Feb 24, 2008

Choosing Your Reception Site

First things first, trying to decide when and where your wedding reception and ceremony is going to take place. Keep in mind your budget when even looking for places. In any event planning ask right off the bat what the space costs. If you know your budget you should know right away if you have to cross the space off your list before wasting time going to see it. When you do go and check it out, below are some important questions to ask – and these aren’t all the questions just a good start!

-How much will it cost to use this site? Is there a payment plan?
-Is there a reception package? What's included and how much does it cost?
-Does the site have liability insurance? (If someone gets injured during the party, you don't want to be held responsible -- if the site doesn't have insurance, you'll need to get your own.)
-Is there a space for your Ceremony, or would you have to have it somewhere else? What is the process of "flipping" the room or are there two spaces?
-How long will you have the site? Is there an overtime fee if you stay longer? Must you rent the site for a minimum amount of time?
-Will there be another party just before or just after yours? If so, will there be enough time to clean up and redecorate before the next wedding begins, or is an awkward overlap possible?
-Are tables, chairs, plates, and glasses available, or will you have to provide (rent) them yourself or get them through your caterer? This can send your costs a lot higher then you may anticipate
-Is there an in-house caterer (or a list of "preferred" caterers), or must you provide your own? Can you choose to use an outside caterer instead?
-Are there kitchen facilities? Caterers charge extra if they have to haul in refrigerators and stoves and that is usually not something that works with a budget.
-Must you leave everything as is, or can you move things around and decorate to suit your purposes? Are there decoration guidelines?
-If there's parking, is it free? If not, what are the rates and gratuities for valets? (You can and should pay this up front so your guests don't have to tip.)
-Will there be, or can you set up, a coatroom? Are there sufficient restroom facilities?
-If there's no bar, can one be set up? Does the place even have a liquor license or does the caterer (outside) have to provide one?
-Is there a dress code?
-Does the site have restrictions on what kind of music you can play, or a time at which music must be turned off?
-Will someone who works at the location supervise your wedding? This should be the person you plan with, not someone you won't meet until the wedding.
-How about security? Must you hire your own security guards, or does the site hire them or have them on staff? As much as we all love the movie wedding crashers, you should feel comfortable with the security level so there isn’t one.
-What’s the cancellation policy? Some places will refund most of your deposit if you cancel far enough in advance (often 60 days), since there's still a chance they can rent the space.

These aren't all the questions as some will pertain specifically to your Wedding; ie will we be able to bring in our own christmas tree. But this a bare minimum, Be aware of what your getting and always have everything in writing (this helps you later).

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