Deciding on a place to have your wedding reception

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Wedding receptions are memorable occasions in the lives of marrying couples and stay in their memory, as well as that of their guests, forever. Hence a wedding reception requires a lot of planning and forethought. Wedding receptions may be held in an old historical hall, a traditional church, a beautiful park, country club or a lavish mansion.

The first step is to choose an area or a place to host your wedding reception. While choosing a place, the following considerations need to be kept in mind:

1) Budget

There are all kinds of locations to suit all kinds of budgets. A home, camp grounds, parks, patio, and club houses provide the option of do-it-yourself weddings. Auditoriums, convention centers, houses of worship like church, temple etc., museums, ranches, rented halls and stadiums all come on a rental basis. Public places like the beach may require a permit or license. Some places offer full wedding services like Bed-and-Breakfast, country clubs, some conference and convention centers, hotel ballrooms, gardens or grounds, mansions, resorts, and even yachts and cruise ships. Of these, do-it-yourself weddings offer the best opportunity to cut costs. Renting and engaging full services of a professional may be more expensive, though less bothersome and easy.

Wedding receptions especially do-it-yourself ones, need not cost the earth. You may use free locations like utilizing the service of a mobile home park's club house. A potluck luncheon may be organized for the reception and can substantially cut catering costs, while making the menu more interesting. Decorations may be practical and beautiful and not luxurious and wasteful.

2) Convenience

While choosing the location of your wedding reception make sure it has all the necessary conveniences. Firstly, it must be easyfor the guests to find and locate. It must have sufficient seating space. It should have enough chairs and tables to accommodate the guests and to serve food. It should have a convenient kitchen area if one is required. It should have clean rest rooms and clean bath rooms. You must make sure the bathrooms look and smell clean. There must be garbage receptacles on the premises. Also the reception facility must have adequate parking space, especially if you are not providing for transport of guests and they are bringing their own vehicles. Also you can enquire if the facility offers the service of a professional wedding coordinator and if it provides a bridal package.

3) Decorations

You must consult with the reception service providers on what kind of decoration is to be done in the reception hall and who will be responsible for the decorations. Elaborate wedding decorations may use false ivy, lighted tulle hanging from the ceiling and exotic, bright flower arrangements. These are suited to receptions held in a hotel ballroom, where the reception may be a posh black- tie affair complete with dance band and five-course meal.

At do-it-yourself weddings, you can try out creative ideas that don't cost the earth. If the hall is too big, you can rent a few statues and potted plants to fill up the space. You can use candles to provide a dim, intimate atmosphere. The linen for the tables may be purchased at low cost from flea markets, much in advance.

4) Catering

While choosing the location, attention must also be paid to the catering facility of the area. It must be decided whether food is being provided by the professional service or not. If the catering is to be provided, you must take a tour of their kitchen. Examine their menu, and decide on the reception menu with the help of friends and family. Also, their serving style, silverware and plates need to be examined before arriving at a decision.

5) Availability

This is an important consideration before choosing the location. Public places like the beach require an official permit. Conference halls, community halls and convention centers need to be available. Also, if you are looking at cutting costs, you may want to host your wedding in the off-season, when availability is high and costs are less.

Destination weddings like weddings held in Las Vegas or in island retreats like Fiji, are also subject to the factor of availability, as hotel bookings need to be made much in advance.

You must be clear on issues like hours available for the wedding and what kind of written contract will be entered into.

These are some of the considerations that go into making a wedding of your style and choice, and definitely an occasion to remember all your life.