It’s very common for couples to have separate wedding ceremony and wedding reception venues. This approach can be extremely advantageous, providing you with the opportunity to tie the knot at a traditional venue before switching to a more modern and flexible location for your reception. However, it’s not always plain sailing and can present some potential pitfalls – so in this post, we offer a few pointers on what to look for in a wedding reception venue.

  1. Location

Your reception venue should be relatively proximate to the location of your wedding venue – ideally within 30 minutes and not more than an hour. It’s also a huge bonus if your chosen reception venue is well connected either by road or rail, and can help to arrange transport as well as provide subsidised onsite parking. To avoid complications, ensure that your guests are provided with clear instructions on how to reach the destination.

  1. Exclusive Hire

Timing can be tricky but it’s vitally important. You need to provide enough of a gap to allow people to comfortably move between locations but not so long that momentum and energy start to wane. There are no hard and fast rules but generally a gap of around 60 or 90 minutes is about right. To allow for a bit of leeway with time, it’s a good idea to choose a venue that can offer you flexible or exclusive hire options – this way, it won’t be the end of the world if timings don’t go quite according to plan.

  1. Contingency Plans

English weather is famously unpredictable, so if you’ve planned for an outdoor reception you should expect the worst (while of course hoping for the best). So that you’re not caught out by inclement weather, opt for a venue that has a quick and easy backup plan, such as indoor spaces or at least a temporary shelter.

  1. Catering Options

While a wedding ceremony generally revolves around the happy couple, guests often have one eye on the food when the reception rolls around. It can save a lot of hassle and money to choose a reception venue that provides an onsite catering service. The food should of course be high quality and cater for all tastes and requirements – including allergies and intolerances. It’s also a real plus-point if a venue offers bespoke options, which gives you room to manoeuvre if you’ve got a special dish in mind that isn’t on the standard menu.

  1. Experience

In the run up to your wedding, you’ll no doubt be inundated with advice on everything from what to wear to who to invite. So much so, that by the time your wedding day arrives, you may well have had quite enough of this endless stream of well-meaning counsel. Nevertheless, it’s still a great idea to book a venue with an experienced team and outstanding track record of delivering on similar events. In the case that you do need a bit of guidance along the way, you’ll have a safe pair of hands to turn to.

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Wedding Reception Venues – Lakeside

If you’re on the hunt for a wedding reception venue, look no further than Lakeside Kitchen & Bar. We offer bespoke wedding reception packages with first class catering options and friendly, professional service. Our beautiful exclusive hire venue is easily accessible via the city centre and both the A1 and M1 – and we provide onsite parking with subsidised rates for guests. To find out more, please visit our dedicated wedding reception page.