Category Archives: How-To Tips

Important Questions to Ask Wedding Venues in Utah Either Online or in Person

bride and groom dancing at wedding locations in Utah
Beautiful wedding venues in Utah include Ivy House Weddings

Your boyfriend popped the question and you have eagerly exclaimed “Yes!”  After the fog of excitement has lifted and possibly you have settled on the date, or several optional dates, it’s time to begin the nitty-gritty of wedding preparations.  After setting the date, the next important thing to book one of the many choices of wedding venues in Utah.  You will need to book early to ensure your chosen venue is still open for your special date.  So don’t delay the beginning of your search.

You need to choose the wedding reception centers in Utah that is right for your style, flair, and your budget.  So here are some questions that will help you in your quest.  

  1. First, always ask about the availability of your wedding date.  This will save you heart ache of getting excited for a particular venue, only to discover that your date is not available.
  2. What is the capacity of the venue?  Will there be enough space if you choose to have your wedding ceremony and reception in one location?
  3. Does the venue’s ambiance match the kind of look and feel you want for your celebration?  What decorations do they provide?  What decorations would you need to add?  Can the venue supply additional decorations and can match your colors chosen?

    wedding venues Utah host romantic couples
    Do you want a classic old world charm ambiance for you and your guests?
  4. Does the Utah wedding venue provide for other wedding related vendors?  Or must you use their vendors?  Do they allow your own caterers to come in or even self-catering?  Do they freely recommend vendors?  Do the venue get a commission off of those vendors they recommend? Ask the venue for photos of their caterers, florist, cake designers, and photographers.

    Utah wedding receptions with bride's room
    Ivy House Weddings Bride’s Room is elegant and spacious and calming!
  5. Are the venue facilities suitable for you and your guests?  Is it wheelchair accessible?  Is the bathroom easily accessible?  Does the venue have a separate bride’s room and groom’s room for changing during your event?  What kind of accommodations are available for younger children who will possibly attend your celebration?
  6. If desired, does the venue allow alcohol?  It is important that the facility holds a state liquor license if you want liquor during your wedding reception.  Turn the drinks completely over to a licensed bartender so that you and your family are not libel should alcohol problems happen at your event.
  7. What all is included in the main cost?  Know the detailed list of what the venue includes so you are not disappointed or can plan on certain items.  The details of your wedding plan are going to be very important as you proceed.

    table settings at wedding reception centers in salt lake
    Upgraded linens and optional tableware are beautiful with our standard silver candlestick centerpiece.
  8. What kind and how much space is available?  Is there a dance floor included in the price?  Is there enough space for a band, should you wish one?
  9. Parking at reception venues can be annoying for you and the guests.  Does the venue provide close and ample parking?  Does the venue include a security guard to keep watch of activity outside the venue while you and your guests enjoy yourselves inside.
  10. What staff does the venue supply during your event?  Do they have a wedding or event planner to help you make sure everything is planned?
  11. Are there restrictions you need to know about?  Some venues do not allow for open flame candles.  You will want to know any restrictions, especially if you want something unique for your wedding.

If you are planning a Salt Lake Valley wedding celebration, Ivy House Weddings at Western Gardens Downtown Salt Lake City is one of the Utah wedding venues that should definitely be considered for your celebration.

Outdoor fall colors at Utah wedding reception venues
Autumn colors for couple at Ivy House Weddings

Communication is Key, Even at Wedding Venues in Salt Lake City

Wedding venues in Salt Lake City that recommend wonderful cake designers
Heritage Cakes and Carrie’s Cakes do beautiful work along with our recommended florist Hillside Floral.

When planning your wedding celebrations, communication is key. It is important that everyone involved in planning the event is on the same page.  Even when you book with any of the beautiful wedding venues in Salt Lake City, like Ivy House Weddings at Western Gardens Center downtown, make sure they know what needs to be done and how you would like it. Make sure people know what you want or you might be surprised with something you didn’t want. For example, a cake may show up when you thought you had been quite clear that you did not want one.

This is what happened at my reception. I wanted nothing to do with having a cake because the idea of having it shoved in my face did not sound appealing. I also thought that it was a silly tradition that no one really cares about (you may have a different opinion and that’s okay). I made this clear to everyone except apparently my own mom. While she was at her friends house asking for a little help with the wedding, I guess they had a conversation about a cake and how my mom really loves the pound cake that her friend had made for her daughter’s wedding and that it would be good to have at my wedding. Upon returning home, my Mom told me about the conversation and I responded that I did not want a cake so her friend did not need to worry about making one. I guess my mom never told her friend because to my surprise a plain frosted cake showed up at the reception. When my florist arrived to bring all the flowers, she saw the bare cake.  She drove back home to get the leftover flowers to decorate the cake with and make it a little more presentable. I was a little upset that the cake was even there and did not even want to cut it. It wasn’t until after we had changed and were about to leave that we were told we should cut it just to please the friend that brought it.

Just remember that communication is key, but don’t be surprised if something is not quite as you had planned. Also, if you are unlike me and do want a beautiful cake, Western Garden Center’s wedding reception centers in Salt Lake City provide excellent suggestions for cake designers.

Unwanted cake at a Utah wedding.
The bride didn’t want a wedding cake, but her mother insisted and an aunt showed up with a cake throwing the florist in a panic to rob flowers from the centerpieces to decorate the cake.


February 6, 2012 – A Charming Celebration at a Salt Lake City Wedding Reception Center – Ivy House Weddings

Bride's finishing touches in the Ivy House Weddings reception centerHappy newlyweds at wedding reception, Salt Lake City.This beautiful couple celebrated their marriage with family and friends at a Salt Lake City wedding reception center called Ivy House Weddings.  After finishing last hair and make-up details in the bride’s room, the bride joined her groom for a beautiful and simple ring ceremony for all family to witness.  Ivy House staff had lined up rows of chairs to face the ceremony backdrop consisting of a majestic yet delicate floral arrangement by Hillside Floral.  Soft white and peach rose petals were strewn around a simple candle vase in the center of gold-linen adorned tables.  This bride’s simple beauty was reflected throughout Ivy House and the peace of this couple radiated to their guests.

Candelabra floral arrangement by Hillside Florist

Hillside Florist does beautiful work for reasonable prices at Ivy House Wedding Reception Center Wedding ring ceremony at wedding venue in Salt Lake Simple yet gorgeous centerpieces for a Salt Lake wedding!


This wedding couple chose to serve delicious finger pastries from the bread company Kneaders.  Brides have brought to Ivy House so many different caterers of their choice to this Salt Lake wedding venue’s kitchen.  Whether the bride wants a full course meal or just simple cake, the bride can serve the food of her very own choice.  This also helps when working within a budget.  Not many reception centers in Salt Lake City allow this wide freedom to create a celebration that can make everyone happy, especially the father of the bride who traditionally pays for this event!  Delicious choices from Kneaders at wedding reception


All who attended enjoyed the comfortable atmosphere created by Ivy House and the Bride’s selection of decor.  Children danced to the couple’s collection of love songs on their iPod via the incredible sound system at Ivy House.  Friends from neighboring valley’s Tooele came to congratulate the new couple.  Also in attendance was a very special guest, Nana, the 95 year old grandma.  She would not miss this moment to honor her granddaughter.  Nana’s smile was contagious as she chatted with loved ones.

Salt Lake City weddings for the entire family

Yes, this was one of the most charming and sweet weddings in Salt Lake City.  Ivy House Weddings was the perfect venue for this celebration.

Family portraits are nice at a Salt Lake City wedding reception called Ivy House Weddings
Family portraits are lifetime memories at Ivy House Wedding reception center.


Planning A Wedding On A Budget

The wedding budget is becoming a growing concern for couples looking for SLC wedding reception facilities.  The amount of money you have available for your wedding does not need to stop you from having the unique, elegant wedding you have always wanted.  A wedding that you have dreamed of can still be yours, even through these unstable economic times.  To prevent anxiety while planning your wedding, use an open mind and take a while to think about the choices you are presented with for the different details of the wedding.

The Ivy House Salt Lake City Utah wedding venues can help you plan a wedding you have always dreamed of, because of their spacious, elegant venue.  There are different choices you can make, that the staff will show you, which might fit into your budget.

Handling some of the wedding details yourself, can save some of your wedding budget money.  Focusing on the fact that you are there to celebrate your blessed union, some of the more expensive parts of the wedding can be reduced without sacrificing the quality of the wedding.

Reserve wedding reception centers in salt lake city, so you will know how much is left in your budget for the rest of the wedding.  Your closest relatives and friends must attend the wedding to help you celebrate your union, however, cutting out other people will really cut down the cost of the wedding.  Every person attending the wedding will contribute to the cost in a number of ways, like the food, table floral decorations, guest favors, cake, invitations, which could all be saved by cutting your guest list down.

Planning to use the same SLC wedding venue, as the Utah wedding reception, can help save on your wedding budget.  Without the requirement of moving decorations from the wedding facility to the reception venue, will also save you unnecessary wedding day stress.

The wedding cake is another place you can save money on, by using a sheet cake for the guests and a small 2 tier wedding cake, instead of a large wedding cake.  The dinner is where the majority of the per guest cost is allocated, so skip the entree and serve appetizers and drinks.  Offering beer and wine, instead of a full bar, can also considerably cut down on your wedding budget.  You can always leave off the champagne toast, to reduce the wedding budget.

Another way to save on your budget is to make some of the wedding items yourself, like the, menu cards, wedding favors, escort cards, along with some of the other wedding details.  You can also save, by making some of the table decorations and flower arrangements yourself.  Create these decorations with flowers in season, and lots of greenery to save on your floral budget.  Do not choose the more expensive flowers, substitute them with non floral decorations.

These are just a few ideas that can help you have the wedding of your dreams, even on a budget.  The Ivy House staff will work with your budget, to provide you with the wedding of your dreams, while using their spectacular Utah wedding venues.

Ivy House Tips Covering Wedding Planning Basics

To have the wedding of your dreams, there are basic steps to follow.  Many people feel overwhelmed from all the details of planning a wedding.  They can have a much easier experience, when they are organized and utilize a checklist.  Using a checklist makes it easy to check off the different steps of the planning phase.

Using a wedding planner, either online or just a folder, will keep everything organized for easier planning.  The people you choose to help with the details, or vendors that you hire, will benefit from an online plan.  Begin by putting all the ideas you already have, and have been dreaming about for your wedding, into the folder or online planner.

All of your other decisions will revolve around the next item that you need to take care of, which is the budget that you have to set for your wedding.  On average, people spend approximately 50% of their wedding budget on their Utah wedding reception.  A popular way that a lot of people are reducing the cost of their wedding, while still having the wedding of their dreams, is to hold their wedding receptions in Salt Lake City Utah, at the same Salt Lake City Utah reception center as you have the SaltLakeCityweddingvenue booked.

Ivy House, Salt Lake City Utah wedding venues can provide you with an elegant wedding, while helping reduce your overall costs.  Your Salt Lake City wedding reception cost can be lower, because when you use the same SLCweddingvenue as you do for the receptioncentersinSaltLakeCityUtah, all the decorations and flowers will be the same, plus will not need to be transported.

The brides maids, best man, groomsmen, ring bearer, flower girl, ushers, and anyone else that will be part of the wedding will need to be considered next.  With the busy lives that we all lead, it will be good to get this out of the way in the beginning, so people that are chosen can plan to participate.  Another reason you will want to do this step now, is because many of these people can help with all the other planning details for the wedding venues in Salt Lake City plus the reception centers Salt Lake City.

Now your budget will determine the number of guests that you can invite.  Once all the costs are totaled for the wedding venues in Utah that you have want, your dress plus the other clothing for the wedding that you are providing, the pictures, music, flowers, and invitations, use what is left in the budget for the guests.  When you figure a per guest cost, you will know how many people can be on the guest list.

When the budget is not limited you can consider hiring a wedding planner.  There are savvy wedding planners that have the ability to gain discounts on certain Utah wedding locations.

Utah wedding venues are extremely busy, so book as soon as possible.  Many of the popular wedding venues Utah are booked way in advance, so you will probably have to set your wedding date among their unbooked dates.  The size of the guest list will also be a deciding factor on which Utah wedding reception center to choose.

Get the different vendors that supply everything for the wedding reserved at this point, so you will not be disappointed if they are unavailable.  This is where all those wonderful people that are going to be part of the wedding come in, delegate some of the different tasks, because many of these people are more than willing to help out.

Throw the engagement party now, because you have lots to celebrate about!  Remember to make sure the people you invite to the engagement party are on the SLC wedding reception guest list.  Get busy, you have a spectacular adventure ahead of you, and your closest friends will want to share in it.


Extra Tips For Memorable Weddings

An extraordinary wedding reception can be provided by Salt Lake City Utah wedding venues that provide unusual wedding extras, that will not add a lot more to your wedding budget.  Elegant weddings can be held at the spacious Ivy House wedding reception centers in Salt Lake City, along with added extras for you to experience the wedding you have always dreamed of.

There are lots of wedding extras that can be added to make your wedding one of a kind, which do not have to be expensive, but can add a unique aspect to your wedding.  Adding some extras is important to give your wedding a unique aspect, plus it is one of your most prestigious events of your life.  An extra that includes everyone, is a memorable gift for each guest that attends your wedding reception.  Check with Utah wedding locations to see what all extras they can provide.

Having a plant, like an herb that people can use, placed at every setting with a personalized tag, marker, or pot provides a nice touch that every guest will appreciate.  Choose an herb or plant that people will use multiple times if not every day, so the memory of your wedding will last.  Reception centers in Salt Lake City Utah can often help with many extras you would want to add to your wedding, which will give it a more personalized feel.

Another extra that can be added that does not cost very much, but adds a particularly dramatic effect to any Salt Lake City wedding reception is the addition of lighting under the tables.  When lights of different colors are placed beneath the tables, they will produce an elegant soft colored glow through the tablecloth.  Tables can be color coded using these lights to designate the family members from the guests, along with specific colors for the food and extra tables at your SLC wedding reception.

Adding a specialty food or beverage station can certainly add a trendy touch to any Utahweddingreception.  There are wedding venues in Salt Lake City that offer these type of unusual catering services.  Frozen yogurt or ice cream bars, specialty fruit, sushi, even popcorn can add a unique element, depending upon what you feel your guests would enjoy during the Utah wedding reception.

One of the most popular extras for any wedding receptions in Utah, is to add a chocolate fountain.  Many of your guests love chocolate, and you can offer a variety of types, from milk chocolate to white chocolate.  This one extra will always draw a crowd when it is provided at any Salt Lake City Utah reception center, because almost everyone loves chocolate.

A Utah wedding reception centercan provide you with help on adding extras to your wedding that will provide lasting memories.  Keeping the guests in mind, and trying to provide extras that include them, plus help them build memories of your blessed union for a very long time can be accomplished when using wedding venues in Utah.

An Indoor Wedding With An Outdoor Feel

Outdoor weddings have become increasingly more popular in recent years.  Unfortunately, the weather does not always cooperate enough to allow a lot of outdoor weddings, especially for people searching for Utah wedding locations.  Utah has approximately 8 months out of every year that can drop below freezing, which makes an outdoor wedding out of the question for most of the year.  It is easier to search for an open, spacious indoor Salt Lake City wedding reception facility, that offers an outdoor feel than hold an outdoor wedding.

The Ivy House can provide the feel of an elegant, open wedding in their beautiful Utah wedding reception center.  With all the cold, rainy, and snowy weather that Utah experiences, using the Ivy House is an outstanding choice of wedding venues in Salt Lake City that provides lots of plants for a garden feel.  Many guests have commented that they loved the wedding they attended, because of the snow storm they were able to watch out the windows during the reception, providing that outdoor appeal with the comfort of indoors.

Planning to use one of the Salt Lake City Utah wedding venues, as your Salt Lake City Utah reception center, can provide less stress, plus save on your wedding budget.  There are a couple of reasons your wedding may cost less by using this type of strategy.  You will be able to use the same plants for both the SLC wedding reception, and the Salt Lake City wedding venue, which will result in a floral budget savings.  With both the ceremony and reception at the same place, you will not need to buy flowers for both venues, or spend time and take the trouble moving them between venues.

The Ivy House SLC wedding venue has connections with a variety of different vendors, and can recommend many of them to help you with details of your wedding.  You can receive a 20% discount on your wedding invitations, plus choose from, hundreds of different types, to find the invitation that is just right for your wedding.  This Utah wedding reception wedding venue also offers special extras for your invitations, like adding a thank you note, insert or maybe a picture.

Using the Ivy House for your wedding reception centers in Salt Lake City, you will have a spacious, elegant feel, with lots of plants for an outdoor effect.  This is one of the best reception centers in Salt Lake City Utah for photographs, because of all the different places that provide such fascinating picture opportunities.  Guests will use disposable cameras you leave around, to catch shots of the wedding you would never have gotten without the spontaneity of guest photos.  Having these pictures, to add to your professional pictures, can provide you with a wedding album that you will cherish for the rest of your life.

Once your budget is set, you will begin to make choices on the catering of the food for your wedding, The Ivy House has 3 preferred vendors that can offer you with any type of wedding menu on a budget you can afford.  By reserving the Ivy House out of all the reception centers Salt Lake City has to offer, you can have a spacious almost outdoor feeling wedding, with lots of plants all over the venue for the wedding of your dreams.

Customary Wedding and Reception Floral Arrangements

Wedding and reception floral arrangements are an important focal attraction of a wedding and reception. Western Gardens Utah wedding reception recommends Hillside Floral as a preferred florist, both for their designs and for prices that accommodate any budget.

There are varieties of floral arrangements that are customary for the wedding ceremony. These include the bride’s bouquet, maid of honor’s/matron of honor’s bouquet, bridesmaids’ bouquets, groom’s boutonniere, best man’s boutonniere, groomsmen’s boutonnieres, corsages for each mother, boutonnieres for each father, a hair piece for the flower girl and rose petals for the flower girl to gently toss down the aisle.

The wedding reception typically includes centerpieces, the customary bouquet that the bride throws, flowers on a gift/guest attendance book table and cake flowers.

A wedding’s theme and colors incorporate into the flower selection process, including types of flowers, flower colors, ribbons, greenery and accents. Flowers are a beautiful reflection of a couple’s personality, albeit it the exotic orchid to timeless calla lilies. Flowers also help capture the theme of a wedding, from romantic, timeless, elegant, rustic, modern, antique to simple. A bridal bouquet reflects the essence of the bride’s gown and is an accessory that completes her attire.

To help keep the flower budget at a reasonable cost, it is always less expensive to select flowers that are in season and locally grown. This may mean improvising and coordinating colors and flowers around certain seasons, but it also means that a couple can afford more flowers if they are open-minded and willing to work with the local expertise of a florist, instead of having their hearts set on certain varieties of flowers that require importation.

It is easiest to coordinate with a florist who can accommodate both the Salt Lake City wedding venue for the ceremony and Salt Lake City Utah reception center venue flowers. This allows the florist to help form a cohesive theme. Florists are professionals and are able to provide guidance and advice about what flowers will work best with themes and colors. Many times, they can supplement flowers in bouquets and centerpieces with more greenery, feathers, pearls or artistic elements.

It is important to inquire about vases for centerpieces, if they are rented through the florist, if the florist provides the service of setting up centerpieces, aisle runners, potted plants, etc. Another query is if the florist allows guests to take the centerpieces home as gifts and if the florist cleans up after the reception. These are all important questions to ask and items that should be readily addressed by a seasoned, professional florist.

Many brides want their bouquet preserved and some florists provide this service. Inquiring ahead of time will help save the bride significant time and allow her to preserve her bouquet while it is still vibrant and fresh.

Affordable Reception Menu Options

Weddings have evolved into a celebration of marriage, which typically includes dinner, cake and beverages. Western Gardens, Utah wedding reception center specializes in creating beautiful, special moments that both newlyweds and guests will fondly remember.

Food is the essence of our culture, drawing people together throughout the ages. When food is at a wedding it helps guests mingle, get to know one another and provides valuable time for families to become acquainted.

There is a variety of food options available for receptions. If a couple has a larger budget to work with, a multi-course sit down dinner is an excellent option. Another option is a buffet menu, which is less formal than a sit down dinner, promotes more mingling and typically offers a larger variety of food. If couples have a smaller budget, they can still accommodate guests with a cocktail or dessert reception with hors d’oeuvres, drinks and wedding cake.

Some of the most common types of food served at receptions are beef or pork tenderloin, smoked salmon, chicken and a vegetarian dish. It is always important for couples to remember that guests may bring a significant other who has special dietary preferences so offering a variety is advisable. It is best to keep the menu simple, not overcomplicate things or place unusual items on the menu, as this will accommodate most guests and leave them with pleasant memories of the Utah wedding reception at the Ivy House.

It is also important when serving alcohol to make sure that as soon as the reception begins, the food serves immediately so guests can enjoy their dinner and drinks on a full stomach.

Of course, the location of the reception is important when deciding what to serve. If the reception is outdoors, it may be more appropriate to serve hors d’oeuvres. If the reception is in a smaller indoor area, it may be more practical to have a seated dinner versus guests mingling in a buffet line.

Western Gardens Salt Lake City wedding reception works with several catering companies, all offering a variety of affordable menu options that will likely work with any budget. Hiring a caterer makes a significant difference in the quality of food and the ambiance of the wedding reception. It is important that all guests feel relaxed and have an enjoyable time. It is never appropriate to burden guests or family with assignments that include making food. While it is the couple’s special day, it is also a memorable day for family and friends, who all want to share in the celebration and have a truly unforgettable experience.

Sampling a caterer’s menu is very important. Every person has different expectations, taste and it is vital to find a caterer that can help make the food menu an extension of the wedding theme and the overall experience.

Wedding Reception Décor

Western Gardens is an all-inclusive Salt Lake City wedding venue that seeks to help brides and grooms create an ideal wedding and reception experience with fond memories that last a lifetime.

While many couples hire a professional wedding decorator or wedding planner, some brides have the organization and talent to create and decorate the wedding of their dreams. However, it is far less stressful for a bride to focus on other aspects of wedding planning and leave the decoration and décor to Western Gardens. There are certain factors a couple must keep in mind when creating an ideal Utah wedding venue. The most important aspect is setting and following a budget. If a budget is not adhered to wedding decorations can easily run over budget and take away valuable funds from other allocated wedding details. Western Gardens focuses on helping people adhere to their budget while creating an inviting, warm reception area.

Color schemes are a vital starting point to planning decorations. Some couples prefer to incorporate their wedding ceremony colors throughout the reception, to create a cohesive flow. Others prefer to express their artistic flair and seek to invent a creative adventure-filled theme.

The number of people attending the wedding will help determine the size of the reception room. The types of tables and chairs, the setup for the reception area, etc., are determined by how the couple prefers people be seated, etc. This also determines décor and decorations, including tablecloths, centerpieces, etc. Linens and chair décor are available, as well as organza bows tied around chairs to help color themes flow throughout the reception.

It is traditional to incorporate the same flower variety and theme from the wedding ceremony into the reception flowers and centerpieces. This helps keep the theme cohesive and flowing. Some people prefer soft lighting, whimsical tea lights that cast dancing shadows over the tabletops or softly strewn flower pedals.

Dinner plates, glasses and silverware should match the theme and tablecloths. Simplicity is best when selecting plates because it helps draw guests’ attention to the centerpieces and décor.

The area surrounding the reception hall should also have a décor that flows with the wedding theme. This helps create a unified theme, making guests feel warm and welcome. Plants, flowers and pictures are an excellent way to grace the perimeter of the reception area.

Western Gardens is a premiere Utah wedding reception center that focuses on accommodating a couple’s desires and dreams to help create their perfect once-in-a-lifetime wedding reception.