Wedding Reception Venues

by The Wedding Professor

in Selecting Wedding Vendors,Wedding Planning Advice,Wedding Reception Venues

Finding the perfect venue can be a make it or break it moment in the wedding planning process because your reception space sets the stage for the entire affair. Choosing a venue is undoubtedly an emotional experience, but you can’t leave logic by the wayside when making your decision. Whether you’re looking for a ceremony venue and reception venue combined or just a reception venue, you need to know that everyone from the owners and the managers to the bartenders and the clean-up staff understand and are prepared to make your wedding vision a reality.

Unless you’ve absolutely, positively fallen in love with a particular reception venue, look for potential wedding ceremony and reception spaces with that vision in mind. A reception venue can only do so much to conform to your idea of the perfect wedding – an on-site event designer can order linens in a particular color and adjust certain elements of the lighting, but it’s very, very unlikely that he or she would agree to paint the walls or lay down temporary carpeting to conform to your color scheme. In other words, there’s a lot a bride can reasonably ask a reception venue to do – and venues are usually happy to oblige for a price – but some requests should be considered over the top.

Emotion can guide you as you begin the search for the reception venue of your dreams. Once you’ve found two or three or more that feel right, it’s time to turn to logic. It’s easy to get starry-eyed when a site owner is telling you how beautiful of a bride you’ll be and taking you on a whirlwind tour of cocktail hour options, but never forget that special event venues are businesses like any other, which means that their chief goal is not to bring your dreams to life, but rather to make money.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re getting married at a private estate, a banquet hall, a country club, a hotel, or some less traditional wedding venue – you must take control of the details of your wedding reception and make sure that everything you want is listed in your reception venue contract. No detail should be considered too small to include in your contract – if you want your napkins folded like swans or a specific type of lettuce in your salad, list it. You are paying for your chosen space, décor, linens, tableware, lighting, food, beverages, and event staff… not to mention the use of other rooms like a dressing area and the ability to take photographs throughout the venue, extras like champagne at the head table, and more.

Be precise and unambiguous as much as possible when including items, colors, arrangements, rooms, and times in your wedding reception venue contract. Remember that the majority of your wedding budget will likely be devoted to your wedding reception, so read carefully – fine print and all – before putting your signature on anything.

Some reception venues will provide you with a Banquet Event Order in addition to your contract, and you should make a point of reading this well in advance of the wedding. The BEO will list every detail for the set-up in every room you’re using, for the food that will be served, the décor, etc. because it serves as a blueprint for the staff that will be working at your reception.

When renting out a space for an event, it is important to ensure that both parties to the agreement understand all of their obligations and rights with respect to the use of the space.  What kind of activities will be permitted, who will be responsible for damage to the property, and the dates, times and fees associated are all key elements of such an arrangement.  Once these terms are settled and agreed upon in advance and in writing, the parties are substantially more likely to enjoy a hassle-free event planning process.

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