Wedding Reception Venue Checklist - Clarence House Weddings

Wedding Reception Venue Checklist

Man of my dreams? Check. Ring? Check. Date set? Check. Now, where do I go from here? Thank goodness we are in the age of the internet or I would be completely lost! What I need is a Wedding Reception Venue Checklist. As I scan the many sites available to me I suddenly feel overwhelmed. I never imagined there was so much planning that went into this. There are things I never would have even thought of. But, as I go through the checklist item by item, I realize more than ever how important each and every one of these items are.

One that really caught my eye was “security”. Now, this is not something I would have thought to consider. But, now that I think about it – it is very much an important detail. My mind wanders to movies and sitcoms where receptions have gotten out of hand. I laugh to myself as I remember scenes from Wedding Crashers or Everybody Loves Raymond. Yes, indeed, security is probably a good idea. Then, on a serious note, I remember a news story about a trend where the wedding gifts were stolen at receptions by unsuspecting brides & grooms. I need to make a note to post a guard at the gift table!

Speaking of security leads me to wonder about liability and if the venue has liability insurance. This is probably a good thing to check on. Are waivers required?

If the venue has a limo service or cab service that they work with, it would be beneficial. The last thing anyone wants is for a guest to leave the reception intoxicated and getting behind the wheel. Having a convenient service at the disposal of your guests would help ensure everyone gets home safely.

Restrooms – can you really have enough? You have to consider how many guests. And, as always, everyone knows that the line for the ladies room is at least five (5) times longer than for the men’s room. Perhaps what would help with the ladies room situation would be to have a separate powder room area, complete with full length mirrors, proper lighting, and vanity area. Now that’s the reception I would remember!

Speaking of restrooms makes my mind wander to times where I have attended venues that did not provide sufficient toiletries. It may be a good idea to check on the stock that will be provided, and possibly have a backup stash (just in case).

Seating plans at receptions have long time been a favorite of television sitcoms. And, with good reason – you almost have to think like eHarmony when deciding who to put together at a table. Otherwise, you could all end up on an episode of The Jerry Springer Show.

Catering is a very big responsibility. You may want to make sure that your menu consists of items that would also appeal to vegetarians and diabetics. Keeping in mind that some guests may have food allergies is a good idea. Special attention to the details will be appreciated by the guests.

Signage is probably a good idea to lead guests to your venue. Some venues provide this. It would be a good idea to see if they do. If so, do they put it out, or do you need to assign a couple people to take care of this for you? If the venue does not provide signage, you may want to have some made and strategically placed to ensure an easy navigation for your guests.

Parking is a key consideration. Is it adjacent to the property? Or, is it located on the neighboring lot? Is it paved, or is it gravel, grass or dirt? Is it sized sufficiently to accommodate the number of guests expected? If the parking situation is not ideal, a shuttle, party bus, or golf cart could be utilized. After all, the ladies will be wearing their dancing shoes and hiking a block on a gravel lot will not be ideal.

Having a nursery or childcare setup at the venue is a great way to ensure a good turnout for your reception. Many guests who are unable to acquire a babysitter might otherwise opt not to attend rather than bring their young children.

Everyone loves candles. They are romantic and set the mood. However, not all venues will allow open flames. I feel an episode of Seinfeld coming on… If candles are an important part of your décor, you need to check the venues policies.

Whether you are having a live band or DJ, electrical outlets will need to be sufficient. Having a backup electric source isn’t a bad idea either (just in case).

Knowing the policy on gratuities and taxes will help insure there are no hidden costs. Making sure that all details are in writing is essential. Many decisions may be discussed or written via phone, text, or email. But, making sure that all those items are included in your contract will help to ensure that all parties are in agreement and on the same page.

Having disposable cameras at each table will enable you to see the event through your guest’s eyes. Also, don’t forget those ever important party favors.

After all the fun is done, somebody has to clean it up… Does the venue provide this service? If so, what is the charge? If the venue does not take care of the cleanup, what are the venues requirements as far as to when the cleanup is to be completed by? Venues that keep tight schedules between events are less apt to be forgiving in this area.

A Wedding Reception Venue Checklist will help ensure that you have taken care of the details needed to host your very important day. It may seem a bit overwhelming at first glance, but if you take each item one by one, you realize that one item flows into the next – like a finely choreographed dance. And, once your special day is upon you – you will be able to relax and enjoy yourself.


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