bride at The Orchard wedding venue

Should You have Two Wedding Day Locations?

Ever since our honeymoon, my wife and I have always gone to all-inclusive resorts for our vacation. This way, we could get everything in one place and don’t have to worry about dealing with multiple businesses. For example, if we stayed at a hotel, we would have to drive to a restaurant for every meal and figure that stuff out. At our resort, there were already restaurants. Now, this isn’t perfect, but it works for us. The same thing happens with weddings. Most couples choose to have everything happen at one wedding venue. There are a small few, though, that decide to do the wedding ceremony at one location and the wedding reception at another. One isn’t necessarily better than the other, so I thought I’d look at where you should have two wedding day locations or one.

Pros of having two wedding day locations

There are many good things about having two different wedding locations.  The biggest one I see is that you can choose the perfect locations for the entire wedding day. I know several locations that are wonderful for wedding ceremonies, but they either don’t offer receptions or aren’t ideal for one. This happens often with churches. The couple will have a church that is special to them, but then decide to have the reception somewhere else. The Mildred B. Cooper chapel in Bella Vista is another perfect example. It is perfect for ceremonies, but there is no space for a reception.

wide shot of Mildred B. Cooper Chapel

In some situations, you might even save money. Booking a big venue for an entire day might cost $4000-$7000. A church might be free or up to $700, and then you might be able to use the other location for a shorter amount of time. The main problem with this, though, is most venues aren’t willing to book someone for half a day.

Besides that, there are a few other random benefits. One, decorating might be easier. You can decorate both spaces before and not have to worry about flipping one. If you used only one location, you might decorate for the ceremony and then have to move in tables for the reception. I also like the idea of having more options for backgrounds in the photos. With two locations, you have two different sets of backgrounds, which might be completely different. With one venue, you will not have as many options.

Cons of having two wedding day locations

Finding and booking a venue can be tough. Often, it’s the first thing people will book, so it’s a real fight to get the date you want. I know some venues that are booked for almost two years in advance. Think about how difficult it is going to be making two venues line up!  You may find yourself taking whatever date is available.

Another issue is you are having to deal with two different companies. That means two different sets of conversations, contracts, rules, and payments. For some, that might be too much to keep track of.

bride at The Orchard wedding venue

There are also two other inconveniences about having two different wedding day locations. One, people will have to travel. That means people might get lost and you are losing time. Two, you will probably have to decorate both locations. I know I said that it’s nice to not have to flip a room for the reception, but decorating is time-consuming and does cost money.

Should you have Two Wedding Day Locations

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you whether this is right for you or not. Take a look at the pros and cons of each side and see what matters to you most and what you really don’t like. If you really want a particular date, this might not be for you. If you’re set of using a church or certain location for just the ceremony, then you can make it work. Once you’ve made up your mind, go for it, and figure out how to make it work. I know you can do it, but if you need help, always feel free to reach out and ask me any questions.

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