When deciding on a wedding venue, most people think about a religious venue first, even if they are not currently practicing a religion. Here are five reasons you may want to broaden your search of venues and include non-religious wedding chapels on your list of venues to check out.
Avoid Religious Conflicts
Depending on the religious site you would like to get married at, there can be many requirements you have to meet. In most cases, either you or your partner must be an active member of the church, synagogue or temple you want to get married in. One, and often times both of you, must follow the religion of the venue, and premarital counseling for a period of 3-6 months is usually required. If you are a same-sex couple, you may find that your home church will not allow same-sex marriages.
Getting married in a dedicated wedding chapel can solve many religious issues that may bar you from getting married in your religious building. If you and your fiance practice different religions, you can smooth over relations with your in-laws by getting married on neutral territory. However, you may elect to have a religious ceremony performed in a non-religious wedding chapel if that is important to you.
Save Money on Decorations
Most religious buildings are designed to look somber and respectful. If you want to decorate the venue, you will have to supply flowers, fabric, and other decorations to create the look you desire. This can put a large dent in your wedding budget, and some religious halls do not allow superfluous decorations even if you are paying for them.
A dedicated wedding chapel is much more likely to fit your expectations of the ideal wedding environment. Most venues include basic decorations in the venue cost. If you would like to add your own colors or more specific decorations, most wedding chapels will happily accommodate you. Many will offer the services of a professional decorator who can do the work necessary to make the venue exactly what you want.
Have the Reception at the Same Venue
While some religious venues have meeting halls that can be used for your reception, most people end up booking both a religious building and a separate venue for their reception. This not only adds more expenses to your budget but also forces you and your guests to travel between the ceremony and reception. You will find that most wedding chapels have multiple reception halls that will allow you and your guests to walk quickly from your ceremony to your party.
Choose from More Dates and Times
While religious buildings generally have one hall and one or two officiants who can perform your ceremony, many wedding chapels have multiple halls and multiple officiants to choose from. They are also not limited by conflicting events such as religious services or studies. This greatly increases the likelihood that you will be able to choose the date and time that works best for you and your guests rather than planning your wedding around your religious venue's schedule.
Wear What You Want
Many religious venues require that the the couple being married, and their guests, dress appropriately for the formal venue they are in. Often, this includes no bare shoulders, short skirts, or low-cut tops for women. The bride may also be required to utilize a veil. If you or your future spouse planned for a wedding dress that reveals a little more than your religious venue allows, or if you want to avoid an awkward comment on your invitations about your dress code, you may choose to get married in a wedding chapel with less strict rules about clothing.
Remember, once you find a venue, you can still decide on whether you would like your ceremony to have a religious or secular tone and create the perfect wedding for you and your future spouse.