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How to Pick a Reception Venue

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Thanks Julie and Miranda for the update on Decor Design.  I am telling you they are fantastic!  Make sure you check out our Facebook  Photos.  Actually we have more pictures than we could ever post..good job maybe for our interns. 

Let’s get cracking on a reception site.  There is some basic information you will need to know when you book a venue.  Here is a list of questions to consider asking

A question to ask yourself as you meet with the reception venue:  have they addressed your personal concerns satisfactorily?  How do you feel after talking with the vendor?  Are you comfortable?  Do you feel you can effectively work with this person?   Did they listen to you?  Did they take an interest in your likes and dislikes?   I will say for some reason you will find vendors that just have an attitude.  I am not sure why they act as though they are doing you a favor but they do!  Remember one thing through this process you are the the employer.  These people are working for you, you pay their salary.  If they have an attitude walk away.  Find someone else who WANTS your money.  So, with that said how do you want to be treated by Your boss?  Treat these people in the same way.  You get more bees with honey than you do with vinegar.  Ok I will again get off my soapbox.  Here are some questions to for you to ask.

  1. What is the capacity of your room(s)?
  2. Do you have a Minimum amount that needs to be spent?
  3. Do you have all the necessary licenses and health permits?   
  4. Are you properly insured?
  5. Do you allow outside Caterers?
    If so, is the kitchen fully equipped?
  6. If the reception location is also the caterer:
    Do you provide tasting consultations/food tastings?
  7. Is there a fee for such tastings?
  8. How many people can I bring along with me to the tasting?
  9. What is the staff to guest ratio?
  10. What is the staff dress code? Formal or casual?
  11. If buffet style is offered, are servers provided or will it be self-serve?
  12. Is there an extra charge for buffet servers? If so, how much?
  13. Do you have a liquor license?
  14. Is there an extra charge for bartenders? If so, how much?
  15. Do you provide cake cutting/serving service? Is it part of the basic package? If not, what is the additional cost?
  16. Do you provide the wedding cake, or should I hire an outside baker?
  17. If you provide the cake, is there an extra charge? If so, how much?
  18. Is the champagne toasting service included or is that an extra charge? If an extra charge, how much?
  19. Does the headcount include wedding professionals at the event (photographers, DJs, etc.)?
  20. Are there special prices for feeding our DJ, band, photographer and other wedding professionals?
  21. Are there special prices for children?
  22. May our DJ or other professional(s) have access to your electrical outlets? Are there enough?
  23. Is a deposit required? If so, how much? 
  24. Is gratuity included in the price? What is the gratuity also called a service charge?
  25. What percentage are the taxes?
  26. What is the overtime charge?
  27. Do you provide linens, tables, chairs, china, glassware, silverware, serving accessories, etc.? (NOTE:  if you are at a facility with an outside catering company you have to know this because if you have to rent all that stuff  you will see the cost rise, rise , rise.)
  28. What equipment do you provide?
  29. Do you have Audio/Visual Equipment?  Is there a fee for using it?
  30. Do you provide rentals, or are they from another company?
  31. Is there adequate parking?
  32. Is there a charge for parking? If so, how much?
  33. Do you offer valet parking? If so, how much?
  34. Do you allow outside Valet companies?  
  35. What are the refunds/cancellation terms?
  36. What is your leftover policy?
  37. Do the bride and groom receive a bridal suite included in the package?
  38. Are discounts available to our guests for their accommodations? If so, how much is the discount and/or how much are the rooms?
  39. How many hours will we have the room? Beginning time/end time?   
  40. How long before the event can we have access to the room so that we may prepare it?
  41. Are there any other events taking place at the same time as ours?

2010 Margaret Moore,
Want to use this article in your E-zine or website? You can as long as you include this complete statement:

Event Planning entrepreneur Margaret Moore with Simple Elegance Events and Wedding Designs publishes this weekly e-zine. Get your FREE  “My Dream Wedding without the Nightmare”  at

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