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|Wedding Reception Locations|
Wedding Reception Locations
It's often harder to find an ideal location for your reception than for your ceremony (although many sites serve double duty.) The best locations are in heavy demand - you may want to set your wedding date after you determine what date your favorite location is available.
You may be tempted to set the date that's most convenient for you, but many couples find a location and then set the date. If you're planning a wedding in the months of April through October, you may need to book your location at least a year in advance.
What are the most popular locations? The average wedding reception is held in the reception hall of a church, at a country club, or at a hotel banquet room. In recent years we've photographed weddings at a much wider variety of locations (including a field near the top of Massanutten Mountain.) Here are some thought-starting location possibilities:
Non-traditional locations typically are more expensive than a standard venue. Some wineries offer a full-service reception, but you'll pay for the privilege. At the same time, if you want catering, a band, a dance floor, tables and chairs, dinnerware... and you're getting married in an out of the way location, the cost (and time) involved in pulling all that together may not be worth it - a full service reception may end up being the best deal.
More than half of our couples choose to have their reception at a different location than their service, especially if a church doesn't have adequate facilities. While staying at the church may not be ideal, at the same time it shortens the total length of your wedding and doesn't require guests to drive to another location. (Although in our opinion almost no guests seem to mind if your reception is held elsewhere.)
The keys to choosing a site are to consider access, parking, availability, amenities, facilities... in other words, will your guests be comfortable? A beautiful location is great, but if parking is limited, or facilities are non-existent, the wonderful view will quickly get old. In the end your wedding will be memorable because of you and your guests, not because of the location - so if you're in doubt, choose a more traditional location with all the amenities.