Types of ReceptionsWhere you hold your reception (and what kind of festivities you plan) will depend a great deal on what kind of reception you have. Some popular types of receptions include brunch receptions (after a morning wedding ceremony), traditional dinner receptions, cocktail receptions and dessert receptions.
Aspects of a Formal ReceptionA formal, traditional dinner reception includes the following aspects. When picking a reception site for your traditional reception, make sure the all the below activities that you wish to include will be easily carried out in your chosen location.
- Cocktail hour (can be limited so alcohol isn't served the whole time)
- Receiving line
- Guest book
- First dance
- Parent dances
- Dinner (can range from simple buffet fare to a very formal sit down dinner)
- Cake cutting
- Bouquet toss
- Garter throw
- Toasting the bride and groom
Picking a Reception SiteYou might want to pick your reception based on proximity to your ceremony site or you might prefer a location that has personal meaning to you and your partner (Where you first met? Where he proposed?), a place connected to your common interests (a stadium or art museum, for example) or someplace important to your family (a relative's home, perhaps).
Some other tips to keep in mind:
- If you're considering holding your reception at a public building, check to see if the staff has handled a wedding before. Also, find out about kitchen facilities and any rules or restrictions. Also, make sure no other events will conflict with yours (like, for example, a big football game on the day your reception was to be held at your university's arboretum.)
- Holding your reception at a family home will certainly have personal meaning for you, but it won't necessarily save you money. If you are holding a big bash, the expense required in renting all the furniture and decorations will be substantial. Holding a simpler cocktail or dessert reception at home, on the other hand, is quite feasible.
What Kind of Locations Should I Choose?In addition to traditional locations like ballrooms and banquet halls, why not consider more unusual locales like gardens, museums, aquariums or even the deck of a boat?
Some popular North Carolina sites for wedding receptions:
The Carolina Inn (Chapel Hill): The historic Carolina Inn in the heart of Chapel Hill (and its restaurant, Crossroads) is a popular location for weddings and receptions alike.
The Matthews House (Cary): A dedicated event location in Cary, The Matthews House is a Greek Revival style manor popular among Triangle brides.
Rumbling Bald Resort On Lake Lure (Lake Lure): Rumbling Bald Resort offers spectacular lakeside views in the Blue Ridge mountains; the resort is popular for both wedding ceremonies and receptions.
Sheraton Atlantic Beach Oceanfront Hotel (Atlantic Beach): This oceanfront hotel offers a private clubhouse, ballroom, catering, wedding planner and, of course, the ocean!