Shopping around for a reception hall can be somewhat difficult, especially when you are unsure of what it is you are looking for. Like with most wedding items, such as flowers and decorations, people often turn to the yellow pages for something local. However, while you might initially think that the local yellow pages could be of use, you'll quickly find their selection rather limited and not as specific as you need. Instead, take a look at some great online sites that cater to finding event spaces and banquet halls for weddings. The following sites are quite useful for finding reception sites no matter what your style or budget. Also make sure to check out the article on Choosing a Wedding Location and Questions to Ask Before Reserving a Ceremony Site for more ideas about where to marry, how to book a location, and more.
WedAlert -- Find venues by state and county. The results are quite good, with a short description, a link to the location's Web site (when available), and contact info. Also included in the listings are details about the number of guests the site can host, the average price per head, how many simultaneous weddings can occur, and other accommodations available.
TheKnot.com -- This one is a no brainer. If you are planning a wedding, then you know this Web site. Their reception hall search and local vendor search function works about as well as the rest of their site.
Brides.com -- Right up there with TheKnot.com, it's worth a look to check out their search for wedding reception sites. The results yield pictures, contact information, Web site links, and more.
WeddingLocation.com -- Despite its catchy name, this site gives somewhat limited results -- especially when you know an area well. However, it could be a potentially great site to use if you are planning a destination wedding.
WeddingChannel.com -- This popular wedding site is one of the first places you would think of looking, however, when it comes to reception hall results, theirs are rather limited. It's worth a peek, but certainly not the only place you should look.
ReceptionHalls.com -- If you live in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Connecticut, then this would be a great resource to find a reception hall. Simply enter your zip code, the number of guests, and your budget per head to get a bunch of results, all with a picture, a possible link to a Web site, and other basic information about the location and the contact information.
Eventective -- This "meeting and event space search engine" is a nifty tool that gives the user an idea of what venues are available for hosting events in his or her area; hotels, restaurants, banquet halls, lounges, and other such spaces. However, the descriptions for each are rather limited sometimes with a photo, but for the most part without it. Therefore, this is really only a tool to use as a starting point, which may be useful if you are planning a wedding out of town. You will have to follow through on your own for most, either by calling or visiting to fully understand what the site has to offer.
LocalCatering.com -- What do you need? A hotel, banquet hall, outdoor venue, or even a yacht? And would you also like to find caterers, florists, DJs, and photographers? It seems too good to be true, and in fact, it just might be. This site is a great concept but it seems like they've still got some kinks to work out. While the basic search for vendors on their directory page works a lot like Yellow Pages, the request pages for receiving email estimates from vendors doesn't work very well.
BanquetFacilities.com -- It works... kind of. If you want to search listings of sites in major cities and get the basic info (Web site and phone), then this site will work well for you. Otherwise, if you're planning a small-town wedding or if you're planning a big-city wedding and have already checked out other major Web sites, you needn't bother with this one.
Weddings Canada -- If you are going up north to wed, why not check out this site? It gives a good number of results and links you directly to the Web sites of the different locations.
Hallz.com -- A site that helps you find reception sites in Alberta, Ontario, California, Florida, Illinois, New Mexico, Maryland, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.