The place where you decide to host your wedding reception will really set the tone for the event. You want to find a place that is attractive, convenient, competent, and affordable. Finding one venue that meets all of those needs can be a bit challenging. Here are some things to consider when you visit possible reception sites…
If you are having your ceremony in a house of worship, how far is it from there to the venue? Twenty minutes might be a reasonable drive for your guests, but an hour would not be. The closer that they are, the happier everyone will be. This means that if you want to have your marriage ceremony in the church you attended growing up, you may have to give up on the reception venue you had your heart set on if the two are not close together.
How many guests can the site accommodate? It is very important to have a realistic idea of your guest count before signing a contract for a location. It is not at all uncommon for a bride and groom to have their eye on a spot only to find out that the fire marshal has set the occupancy limits well below their head count. Even if you can technically cram everyone into a room, will there be enough space for a good flow, or will it feel cramped and overcrowded?
The style of the venue is probably the thing that couples pay the most attention to, because it will help determine the style for the wedding as a whole. If you imagine yourself in a satin ball gown with dazzling crystal bridal jewelry, then an elegant setting with chandeliers and rich draperies will be perfect for you. Look at ballrooms in swanky hotels, opera houses, and even art museums. A bride who imagines herself in unique handmade wedding jewelry instead of opulent crystal bridal jewelry will look for a totally different sort of venue, such as an outdoor location.
Once you have found a venue that suits your guest list and taste, it is time to get down to details. Obviously, the price is going to be a major factor. What is the facility rental fee? Do they allow you to bring in your own caterer or must you use theirs? Are service fees included in the quote, or are they additional? These are the sort of things that you will need to weigh. Also factor in other costs, such as rentals. For instance, a country club might have a higher site fee than some outdoor locations, but if they provide everything that you will need, you might save money in the long run, once you have added in the cost of all of the rentals required at a location that doesn’t provide basics like tables, china, and linens.
After you have narrowed your list of venues down to two or three top choices, you will want to find out more about the quality of their services. Ask for a list of recommendations. Be sure to follow up and call those former clients to be certain that they were pleased with the final results of their event, as well as with the customer service during the planning stages. You can also ask around in the community to find out about the reputation of a site. Bridal shops are often a good source of information, because if one of their brides has been having problems with her reception venue, they will have heard all about it.
The final step in selecting a venue is to make sure that they have a suitable date available. Popular locations will book up one to three years in advance, so it is a good idea to start your search as soon as that engagement ring is on your finger. If you have your heart set on a very hot spot in your area, it will pay to be flexible about your date and time. You may not be able to score the third Saturday in June, but perhaps they could fit you in on a Friday night instead. Then sign you contract, and your venue will be all set.
Choosing your reception venue early is very wise because it will help you in deciding about all of the other elements of your wedding. The place that you decide to hold your wedding will set the tone for everything else. Choose a place that you really love, and your wedding reception will be that much more delightful.