Banquet hall (=marriage hall)?

Roymalika

Senior Member
Punjabi
Hi,

I've heard the term "banquet hall" used for marriage hall. Is it used in BE and in AE?

My marriage was on 12 January 2018. It took place in Ghausia Marriage/Banquet Hall, Lahore.
The arrangements were very good. The guest were given a lavish meal.
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    No, they have entirely different meanings, but of course a banquet hall is a good place to hold a marriage if you want to give your guests a banquet afterwards, which is common with marriages. It would not be surprising if a place called a 'banquet hall' was mainly used for marriages.
     

    LVRBC

    Senior Member
    English-US, standard and medical
    In the U.S., we tend to say marriage chapel and banquet hall, but, of course, one can hold a marriage ceremony in these halls as well as anywhere else one can imagine.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    The term "marriage hall" is rarely if ever used in Britain, except perhaps by Hindus (?). This is because marriages are usually conducted under English law either in a church or in a register office. The banquet ("wedding breakfast" or "reception") is held in a different place, often several miles away.

    However, the last Hindu marriage I attended combined the ceremony itself with the reception. Or as the master of ceremonies explained half-way through: "The priest will now recite the official prayers in Sanskrit. If you don't understand Sanskrit, ladies and gentlemen, you will be glad to know that the bar and buffet are now open on the other side of the hall. Indian food to the left, English food to the right..."

    But the room itself was a Community Hall, hired for the occasion. And the marriage was not valid in English law - the couple probably did the official part in the Register Office the day before or the day after.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I agree 'marriage hall' is not a common term, but it's clear what it means: a hall where marriages are held. (And 'hall' is a vague term that covers a lot of big places in buildings.) And English law has now been loosened, so that marriages can be held in various places like stately homes, parks, and so on, and (the main room in) some of those could be described as halls. So 'marriage hall' seems a natural, neutral term for such a place.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    A banquet hall can be used for providing a banquet for many different occasions - marriages, bar mitzvahs, retirement dinners, business occasions, awards ceremonies, etc.
     
    As kentix noted, a banquet hall can be (and usually is...) used for many different types of events, while the term "marriage hall" is completely unfamiliar. I cannot think of any reason why a business of this type in the United States would want to call its facility a "marriage hall", as that would discourage its use by customers who were celebrating events other than weddings.
     
    I think you may misunderstand the word "reception." However, in such businesses in the US you can have any kind of event. Depending on the size and resources of the facility, in cases of weddings, if you don't have the wedding ceremony somewhere else (such as a church) you may have a wedding ceremony there, and then you may have a cocktail hour there, followed by a sit-down dinner, and then dancing.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I've never heard of a banquet hall or marriage hall. The word 'banqueting hall' exists. People can get married in the UK anywhere so long as there's an official celebrant and they can hold the reception wherever they like, of course. It might be the same place as they get married, or somewhere else.
    I have the impression that weddings are rather different affairs in the sub-continent so it might not be a good idea to try find exact parallels. A commonly used word for the place where the wedding reception is held is venue ['ven yoo, a word derived from French meaning 'meeting place'. The marriage ceremony often takes place there too. The meal after a wedding is often called the wedding breakfast.
    'Banquet' suggests some incredibly formal, lavish occasion.
     
    Sorry, why do you think I've misunderstood it?

    Because in my world, a wedding reception usually includes a meal, which means they are not separate things, while "reception" by itself does not necessarily mean a party, let alone a party without refreshments. If an academic lecture is followed by a "reception" to meet the speaker, I might expect a cup of tea or a glass of wine, but I certainly do not expect frivolity and dancing.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Have you heard of a ballroom? Because that's another name those large rooms at hotels go by that are often used for wedding receptions.

    The wedding reception might be in Ballroom A. It can be reconfigured for different sizes, depending on the need. Next week it could host a bar mitzvah. And after that, a business conference.
     

    Roymalika

    Senior Member
    Punjabi
    Because in my world, a wedding reception usually includes a meal,
    Is that meal called banquet? If yes, then as the name 'banquet hall' suggests, it always includes the banquet, no matter whatever the event being celebrated. Not just wedding event.
    Right?
     
    Last edited:
    Is that meal called banquet?

    No. The meal is usually just assumed to be part of the reception. For example, speaking of the event later, someone might ask "What did they serve at the reception?", or "How was the food at the reception?"

    If yes, then as the name 'banquet hall' suggests, it always includes the banquet, no matter whatever the event being celebrated.
    No, it doesn't, in the same way you can have an event in a ballroom that does not include a ball, or dancing of any kind.

    Not just wedding event.

    As noted earlier, in the US it would be foolish for a catering business whose facilities were available for any kind of event to risk losing customers by using a name such as "marriage hall" that suggested it was only to be used for weddings. This is why the term "marriage hall" is completely unknown in the United States.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    No. Anything can be called a banquet if it involves a large number of courses (say, more than five), a large number of people (say, more than 50) and a large amount of pretentiousness. But a wedding reception need not even mean a sit-down meal. (For our reception in 1967 my wife and I wanted just a cake and a glass of sherry, but finally compromised with a finger buffet.)
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It sounds very pretentious to me, unless it is very grand and very formal.

    0c61c6cc-3a7a-4d8f-b5a5-26dcfae8b7ec-obamas-state-visit-buckingham-palace.jpg


    Or 'mediaeval':

    c0.jpg
    f43e371f6292c4ed18339b4f1acf0ee9--pirate-wedding-medieval-times.jpg
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Is that meal called banquet? If yes, then as the name 'banquet hall' suggests, it always includes the banquet, no matter whatever the event being celebrated. Not just wedding event.
    Right?
    Perhaps it's just me, but I would not call anything a "banquet," that is not a rather formal "sit-down" affair with servers, table cloths, multiple courses, etc. I cannot recall attending any wedding in the the U.S. in recent years where such was the case.
    The last two weddings my wife an I attended were on the really large lawn of the parents with the barbecue grills and wine tables behind us, along with small tables with folding chairs.
     

    Roymalika

    Senior Member
    Punjabi
    The banquet ("wedding breakfast" or "reception") is held in a different place, often several miles away.
    You used 'wedding breakfast' and 'reception' in brackets. That seems to mean a banquet can be a wedding breakfast or a reception. Can you tell me when a banquet is a wedding reception and when it is reception, please?
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    You used 'wedding breakfast' and 'reception' in brackets. That seems to mean a banquet can be a wedding breakfast or a reception. Can you tell me when a banquet is a wedding reception and when it is reception, please?
    A banquet is a style of meal - clearly described in #21 above. It could be part of a wedding or part of a business conference or a centenary celebration of some important event. It is not restricted to weddings. It can be held in a castle keep, or a ballroom, a community hall or a hall whose primary function is banquets (- then it would probably be called a banquet hall).
     
    Last edited:

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    Is banquet (meal) and reception (party)
    Sorry, why do you think I've misunderstood it?
    Is that meal called banquet?
    Perhaps you should do your own research and look up words in the dictionary yourself before asking questions. A reception or a party almost always includes a meal. A banquet could be a meal at a wedding reception or another event.

    I've heard the term "banquet hall" used for marriage hall. Is it used in BE and in AE?
    People in the west, where Christianity is the major religion, usually get married in a church or in the office where marriages are registered. That's not always necessary but that's the usual practice. You can't compare it to marriages in Pakistan or India, where marriages are often held in large halls.

    Can you tell me when a banquet is a wedding reception and when it is reception, please?
    Julian Stuart has answered this already but make an effort and look in the dictionary first please. Both banquet and reception are in the dictionary.

    A banquet is a formal meal for a lot of people. It can be at a wedding. It can also be at a party to celebrate your dog's first litter, or your grandson's 27th birthday.
     
    Last edited:

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    A reception or a party almost always includes a meal.
    :thumbsup: Some of these meals will be something like a banquet, others will be maybe two or three courses and fairly casual, and others might be simply a buffet from which guests help themselves to simple nibbles. There isn't a standard format that all wedding receptions take.

    At mine, for instance, a lot of my friends brought a dish to share that they had made at home.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    If you call it banquet hall or marriage hall when speaking in English about your own culture with your compatriots, then you should use those words when speaking English to native speakers. They are understandable even if they are not part of AE or BE vocabulary. Of course they might be the words used by our Pakistani or Indian communities here in the UK, I don't know.
    But we non-muslims do not have such places with those names.
    'Wedding breakfast' is the traditional name given to the meal served at the reception after the wedding. Any sort of food might be served but it is not called a banquet by most people for the reasons described above.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    We don't call it a breakfast here. I don't know if there is one word. All I can think of is "what are you serving at the reception?"

    This is from Wikipedia:

    Wedding breakfast - Wikipedia.

    Current use
    The Compact Oxford Dictionary lists the phrase as only “British”, and the Merriam-Webster online dictionary does not list it at all.​
    The custom of the wedding breakfast is occasionally spotted in non-English-speaking countries that market themselves as wedding destinations, e.g. Poland.​
     
    Last edited:

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    You used 'wedding breakfast' and 'reception' in brackets. That seems to mean a banquet can be a wedding breakfast or a reception. Can you tell me when a banquet is a wedding reception and when it is reception, please?
    What I meant was this: "The official meal (which we actually call "a wedding breakfast" or "a reception") is held in a different place, often several miles away."
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Most of the weddings I go to, the guests get cake, punch and Jordan almonds at the reception. If there's a dinner/banquet, it may be after the reception at a separate place with a limited guest list (not everyone at the reception).

    I believe the term "reception" comes from the practice of greeting the newlyweds (and sometimes the whole wedding party and families) in a receiving line so you could conceivably have a reception with no food or drink at all.
     
    If there's a dinner/banquet, it may be after the reception at a separate place with a limited guest list (not everyone at the reception).

    In this part of the world, a couple who did that is looking for an equally limited number of wedding presents, and a much smaller circle of friends and relatives with whom they are on speaking terms after the wedding... :D
     
    Top