What to Look For in a Wedding Reception Venue

IMG 8996

What to Look For in a Wedding Reception Venue

On the hunt for your dream wedding venue, there are some essential factors to consider. Some of the features, or lack of, at a venue can easily make or break your decision to book. It’s important to scope the place out and hone in on the pros and cons before putting pen to paper. Keep reading to learn about some of the traits that you should consider when touring potential venues.



Every couple wants privacy during their wedding, at least to a degree. What this means is that there aren’t any intrusive sounds, lights or the potential of unwanted guests. Wedding crashers are a real thing folks! When considering a venue you should look into how close to a major city or road they are, how a venue deters and deals with disruptive scenarios, and if there is security provided.


A View

While a venue should be practical in the sense that it can hold all of your guests, you also want it to be beautiful. This applies not only to the venue itself but the surrounding area, for the overall aesthetic as well as your wedding photographs. During the tour of a potential wedding reception venue, scout out the entire area to ensure that it meets your expectations as well as your photography needs. The areas surrounding your venue are especially important if you attend to obtain golden hour photographs. You will need unobstructed natural light to achieve these shots, such as an open field or a break in a treeline.



If you want to see your bride or groom, as well as your guests, good lighting is a must! You might assume that every venue is well lit, but this isn’t the case. Some venues rely on natural light and it’s up to you to do the rest. In which case, you may have to get creative with candles, string lights or other lighting options. If these types of items are on display during your tour be sure to have a candid conversation with the venue as to what is included with your booking. Additionally, consider how the lighting available or provided will impact your wedding photographs. You will want to avoid creating harsh shadows or having to rely on flash photography.


A Pleasing Palette

It is common for couples’ to have a wedding theme, or at minimum a color palette. With this in mind, you want to carefully consider how a venue’s style and colors will pair with your own. Ideally, the reception venue you select will mesh with your palette and assist in bringing your vision to life.



Often overlooked, having several and conveniently located outlets is essential. This is important not only for you so that you can plug in decor, but for other vendors. In particular, the DJ or band, the caterer, and even the photographer. Everyone will need an outlet and you want to be sure there are enough to go around. Otherwise you may be left with a tangle of unsightly and dangerous extension cords on the floor.


Open Spaces

It seems like a given, but a venue should be able to accommodate all of your guests. From the get-go, you should go in with a rough estimate of how many guests you will have. The key is to always plan on more than you expect. Once the venue confirms the max number of guests they can handle, you can consider a layout. From there you will be able to determine if you can fit both vendors and guests into the room, with each having plenty of room to move freely. If you plan on having an extremely large guest count, a venue with multiple rooms or both indoor and outdoor areas may be preferable.


Ample Parking

If your wedding guests have to drive to your venue, it is important you ensure there is enough parking available. . There is nothing more inconvenient and stressful for guests than circling an unknown location to find a space. Or, even worse, that they may have to pay for parking. A venue should have on-site parking available or be able to give you recommendations as to where everyone can park.


Back Up Options

Unexpected weather conditions can put a real damper on a wedding, especially for an outdoor reception. It is imperative, if you want the party to continue, that you have a back up plan in the event of poor weather. This can be as simple as siding on a tent, to forking up a little extra for a nearby building. Take initiative and work with the venue to come up with a solution.

If you are interested in something specific and want to see if a venue can accommodate, be sure to speak up. There is no harm in asking and it will help you narrow down your options. At Pine Lake Ranch our 25-acre property is yours to enjoy, including a 6,500 square foot reception barn. We also strive to stay on top of current trends in order to provide couples a wide selection of decor, arbors, lighting and more. Learn more about our customizable wedding packages and available rentals today, or contact us to book a tour.