When planning a wedding, the date and location of your reception is one of the most important
decisions you can make. The setting for your reception provides the backdrop for everything else on
your big day: the venue, the weather, the time of year, all of this is the foundation for the rest of
If you want to achieve the wedding of your dreams when you marry your soul mate or ‘ anam cara ’
as the Celtic people called it, it is essential that you choose the right date and place for your
reception. But with so many alternatives, how do you make this decision?
Here are some tips for choosing the right date and place for your wedding reception.
It is important to know how much you have to spend before you can decide on a venue for your
wedding reception. There are many different places to hold your wedding reception, from hotels
and formal gardens to public spaces or your own or a family member’s home. These different
venues also vary wildly when it comes to cost, so your budget will certainly narrow down your
You probably haven’t thought of this, but your budget will also influence the date for your reception.
Most venues will have peak periods and may charge extra for bookings at these times of year.
Therefore you may be able to make a more expensive location fit your budget by changing the date
of your reception.
The place you choose for your wedding reception will be dependent on the size of your guest list. So
before you start looking at venues be sure to have a clear idea of your guest list. You do not have to
confirm the exact list, but you will need to have an idea of the number of guests you are expecting.
There’s no point settling on a cute and cosy venue with a maximum capacity for 80 guests, and then
deciding to invite over 200 people!
One of the biggest factors when choosing a date for your wedding reception is the likely weather
that time of year. Of course you cannot predict the weather with certainty, but particular times of
the year are more likely to be sunny and fine, or wet and cold.
This is particularly relevant if you are planning an outdoors ceremony and/or reception, and you do
not want the event to be ruined by rain, snow or overly warm weather. Even if your wedding will be
indoors, the weather will still affect your ability to take great wedding photos, the ability of your
guests to get to the reception, and the overall mood of the day.
Popular reception venues can book out months or even years in advance. So often, deciding on a
venue for your wedding reception may be largely determined by which venues are available. If you
don’t want to wait 8 months or more for your wedding you may need to settle on any venue you like
which is available within the time frame you would like to get married. Likewise, if you have your
heart set on a particular venue, when the venue is available may determine your wedding date.
The weeks or months leading up to your wedding can be an extremely stressful time. For this reason,
you want to make sure your wedding is at a time when you don’t have too much else going on.
Consider both of your personal and work schedules, and avoid times of the year which are
particularly busy times at the office, or when there are other commitments which may pull focus and
conflict for time and attention.
It may seem a little backwards, but the honeymoon you would like could influence the date you
choose for your wedding. Many people dream about their honeymoon as much as, if not more than
their wedding. You may have a dream honeymoon spot in mind, and it is likely that this destination
has particular times of the year which are best for a visit.
Therefore, if like most people you are planning to go on your honeymoon directly after your
wedding, if you want to go on your honeymoon at a specific time of year, you will need to set the
date of your wedding accordingly.
Guest Writer: Sophie Garrod
Content Head at Celtic Rings