Choosing Your Venue | The Reception Site
Today’s blogpost Choosing Your Venue | The Reception Site is the final installment of my four-part series on Choosing Your Venue: From a Photographer’s Perspective. So far we’ve chatted about:
In these blog posts, I go over different things to consider in order to ensure that each part of your wedding day is as “photographable” as possible! So let’s dive right in!
The reception is such a fun part of the wedding day for me to photograph! This is when I truly feel like I get to know my couples in such an intimate, sincere way. I love to hear what family and friends have to say about them during toasts. Seeing how they interact with each other during those first few hours as husband and wife. First dances with each other, and with parents. Trying to guess if they’re cake smashers or gentle cake feeders 😉
Here are some questions to be thinking about as you look at wedding venues and picture your reception night!
Is the ceremony site, the cocktail hour, and the reception space ALL in DIFFERENT locations? Or will the staff need to “take down” one area in order to set up the next? This affects my ability to photograph the space before guests start arriving and setting down their stuff at the tables! If all three events – ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception – are set up in three different locations, then we don’t need to worry about take down and set up time in between events. They can all be set up at the same time, and I can photograph them before guests get to them.
What about if there’s rain? Will the cocktail hour, reception space, and ceremony site STILL be in different areas? A lot of times the indoor option for ceremony sites are where the reception will take place, so you’ll need to consider that!
Another consideration – does the venue provide a means of transportation from each location or is it easy to walk back and forth? Make sure all your guests can easily get where they need to be, especially those with mobility issues.
Does the venue provide anything fun for cocktail hour – such as bean bag toss or other yard games?
Is there enough space for a dance floor with all your tables set up or will you need to take down tables to make room for dancing?
What kind of exit do you want from your reception? Not all venues will allow sparklers on their property so be sure to ask! If you want to take sparklers to the next level, some couples have shot off fireworks or lit lanterns at the end of the night! If not, I’ve also done fun bubble exits or glowstick exits. Just be sure your know their policy if you have your heart set on a sparkler exit (I never say no to a good sparkler exit!)
Does the venue provide options for a getaway car? Some venues have the option to rent a sweet vintage vehicle for you to drive away in! If you choose this option, make sure you rent the car a little earlier so we can get photos of the two of you with it in the daylight hours too!
Don’t forget that your venue is going to look completely different during different seasons! If you’re touring in the bleak winter months, the bushes and blossoms may completely transform the look come summer or fall! The views you can see now with bare trees may be blocked by foliage in a few months. Or they may awaken with flowers and leaves!
A final thought
One final thought before we close out our series with Choosing Your Wedding Venue: The Reception Site. Even if ALL the things we discussed are not perfectly in place – if you hire a wedding photographer you know you can trust, then relax! After 10 years of photographing weddings, I’ve shot in MANY different venues, lighting situations, and weather conditions. These tips are just to get you thinking from a photographer’s perspective, so you can understand why I make the decisions I do in regards to your photos! If you don’t find a Unicorn Venue that has ALL these things we’ve chatted about – that’s okay. Most don’t. And I still produce stunning images from every aspect of the wedding day!
Want proof? Feel free to check out Shri + Terry’s two-day wedding celebration. This FULL gallery shows my editing, posing, and use of light in ALL lighting conditions – bright, noon day sun, cloudy/overcast, night, indoor, outdoor, you name it.
Prefer video? Watch below!
Asheville Wedding Photographer
Meghan Rose Photography is based in Asheville, happily serving fellow sentimental romantics. She considers herself a Greenville Wedding Photographer, Charlotte Wedding Photographer, and Spartanburg Wedding Photographer. But really she loves to travel all throughout the Carolinas and the South. If you’re interested in working with her for your wedding, you can contact her here!
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