Mar 082014

Congrats on your engagement!  When the initial excitement from your family and friends has settled, one of the very first questions you will be asked is “have you set a date?”   The only way you can set a date is to select a venue and find out their availability.  Whether you have had your reception venue chosen since the age of 10 or have a list of 10 places to consider, it’s important to go in prepared.  A meeting with the wedding coordinator of a potential venue is the best way to figure out if that venue is the best space for you.  Online research is great – you can learn a lot about a venue by reading their website, blog, visiting their online galleries of real weddings, and reading reviews by former clients on different wedding review websites.   But seeing the venue in person and discussing all of those great wedding details with the folks who will essentially be running the show on one of the most important days of your life, well, is imperative.

So, what do you do?  You go in with a list of questions.  Sure, they will give you their spiel, a tour of the facility, and a rundown of the costs involved.  But this is your chance to find out everything you need to know to make your decision.  Is this your wedding venue?  If you ask all the necessary questions, you’ll walk out of the appointment with the necessary information needed to help make your decision.  You should know if this is a place you can envision your wedding taking place or not.

Need help crafting your list of questions?  Let’s start with these:

1)      What is your availability? (for the season of the year you are considering your wedding)

2)      What are the menu and bar options?

3)      Is there a food and beverage minimum that needs to be met?

4)      Is there a different food and beverage minimum on Fridays and Sundays?

5)      Do you have any vendor restrictions or a list of preferred vendors I must work with?

6)      At what time can vendors arrive to set up (this is very important for a band, DJ, florist, designer, etc. to set up) and when do they need to make sure the room is cleared?

7)      Do you have any restrictions for favors (anything alcoholic or edible)?

8)      When do you need to know the final head count?

9)      When are deposits and balances due?

10)   How do you handle staff gratuity?

11)   Who will be on site the day of my wedding to handle logistics?

12)   What do you offer as far as table, chair, and linen choices?

Chair Covers & Linens

13)   Is there a fee for use of the room?

14)   What is the length of time we can have the space?

15)   Is there an area or a room we can freshen up (or a room if your venue is a hotel).

16)   What are the parking options for guests?

17)   Is there a coat check area?

18)   How many restrooms will we have access to and may we bring in bathroom toiletries baskets?

19)   How many other events could possibly be taking place the day of my wedding?

20)   Are there any restrictions on candles and open flames?

21)   How does the tasting work?

22)   How many guests can you accommodate?

23)   Can you host the ceremony here as well?

Outdoor Ceremony

24)   Where can we set up a cocktail hour?

25)   Do we have access to any outdoor areas?

26)   If a hotel, do you offer a room block with a discounted rate for guests?

27)   Can we bring in our own caterers?

28)   Are there any restrictions on dessert tables?

29)   How much do you charge for vendor meals?

30)   What is your cancellation policy?

There are several other questions you can ask, depending on your needs and situation.  But this list should provide you with a good starting point.

So, are you ready to find your perfect reception venue?  I’ve got to say the best place to begin is right here on Premier Bride’s Advanced Venue Search.  Talk about saving you a ton of time! (And we all know that as a bride to be, any free time you have will be dedicated to wedding planning!) The Advanced Venue Search is simple and convenient.  All you have to do is plug in a few details and voila! – you have a great list of potential venues tailored to your personal wedding needs!    Your personalized list will be based on estimated number of guests, venue type, location, any special wishes you might have (such as “waterfront”), and let’s not forget one of the most important factors – cost.  The Advanced Venue Search is such a great tool for any bride to be.  Personally, I think it’s one of the most useful tools on and you get your personalized list in a matter of seconds.  Can’t be that!

For more information, check out the Advanced Venue Search here.

Before you know it, you’ll be announcing “we set a date”!

By:  Rita Tatem a wedding blogger for the Boston-area for over 3 years on her site

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