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Want to find the perfect location for your wedding reception? Just follow these tips!
May 9, 2011 | By:

There are many details to consider when planning a wedding. One of the most important is the venue that you choose for your reception. While the ceremony venue is certainly important, the guests will likely spend more time at the reception venue. Also, while the needs for your ceremony may be minimal, you will likely have a long list of needs and wants for the reception venue.

For most couples, one of the first considerations when it comes to the reception venue will be the cost. That makes sense when you realize that the cost for the reception, including the venue, food and drinks, makes up the bulk of most wedding budgets.

Below are some tips for finding the perfect location for your reception.

Consider cost first

There is not much point in spending time researching a certain venue if you know that it is way over your budget. As much as possible, learn up front what the general costs are for a certain venue. This can typically be done by viewing the venues Web site. If they do not have a Web site, you can usually call and ask about the average cost of a wedding reception.

Ask the right questions

Once you find some contenders for a location for your wedding reception that meets your budget guidelines, it is time to begin your research in earnest. Choosing a great location for a reception is about more than finding a place that you think is pretty. Have a list of questions prepared for your first meeting with the event coordinator at each venue. Below are some suggested questions.

  1. How many guests can be accommodated?
  2. Will noise from other events be heard in the banquet room?
  3. How many hours are included in the contract? How much are additional hours?
  4. Can any food be brought in from the outside? Keep in mind that some venues are very strict about this, and will not even allow a wedding cake from an outside vendor. 
  5. Is the contract all-inclusive? If not, get a list of all mandatory and add-on charges. 
  6. Is there a place for the bride and members of the wedding party to change clothes?
  7. What is their policy on the bar? Are both open and cash bar options available?
  8. Is there sufficient parking for all guests?
  9. What kind of décor is included?
  10. Will you be allowed in early or the night before to set items, such as favors, on the tables or will the staff at the venue handle that?
  11. What is the cancellation policy?

See photos

You will want to view photos of the banquet room that you will be renting when it is set up for an event. There is likely to be a portfolio showing the room set up with different décor. Viewing the portfolio will help you make a choice about the style of décor that you might like best for your reception and give you an idea of how the room will look when it is all set up.

Visit during an event

Even better than viewing photos of the venue set up for an event is visiting the venue during an event. Most reception locations will not have a problem with this, but you will have to make such arrangements in advance. Also, you will need to be sure not to disrupt the event any way.

Perhaps you could stop by just prior to the start of the event or peek at the room from the kitchen.

Seeing the room set up for an event is the best way to see how the room may look for your wedding reception.

Ask for referrals

Ask the sales staff at the reception location for referrals from past brides. Ask not just about the room, but also about how helpful and accommodating the staff was and their overall satisfaction with the experience.

Choosing the location for your reception is a very important part of your wedding planning. Do some research so that you will not be disappointed with your choice.   

Having trouble finding the perfect spot for your wedding reception? Check out's directory of reception locations to find the perfect spot!