Wedding Receptions Made Easy: Find Out How With These 6 Tips

Wedding planning? Easy? Is it possible? Yes, it is! When you have the right help from the start, planning your reception can be low-stress and enjoyable for everyone involved … especially the happy couple!

Sound like a fairy tale? It’s not, and even better, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, a great venue will offer wedding planning services as part of what it does to make your day magical. Look for these features and benefits when you’re deciding where to hold your special day.

1. Help From Start to Finish

The venue should offer a complimentary tour of the grounds with an events team member. That way, a resident expert is there to answer all of your questions on the spot. Once you book the venue, you should know that an events team member will be available to you from the moment you sign the contract until you wave goodbye at the end of the reception.

“Kelly and I are here from the day the couple takes their tour through to the reception,” said The Gables at Chadds Ford’s banquet manager, of her and event coordinator and general manager Kelly Donahue’s involvement as event planning experts. “We’re here to help in any way and relieve any stress with coordination, tips and advice.”

2. Ability to Accommodate Your Budget for Your Dream Menu

A solid wedding venue will provide set menu packages, but will also work with you to design the ideal dining experience for your taste preferences, dietary needs and concerns, and budget. There should be flexibility and open communication to ensure you and your guests will be delighted without breaking the bank.

“We’re always happy to help stay within a budget,” Kelly said. “We can even go so far as to create financials based on what the couple is thinking about. If we need to work with them to find ways to tweak the financials to bring the cost down, then we’re happy to make recommendations. Our chef is great at coming up with different and delicious options!”

3. Special Touches Included in the Total Cost

Bring a checklist to your tour to make sure you’re not being nickeled-and-dimed for things as simple as linens and place settings. Here’s what The Gables includes as part of the very reasonable room fee (ask about weekday discounts!):

  1. White, floor-length table linens and napkins.

  2. Tables set with china, flatware, glassware and white tealight candles to compliment your centerpiece arrangements.

  3. Use of outdoor terrace space.

  4. Room setup and cleanup.

  5. Our wedding suite dressing room with complimentary light refreshments is available for the guest of honor along with his or her attendants for ceremonies held on the grounds. You are welcome to arrive as early as six hours before your ceremony’s start time.

  6. A complimentary gift card will be given to the couple for a one-year anniversary dinner at The Gables at Chadds Ford.

Upgrades are always available, but those should be your choice, not something that’s hidden in the contract.

4. Pros at Decorations

A venue with an aesthetic and ambiance that speaks to you is key. But you’re going to want to make the space your own with decorations, and the events team should not only be accepting of that, but prepared and willing to help.

“We have what we call our ‘decor department,’” Samantha added. “They’re here to help style the reception and handle setup. The couple drops off their decorations the night before, and when they arrive the next day, it’s all in place — no worries! Naturally, we take care of the cleanup, too.”

Not into decor or need an assist? At The Gables, we are ready to jump in — plus, The Gables has rental decor. We start by meeting with the couple to get ideas and wishes, and then offer different ideas and options. Talk about no stress!

5. Access to Trusted Vendors

Although a good venue will include many amenities in the package, there are some vendors you’ll need to hire, such as a photographer, videographer, florist, etc. The venue should have no trouble directing you to trusted vendors.

“We have some really great relationships with different vendors thanks to our many years in the business,” Kelly noted. “We provide every couple with a list of preferred vendors, but we’re not exclusive, so couples are able to work with whomever they want to as long as the vendor has liability insurance. We’re really flexible!”

6. Bottom Line: Look for a One-Stop-Shop

At The Gables, we like to make everything as simple and as stress-free as possible. We start with the tour, then coordinate the event from start to finish. We keep an eye on your budget and include many items other venues may charge to provide. We have professional decorating assistance, including decor rentals. And we have recommended vendors we know will do a great job. All you need to do? Show up and enjoy.

Did you know The Gables has a booking incentive? Book a date that’s only two months away and receive 75 percent off one passed or stationed hors d’oeuvre, 25 percent off an 8’ x 8’ Nicol Floral Designs silk flower wall or a complimentary champagne toast. Get all the details, check for your preferred date and book today.

The Gables at Chadds Ford is nestled in the heart of the historic Brandywine Valley. Our combination of fresh seasonal cuisine, rustic yet elegant charm and enchanting outdoor dining will keep you coming back time and time again. The Gables is also the perfect venue to host your next special event, whether you are planning a wedding, rehearsal dinner, baby shower or corporate event.

Nina Malone

Photos, top to bottom: Alexandra Whitney; Clair Pruett Photography; The Gables at Chadds Ford