Dear Engaged Couple-
Today I want to talk about UVA Chapel. If you are not planning to marry there, however, please don’t skip reading this blog. There are issues we will be considering regarding the chapel that should be considered no matter the venue. However, UVA’s chapel presents issues in spades, unfortunately. Not to be discouraged, though, if you have already signed that contract. These issues can be dealt with, AND the chapel is free, so you are getting a great deal; really you are. Below, then, are THINGS TO BE CONSIDERED REGARDING YOUR VENUE BEFORE YOU SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE—OR, IF AFTER, HOW TO MAKE YOUR VENUE WORK FOR YOU ONCE YOU ARE COMMITTED.
1) Bathrooms. Probably the biggest issue with UVA chapel, and also other old, historic churches, barns, fields and beaches, is that they don’t have bathrooms. You need to broadcast this fact, discretely. It would be bad form, at least to my sensibilities, to have your invitation read:
|Please pee in advance|
“Jane Moss and Scott Mahoney are tying the knot! Please share this special day with us and our families as we exchange our vows. Saturday, December Second, Two Thousand and Twelve; Five o’clock in the afternoon, at Old Hickory Methodist Church, 104 Oak Grove Road, Palmyra, Virginia. No Bathrooms. Please pee in advance.” Better to include this last bit of information in an e-mail to your guests, on your wedding webpage, or better yet, by phone.
2) Dressing rooms. Take a close look at the dressing/waiting rooms at your venue. Are they large and well stocked? UVA Chapel has two very small spaces used as “holding rooms” for the wedding party. These are in no way suited for dressing—so along with telling them to “PEE in advance, also tell your wedding party to DRESS in advance. Even though they will be arriving “in uniform” so to speak, you will still want to have some dressing supplies on hand—tissues are good, for dabbing at eyes, or nose. Women do a lot of cheek- kissing at weddings. Grooms particularly, need a tissue to clean off lipstick marks—otherwise you may have guests thinking, “Poor thing. He’s so nervous he has broken out in hives!” Combs and bottles of water are great, too. Dry mouth is is a common condition right before a wedding—don’t have a clue as to why, but it is so. Trust me on this.
|So, you want to get married in a barn?|
3) Sound. That is the biggest issue for yours truly. I went to all the trouble to put together your service, dag gum it. I want people to HEAR it. Even very old churches have been retrofitted with electrical outlets, but you can’t be sure about barns. And electrical outlets are few and far between on a beach, in a field, or at a vineyard. UVA’s chapel does have outlets and even a sound system (to rent), so you are in the clear in this regard if that is your wedding venue. This is definitely something to consider, though, if you are getting married al fresco.
4) Light. One thing that makes UVA’s chapel so stunning is its many stained glass windows. HOWEVER, all that colored glass filters light, so the chapel is dark, dark, dark even on a sunny day. Same with many other churches. Barns are short on windows, and the walls are usually gray or brown—they absorb rather than reflect light. UVA chapel rules allow for dripless candles. I wouldn’t recommend candles in a barn, though. If you do, your wedding might be more memorable than you had ever hoped! You might consider stringing lights from the rafters.
That is it. Congratulations on your engagement. Now get going and find that venue! Blessings your way. Your wedding preacher