Dear Engaged Couple, maybe you saw the article in the Washington Post on June 27th—it was in the Style Section. Seems that a couple attempted to say their wedding vows before an officiant in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in DC—in front of that tremendous, stuffed African elephant. Alas, the officiant, bride and groom were shooed out of the place by a not-so-understanding guard. He said, “Sorry, we have a policy….” The officiant, though, quickly pronounced the couple husband and wife before the three of them raced out the front door amid cheers and well-wishes by visitors to the museum.
According to the article in the Post, couples and officiants are on the look-out for novel places to tie the knot. Alas, many potential venues have second-guessed couples and officiants . In my own search for a cheap, novel place for an elopement service, I have been told more times than I can count on 10 fingers, “Sorry, we have a policy….” . Last winter I suggested to a couple that I marry them on the grounds of Virginia’s Museum of Fine Arts. However, while I was waiting for the couple to arrive, I mentioned to a guard what we were up to. Bad idea. The guard said that he would look the other way this time, but the Museum is state property and the state has a policy…..
I have talked with the owner of a venue near where I live in Charlottesville. I have permission to perform elopements there for free. That means we show up, do the deed and leave. I’m keeping the name of the venue to myself, though. Too many requests, the venue might just decide to, you know, establish a policy. The wedding at the National Museum of Natural History had the flavor of a flash mob, I think. Lots of museum visitors stopped to gawk, applaud, cheer, and take pictures. It takes a very extroverted couple indeed to put up with all that attention.
However, if YOU don’t mind a crowd may I suggest:
Your favorite grocery store—Maybe after you say your “I do’s” the store manager will give you a free bottle of champagne! It’s possible!
Your favorite coffee shop—if you DON’T want to stop the flow of coffee buyers, you might wait to tie the knot just before closing.
Church steps—if you don’t want to hassle with getting permission from a vestry or board, or session to marry at a particular church, why not marry on the church lawn, or on the front steps?
An overlook—I live near Skyline Drive. I have officiated at several elopements a dramatic and awe-inspiring lookout points.
A hospital chapel—Maybe this is a good time to get that hernia operated on. While you are there, why not make use of the hospital’s chapel for those nuptials?
Your ideas are welcome! Happy Wedding Planning
Your Wedding Preacher for Hire