The right reception venue can make or break the day for your guests, and for yourselves.
Here are some things to take into consideration when you meet with the representatives of any prospective venues:
- First thing’s first, is it available on your chosen date?
- Are there any other weddings booked in for that day?
- What is the total fee and what does that include?
- Are meals calculated per head? How much of a deposit do they require and when is it due?
- Ask to see the function room laid out for a wedding, or if that’s not possible, photographs of same.
- Have they any remodeling/building work planned between booking and your reception?
- Is there an event manager/wedding planner on hand to help co-ordinate the reception?
- What is the maximum number of guests they can facilitate?
- Consider the distance from your ceremony venue.
- If table centerpieces come as part of your package, ask if there will be a choice of these.
- If you are having a Christmas wedding, ensure the Christmas decorations will be up for your big day.
- Is there accommodation available at your venue, and if so for how many?
- If not, is there any accommodation close-by? Is there a shuttle bus if necessary?
- In either case, is there a special rate for wedding parties?
- Do they have in-house catering?
- Will there be an opportunity for a menu tasting session and if so, how much does it cost?
- Do they cater for special diets? Always make sure there is a vegetarian option and one for coeliacs.
- How much would an evening buffet cost?
- Do they charge extra for evening-only guests?
- If there is no in-house catering, can you choose any caterer or is there a list of approved caterers?
- Is there a corkage fee?
- Is there a big enough dance floor for all your guests?
- Do they accommodate other novelties such as photo booths?
- Ask to see where the band will be set up.
- If you intend to use an iPod instead of a DJ, make sure there is an adequate sound system.
- Is there somewhere in the grounds of the reception venue or close-by to take photographs?
- Is there ample parking?
- Do you need to hire a parking attendant?
- Is it near any bus route for those who choose to use public transport?
- Is there a safe or strong room to hold gifts and cards (see our post on wedding security).
- Are there any restrictions regarding smoking, the serving of alcohol, confetti, or lit candles?
Photograph of Clonabreany House by Bronsnan Photographic
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