Wedding 101

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  Wedding Reception Venue Ideas
Catcha A Falling Star (Jamaica)

Planning a wedding reception requires making fun and exciting decisions! It is also a lot of work! Following a step-by-step organized approach, plan and record in detail the criteria of achieving your dream wedding reception.

Wedding receptions are expensive and setting down a budget before hand will guide you in the search for the ideal location that fits your style. Several factors will influence the overall cost of the event such as the amount of guests, the style and formality of the venue. Before starting to look for a site, write down as many information of what you know about what is your perfect way to celebrate.

Setting the Date
If you have already booked the wedding ceremony date, finding a location for the reception on that exact date may sometime be tricky. Reception halls are often booked a year or two years in advance. So you need to start looking as early as you can. Having your reception on a Friday or Sunday is a way to save on the cost but you need to consider the availability of your guests. A Friday wedding usually involves having guests taking a day off from work. And for a Sunday wedding, party time will be cut short with guests leaving early since they are working the next day.

Number of Guests
Having a general idea of the amount of guests will make it easier to search for a site that can accommodate your group. If you are not sure on how many guests you can afford to invite, prepare a list and divide it in as many distinct groups based on your relationship with them. This way youíll be able to easily compare the cost of different venues based on several scenarios of number of guests. By example, divide in different groups the following:

  1. Guests that you must invite such as parents, grand-parents, siblings, and close friends.
  2. Guests that you wish to invite such as your parents siblings and cousins.
  3. Guests that would complete your dream list such as nephews, nieces, co-workers, friends at the gym, and any guests your parents and in-laws are pressuring you to invite.
Searching for the Perfect Site
There are many factors to consider when selecting the perfect site for your reception. Evaluate several options carefully and narrow down the possibilities by eliminating the ones that are not fitting your criteria. Work on this process until you feel comfortable with a couple of choices that you will research further to find the unique wedding venue that suits your needs.


How Do You Picture Your Dream Wedding Reception?

Intimate - Sporty - Casual Ė Semi-formal - Formal


Location, location, location... is the key!

Elegant Banquet Hall Blooming Garden
Classy restaurant City park
Homey Gathering High-rise Rooftop
Church Basement Amphitheater
Shabby Cottage Waterfront
Rustic Sugar Shack Poolside
Country Golf Club Botanical Garden
Mountain Lodge Campground
Artsy Museum Music Festival
Historic Library Dreamy Boat
Theatre Stage Exotic Tropical Island
Wine Cellar Extreme Sport Site


What will be your dining style?

Intimate Brunch Homey Buffet
Informal Luncheon Cocktail Style
Afternoon High-tea Buffet Style
Barbecue Food Stations
Picnic Family-style Platters
Potluck Formal Sit-down Meal


Some other factors to consider:

When selecting a site make sure itís appropriate for your number of guests. Looking at an empty room may seem bigger that it really is. Visualize the room filled with tables and chairs, DJ and dancing area, cake and candy buffet tables, and enough elbow room for everyone to be at ease.

The colours of a site may not necessarily match the colour theme you were hoping for. The issue can sometime be resolved by integrating small doses of the primary colour of the site into the colours of your bridal decorations. If itís a complete clash, consider changing your colours or move on searching for another site.

Quality of Food
The place is gorgeous and fits all your criteria. The food reviews however are awful! What do you do? The quality of the meal is very important; research the rating of the venue before signing any contract.

Venues held in public places are prone to attract lots of curious people that will dropped on your party to congratulate you on your wedding. Consider if this is something that will get you annoyed.

Review the different options of lighting available for the site. The lighting during the meal should be different from the one setting the mood for dancing.

Ample Outlets
An adequate amount of outlets should be available. If your site is off the beaten path, consider how your DJ will be able to plug in is equipment.

Good Acoustics
Different types of material used on the wall or floor may provide different quality in the acoustic of a venue which will influence the mood of the guests. Keep in mind that some of the guests will hit the dance floor and wonít mind if the music is too loud while others, will prefer mingling and chatting with others. Very often, reception halls have very large rooms that can be divided by curtain walls to accommodate smaller groups. If you do not wish to compete with the noise level of another party, make sure the room is adequately sound proof.

Guests will never know that you went the extra mile to find a venue with lots of free parking space. They will notice however, and complaint if they had to waste time looking and paying for a parking spot far away from the venue. Caring for your guests, making sure their needs are taken care of will be appreciated.

Outdoor Reception
You have dreamed about having an outdoor wedding reception since you were little. You know exactly what you want and that is great! Donít simply relay on prayers and hope for perfect weather. Just in case it rains... plan ahead of time on what you will do. Is there a place nearby that can accommodate everyone to continue the party? Working on a backup plan is the safe way to go.

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