It's easy to find a different venue for your wedding ceremony

Many couple also chose to have their wedding ceremony at venues other than a church. Again this can be for a great number of reasons; some have no great attachment to a particular religious belief, other couples opt for a less traditional wedding ceremony, some like the idea of having both the ceremony and reception at the one place and others just really love a particular location.

photo by Andrea Peverali.

Many public areas such as the beach, a local park or garden require permits from your local council so make sure you look into this early. These public places can sometimes have special rules you need to stick to such as no rice or confetti; read these rules carefully so you aren’t hit with unnecessary fines.

Don’t forget to also check out the alternative locations if it happens to rain. Is there a back up area for the ceremony? Can the venue and celebrant be flexible so everyone could wait half an hour for the rain to clear? Does the venue supply umbrellas if there is no other alternative?

Here are some great tips to help you save on your wedding ceremony at other venues:

1. If you are thinking of getting married at a local park or garden, make sure you have some proof of identity and residence with you as some councils allow local residents to use certain spots for free

2. Some reception centres and vineyards have an area you can also have your wedding ceremony. If you can get married in the same place that you are planning to have your reception, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars in transport costs as well as travel time for video and photography.

3. Although many of these providers are now wising up and charging for use of this wedding ceremony venue; it can be a great negotiation tool for you. Charging up to a thousand dollars for a garden or vineyard area that has little more than a signing table is highway robbery! Does the centre want to lose your reception and potentially a few thousand dollars to make an easy few hundred? You may need to be prepared to walk if you believe in it strongly enough.

4. If they won’t budge on the ceremony hire, negotiate drinks and/or canapés for the guests while you are getting photos taken.

5. If you are getting married at a different venue such as a garden or park, do not stress too much about chair hire. Most non-traditional ceremonies last for around 20 minutes; most of your guests will be fine to stand for that long. Try to only cater for your older guests with chairs; say 15 – 20 for around 100 guests. This can save you anywhere from $100 - $600.

photo by The Written Geek™.

6. Depending on permits, a public area will mean that you will be able to bring your own non-alcoholic drinks and food for the guests to enjoy. This can be a much cheaper option than canapés at the reception and will give your wedding guests time to enjoy your ceremony location.

7. A number of private venues, such as vineyards and private gardens, will also allow you to bring your own catering if you are prepared to purchase some of their wine. Look into how many bottles you will need to purchase, as you could opt for supplying water, juice and soft drinks and saving the wine as gifts for attendants. If they want to charge you by the glass, however it probably won’t be cost effective.

8. Simple sandwiches, wraps, cheeses and dips can feed your guests and save you hundreds of dollars.

9. Don't forget to ask around your circle of friends or family. Someone may have a great garden or farm that might be perfect for your wedding ceremony.

10. Another popular trend is the surprise wedding ceremony. You can invite your friends to a bbq at your house, party at a hall or any other location. At a certin time the celebrant can arrive and the wedding can be a great casual celebration.

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