Wedding & Party Reception Halls
celebrations such as wedding
16 parties or a bar
mitzvah can be held anywhere from a favorite neighborhood
restaurant or traditional banquet hall, to museums or day spa
hotels, and even on the high seas!
First, it's always best to shop around for several locations to see what's on offer (and within budget) and always consider booking your party venue at least several months to a year in advance, say the experts.
your time, and don't settle for the first location that comes along. Unusual venues like historic mansions, galleries, and even sailing yachts can provide memorable party spaces. Before you make the final decision, also remember to take into account who
is on your guest list, and how accessible it may be for everyone involved.
For many couples just starting out, it's probably the biggest party they'll ever host in their lifetimes. And just when you think you have the wedding ceremony plans decided upon, comes another round of decisions about the wedding reception party afterwards!
Where to begin?
The first step, of course, is determining how many people will be invited. The guest list and invitations are relatively easy roughly the same number of people are
invited to the wedding as asked to the reception.
As you shop around for the right size wedding hall at the most affordable price, also think about what reception venue will best reflect the style and mood of your wedding formal, formal and fun, or kick-back casual?
To help, here's a basic wedding hall reception floor plan:
Wedding halls in the USA
While some guests might later rave about the food, talk about the decorations, or admire your unique choice of wedding music, the most lasting impression you'll probably make on everyone will be your choice of setting.
Whether you're planning a memorable wedding reception, a bridal shower, milestone birthday, or an anniversary party, you can easily fit the location to the occasion with help from online databases, directories and tips and advice from the experts, just up ahead.
In the US, you can also narrow your search with information on the perfect wedding hall by state:
Music and entertainment (live band or DJ?) are usually next on the list of choices you'll be called on to make. Then there are the wedding flowers, balloons, ribbons and other baubles that go into decorating the
room. Your choices will be influenced by your overall color scheme or wedding theme - a summer beach wedding, a fall wedding, or winter wedding theme can spark your imagination when it comes to choosing the perfect wedding colors.
Food? There's the option of a traditional 4-course sit down dinner or a huge buffet spread. You may also want to opt for 'drinks and cocktails topped off with a customary "Venetian hour" or after-dinner dessert buffet.
More likely a bigger concern, of course, is the size and style of the wedding cake.
Your wedding day will go by quickly, so you'll want to ask an expert wedding photographer or talented amateur to capture moments of your big day that will last a lifetime. Many wedding halls have an indoor or outdoor area with a scenic backdrop already on hand for wedding parties to help capture family, portrait, or group shots.
Finally, In order to send guests home happy, you'll also have more research to do on choosing among literally hundreds of wedding favor ideas.
A special note about wedding and family event planning
Saturdays are generally the preferred wedding day so that out-of-town guests can easily stay overnight. Weekdays, while usually less expensive, might also result in many guests sending their regrets at not being able to attend. Here are some other days to keep in mind when planning a well-attended wedding and reception:
If you're planning a spring or summer wedding, keep in mind such holidays as Easter, Passover, Mother's Day, Memorial Day weekend, Father's Day.
If you have any US college basketball fans on your guest list, also carefully avoid the near non-stop schedule of weekend college basketball games scheduled throughout an entire month of March Madness.
For later summer or fall weddings, also consider such holidays as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and the entire month of Ramadan which traditionally falls anywhere from August to October.
Also, and perhaps most importantly, take into account your friend's and immediate family's event schedule. You don't want to plan for your wedding on the same day as your grandparents' surprise golden wedding anniversary party!
also see related features -> Wedding finance tips
how to pick the best reception hall
More about reception & wedding halls in the USA, UK, Europe & worldwide
Eventective - This mega resource helps you easily finding party or wedding locations throughout the US and Canada, listed by state or city and browseable by venue including banquet and reception halls, restaurants, country inns, hotels, and unusual venues from coast to coast.
WeddingLocation.com - Check out locations by U.S. state or international location, by type of venue, by how much, how many, and more -- together with guides to wedding planning, tips and resources.
Confetti Venues - Here's a searchable database for UK and Ireland reception and party venues with guides to choosing your venue or caterer, with related feature stories.
Weddings Canada - Easily browseable directory of reception facilities and banquet halls in Alberta, Atlantic Canada, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan with contact info, and related resources
Destination Weddings Abroad - If you're dreaming of an Italian villa, French chateaux or German castle, find out how to make it happen with this complete guide to venues in Europe plus lots more in the Mideast, Africa, South America and the Pacific Islands.