Breaking With Tradition

The Wedding Guru Judy Lewis fields this week’s wedding questions. Today: Breaking With Tradition

Megan asks: “I’m planning for a wedding for this summer and looking for an alternative to a traditional wedding venue. We would really like the ceremony and the cocktail hour outside. Can you help?”

Dear Megan: Congratulations on your forthcoming marriage! If you’re looking for a nontraditional venue, the Hudson Valley is the right place to find it. There are any number of nontraditional sites in the Valley. You might consider an historic site, which could be a restored or preserved historic setting, or a site decorated in vintage style such as Victorian or roaring twenties. Most historic sites ask for a fee that is paid to rent the location. Many do not provide food or beverages. Ask the site manager for a list of recommended caterers. Make certain that the kitchen and all other facilities are adequate for the number of people and type of meal you are having.

Another lovely venue for a wedding is aboard a boat. A ship, or yacht can be charming locations. If you decide on an atsea wedding, you might consider a nautical theme to go along with the location. Part of the success of a shipboard wedding is tied to weather conditions, so your choice of dates should be based on when the waters are their calmest.

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Some local museums and art galleries have event facilities and will rent their spaces. Keep in mind that some restrictions may apply such as the size of party, music, and deposit (for damages). Be sure that you are willing to acclimate to these parameters before you book this nontraditional venue.

For more information about choosing your wedding location, check out’s article “Choosing Your Wedding Location.”

Being creative is great, but you should know that the less conforming a site is, the more difficult it will be to plan. Go for it and have fun!


Readers, do you have any other tradition-breaker stories? Add your comments in the box below, or submit your own question to “The Wedding Guru” by e-mailing

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