It can be as simple and demure as champagne and hors d'oeuvres, or encompass an elegant five-course dinner and dance.
Selecting the reception location really depends on how many guests you are inviting. Your reception can be staged nearly anywhere: a formal reception centre, bowls and other sports clubs, a local hall, a beautiful hotel, a restaurant, etc. If you're being married in a season where the weather is conducive to being outside, there may be a lovely garden or arboretum available. Remember May - October is always a risk in Ballarat for an outside based reception.
Whatever you decide, know that the services of a professional banquet facility or caterer can greatly enhance and expedite the planning of your reception.
Once you've decided the setting you would prefer, the estimated number of guests and your financial resources, you're ready to begin interviewing for reception sites and caterers.
Remember the following:
Reception Venue Checklist
1. Does the venue supply tables, linens, chairs, and dance floor?
2. Does the place look great already or do you have to bring in a lot of decorations to make it look the way you want?
3. Do they setup and clean up the area you are renting?
4. Can you bring in your own alcohol or do you have to buy it from them?
5. Can the venue seat the required number of people and still have room to walk, dance or mingle. Consider grouping furniture to stimulate conversation without obstructing traffic flow.
6. How is their kitchen? Is the kitchen suitably equipped to handle the number of guest?
7.Can you bring in your own caterer?
8. If your reception is outside and it rains or its cold, is there somewhere for the guests to go? Can everyone go to one place and still be together.
9. When they say they can hold 150 people does that mean inside or does it mean using porches and lawns.
10. If your planning a bar ask how many bathrooms does it offer.
11. If you have to use their caterer ask if this firm has references, pictures, insurance, and how long have they been in business. You need to deal with people that have a track record.
And finally - Reserve your reception facility well in advance and promptly pay any necessary deposit.
Visit the reception site and design a suitable layout. Remember there
should always be one table designated for the wedding party and one
table for the parents. Seating arrangements at the bride's table are as
follows: bridal couple in the center, maid of honor at the groom's left,
best man at the bride's right. Seat the other attendants, alternating
men and women, as space provides.