Ask the Right Questions: The Reception Site Edition

January 21, 2019

You’ve just executed your legally required first kiss and signed on the dotted line. You’re married! And you’re starving. The last thing you ate was a glass of champagne in your bridal suite and the premarital jitters have morphed into dance floor yearnings. It’s time to boogie.

But where to? You have options, options, and oh yeah, more options. Event spaces of every vibe, capacity, and price point line your city, as do barns, hotels, outdoor expanses, even restaurants. Not only is the ideal fantasy reception space within reach, you likely have a handful within that category from which to choose. So visit them all, see them first hand, be clear on the details that are important to you, and most importantly, Ask the Right Questions.

Bring this handy-dandy list with you when calling upon your potential reception space:

What number of people can your space accommodate?
What timeframe is the space available to us?
What are the deposit terms, and when is the balance due?
Are there differing rates depending on season, and day of the week?
Is there a private space for the bridal party and groomsmen?
For outdoor areas, is there a contingency space in the case of inclement weather?
Am I limited to your catering or catering partners, or can I bring in my own preferred vendor?
For sites providing food and drink, can a tasting be arranged?
What sort of tents, tables, linens, and dinnerware can be provided, and is there a fee associated?
Can our preferred bakery be used? And when are they permitted to deliver?
Will bartender services be provided? Can we supply our own alcohol?
Where can my guests park? And is there an additional fee?
How many restrooms are there? Are they handicap accessible?
If located in a hotel, is there a discounted room rate for my guests?

To see a full list of ceremony site questions, download the guide below:

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Ease of planning might be a priority for you, which might mean a more “all inclusive” reception site would be a great fit, for instance with hotel ballrooms or professional event spaces. Some venues can provide everything but the groom, with beautiful options for décor, exciting menu selections, even an onsite coordinator for the day. Many brides envision a unique experience more attuned to the particular style and traditions of the couple, in which case a site with flexibility in who is feeding you, entertaining you, and keeping your glass full might suit you better. (In which case, see our previous posts for selecting your own caterers and rental companies.)

Whatever your preference, there are a plethora of providers capable of pulling off a poppin’ party. Visiting with them in advance and asking the right questions will take your long list from a mish-mash of Maybes to one drop-dead, devastatingly dream Definitely Yes.