The Reception Venue

If you're getting married in a venue licensed for weddings, then the ceremony and reception could be held at the same location – problem solved! However, if you're tying the knot in a church or register office, ideally you'll need to find somewhere reasonably close by. If you're looking to save money, chose a place where you can bring in your own caterers and drink.

Thorough research is the key to success, so ask around for personal recommendations, look in books and magazines, scour wedding websites and look in the Yellow Pages under hotels, halls, clubs or marquee hire. Then ring around for quotations, compare rates and visit a number of the places that appeal.

Finally… don't forget to book early.


Wedding catering will swallow up a big slice of your budget, so careful planning is essential. Firstly you'll need to decide whether you want a formal sit down meal or a buffet. A sit down meal requires you to work out a seating plan, but guests often find their own places with a buffet. Itemise any special requirements that your or your guests may have, such as vegetarian, vegan or kosher diets, then take your specifications to a number of suppliers and compare wedding catering menus and quotes.

You may be offered the opportunity to taste a selection of dishes, which will give you an idea of the quality available. If you've opted for a buffet, don't forget to err on the side of generosity to make sure there's plenty for everyone. If you're providing your own drinks, check whether your reception venue charges corkage and if you have to hire glasses.


The question of whether to invite children is always difficult. It is easier to have either all or nothing, as it's awkward to explain that relatives are allowed, but not the offspring of friends. Most people will understand if you want your wedding to be child-free, just make sure you tell everyone clearly from the start, and tick, politely, to your guns.

Reception Questions to Ask
How many rooms do you need to book?
What time can the wedding party arrive?
What are the catering arrangements?
What is the cost per head of food?
Are special dietary requirements taken care of?
How many serving staff will be available on the day?
Who will provide flowers and where will they be?
Is the venue licensed?
Is smoking allowed?
Is there adequate heating or air conditioning?
Are there disabled cloakroom and toilet facilities suitable?
What are the parking facilities like?
Is there somewhere secure to keep wedding presents?
What time do you have to leave?
Is there somewhere for guests who want to stay overnight?