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Choosing a wedding reception venue is an essential part of wedding planning. It usually represents a large part of the budget and is the place where guests will spend most of their time. The right venue can leave everyone with memories of a wonderful party, just as a poor choice could lead to crowding and a less-than-perfect experience. The best way to avoid a catastrophe is to ask smart questions upfront, beginning with the following five.
Can a Venue Accommodate the Caterer’s Needs?
While some venues offer in-house catering services, many couples choose companies like Stamford Catering Services for their weddings. That makes it easier to design custom arrangements. However, it is essential that venues are prepared to accommodate caterers, so planners need to ask the following questions:
- Are clients allowed to use their own caterer?
- Is there a place for catering staff to set up and stage?
- Will the catering staff have access to power and water?
- Can catering workers dispose of materials in the venue’s dumpsters?
- Are there tables and chairs available?
Does the Venue Have the Right Style?
Weddings tend to have themes, and a venue must fit the theme. It doesn’t necessarily have to match but should at least allow couples to create the look they want. A venue that clashes wildly won’t work. For example, if you plan a cozy, rustic wedding and the venue is ultra-modern and chic, it’s best to cross it off the list.
Is There Enough Room?
When it comes to selecting a venue, size matters, it is important to tour every potential venue and make sure it has space for all guests and any other needs.
As wedding professionals at The Knot magazine point out, a space that seems cavernous when it is empty can quickly become crowded when filled with tables, chairs, catering equipment, and a band. It is essential to ask venue management exactly how many guests it can accommodate. They will also be able to help estimate whether their space will fit all your needs.
Do Pricing and Availability Fit the Bill?
As with most things, time and money are two of the most important considerations when booking a reception venue. With that in mind, couples need to get a precise idea of their costs and make sure the venue will be available on their wedding day.
The staff of Brides.com recommends that couples find out how far in advance they can book, how many hours the venue is available, and whether there are alternate dates if the first choice is unavailable.
It is also wise to get a breakdown of costs, find out the deposit amount, and learn the cancellation policy. It’s worth finding out whether the venue offers a payment schedule and determining the last day it is possible to change a reservation.
What Features and Amenities Are Available?
During an initial tour of a venue, couples can easily see whether or not it includes benefits like breathtaking views that make ideal photo backdrops. But some locations also provide extras, and they are well worth asking about. For instance, venues might offer dressing rooms, ample guest parking, restrooms, and ADA-compliant features.
Some locations provide on-site hotel rooms and even childcare. It is also smart to determine how close venues are to public transportation and airports.
Many details go into selecting the perfect wedding reception venue, which means planners need to ask many questions. At a minimum, couples should ask about availability and costs, the venue’s size, and caterers’ accommodations. It also pays to inquire about features and amenities.