Finding Wedding Reception Locations

In 2002 when I was searching for different wedding reception locations I did not have access to the Internet at my house.

With very limited time available during lunch and after work to use the Internet at the public library, I was left to use the yellow pages and the experience of friends to find a venue for my reception.

Now that the Internet is widely available to most people it's easier than ever to find websites for various types of wedding reception venues.

What I haven't often seen are reviews from people who have actually used certain wedding reception halls and their honest feedback of their personal experience using that facility for their special day.

My goal is to get as many reviews as possible for a variety of wedding reception locations. I have always loved review websites because they give me an idea of what I should realistically expect from a product or service. Hopefully you'll also find some information here to help you find that perfect place for your reception.

I'll Be the First To Share

June 22, 2002

Philadelphia NE Holiday Inn
(Holiday Catering)
Bensalem 3499 Street Road
Bensalem, Pennsylvania 19020

My wedding reception was held at the Holiday Inn in Bensalem Pennsylvania. Unfortunately the caterers that prepared the food for my reception are no longer in business due to the death of the owner Harry. But I have been informed that they still offer wedding reception packages through a different caterer.

I really didn't search very long for a reception venue because it became very tiring to just go through the yellow pages calling for wedding reception prices, etc.

So we basically settled for the first place that could accommodate our 250 guests and had a basic buffet menu (since we have very simple tastes).

The service that we received was very basic but that's what we were looking for. The cocktail hour included passed appetizers and were served in the reception room (there was not a separate room for the cocktail hour). A caesar salad and rolls were also included.

Tables, chairs, short white table linens and the napkin color of your choice was included in the price. This was an alcohol-free reception so water, ice tea and coffee were included in the price.

The Holiday Inn Bensalem offered family-style dining and buffets. Family-style dining is when large platters of food are placed on each table and then you dish out the amount of food that you desire onto your plate.

We decided on a double buffet where there were two identical buffets on each side of the room so that people could be served faster and not have to walk across the dance floor with a plate of food. (Many wedding reception locations are now offering double buffets.)

We had a very basic menu of chicken breast, roast beef and gravy, a shrimp and rice dish, baked ziti, potatoes, and green beans.

The following services were not available through the caterer so we had to hire outside vendors to provide the

  • cake
  • DJ
  • centerpieces
  • photographer
  • videographer

The caterer did serve vanilla ice cream with our wedding cake to the guests once it was cut. We paid about $30 per person (in 2002) for the venue plus tax and service fees.

Unfortunately we had no idea that we would be asked to give the head hostess a tip until the end of the night. Not only was it requested but also the amount of $100 was suggested as the fair amount for her services.

We thought that we had taken care of all of our monetary obligations before our wedding day so the unexpected expense really was not appreciated.

The banquet room was clean with large chandeliers and wall sconces that could be dimmed for special moments like the first dance.

There was ample parking and since it is a hotel, guests could stay on-site. However we did not like the quality of the rooms so we did not choose this location as our host hotel.

Looking back I probably would have picked one of several other wedding reception locations available but since it was only 5 minutes from the church in which the ceremony was held, it served its purpose. Overall it was a good experience.

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