Renting a Hall

If you prefer to rent a hall or space for your reception, you must consider many things before making this decision. You will have to think of the prices for the hall rental, the cost of using their servers (most halls include servers in price and they are not negotiable), decorations, flowers, meals, drinks etc.

When you wish to rent a hall for your reception there are some things that the hall will include in your rental that you can’t avoid paying for such as: servers, decorations, and wine. However, some halls will give you the option to pick and choose the extras that you want.

Depending on the type of hall that you choose to rent, the costs can vary greatly. For example, if you rent a large hall, you could pay more than if you rented a legion hall.

You might also want to consider that if you are starting with a small budget, that renting a hall might not be worth the effort and money, or it may leave you with less options.

There are a few tips when renting a hall that could keep a great deal of your costs down. Let’s take a look at them.

  1. You should only consider renting a hall if you have invited 50 or more people to your reception.
  2. When renting a hall, you have to decide if you are opting for a cash bar or an open bar. A good compromise is to purchase a few cases of beer on your own and host a cash bar for those who want mixed drinks if you are trying to keep costs down.
  3. Rent a hall that you can decorate yourself
  4. If you must have servers, rent a hall that includes servers in the price of the rental or go with a hall that lets you bring your own.
  5. Choose a hall that will cater to whatever your needs or budget is.
  6. When it comes to the food, you should go with a hall that will allow you to bring your own food if you would prefer to not pay extra for catering.
  7. Serving vegetable and fruit trays, as well as finger foods like finger sandwiches will be of great value in accommodating vegetarians
  8. Opting for a casual reception will allow you to serve your food buffet style which will be predominantly cheaper.
  9. Opting to tell people to forego giving you a wedding gift and serve a completely cash bar is a great way to accommodate guests and recover some of the money for the hall.
  10. Opt for non-weekend dates because these are not peak hours for the hall and the prices may be cheaper
  11. You should choose to host your event during the winter for the best rates
  12. Negotiate a special discount by paying cash instead of credit card. Most reception halls will do this
  13. Choose to go with a non-dinner reception offering instead snack foods and munchables

Hosting a wedding reception at a hall does not have to cost through the nose if you know how to get around the basics which I have just mentioned.

Most people would like to host their reception at a reception hall because they feel that it is more elegant than hosting it outdoors, however, this is not always the case. Sometimes, hosting your event outdoors is more fun and it is also much cheaper.

The choices with the Roman theme vary. Togas are always a part of the festivities. Serving fresh fruits like grapes, apples etc. are always good. Serving fresh rotisseries meats or cold cuts are great with this theme too.

You can generally serve beer and wine for this theme and you can decorate with wreathes, garland, candles and anything else in the Roman fashion.

Reception themes are a great way to personalize your reception. People often choose their themes based on their personalities and individual character. Some themes are based on hobbies and others are based on hopes and dreams.

No matter what type of theme that you choose for your reception, you can always find the right way to represent it.

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Outdoor Reception

Hosting your reception outdoors can be a great deal cheaper and a lot more fun for you and your guests. When you host your reception outdoors you have a lot of options as to how you want things to be.

The only downside to doing this is whether or not the weather conditions will permit it. Because of this your reception and its success is often at the hands of Mother Nature. Other than that, it can be the best decision that you could make.

Outdoor receptions give you an endless supply of ideas and freedom in how your reception will be handled. The best thing is that you can host an outdoor reception at a hall or beautiful grounds, or you can do so in your own back yard.

If your own yard permits it, it would be best to do it here because it is a relaxed atmosphere and you need not worry about many of the small details that come in when using public grounds (i.e. music).

There are many ways that you can make an outdoor reception easy to plan, cheaper to pay for, and a great deal of fun. Of course, there are small formalities that go with it as well.

I have developed a to-do list for you as well to help you to make the most out of your outdoor reception.

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Planning the Reception

Great deals can be found when you know how much money you are working with. It really doesn’t matter how small your budget is for the reception because all budgets can be accommodated.

Your reception budget should consist of approximately 30% of your wedding budget or more. Most wedding receptions are so expensive due to the fact of providing meals, decorations, hall rentals etc.

For the purposes of this guide, I will give two different examples of common receptions and an idea for cutting costs on the food and drinks as well as give you the best tips for throwing your reception on a budget.

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Outdoor Ceremony

You can save a great deal of money by hosting your ceremony outside like in a beautiful park, at the beach, on a hilltop or even in your yard.

Of course, having the ceremony in your backyard is the cheapest. Here are some of the formalities that go with having an outdoor ceremony that can save you money all around.

·    The best way is to have the service in your backyard
·    Choose an open public forum that does not generally have a great deal of people trying to access it, and get the right permits etc. beforehand
·    Opting for an ordained minister rather than a priest etc. is often cheaper. Just be sure to check that whoever you choose can legally perform wedding ceremonies in your area.
·    You can forego the chairs and have the guests standing as long as you host a short ceremony. A nice white or themed linen on the ground for guests to stand on is an elegant touch
·    When going with outdoor ceremony, people often opt for the portable arch because it is easy to transport and just as elegant
·    Of course, you can always host your ceremony at city hall and save your money for the reception. Record the ceremony and host a viewing during the reception

Outdoor ceremonies open the door to many themes that can greatly reduce the cost of your wedding and reception. Hawaiian themes and beach themes can help you save money on formal wear, and decorations etc. because people having an outdoor wedding are often casually or island dressed.

It makes the ceremony more comfortable for the guests too because they are also dressed casually.

Outdoor ceremonies can immediately switch from ceremony to reception which saves some extra money on travel fees too, such as limos etc. The Hawaiian theme will be a great way to have a luau or pig roast reception.
You might want to consider a theme that lets you have a picnic for your reception party or a beach party or bonfire, but I will get into themes in more detail in a later section.

All of these tips were designed to help you find deals and discounts. You can also choose to have your ceremony at a courthouse or city hall building; record the services and play the recording during your reception instead. It is a nice way to share your vows with your friends and family without spending a fortune on the ceremony.

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