Looking for a really unique setting for your wedding venue? A site that resonates with atmosphere, tradition and elegance? Then consider a historical site. Whether it's a Southern plantation, imposing western ranch, century-old courthouse or aging New England inn, a historical site can add unforgettable charm to your celebration.
But to make a historical wedding site work with your wedding planning, you must plan, be patient and compromise.You should be prepared to change your plans to make them fit the building.Besides the standard questions you should ask of any celebration setting, here are 5 major concerns specific to historical wedding ceremony sites:
1. Does the building have structural limitations?These can include a lack of overall floor space, rooms too small for activities like dancing, and not enough restrooms, parking spaces or handicapped-accessible entrances. Space can be a particular challenge because many historical wedding venues weren’t designed to accommodate large,free-flowing celebrations like a wedding reception.
2. Does the site have restrictions on decorating?Those objects that make your chosen setting unique — its furniture, art,lighting, furnishing and the rest — must be protected from injury. There may be limits on how much you can decorate, add to or change the building. Be slow to demand additions — they may dilute the very reasons you wanted that site in the first place.
3. What about entertainment? Ask if musicians are allowed, and where.See if there are zoning regulations that restrict music volume, and whether its electrical system can handle such demands. If the setting is broken into smaller rooms, you may have to place entertainers in different rooms or floors of your wedding venue. Check if dancing is allowed and, if so, whether a portable dance floor is required or provided for you.
4. Are there limitations on food or beverages?Many historical wedding venues don’t allow red wine because of the risk of permanent stains. Others don’t want guests to carry appetizers from room to room. Ask whether a special liquor permit is required for your event. Also,confirm there’s enough kitchen space and equipment for your needs. If not, a caterer or rental company must supply it at extra cost to you. Also, ask whether lit candles are allowed.
5. Must you have insurance coverage? Despite all efforts, accidents can occur, whether to one of your guests or to property. And, for a historic setting, such mishaps can be costly. You may have to take out a single-event insurance policy to protect the site and your bank account. But check your own homeowner’s policy,if you have one, to see if it extends coverage for any such problems.
With planning, research and originality, the right historical wedding ceremony site can amplify your wedding theme, provide a memorable setting for your celebration and spotlight the romance of your special day.