Selecting a Wedding Day Location: Why the Place You Say Your Vows Matters
March 24, 2019 , PLANNING RESOURCES
I strongly believe that a couple’s wedding day should be wholly representative of their relationship, authentic and relevant to who they are as a couple. Everyone deserves a true-to-you wedding day experience. After all, these are moments that are going to stay with you over the years, something to celebrate during good times, and a buoy for your relationship when the waters get rough.
One of the biggest wedding day decisions you will make as a couple is the piece of earth you choose to get married on. And one of the best ways to bring your true selves to your wedding day is to choose a location that is completely you.
The beauty of elopements and intimate weddings is that you can get married *almost* anywhere for any reason you wish. There is so much more flexibility to be had when your wedding day consists of just you and a handful of others (or just you!). I’ve photographed weddings on mountaintops and lakeside, in 200 year-old barns, and in ancient old growth forests. Each of my experiences has shown me that commitment is enriched when you wrap it in the warmth of a location that speaks to your collective soul.
I get it though, the seemingly limitless options can be downright overwhelming. All that flexibility can feel like both a blessing and a curse. I’m here to help! Keeping these considerations in mind while dreaming up a location can help you narrow down the options and discover a location that is utterly and completely reflective of your love story.
Wedding locations can be broken down into two groups, locations that have a nostalgic aspect, and those that are novel/adventurous. Of course, a location can be chosen because it falls into both of these categories as well. Let’s look at them more closely and, hopefully, spark some ideas in the process.
These are locations that evoke a sense of history. Perhaps yours, your relationship’s, or a cherished relative’s. Maybe the place you had your first date or first hike, the place where you first said, “I love you,” or a special location that you often frequent together. Nostalgic locations may also stir childhood memories, a place where there are family ties. Such locations may be significant due to ancestral, religious, or heritage related reasons. Maybe you want to marry your loved one in the exact location that your great grandparents met or were wed.
Nostalgic locations are steeped with history and, as a result, are oftentimes brimming with sentiment. These locations are a great choice for amplifying those feelings of purpose and intent that are already naturally present on your wedding day.
Novel and adventurous locations become meaningful by virtue of the history that you will create with your partner at that site. If you want a new experience or adventure to share with your partner as part of your wedding day experience, these types of locations do the trick.
A novel location has the added benefit of providing challenge, both physical and mental. Facing the unpredictability of a new landscape or engaging in a new activity together leads to increased cooperation, feelings of trust, and heightened intimacy, all elements that you want present on the day you promise your life to your chosen person (and on all the days that follow!). Sharing a new adventure together allows the forging of memories that come from accomplishing something novel and meaningful as a couple. These memories can, in turn, be revisited when your marriage needs a little pick me up.
Your location can fit into one of the above categories, or may have qualities that make it an equally good fit for both. The most important thing to keep in mind when brainstorming, and eventually selecting, a location is that it truly represents you and your partner, either literally, symbolically, or both. Perhaps sequoias that have stood the test of time are the perfect giants to witness a union that will, likewise, be enduring. Maybe a placid alpine lake best represents your easy-going natures and the tranquility that you find in each other’s presence. Gazing out from a rugged cliff edge may perfectly embody the excitement that you feel about taking this leap of faith into building a life together.
Be authentic and true to yourselves and your relationship. If you don’t like to hike, don’t get married at the tippy top of a mountain just for Pinterest-worthy images because, at the end of the day, what really matters is the experience and your memories. You want to look back on the images from your day and feel the moments all over again. Being true to yourselves makes those moments so much more meaningful.
I hope this inspired some ideas! There are so many things to consider when choosing an elopement or intimate wedding location beyond the more psychological aspects discussed above, so stay tuned for the next post, which will cover the more logistical aspects of location selection.
Helping couples plan their authentic wedding day experience and documenting it beautifully is my passion. I want to hear about your location ideas! Let’s chat about creating your authentic and intimate wedding day experience.