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  • Writer's pictureElena Sanchez

How to choose your Perfect Wedding Reception Site

Updated: May 6

Before you start looking for a wedding reception site, you have to follow a few steps. A wedding planner also can help you to follow those steps.

Step 1: You need to decide a couple of things.

  1. What style of wedding you would like to have? A casual, romantic, rustic, formal elegant, traditional, modern, beach, garden & outdoors, bohemian, whimsical, vintage, nautical, seasonal, indoor

  2. What season of the year? It is not the same to have an outdoor wedding during Spring than Summer time. It is not the same to have an outdoor garden or in a winery wedding than a formal elegant in an inside venue with a seat down dinner.

  3. What size? You need to know a rough total of people including guests and you both as well.

  4. Of course one of the most important aspect of it "THE BUDGET". Without a budget it will be difficult to find a venue or any other vendor that you need.

  5. How many hours? Every venue have different accessibility to the venue, not just for the reception but for the setup time as well. Usually the receptions take a minimum of 5 hours. After you have all these answers it is time to start searching for the perfect place for your dream wedding. Remember the sooner the better. Some venues are book a year in advance.

Step 2: Start the search for the perfect venue. Now days it is really easy to find a venue searching in the wedding websites like Zola, Bark, Wedding Wire, The Knot, Thumbtack, Pearls, Style me Pretty, etc. Or just searching on internet for a venue close to you or in the area you wish to have your wedding destination.

Type of Venues:

1. All Inclusive; they offer the place with tables, chairs, food or caterer, servers, decor or flowers, linens, security, DJ, and Bartenders, and you can add any other vendors you want. Some of them have an inside Coordinator that will be in charge of anything that venue is offering, but they don't cover your outside needs.

2. Off Site; This type of venues just offer the place and you are allow to bring in every vendor that you desire to have at your wedding. Some of them include tables and chairs, security and sometimes a supervisor.

It doesn't matter what venue or location you choose, be sure to read every little letter from the contract to be sure their requirements, your rights and your responsibilities. Be sure you ask every question that you have before you take the decision and sign any contract.

Every location offers advantages and disadvantages, for example:

  • Distance between your Ceremony Site and Your Reception Site. Distance between the places where you are getting ready and the venues.

  • Some locations offer not just the Reception Site but a Ceremony Area and Cocktail Area as well.

  • Parking; do they have enough parking space or do you need to rent another area close by and hired a valet service?

  • The space; is it enough space to have your entertainment (band, DJ or any other special presentations). With the layout of the room can you fit comfortably everything that you want or need including tables and chairs for your amount of guests?

  • Privacy; some event venues have several rooms and different events at the same time. You need to be sure that they will give you the privacy that you need for your event.

  • Enough Time; You need to be sure if they allow one hour for cleaning after your end rental time or if you have to leave the last rental hour for that. How many hours do they allow the vendors to enter the venue for set ups prior the event. Do they charge for extra hours?

  • Some venues have restrictions for the sound/volume levels. For that reasons they ask to lower it at certain time especially if they are located in a residential area, an outdoor venue, or with guests sleeping rooms. Also, some of them install their own speaker system where the DJ, group or band can connect/plug in their system or equipment.

  • Decoration; most of the venues have different requirements about the décor that it's allowed. Be sure the décor inside the place goes with your vision or if you have to hired an extra vendor to cover the space with pipe and drape, back walls, tents, floral, etc.

  • Be clear if they allowed any outside caterer/food for late snack meal or if they can provide that too.

  • Weather backup plans; if is an outdoor venue it is really important to know their backup plant following the inclement weather or if you need to think on a backup plant and hired another vendor for it.

  • Some venues allowed events not just the weekends but the weekdays too. This will help you with your budget because the price change drastically depending on the day of the week. It is highly recommended that you hired a professional wedding planner or coordinator to help you cover every detail, this will ease your workload, and your stress, allowing you to enjoy every moment of your special date. Here are some locations that are suggested for you to find the Perfect Wedding Ceremony and Reception site:

  • A place to be considered that is unique and special to you, maybe the place where you met, where you got engaged, etc.

  • Amusement Park

  • Art Museum

  • Back Yard of a family member, yours or a friend

  • Beach

  • Boat

  • Botanical Gardens

  • City Hall

  • Community Hall

  • Concert Venues

  • Country Club

  • Country Inn

  • Courthouse or judge's chambers

  • Desert

  • Estate house

  • Farm

  • Historical site

  • Hotel

  • Mountain

  • Museum

  • Non- denominational church

  • Park

  • Outdoors (anywhere) in a large tent or just the open space

  • Ranch

  • Resort location

  • Restaurant

  • University spaces

  • Victorian mansion

  • Wedding Chapel

  • Wedding and Event Venue

  • Winery

  • Zoo Remember How to choose the Perfect Wedding Reception Site.

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