Your Wedding Reception
Finding the perfect location for your wedding reception is the most important piece in your wedding planning. The Wedding Venue is what will set the mood for your wedding. Also, the best banquet facilities become booked fast, so start searching for your hall about a year in advance. If you choose a place that you really love, then your wedding reception will be so much more delightful.
When choosing your wedding venue, be sure to keep these three things in mind: your theme and style, the location of the venue, and the size of the ballroom. You wouldn't host an city chic wedding at a country style facility, would you? And you want to be sure that there is enough room for your 200+ family to eat and dance comfortably, right?
Start looking for as many venues that meet your criteria as you can. Some types of venues to consider are hotels, banquet halls, castles, manors, yachts, country clubs, lofts and so much more. With a little imagination, the possibilities are endless!
The Elaborate Wedding
- Location - church, synagogue, elaborate hall or hotel ballroom.
- Invitations - engraved/embossed stationery, program and pew cards.
- Guests - 200 or more.
- Wedding Party - up to 12 or more, one usher for every 50 guests, more than one flower girl and ring bearer.
- Bride - stately gown with long train, long veil, elaborate flowers.
- Groom - daytime wedding: cutaway coat, gray striped trousers; evening wedding: black tails, white gloves and stiff-front shirt.
- Reception - large sit-down dinner, entrance canopy, valet parking.
- Music - a quintet or orchestra; a harpist during cocktail hour.
- Transportation - by limousine or horse-drawn carriages.
The Semi-Formal Wedding
- Location - church/synagogue, home, restaurant, banquet facility.
- Invitations - engraved or photo-lettered.
- Guests - 100 or more.
- Wedding Party - one to six; one ring bearer and flower girl is optional.
- Bride - long dress: little or no train, elbow or shoulder-length veil; short length dress: dressy style and fabric.
- Groom - short suit jacket, matching trousers; summer: white linen jacket with trousers.
- Reception - a dinner or buffet.
- Music - one to three musicians or small band or DJ/entertainment.
- Transportation - limousine or private automobile.
The Informal Wedding
- Location - church or chapel, synagogue, garden or in a home.
- Invitations - engraved or hand-written, sometimes given by phone.
- Guests - under 100.
- Wedding Party - best man, maid or matron of honor, one to two groomsmen and bridesmaids, usually no flower girl or ring bearer.
- Bride - short bridal dress or street-length dress or two-piece, dressy suit; short veil or hat/no veil.
- Groom - dark gray or blue suit.
- Reception - often a private party at a facility, restaurant or in the home.
- Music - recordings; soloist; or DJ.
- Transportation - private autos.
The Weekend Wedding
- Location - bed and breakfast, country inn, beach cottage or an island as the home base for this style. Popular among close-knit family and friends.
- Invitations - engraved and/or embossed, programs and itinerary.
- Guests - about 25 to 50.
- Bride - a long dress with a short train, elbow or shoulder-length veil, plus elaborate flowers.
- Groom - Daytime wedding - cutaway coat with gray striped trousers; Evening wedding - black tails, white gloves and shirt.
- Pre-reception - may opt for a cocktail party the day before the wedding; the rehearsal dinner is for those in the wedding party.
- Reception has an extensive cocktail hour, sit-down dinner and other events where the guests will be staying.
- Post-reception - can include day-long events such as a pool party, cookout, golf tournament or goodbye dinner.
- Music is with a DJ or band.
- Transportation - private automobile.
The Destination Wedding
- Location - anywhere exotic such as a Caribbean island, a castle in Scotland or even Walt Disney World.
- Invitations - include save-the-date cards sent in advance of the invitations and engraved/embossed stationery designed to capture the feel of the location you've chosen.
- Guests - from 2 to 100.
- Wedding party - one to six with ring bearer and flower girl optional.
- Bride - may be anything from an elaborate gown with a cathedral train to a white bathing suit with lace and sequins.
- Groom - attire depends on the location as well. Varies from top hat and tails to shorts and flipflops.
- Reception - includes cocktail hour followed by a sit-down dinner or buffet consisting of local cuisine.
- Music - classical duo to small band.
- Transportation is by limousine, on horseback or in a Cinderella coach.
The Theme Wedding
- Location - sets the theme of the wedding: a medieval castle, a theme park, zoo or unique place.
- Invitations - themed to match.
- Guests - 50 to 150.
- Bride - matches the theme: Cinderella, Maid Marian or a Victorian lady.
- Groom - matches theme too: Prince Charming, Robin Hood or a Victorian gentleman.
- Reception - large sit-down dinner or buffet.
- Music - several musicians, a DJ or an orchestra.
- Transportation - vehicle to match the theme: horse-drawn carriage, horseback, Rolls Royce,speedboat, etc.