Those are just some of the basic questions for any reception venue... But be sure to inquire about limitations and restrictions as well.
Here is a set of questions you can consider asking. Some of them are already listed above.
Has the location been the site of weddings before?
What type of deposit is required?
When is the final payment due?
What exactly is covered in the cost of the hall?
Are linens, china, chairs, tables, silverware, etc. included in the basic cost?
Is the wait staff included?
Will the bride be charged a gratuity on top of her final total?
Is alcohol allowed?
Can alcohol be brought by the couple? If the couple purchased a special bottle of champagne that they would like to toast with, you need to know if they can bring it into the facility.
Will the couple have to apply for any liquor licenses or is that covered by the reception location?
Set-up and break-down: is this included or is there an additional charge?
Is there a fee if the reception goes over the scheduled allotted time?
Who, from the reception hall, will be working the day of the wedding?
How many weddings have they handled?
Is it cheaper to buy a la carte or to purchase a wedding package?
Compare buffet to sit-down dinner…sit down is usually more cost effective.
If the couple chooses a buffet, can they limit what is served or will the reception location continue to bring out food as long as the guests are eating? (This will greatly affect the cost.)
Does the reception hall allow off-site caterers to be brought in or do they have their own catering staff?
Do they have a preferred list of wedding vendors they allow into their hall?
Can the bride bring in her own vendors?
Will there be any other events on the day of the wedding?
Do they have pictures of previous events?
Do they provide a dance floor?
Is there an additional charge for the dance floor?
Are they equipped for a DJ?
Are they equipped for a band?
Do they provide bartenders? If so, is there an additional charge for them?
Can they provide references?
Just think about the complete layout of you wedding from start to finish. This will help you to ascertain what your needs are and what questions to ask.
You may want to consider hiring a professional wedding planner to ensure you get the best bang for your buck and to ensure you understand and have a solid contract. A PWF will also help take the stress out of the planning process and make it a fun, enjoyable and memorable one.
Hope this helps!
As a full-time, full-service Wedding Planner, the biggest piece of advice that I can give you when talking with a venue is to ask for the bottom line costs; including service fees, tax, gratuity, room flip fees, and cleaning fees, if applicable. There are MANY other questions to ask, but the financial part can change everything!
Wishing you the best!
Christie Niq Williams, PBC
Niq Williams Event Management LLC
Ask the following:
* can you email me a menu including prices for alcohol
* are candles, linen, table sashes and all dishware included in the price
* how much more if I want a cocktail hour? In other words, if dinner is $40 per person how much would dinner and a cocktail hour be per person?
* Can you make me a signature drink?
* Do you include an ice sculpture and cake?
* Is there a planner for the day to help with anything I may need?
* Is there a bridal suite, public parking included?
* Do you have suggested vendors, like photographers, florists, dj and limo?
* Are any flowers included in the ceremony space?
* Do I have to provide my own aisle runner?
* Do you provide menu cards and escort cards?
You can ask decor questions such as are open flame candles allowed, is there a certain type of decor that is not allowed. Do you have the ability to hang items from the wall or ceilings?
I would recommend using a planner, they can steer you in the right direction in regards to the venue that you are looking for that will allow the type of theme you would like as well.
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