I've noticed that although many brides have an AHR, very few of us share the details involved with the planning. I don't know if the lovely moderators will want to move this to the planning forum but I figured it might stand out a little more here in the AHR forum.
Since most of DH's family was unable to attend our Moon Palace wedding, we decided that it would be a good idea to hold a reception for them to meet my family. About a month before our actual wedding, I started searching for a venue that would hold about 70 people. Of course, my parents live in Ottawa, his family is mostly about an hour South of Ottawa, and we live 6 hours East of Ottawa. This meant that I had to do all my research online, and hope that I would stumble across something suitable.
We debated on the style of our reception, and finally decided that since we didn't want his family to feel obligated to rent hotel rooms, we would host a luncheon reception. We found a beautiful, historic restaurant located in the Byward Market area of Ottawa. We were able to reserve the top floor of the Courtyard Restaurant:
I sent an email request to the event staff and they were very quick to reply. They offered us a variety of available dates, unfortunately our preferred date got booked before we made a final decision. We had originally picked a Saturday afternoon, but ended up with Sunday. I think this worked out better because we had more time to prepare once we got into town. It would have been too rushed if we had to get everything done over night.
It did take a few emails to remind the event staff that we were out of town and that we would already be married by the time our reception took place. But eventually they figured out that we were not interested in missing a full day of work to attend a one hour planning session and tasting.
The restaurant offered a variety of menus. We settled on the wedding luncheon menu that included soup or salad, a choice of three entrees, and dessert. It also included a cocktail reception with cheese and crackers.