Reception Venues - How Do You Choose?
Monday, May 10, 2010 at 8:28AM
Louise in Budget, Reception

Do you want this:


or this?


When The Candyman and I got engaged, we did not set a date right away. In fact, it wasn't until a month or so later that we did set a date. How did we chose our 10.11.09 date? It was very carefully thought out, the numbers were extremely significant to us and we planned everything around that date........NOT.

The venue we liked was available and half price on Sundays. SOLD.

OK, there were a few more factors involved, but not many. Basically, Mere Bulles chose our wedding date. That was totally OK with us. I encourage you to be flexible regarding your date. How important is it to be married on 10.10.10? Yes, very cool visually - but is there anything wrong with 10.11.10? What if the rates are cheaper? Think about it.

When choosing a venue there are some basics you need to keep in mind:

The budget is the big one and the cost of a reception venue varies incredibly from location to location. READ THE CONTRACT. As boring as it is, the details here are so important. I've heard some horror stories that just make me shudder. Contract details that go unnoticed until the last minute can create conflict that is both emotionally and financially draining.

Food is something you need to consider as well. Do you like the food served there? Have you eaten there before? Did you like it? Did you like the service? I highly suggest you attempt to visit your venue location prior to your appointment. A lot of places put their best foot forward for a tasting/meeting, but what about during their everyday services? The Candyman and I had dinner at Mere Bulles incognito prior to securing our date. We loved the food as well as the service. It was a thumbs up for us. A few things to consider regarding the food:

Decor is REALLY important. Are you looking at a bare-bones space that will require you to rent everything - tables, chairs, linens, lighting? If you want to create an atmosphere unique to you and you alone, then that might be the way to go. If not, then consider this:

The reasons The Candyman and I choose Mere Bulles?

A few other things to consider:

The venue is one of the first things a bride decides upon. I think it really defines the rest of your planning, personally. The Candyman and I got married in small, Southern chapel. Having a chapel length train and veil really didn't seem to make sense. Neither did a whole lot of bling. Or orchids. Or limos. Or anything really over-the-top. It wasn't our style and our venues reflected who we were and how we wanted to celebrate our wedding. Yours should too. Be realistic. Don't try to put a round peg in a square hole. Unless you've got the cash, don't try to convert a barn into The W Hotel. And if you've got the cash, just go to The W Hotel. Not on the date you want, reconsider your date . It seriously won't kill you and no one really cares other than you, right now. In  a few years, you will think yourself a dolt for believing you had to get married on 10.10.10. Or 11.11.11, or on the anniversary of your first date/smooch/"I love you" particularly if you could have saved yourself some serious dough in doing so.

What have I missed here? Planners - chime in, please. What's important to consider that I haven't covered? Was there something that a venue required or didn't offer that made it a deal breaker for you? Share, please. I want to know! Brides want to know too!


Article originally appeared on The Thirty-Something Bride Wedding Blog (
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