Wedding reception halls: What to ask

Be sure to ask lots of questions before settling on a wedding reception venue. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Anastasiia P.)

Be sure to ask lots of questions before settling on a wedding reception venue. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Anastasiia P.)

Here's what to ask when you're looking for the right place to have a wedding reception:

Is the venue available when you want it?

Once you know a date or approximate dates, make sure any reception hall or other location is available for the time period and date you need. Be clear about what you need to do to reserve the date and location. Find out what happens if you need to cancel, including any fees.

When can you get into the venue?

It takes time to set up a wedding or reception. It's important that you know when you can access the reception hall to set up. Popular venues may schedule multiple events, leaving you a short window of time to prepare. Also, ask how much time you'll have for cleaning up.

What facilities does the hall have?

Depending on what you're planning as far as food and beverage service, be sure the reception hall has the right kind of kitchen facilities. Some locations only have a large sink and refrigerator; others have full kitchens.

Other questions to ask:

  • If you're having bar service, do you have to hire a licensed bartender?
  • Is there sufficient restroom facilities for your guests?
  • Is there a place where the wedding party can change into reception clothing?
  • What's available for a band, music system and dancing? Are there any noise limits in the area?
  • Does the venue offer tables and chairs for use?
  • Is there enough parking?
  • If other events will be going on at the same time, what kind of privacy can you expect?

What extra fees can you expect?

Ask about any extra fees. Find out if you need to provide any liability insurance. Ask what charges could be added if clean up is not done according to requirements. There could also be added charges if your event extends beyond the agreed ending time.

Angie's List can help

Consider also how Angie's List can help as you plan the details of your wedding. Members have access to local consumer reviews on wedding planners, reception halls, party equipment rental, photographers and service providers in more than 550 other categories.

For more information, see the Angie's List Guide to Wedding Planning.

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