You've decided what date you want to get married and you're ready to start looking at venues for your reception. Here are 6 tips to keep in mind as you search for a venue:
Tip #1: Is location important? Do you want it to be close to your home? Or are you looking for a more central place near your parents, in-laws, friends, and relatives? Is there a particular place you have in mind? Or view you want to see? I live in Southern California and a popular wedding location is near the beach; however, for many guests that live more inland to get to the beach will take an hour or two drive. For SoCal residents, commuting is second nature and we don't usually blink an eye at the idea of driving an hour one-way, but for many people driving for 30 minutes or more isn't desirable.
Tip #2: Are you okay if other events are happening at the same time? It is more common to find hotels with ballrooms that are very affordable for your reception. However, there may be several events happening at the same time as yours. Will this bother you? During wedding season (May-July) a hotel can have every ballroom booked, which means 2-3 events happening at the same time, some even being next door to your own. Would you prefer to have your own venue where your wedding is the only event happening? Single-event venues aren't as common as hotels with ballrooms so they tend to book quickly. If you prefer a single-event venue, you may need to be flexible with your wedding day or plan on booking a year in advance.
Tip #3: Are you flexible with your wedding date? Your fiancé asked you out on the same date as he proposed and you want to get married on the same date. If your wedding date is significant, you may need to be flexible to where your wedding reception is held. Remember, single-event venues tend to book early.
Tip #4: Are you open to a day other than Saturday? Maybe you want to have your reception be at a specific location or on a specific date and the only availability is mid-week or a Friday night or Sunday morning, would you take it? Many weddings are usually held on a Saturday or Sunday night, but Friday, even Thursday nights should be considered as well. Oftentimes you'll find more availability and booking the venue can be cheaper as well. And when you have a day wedding, you can always have a get-together at your home or your parents home after for visiting relatives and friends. It'll be a day long party celebrating your wedding!
Tip #5: Is the venue big enough to fit all your guests comfortably? You've invited 200 guests and the venue says they can fit that many people but there won't be much space in-between tables, are you okay with that? Or will you need to cut your guest list to accommodate the space in the venue? Is it more important to be able to fit all of your guests or have the reception at a particular place?
Tip #6: Does the cost meet your budget? It's not just the meal that can determine the cost of the venue, but the location as well. A reception at a beach hotel will probably cost more than a reception at a hotel that's more inland. Why is that? Well, you're paying for the view and the popularity of the venue. Make sure your budget will fit where you will have your reception.
These six questions are just the starting off point for when you plan your wedding. Many more questions can arise when it comes to your venue alone. What questions do you have regarding your reception? Share with us below!