Wedding Receptions
Emma Margeaux Bride Online Columnist

Top Ten Tips and Tricks for Choosing Your Reception Venue

There are limitless possibilities when it comes to selecting your wedding reception venue. Regardless of whether you choose to have a traditional or modern wedding, pick a reception venue that will suit the formality, theme and ambience of your wedding.

(Courtesy flickr.com)

1. Experience is Everything, So Listen Up

Past brides are a wealth of information. If you know anyone who has gotten married recently, ask them for recommendations and suggestions. They'll have first hand experience of service, facilities, and issues to look out for.

2. First in, Best Dressed

During peak wedding seasons, reception venues are in high demand and can often book up very quickly. Make sure you have enough time prior to the wedding date to research and book your venue. 

3. Timing is Everything

Try to avoid booking your wedding close to any major events. Around particularly busy periods such as the Grand Final Weekend, prices tend to skyrocket- not only at reception venues, but hotels, restaurants, bars, and general attractions. Also, you'll have to deal with increased crowds (who are prone to get rowdy around these sorts of periods).

4. Inquire About Other Weddings

Always ask your reception venue if they hold more than one reception on any given day. Ensure that if another reception is booked before yours, the area will be spick and span for your event. If you're booked before another event, make certain that you won't be rushed out of the venue soon as your booked time concludes. In this instance, ask what happens if your wedding does run overtime and if there are any fees that might be involved.

5. Consider Time Constraints

Bear in mind that you'll need time to set up for the reception (depending on how elaborate your decorations are). Make sure you allocate enough time to get everything ready and set up, as well as a bit of time to relax before your guests arrive.

6. Think Logistically

Ensure that the venue is set with enough room for miscellanous events, such as  cutting the cake and the first dance. Be specific with your questions regarding your needs and capacity: a room that fits 200 for cocktails might not be big enough for a 200 person sit-down dinner and dancing, for example, so always be sure to ask.

7. Cash in Hand

Are there any hidden costs? Some venues, for example, charge extra for linens. Rather take the time to ask questions and be overly precautious than risk of potentially spending thousands of dollars because you didnt want to seem like a bridezilla.

8. Read the Fine Print

Find out how much the deposit is to secure the venue and ask about their cancellation policies. Will you receive your deposit back if you cancel? Will there be any fees involved?

9. Celebrating With Song

Most weddings include dancing, so you will want to ask your reception venue if there are any restrictions on music. There might be noise restrictions you need to be aware of. Also, find out if there will be enough electrical outlets for your musicians or DJ.

10. Contractual Obligations

Always make sure you what you've discussed is written up in a contract. Take the time to review the contract before you sign absolutely anything!

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