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Venues & Catering
May 25, 2014

Your wedding day will be one of your life’s biggest events. Truly a special occasion to celebrate together with your family and friends. A lifetime memory you will remember with great delight. Remember to reserve the reception site well in advance of the wedding. Summertime is the high season for weddings while October and November are considered the off-season. Advance planning is paramount.

What do you want your wedding day to be? The style is very important when you’re thinking about location. Will you want to be outside or inside? Will you have the service and reception in the same location?

Location, location, location... As always location is of utmost importance and when it comes to your wedding day. Ultimately you should follow your heart and choose a place that best reflects your tastes as a couple. Find a place you and your friends and relatives can relax in and your wedding is sure to be a wonderful day.

If you are having a church service in a separate location the reception must be convenient and easy to get to. That is especially important if guests are expected to find their own way to the reception venue.

Start your research by contacting various reception venues starting with date availability and capacity availability for the number of guests you will likely be inviting. When you identify potential venues that can accommodate your date and guest list it’s time to set appointments for site tours.

The very best way to reach your perfect venue location is to book a visit and have the wedding planner talk you through the facilities and to understand all of the venue’s capabilities for your reception. Take your time and make a connection.

When you are reviewing reception venues it is important to decide how many people will attend. Will you send invitations to all friends and extended family resulting in a huge guest list or would you prefer an intimate wedding reception. Remember, your eventual choice of venue may affect the overall amount of anticipated rsvps.

If you are planning a large wedding the venue size is of course critical. Ask prospective venues what the capacity is and what flexibility there is on their capacity. 

Considering a themed wedding reception? Share your thoughts about your theme with all of your venue option wedding planners. They can assist with your concept and make your planning process less stressful and ultimately help you present your theme, meeting your expectations.

Set a budget and stick to it. If a venue really captures your imagination but is beyond your budget look for ways to work with that venue to get to your budget. Ultimately, stick with your budget.

Have a clear vision of what each venue offers. There are a number of key components to keep in mind when you have chosen your reception venue and are ready to book the site.

  • Is the initial payment a deposit or a rental charge? 
  • What is the payment schedule for your reception? 
  • What are the time parameters for your reception venue? 
  • When is the venue available for decorating and how long can the reception last?
  • What are the venue capabilities for either a DJ or live music?
  • Are there unique photo opportunities?
  • Is there a parking lot, can it support your guest list and is it free?
  • Are there enough restrooms and restrooms for disabled guests? 
  • Ask for the total amount to ensure there are no hidden costs. How will the placement of dinner tables and guest seating be configured?
  • What are your options for hosted beverages? 
  • What are the guest seating, salad service, dinner service and cake service time expectations?

Read the contract closely and ensure that everything you want is included in the contract. These details can make your wedding planning a much more enjoyable task and save you many headaches later on. Take all the time necessary to identify possible venues and visiting your top venue options. Don’t be afraid to ask questions so you will know what you are getting for your money. Your lifetime memory should give you great delight. 

Questions to ask for the reception location

  • How much will it cost to use this site?
  • What’s the payment plan?
  • Will there be another party before or after yours? If so, will there be enough time to decorate and take down?
  • Will you be required to leave everything “as is” or will you have the flexibility to decorate to suit your purposes? 
  • Are candles allowed? What is the candle policy? 
  • What will the location provide and what will you need to provide or rent? 
  • Does the location work with their own caterer or will you be able to hire your own? 
  • Will the person you’ve made the arrangements with from the location be there to supervise during the event?