Location – Location – Location

Advice: What You Should Know


Finding a location can be the most stressful first step in creating a great reception. The venue will typically dictate and delegate your budget, menu and the amount of people that you can have at your event. Understanding up-front what each venue offers will save you time in making a wise decision. Here are some things to think about before you sign on that dotted line.


Indoor venues can be very misleading. The best advice I can give you is to do your homework. You may really love a certain location but there may be hurdles that could cause an increase in your budget as well as unnecessary headaches. How clean is the Venue? Floor, walls and ceiling? Some questions you may want to ask are: Are there time restrictions? Occupancy? How many people will your venue hold sitting/served dinner style or sitting/standing cocktail style? How early can vendors set up? Do you have an ample kitchen for the caterer? Refrigeration? Commercial oven? Is there a place to store/clean china, flatware and glassware? Do you have proper lighting and electrical needs for the band/DJ? Do you provide audio/video? What time can the rental company drop off and what time/day do they need to pick up? What kind and how many chairs and tables are provided with the venue? What size are the tables and will the chairs work in your design?

Outdoor venues can equally pose as many if not more problems. Is the land flat? What size tent can be placed on the property? How clean is the tent? Is there proper power and whom do we call if we blow a fuse? Is it easy for guests to get to the site?  What are the rest room facilities like? Is the shelter properly lit? Have you taken into consideration which way the wind blows and the sun sets? Will you be in need of a dance floor? I recommend adding one on concrete or pavers. Your legs will thank me.  Will you need an auxiliary tent for your caterer? Note: In Virginia, Miss Utility needs to be called so they can make sure there aren’t any utilities in the way of staking your tent. Tent extras? Lights, fans, heaters, sides, liners, pole covers… can and will add thousands to the budget and keep in mind if the tent is set up on asphalt or a deck the rental company will most likely use unattractive water barrels.

No Hidden Costs We as a catering and event company believe in being upfront and recommend working backwards. What does that mean? Before creating a menu we will sit down with you and CAD out your location. This way we will be able to work out the exact expenses, tables, linens, centerpieces, staging, lighting etc. We will then talk about china, flatware and glassware. Nowadays you may have the stars, moon and sun.  Next on the agenda will be setup and breakdown. As most venues will come with tables and chairs, some venues will set up and some won’t as staffing at these locations are typically limited. Keep in mind that certain venues will work better than others as you start working toward your menu. Some are better for a social/cocktail station others are more suited for a served or buffet dinner. Some venues will tell you they can handle X amount of people but have not taken into consideration food tables, bars, and dance floor… All these details are part of the budget and need to be worked out prior to creating a menu. You may find that after this process, there may be a few more dollars for some extras.

Example of a CAD Layout


One response to this post.

  1. Good advice J-Bo =)
    Thanks for giving future brides a glimpse into the many, MANY details of planning a wedding!
    Godspeed & Carpe Diem!


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