7 Tips to Help You Find Your Perfect Reception Hall
The search for the venue that will host your wedding reception is one of the most important items. It is even the most time-consuming, unless obvious, like the reception hall just a few steps away from your parent’s home that rocked your childhood. This post reveals the 7 tips to remember to find the right venue.
1. Criteria for choosing a wedding reception hall
Before diving into your research, it is essential to establish all the criteria that are important to you:
- The date or period of your wedding, of course, to eliminate the unavailable rooms.
- The number of guests: it is imperative to make a precise list and not an estimated range to avoid aiming for a room that is much too large or, for that matter, much too small.
- The type of room desired (rather modern, with the stamp of the old type castle or large renovated farmhouse…).
- The atmosphere you are looking for.
- Need for accommodation on site or within walking distance.
- Do you need a room for the children?
- Whether the venue should be exclusive or if you are willing to have multiple weddings (well separated, of course!).
- Until what time you plan to celebrate (this may seem like detail at the very beginning of the preparations but be aware, especially for reception venues in the middle of a village or town, that it is often limited to 2 am).
Once you have all these criteria, you can start looking for your venue.
2. Pay attention to the search perimeter to find your reception hall
Target your search within a 30 to 40-minute drive from the last ceremony location. Narrowing down the search area allows you to keep a good rhythm during the day unless you have precise criteria and can’t find anything you like in this area.
3. Find out about the reception venue’s capacity
Beware, reception halls tend to advertise “over-optimized” capacities. For example, in 120 m², you can accommodate 120 people seated… or tightly packed like sardines without a dance floor.
Count on about 1,5 m² per person for a nice space to move between the tables and dance.
If you’re looking for something larger, like 2.5 acres of open space, ideal for hosting both a wedding ceremony and reception, Redland Koi Gardens is the perfect venue for non traditional weddings in Miami.
4. Your reception place must have a plan B in case of bad weather
Yes, even in the middle of July, we can never be sure of good weather, so whatever your wedding date, you must have a plan B for the cocktail party.
The venue will have to provide you with another room just in case. Plan B should not be done in the room where your dinner will be held because it is not the best logistically.
5. Ask if you can organize a secular ceremony
A third room must be available for plan B if you plan a secular ceremony. Because of logistical reasons, it is impossible to do it in the same room as the seated dinner or the cocktail party.
6. The right questions to ask before choosing your reception hall
Before launching out, you should ask yourself about the following points:
- The available equipment
Be sure to specify the equipment available to you to avoid surprises because the photos presented are not necessarily representative (and the owners do not always specify this). Ask to see the chairs, ask for the diameter of the tables… Also, please specify the number of people. It’s silly to say or even to ask, but some places proposed 50 chairs for a capacity of… 100 people!
- The hours of availability.
This will allow you to organize your logistics and know when to chase the last guests.
- If service providers are imposed
Having a list of service providers known by the venue can be comfortable, but they must be compatible with your expectations and wedding budget.
- The requirements of the place for the decoration and in particular for the candles
Ask about the lighting to see if it will be an extra charge.
7. Ask for the venue’s rates (and what they include)
Ask for a complete price list because you will quickly realize that all the reception venues do not present their prices in the same way: some announce an all-inclusive price, others for which you have to do some complex calculations (reception room rental + plan B room rental + x chair rental + x table rental + extra hours…). This will allow you to make your calculations and compare them equally.
After all these pieces of advice, you are ready to go in search of your ideal reception venue! Good luck!