Reception options

Good news! I finished my reading before class! That also means that I finally get to fill everyone in on my exciting night…

First, a little background: Dan and I have been looking at wedding reception sites for the past month, but are yet to commit to anything. Every place we see has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s hard to make a decision!

Every place we’ve considered is available on the date, which is good because it leaves the option open. But it is also not helpful, it doesn’t automatically disqualify anything. Instead, Dan and I have to rely on the ol’ pro v. con method of picking a venue.

So, now to the specifics of last night…

One of the reception sites we are considering is run by the caterer that we are certain on using — It isn’t a restaurant, but the catering hall does have a ballroom. Once a month, this place hosts a complimentary dinner for people interested in using the catering services, so Dan and I knew we couldn’t pass up the chance to try the food and see what the decorated ballroom looks like!

Better yet, we were able to ask our friends Mandy and Mike to join us. Basically, no matter what decisions we made about the reception, it was a good excuse to spend time with friends and have a free meal. (Hey, we’re college students!)

Upon walking in, though, I was actually really impressed by the decorations…

Although I think Dan and I would pass on the hanging snowflakes for our July wedding.

I was also really impressed with the food, which I made my best efforts to sample. (wink, wink)


Everyone in my group commented on how great the tomatoes tasted, considering it was the middle of winter. I think it was because there was a good variety of types: fresh, sun-dried and roasted tomatoes.

Of course, the spinach and artichoke dip was delicious — But when is it not?


I was a little disappointed that there was only one vegetarian selection at the tasting. However, there are many more choices when I chose my actual meal, so it wasn’t a big deal. That being said, the eggplant parmesan was really good — And I’m really picky about eggplant parmesan!

I wasn’t blown away by the Duchess potatoes, but that’s no big deal because I wasn’t going to choose them for my wedding meal anyway. On the other hand, I was disappointed by the roasted veggies, which I originally choose as a potential side-dish. I mean, the variety of vegetables was good, but they were kind of oily and very under-seasoned.

Finally, the raspberry salad was delicious. But, because it was pre-tossed, it was a little too dressing-heavy for my tastes.


Of course, I have different plans for the star dessert of my wedding, but I’m never one to turn down the chance to chocolate-dip anything! In this case, I went with a strawberry, a creme puff, a oreo and a pretzel rod.

All in all, the meal made me really confident in my choice of caterer, but still not very sure on what reception site I want to go with. Here’s a general overview…

On-Site Caterer (where we had dinner): This place has all the bells and whistles, with a dance floor, lights and great sound systems. I also really liked the ambiance and character of ballroom, as well as the location of the building (near the center of downtown).

There is also the advantage of familiarity with the caterer, i.e. they won’t be scurrying to get things organized. Plus, there are discounts on the linens and china if we use this site vs. making the caterer go to another site.

Hotel: There are some pretty aspects to this place, such as chandeliers and a river-front terrace (even though the river itself isn’t gorgeous…). However, there is less character to the ballroom, which is basically a big square.

As an advantage, many of our guests are coming in from out-of-town, so it would be convenient for the reception to be in the same building as the hotel rooms.

Mystery University-Related: This is the primary culprit for our delay in choosing a site. Without going into too many details, it would be a really significant, cool place for two KU students to have a reception. It’s just a little up in the air about whether it’s possible…

Regardless of how the pieces fall into place, I know that our reception will be great — It will just be nice when I figure it all out!

Question: With nothing else considered (price, availability, location) where would you have your dream reception?

I would love to have an outdoor reception, but I would just be too worried about how the weather would work out!



4 responses to “Reception options

  • CaSaundra

    Ooo I am already looking forward to the whole food realm when I have a wedding one day! I want it to be an all Italian menu. Bummer that the veggies turned out to be a bust :-/

  • happytalesblog

    Wow it sounds like y’all have a lot of really neat options! EEEE this is such an exciting time in your life! I can’t wait to plan my own one day :). Anywho, i think my dream reception spot would be somewhere in the tropics over looking the water… very open and yet still somehow intimate with a really fun dancefloor! A girl can dream…

  • Alaina

    I loved looking for a reception hall for our wedding! We ended up going with a farm house on the side of Mt. Wachusett because we had a fall wedding. If we had gotten married in the summer, I would have loved to have gotten married at my alma mater, Endicott College. They have a beautiful location right on the ocean.

  • Mandy

    If your reception is to be in Lawrence, you may want to think twice about the location near the river. The Kaw near Lawrence normally smells…like sewage. Just my two cents. Whenever I go to run by the river, sometimes I gag a little at the smell. Not something I would want to be associated with my reception.

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