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Should You Host Your Reception at a Non-Traditional Venue?

What you should make sure is covered before booking a place that doesn't normally do weddings.

From lofts, breweries, historic buildings, and more, brides and grooms are turning to all sorts of places for their nuptials.

Locations & Venues
malibu-rocky-oaks-wedding-with-outdoor-ceremony-on-helipad-santa-monica-mountains
Photo: Michael Segal Photography

With many couples trying their hardest to have a unique, personalized event to celebrate their love, unexpected venues find themselves being asked about hosting weddings. From lofts, breweries, historic buildings, and more, brides and grooms are turning to all sorts of places for their nuptials. Sometimes it’s to accommodate a lower budget, while in other cases it’s for the ability to create a unique event design from scratch. Though there are definite advantages to choosing a non-traditional venue, such a decision also comes with its own set of challenges. It’s important for you and your future spouse to keep that in mind when deciding where you want to be on the best day of your life. 

pros and cons of having your wedding at a non-traditional venue, unconventional wedding venues

Opening photo by Michael Segal Photography; Planning & Design by Tessa Lyn Events

Always ask if they’ve hosted weddings before and if so, how many. If they seem particularly inexperienced, you absolutely should hire a planner. Although it’s never a bad idea to hire one, it’s especially helpful when a space is run with a staff unfamiliar with the process.

You’ll want to be very clear regarding what the venue offers. If there is no kitchen space, you will have to clear that with any potential caterers. Parking can often be an issue – you may have to hire shuttles to transport guests, offer valet services, or direct guests to a nearby garage.

When it comes to outdoor spaces, remember to take any weather possibilities into account. Strong tents, heaters, and fans may all be necessary. It’s also of the utmost importance that there are clean and easily accessible restrooms available for your attendees. This can even be an issue with indoor locations, so be sure to check either way. 

Once the logistics are sorted out, embrace the opportunity that going with a non-standard venue affords you and your future spouse. Work with your vendors to make it a truly one-of-a-kind event that your guests will remember for years to come.  

Read the five questions you should ask your venue, discover the pros and cons of having your wedding at an estate, and learn what you need to know about planning an outdoor wedding. 

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