Tips for choosing a wedding reception venue
Wedding planning advice from some of the best wedding planners in Calgary
There are so many options for wedding reception venues, and so many things to consider when making your choice. Of course, availability, capacity, and location are some of the top things to know… We asked some of the best wedding planners in Calgary for wedding planning advice on other important considerations when choosing a reception venue. Here’s what they had to say:
“I could come up with a very long list here… But mainly I’d say consider aesthetics/architecture of the existing space and making sure it matches the vision of your wedding. Consider the options for catering vendors or if in-house caterers must be used. It’s also noteworthy to look at some of the finer print like load-in restrictions, same-day wedding bookings, overall bar & menu prices, and what time you have to shut down the party!”
“When it comes to choosing your venue, in addition to capacity and location you should also consider room layout, venue costs, food service requirements and bar service requirements. Always make sure you will be happy with the room layout, most venues max capacity is very tight so if they say 120 guests is their maximum I wouldn’t recommend having that many guests, closer to 100 guests would probably be more comfortable. Also, consider the rental fee and/or food and beverage minimums that a venue has and how it fits into your overall budget.
For food service, things to consider are the menu provided or if you can bring in an outside caterer, etc. For beverage service, consider what type of bar you are having (host, toonie, cash, drink tickets) and also consider whether or not it is important for you to bring in your own liquor or not, most venues don’t allow outside liquor. Finally, choose a space that is a reflection of your style and taste as a couple, it helps to figure out also what your priorities are. Then choose a place that meets most of your priorities. For example, if food is a priority then consider a restaurant, hotel or golf course that is reputable not a community centre.”
“I believe that the reception venue should be a reflection of the couple and their interests. For example, if the couple wants a rustic theme to their wedding, then I would suggest a lodge in the mountains or a ranch in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. I worked with a couple a few years ago who loved airplanes and had done a lot of traveling and they had their reception at the Aerospace Museum in Calgary. It was very apropos to their interest and their history together.”
“The venue sets the tone for EVERYTHING! The budget, the atmosphere and to a certain extent the decor. When choosing a venue we are first looking at what venue is going to lend itself well to the atmosphere the couple is aiming to achieve. Do they want something light and airy? Then we need something with a lot of windows. Are they wanting something very romantic and candlelit? Then we need something with no windows. We can create almost any atmosphere in any venue, however, the further the venue is from the desired feel the more expensive it’s going to be to create. Starting with a venue that already has the overall feel and look you are aiming to achieve will save money and stress in the end.”