How to plan your wedding reception

You’ve picked your date, your wedding party is giddy with anticipation, you’ve started dreaming about the dress, and you’re on the hunt for the perfect location.  Planning the reception can be an even bigger process than the wedding ceremony itself, and it takes some know how to avoid disappointment.  First of all, be aware that most reception venues book a year and even two years in advance, so don’t hesitate to start early.  The sooner you make contact, the more likely it is that your venue of choice will be able to accommodate your needs.

How big a party are you expecting?  Someone with a small wedding won’t need the same banquet hall as someone planning a bigger affair with a multitude of guests.  Consider how big of a space you’ll need so that nobody is gasping for breath because they’re squeezed in too closely.  You’ll need to not only think about room for dancing but also how much room you need for all of your dinner tables and chairs to fit comfortably. Will the venue accommodate a DJ or a band?  This will entail a stage or at least a corner designated for your musician of choice.

You’ll also want to make sure that there is sufficient parking for all of the vehicles that will need space for the evening.  Nobody wants to totter on heels from half a block away.

Curb appeal is also a factor; does the venue play host to a nice setting where pictures can be taken?  Is there a spot for people to rest outside if they choose to go out for a breather?  Is the building well maintained and does it make a good impression from the curbside?  Is the interior kept up with fresh paint and clean floors, and are the bathrooms clean and in good repair?

Decorating and bringing in personal touches is also an important factor so ensure that the venue will accommodate the décor that you’re planning.  Can they help by renting chairs, tables, coverings, and maybe even special lighting?  Is there a microphone and sound system available to you?    These are all things that you can rent elsewhere but the more items that are already on sight the less you’ll have to worry about transporting them to and fro.

Is there a kitchen available to you or will meal delivery be required from elsewhere?  If you’re having your dinner catered it’s a big plus to have a usable kitchen on site and means that the food can be fresher and hotter than if it’s brought in.  You will also want to check and ensure a liquor license won't’ be a problem if you’re having some type of bar setup. 

Banquet halls tend to be a great venue of choice and more and more brides are finding that their needs are all accommodated by this type of setting.  Most are even decorated in an eye-pleasing fashion, meaning not much more décor is necessary.  Banquet halls can provide a classic and intimate setting for all of your wedding needs, culminating in an occasion your guests won’t soon forget.