(Closed) checking out reception venues

posted 12 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
559 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Oh, this is a good question. I’m going to see my number 1 choice this weekend and would love to know what others say to this!

Post # 4
2434 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

There’s all the obvious- availability, menu choices, layout, parking, cost, what’s included/not included, etc.

Also- are you just having the reception there or the ceremony as well?  Because there are lots of other questions if you are doing both.

Other things you should know:

What is the schedule of the reception?  (You don’t want it to be rushed, but some places only want to provide food service 2 hours- which means your guests will have to cram food down their throats to finish all the courses and cake in 2 hours)

How long will the room be available to you?  (ie can you get in there beforehand to set up and afterwards to clean up)

Do they charge a cake-cutting fee?

How does the beverage service work? (ie open bar, byob, beer and wine vs. full bar, table service)

Do they do buffet, family style, plated service, etc?

How will they accomodate food allergies and special diets? (ie vegetarian, gluten-intolerant, nut allergies, etc)

Do they have a PA system for toasts or do you have to provide your own?

If you are doing any special elements (slide show, photo booth, etc) can they accomodate it?

Is there a room for you and your groom to freshen up with before the reception and your grand entrance?


Hope this helps!


Also check out these relevant posts chock full of info:

How to book a venue: step by step

Selecting A Caterer

Venue/caterer checklist

Reception timeline

PS- you can search for more relevant posts and info using the Google search tool bar on the upper right hand corner of the page!

Post # 5
1423 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Another thing to look for are ‘price escalation’ clauses — you want to know that the prices for food/drink etc. are locked in stone before you sign, corking fees, when you have access to the site, how many weddings are scheduled for the day, the weekend, etc. 

Other stuff to look for is:  are the linens, lighting (adjustable?), flatware, china, bathrooms, chairs etc. nice?   You can save a lot of money on rentals by picking a place that decent quality stuff.  How well decorated is the room?  A hotel banquet room might be cheap, but if you want to dress it up, that won’t be.  If you pick an interesting space, you may need far less in terms of decorating in order to get the feel you’re looking for. 

Post # 6
813 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2020

A couple of random questions to ask:

-Do you have to use their recommended vendors, or if you use your own vendors, do they need a minimum amount of liability insurance?

-Are there any hidden fees that you should be aware of, like a cost to deliver out of town bags if you are using a hotel, or a cost for you to use other vendors’ linens? 

-How would the room be laid out– where would the bar be, where would the cake be, where would the DJ set up?

-Is there anyone available at the venue to help you out the day of the wedding? HOw involved will the catering manager/coordinator be? (Meaning, will they help you out all day long, or will they just handle things prior to the wedding?) 

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