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Questions for Your Reception Venue

First, you will want to determine the price of holding your wedding reception at their venue. You will find that most reception venues break down their charges differently, and what seems to be less costly may be more expensive once all of the figures are calculated. Avoid confusion by asking for a detailed list of charges or total the costs of each expense and service you will likely use for your wedding reception. Your guest count will influence the estimated costs, so be sure to have that number with you beforehand. You can then compare your lists to precisely determine which venue is the most cost-effective for your reception needs.

Questions To Ask:
  • What is the venue rental fee?

  • Is there an on-site caterer?If so, what is the price of food? (Venues usually offer more than one menu package. Decide which package you will most probably use for your wedding reception, and apply that amount in determining your estimate.)

  • What is the cost of the beverages, whether a full bar, limited bar, or non-alcoholic bar?

  • If you can have your wedding ceremony at the same venue, what is the ceremony charge?

  • What are the set-up and break-down fees? (Some venues charge per chair, per table and others charge a total amount.)

  • What is the staffing fee, including bartenders, servers, etc.?

  • Is there an overtime fee?

  • Is there a fee for security staff?

  • Is there a charge for parking or valets?

  • Is there a fee for clean up?

What Wedding Packages Are Available?

Some venues offer wedding packages, which can be both cost-effective and useful. Be sure to inquire about what is and what is not included in the package. Remember to ask about the specific descriptions of the things covered in the package. For example, if you are set on an having an adorned five-tiered fondant cake and the package only allows your basic buttercream, this package may not be for you – no matter what the possible savings. Or does the package price include an on-site caterer, or will you need to contract an off-site caterer?

Make Certain All the Basics Are Covered:
  • Facility rental

  • Food and beverage

  • Ceremony on-site

  • Set up and break down

  • Staffing; bartenders, security, servers

Details that May or May Not Be Covered:
  • Cake; How many does it serve? Can you customize the design?

  • Flowers; Does the package cover all floral or just buffet arrangements? Can you customize the floral arrangements, or do they only come in standard varieties?

  • Linens; What do they look like? How many?

  • Is acquiring the wedding package a must? (Some venues allow couples the choice of obtaining the complete package or obtaining a partial package and excluding particular items or not purchasing the wedding package at all.)

Services the Wedding Venue Provides

Decide what services the reception venue provides and what vendors will you need to contract from outside.

  • Is there an in-house caterer, a list of exclusive caterers, or can you provide your own?

  • Is there an on-site kitchen facility for off-site caterers to use?

  • Does the reception venue have a list of suggested vendors? (A list of vendors with working connections and experience of the site will be beneficial during the planning process. )

  • Can you have your ceremony on-site? If not, are there places nearby?

  • Does the reception venue provide staff, such as an on-site coordinator, servers, and bartenders

  • Does the reception venue provide items, such as tables, chairs, plates, and glasses? (Remember, renting these things yourself can run up costs.)

  • Does the reception site provide adequate parking or valets? What are the costs associated?

  • Does the reception venue provide on-site security? What are the costs involved? If not, do you need to provide your own?

  • Does the reception venue offer any added amenities?

Valuable extras that may help in determining the ideal venue:

  • Will there be dressing rooms available for the wedding party?

  • Is there a bar area, or can one be set up?

  • Are there scenic spots for photo opportunities?

  • Is there a dance floor?

  • Are there adequate restrooms?

  • Is there, or can you set-up a coat room?

The Terms In Booking Your Wedding Reception

Don’t overlook the requirements of the contract. Make sure it satisfies your needs.

  • How much time will you have use of the facility?

  • Is there an overtime charge if your reception lasts longer?

  • Are you able to use the entire reception venue? If not, what is available to you?

  • What is the amount of the deposit, and when is the balance due?

  • What is the cancellation policy?

  • Does the site have any music or sound restrictions?

  • Are there any decorating limitations?

  • Will there be another event during, before, or after yours? If so, how will this affect your function?

A venue may seem more costly, but if it includes extras in its fee, then it may be more reasonably priced after you add in the cost of all the extras you will be required to add.


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