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Posted by Amanda
Before you start looking at wedding reception halls you'll need to know what your budget is and how many guests you plan on inviting. Once you have this information you can start narrowing down your options. After you've found a great location that has the capacity and date availability you need, you should ask the following questions:
- What does the price include?
It's a good idea to get a detailed list in writing of all the amenities and services the hall includes in the price; find out what might cost extra. Also ask if there are any services that they do not offer. Some venues will provide just the space and you'll need to get chairs, tables, food, etc. Some offer all-inclusive packages with servers, full bar, valet parking and everything else for your special day. So make sure you know what you’re getting for your money before signing anything and finalizing your decision.
- Is there an on-site caterer that you must use or you can use your own?
If you have to use their caterer you need to make sure you like the food they provide. Arrange for a menu sampling.
- Will there be a banquet manager or office staff to oversee your affair?
Sometimes even with flawless planning unexpected problems might occur and you'd want to have the security of knowing that there will be a qualified person to handle the situation.
- Can you have your ceremony and reception at the same site?
While most reception halls have ceremony capability, some don’t so you should inquire about that in advance.
- What are their financial policies?
Get a detailed explanation of those in writing – how much the deposit is and when it's due, is tax included in the quoted price, what’s the cancellation policy, etc.
- How many hours are you renting the facility for?
Be sure to ask what the overtime charges are.
- Are there any other events planned for the same day?
While most reception halls cater to only one wedding at a time, larger facilities with multiple event rooms often have two or three affairs planned at the same time. It's important to know what to expect when you get there on your special day.
- What are the company's credentials and qualifications?
Ask how long they’ve been in business, what events they have hosted, and if they have the proper permits, licenses and insurance. If possible, get some references as well.
- Is there a bridal room or space available for the bride and groom to change attire or relax?
You'll probably want to have a private room for your bridal party and somewhere to change into your going-away clothes.
- Is valet parking available?
If not, is there enough parking space for everyone and are there any extra fees for parking?
- Are there adequate restroom facilities?
- Is there coat check provided?
- If the reception is outdoors, do they have an alternative location that can accommodate your guests in the event of bad weather?
- Does the reception hall require security deposit and if so, how much and when is it refunded?
- Is clean up after the party included in the rental fee?
These are some of the more important questions to ask your reception venue. Don't feel uncomfortable asking a lot of questions and don’t sign a contract unless you fully understand all clauses.
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