Friday, 21 March 2014

Choosing The Perfect Wedding Reception Venue

There is so much to think about when planning a wedding, such as getting the perfect dress, picking the right wedding rings and choosing the perfect wedding reception and that's just for starters. Here are some tips about choosing the perfect wedding reception venue.




Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Firstly the budget has to be discussed as this can impact on the choice of venue. Do you have a limited budget or is money no object? If you have a limited budget then the venue will have to be cheaper and often this means the amount of people pared down. You may even decide to hold it in your house or a local hall or community centre as opposed to a country house, grand hotel or marquee.





Secondly do you have a number of people in mind you wish to invite, and can the venue cope with it? Things to consider include expectations of you by other people. You will more than likely invite close family but what about your mum's best friend? Would she be upset if you didn't invite her? If you have 20 people you are inviting then a small cosy meal in a local restaurant may be a great option but may not be suitable if you are inviting 200 people, when a country house hotel could be better.

Thirdly what type of venue would you like and where do you wish to hold the reception? There are many types of venues to consider and the main ones include hotel, restaurant, home, local hall or community centre, and marquee amongst others.

Fourthly what type of food do you want and are the venue able to provide this or are you bringing in outside caterers or cooking it yourself? Obviously the cost implications of cooking it yourself will mean you save a lot of money but do you have the time and inclination to do this so close to your wedding? Maybe other family members would help out if you wanted to go down this route.

Using a cosy room in a hotel may be perfect for an intimate gathering. Many hotels also have larger rooms than can be hired out for a large party. A large country house hotel is perfect if you want to push the boat out and have a higher budget. You may even pay to take over the hotel for your wedding. Are you ordering off the normal menu or is there a special wedding menu available? A special menu may be a cost effective option. Can you bring your own wine or will they expect you to buy it from them?




Image courtesy of Tom Curtis / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Booking a table in a restaurant may be suitable for a smaller gathering, whilst hiring out the whole restaurant maybe possible for a large party. Again ask if they have a special wedding menu or are they able to put a menu together for the event? You will generally be expected to buy their wine and drinks for a toast and these maybe pricey.

If you use your home you need to consider will you use outside catering or are you or your friends and family cooking the food. This can be the most cost effective option. You can hire a marquee for the garden, and this is a lovely option for a summer wedding. Buying wine from a local cash and carry or even supermarket will be cheaper than buying wine in a hotel or restaurant.

A local hall or community centre can be a great cheap option when you really have to watch the pennies. Again consider who is making the food, will you hire an outside caterer or will it be friends and family making the food. Providing your own drink is cost effective.

Marquees can cater for a medium to large number of people, and some come fully lined and heated too. Smaller marquees can be a surprisingly cost effective way of catering for those as an added extension to your house. Some marquee companies will also provide hire services of items to furnish such as chairs, table linen and glassware for example. A great option for something a little different. Marquees may be set up in a country house hotel, a pub, your own garden or outside space. Prices vary depending on where it is set up, size of marquee, the furnishings and whether you are providing the catering or an company are.




As you can see there are many things to think about when considering the perfect wedding reception venue. 

Tell me - are you planning your wedding? If you are already married where did you hold your reception? What do you think of the options available?


* Sponsored by C & J Rentals  - marquee hire in Yorkshire and the North of England.

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56 comments

  1. I am so happy that this cost is behind me, but know having one daughter I will be looking at this all again one day. I personally like small intimate weddings, a marquee in the garden or some gorgeous hired garden. Love a good wedding!

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    1. I love small weddings too. I think If I was to get married again (!) a marquee would be my choice, or a meal in a modern chic restaurant.

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  2. All important considerations! We hired a country house for our wedding, but managed to get a bargain as it was only just becoming a venue for events (from a hotel) and they allowed us to bring our own wine (with NO cork-age charge) - we would never have been able to afford it otherwise...
    My brother is getting married in August and the costs for everything are incredible (can't wait though, it'll be a fantastic day)! :D

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    1. Wow you sound like you bagged a bargain there, and no corkage too.

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  3. We had our wedding reception at a boys' prep school during the Easter holidays. We hired the rooms we needed, imported the wine from Italy and used our own caterers. It worked really well and I'd love to relive the day.

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    1. That sounds different, and really lovely.

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  4. Some great tips. There are so many reception venues these days it can become a bit overwhelming. We held our entire wedding at a local hotel and it was perfect for us.

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    1. I think that is key, finding the perfect option for you.

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  5. Great tips! Bookmarked as this experience is still ahead ;)

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  6. That interior marquee picture looks so similar to the one we had when we married! Our guest list was decided based on the size of lawn my parents had for the marquee which made it quite easy! We had 78 guests, mostly all family..

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    1. I bet that was a lovely day. That marque looks beautiful I must admit.

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  7. oh we had a nightmare trying to choose ours but eventuall chose something that we did not even want but something that was best for others to get to or enjoy , x

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    1. That's the thing with weddings, It's hard to pick something just for yourselves.

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  8. It has just been my 19th wedding anniversary and it was hard enough to find a suitable venue then. I could not imagine doing it now

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    1. Well done on being married 19 years Jen!

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  9. With two girls I've got all this to come - better jot down some notes...

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  10. Really useful stuff. We got married years ago in a London hotel, which was lovely. As my daughter's only 12, I think we've got some time before the next one, but maybe I should bookmark the page just in case!

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  11. Exciting but stressful times! We had our wedding and reception at a hotel so everything was in the one place. In May we are having a couple of nights away and are going back to the hotel for a meal and I cannot wait! x

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    1. That sounds lovely Kirsty. I actually got married in Gretna Green and would love to go back some day.

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  12. We hired the mezzanine floor of a lovely restaurant. It was lovely as it had it's own decked terrace area. x

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  13. I just loved planning our wedding - seems so long ago now! Don't think I could do it all again though lol x

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    1. I love planning myself, holidays are my speciality :D

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  14. We organised our wedding from start to finish in 3 months to ensure we got the day we wanted andit was a fantastic day :-)

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  15. Ohhh I still need to get married been engaged for round 5 years now lol .x

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    1. Maybe you should drop some subtle hints?

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  16. We did our reception in Sri Lanka where my inlaws are from, so we have our own family properties there with large halls suitable for wedding parties - so it costs us nothing!! Lucky for us :) We couldn't have afforded anything here, the prices are crazy!

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    1. That sounds fabulous Anna. I heard Sri Lanka is beautiful too.

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  17. Loved your post.
    I am planning a wedding and have just decided to go for a marquee. Your tips were great. I have really been frugal on guests - just need to think about a caterer now!
    Model Mummy x

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    1. Good luck with the planning Mary. Weddings can be expensive things but if you have the money push the boat out, I would.

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  18. We've been engaged for six years but hopefully will get round to doing it soon!! We are planning a small thing but these tips are really helpful.

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    1. Thanks Rachel. I had a small wedding the second time and it was lovely.

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  19. Wow, you've really thrown me back :) It has been ten years since our marriage so I honestly have no tips, but I still really enjoyed reading your post!

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    1. Thanks for your comment Orli. I hope it brought back great memories.

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  20. So lovely tips - I would honestly have no idea where to start with such planning :) x

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    1. Hoping the tips are a useful starting point :)

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  21. Great tips. When my husban dand I had our wedding,w e booked a table at a restaurant and my husband E-mailed the restaurant (without me even knowing) to ask for apple pie, which is our favoite pie, for dessert. Other than that, we chose the vegetarian surprise menu for all guests because we were vegetarians at the time. It was great.

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    1. Sounds like you have a very thoughtful man there.

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  22. When I got married I had an Elvis page boy, casino tables and a cabaret singer in sequins and feathers! I say make sure you stamp your personality on your day, and above all - make it fun!!

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  23. If we ever get married it will be on lusty glaze :)

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    1. I have heard of that place, where is it?

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  24. We were stuck to a really tight budget when we got married - would love to do it again somewhere a bit posher lol

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  25. Great things to consider, we ended up blowing our budget completely, something we wouldn't do again in in a hurry ;) x

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    1. Well it's a once in a lifetime experience. :D

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  26. All great points. We had the wedding of our dreams without the cost. Loved it

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    1. If you plan careful it needn't cost the earth.

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  27. My idea venue - beach wedding :-)
    How cool would this be?

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