- 6 years ago
1. Location, Location, Location: The most important thing to note here is that no matter how memorable your party is it will inevitably be a waste of your time and money if no one can find the venue, or worse, they couldn’t find parking.
Question to Ask: Does your venue have ample amount of parking for my guests?
Tip: Choose a venue that is easily accessible to your guests.
2. Does size really matter? It sure does when you are choosing a venue! Before you select a venue be sure you have completed your invitee list. Consider the possibility that some will be unable to attend your event. Factors to consider for those unable to attend would be: length of travel to your location, health conditions of your guests, age of guests, school or work commitments, financial strains, and children. To avoid any future overcrowding of your venue, you should select a venue that can accommodate 90% to 100% of your guest list.
Question to Ask: What is your venue’s max capacity and average party size?
Tip: Ask for floor plans and/or schematics from previous events.
3. Inventory: Be sure to ask for a list of inventory that is on site. Consider the following scenario: What if you decide to have a formal sit down dinner instead of a buffet? A standard 60″ round dinner table can seat up to 10 people (if you are serving a buffet style dinner). The same 60″ round dinner table seats only 8 for a formal sit down dinner. You may also want to feature a slide show of photos or play a video of some kind. Some venues offer Audio and Visual Equipment as well as microphones.
Question to Ask: Do you have a list of inventory on site?
Tip: Try to find a venue that includes tables and chairs in the rental agreement.
4. Hidden Fees? Yikes! One thing you can count on is additional fees when booking a facility. There are fees for all kinds of things ranging from cleaning fees to security guard fees. There are even cake cutting fees and corking fees! At this point you are probably wondering why it can’t be simpler renting a facility. Me too! But not to worry there are many facilities to choose from and not all of them have a stack of extra fees.
Question to Ask: Are there any additional fees I should know about?
Tip: Get all additional fees in writing to help you stay organized with your budgeting.
5. Decorating Rules and Restrictions: You may think that decorating rules and restrictions can be figured out by using common sense and I am sure that most decorating rules can be. However, all venues have different rules and restrictions and some of them may seem bazaar. For example, there are venues that do not allow confetti. Confetti is super cute and fun, so why wouldn’t a venue allow confetti? The answer is simple, it gets everywhere! Once confetti gets into carpet and furniture pieces, it is very hard to clean up. There are other various rules that are similar and it’s always best to get a list of the venue’s rules and restrictions before you sign a contract.
Question to Ask: What are your decorating rules and restrictions?
Tip: Share your decorating ideas with the facility manager before purchasing any décor. If you are unsure of the kind of décor you will be using, get a list of the decorating rules and restrictions to take with you.
6. Food For Thought: Arguably, the most talked about detail of an event is the food. You may have a centerpiece that is a little off and only you will notice, but if your food is a little off, your guests are sure to take notice. Most importantly, if the food is not prepared properly; one or more guests could contract a food born illness. That is why facilities have rules in place with regard to catering. The most common food restrictions you can expect are:
1) All food must be served and prepared by a licensed caterer. (No food can be brought into the facility from your home.)
2) No “outside caterers” allowed. “Outside caterers” meaning all other caterer other than the “in-house caterer.”
3) Must select a caterer from preferred catering list.
Really, the best you can hope for is “in-house catering” offered with an option to hire “outside catering” if necessary. There are many reasons one might wish to hire an outside caterer. For example, Kosher foods can only be prepared in a Kosher approved kitchen. Therefore, any client needing kosher food served during the event will want to select a facility that allows outside catering.
Question to Ask: What are your catering options?
Tip: Select a facility that allows the most flexibility with catering. If there is a preferred catering list, call all of the catering companies on the list and get bids BEFORE booking the facility. Don’t make the mistake of booking the facility only to find out later that the catering options do not work with your budget.
7. Frequently Asked Questions. Finally, it’s best to check each venue’s frequently asked questions.
section of their website or brochure. Sometimes when planning it is easy to forget minor details, so check out what others are asking.