Congratulations! You’re engaged, surrounded by friends and family in a joyous uproar. Even at the height of engagement excitement, you may feel tempted to slip into anxiety when the reality of wedding planning seeps in. Whether you’ve been mentally planning your wedding since childhood or haven’t given it a single thought until now, it is likely you will feel some level of stress. Don’t worry. The process of wedding planning doesn’t have to produce panic. In fact, to begin planning for the greatest day of your life with an informed perspective can be transformational.
What can you do to reduce stress and get informed? Let’s start from the beginning. You’ve chosen your date, you know the atmosphere you want, and now you’re visiting wedding reception venues. Consider these 10 questions to make your final wedding reception decision much smoother.
1. When is the venue available?
Is there a waiting list? Can you book in advance? This is wedding planning 101. Ensure the venue is available on your date or in your proposed date range. If you are firmly set on a date (which is absolutely okay) you may have to be flexible with your venue, especially if it’s a busy season. If the venue isn’t available during your determined wedding day, it’s no longer an option.
2. How much will the venue cost?
Consider this question wedding planning 101.2. Dig deep to discover the entire price upfront. Hidden costs can burrow inside venue curtains unless they’re brought to the light right away. To help determine the price, here are some good questions to consider: How many hours am I paying for? How much does additional time cost? How much is the deposit? Once again, these questions will probably determine whether or not the venue in question is still an option, especially if your budget isn’t flexible.
3. How many guests can the venue accommodate?
This is wedding planning 101.3. While you may not have your final guest list nailed down yet, you probably have an estimated number of guests in mind. Keep this estimate in mind as you search for a wedding reception venue. Some venues may have multiple locations available; some may only accommodate a specific wedding party size.
4. Can you also have your ceremony here?
This and the following questions may be less obvious. Do you want your ceremony close to your reception? Can you have both in the same location? If your ceremony and reception venues are in separate places, see how far apart they are on a map.
5. What’s your contingency plan?
If you’re dreaming of a stunning outdoor wedding, shoot for the stars. It will be beautiful. Be sure, though, to formulate a solid, back-up plan in case of inclement weather. It happens. Does your venue have an easily accessible indoor option? Can you request the use of a large tent? While implementing your contingency plan may never happen, it’s absolutely necessary to have one ready to go.
6. Is catering provided? Can we cater from outside sources?
Many venues are a package deal, complete with a beautiful, spacious atmosphere, decent pricing, and in-house catering services. However, if you decide that you love the atmosphere but don’t enjoy the food, check to see if the venue allows outside caterers. Some don’t.
7. What about decor? Can we bring our own?
Similar to catering, some venues provide decorations for your convenience and require the exclusive use of venue-provided decor. Once more, if you’re hoping to provide your own, double-check to ensure your venue is cool with your personal customization!
8. Is public transportation available/ easily accessible?
Do some quick research! Especially if you’re planning to provide a bar, easy access to public transportation (or other modes of transportation such as Uber or Lyft) is important. Little to no access to transportation may impact your beverage decisions for the evening.
9. Is overnight accommodation provided? If not, how close is the nearest hotel?
If you have friends or family coming in from out-of-town, finding a reception with overnight accommodations or near a hotel is extremely considerate. However, don’t underestimate your out-of-town guests; many will drive 30-45 minutes from a hotel to enjoy your wedding. In general, though, the closer the venue to overnight lodging, the better.
10. What logistics are provided?
This includes sound equipment, such as speakers and microphones. If the venue is outside, make sure you have access to the electricity you need. For example, if you desire a bright, well-lit atmosphere, be sure the venue’s electricity source can accommodate your wedding-day dreams.
Need Venue Ideas? Consult The Knot
Hopefully, those 10 questions will guide you as you book your wedding reception venue. However, they also provide a lot to think about! If you are overwhelmed after reading through the list, or if you do not know where to start looking for venues, The Knot is an incredible wedding-planning resource. The Knot will walk you through the planning process, from determining your wedding vision to creating a perfect registry. Best of all, The Knot lists local vendors, from wedding photographers, bridal salons, and DJs to florists, jewelers, and reception venues. The Knot is a trusted, helpful resource, recommended by anyone who has used it.
The Knot’s Recommendation: CityGate Grille
CityGate Grille is among the top-rated, most-recommended reception venues on The Knot. CityGate Grille exists to provide the perfect venue for the wedding of your dreams, with the finest wedding amenities. An open bar, three-course dinner, coffee, custom wedding cake, and white-glove service are only a glimpse into CityGate Grille’s wedding package. We will gladly host your bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, or luncheons in the months leading up to your special day.
At CityGate Grille, we want your day to be all about you. When you book your reception with us, you will receive personalized consultations, so we know exactly what you want your day to look like. Give us a call today. We cannot wait to help you create the wedding of your dreams.