There are wedding centers, and then there are venues willing to host your wedding. What is the difference, really? Well, actually, there are a number of differences when you get right down to it. To understand how wedding-focused wedding centers and venues where you can have a wedding or reception are different, plus things to consider in each type of location, the following is provided.
Wedding-Focused Wedding Center
This is a wedding venue owned and operated by people whose entire goal is to provide you with all things wedding in one location. They do not do anything else but weddings. They host your wedding ceremony, host your reception, host your gift opening, etc., and host any other wedding celebratory activities, including photos. They have everything you need, and if they do not have something in particular that you want, they will get it for you, rent it for you, or build it for you.
The cost of one entire wedding from start to finish is a package deal, although you can select other "packages" that give you the option of only having your pictures or just your reception there. Combinations of various services together may also be par for the course. Catering and a wet or dry bar may also be included, but you have to ask before you book the wedding center for anything.
Venues for Weddings
Venues for weddings are very different from those at full-service wedding centers. These venues are public places that offer something for your wedding. You can have your reception in a dining hall, but only the reception. You can have your wedding in a performing arts center, but most everyone will have to clear out if there will be a nighttime production there. Public parks will allow a wedding and a reception, but if you want a covered pavilion, you will either have to rent it or bring your own and get permission to erect it on public property. (There is also the possible issue of wildlife and uninvited people and strangers crashing your wedding in a park, which is why it is a less common option.)
You will have to book every facet of your wedding day separately if you opt to have a ceremony in one location that does not allow a reception, and a reception where a wedding cannot be held. Food will have to be catered, and a DJ is booked separately as well. These are the big differences between a wedding-focused wedding center and venues where you can have parts of your wedding.