I think hotel receptions for weddings are fantastic because:
1. The have wedding packages. It makes things so much easier to coordinate because they do everything for you, they usually provide the wedding invitation cards, flowers and other decor, dummy cake, champagne, favours and if you are not preparing music, they would have background music on hand. Also extremely convenient, they will provide at least 1 night stay at the hotel's bridal suite.
2. Grand. If you don't have the money to rent a fantastic venue and a caterer to suit, the best option for a grand wedding reception is at a hotel ballroom.
3. They do weddings all the timeand so they probably can give you loads of wedding advise and give you plenty of contacts for vendors.
My favourite hotels (in Singapore) for wedding receptions:
1. Four Seasons Singapore - best hotel for small reception
Their ballroom is beautiful with large windows (not much of a view) and a great reception area. Their smaller ballroom is perfect for those looking for a grand venue for a small reception of less than 150 guests. Their Windows room on the 20th floor is another fantastic venue for ROM and very small receptions with its breathtaking views. Of course, the venue comes with great service and good food. The downside is, they don't offer many complimentary items and of course, not the cheapest on the list. Still, all things considered, this is my personal choice of the ultimate wedding hotel in Singapore.(Photo taken from Four Seasons website)
2. Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore - best hotel for large weddings with impeccable service
Their ballroom can accomodate up to 100 tables in banquet round tables. Their service is impeccable and the food is pretty good too. Of course, the bridal suite comes with the fantastic bathroom with a view. Loves it! If you want a venue for ROM, try the Chihuly Room or the Pool Garden. If you get it, the Snappers is a lovely indoor venue with an outdoor feel. The downside, the function rooms (Millenia roooms) for smaller weddings are the usual function room types with relatively low ceilings. I'm also not a huge fan of their Chinese wedding food.
(Photo taken from Ritz-Carlton Millenia's website)
3. Raffles Hotel - most impressive name and best garden wedding
I love the old-world feel to Raffles Hotel. If romantic/princess/classic is the theme/mood for your wedding, this is the hotel for it. Their ballrooms are spacious. I especially like the smaller East India Rooms because it leads out to a beautiful courtyard with a fountain. Perfect for pre-dinner drinks. The Lawn is my favourite for English style garden wedding. I would have loved it for my own wedding had I not gotten married in church and been brave enough for an outdoor wedding. Downside, it is starting to get a little shabby and worn in certain areas and if you are looking for a modern hotel with broadban internet connectivity and plasma TVs, this isn't the right venue for you. Of course, it is also on the high side in terms of cost. Still, I think the old-world feel and the name Raffles Hotel does justice to it.
4. Shangri-La Singapore - overall best for weddings
With the large selection of venues in one hotel, brand name, good food and the partnership with The Link, Shangri-La really is the venue for the "Perfect Wedding". I personally think that Shangri-La service doesn't come close to Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton but it seems the venue of choice for "it" weddings (by celebrities, government officials etc). I love the Stateroom for small receptions/ROM, the Pavilion and Garden Terrace/Waterfall Terrace also for small receptions. It is such a pity that the Pavilion is such a long narrow room. I love that it is hidden away and has its own courtyard far away from the hotel buildings. Also a pity about the partitions at the Garden and Waterfall Terrace. Otherwise it is ideal for that outdoor feel indoors. Still, it is lovely for standing receptions. I also think that the Island Ballroom is a nicer venue than the Ritz-Carlton's Grand ballroom (for huge weddings) and the huge private foyer with private entrance is definitely a plus. The downside, it's definitely expensive and like I said, I always seem to have problems with their service whenever I have events there. Also, because they are so used to big time government VIPs, I think that they can be rather snobbish. Also, for those who don't drive, it is a hassle to get to. Still, overall, it is a great place. ps. I LOVE Valley Wing rooms. \('o')/
5. Sheraton Towers - great Chinese food
If food is a priority but you don't want to have your wedding at a restaurant, Sheraton Towers is it. It doesn't cost as much as the last 4 hotels I mentioned but I have had lots and lots of people tell me the best wedding dinner they have ever attended is at Sheraton because of the food. The Chinese menu is from the chefs at the fantastic Li Bai (one of my favourite Chinese restaurants). But, there are 2 downsides, they use 12-pax tables when calculating their package (I really hate that) and their Ballroom (if you use the entire Ballroom) is an L-shape. Also, if you are having a wedding at the Topaz Room, your guest would definitely get mixed up with those heading to the Ballroom and vice-versa.
(Photo taken from The Regent Singapore's website)
6. Carlton Hotel - great Chinese food at reasonable prices
For their rates, I think Carlton Hotel's Chinese Wedding Banquet package is hard to beat. It is also in a relatively convenient location.
7. Hyatt Hotel - great Muslim menus
If you are looking for a hotel that serves halal menus in Singapore, I think you are down to a small selection. Of the few, I think Hyatt Hotel is definitely the top. They also do quite good themed weddings. Hey, even the Sultan of Johor and the Tengku Mahkota Johor love this place (I always see their car at the front). Downside, their service can often be found lacking and I personally find that they are difficult to negotiate with. I also hate that they don't allow you to change items on their menus.
8. Regent Singapore - great themes
If you like the hotel to do themed weddings for you, I think Regent has a great selection. They also change them often. I deal with them a lot for work and think Sunil from the sales team is great to work with. The downside, their rooms are kinda run-down and a little drab. Another downside is, it is at a rather inconvenient location. Still, it's Four Seasons service at a competitive price.
I'm sure there are tons of other great hotels and this is just a selection based on my own views. My advice is, don't ask another bride to be for the hotel package because the packages change every year (or in some cases more often). Also don't be afraid of negotiating for what you want. You really don't have to take the package wholesale and often, the coordinator would be willing to work with you to create the wedding of your dreams.
A note of caution for the un-itiated. There is usually a minimum number of guests/tables you have to confirm to take the ballroom. If you don't meet the minimum, it is likely you will either get relegated to a smaller function room or if you are unlucky enough to have a party that is too small for the ballroom and too large for function rooms, you need to be that much earlier in securing the ones that do cater for that size.