8 Wedding Reception Site Ideas
- Private Homes
- Outdoor Garden Marquees
- Local town halls
- Boats and Cruises
- Country Club/Golf Club
- Barn/ Farmhouse
- Private Beach Venue
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5 Things to Keep In Mind When Selecting Your Wedding Venue
- Is there sufficient seating capacity?
- How many ceremonies are held at the venue per day?
- Is your preferred date and time available?
- Is there suitable access for elderly or disabled guests?
- Is it within your budget?
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Site Visit Checklist
ÿ Is the venue easily accessible to all guests and suppliers?
ÿ Is the venue ‘event-friendly’?
ÿ Are there any restrictions?
ÿ Does the existing venue structure, furniture and decor suit your plans and wedding theme?
ÿ Will this venue force you to stretch your budget?
ÿ Do the aesthetics of the venue flow well with your design plans?
ÿ Is this venue appropriate to all ages of guests?
ÿ Is there a site technical team to set up the event?
ÿ Is the space have ample capacity to hold all of the guests?
ÿ Is this venue of the standard and expectation of your client?
ÿ What is included in the venue hire fee?
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- Rental start and finish times (including cleaning and setup) – it is important to know when you will be able to begin setting up at the venue (i.e. if there is more than one wedding per day) and what time you will need to vacate the area (there is usually a time limit on how late music can be played).
- Deposit Amount and Balance Due Date – in order to secure your venue, it is necessary to pay a deposit as soon as possible to ensure your chosen date and time. It is also important to know when the final payment will need to be paid by, and what types of payment the venue will accept.
- Cancellation – Make sure that you understand the requirements involved with a cancellation and what costs you may incur. It is usually recommended to take out wedding insurance to prevent financial loss.
- Venue Rentals – Discuss and define what is included in the venue fee, and what rentals will incur additional charges. For example, the venue may provide chair covers, chair ties, and table linens – but will there be an additional charge for the setup of these rental items, or will they add an extra cost for the staff having to move chair covers and chair ties from one location to another (i.e. if you are having your ceremony and reception at the same venue)? There may be hidden charges, so be sure to make this very clear.
- Usage Restrictions – It is always necessary to read through all the terms and conditions included in your contract, to be sure that you will not face additional charges for having not understood the contract correctly. For example, there may be restrictions on catering, music, marriage ceremonies, and alcohol. Are you allowed to use contract caterers and suppliers (some venues may have health and safety restrictions)? Does the venue have an indoor/outdoor alcohol license? Is the venue licensed to hold civil ceremonies? Are there restrictions on what type of music you can have (i.e. live band, guitarist, DJ etc.) and what time it is allowed to start and finish?
Outdoor Weddings: 3 Challenges
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Challenge 1: Unlevel Ground
To prevent heels stuck in the mud and guests tripping over uneven ground, it would be ideal to set up flooring – whether it be under a marquee or not – to create the illusion of the ‘event space’ for the guests, and to keep the guests within that area. Sufficient and appropriate lighting for the venue will also be important for when guests are moving from one event area to another (i.e. the cocktail reception to the evening reception, or for guests going from the reception area to the bathrooms etc.). Temporary paving and flooring could also be considered to create pathways between event spaces.
Challenge 2: Lack of toilets/sanitary for guests
If you are having your event in a field, farm, or a more remote outdoor area, it is likely that there will not be toilet facilities there, or that they may not be of the right standard. The main option would be to source portable facilities to the venue area – ensuring there are sufficient facilities for the number of guests (don’t forget you will also need such facilities for catering staff etc.), with the option to create additional sanitary facilities (i.e. wash basins, soaps, towels etc.) which could be presented in a decorative way near to the portable facilities.
Challenge 3: No/little outdoor lighting
The dark night sky mixed with the bright stars is beautiful and what you imagine for an outdoor ‘under the stars’ style of wedding. However, this is not always realistic – particularly on a cloudy night. If you have an outdoor marquee, then you may have strings of fairy lights strung through the event space, creating a soft and romantic feel, whilst creating the required added light. Pathways could be lit up and defined using lanterns, helping to guide guests to the correct location (you don’t want guests wandering off into a field and getting lost at night as they are trying to find the bathroom facilities!). If the event space features water (i.e. a lake, water fountain, pond, swimming pool etc.) then you could float candles or lighting features in the water, and make use of hanging lanterns in the surrounding space.
Unique and Unusual Venues
- Private Beach Venue – that ‘sand between your toes’ feel, for a relaxed and laid back, yet elegant wedding. A lounge seating area set up to one side, with cocktail tables in a nearby beach area, with lanterns leading to the see-through tent marquee set up on the sandy beach, so you can watch the stars as you dance the night away.
Pros – Quiet; private; relaxed; no restrictions, outside suppliers welcome.
Cons – Costly; not easily accessible; potential problems with the sand and disabled/wheelchair users; weather-permitting; generators may be required; distance from kitchen and toilet facilities; alcohol license may be required.
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- Barn Venue – a rustic, or elegant décor throughout a beautiful old barn, with high ceilings, fantastic space to play around with décor and theme, and perfect for a private country wedding.
Pros– private; extensive décor potential; all weather conditions; easily accessible, outside suppliers welcome; vast space.
Cons – potential poor lighting; distance from kitchen and bathroom facilities; poor wheelchair/disabled access; potential poor sound quality (i.e. echoing); potential music/noise restrictions.
- Field venue at a Private Farmhouse – a laid-back, outdoor wedding surrounded by orchards, trees and greenery set on a vast plot of land to hold either your ceremony or reception venue. Ideal for a rustic, country-style wedding and those who love the outdoors.
Pros – private; low cost; no space limitations; quiet and peaceful; remote; vast greenery and land space.
Cons – accessibility for suppliers and caterers; remote; alcohol license may be required; poor accessibility for disabled/wheelchair users; no bathroom facilities; distance from kitchen to venue.