Choosing your wedding reception site must be handled with careful thought and deliberation. The reception site is undeniably the most important piece of the wedding planning puzzle. Before meeting with the first facility manager, consider these important factors in determining the venue that is perfect for you.
1. Consider your personal style. Today's wedding receptions are about personality and creativity. This is your once in a lifetime event and a costly one at that. Take advantage of your time in the spotlight to put together an event that really shines.
2. Where do you want to get married? In your home town? In your fiancé’s home town? In the town where you currently live? Or even on a Caribbean island? With today's jet set couples, the possibilities really are endless. Don't be afraid to consider something different or unexpected.
3. Capacity—one of the most important criteria in finding the perfect wedding venue. No matter how beautiful a place may be, if you anticipate a guest list of 300, cramming them into a facility that seats 150 will quickly turn an elegant affair into a mob of angry guests.
4. Make sure to ask if the location does more than one event a day or at a time. Dueling DJs and restricted music level does not make for a fun, party atmosphere. Besides it is your special day and with the amount of money you will be spending, it should be all about you!
Ask the site:
What is included in the wedding package? Make sure all the basics are included:
· Facility Rental?
· Food and Beverage?
· Ceremony on site?
· Set up and Break down?
Other items that may or may not be included:
· Cake? (if so, how many does it serve? Can you customize the design?)
· Flowers? (does the package include all floral, or just buffet arrangements or bouquets? Can you customize the arrangements or do they only come in standard varieties?)
· Linens? (what do they look like? How many?
· Is purchasing the wedding package a requirement? (Many facilities allow brides the option of purchasing the entire package, purchasing a partial package and eliminating specific items or foregoing the wedding package altogether.)
Determine what essential services the reception site provides and what you must contract from an outside vendor:
· Are there on-site kitchen facilities? (off-site caterers will charge extra if they have to bring their own stoves and refrigerators)
· Is there an in-house caterer or a list of preferred caterers? If so, are they the exclusive caterers, or can you provide your own?
· Does the reception site have a list of recommended vendors? (Access to a list of vendors with working relationships and knowledge of the site will prove extremely beneficial during the planning process.
· Can you hold your ceremony on site? If not, are there suitable locations nearby?
· Does the reception site provide staff such as an on-site coordinator, waiters and bartenders?
· Does the reception site provide items such as tables, chairs, plates and glasses? (remember, renting these things yourself can drive up costs)
· Does the reception site provide adequate parking space or valets? What are the costs involved?
Find as many reception sites that meet these initial criteria as you can. Then schedule appointments to tour each wedding venue and meet with them. Scheduling an appointment is important to assure you will have someone’s undivided attention. After that—it's decision-making time!
Photo and article courtesy of Michelle Martini-Brown of Paradise Gardens. Click for additional information.
Paradise Coordinators, Inc. (dba The Wed Club & The San Diego Bridal Show) is not affiliated with any companies listed on this page. Companies listing Wedding Specials and Upcoming Events are paid advertisers only. Specials and events listed are not endorsed by Paradise Coordinators, Inc. Please contact specific companies directly for any and all questions.