Your wedding reception is usually the largest part of your wedding costs and as such it can be a great place to make savings, it can also easily become a way to blow your budget.
Since many costs are charged per head and many other decisions are based on the number of guests, the first step for all of your reception planning is to draft your guest list. At $100 per head finding your guest list has grown by thirty guests can put a big hole in your budget, but deciding that you don’t need to invite all of your work mates can be a useful saving.
Your venue needs to be able to cater for your guests comfortably with some leeway if your guest numbers vary from your estimate. If the venue has a minimum number requirement, don’t plan too close to the minimum or you could end up paying for empty spaces. On the other hand don’t plan too close to the maximum limit of the venue or you may find the reception rather cramped.
Other points to consider are:-
- Location – you and your guests need to travel from the ceremony to the reception. Is there suitable parking, access to taxi’s or other transport?
- Space and facilities – is the dance floor suitable for the number of people likely to be dancing? Can the venue accommodate other reception activities (such as a photo booth or an area for children)?
- Access – Do any of your guests require specialised access?
While many people choose to have their reception at a specialised reception venue, other venues can be considered.
- A small reception can often be well handled by a local restaurant
- A local hall and a catering company can be a good option, particularly for a large number of guests
- Setting up a Marquee on someone’s property can make the reception much more personal
All of these will give you different options, but usually they also mean different arrangements for a variety of things, a restaurant is unlikely to have provision for dancing and hiring a hall will probably mean more work in decorating. Having a reception on someone’s property will add a range of issues from food preparation and drink serving to having sufficient bathroom facilities for your guests.