One of the first decisions a couple will have to make when planning their wedding is to choose a suitable venue for the reception. Whether you are planning a traditional church wedding, or something unique and extraordinary, you will need to find a suitable site in which to hold the all important wedding reception. But finding the perfect venue can be a challenge, and there is much to consider before settling on a site and signing that final booking contract. We’ve put together a list of common questions that should help to make the process much simpler for couples planning their wedding reception. Think of it as a check list that you can take with you to help ensure that the venue you hire will serve all of your needs on the big day.
What Dates Are Available?
The first question you need to ask when considering potential venues for your wedding reception is, “What dates are available to be booked?”. Most couples will already have tentative dates in mind for their wedding, but they may not coincide with the availability of a particular venue. Be prepared to modify some of your wedding plans if you find the perfect venue, but it is not available on your chosen day.
What Other Events are Booked On or Around Your Wedding Day?
When you are discussing the available dates for your reception, be sure to ask the venue’s management about any other events that they have scheduled on the day of your wedding. Consider how these other events might impact, or interfere with, your reception plans.
How Many Guests Can the Venue Accommodate?
This is vital. There is no point booking a venue that can not comfortably accommodate all of your guests. Conversely, there is little point in hiring a huge hall if you are planning a small, intimate, wedding and reception. Many hired venues will have a variety of rooms and banqueting halls to choose from, making it easier to find a site that best meets your needs.
What is Included in the Rental Fee?
It is important to know up front what will be included in the rental fee. Are you only renting the space, or will the necessary tables, chairs, and linens be included in the rental package? It is also a good idea to find out if the venue has a supply of decorations that you can use, or if you will need to provide your own. Many event venues will offer a limited selection of decorations for their clients, and this can help to save some money if you are on a budget.
How Long Will You Have the Facility?
It’s hard to gauge how long any party will last, and that is especially true for wedding receptions. Before booking your venue, find out just how much time will be allotted to your party, and if there are any charges for going over schedule.
What is Included in the Caterer’s Fees?
Whether you are using the venue’s on-site caterer, or hiring an independent catering service, it is important to find out exactly what will be included in their fees. Most caterer’s fees include the cost of the food, the equipment rental, and both front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house staff. However, not every catering service follows that pricing model, so it is important to find out at the start exactly what is included in the catering contract.
Is There a Cake Cutting Fee?
Some venues and caterers charge an additional cake cutting fee, over and above their standard rates. While this may seem like an unnecessary additional expense, do not reject it out of hand. The cake cutting fee often covers plate decoration, and accompaniments to the wedding cake such as chocolate covered strawberries or rose petals.
Is There Plenty of On-Site Parking?
Finally, ask about on-site parking, and whether or not it will meet the needs of your guests. Also, be sure to ask if there are any extra charges for on-site parking, and if the venue can make valet service available for a reasonable fee.
Planning a wedding reception takes time and patience, and there will be a myriad of decisions to be made. One of the first, and most important, is the choice of venue. Keep these questions in mind when the time comes to start looking for the perfect venue for your wedding reception.