Choosing A Wedding Reception Venue
Posted on: December 17, 2008
Choosing a reception venue, along with choosing a place for the ceremony, is usually one of the first things couples have on the to-do list when planning a wedding. Because most establishments that are in demand are booked far in advance, couples planning a wedding should wisely make securing the ceremony and reception venues a top priority. Below is some handy advice and questions to keep in mind when shopping for a reception venue…
Theme and Accessibility
If you have a general theme for your wedding – be it classic or modern, for example, ask yourself if the venue suits the theme of your wedding. It would also be a good idea to take into consideration whether or not the venue location is reasonably convenient for your guests to get to.
Date and Time
A very basic requirement when booking a wedding reception facility is to find out about its availability. Having a list of alternate dates handy would help in case the venue is already booked on your prefered date. Also, don’t forget to ask how many hours you will have the reception room for as times vary from place to place.
Think about what you would like to have in the reception facility you are considering. For example, a bar, dance floor, band, a table for gifts, a large head table, a table for the cake and also the number of tables and chairs you will need for your guests. Is the space large enough to comfortably hold your event?
What is the sound system like, if there is one? Are there other rooms in close proximity and will there be enough sound insulation between rooms when the music is turned up? You may also want to ask if the establishment will be undergoing renovations at the time you want to have your wedding as this will alter the aesthetics of the space.
Weddings are always hectic for the bride and a room where you can catch your breath would be convenient. If you’re looking at a hotel or inn, ask if they could throw in a room for free where you can get ready. If you’re looking at a banquet hall, they may still have a room that you can use.
Other practical considerations to keep in mind include the amount of parking available for guests and accessibility for those in wheelchairs.
Lastly, if you haven’t already booked a ceremony venue, you may want to ask whether the reception venue can also accommodate your ceremony.
This is where things could get a bit confusing unless you find a place that has a one price includes all quote. Those are great. What we mean is the price they quote you is per guest and includes everything including tax and tip. Love that! But lots of places price things out separately. The things they charge for include room rental, wait staff salary, different options for the bar, the meal, corking fee (a charge that some places will add to your bill if you bring in your own alcohol), cake cutting fee and so on. Just make sure that you know exactly what you are paying for and that you get everything you need (and don’t have to pay for something you don’t need…)
Also, keep in mind that nothing is set in stone when it comes to pricing. We’re comparatively not as used to it in North America but you can get pretty far if you embrace the art of bargaining. If you don’t ask, you don’t get! So, ask for that free room at the hotel or for the corking or cake cutting fees to be waived. You’re paying a lot of money and that should give you some leverage…use it!
Finally, be prepared to put down a deposit when you search for your perfect wedding reception venue. Make sure to ask if it is refundable and what the payment schedule is for the rest of the cost.
When deciding about the food you will serve, ask the venue if they provide catering or does it have to be brought in from the outside? Other good questions to ask are: Can the food be sampled? What are the menu choices? Will they accommodate any changes? Do they accommodate special requests for vegetarian, organic, kosher, halal meals, etc.? Do they recommend any catering establishments?
Finally, here are some things to find out about when it comes to the details: Does the venue provide tables and chairs? Are chair covers and table cloths included? Are there any decorations that the facility can provide? For example, candle holders, table cloths, vases, etc. Is there a wedding coordinator available? What is their role?
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