It’s no secret that ceremony locations are a tricky thing to nail down here on the east coast. One, because most people have rather large weddings, and unless you elope it’s almost impossible to cut numbers. Two, our climate limits us. This does not allow for warm summery weddings year round which also brings up the reason why there aren’t an over abundance of “wedding venues”. I really do envy the wedding industry in places like Florida and South Carolina, basically anywhere warm in the States that has multiple venue options. It makes me sad to hear brides come to me every year to tell me they are “settling” on their ceremony venue. Either because they can’t find what they want that will accommodate their numbers OR they are nervous about it raining, if their dream was to have an outdoor wedding. The good news is, there is ALWAYS a way and there are ALWAYS options. Sometimes you just have to do some exploring and think outside the box. My list is not just location ideas but also weighing some pros and cons to each idea. It’s always a good idea to make a pros and cons list when you are making big wedding decisions, that way you can reflect and really ask yourself, what is most important?
Before I start, I just want to add a little disclaimer that I am not against church weddings. There are actually a few churches here in Cape Breton that I LOVE shooting at (this church being one). However, if you and your fiancé are not connected to a church, and don’t feel like it is the best fit for you I would urge you to not get married in one. Get married somewhere that represents you both as a couple at least a little bit! If that is a church, then I said go for it!
Just ONE more thing before we dive in. As a romantic natural light photographer, I want to shoot in pretty light so the location ideas that I will be giving you are going to have that in mind. There are oodles of cool ideas out there but if photography is important to you and you like soft, natural, airy looking photos, it’s important to keep that in mind when searching for ceremony locations.
Open Empty Field
I know this one doesn’t actually sound super crazy or that different of an idea but to be completely honest I’ve only shot a handful of weddings that took place in an open space. We are surrounded by so many beautiful places here in Nova Scotia, and if you take a few drives I can promise you you’ll find something appealing.
Pros: No need to worry how many people will fit, heck they could even stand! If you get married close to magic hour you’ll be guaranteed to have epic photos, and if you have an afternoon wedding you still wont have to worry about there not being enough light.
Cons: You’ll need to find a backup location. This could be a tent if you are set at getting married in a certain location rain or shine, which is a pretty pricey back up option if you are only using the tent to get married in. You could also book a church, as a back up which would be a lot cheaper than a tent. Lastly, you will have to ask permission but I can tell you right now most people on the East Coast would be flattered if you asked to get married in their field.
I can see it now, flowers drizzled on the rooftops, gorgeous wooden cross back chairs and the gorgeous natural glowly diffused light seeping in. This would be a dream and could be done so many different ways. If you can’t visualize it, then check this out.
Pros: You don’t have to worry about having your ceremony during a time the light is good because the light is always good in a green house because it’s diffused.
Even if the greenhouse is larger, it still has an intimate vibe because it’s closed in.
Umm… It’s a green house. Need I say more?
Cons: May not be suitable for weddings of 300 people but hey don’t write it off till you do some investigating.
-> Click HERE to view a gorgeous green house wedding. <-
Now, I realize this idea could be a little trickier for some but hear me out. If you are a bride living in Cape Breton, you have access to some of the most beautiful scenes in the world. You also know that to get to some of these places require a little bit of driving. I get it; sometimes these ideas are easier said than done. But what if you found an EPIC location; what if you are your fiancé had “a spot”. How romantic and breath taking would it be to get married somewhere like Cape Clear, or White Point to name a few. Let’s weigh your options.
Pros: You’d be exposing Cape Breton and creating more buzz in the world for Cape Breton being a destination wedding.
Your options are endless in terms of look offs.
You would also end up with not just amazing ceremony photos, but your entire collection of bride and groom, family and wedding party portraits would likely be taken close to where you get married.
Unique, intimate yet open.
Cons: If you had 100-200 people on your guest list, you are likely not going to be able to park that many people on the side of a look off. You also wouldn’t want to make all of those people drive two hours IF you aren’t having your reception in the area. So your option would be to have an intimate ceremony. You could
- a) Elope
- b) Elope and plan a surprise wedding
- c) Have an elopement style wedding and only invite immediate family plus your wedding party to the ceremony.
- d) Book your reception at a venue nearby or rent a tent and have everything in one spot so all of your desired guests can attend. This will still leave you a little limited to parking but if you do some searching, again I can promise you the right spot will come up.
I will leave you with that my friends. I realize planning a wedding is extremely overwhelming, time consuming and there are always people to please. But remember at the end of the day, it’s your wedding. I know there are a lot of variables and things to consider but you won’t ever regret making choices you feel good about. Try your best to not let others influence your big decisions, and do what feels best for you and your partner.
Whether or not you are a hind hart bride, I am ALWAYS an open book and if you have any questions, need some advice; I am always up for a coffee date!
Thanks for read and I hope this was helpful!