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Wedding Receptions – What to know BEFORE choosing your Venue

Wedding tableAlthough the ceremony may be the most important part of your wedding, the reception is the predominant budget eater and in order to stay within your price range, there are a few things to consider. There are also a few things you should be prepared to ask when choosing a venue for any type of reception.

Choosing a venue that serves as the ceremony AND reception location is a great way to save money. Not only will it cut out renting a limo for the drive from the ceremony to reception, but the rate may be cheaper than renting many different locations (church, dinner,. However, moving guests around does generate excitement so to keep that level of energy, think about moving from one room or outdoors for the ceremony, and then another room for cocktail hour and greeting and yet another for dinner and finally dancing. Also, not only will you save on transportation, but you will save on gas money when rehearsing, decorating, and cleaning up. Plus, vendors such as florists, caterers and may negotiate with you on cost since they will not have to travel to other locations as well.

When choosing a reception site, make sure you ask about any restrictions that may apply to the location, some venues will restrict the time that alcohol can be served, or prohibit red wine altogether due to carpet stains. Other venues may have contracts with certain caterers that you will need to know about before signing any contracts.

Depending on the site, you could save up to 50 percent on your wedding by having it on a Thursday evening, however you will want to decide if that is worth it based on the type of crowd and activities involved. If guests are traveling from out of town, it could be inconvenient for them, as well as for everyone who will be working that day (drive home, shower, get ready, and get to wedding) – it might not be possible for many of the guests.

When choosing your reception venue, ask to see previous photos of events (both weddings and other events) that have taken place at the location. Not only could you get a reference of someone to call and ask about their experience with your location, but you’ll also get some good ideas and inspiration as well.

When it comes to one of the largest – if not THE largest expense of the reception it is the food. After having the chance to talk to a variety of brides, there are a few great money saving ideas when it comes to food. First try a pasta bar where guests can choose their own pastas, topping and sauces (giving them lots of options but still saving you money). Doing a wedding brunch is also way cheaper than serving a dinner meal (which is the most expensive). And for my favorite reception food idea – a dessert bar. Create an array of your favorite dessert dishes and allow guests to talk and mingle over everyone’s favorite ‘meal’. With lots of dessert options, you won’t have to serve a full meal and your budget will like it as well.

Hope you’ve got some ideas that will help you plan for your BIG DAY and check back, we’ll have more great ideas coming soon!

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