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Wedding Planning 101: Your Ceremony

Newlyweds kiss during their wedding ceremony at Bevolo in New Orleans. Photo: The Swansons
Photo: The Swansons

Your ceremony location is one of the first decisions you’ll make when starting the planning process. Availability and location of your preferred ceremony site will often determine your wedding date and many other decisions about the wedding.

If you’re not planning to marry in a church, synagogue, temple or other religious location, there are many great venues on The NOW List to consider for your ceremony.



1. Is the facility open to non-members (e.g., Church , Synagogue, Temple, Private Clubs, etc.)?

2. Are there any restrictions on the day or time of the event?

3. Are there any restrictions for lighting, cameras, audio/video equipment? May we live stream the ceremony?

4. How far in advance should we reserve this site?

5. Is there a mandatory dress code and/or attendant number?

6. Do you have musicians available? Will we be permitted to use outside musicians?

7. Are we permitted to decorate the site?

8. Are rest/dressing rooms available?

9. Is the site handicap accessible?

10. Does this site have wi-fi available? (This is important if you need to live-stream your ceremony.)

10. What are the payment terms?

11. What is the cancellation policy?

Secure your ceremony site before booking your musicians. Some venues have restrictions on what types of musicians are allowed and how loud they can play.




1. May we see references and a demo cd/video?

2.Are you performing locally any time soon? May we attend the performance?

3. Can we see a song list? Can you perform particular songs we might want that are not on the list?

4. What instruments/vocalists are available?

5. Are you able to perform in outdoor venues if needed?

6. How far in advance must we book?

7. What are your payment terms?

8. What is your cancellation policy?




1. Will you perform the ceremony at a non-religious site, such as hotel ballroom, etc.?

2. Is there a standard format? Can we write our own vows and select the music?

3. If we have been divorced, or if we are not of the same faith, will you officiate?

4. Will you file the marriage license after the wedding?

5. Can you obtain a waiting period waiver for our marriage license if need be?

6. What are your payment terms?

7. What is your cancellation policy?

Newlyweds walk down the aisle for their wedding ceremony recessional. Photo: The Swansons
Photo: The Swansons

Here are some great planning tools

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