This is Part I in a 2 part series for selecting a wedding reception site. Click Here for Part 2

Central PA offers a vast amount of options when it comes to wedding reception sites .  There are  established venues such as Bed and Breakfasts, Public Gardens like Hershey, or maybe even your own back yard.
Hershey Garden & Felicita Garden and Spa
Felicita Garden Resort & Spa Hershey Gardens
Bed And Breakfast Wedding Site
Local Bed And Breakfast - Conewago Manor Inn

What are you looking for as a reception site?
Make a written list of questions that are important to you, such as:
~
Where is the location in relation to your ceremony site, your guests,  and area hotels?
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What is your estimated guest count in contrast to their capacity?
~Estimate  your budget for the reception site (this us usually tied to the catering budget).
~Will you be confined to their in-house caterer list, or can you select the caterer of your choice?
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Other concerns such as policies of the property ie. alcohol or food handling, changing rooms, guest facilities, parking distance and lighting at night may also be pertinent.
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Do they have a good reputation within the wedding industry?
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Are they willing to provide references?

If your time is precious the best rule of thumb is
Don’t waste a trip to see the location if it cannot meet the basic criteria.

Kings Gap Mansion
Kings Gap Mansion
Pennsylvania State Park System
Pennsylvania State Park System Kings Gap Mountain Top View
The Millsteam Inn
Millstream Farm Inn

Where to Search for a Wedding Reception Site
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Local and On Line Wedding Publications
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Yellow Pages
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Party Rental Stores
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Local Bridal Shows
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On-line Wedding Internet Sites
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Ask friends about sites they think will appeal to you.

Call the sites of interest once you’ve identified a manageable list.  Run through your selection criteria while on the phone.  If they won’t take the time over the phone to discuss the site with you, they may be wasting your time and theirs during a personal visit. if the site does not meet your budget, for example.

Summarizing
Ok, you know what you want. You found 3 sites that fit the criteria, now it’s time to visit them.  This is when it is important to engage a parent and perhaps your fiance’.  Make an appointment for a specific day and time.  Obtain contact name(s) when setting up your appointments and plan, at a minimum, thirty to forty minutes at each facility you will visit.   Then draft a list of questions pertinent to your reception requirements. If there are questions unique to one site but  not another,  write it down.

Continued  next week: Part II    What’s Next?

Scott Woodruff        If you found this post helpful, please leave a comment below!

One thought on “Selecting an Outdoor Wedding Reception Site – Part I”

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