Once you have narrowed your choices for wedding reception locations down to the perfect one, it is necessary to find out the answers to many questions before the big day arrives. To avoid any surprises- pleasant or not—examples of the kind of information that you should acquire in the beginning stages of the planning below.

Questions to ask your wedding venue before or after booking

1. The Basics

  • Name of the contact individual for your reception
  • Telephone number of contact individual
  • Best time to reach the contact individual
  • What dates are available?
  • Ask if there is a minimum number of guests that have to be reserved?
  • What is the maximum number of guests that have to be reserved?
  • What is the fee per guest or total rental cost?

2. Pricing 

  • What pricing is available for a sit-down dinner?
  • What pricing is available for a buffet dinner?
  • Ask if alcohol is part of the package?
  • Is there a fee for cutting the cake?
  • What gratuities included?
  • Are there any additional fees?
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3. Food and Beverages

  • Is it possible to use an out of house caterer?
  • If an out of house caterer, do kitchen facilities available?
  • What is the name and address of the in house caterer?
  • If an in house caterer, what is the contact information (name and telephone number) for the person in charge of the planning?
  • Can substitutions be made on the menu?
  • Is there a separate fee for the cake, and if so, what is your pricing range?
  • Are there any restrictions on serving alcohol?
  • Do you have a current license to serve alcohol at this location?
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4. Parking

  • Are specific parking spaces reserved for the wedding party?
  • How many parking spaces are available for the wedding reception?
  • Will a valet be on duty for the wedding reception?
  • Is there an additional cost for parking services?

5. Entertainment

  • Is there a dance floor?
  • Are there in-house bands?
  • Is it possible to use an out-of-house band?
  • Are the band and dance floor included in the quoted fee?
  • Are there any restrictions on the type of music?

6. Other

  • How many servers to guests are there?
  • The amount of time will be set aside for the reception?
  • Are rice tossing, rose petal tossing, and similar practices allowed?
  • What type of table and room decorations will be available?
  • Can additional decorations be set up?
  • Are rooms available for changing?
  • What kind of restroom facilities will be available?
  • Will a maid be available for the restroom?
  • Are there handicap options in the venue?
  • Are there any reception favors?
  • When is the final headcount needed- how many days or weeks in advance?
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7. Payment Options 

  • What type of deposit is required?
  • What kind of payment will you accept- personal check, certified bank check, or credit card?
  • What type of payment plan or policy is available?
  • When is the final payment due?
  • What is the procedure for cancellations?


8. Reputation and Liability Insurance

  • How many years has the facility been in business?
  • How often does the facility provide services for a wedding reception?
  • Is the facility entirely covered with liability insurance?
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