Tag Archives: reception center

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

Informative Topics for Blogs at Wedding Reception Centers in Salt Lake City

Which wedding topics do you need to help you with your wedding plans?  Below is a calendar listing a new idea I’m implementing in writing blogs for Ivy House Weddings, one of most beautiful wedding reception centers in Salt Lake City.  This calendar will help me get to you what you want.  You can see that themes coming up include your wedding photographer, Traditional Christmas Weddings, Decorating with a Budget, helping guests wait in shorter lines, and time schedules for your celebration.  

If you have other themes you want to read about or see on our blog, please ‘like’ our Facebook page Ivy House Weddings and list your subject matter.  I will research those items of interest to you and then post them.   Also, tell me if you like reading about the events we have hosted at our wedding center.  That has been the main focus of our blogs to this point.  What’s your opinion?

Ivy House doesn’t want to be just another of the many Salt Lake City reception centers.  Our privilege is to be YOUR reception center.

Blog posts for wedding reception center in Salt Lake City



February 25, 2012 – Wedding Venues in Salt Lake City and Paper Lanterns

Couple's First Dance with joy all around at wedding venue!Can you imagine a more happy place than at Ivy House Weddings, one of the wedding venues in Salt Lake City on February 25, 2012?  I was there to witness an event that put smiles on every guest in attendance.

Salt Lake City weddings are fun when you can decorate with paper lanterns for a unique look and feel.

The bride loves paper lanterns, so her family decorated above the wedding cake alcove and above the refreshment buffet tables with large red, orange, and white paper lanterns of various sizes.  It created such an enchanting feel to the evening.  The entire family came early to set up the dream wedding their bride has dreamt about since the age of 8 years.  Several sisters-in-law helped hang the paper lanterns along with the father of the bride.  A couple of brothers created the framework wrapped in white fabric from which to hang the lanterns above the refreshment tables.

Family created a pvc frame to hang paper lanterns from above food. Another sister-in-law, nieces, and grandmother helped stuff black rocks, lush green moss, red painted willows, cranberries, and sliced clementines down into a tall glass vase.  These would make the striking centerpieces on all the tables.Wedding venues Salt Lake City offers include Ivy House Weddings  Others helped set up the displays of bride and groom photos decorated with smooth black rocks and votive candles.  I dare say that Salt Lake wedding venues have never seen such an elaborate collection of busy bees accenting Ivy House’s backdrop for this bride’s perfect celebration.  Sign in Table with Canvas art on wallThis is one of many advantages to booking with Ivy House weddings – the bride can decorate as she sees fit.  Of course, within reason; but all in all there are few limitations.  All the while, the bride’s mother kept the wheels turning and filled in all the little last-minute details awaiting her daughter’s arrival.  The couple got married the day before, which made for a more relaxed actual wedding day and now the time for partying had arrived. Bride chose to put her own "art" on the wallsPhotos, black rock, and votive candles!  Simple beauty!

Fresh fruit added to the decorRefreshments matched the bright atmosphere – trays and platters of fresh fruit and petite rolls to be filled with broccoli cheese soup.  For the more hungry guests, they could savor a slice of melt-in-your-mouth prime rib.

Delicious broccoli cheese soup in roll bowlAfter greeting more than 350 guests, the bride and groom followed with the traditions of throwing the bride’s bouquet and the groom flipping the garter, which he carefully fetched.  This couple chose to do this entertaining from the balcony!  Not all Salt Lake City wedding venues offer this platform to highlight the honored couple. Bridal bouquet throw

Emotional dance with one of five brothersFrom there is was time for the brother’s of the bride to get her iPod playlist going for dancing.   The most romantic and emotional first dance was witnessed by all.  It was beautiful to see the love that radiated from this couple.  Then it was father’s turn.  Of course, he was cut-in by the bride’s brother, then another brother, then another.  Five brothers in all stole a dance with their younger sister then passed her back to her father.  Again, what harmony and love was expressed at this wedding reception.  The groom danced with his sweet mother and then the guests took over, at the lead of the bride.  I have never seen a bride dance and dance and dance like this energized woman.  Her smile and energy was very contagious.  The children, bridesmaids, best men, brothers and sisters-in-law all found themselves at some point on the dance floor – dancing with the bride, by the bride, or with others.  Father Daughter dance and embrace

Dancing for grandpaOne did not have to be on the dance floor to catch a huge smile.  Grandmas and Grandpas sat in chairs close by and couldn’t stop beaming as little ones came up to them dancing.   Of all the photos I took of this reception, 75% of them are just of the dancing.  Did I mention the traditional bunny-hop found it’s way into the mix as well.

Dancing the evening away!After more than an hour of dancing, it was time for the couple to wind things down and depart.  They had been having so much fun that this is when they finally stopped to have a bite to eat while they watched one of two DVD shows that were playing.  By the time they were done, most of the set-up had been taken down by family and the family was prodding the newlyweds to leave for a sparkler send off out the door!  Sparkler send off from wedding reception venue in Salt LakeAt least 20 sparklers were lit and formed a gateway to their waiting car that was just-married approved decorated.  Even some orange slices from the centerpieces dotted the car.  Just Married Car in close and secure parking at Ivy house

Truly, all wedding receptions in Salt Lake City should be this fun and beautiful.  Ivy House Weddings reception center was the catalyst for a beautiful celebration honoring this beautiful couple.  It also reflected on the union of their beautiful families.Dance, dance, dance!Quilt display with coordinated decor on spiral stairsMany shoes left behind for dancing!Prime Rib offeringTools and creativity and you get your dream at Ivy House!Beautiful Fruit CreationsCakeFlipping the garter!A touch of decor down stairway!Fun for everyone!

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.

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.

A quick guide to writing your wedding vows

“I choose to cherish you.”

“I promise to make you your favorite milk shake and make you chicken soup when you get sick.

“I promise to laugh with you but not roll my eyes at you.”

“I take you as my friend, my partner, my one true love.”

“You are the best gift ever given to me.”

These are just some of the words spoken when a couple exchanges wedding vows. The moment the bride and groom say their vows is a magical moment. It is a moment filled with joy, hope and expectancy. It is also an important moment because as vows, these are not repeated again and again. Rather, these are cherished and remembered, particularly during times when these vows are tested. Over the years, your mind’s eye will go back to your wedding venue where you stood and faced each other as you shared these promises.

As important this is, you may decide to write your personal vows, rather than use the traditional (though beautiful) wedding vows. You may feel that you are stuck with getting the words just right. Here are some quick and easy tips to help you:

–          Decide if this is what you both want. Your future spouse may be reluctant to get this “personal”, especially with a crowd watching. Be sure that you are both comfortable with saying your own vows. You should also decide whether you want an element of surprise, whether you will write it together or if you will have the same vow.

–          Your vows should reflect who you are. Your vows should sound like you – they should be a reflection of your personality. Are you serious and formal, or do you have a dry wit? Let that show.

–          Keep it short. Avoid the temptation of using 20 words when 10 is enough. Ideally, your wedding vows should be 1 to 3 minutes long.

–          Focus on the details, not on generalizations. “I will love you forever and ever.” may be too general. Instead of dwelling with generalities, focus on the key elements of your relationship. How will you also continue to build that relationship in specific ways?

–          Some questions to guide you. To help you synthesize what you love about your partner, fill in the following blanks:

–          The day we met, I thought that you ________________________…

–          You are my ____________…

–          I knew you were the one when __________________…

–          Thanks to you, I knew ____________________… or, you have shown me how to ______________…

–          Together, we will ____________________…

–          For me, being married to you is __________________…

–          Avoid the clichés. “You complete me.” or “You decorated my life.” may be too clichéd. You can still use a famous line from a poem, movie or song but try to personalize it so that it doesn’t sound too much of a line.

–          Borrow ideas. Although you should avoid clichés, it doesn’t mean that you can’t borrow some ideas from experienced wordsmiths and romantics. Take a look at other people’s vows (the internet is liberally peppered with them). Pick the ideas that appeal to you but avoid copying word for word – make the words your own.

–          Don’t overdo the “personal touch”. Your vows are very personal but try to avoid being overly suggestive or telling details that your partner may not be comfortable revealing to others.

–          Practice, practice, practice. Call the help of a trusted sounding board – a loved one or a friend who will honestly give their opinion of the vow. Go through the vow with him/her listening and explore areas you can still improve on. As much as possible, memorize your vow.

–          Have a back-up. Even if you have memorized your vow, make sure that you have a written copy nearby (assign your maid of honor or best man to hold on to some cue cards) in case you blank out at a crucial moment.

–          Get your officiant’s opinion. He or she may have valuable advice. There may also be some restrictions that the officiant knows of.

Now, as you have given careful thought with your vows, you should also take a good look at other elements of your wedding ceremony. Remember, your vows should ideally be said in a beautiful backdrop so your choice of wedding location is important. Make the moment even more magical with a fabulous wedding venue.

If you are thinking of holding your wedding in Salt Lake City, Utah, be sure to take a close look at Western Gardens’ The Ivy House. It is one of Salt Lake City’s premiere wedding locations. We understand the importance of beautiful moments and we have carefully thought about our facilities to make sure that as your exchange your vows, it will be as magical as you dreamed it would be.


Wedding Budgeting and Etiquette Basics

Weddings are, by and large, social events, which have certain expectations on etiquette, especially when it comes to financial responsibilities. Questions like, who will pay for the SLC, UT wedding venue? Who will cover the entourage’s clothes? These are based on culture, as well as your beliefs and preferences as individuals. These financial etiquette basics can serve as your guideline to help you decide how to go about your wedding planning.

Financial responsibilities

Traditionally, the bride’s parents, especially the father pays for everything, including the gowns, the wedding location, the reception and so on. Now, in modern times, the bride, the groom and their respective families are expected to pay for specific items needed for the wedding. However, in more modern times, some brides and grooms have amended these to suit their personalities. For instance, some couples decide to shoulder all the expenses.

Below are some of the usual financial responsibilities. These may vary, depending on culture/traditions:

The Groom: The groom is usually expected to pay for the engagement ring (unless his mother passes on a family heirloom such as her own engagement ring), the wedding ring for the bride, the expenses to get the marriage license, the male entourage’s gifts, accessories and accommodations, the honeymoon, the flowers for the entourage and the fee/honorarium for the officiant.

The Bride. The bride usually pays for the female entourage’s accessories/gifts and accommodations, as well as the wedding ring and gift for the groom.

The groom’s family. The groom’s family will pay for the wedding clothes, lodging and travel expenses (where applicable) and for the wedding gift for the couple. The groom’s family will also host the rehearsal dinner.

The bride’s family. The bride’s family, on the other hand, will cover the expenses for the wedding gown and trousseau, the printed materials (i.e. invitation and mailing costs), the reception (including rental of the wedding reception location), as well as for the videographer, photographer and other costs related to the ceremony. The bride’s family will also hold the bridesmaids’ luncheon.

The entourage. The best man, maid of honor, groom’s man and brides’ maid typically shell out for their own clothes and travel expenses, and expenses for hosting a stag or hen party. The attendants typically also provide one gift for the bachelor/bachelorette party and one wedding gift. However, some couples decide to pay for the entourage’s outfits and accessories as part of their gift to their attendants.

With regards to financial responsibilities of the groom, the bride and their respective families, tradition has varied so that the families may sit down together and decide on how they will handle wedding expenses. For instance, the families of the bride and groom may decide to foot half of the set budget each. This is particularly true if the families are on equal footing, financially. If one family can also afford to contribute more, it is now okay for them to contribute a larger percentage of the wedding budget. Or, the families may decide to cover the wedding expenses for each guest they want included in the wedding party.

The important thing is that each one involved in the wedding understands and agrees to his or her part of the wedding.



What Happens in a Wedding Ceremony?

A wedding is filled with many precious moments. And most of the times, these moments are to be found in the wedding ceremony – where you kiss as man and wife, when you say your vows to each other, when the groom sees his bride in her gown (presumably for the first time).

The question is what happens during a wedding ceremony? Oftentimes, when we attend weddings, we get caught up in the romantic moments that we don’t really get into the details of which part goes where, what happens during which part and so on. But when we’re planning our own wedding, it is important for us to know and understand what happens in each part of the wedding ceremony.

There are a lot of variations to a wedding ceremony. You can find many pre-set traditional wedding ceremonies or you may craft your own unique wedding ceremony. Or, you may go for a mixture of traditional with your own personal touch.

To give you an idea of what happens in a wedding ceremony, here are some of the more traditional elements:

The Entrance

–          Seating of the guests. Guests, assisted by ushers, enter the wedding venue and take their seats. The prelude or pre-ceremonial music will be played during this time.

–          Seating of the Parents. The groom’s parents and the bride’s mother are accompanied to their seats. If the bride opts to have her father give her away, the father would enter later with the bride.

–          Entrance of the groom and other attendants. The officiant, the groom and the best man either enter through a side door or also march down the aisle. Then, they take their places in front.

–          Entrance of the rest of the wedding party. This includes the bridesmaids and groom’s men walking in pairs, followed by the ring bearer, the flower girls and the maid of honor. The officiant instructs everyone to rise for the Bridal march. Here, the bride enters the wedding location, usually with her father (or other close relative).

–          Giving away of the bride. This is an optional part of the program, where the officiant asks who gives the bride to be married. The parents of the bride will answer, “We do.” Sometimes, in modern ceremonies, the officiant instead asks, “Who supports the couple in this marriage?” and both sets of parents will answer, “We do.” 

The Address

This is the “meat” of the wedding ceremony.

–          Welcome remarks and statement of purpose. The officiant says welcoming words to the guests and the wedding party and states the purpose of the gathering. In some instances, the bride or the groom may wish to include a loved one or a friend who has passed away or are unable to come. This part is where they can be acknowledged and recognized.

–          Charge to the couple. The officiant gives some advice about marriage and how it is to be founded not just on romantic love, but also on respect, friendship and trust. The officiant will remind the couple of the challenges and joys of married life.

–          Question of Intent. This is where the officiant asks, “Do you, __________, accept ____________ as your lawfully wedded husband/wife?”. This question is asked to the bride and the groom individually and they each should answer, “I do.”

–          Saying of Vows. This is where the bride and groom pledge their vows to each other. The officiant may dictate the words. One of the more common vows go,

I,  _____________,  take you, _____________ , to be my wedded (wife, husband), to have and to hold from this day forward; for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; in joy and in sorrow; to love and to cherish, as long as we both shall live. I give you this ring as a sign of my promise.

The bride and groom may opt to write their own vows beforehand.

Unity Ceremonies

–          Blessing and exchanging of rings. The officiant briefly explains the meaning of the rings and their significance in the couple’s union. The bride and groom then exchange rings.

–          Optional unity ceremonies. The couple may also add a unity ceremony at this point. The most popular is the lighting of the unity candle. Two smaller candles are each held by the bride and the groom. Other unity ceremonies are the rose ceremony (where the bride and groom exchange roses) and the sand ceremony (where the bride and groom pour different colored sand to symbolize their union).

–          The Pronouncement. The officiant will declare the newlyweds as officially man and wife.

–          The Kiss. Another much-awaited part of the ceremony is when the couple kisses as husband and wife for the first time.

The Closing

–          The Presentation. The officiant presents the bride and groom as Mr. and Mrs. The introduction depends on your preference – would the bride like to take on the groom’s last name or does she want to keep her own last name? Or, would the bride go for a hyphenated name?

–          The Recessional. The newlyweds lead the wedding party down the aisle.

When crafting your own wedding ceremony, it is important to remember that this is a reflection of who you (as a couple are). The ceremony ideally reflects your values, beliefs and intentions. It is best if you and your fiancé feel comfortable with each part of the ceremony. You should also carefully consider your choice of wedding venue or SLC wedding reception center. This will provide an excellent backdrop to the beautiful wedding ceremony you have prepared.

When planning a wedding in Sandy, Utah, check out Western Garden’s The Ivy House. It has all that you need for a dream wedding – a beautifully decorated hall, exquisite chandeliers giving your wedding the extra sparkle, plants, artwork and classic-style furniture. The Ivy House makes a perfect Sandy, Utah wedding venue for your dream wedding!