Choosing a Wedding Reception Location

Outdoor Wedding VenueOnce you reach the age when you’re ready to have a wedding of your own, you’ve likely attended your fair share of other couples’ weddings. This can usually give you several good ideas about how to plan and decorate your wedding ceremony, but most people don’t keep track of their ideas about the reception venue. Below, there are some key things to keep in mind when planning your wedding reception that will make sure it as great as the ceremony itself.

Distance

You want to make sure the reception is located fairly close the ceremony site. If your guests need to drive too far to get to the reception, you will likely see a noticeable drop-off in the number of people who show up. If possible, you want to have the reception site either at the same venue as your ceremony or only a block or two away; but if that’s not viable, you should try to keep it within a 10 to 15 minute drive at the very most.

Timing

Similar to the distance issue, you want to make sure the timing of your entire wedding is appropriate and that there isn’t a delay between the end of your ceremony and the start of your reception. You can open your reception hall to guests and give them something to do while they wait for your arrival. You don’t have to start dancing and serving food right when the guests arrive, but having some punch or other wedding projects to occupy them will go a long way.

Temperature

Depending on what time of year you will be having your reception, you will want to make sure you’re taking the appropriate steps to control the temperature at the party. If it is during the hottest or coldest parts of the year, you may want to avoid an outdoor reception to stay courteous to your guests. Furthermore, you’ll want to make sure that an indoor reception venue has the proper climate control functions so that either the heater or air conditioning system can keep up with the temperature outside. Providing a comfortable environment for your post-ceremony celebration is vital; especially since people will be close together and getting warm already from dancing.

Wedding Size

Depending on whether you’re having a very large wedding or a very small wedding, the number of guests you have will play one of the largest roles in your venue selection process. If you’re having a small wedding with less than 20 guests, you can easily get away with having a beach wedding or a ceremony in the gazebo of your friends’ backyard. If you’re having a lot of guests such as 200 or more, then a large hall will really be your only option. Knowing the size of your guest list as far in advance as possible will help you choose the right wedding venue without too much fussing about.

Tips for Picking Your Reception Hall

Reception HallThough the ceremony is probably the most important thing for you as a couple, the location that guests will remember the most is the reception hall. After you’ve said your vows, exchanged rings, and sealed the deal with a romantic kiss, the rest of the event will be spent eating, dancing, and mingling with your guests. Depending on the size of your wedding, there are many things you need to consider when choosing your wedding reception venue. To help get you headed in the right direction, here are some tips for picking your reception hall that will hopefully make the task a little easier.

Same or Separate Venues?

One of the first things that you’ll need to decide when choosing your reception hall is whether you want it at the same location that you host your ceremony or at a separate facility. There are advantages to both, but ultimately the choice is up to you. The benefit of having the ceremony and reception at the same location is that there isn’t anywhere to travel. This can be great if you have elderly guests in attendance or want to save money on transportation to the reception hall from the ceremony site. The downside is that you’ll need to find a location that is romantic enough for a ceremony and has all the amenities needed for a reception which can be a little tricky to do.

Distance from Ceremony

If you choose to have your wedding reception at a separate location from the ceremony, you need to keep the distance away in mind. Not only will you need to get the wedding party to the reception hall, but you’ll also need to make sure it is easy enough for your guests to find that nobody gets lost along the way. Typically, you want to try to keep the reception hall within a few blocks of the ceremony site so it is very easy to find and some people could even walk if they wanted to. You can choose a location that is farther away, but make sure you have clear direction to hand out to the guests to make it as simple as possible to find.

Size of the Room

Lastly, you’ll want to consider the number of guests on your guest list when you go out shopping for a reception hall. Not only do you need to fit everyone into the room at tables to eat, but you’ll also need to consider the capacity of the dance floor. You want the room to seem fairly crowded so that everyone feels like the party is full, but you don’t want it to be uncomfortable at the same time. Just make sure there is plenty of room for everyone on your guest list before choosing your wedding hall and that can give you some important direction as to which venue to choose.