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10 Important Questions to Ask When Searching For a Reception Venue (Part I)

If you've chosen to have your wedding ceremony in a different location from reception venue, there are questions that need to be asked of that venue as well.  Your reception venue requires questions that a ceremony venue does not.  

You want to make sure that your decision is an educated decision so that your wedding day is all that you envisioned.

Because there are so many questions to ask, this will be a two part series. 

Questions to ask a wedding reception venue

  1. What is the cost to rent the venue?

    When asking about the cost to rent the facility, make sure to find out the number of hours included and if this includes the set up and break down time. Don’t forget to ask about the charge if your event should run longer.

  2. What is the maximum capacity for a seated dinner, buffet, or hors d'oeuvre reception?

    Different reception styles will hold more or less. There will be more room for guests with a hors d'oeuvre reception set up than a seated dinner. You want to make sure that the venue is able to accommodate ALL of your guests. Although the likelihood of all your invited guests accepting your invitation is slim, when choosing your venue, assume that the will. Don’t choose a venue that holds 150 when the last count of your guest list was 180. What are you going to do if they should happen to all arrive?

  3. Are you the only wedding/event that day?

    Knowing if you are the only event that day will affect the timing of your event, when your vendors can arrive. If you are the first event that day, it will not affect you as much. If a venue has more than one event scheduled that day, some will make both parties use the same vendors, such as the caterer.

  4. Are there any decorating, photography, music, videography restrictions?

    It is important to know any restrictions that a facility may have. Are there noise ordinances that must be followed? Is a valet necessary if there are a certain number of guests? Is music allowed outside of the building? All of these are things to consider.

  5. Is there a preferred list of vendors?

    Some venues have vendors that they have worked with over and over again. If you think about it from the venue side, they know that these vendors are reliable and are familiar with the venues policies, procedures, and regulations. On the other hand, if there is no one on the list that can work within your price range, this can cause an issue. Ask if it is possible to work with other vendors. It may be possible, but a fee may be involved for the new vendor.

  6. Does the venue have liability insurance?

    Venues have to have some type of insurance. Just make sure there are no lapses in coverage.

  7. What type of kitchen facility does the venue have?

    Does the venue have a full service kitchen or just a warming kitchen? Maybe there is only a microwave and a refrigerator. Keep in mind that if there are not adequate facilities, the caterer will have to bring their own equipment, which can me increased fees

  1. Can this venue be used for the ceremony?

    Having your ceremony and reception in the same location cuts down on site fees as well as transportation, as well as worrying about guests or anyone in the bridal party being lost or stuck in traffic.

  2. Is there a dance floor?

    If the facility does not have a dance floor, is this because dancing is not allowed? A facility that does not have a dance floor may mean added costs to rent one and have it installed and someone to return to pick up;.

  3. Are additional services required?

    It is important to know if you will need special permits or services to use this particular venue.

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