The top factors that matter in selecting your vow renewal location

After the two of you decide to renew your wedding vows, where to hold the celebration is the first big decision you’ll need to make; the location sets the tone for the whole celebration. Here are the top five things to consider when choosing the location for your vow renewal ceremony and reception.

Budget: How much money?

Take how much money are you planning to spend on your vow renewal and set aside 40-50 percent of it for a venue if it includes catering or 10-25 percent if it doesn’t, don’t waste time looking at places that are too pricey!

Style: Formal, casual, or somewhere in between

Assume nothing about there being limits on the best location for your vow renewal. Take a walk down memory lane and make a list of spots that reflect you as a couple. They can be places that have some significance in your marriage as a landmark or simply by their look. Perhaps a museum, art gallery, loft, dance hall, barn, beach, restaurant, park, resort or even a train station will reveal itself to you as the perfect place.

Size: How many guests?

Who do you want to invite to your vow renewal? You really need to have a good estimate of the number of guests who’ll be attending in order to look for venues. Having a reliable count will help determine your options. The two of you should sit down and make lists of “must have” and “nice to have” guests to get a range of how big or small your celebration will be. (Expect about 20 percent of your “must have” list and 40 percent of your “nice to have” invitees to decline depending on the location and date; significantly more for a destination affair.)

Travel: The logistics

Ready to pack your bags and jet off to somewhere romantic? A destination vow renewal can be so much fun, but it means a smaller number of your family and friends will probably be able to attend. Can everyone you love get to your ideal location? Wherever you decide to renew your vows, also think carefully about how close the ceremony and reception are; if the two are more than a half hour apart, or you have lots of out-of-town guests, you might want to provide transportation for them to make the transition smooth.

Service: What’s included?

Get details from each venue under consideration about what is and isn’t included. If you opt for a restaurant, it already has restrooms, linen, china, and staff. A hotel offers everything a restaurant has plus rooms where you can get ready, and out-of-town guest can stay onsite. On the other hand, a loft space is an excellent blank canvas, but you (and your caterer) will likely need to bring in everything from cooking supplies to tables. For many outdoor venues, you’ll find everything plus a rain plan. It’s important to understand what you will or won’t need to add for each venue you’re considering.