilities are truly limited by your imagination""and not much else. Few laws dictate where weddings can, and cannot, be performed.

Here's to a memorable ceremony""yours.

© High Speed Ventures 2011