Ceremony and Vow Ideas

xp: Help! can't find a ceremony venue, need unique ideas

I'm looking for inspiration for a unique place to do our ceremony.  Please help, I'm out of ideas! :)

We're planning our wedding in summer of 2015 in Wisconsin Dells, WI, with a big guest list, and we live out of state.  We have fallen completely in love with a gorgeous reception location for our wedding, but they don't do ceremonies (well, they do, but its weird - to walk down the aisle I'd have to come in the room via the elevator... it'd just be odd all around).  After TONS of googling I'm struggling to find a good ceremony place to go with it.  We're good with outdoors, but would need to have a back-up indoor area, and the tricky part is I have a HUGE family and a lot of them are older so seating for at least 120 is needed (otherwise we'd just go stand on the bank of a river)  All the typical places that offer ceremonies in the area want you to do both there, so we'd lose the reception place we love (And pay 3 times as much because the place we found is a great bargain). We contacted churches in town but even when I found one the same denomination that I am, I got a very rude response because I'm not a member of their congregation.  Wisconsin Dells is a tourist community that specializes in waterparks (and I was super excited to do the ceremony under a roller coaster or something ridiculous like that, until I realized they'd charge admission to the park for all our guests).  We've looked at state parks, campgrounds, country clubs, golf courses, hotels, restaurants with outdoor seating, everywhere we can think of, (seriously, I even contacted an arcade to see if the room they do birthday parties in would be big enough) and nothing offers a ceremony area we like.  I'm hoping someone might have inspiration of an a-typical place we could look for to hold the ceremony. 

We have a back-up plan of a family church that's in the area, but it's 45 min away from the reception site and is not really our taste.  It's a backwoods country church and while I love it, it was built and designed for functionality, not beauty.

Btw - writing this I'm realizing it sounds like I'm being crazy picky, and I probably am.  But there's still 16 months till the wedding so I figure I have enough time to be picky right now, and lower my expectations later if need be. :)

Re: xp: Help! can't find a ceremony venue, need unique ideas

  • I would suggest you keep the reception location close to your ceremony location. A 45 minute drive seems long to me.

    Have you looked at a park or maybe local garden? Museums will sometimes work with you.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I had to enter my ceremony via golf cart, so I really don't think the elevator is all that odd.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Your local board might have more ideas.  This one's international, so most people here won't be familiar with the area and what facilities are available.
  • I think you could totally rock the elevator entrance! Decorate the inside of the elevator (especially if it's gaudy). For example, you could set up a tension rod, like a shower curtain rod, in the back of the elevator and hang curtains on it. You can even change the color scheme for the groomsmen, bridesmaids, ring bearer, etc. You can have the bridesmaid color when the guys come out, your secondary color as background when the girls come out, then one of those or white when you come out. So every time someone comes out of the elevator, it's like a theatrical set change. You could even see if you could decorate the external doors of the elevator, so they look like theater curtains as each person enters.

    Or, if you're not into that, you could put a screen up in front of the elevator doors so you'll come out from behind a screen rather than through an elevator.
  • I like the plan of rocking the elevator :)  
    Unfortunately there's other problems with doing the ceremony there - it has the perfect lighting for a nice intimate dinner, but is rather dark for a ceremony.  Plus we'd have to have all our guests move out of the way to change the space over. And there's not a separate place to go take pictures, so that'd be awkward too.  We could make it work, but it'd be a little odd. Plus we're plenty underbudget right now so I'd rather be offsite for the ceremony if I can find a place.
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    You seem determined to have the ceremony at a separate location from the reception, so I'd suggest you check the local board for specific suggestions.

    I wonder, why do so many people on TK think it's peculiar to have guests sit at their tables for the ceremony? I have been to a few weddings where this was done. It was convenient for the guests and comfortable. 
  • Regarding churches, if you are members of your local congregation, you might consider asking the minister of your church if he/she would reach out to the sister church near your reception.
  • Have you tried local theaters, Shriners clubs or other similar places, community centers, etc? I thought about using a movie theatre or a regular theatre for my wedding.
  • I would hire a planner. A lot of them charge a very small fee for hourly consultation. I'm planning my wedding out of state and finding locations was by far the hardest part. The amount of money I spent driving/flying out to look at venues would have more than covered the services of a professional to narrow down the list for me.

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