Planning Your Wedding Reception
In choosing a site for your reception, you should start looking early, at least 10 months before the wedding, because popular locations book up early. If you wait too long, you''ll either be shut out from the site you want, or you''ll be forced to pay top dollar. Before shopping, though, finalize the number of guests as best you can. Most places are very specific about the number they can hold due to fire safety laws, building codes, and profitability reasons. If you select a site and then your numbers change, you may lose both your site and your deposit.
When interviewing sites, ask the following questions:
- Prices -- do they change depending on the time of day and season?
- How many people can the site hold?
- What services, such as catering, does the site offer?
- What hours will it be available to your party?
- Will there be another party taking place at the same time?
- How are the parking arrangements and accessibility?
- How far in advance do they book?
- Do they require a deposit?
- What happens to your deposit if either side has to cancel?
- Will you be locked into a price or will you have to pay more if the price goes up before the event?
- Are there any discounts for paying up front? (It’s not a good idea to pay the total up front, always hold some back until the day of the event to make sure they fulfill their end of the bargain.)
- Will your date and time be guaranteed?
- What additional charges might there be that are not included in the initial charge?
When it comes to both the ceremony and the reception, make sure the person you are dealing with puts the details in writing. That person might not be there on the day of the wedding.
Items to put in writing might include the date and hours the room will be available; staffing services; the type of food and the way it will be served; the hours the bar will be open; the type of glasses drinks are served in and dishes food is served in; any other charges, such as a corkage charge for bringing in liquor not bought on the premises; the exact room to be used and the look of the room; and whether the quoted price includes tax and tip.
- Exact time and date for services to be provided.
- Total amount due and the breakdown of the fee schedule
- Date remaining total is due
- Date and amount of initial deposit is to be paid
- List of services that each vendor is going to be provided
- Any additional unseen charges which may be added (i.e., late fees)
- Any other services or fees not listed
- Cancellation policies