Questions to Ask when Locating a Wedding Reception Venue

by on January 5th, 2011
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Finding a venue for your wedding reception is an important task on your wedding planning list. There are a lot of questions you will want to ask when looking for a space. First of all you want to have an idea of how many people you will be inviting to your reception so you know how much space you will need. Ask what the dimensions of the room are: length, width and ceiling height. Find out how many people it will accommodate. This will let you know right away if this space is even worth keeping on your list of possibilities or not. There is no point in asking any more questions if the room will not accommodate the number of guests you are inviting.

You should decide if you want to have a venue that will cater the event for your or if you want to use your own caterer or bring in your own prepared food. Some venues will not allow outside food to be brought in unless its just the wedding cake so you will have to ask to make sure that the venue will support your plans for your food option. You should also ask if there are cooking restrictions. If your venue has a kitchen that you or your caterer would like to use, you will need permission and see if there is an additional fee.

The length of time you have the room should also be discussed. Many times for a wedding reception the room rental rate is for the entire day. You will need to find out specifically what hours you will be able to have the room for the event. Ask if the time frame includes set up and clean up time. If you are allowed to decorate and set up the room, the night before or morning of, make sure you are aware what times you will have access to the room. Also ask if you are required to clean up the room afterwards. There may be an additional fee for clean up so be sure you ask.

Room set up is also an important element that needs to be addressed. You will need to ask what types of tables they have available usually round and rectangle are used for receptions. Ask about what types of linens are available to choose from. Many times there is no set up fee for tables and chairs however always ask. There is typically a fee to use linens from a venue site. You may find that it might be cheaper to use an outside source for table and chair linens and may also have more options in colors and styles.

If you are looking at an outside venue for your reception you will want to ask about renting tents, lighting and heating or cooling options if necessary.

Music for your reception is key to a successful party. Whether you have a DJ or live entertainment you will need to ask the venue if there are any restrictions on what type of equipment can be brought in, how late music can be played and other things of that nature. You will need to ask if there is a dance floor in the room or if one can be brought in. Ask if there is an additional fee for this and if you will need extra extension cords and such, there may be rental fees for that too. If you will need a piano for the band or live act then you can ask if one is available to use and if there is a fee. Many bands and live acts that use a piano will not be bringing that with them as part of their equipment.

There are a number of other things that you should ask about when shopping for a venue. Ask if you will need to have insurance for your event. If you plan on having lit candles on tables make sure that is allowed. Ask what other events may be planned on that site the same day as your event to make sure nothing is conflicting that many of your guests might have to choose one event to go to. If you would like to have pictures taken on and around the venue property indoors and outdoors make sure you have permission and are allowed in certain areas when you are ready to have the pictures done. This will ensure that you are not interrupting some other event going on. The venue may need to plan for you to have pictures done in specific areas at specific times to accommodate different clients that day.

Find out how much the deposit will be to hold your date and when will the room need to be paid in full. Also if you need to cancel the date, will you receive a full refund? Make sure that everything you want and have agreed upon is itemized in the contract and each fee is attached to each service. Before you sign the contract take a few days to review it and make sure you have not left anything out.


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