Now that you are engaged and have discussed possible wedding dates and locations, it is time to settle on a venue for your wedding reception. This may seem simple, but there are a lot of factors to consider when selecting the perfect venue for your reception.

Ask yourself or the manager at the venue you may be interested in the following questions (you can even get out your wedding planner to write down your answers – you do have one right?

Do you want an indoor or an outdoor reception? A public garden, historical site, banquet hall, hotel, etc.?

  • How many guests do you plan on inviting and can the venue accommodate them all? You may need to downsize your list of invitees or select a different location.
  • How long do you need the venue, will this timeframe work at a particular venue?
  • Do you plan on having your reception catered or do you need the venue to provide food and drink?
  • Is there a bar on site or does the venue have a liquor license?
  • Is the dance floor large enough – will you need space for a band or DJ?
  • Are tables, chairs, plates, glasses, and linens included in the rental?
  • How private do you want your reception to be? Park vs. a banquet hall.
  • Consider your theme and color selection. Will they work well in a particular venue?
  • Are views important? Inside will be beautiful but what about the view out the window?
  • How is the flow? Can all areas be accessed easily?
  • Can you access the venue early to decorate and rearrange?
  • Are there any guidelines or restrictions for decorations or music etc.?
  • Where are bathrooms, buffet, or any other important feature/facility located?
  • Is there ample parking?
  • Is there a coat room or valet parking for guests?
  • Are there any packages that might include cake, food, an overnight stay etc. or are there any discounts for certain days of the week?
  • Will there be someone available on location to help supervise your reception?

It is also important to take a tour of the venue. Ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable in making the right decision. Don’t forget to ask about signing a contract, or any upfront fees for renting. Most important, is this venue in your budget? Can you picture yourself celebrating your wedding here?

Good luck and happy hunting.