Reception Ideas

Questions to ask the vendor!

Im newly engaged! YAY! 
I'm going to be visiting two vendors this weekend to see if I like any of them to have my ceremony AND reception at. 

What questions did you/should I ask the venue?
I have some questions to ask but I'm scared ll forget to ask some things and then have more questions later. 

Re: Questions to ask the vendor!

  • Arrival Time/ Leave time
  • congrats! I would ask what is included and if there are any extra fees.
  • Congrats! After experiencing everything we did with our DJ for the reception I would ask for references from the venue, if you can. Find out from other people you know if they have ever been to a reception there before, and if they have ask them about the food and how it looks all decorated. Also, make sure to always take another person with you when meeting ANY vendor to have an extra witness. Good Luck!
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its

    What are the start and end times?  how many can the room hold comfortablly?  What are the payment terms?

    Is ithe venue All-inclusive (ex. hotels) or DIY (ex. halls)?

    If it's AI - what does it include (most include tables and chairs and basic linens)? 
    Can you upgrade anything? 
    Do you have to use their vendors? 
    How much of the setup do they do?  Example.  my venue sets up everything.  Others will only  setup the tables, but extras like favors or candy buffets are extra. 
    What kind of  packages do they have? 
    Can you subsitute any parts of the package?

    If it's DIY-  What is included in the price?
    Can you pick any caterer or do you have to use thiers? 
    Can you bring alcohol?  If yes, are their limits to the types?
    Do you need insurance?  
    Does the time include setup and breakdown? 
    Who does the setup/breakdown?
    Is there any staff available or to you have to find your own?

    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • I just went to check out my first possible reception venue this weekend.  I brought a list of questions and things to note.
    - room capacity
    - colors in the room
    - start time / end time of event
    - could there be other events at that venue on the same day?
    - what decorations are included (flower centerpieces? votives? mirrors? head table decorations?)

    - is there an outdoor / patio area available for use during the event?
    - do they have sound / video / lighting equipment available?
    - do they have other vendors that they work with exclusively (i.e. DJ, florist, baker)?

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  • Oops, one more VERY IMPORTANT question to ask is whether the package include service charges, taxes, gratuity!  Some venues will include those fees in the package price, but others will add up to 20-30% on top of the package price, and that adds up enormously!!!!!!
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  • I think it's important to know what you want before you book a vendor. There's a bride on my local boards that found out after she booked that she can't do certain decor until after she booked the venue. Some times you won't know what you want until down the road. That's ok, just do as much research as you can and meet with as many vendors until you find the one that you are comfortable with. There's no magic number.

    One key piece of advice that I always pass on is to get everything in writing. If it's not in writing, it didn't happen. So many vendors can back out on promises if they are not in the contract. If the vendor doesn't put specifics in the contract, at least get it in an email.

    Double check the pricing when it comes to the day of, or when your final payment is due. I've heard of some vendors promising prior year pricing and then switching the pricing to current date pricing at the last minute. It could be an honest mistake, but you always want to be very careful.
    When you're born in Chicago you're blessed and you're healed the first time you walk into Wrigley Field. My Bio
  • And if you are considering a smaller guest list, ask what number still makes the room look "full."  Many places have minimums that you have to reach (or pay for), but they would look lost in that big of a space.

    Ooh and check cake cutting fees, if applicable.  That's one that can surprise you!
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