The wedding reception location should be one of your top priorities on the wedding checklist. It will bring the tone and the atmosphere for your entire celebration. From it you will choose other items such as color, food, décor, invitations, your dress, and so on.
Below we’ve added 8 items to consider while planning your wedding reception:
Before you start looking for places, you should brainstorm about how many guests, approximately, you would like to invite for your wedding reception. You can change many things about a venue. Although there is nothing you can do about capacity.
Trust your gut
Another essential factor to consider is your first impression. If you do not like a place at first visit, unlikely you would enjoy celebrating your most special day there.
Nowadays there are so many different exotic places to consider such as historic buildings or paradisiac beach destination weddings. Also, the classic ones are always interesting (hotel, farms or country club), obviously. Staying up to date with new wedding trends is in interesting way to get fresh ideas, allow you to think outside the box and grant your celebration a unique charm.
What is included in the place?
Whatever location you choose, be sure you understand what is included. Some venues can include food, staff or furniture. However, you may have to provide it yourself at other locations. Make sure you understand and clarify the prices, with and without those items. It will prevent you from surprises on the final bill.
If people have to drive a long way to get from the ceremony to the reception, they may be bored or loose excitement on the way. Try to keep the reception within a 15 to 30 minute drive of your ceremony. If it is not possible to get a reception hall close to your ceremony, make a caravan! The Bride and Groom lead the parade, and people will follow you to your reception. It can be fun!
If your reception is several hours after the ceremony, people can get busy and not show up for it. Try to start the reception within an hour or two of the ceremony. To fill in the gap between the ceremony and the reception you can have a “meet and greet” with a cocktail hour. This will be a time with both families together. Encourage them to mix and mingle!
People like having enough space, choosing a reception area too tiny for the number of guests can be risky, in fact, it can dissuade them from staying longer and enjoying your event. Thus, make sure your reception hall has plenty of room for your guests. The people renting the location might tell you it holds 200 people, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will hold 200 people comfortably! Make sure to visit the venue before booking and keep your number of guests in mind.
Are you having a summer wedding? Is your reception hall air-conditioned? If people sweat while just sitting, they will not enjoy dancing, they could fell lazy or sick. On the flip side, if they are cold they won’t dance either, who wants to dance when you are hugging yourself to feel warmer?
Also, make sure you know who has control of the thermostat, so the temperature can be adjusted if needed.
If your reception hall is non-smoking, you can fully expect smokers to leave your reception for 15-30 minutes every hour. Sometimes it can end up with your guests hanging out in the smoking area. You don’t have to allow smoking, but it is something you should consider, especially if some people with health problems like asthma or allergies can be exposed to smoke. If you decide not to allow smoking in the reception area, that is totally fine. Just consider having a near place for a smoker, so they can remember to come back!