You might be like the typical American who spends around $35,000 on a wedding. Maybe you’re opting to spend about $5,000 less than that, like Canadians whose weddings and honeymoons average in the $30,000 range. Regardless of your style, you’ll want to explore the right wedding reception halls.
Of course, the moment you set out on this adventure, you’ll immediately discover that wedding reception halls are NOT created equally. In fact, two wedding reception halls can be as different as a pure white wedding gown and one that’s been professionally colored.
The best way to figure out which venue is right for you? You’ll need to investigate possibilities using seven selection tips.
1. Find a Hall That Fits Your Ideal Wedding Day
Every couple has a “perfect” wedding day in mind. Use this as a jumping-off point to figure out what kind of hall would best suit your needs.
For instance, you might lean toward a place with rustic charm, rather than an urban, sleek, contemporary feel. In that case, you would want to seek out a location that caters to your preferences.
Remember that the best way to learn more about any wedding reception halls is to use the power of the Internet. You may not be able to visit halls in person before the big day, but the best will include images to give you a feel for what they look like in person.
2. Make Sure Any Wedding Reception Halls Can Accommodate Your Crew
The last thing you want to do is feel cramped at your wedding reception, so be certain that any sites are the right size.
For instance, if you are going to have an intimate ceremony and reception with fewer than 100 or even 75 people, look for locations that won’t feel too big.
On the other hand, if you’re going all-out and having several hundred guests for your big day, you need a hall spacious enough to give everyone the chance to move freely.
Some places offer a few wedding reception rooms, so be sure that you understand your options for each one.
3. Know How Far Everyone Is Willing to Travel
Destination weddings are incredibly popular. On average, American wedding guests are willing to spend approximately $700 in travel costs to get to and from nuptials.
Your group may be more or less able to get to your destination wedding. Even if you aren’t going to have a destination wedding at an exotic location, be aware that some individuals will still have to make a trip to get to your reception.
Not certain how far is too far for your group? Start asking family and friends you couldn’t dream of NOT having there. Their honest answers will help you understand what they’re capable of paying for without breaking the bank.
As a side note, you can always offer to pay for a portion of travel costs for some of your wedding attendants, such as bridesmaids.
4. Look for Wedding Reception Halls With Experience
Unless you want to feel like a guinea pig, you will likely feel more comfortable having a reception at a reception hall with a long, positive reputation.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with being one of the first weddings to occur in a wedding hall, you do run the risk of things going wrong. The staff might be less-than-friendly, or the tables not sturdy.
Your better bet for a wedding reception without any foreseeable glitches is to partner with a hall that has stood the test of time.
5. Talk to Other Couples Who Have Used the Hall
This is a huge tip that is often overlooked by brides and grooms who feel a little overwhelmed by everything they have to do to prepare.
Narrowed your preferred wedding reception halls to three to five possibilities? Ask each hall for a list of two or three couples you can call. Then, pick up the phone.
Some of the questions you should ask when speaking to those who chose the hall include:
- When did you rent the hall for your reception? How far in advance did you need to make the arrangements?
- Did you encounter any surprises that could have been avoided by the reception hall employees?
- What was the process of working with the hall staff like? Was it easy to get in touch with them?
- Were there any added-on costs you weren’t anticipating at the beginning of your journey with this hall?
- Here’s what I’m envisioning for my wedding reception. Do you think this hall can help make it happen?
- Can you send me pictures from your wedding so I can see how the hall looked for your big day?
Ideally, you’ll want to get some honest feedback. Who knows? You might also get some excellent ideas for your wedding!
6. Consider a Reception Hall Attached To a Hotel or Inn
You could always pick a reception hall that’s simply that: a hall. However, you might want to consider how much easier it will be for everyone if you choose a place that has other amenities.
For this reason, many couples opt to hold their receptions at halls owned by facilities like hotels and inns. Not only does this give you a built-in place for all or some of your guests to stay after partying the night away, but it can offer other must-haves, too.
A great example is an inn that has an onsite restaurant (think catering!) and even a spa. Treating everyone in your party to a fun spa day before the wedding ceremony and festivities. Plus, if the spa’s on site, no one has to leave the premises to get relaxation and make memories.
Other advantages for these types of reception halls can include group rate overnight prices and inn-run bus tours of the local region.
7. Find a Hall With a Dedicated Wedding Planner
Even if you are already working with a wedding planner, always see if someone at your hall is dedicated to this service. That way, you’ll always be able to speak with an expert on weddings and receptions.
A dedicated wedding professional on staff is a lifesaver, especially if you choose a hall outside of your town. He or she can get you in touch with caterers, photographers, florists, DJs, etc. In many cases, halls have long-time relationships with these types of players, giving you tremendous peace of mind when selecting from the hall’s recommendations.
Usually, you’ll pay nothing extra for the help that a wedding planner from the hall provides. Not only will that stretch your budget, but it will give you a trustworthy point-person to rely on.
Make Your Big Day One of Your Most Memorable Days
Weddings and wedding receptions are some of the greatest excuses to gather your loved ones together and make lasting memories.
Be sure that you think carefully about the wedding reception venue you choose, as it will help your event come alive with excitement, flavor, and fun.
Want more wedding-related hints to keep you on target for your special moments? Check out our amazing bachelorette party ideas that are perfect for gatherings of any size!