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Where Should I Hold My Reception?








Multipurpose Room or Banquet Hall?

Thinking about planning and event but need a location for your reception? Choosing a reception venue is a high priority task that can be fun, exciting and at times challenging.

The reception venue is the central location in which your guests will come together for festivities. There are several factors to consider when selecting a reception venue. The first thing one must consider is budget. You must consider the number of guests, location, special accommodations for your guests if any, price, availability, and proximity from the ceremony site if any.

There are two types of reception venues to consider. A Multipurpose Room is designed to accommodate various types and sizes of events. This type of venue charges a room rental fee. However, you are entirely responsible for providing tables, chairs, linens, food, décor etc. Some examples of multipurpose rooms would be clubs, halls, community rooms, museums, movie theatres, etc.

The other type of reception venue would be a Reception hall, or Banquet hall. This type of venue is also designed to accommodate various types and sizes of events. The difference is that these establishments charge a per person fee which not only includes the facility, but the entire set up from décor, food, chairs, tables, linen food, bar package options etc. In addition to the price per person fee, you will also be responsible for a tax and gratuity fee added to your bill and you must guarantee a certain number of guests in attendance. Some examples of reception or banquet halls would be hotels, restaurants, chartered yachts, banquet halls etc. In some cases, you are not permitted to use your own caterer. You must use the establishments caterer and or menu selection.

Depending on the nature of your event, here are some things to consider when choosing a reception venue. Some items listed may or not be applicable.
FACILITY

• Can the facility and or banquet/ multipurpose room in question comfortably accommodate the event size and anticipated number of guests for your event?

• Is the facility handicap accessible?

• Is the venue climate controlled such as heating or air conditioning?

• Is there a room available for the honoree(s) to use during the reception to change clothes or just freshen up?

• Is there an entrance way for the for the honoree(s) to use as a grand entrance inside the reception?

• Does your facility accommodate a ceremony in the venue? If so, how and where will it be?

• Is there and additional cost for setting up the ceremony seating? If so, how much?

DATE

• What dates are available?

• Will you have exclusive use of the venue on your selected date or are any other events or weddings booked for that day.

DECOR

• If you haven’t seen it already, ask to see pictures of the facility as it would be set up for an event or wedding.

• Can you make changes to the venue room to accommodate the theme and or décor of your event?

• How far in advance are you allowed to decorate your venue space if applicable?

• Make sure that if there are certain decorations that you see now and like, that they will still be available on your event or wedding wedding date.

• Will there be any construction near or on the day of the event? You don't want construction going on during your reception.

HOURS

• Some receptions are anywhere from 4 to 5 hours in length. Inquire about how many hours will be allotted for your reception

• In some cases, there may be an additional charge for additional hours beyond the ending time of your reception

HOW MUCH

• What is the entire cost of the rental fee and what is included?

• What is the amount of the required deposit and when is the balance in full due?

• Is the deposit refundable?

• Do you have any decorating or wedding packages? Is so, how much?

EXTRA CHARGES

• In the case of multipurpose room venues, are tables and chairs included or do they have to be rented? If so, what is the charge?

• What is the rental costs of linens and glassware etc. if not included?

• Is there a cake cutting or corking fee?

FOOD

• If the venue is providing food, make an appointment to have a food sampling if possible. Inquire about alternative menu choices. Some venues may charge a food tasting fee per person

• If you choose a location that requires an outside caterer, ask if you’re required to choose from their approved list or can you choose any caterer?

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES/BAR SERVICE

• Does the facility provide the alcohol and bar service or do you bring your own alcohol?

• Do they supply the bartenders or do you hire them?

• Are there any restrictions about the type or quantity of alcohol to be served?

• Do they require a cash bar or is an open bar an option?

• Ask about their liability insurance and if it is sufficient for your size event.

DANCING/MUSIC

• Make sure the dance floor is big enough to accommodate your guests.

• Ask the facility manager to show you where the band or DJ would set up their equipment.

• Make sure the facility can accommodate them adequately.

PARKING

• Is there ample guest parking?

• Is there a parking valet or attendant available? If so how much per each attendant per hour?

• Are there any events (i.e. festivals, parades, sporting events) that will make parking difficult for your guests?

RESTRICTIONS

• Due to some liquor law restrictions, ask your reception venue if you can give wine or other alcohol as favors. This may not be allowed in some cases

• Are there any restrictions in regards to using the facility in regards to candles, rose petals, smoking alcohol etc.

GUEST ACCOMODATIONS

• Ask if the facility has overnight accommodations for your out-of-town guests.
When choosing a reception venue, always remember you must consider what are the most cost effective options that bests suits your needs, take in to consideration what is or is not included with the reception venue rental and the formality and theme of your event.



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About the Author

Enid Miriam, Affordable Party Planning
P.O. Box 3518
Teaneck, NJ 07666
201-494 6981

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