Religious Wedding VS Venue Wedding

There’s no denying that planning a wedding creates a mixture of excitement and uncertainty about all of the hardcore decision making you and your partner will be doing. There are tons of choices to make for your big day about so many little details. Anything from where Uncle Jon will sit, what colors you want to use in your color scheme, and even what nail polish color you want to wear are all things you’ll have to decide on before your wedding day.

One of the biggest decisions to make is whether to hold your wedding at a religious venue or at a non-religious venue. Both religious and venue weddings have their individual pros, so this decision is one that will be very personal to you and your partner. We’ve created a list of things to consider when deciding between a religious venue and a non-religious one.

Why A Religious Wedding?

For many people, a wedding is a ceremony that binds two people together based on their personal religion. If you and your partner are religious or feel that faith is important in your lives, then you’ll probably find that a religious ceremony in a church, synagogue, mosque, or any other religious venue is what will fit your wedding best. Wedding ceremonies in houses of worship are a good option for couples who are strong believers in their faith, whatever it might be. 

Of course, not everyone that has a wedding ceremony in a house of worship is devoutly religious. Your decision to hold your wedding at a religious venue may also be driven by tradition and history. You or your partner may have attended a church for your whole lives, and even if you aren’t as religious as you might once have been, your childhood church might be a good place to say your vows. In some cases, couples may choose a house of worship for their wedding because of family traditions. Beechtree Design’s owner, Michelle, got married at the same church as her parents.Whether it be for religion, faith, tradition, or a combination of them all, these are good reasons to consider a religious wedding venue for your big day.

Photo by: Chris J. Evans

What to Expect When Planning a Religious Wedding

Location is an extremely important factor when planning a religious wedding. This type of wedding will take place in a church or cathedral, synagogue, mosque, or other house of worship. The ceremony will be led by a priest, vicar, pastor, or other religious leader. Choosing to have a wedding at a religious venue means that you will likely have to ask, discuss, and plan out details about the ceremony with this leader. Things you’ll want to talk about are the music at the ceremony, the readings you want done, and any other details that the person leading your wedding will ask about. Most importantly, they will also ask what marriage means to you and your partner, as well as counsel you on what it means to your religion and your God. 

Some other details to think about for your religious ceremony include securing licenses or certificates that are required to officially recognize the marriage. You’ll also want to take note that when you opt for a church wedding, you should be booking this first before your reception venue and suppliers. 

Finally, be mindful that your reception will most likely not be able to take place at the religious venue you choose for your ceremony. Most religious venues don’t allow for receptions, so be sure to look for reception venues that aren’t too far from where you’ll be saying “I do.”

Choosing a Venue Wedding

If you and your partner aren’t devoutly religious, or don’t feel that faith is an especially important part of your relationship, then a venue wedding may be a better option for you. These weddings also offer guests a more relaxed, non-traditional feel. This type of ceremony is a non-religious, legally binding marriage, sometimes called a civil ceremony. 

Guests (and you and your partner!) can dress more casually than they would at a traditional wedding. The ceremony may also be adjusted in ways that are non-traditional; couples may significantly shorten the ceremony, do readings from non-religious books, or write their own vows. At venue weddings, a legal representative or civil representative officiates the wedding, and this officiate can be anyone that is legally allowed to marry people. 

Some examples of venue weddings include hotels, restaurants, country clubs, barns, private homes, museums, or other outdoor venues, like the beach or at a cabin in the mountains. These are all great options for your venue wedding, especially if you find one that is especially important to you and your partner. When choosing these venues, be sure to book it far enough in advance so that you can plan your wedding for the exact day that you want. 

You’ve got a lot of options when you choose to have a venue wedding, as you have the freedom to style your wedding just how you like it. Prefer a boho or chic style wedding? Want to say your vows in front of the ocean, or on a mountain? If so, then a venue wedding is a great option for you and your partner.

Venue location: The Westin, Mt. Laurel, NJ

How to Choose Your Venue

From the very beginning, couples will definitely have an idea of the sort of wedding they want. Be it a destination wedding, a traditional church wedding, or any other kind of gathering to celebrate their marriage, you and your partner will have to discuss whether a religious wedding or a venue wedding is right for you. Either way, you’ll want to make the decision about your venue before anything else. 

If you want a traditional, intimate, religiously-focused wedding ceremony, then choosing a religious venue is a good choice. A religious wedding is centered on the religious meaning of a marriage between you and your partner. If you and your partner are religious, or if you want to keep a family tradition going, then finding a place of worship for your wedding day is the way to go. 

If you want a flexible, non-traditional, or relaxed wedding, then you may opt for a venue wedding. If religion or faith is not something you are especially concerned about, then choosing a venue wedding is a good choice for your wedding day. 

There are upsides and downsides to both options. But, the most important thing to consider when deciding between a religious wedding and venue wedding is that whichever of the two you choose, your decision makes you and your partner happy. After all, marriage is a union of two people very much in love, wishing to celebrate it with friends and loved ones. 

Have a question about how Beechtree Deisgn’s custom wedding stationery can be made to fit your venue? Contact us at: