January 11, 2015
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Wedding Reception Guest Planning: 150 of Your Closest Friends Are Coming To Dinner! They are counting on your hospitality.

www.Ovation images.com You're Engaged! Now What? Part 7 of 30

THREE: This is our third posting related to reception venue selection (and one more still to come—do you think venue selection is important?! Part One is HERE, Get Part Two HERE).  Your guest list will also help you choose your wedding reception venue. How many names are on that list? Where are they coming from?

It’s pretty clear that the facility you choose must be able to accommodate all the guests on your list. Pick a size that is a comfortable fit. At the low end, say under 100 guests, there are some lovely restaurants and B&B’s in this area with delicious banquet facilities. They will deliver a memorable wedding experience. (Slideshow time! Two of our favorites are Hyholde in Moon Township and Morning Glory Inn on the South Side). At the other extreme, with 350 guests and up, the number of venues in this region that can comfortably accommodate your wedding without using outdoor space can be listed on half of a single page.

Where are your guests coming from? If they are almost all local, then that is an ideal situation. In that case, every available reception venue option is open to you. But if one family is not from Pittsburgh and large numbers of your guests will be coming in from out of town, it’s time to look closely at a hotel for your wedding reception.

A hotel reception has so many advantages for out of town guests that the hotel option becomes nearly unbeatable. Cost (for your guests) is among the advantages, but convenience should not be overlooked—especially for the elders of the family. With a block of rooms reserved, many hotels will break out their top-drawer wedding services, providing you with suites for getting-ready and private moments, plus a set of “free” add-ons to your wedding package that can range from special desserts to extended bar service hours. This is an area where a good wedding planner will earn their keep.

An alternative to a hotel is a banquet hall or country club with shuttle service to nearby hotels. But the convenience advantage of a hotel reception is virtually lost once a shuttle service is required.

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