6 things to look for when choosing a wedding reception venue

November 14, 2014

Your choice of venue sets the tone for your wedding reception, so it's important to choose the right one. Look at these six factors when selecting your reception venue.

6 things to look for when choosing a wedding reception venue

1. Ample parking

Your guest list, wedding party and vendors dictate the number of parking spaces you need at your reception venue. Once you've calculated the number of spaces you need, make sure the venue has a certain amount of available spots in the parking lot so none of your guests are forced to park further away.

2. Decorating restrictions and guidelines

Find out whether you're permitted to decorate the space as you see fit. Are you allowed to move furniture around, or must you leave everything as is? You'll need to know this if you plan to decorate the venue to coordinate with a particular theme or colour scheme.

3. Facilities for vendors

This is one of the most important factors to consider because your vendors can only do their job if they have what they need. For example, your caterer will need a kitchen connected to the venue to prepare the food. Also, consider any special sound system equipment your DJ or band would need.

4. Adequate number of bathrooms

A good rule of thumb is to have at least four bathroom stalls available for every 100 guests in attendance at your reception. If there are other events going on at the same time, find out if your guests are expected to share the restrooms with everyone else in the building. A bathroom shortage is never a good thing, especially at your wedding reception.

5. Enough time to set up and break down

Typically, when you book an event venue, you get a couple of hours on each end for your vendors to set up and break down your reception. Before you reserve the space, find out exactly how much time is included on each end.

6. Table and linen rentals

Ask if the venue provides linens and table rentals for events. If not, you'll need to rent them from an outside vendor. It's crucial to know whether your venue provides them because this detail can impact your reception budget.

If you plan to wed during peak wedding season (spring and summer), make sure you begin looking at venues at least 12 to 18 months in advance. Popular venues fill up quickly, so once you find the perfect one, you certainly don't want to miss out because you waited too long to book.

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