This may be a scary thought for some couples who are in the wedding planning stage...but nearly 40% of your entire wedding budget is going to be spent on your reception. But that is definitely something you will want to keep in mind as you are setting the budget for your entire wedding and deciding what you can afford.
Now it's time to talk about how you are going to spend that big chunk of money to throw
a fabulous reception that your guests will not forget!!
Today's weddings are about personality and creativity. Put some thought in this when planning your wedding reception. The theme and style you wish to reflect will help dictate the type of wedding venue you choose. Remember that your options are numerous; hotel ballrooms, banquet halls, country clubs, historic sites, museums, or parks.
You should start out determining the theme and style of your reception. Different types of wedding venues set the stage for specific styles of receptions. So before you chose a location, decide the style of reception you would like to host.
Another important decision to make is deciding on the location of your wedding and reception. Do not be afraid to consider something different or unexpected. Perhaps your style or theme will dictate the location; in a friend's backyard, a rustic farmhouse or barn, a local attraction, a country club, a dock...the sky's the limit.
Locations for Wedding Receptions
The backyard of a friend or family member will contribute to making your reception a very personal affair. By setting up a tent, dance floor, chairs and tables, you can transform a backyard space into a beautiful event venue. It can also be a financially beneficial option. Of course, weather will be a serious consideration when planning an outdoor reception of any kind. So will need a backup plan if your wedding reception is outdoors.
Beachfront or Lakefront
If your wedding will be during a warmer month, why not have your reception on the water? Your guests will enjoy the cool sea air without getting sand in their shoes. A beautiful sunset over the water will add to the overall romance of the evening. You could also consider having a lakefront wedding reception. You would still be able to enjoy the water and the beautiful sunset over the lake.
So now you have decided the type of venue you would like to use. But before you get in your car to start touring wedding venues, there is one more thing to consider - capacity. No matter how beautiful a place may be, if you anticipate 250 guests, cramming them into a facility that holds 150 will quickly turn an beautiful affair into a mob of angry guests! Most reception sites make seating capacity information readily available. Make sure to find out the capacities for the type of wedding reception you are envisioning (seated dinner, buffet, cocktail reception, etc.). There may also be different capacities based on the setting with or without a dance. floor.
Find as many venues as meet your initial criteria. You may want to search wedding venues and services at www.Elegala.com and www.banquetfacilities.com to find sites in your area. If you are in the upstate of South Carolina, you may want to check out www.upstateweddingmall.com/ for wedding reception venues and other wedding services. The more possibilities you check out the greater your chances to find something that meets your vision and your price. Then when you have narrowed your choices schedule appointments to tour each venue and meet with the manager.
Things to consider while touring different venues.
1. Make sure the decor of the venue is accommodating to the theme and style of your wedding.
If it is not, can it be altered with decorations?
2. Check to see if the reception site has their own catering service. If they do, dine on a test menu to see how the food tastes. Also, you may decide for some reason their catering services does not meet your needs.
Will they allow another catering service in their venue?
3. Ask if they have a liquor license. If they do, ask if you can supply your own alcohol or if they must supply it. It is usually cheaper to supply your own, if possible.
4. Find out their deposit, cancellation and refund policies.
5. Check to see if there is a limit to the decorations you can use and also the cleanup policy. Many sites will have their own staff available for cleanup for an additional fee.
6. Drive around the venue to make sure there is adequate parking for all your guests.
7. Check to see if there is adequate space and the proper equipment if you are
planning on using a band or DJ at your venue.
Time for negotiations
The most successful negotiations take place when you are armed with all the facts. Make sure you have gotten quotes from a venue's competitors before attempting a negotiation. A wedding venue is far more likely to want to work with you on the price if you remain firm but pleasant throughout the negotiating process. Remember the phrase..."you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar?" It applies when negotiating, also.
If you are flexible on the date of your wedding, venues may offer deep discounts to you if you are willing to hold your wedding on a holiday weekend or a Friday night. Ask the venue management if they can suggest a
particular date which will off a discounted price.
Be sure to ask what is included with the quoted price. Get the venue to itemize the quoted price so you know exactly what you are getting for your money. Often, a venue may be offering items that you are just not interested in or that you need. If that is the case, ask the management if you can exclude those items in the
package details until you reach a price that meets your budget.
Look for hidden fees. Many venues may try to charge you for cake plating, unused alcohol, additional gratuities and other add-ons that you shouldn't have to pay. Have them explain each and every part of the quoted price. Then ask if they can subtract any fees that seem extraneous.
Be sure you are speaking to the person who can help you best. If the venue representative doesn't seem to want to help you in reaching your budget, call back or visit on a different day and ask for the manager.
Now...it's decision making time!
I hope you found this information helpful on choosing the perfect reception venue for your dream wedding. Please share any comments or experiences that you have had in finding a wedding venue.