Choosing a reception location involves more than making sure it is
large enough for all the guests. This location will hold the
majority of the day's festivities and it is important to be sure
there is adequate room to eat, dance, socialize, and do the many
other fun activities that accompany a wedding reception.
Many couples find that large hotels, ball rooms, or halls work best
because everything needed is on site. Many reception locations
provide the services of a wedding coordinator to work with the
couple. Hotels are ideal because overnight accommodations can be
made easily and will not require extra planning.
The wedding reception venue should be chosen as soon as possible,
especially for those needing to accommodate a large number of
guests, or for weddings held during the busy season (wedding
planning timeline). An estimated
number of guests will be needed to ensure the building is large
enough to support the number. The reception
budget should be figured
before a venue is booked because it will impact location options.
Having an off season wedding should be considered because rates will
be much lower during this time.
A deposit will be required to reserve the venue for the date and
this is generally non-refundable. It is important to understand the
cancellation policy clearly as it could involve losing more than the
deposit. Discuss arrival and departure times and be certain all
elements planned can be accommodated during this time period.
There are many other possible reception locations available. They
will vary in terms of space, price and amenities, so it is important
to pay attention when visiting any venue that will be considered.
Smaller receptions can be held at home, a museum, a garden, or park.
While these spaces are smaller, details will need to be coordinated
by someone. Do not forget to ask for assistance, even if that means
hiring a wedding coordinator.
While looking at reception locations, try and plan the space, and
vision how it will be set up for the reception. Consider where
dining will take place, dancing, where the guest book and place
cards will be. Also be sure to look for a secure location for gifts,
pick an area or stage for musicians and be certain there are plenty
of electrical outlets handy for the musicians and in the food area.
The photographer may want to know about lighting and whether a
suitable location for wedding party photos is available. Also find
out where the thermostat is so the temperature can be controlled
during the event. Any reception that is planned outdoors will either
need large tents, or a back-up, in case of inclement whether which
could add to costs.