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A Page From Our Planner: Our Top Tips for Booking Your Ceremony Location

Some of you may know, years before finding the love of your life, the exact location you will be saying, “I do”. Some of you may be back and forth between a few ceremony sites or have no idea where you would like to get married. Regardless if you know your location or not, we would like to provide you with our top tips and must-ask questions when booking your ceremony location.

What kind of ceremony do you want?

Will it be religious or non-religious? Would you like it to be intimate or do you expect most of your invited wedding guests to attend?

What type of location are you envisioning?

Looking to have your ceremony in a church, chapel or house of worship? How about a quiet and secluded garden! Ever think about a rooftop? Chicago offers many of them with stunning views and backdrops of our gorgeous skyline!

Some of our couples opt to have an intimate ceremony in their home with their parents and siblings to keep some of their wedding sacred and more personal. We have also seen some couples choose to marry on a day prior to their reception date. This allows them to capture the sentimental and close moments together at City Hall or in their home and gives them more time to soak in the individual moment of their actual marriage, rather than having their ceremony and celebration on the same day.

Once you have your ideal ceremony visions set, it’s time to start the calls and site visits.

Important questions to ask when making your inquiry call

  • Is your wedding date available? If not, are you willing to be flexible on your date?

  • What is the guest capacity?

  • Can you decorate the space and if so, can you utilize real floral and petals?

  • Can your guests toss (rice, bubbles, etc.) upon your exit?

  • Are there any rules regarding photography or videography of the space?

  • If you are researching a place of worship, are there any religious restrictions with guests of other faiths. Also, if you and your fiancé are not of the same religion, please ask what requirements must be made of either of you in order to get married at that location.

  • Is parking available?

  • Can you provide your own ceremony musicians?

  • Will there be a bride/grooms suite?

  • What times do they offer ceremonies to take place? Are they flexible?

  • Make an appointment to visit the space

Items to note when visiting the ceremony site

  • Make sure the style of the venue is what you envisioned and that it fits with your tastes.

  • Picture yourself walking down the aisle, make sure you feel comfortable.

  • How long did it take you to travel there? Is it in close distance to your home, ideal hotel where you may be getting ready or to your ideal/booked reception site?

  • How are the acoustics?

  • Does it allow ideal locations for photos?

  • If you don’t have a planner, ask about whom you will be working with the day of and what they will be assisting you with?

  • If this is an outdoor location, do they have a backup plan for bad weather? What will the landscape look like on your wedding date?

Get the Next Steps

Regardless if the venue is #1 or #4 on your list of ideal locations, make sure you understand their booking requirements and next steps. Then take the time to review all of your information with your fiancé and other important decision makers for your wedding.

Hope this helped you organize your planning process a bit more when it comes to booking your ceremony space! Have additional questions? Email us at

Happy Planning!

Nicole, Lisa & Lindsay

comments +

  1. Shaunáe Teske says:

    These are such fabulous tips!! I would love to share with post with all my brides!!

  2. Natalie says:

    Great tips! I recently got married in September 2015 and I can agree that envisioning things before you book is super helpful in making the right decision! And writing down all the questions and requirements your venue must have before you make the call is helpful too!

    • Nicole Hensley says:

      Thanks for your comment Natalie! We totally agree. Sometimes we get so excited to get going that we don’t have the proper prep and questions in advance.

  3. kallie says:

    Great tips!

  4. Megan says:

    Very informative great tips for brides to be!

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