Almost every engaged couple choose a wedding venue before any other decision they make. The venue availability determines the wedding date and the cost of reserving one determines the other budget items too. I’m usually the second thing brides look for after their wedding venue but I want brides to know that choosing your location determines a lot of what I will be photographing. So, hear me out!

Choosing your location means choosing what your photos will look like. If you choose a country club, it will look like you got married at a country club. The journey from choosing a location to the photograph being printed and framed is a beautiful one. It’s scary to think this one decision plays such a huge part in decorating your home.

Meg and I printed a photograph of us on a gravel road with the sunset coming through a giant oak tree, with our wedding venue tastefully composed in the background. Our friend Cali Godley did an amazing job with that.  I love seeing that photograph every day in our bedroom.

I can’t stress how much the location plays into the photography of your wedding. Meg and I got married at The Dairy Barn in Fort Mill, SC. The thought of an outdoor wedding made Meg anxious due to weather changes, but we also fell in love with the architecture of the loft in the barn. It had intricate carpentry with huge windows on each end of the loft and it could seat well above 200 people.

I had to take a time out and ask myself, do I want the background of my ceremony to look like we’re in a barn and my answer was yes. 

I often get this response when it comes to photography at the location. “Oh, there’s some trees in that corner” or “I think there’s a cool wall here somewhere”. While that works for some photos, is it what you pictured in mind?

Where you get married is how you will remember it for the rest of your life. It’s stressful to find the right place but I hope these truths will help you weed out the places you don’t want to frame on the walls of your home.

Photos by Cali Godley

Side notes:

Your location determines who attends your wedding too. Talk it out with your spouse on what matters to the both of you. Do you want your friends to be there or do you care more where you get married? Meg and I were so fortunate to find a venue that was central to all our friends, they still had to commute but we think we helped everyone by saving them a couple hours here and there and having hotels/stores around made it convenient.