Venues - what to ask...

The following questions should help you find the reception hall that is right for you. The way the hall representative answers these questions will reveal much about his or her attitude toward service and meeting the needs of the client.

1. What services (e.g., waiters, bartenders, coat-check, parking, clean-up, catering) are included in the fee?

2. Is there any chance we'll be moved to another room? If there is a chance we'll be 'bumped' (moved at the last minute), when will we be notified of any change?

3. How long in advance can the wedding decorators arrive?

4. Are there any restrictions as to the type of wedding decorations or how they can be put up (e.g., no tape on the walls)?

5. What time can we or members of our party begin to arrive? By what time must we leave?

6. What are the hours of service for the bar?

7. Are the hours different for guests who are residents at the venue? (if a Hotel)

8. How will wine and champagne be served (bottles placed on tables, or serving-staff walking with bottles)?

9. What kinds of seating arrangements are available?

10. What is the deadline for the final count of guests?

11. Is there flexibility around menu choices, changes to the menu, and special orders for guests with restricted diets?

12. What table decorations (floral arrangements, types of tablecloths, napkins, cutlery, favours) are standard? What are you willing to provide?

13. What is the total cost, including gratuities?

14. What is the payment schedule? (How much is the deposit, and when is it due? When is the balance due?)

15. What is the method of payment (cash, personal cheque, credit card)?