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Set wedding in motion with selection of venue
By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Some wedding traditions are okay to break, while others are best left alone.
If Emily Post is not available, the next best person to ask is someone with considerable knowledge and skill in wedding productions. This person can be a member of a church assigned to this task, a mother of the bride or a professional wedding planner. It is a safe bet that one of these individuals has the experience to offer good advice.
“Today's brides are aware of what they want because information is available through a wealth of fashion and travel magazines, television shows and the Internet,” said Mississippi State University floral management instructor Lynette McDougald. “They may not know how to translate those ideas into something that works well in a particular setting without seeking advice from experts.”
Brides and grooms have many options available, from food to flowers to financing. The main factor in determining how these choices will work together is the venue, or place where the wedding will be held. If the venue is a church, couples should respect the implications of sanctity and symbolism that come with a place of worship.
“Most churches have guidelines and a coordinator to oversee those guidelines,” said McDougald, who also serves as manager of MSU's florist shop. “A wedding in a church is a religious service, and the wedding party would do well to work within the confines of that setting.”
McDougald said that a church setting offers the opportunity to work with beautiful detailing of a sanctuary, such as stained glass windows, stately wooden pews and altar, a cross, rich carpeting and color. She also has worked with brides who selected a home or backyard garden for the ceremony. Those weddings also have been beautiful to design and implement.
“There are so many options available if a couple does the homework and makes a budget that allows for those options,” McDougald said.
Venues such as beaches, parks, public halls, entertainment centers, antebellum homes and hotels may have more relaxed rules. These places are appropriate if the couple would prefer a civil rather than religious ceremony.
Wedding professionals can help brides and grooms make appropriate choices for their budgets. Professionals have seen which ideas work and which ones do not, so their advice is invaluable to a bride who may not have thought through an idea.
“If you want a low-key ceremony and a blow-out reception, make a plan and stick to it,” said Carla Stanford, MSU Extension child and family development specialist in Pontotoc. “It's better to cut back your spending rather than buying too much, not using it and being in debt for it.”
The right venue can put a bride and groom on a path to a simple, affordable and wonderful wedding.
Contact: Lynette McDougald, (662) 325-3585