When selecting your ceremony or reception site, think about who you are as a couple and what makes the two of you unique. Your selection will be influenced by the formality of your wedding, the season of the year, the number of guests expected and your religious affiliation. Consider issues such as parking availability, handicapped accessibility, time constraints etc.
Some popular locations for ceremonies are churches, cathedrals, chapels, temples, synagogues, private homes, gardens, hotels, clubs, halls, golf courses, parks, wineries, beaches, etc. Consider having your ceremony at the same facility as your reception to save a second rental fee.
It's a good idea to plan for your ceremony and reception well in advance, as many places fill up early, particularly during popular wedding months. We suggest selecting and reserving your reception and ceremony site at least nine months prior to your wedding. Banquet halls vary a great deal in quality, facilities and policies, so make your choice carefully. Good banquet facilities are in constant use, so book early, a year ahead is not an unusual length of time. Take your time and compare all the halls before you decide to book.
When comparing the cost of different locations, consider the rental fee, food, beverages, parking, gratuity, set-up charges and the cost of equipment such as tables, chairs, canopies, and so forth. If you are planning an outdoor wedding, be sure to have a backup site in case of rain.
If your reception is going to be in a hotel, restaurant or a banquet hall, you will need to select a meal to serve your guests. Most of the places will have a predetermined menu from which to select your meal. If your reception is going to be in a facility that does not provide food, you will need to hire an outside catering company. The caterer will be responsible for preparing, cooking, decorating and serving the food.
Questions to Ask BEFORE You Book
Your Ceremony SIte & Banquet Hall
- What dates & times are available?
- What is the minimum and maximum number of guests?
- What is the payment policy?
- What is the cancellation policy?
- Is a changing room available?
- Do vows need to be approved?
- Is an officiant available? At what cost?
- Are outside officiants allowed?
- What music restrictions are there, if any?
- What photography restrictions are there, if any?
- Are there any restrictions for rice or rose petal-tossing?
- Chair covers included?
- Centerpieces included?
- Sweet table included?
- Wedding cake included?
- Children's plates included?
- Bar (open/cash/host) ?
- Is there parking and handicap accessibility?
- How many parking spaces are available for my guests?
- Total cost?