The Sweet Christian Bride

There’s No Place like Home

by admin on April 23, 2013 in Gifts and Favors, Venue with No Comments

For many brides, a non-destination wedding means a hometown wedding.  Traditionally, the groom will transplant his family and friends for the weekend to join his bride’s family in their current town.  The pros are that the bride’s parents, who would likely be the hosts, can remain local, allowing them familiarity with vendors and convenience in accommodations for guests.  The major con, however, is that guests (particularly the groom’s guests) have to travel all the way to a place that just feels like plain, old home.

As a guest at a Los Angeles bridal shower for an Ohio-born woman, I first realized the spark that a touch of home could add to a celebration.  The shower favors were bags of dried cherries with beautifully scripted notes explaining that these were picked from her hometown.  Genius! 

Since then, my eyes have been open to all sorts of juxtaposition between the glamour of a wedding and the simplicity of the hometown location.  Photographers have fallen in love with this idea of capturing the fully adorned bride against the rustic wall of a small town farmhouse or the primped bridal party posed in the bustling city streets.  It’s beautiful because it’s unexpected.  It inserts the regalness of the wedding into the everyday scenes of daily life for that particular locale.

I had a friend who arranged for each guest to receive a complimentary ice cream at a local creamery that happened to be on the way to the reception.  This detail was distinct to her location and gave her guests a small taste of what life in that town was like.

Another bride whose wedding was in New York City rented a double-decker tour bus to transport her guests from the ceremony in the historic city park to the reception site. 

On a simpler scale, my sister’s wedding was in Santa Monica, California, a beach town.  In her out-of-town guests’ welcome bags, she and her husband included sunscreen and Santa Monica souvenirs.  Because those details were specific to the city the wedding was in, it made the guests feel like travelers on a vacation who would go home with the Santa Monica experience.

You too can take advantage of your location, turning what feels like ordinary into something distinct and exciting.  If your wedding is in wine country, consider using local wine.  If it’s in a farm town, consider using fresh, organic food from the local farmers.  If your wedding is on a lake, offer boat rides, or if there is a rentable tourist spot in your town like a museum, zoo, or mission, hold your ceremony there.

Even if you feel like your hometown has nothing spectacular to offer, remember that you came from there, and you are spectacular.  Some of the best weddings I have ever been to were right smack in the bride’s backyard.  They were as personal and exciting as they come. 


Photo © Todd Kuhns, Studio 12 Photography

Article was originally published on March 2, 2011.

By Lindsay

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