Everything about your special day should reflect you as a couple, including the venue. Last month’s blog discussed backyard weddings. If that wasn’t for you we’ve got alternatives!
How about this? Think about your passions or a place that represents your love story. Did you meet at a bowling alley? Do you share a love of boating? Is your passion looking up at the stars and dreaming? Well, the sky’s the limit when it comes to places to tie the knot. Pick one that’s uniquely you. And search findajp.com to select a JP who shares that enthusiasm too!
Here are a few examples to get the creative juices flowing.
Art pieces, historic artifacts, or interactive learning stations can be your backdrops when you choose a museum for your ceremony. Think of all the different types of museums at the ready. Say I do among the Monets in an art museum, choose period dresses for your bride’s maids in an historic home or mill, provide entertainment for the kids with a touch tank in a marine museum. Let your personal interests be your guide.
If you prefer nature as your sacred space, pledge your love at the top of a mountain, begin your journey along the Appalachian Trail, exchange rings in the garden of a wildlife sanctuary, or promise forever on a cliff that overlooks the sea. State parks and non-profit organizations often have affordable fees and use them to protect and maintain their causes: a great way to support these missions.
For a playful ceremony, consider a place for games. They are usually setup for parties, providing a room that can accommodate large crowds, and they’re oftentimes free! After the ceremony, provide tokens to your guests so they can enjoy the arcade, bowling or miniature golf. For a casual post-ceremony vibe, pizza or burgers served from an onsite restaurant and tap beer from the pub.
The old adage, ‘the best boat is a friend’s boat” is true if you want it as your ceremony space! With 360-degree views of the water as your backdrop, it’s an aquatic wonderland. Check with your JP to learn the state’s requirements. If you must be on land to be married by a JP, marry on the dock and follow up with a celebration cruise. Charter a local cruise ship for a larger party. Or even a dinner and sunset cruise.
To satisfy your inner astronomer, think about a ceremony in the stars. Some facilities provide seating for as many as 250+ guests. In the theatre itself see the alignment of stars on the evening you met, were engaged, or the night of your ceremony. What says, “I love you to the moon and back” better than a private viewing of constellations?
Many public libraries are historical landmarks built with materials like marble and mahogany rarely seen in newer establishments. Even if hard cover books are not your thing, the architecture alone can be awe-inspiring. The stage will be dramatic in the world of archived knowledge, whether it’s outside in a courtyard or inside with sweeping floor to ceiling bookcases.
Speaking of stages, if you’re a patron of the arts, most local non-profit theaters will be open to hosting your special event for a generous donation. A win-win! Flexibility is key, as you will have to schedule the ceremony on a night with no planned performances. But it will be worth the effort to be center stage for your big moment. The number of guests is only limited by the number of seats in the theatre. Use the lobby as your reception space and then provide a photo booth with dramatic costumes to complete the theme.
For many couples, a wedding signifies entering a new phase of adulthood. If the thought of that makes you nostalgic, call a couple of camps in the area to see if they are open to providing a rustic ceremony space during their off-season. Or if you were a camper and have a relationship with a specific campground, you may have a leg up on the general public. Bonus: many camps are located in beautiful places like forests, lakes, and seashores. Be aware that they do not have liquor licenses, though. You may have to bring the party to a restaurant if you’d like celebration cocktails to be served after the ceremony.
Your Justice of the Peace may have officiated weddings in other unexpected places. If you’d like to do something a little unique, but are not sure what, have a chat with him or her for more inspiration.
Find your perfect JP at findaJP.com
Cindy Dumont is a Justice of the Peace in North Hampton, New Hampshire.