Once you have booked a place for your reception you can begin to plan how that room will look. You will need to have the dimensions of the room or rooms to start with. We will assume that food will be served buffet style in the following suggestions.
Block out an area for the buffet tables and make sure there is adequate space behind these tables for your food preparer to be able to comfortably replenish the various dishes. Make sure there is a separate table set up for your cake. and that the background behind the cake will work well in your photographs. If you are having a self serve bar place it across the room from the food in order not to create "bottlenecks".
What kind of tables does the site have? If they have round tables look at how many guests can be comfortably seated at each table. You will need table linens and maybe overlays if your budget can accommodate them. A centerpiece will be appropriate on these tables. To save money, consider using tall vases and buying flowers from a floral wholesaler and making freeform bouquets. One of the things your guests will love is the smell of fresh flowers when they enter your reception. Adding candles is a romantic touch and sets a lovely mood. Scattering some acrylic crystals on the table and adding a great favor can complete this tablescape.
If your site has banquet tables, consider arranging them in an X layout. This type of layout can use a large floral arrangement in the center of the tables and maybe a smaller bouquet on each of the legs of the X. You will of course need table linens which can be rented. Using candles down each leg of the X, scattered acrylic crystals and favors will look great and does not cost a fortune.
If the ceiling is not to your liking, you can easily camoflouge it by running wires across the room and draping either tulle or organza yardage across the wires. It will add a platinum touch to your wedding and buying large bolts of these fabrics is inexpensive. If you choose to do this you can let the fabric drape down the walls all the way to the floor. If you use organza someone will have to run a finishing hem on the edges. The advantage of using tulle is that the cut edge does not have to be finished. You can also use tulle yardage to swag around your cake table and buffet tables.
Whatever design and layout you use for your reception, you will be able to plan the perfect room once you have the dimensions you have available. You can be confident that your party will be all that you have dreamed it would be.