Finding your wedding venue is probably the most important step after you’re engaged and planning a wedding. Once you have a wedding ceremony location all picked out, the overall theme and color scheme details should come together nicely on their own. The next item on your to-do list is to find your reception hall. Below, we have outlined several things to keep in mind when finding the right place to host your reception.
Plenty of Space for your Guests
While it probably goes without saying, the first thing to consider when finding a reception hall is to make sure it can comfortably accommodate the amount of guests that will be attending. Banquet and reception halls can look enormous when they’re empty, so make sure to do your homework on the maximum capacity for the venue and go under by 20% to be safe. You may also be able to schedule a walkthrough when another wedding reception is setup.
Obviously, you will want a reception venue that is near your ceremony site. Also remember that the décor doesn’t have to match between your wedding and reception venues, just make sure the colors are at least compatible and don’t clash.
Eating, Drinking and Partying Areas
Make sure there are ideal spaces for the various activities in which your guests will participate. Most people get up and move around during a reception (after they eat, of course), so make sure there’s plenty of extra elbow room once all the tables, chairs, and other vital parts are setup. Also, a patio or outdoors area is nice if you plan to use wedding sparklers, sky lanterns, or wedding party poppers.
Secluded and Private
Once the reception starts, most people really want to start letting loose; after all, that’s half the fun of attending a wedding! It is a good idea to book your reception at a venue that is either secluded or not near anyone to disturb. Most guests will only come out of their shell and really “live it up” if they fell it is private and that nobody is going to care about the noise.
Mood and Lighting
Lighting is crucial to the overall ambiance of your reception space. Too much light can be off-putting, but too little can make guests sleepy or unable to see comfortably. I recommend nice soft lighting that is still bright enough to see what’s going on around you.
Immediate “Wow” Factor
First impressions are always vital; and your wedding is no exception! Think of how guests laying their eyes on the reception hall for the first time will react. Things that can improve the “wow” factor include artwork, architectural details, antique furniture, rugs and chandeliers.
The Right Color
While the entire reception are doesn’t need to match your original color plan, make sure that the walls, carpets, tile, chairs and curtains don’t clash with the colors you have chosen for your decorations such as wooden roses. This can make for a real nightmare when it comes time to decorate.
Plenty of Outlets
Make sure that there are plenty of outlets for all the electronics you plan to use. Keep in mind DJs and live bands need power for their amplifiers as well. Most venues are prepared for these demands, but it’s always good to double check in advance.
Make sure your reception venue doesn’t have too much echo. It can make it difficult to talk with large groups of people and can affect the sound of your DJ or live band performance.
Plenty of Parking
You can never have enough parking available. I recommend at least 1 spot for every 2 people attending, but size-up your guest list to make sure you have enough spots available.