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Choosing A Wedding Reception Location

22 Questions to Ask To Get The Most for Your Money

You're engaged!! Now what?!

After the dust settles and the visions of your perfect wedding start popping into your head, there is one major task left to do: PLAN!!

Weddings are a unique way to describe you and your partner's personality and to show your family and friends your love for each other. However, weddings can take up tremendous amounts of time and money, and if you are not prepared you may be in for a big surprise.

By following this checklist and doing your research wedding planning can be fun and stress free!

First things first. Know your budget. Having a budget for your wedding will ensure that you will be able to cover the necessary costs for your special day but also the little details to make your wedding day extra special. Just because you do not have a vast budget does not mean you cannot have an elegant wedding. It means taking the extra time to do the research on the vendors in your area.

Becoming knowledgeable around the services you need for your wedding before even stepping foot in a business will help you understand where negotiations are acceptable and what some venues include for a certain price while others may not. If you are not familiar with venue pricing in your area you may be overwhelmed by a bill full of add-ons and hidden fees unaccounted for in your budget.

Here is a check list to look over while you are visiting a venue for your wedding and/or reception.

  • What does your guest list look like? This will help determine space needed to comfortably accommodate your guests and help determine your budget a little better.
  • What is the minimum and maximum capacity of the venue? Will there be a minimum number of guests you must pay for if your guest list does not meet their requirements? Most venues during "peak season" will have this. Also, is the venue going to fit your numbers accordingly and comfortably?
  • Does the venue have any site fees and how much? Does the site fee go towards your overall bill for the venue or is it just to reserve your date?
  • How many hours are included in the rental of the venue? Is this enough time so you don't feel rushed through your reception?
  • What kind of a deposit is required?
    • How much and when is it due by?
    • Does the deposit apply towards your final bill?
    • What does it cover?
    • Does this guarantee that your date is reserved for you?
  • How far in advance does the bill need to be paid in full?
  • Is a gratuity for the staff required? Some places may leave this up to your discretion.
  • Is there an on-site wedding coordinator provided by the venue to assist with the planning process as well as the wedding day coordinating?
    • Is this complementary or is there a nominal charge for this?
  • Am I able to have both my wedding ceremony and reception here and is there an extra charge for this option?
  • Are the chairs for the ceremony included or is there an extra charge to have these? How much per chair is it?
  • Does the venue charge on a per person basis and/or is there a minimum number of people for the rental?
  • If I invite children to my wedding are there children's plates available and is the pricing different?
  • Does the venue provide on-site/in-house catering or do I have to find my own caterer?
    • If so, are there different menus to choose from as well as upgrade options available for the menu and/or appetizers?
    • Is this for a traditional "sit down" dinner or a buffet style dinner?
  • Are the tables, chairs, linens, china, silverware and proper glassware an additional cost to use through the venue. Is it included? Do I need to go through a rental company for this?
  • Does the venue have a liquor license or do you bring your own liquor?
    • Does this allow you to customize the bar how you want (i.e. cash bar or host bar?)
    • Does the bar close at a certain time?
    • Do you pay for an allotted time the bar is open for?
  • Is there a minimum you must spend on the bar depending on the size of your party?
  • Are there packages available to customize the bar, if so what liquor is included? Is there an option to upgrade?
    • Do you determine this price on a per person basis?
    • Are there bartenders and wait staff available for the night?
  • Is there a professional Disc Jockey available through the venue?
    • How long is he/she available during the reception (start to finish or a certain number of hours?)
    • If not included, how much per hour?
  • If my reception goes past the allotted time for the rental, is there an extra charge per hour?
  • Are there any services provided by the venue or do I have to find other vendors elsewhere?
    • i.e. cake, flowers, photographer, officiants, wedding coordinators, videographer
  • Are there any cake cutting fees or is this complementary? If yes, how much per person?
  • Are there any other company fees/service charges that are assessed to the bill?
  • Any clean up fees assessed to the bill?

Keep in mind that although venues may not provide certain vendors "in house" they may work closely with vendors in the area who are familiar with the venue and have done events there. Sometimes these vendors will also work with their pricing for you.

Remember, weddings can take up an incredible amount of time and money, but as long as you keep up with your research and ASK these questions, you will be able to have the wedding of your dreams!

Click here for Crystal Rose Wedding Reception venues (5 locations)

Wacky Groomsmen
Bride from Above Wacky Groomsmen Green and White Wedding Cake Bride and Groom at Highlands Ranch
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