How to Choose a Wedding Reception Venue
by Rebecca Sherman
Just as the site of the wedding ceremony often sets the atmosphere for the service, the place chosen for the reception is the key to its enjoyment.
Traditional Reception Sites
Even in areas where reception sites are plentiful, the most popular sites are often reserved more than a year in advance. The wise couple will reserve their reception location before making other plans. Many couples have found it necessary to choose their wedding date based on “availability” of the reception site. Couples have also found that it is often much easier to book a reception on a Friday or Sunday. Some facilities will even offer special discounts/incentives for receptions held on days other than Saturdays.
When it comes to finding a reception site, there are many types of facilities from which to choose. Hotels, catering halls, country clubs, and restaurants are some of the most popular sites for receptions. Other sites often used for wedding receptions include clubhouses operated by organizations including the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, athletic, ethnic clubs, service organizations and university unions or even museums. These venues range in capacity from intimate parties to grand affairs. These various facilities also range in style from extremely casual to the utmost formal, keep in mind prices vary greatly too!
When choosing a facility the bridal couple must first determine an approximate number of guests to be sure the location can accommodate their needs. Budget and location are the next factors to consider, followed by preferred ambiance and other special desires. Reception site managers all agree that the first piece of advice they make to couples looking for a reception site is to know their budget. Only when financial limitations are known can further details be planned. For those on a tight budget, the church hall is a favored reception site, usually available at little or no cost and offering convenience when held immediately following the ceremony.
Other things to keep in mind when searching for the perfect reception site is whether the site can accommodate parking needs, dance space and music requirements. What are the policies on beverages, food and catering services, time restrictions and decorations? Are tables, chairs, linens, silverware and other accessories provided? Check on rental fee, deposits, and date guarantees.
It is important to view the facility before making any final decisions. Looking around, asking questions and if possible viewing the facility when it is set up for a similar type of reception will assure that the couple will be happy with their choice. Once a decision is made the couple should discuss any special needs they or their guests may have with the banquet/site manager. The day of the wedding will be too hectic to deal with any of the details and when the couple arrives at the reception, it will be time to celebrate!