Tips for Choosing a Wedding Reception Venue

Most of your wedding will be spent at the reception venue. That’s why choosing the perfect venue is so important to the success of your wedding. Here are the best tips for choosing a wedding reception venue.

Before you even visit a potential venue, find out how many guests they can comfortably accommodate. You want to avoid somewhere where your guests will feel squashed, of course, but it’s also important to choose a space that feels cozy and intimate for a smaller guest list. The party atmosphere will be low on energy if a large space swallows up a small number of guests. Ideally, your guest list should be somewhere in the middle of the range that the venue can hold. If you’re on the higher end, be careful to ask if the maximum capacity is for a sit-down dinner or a buffet (some places will squeeze tables when there’s no need to keep a clear path for servers).

Of course, price is a key consideration when choosing a reception venue. Find out not only what the price range is for the size of your wedding (there will be a range, depending on your menu options), but also what exactly is included. In some places, the cost of rent covers nothing more than the space itself, leaving the bride and groom to hire caterers, bring in a large amount of rent, etc. This will always add up quickly (just like a tent rental), so if budget is a concern, look for an all-inclusive spot.

Also find out what your venue is willing to allow you to bring yourself, if you’d like. Do you have to use your own liquor or can you save money by buying your own alcohol from a wholesale warehouse? Can you use the baker of your choice for the wedding cake? If you want to have a specialty menu (such as Indian food or Brazilian cuisine), will you work with an outside caterer? These can be very important factors in determining both the style and cost of your reception.

Then there’s style, which for many brides is one of the most important things about a wedding venue. Look around you, does the room (or outdoor venue) fit your image of a dream wedding? If you love glamour, planning to wear a satin gown with crystal bridal jewelry and have an orchestra play, your reception venue should be grand and elegant. (Brides who love crystal bridal jewelry always love elegant chandeliers!) On the other hand, if you plan to serve an organic vegetarian meal and have a bluegrass band, you need a space with simple rustic charm, like a farmhouse. . Both venues are great, but they are not ideal for the same type of wedding.

Finally, think a little about the weather. When choosing an outdoor reception site, you’ll obviously need a backup plan in case of rain. Can a tent be set up outside or would I have to move to an indoor conference room? If you hate the backup plan, keep looking. Also note the views of the place. I once attended a reception that was held in a rather pedestrian venue that was chosen not for the charm of its interior decor, but for the walls of huge windows with stunning views over the water of New York City. The only problem was that there was fog and torrential rain on the day of the wedding; the feature that the bride and groom had appreciated most about their arrival was completely erased by the weather. Don’t let this happen to you!

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be well on your way to finding the reception venue that will be the best possible place to host your dream reception. Happy hunting!