Finding the Perfect Reception Venue



For many couples, the reception is one of the most important pieces of planning a wedding. It’s a chance to eat, drink, and be merry with the friends and family who are present to celebrate the big day. So many factors go into choosing the perfect reception venue: the cost, the location, the décor… even the weather! We compiled a quick pros and cons list to help you choose the best fit.





You don’t have to worry about the weather. No umbrellas, coats, or fans necessary!

Indoor venues can be more comfortable for guests.

Many indoor venues offer on-site services, which helps simplify your to-do list.

No one will be sporting windy hair, goosebumps, or rain-splashed clothes in your photos.



There may be limits on customization for décor and the number of guests.

Indoor venues can come with a larger price tag, depending on the size of the space and the services you’ll need.


Popular venues

Ballrooms are perfect for larger parties and couples looking for a classic wedding experience.



Restaurants = foodie heaven! Couples can choose the ambiance that suits them best, whether that’s fancy, eclectic, or somewhere in between.



Museums are an awesome choice for couples who want to showcase a passion for art, history, or science.

Lofts feel chic and modern, and are a great way to entertain in style.







With natural light and beautiful scenery, you’ll get gorgeous photos.

Great for couples who are outdoorsy and want to incorporate their love of nature into their celebration.

Outdoor venues can create a more memorable and unique experience for guests.

Natural settings help capture that “fairy tale wedding” feel.




Weather is unpredictable, so you’ll definitely want a rainy day contingency plan.

Outdoor weddings often require more rentals, which means more logistics.


Popular venues


Backyards are cozy, intimate, and help save money!

Rustic barns provide an indoor/outdoor space that’s flexible and not too formal.



Gardens and vineyards are elegant and timeless and offer guests a chance to explore.



Beaches make for some of the most beautiful wedding backdrops as long as you don’t mind a little sand in your shoes.





Liz Kondik and Jenelle Whipple, Event and Wedding Planners at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

Photos provided by Traverse City Tourism and Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, unless otherwise noted.





About Liz Kondik, Special Events Manager

Liz has over 300 weddings under her belt and has been in the wedding and event planning business for 10 years, 5 of which have been at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. In 2017, she even had her own dream wedding at the Resort, so she knows the experience firsthand!


About Jenelle Whipple, Event Design Manager

With a graphic design background and a love for the outdoors, Jenelle makes every event memorable. She’s a Traverse City native and has been in the event business for 12 years. She prides herself on creating great relationships with guests and vendors.


About Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa is located near Traverse City, MI, along Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay. The 900-acre property is one of the Midwest’s finest, year-round resorts featuring nearly 600 guest rooms, 3 championship golf courses, a full-service spa, numerous wedding venues, and upscale dining and shopping. For information about the Resort, visit