Wedding Receptions
Emma Margeaux Bride Online Columnist

Narrowing Down Your Wedding Location

Most brides know that one of the most important elements in tying your wedding together is picking out your reception location. But before you get to that step, however, you'll need to consider the type of venue you're after, along with the pros and cons it provides. We've constructed a list to help you narrow down the infinite possibilities to a select few, based on the kind of reception location- and atmosphere- you've envisioned for your wedding.

(Courtesy pinterest.com)

Hotels, Reception Centres and Restaurants

  • Consider the number of guests you have attending. Will there be enough space for a sit down dinner, a dance floor, an appropriate area for band/DJ, the cake, and any potential extras, like a photobooth for example?
  • In most instances, hotels, reception venues and restaurants will provide their own caterers. Many are able to cater for any special requests you may have and also the dietary needs of your guests. If you're planning to use an outside wedding caterer, be sure to check if the venue will allow this.
  • Find out whether there'll be adequate parking spaces to accommodate your guests. If parking fees apply, it may be necessary for you to arrange to pay for your guests' parking in advance.
  • Hotels may have restrictions on the way you want to decorate your room, so remember to ask if you're allowed to move tables and chairs around to a way that best suits your needs for the day. 
  • In addition to this, some hotels may also have restrictions on the type of music you are allowed to play and the level at which it is allowed to be played, and when it needs to be switched off, so be sure to check this with staff. Additionally, check if there are sufficient power outlets.

Government owned parks and gardens, outdoor venues

  • Research and ensure that the necessary paper work has been filled in and submitted in a timely manner. 
  • Are there fire restrictions? 
  • Do you need a permit for cooking appliances, serving alcohol or erecting a marquee? 
  • What time must you vacate the premises?
  • Is there a supply of water, electricity and gas? Will you need to hire or buy a generator, gas tanks and water supplies? 
  • Are there any toilets?
  • How far is the location of the reception from the parking lot? Consider having your  wedding reception in a place that is easy to find and not too far from the car park as older guests may have difficulty venturing far distances on foot.
  • It may also be convenient to set up a tent where the bridal couple can change clothes or touch up their makeup.
  • Will the caterers, decorators, florists be willing to travel to your remote location?
  •  Will you be able to dump your rubbish in council provided bins or must you take it all back with you?
  • Remember to remind guests to dress appropriately depending on what season you are having your wedding.
  •  Try to accommodate Mother Nature in your plans- keep in mind unexpected showers, heat, cold fronts, tides (if you're planning a beachside wedding), and insects.
  • If you've found your perfect spot, remember to include a detailed map on how to get to your wedding location.

When narrowing down your wedding location, remember that written contracts are absolutely essential- any surprise related to your event's location will seriously throw a spanner in the rest of the night's works. Remember to measure twice, cut once, and you're just a couple of steps away from newly wedded bliss!

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