As the bride-to-be one of the most important choices you will need to make is where you are going to hold your wedding reception. Your wedding is the biggest day of your life, and after vows are exchanged, you want your guests, your family, you and your new spouse to enjoy food, fun, and festivities. So as you begin your search for the perfect wedding reception, you need to insure you take into account several points in considering your reception venue choices.
First, the theme of your wedding needs to be considered and allow your reception to continue telling the story of your perfect day. If you are having a very formal, traditional wedding then your venue should be a beautiful hotel ballroom, a elegant mansion, an old historic house, or perhaps an elaborately decorated backyard with massive tents and beautiful lighting that transforms the night into the brightest moment of your dreams. If you are having a less formal celebration, but still want the reception area to be the highlight for your guests, you can still have a wonderful outdoor celebration in local gardens, host it in a local art gallery or museum, some smaller towns allow for the reception to be held in the church recreation hall, or even a smaller scale hotel ballroom if it meets your needs. Destination weddings can set the stage for your reception without as much worry about venue space. If you are having a beach ceremony, you may want to tent a surrounding area and keep the celebration in close proximity. Beach weddings also allow for some all inclusive resorts that offer ballroom space for the reception. You might have more of a winter wonderland setting, a beautiful ski resort, or perhaps log cabins in the woods. The key is to remember that your theme is what will inspire your venue selection and that if you can imagine it, and then it can happen.
As you are looking at location of your venue you will need to consider the distance from your ceremony and how your guests will be arriving. If you have a lot of out of town guests then you need to provide directions or transportation, but thinking about convenience is important in the considerations.
Deciding on a venue for the wedding reception is driven by several factors, the size of your wedding, of course your theme, and what provisions you will need the facility to have. Seating for your reception is one of the first things you need to consider in reviewing the venue space and insure they can handle your wedding guests. As you walk through a facility consider the layout of the space, make sure you have enough parking, whether valet or not, what is the location of bathrooms, can the facility accommodate all ages of your guests and above all else does it fit your budget. The cost of the venue space you are considering should be one of your first thoughts that will insure you do not visit places you do not have the budget for. You do not want to fall in love with a space only to know you can not afford it. Understanding from the venue what is included is also critical in your checklist. Does the pricing include tables, chairs, servers, and is it the same no matter what the season?
The wedding reception venue is but one of the questions you need to remember. Inside the venue you still have to decide on catering, decorations, how you can transform whatever space your choose into the dream you have. This reception is more than just the space you are holding it, and so consider the time of day the reception will be held, that determines what food will be needed and what type seating you may prefer.
Some weddings will offer a cake and coffee reception, some offer stations and an open bar, others will have passed hors d' oeuvres and a signature cocktail, and some will have a full sit down dinner with champagne toasts. You will need to determine the entertainment, decide on band, or DJ, or a beautiful quartet. Decide on a dance floor, stand up tables or sit down for your guests, monogrammed napkins for your signature drinks, or maybe just the cake, candy bar treats for your guests favors or a donation to a local charity, there is so much that creates the wedding reception, not just the venue. Each budget and wedding is unique, you can combine choices, or choose all of them, or create something entirely to your personality, which is how it should be.
Remember this is your special day, your dream wedding, and your wedding reception should be nothing less. From considering the budget, to deciding if you want a custom gobo, every aspect of the reception is in your control. If you review your choices, make sure you cover all your needs, and give yourself plenty of time to review your checklist, you will have no problem in securing the right venue, one that fits your every dream and is a perfect ending for the fairy tale.