If you and your loved one are set on having a traditional wedding, then you may already have chosen the place of worship, the style and substance accordingly. In fact, this may be the easiest part of the whole production as at least you know what you've got to work with and how everything should unfold. Your next task will be to choose the wedding venue for your reception and this is where you can get a lot more complicated, with so many choices and other factors to take into consideration. How do you start to plan this spectacular?
Plenty of Scope
Firstly, make sure that you have room to spread out and that you're not going to be overly constrained when it comes to the size of your guest list. Some locations may be particularly sweet, but they're not very accessible and don't have a great deal of room for all the peripherals. For example, if you're going to set up a sizeable dance floor, DJ booth and sound station then this will take up quite a bit of space, and you shouldn't underestimate the dimensions.
Food and Drink
Make sure that the food stations are also well situated and if you are going to choose a buffet spread, allow for plenty of "flow" on all sides. Remember, the open bar is going to be very popular, and you need plenty of room to stock it properly, so ensure that there is enough manpower on hand and enough space for people to jostle for position!
If you can, choose a venue that is open plan and has specific areas for certain activities. In pride of place should be the cake cutting ceremony, which can be viewed from all corners of the facility, while in other areas you may have sofas and comfy chairs, so people can relax when they are worn out by the DJ. This can take some strategic planning, but you should work with the venue provider to give you some inspiration based on previous events.
Some of the best venues are part of a much larger facility, such as a resort hotel. Ensure that your event, while accessible to your guests, is private and not open to sightseers or gatecrashers. Furthermore, ensure that the bathroom facilities are nearby and will not be overrun by guests attending other functions.
Continuing the Theme
You have been quite specific when it comes to the actual ceremony itself, and this may involve you choosing a specific theme or decor style. You need to ensure that your reception venue is decked out in such a way that it blends in with the overall flow of the day, as this will help you to rule out any venues that are too much of a clash.
Realising the Vision
Finally, trust your gut reaction whenever you first walk into the candidate venue. It should at the very least be a good fit, allowing you to work with the staff to paint a bigger picture. Remember, it's your vision and your day, so you need to be able to translate these thoughts into practicality.