Reception Venue Locations- Pros and Cons

Wedding Photogarpher Michigan

There are many options for the type of reception you can have- a wedding breakfast, brunch, lunchtime reception, afternoon tea, cocktail reception, or the most common evening reception. The later in the day you plan your reception the more it’s going to cost you. The reasoning for this is your guests needs/expectations at different points in the day. A lunch or breakfast reception is going to save you a lot of money on liquor, not to mention your guests will need less food and possibly no band.

Here are a few common places you could hold your reception with some pros and cons for each.



  • They are experienced in weddings
  • They most certainly have a ballroom with everything you need
  • Most have a wedding coordinator that will help you through the reception process. They are also usually there on your wedding day to make sure everything runs smoothly
  • Your first nights stay in the hotel is often free. Also it’s very easy for any guests to stay overnight if they wish.
  • They can usually cater for large numbers


  • Sometimes hotels are not the cheapest options, especially Five Star Hotels.
  • Brides can feel like they are just part of a production and the wedding can lose its unique vision.
  • If the hotel changes staff you may be put with a coordinator that doesn’t know much about your wedding
  • Depending on the hotel, often the rooms are not decorated enough. Some hotels use the same rooms for weddings that they do for corporate meetings. This means you have to do extra decorating.

A Function Center


  • They specialize in weddings so they know what to do
  • They have a list of good suppliers
  • They are more flexible and accommodating
  • There are many package options
  • Many function centers only do one event at a time, so you will get their undivided attention
  • If you have a cultural wedding some cities have centers that know your traditionsĀ  and etiquette as well as catering specifications
  • Some function centers have their own chapels or gardens for ceremonies


  • There are no accommodations, so you and your guests will have to travel elsewhere for the night.
  • Many have a minimum number of guests. This may be bad for a smaller wedding. Also some have a maximum number of guests which limits a larger wedding.
  • Good function centers book months or even years in advance
  • If you have a lunch function you may be limited for time. Most functions centers will also book an evening event.
  • The mark-up on wines and drinks can be costly

Historic House of Landmark


  • The atmosphere can be stunning
  • Backdrops in historic areas make for amazing photos


  • Do to the historic nature there are often many restrictions as to what you can and can’t do.
  • Also do to the historic nature, you may have to pay extra for insurance
  • Most historic venues have a small capacity and can’t hold large weddings
  • No room accommodations for guests



  • Weddings are not their primary business, so they are more flexible to your needs
  • They have a better menu and wine list
  • They are great for small weddings in their private rooms


  • They may not want to close the business on a saturday night and turn away regular business
  • Prices may be higher
  • They are often limited on space, but for number of guests and room for dance floors
  • Depending on the layout, many guests may not be able to see the Bridal Party table from their seats.

A Club/Bar


  • They have lower room rental fees and usually lower drink prices
  • Many have various sized function rooms to fit your needs
  • Very relaxed and informal if that is what you are looking for


  • Family member may have an issue with a too relaxed wedding
  • Food quality is often low
  • You sometimes have to be a member or sponsored by a member.



  • Freedom to sail where you’d like
  • The entire boat and everyone aboard is there just for you


  • You are trapped on the boat and can’t get off if need be
  • May not be good if you are your guests suffer from sea sickness
  • Usually a higher price point
  • May be restricted to the number of guests, depending on the boat size and their permits
  • Not so great if the weather is bad

Your Home


  • You can do exactly what you want and when you want
  • There are not time restrictions
  • There are no hidden charges, minimum numbers, or drink markups
  • A home wedding has a level of intimacy that you often can’t find


  • There is a lot of work to be done, and it mostly has to be done by you
  • Most homes can’t hold a large number of guests
  • You may need to hire lots of equipment such as port-a-potties, chairs, kitchen equipment, caterers, etc.
  • You will have to be doing preps all the way up until your wedding. You’ll have to vacuum and clean the day before, so there is no time to relax
  • Limited Parking
  • You may need to get insurance to cover guest liability

Hired Hall


  • Usually cheaper to hire a general purpose hall
  • Most halls are not in high demand on saturday nights, so they may have more availability


  • You will need to hire a caterer
  • Most need extensive decorations
  • You will need to hire out almost everything. So when added up it may not be a cheap option
  • They may not have air conditioning
  • Some halls have a midnight curfew

Garden or Park


  • You can decide what you want and how you want it to look
  • You can self cater or hire caterers
  • If its a public park, taxes mostly pay for it, so the prices will be much lower
  • You will have a unique location that is adapted to your style
  • Natural trees, plants, and flowers cut down on your decorating costs and make for great photo backdrops


  • You will need permission from a local council to hold an event on public property
  • Small parks in rural areas may be hard for guests to find
  • Everything will need to be hired, dance floor, caterer, toilets, chairs, etc
  • During rain or other bad weather, you may need a backup location
  • You may need insurance to cover guests
  • Often limited parking
  • Restrictions on noise, fires/candles, closing times, etc
  • You will often have various bugs, mosquitos, flies, ants, or other animals around.
  • Is there a level piece of land to place a dance floor?

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