Find wedding reception venues in your area
Your Wedding Reception Venue
This is your big day. To make it perfect, your reception venue has to tick lots of boxes. How do you begin to narrow down the choice? Liking the look of a place is a good start but there’s more to it than that.
Stately homes, castles and fabulous hotels are our most popular choices, offering exquisite style, romance and luxury. If you’re into one-stop shop, many are approved premises, meaning you can hold your ceremony and reception in the same place if you want, and stay the night, too.
If you want low key, there’s your favourite pub or restaurant, the village hall or a marquee in your garden. Racecourses, football and cricket clubs, museums and boats are among the novelty venues added to the mix. Don’t hang about. The most popular venues will be booked up. You’ll often have to book at least a year in advance.
Take an initial look at venues courtesy of virtual tours. Backed up by wedding packs, they’ll help you to decide which to inspect personally. Look for a venue that complements the mood you’re hoping to create and reflects your personalities. Visit as many venues as you can and arrange to chat to the manager or wedding co-ordinator to establish exactly what you’re getting for your money and whether they can produce the reception you’ve dreamed of.
Consider these points:
Large venues generally have in-house catering, as well as photographers, florists and even musicians that they use regularly. Ascertain whether you have to use these professionals or whether you can bring in your own.
If you want to hand over responsibility for all planning, hire a wedding planner and let them take the strain.
Can the venue accommodate overnight guests and will there be a discounted rate for a block booking? Will your own room be included in the package?
Do you like the look of the reception rooms and is there one that fits the number of people in your party? Too large a room and your party will flop like Tony Blair at the WI. Too small and your guests will be uncomfortable.
Can the venue accommodate the numbers of cars? Does it have a wedding gazebo? If you have anything unusual planned, like friends parachuting in, or a horse-drawn carriage, can they handle it?
Don’t feel you have to have the standard service offered (say, Champagne and sherry for guests as they arrive) if you want to have trays of Manhattans or jugs of Pimms.
If children are on the guest list, will they be safe?
Are the management and staff friendly and helpful, and ready to listen to your ideas rather than force theirs on you?
Food is a hugely important part of any wedding reception. Your venue must be able to cope with all dietary needs and produce something memorable. It’s possible that with the general excitement of the day you won’t remember much about the goodies on your plate but your guests will. It doesn’t have to be super fancy but it must be good. Before you sign on the dotted line, either have a meal at the venue or ask to taste the menu offered. The same applies if you’re bringing in your own caterer. Other details to be clarified include:
- Can the venue fit in with your timings? What time do you have to either leave or bring proceedings to an end?
- Is the heating or air-conditioning adequate?
- Is the venue fully licensed?
- Will it be able to accommodate your choice of music or entertainment?
- Are disabled facilities (access, cloakroom and toilet, lift) available, if required?
- Can they offer a secure place for the wedding gifts?
- Is a toastmaster available at the venue?
- How many parking spaces are there and if you hire a stretch limo, can it pull up outside?
- How many weddings will take place on the same day?
- Are there guest bedrooms to hire even at the last minute?
Wherever you choose, whatever you arrange, this party is the fulfillment of your dreams. Don’t settle for less, and enjoy...