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18 Reception Site Questions to Ask Before Committing

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What Questions Should You Ask Site Managers

9 - 12 Months
Visit & Reserve Wedding & Reception Sites

Find your location fast. Your choice will define your wedding style and dictate most of your planning decisions. Try to book at least a year in advance for the most popular places, a year and a half (or even two years) is not too early. Also, make sure you have a good idea of the headcount before you begin looking; a site for fifty is completely different from one to five hundred. If your caterer comes with your reception site, make sure you interview them before you make any final decisions. When to start looking at reception space

Top 18 Questions To Ask Reception Site Managers

1. Is the site available on your date (or a date acceptable to you?) and are there any events scheduled before your event? 
2. How many hours will you have the site? Are there overtime fees and how will it be calculated?
3. Are outside vendors (caterers, florists, etc.) allowed or must you use in-house staff? (Determine if food service is included in your locations contract)
4. Does the site have a liquor license? Can you BYOA 
5. Can you see sample floor plans and/or visit when the room is set up for a wedding? Where does the band usually set up, buffet, and so on?
6. What’s the staff-guest ratio? (Use your common sense here - one or two waitstaff can’t manage a wedding of 200 guests)

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7. How many people will space comfortably hold ( not just official capacity, which may not consider space for tables, musical equipment, and such?)
8. What will/can the facility provide?
  • Cooking facilities
  • Tables, chairs
  • Linens, dinnerware
  • Dance floor, tent
  • Additional lighting
9. Does the room have adequate outlets (and power) for food-preparation equipment, lighting, and audio needs?
10. Is there adequate lighting? Who will control the lighting during the reception?
11. Are there any restrictions or rules about entertainment, decorations, and such? What about the dress code?
12. Are the bathrooms clean? Are there attendants? Do you need to tip them?
13. Is there ample parking? Are there attendants (and do you need to tip them)?
14. Will there be other weddings on the same day or at the same time?
15. Does the site have liability insurance?
16. Will the manager be present to oversee your reception to the end? You may need to hire a day-of coordinator. 
17. Ask yourself: Is the manager flexible and willing to accommodate you?
18. If necessary, is there good security (and do you need to tip security people, or vent bring them in yourselves)?
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Updated: January 12, 2022

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