Questions You Need To Ask Your Wedding Reception Venue Before You Book It

Featured Image: via Colin Cowie Weddings

Finding the perfect wedding reception venue is probably going to be one of your top priorities in the wedding planning process.  You will have to ask the right questions when you’re conducting site visits to make sure that it fits your vision and there are no surprises later on.  Here is a comprehensive list of questions to ask the reception venue:

1. The Weddding Date:

  • Which dates and times are available?

2. Space:

  • What is the capacity for a seated dinner?
  • What is the capacity for a cocktail reception, with some tables mixed in?
  • Does the capacity change if there is a dance floor or any other addition?
  • How many guests can sit at each table?
  • Are tables and chairs easy to set up in the reception area?
  • What is the flow like if we use more than one room/area?
  • Where will cocktail hour be held?
  • If it’s outdoors, is the ground level enough for placement of chairs and tables for either cocktail hour or the reception?
  • If it’s outdoors, how is the area blocked off so that other people can’t wander in and out?
  • Which areas are accessible to our guests?
  • Are any of the areas off-limits to our guests?
  • Is it possible to visit the site while another event is taking place to see the how the space is set up?
  • Do you have a room where we could change into going-away outfits?

3. Logistics:

  • How much time is allotted for the reception itself and what portion is setup and cleanup?
  • Does the rental include tables, chairs, linens, china, and glassware?
  • If so, are there several style options to choose from?
  • If we use the site for both ceremony and reception, how will the setup look?
  • If it’s outdoors, you have a rain plan?
  • What space could be used for a band or DJ to set up? How large is the area?
  • Do you have a dance floor or does one need to be rented? Where would the dance floor be located?
  • What is the capacity of the dance floor?
  • Is there a location ideal for the receiving line?
  • What is the parking capacity?
  • How close is the parking to the venue’s entrance?
  • Do you offer valet parking?
  • If so, what are the rates?
  • If you don’t offer valet parking, can we hire an outside valet company?
  • How will guests be directed to the event once inside?
  • Where are the restrooms located and how many do you have?
  • Do you have an attendant?
  • Does it require an additional fee?
  • If it’s outdoors, do you have space for portable restrooms?
  • Do you have a coat check?
  • Do you have a coat room attendant?
  • Does it require an additional fee?
  • Where could we place a gift table?
  • Do you provide the table?
  • Are there any decorations in the venue that we could use?

4. Music/Sound:

  • Are there any music or noise restrictions?
  • Are there enough electrical outlets for all musical equipment?

5. Photo/Video:

  • Do you have rules regarding photography or videography?
  • Is there a location ideal for formal photos?

6. Payment:

  • How much does it cost to rent the site?
  • How much do you charge for overtime?
  • Are there any additional fees to use the other areas?
  • What do you require for a deposit?
  • When is the remaining balance due?
  • What is your cancellation policy?

6. Staff:

  • Do you have an onsite coordinator?
  • Does the coordinator or someone else accept deliveries and handle other setup details?

7. Food & Drinks:

  • Do you have on-site catering?
  • If not, do you offer kitchen facilities and allow an off-site caterer?
  • Do you have preferred caterers that we must use?
  • Do you have any rules regarding alcohol?

8. Miscellaneous:

  • Do you have preferred florists or photographers we must use?
  • Do you hold more than one party at the same time?
  • Is there anything scheduled just before, or after our event?
  • If so, how do you ensure that they finish on time, but no one feels rushed out?
  • Does the space have air-conditioning?
  • Are guests allowed to throw birdseed or blow bubbles following the reception, and where is the ideal location to do this?
  • Do you offer on-site and/or parking lot security?
  • Do you carry liability insurance?
  • What are we responsible for?
  • Do you have a list of references of recent wedding clients?
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