Wedding Reception

Popular wedding reception venues get booked up a long way in advance, so you should look to make a tentative booking and pay a deposit around twelve to eighteen months before you plan to get married. This can mean beginning your venue search two years before the wedding date. If you want to have the reception on a Saturday evening in the middle of the wedding season, or you are choosing a particularly popular venue, you may need to book even earlier.

Trends in wedding reception venues

Many couple are choosing unusual and creative venues for their wedding reception to make it a day to remember. Think about whether you might like a waterfront venue, an outdoors country wedding, a chic city centre venue, or even a reception on a cruise boat.

Backyard wedding are re-emerging as a popular choice. Some couple are foregoing large commercial venues for a more intimate gathering at a parent’s house, making use of a marquee in the garden for a real personal feel. This is partly in response to the expense of a large wedding, but also because couples are deciding to limit the number of guests and make their wedding receptions exclusive affairs.

Looking for your perfect venue

Deciding on the type of venue you want for your wedding reception is crucial. Do you want a venue that will take care of everything from the wedding cake to accommodation for you, or do you just want a simple function centre where you hire the room and have to provide everything else yourself?

When you have a good idea what type of venue you are looking for, draw up a list of possibilities in the area and arrange to visit them, armed with your wish list for the big day, as well as a list of questions to ask. Make notes at each venue so you don’t mix them up or forget any important information. Make sure you see all the rooms that will be used for your reception, as well as any additional rooms such as the bridal suite, ceremony room, and dressing rooms if applicable.

If you are planning an outside wedding, check that the venue has an indoors option in case of bad weather. If the venue is used frequently used for weddings they may have links with local florists, musicians and decorators and you may be able to negotiate a good package deal.

Modern Lighting Ideas

Coloured mood lighting is currently in vogue, and works especially well for those hiring a modern, minimalist venue decorated with a neutral colour scheme. The idea is to light your whole venue in one colour, and then change the colour to reflect the various stages of the wedding. You could choose warm orange for the drinks reception, calming green for dinner, vibrant red for the cake cutting, and velvety purple for the dancing.

Another modern lighting concept for contemporary weddings is to light the tables from within. Simple white lights are placed under the tables, and coloured cloths are used to alter the light, or coloured lamps can be used with white cloths. If you don’t want all your tables to light up, simply use cocktail tables with lights installed for your drinks reception.

Vintage Lighting Ideas

For true vintage glamour nothing beats glass chandeliers suspended above the tables. Check with your venue whether you are allowed to temporarily install these and if your venue isn’t that large limit yourself to one chandelier in the centre of the room or above the top table.

Depending on the decade you are aiming for, you can pick up vintage lamps to reflect your theme. Lava lamps or rotaflex lampshades can give a 1960s feel, while those looking for 1970s lighting could pick up orange, yellow, and brown lamp shades in a range of geometric patterns.

Romantic Lighting Idea

Nothing adds romance to the atmosphere like the soft glow of a candle flame, and many brides choose these as a simple and low budget way to light their reception venue.