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Finding the perfect ceremony site on a budget

Trying to hunt down the right location for your nuptials is a lot like trying to track down the perfect wedding gown. You'll know it when you find it, but whether or not you can afford it, is a completely different story.

Mecklenburg County's Parks and Rec Department controls over 200 parks and facilities. Among them are a host of different ceremony options that fit most wedding budgets. One of the most popular choices is St. Mary's Chapel.

It's a beautiful venue in the heart of Charlotte, surrounded by towering trees. It was built back in 1892, and served as the chapel for the Thompson Orphanage. It was declared a historic site in 1975, and the county took control of it.

St. Mary's Chapel is located at 1129 East Third Street in the Queen City.  It holds about 100 people comfortably. You can check it out in person on Fridays. It's open for the public then from noon until 4:00PM.

The bridal party gets one hour for the rehearsal, and one hour and 45 minutes for the actual ceremony. The chapel rental costs $400.00 for county residents, and $500.00 for non-county couples. Each additional hour runs $125.00.

The fee only includes use of the facility. Couples still need to provide their own minister, decorations and musicians.

 Reservations can be made at 704-333-1235. To see pictures from real weddings at St. Mary's Chapel, log onto www.stmaryschapelcharlotte.com.

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