Not all reception venues can fulfill the needs of an Indian wedding. Couples may need special privileges to hire an off-site caterer, or just need larger event space to cater to their large guest list. Read on and find every question you need to ask at a potential Indian wedding reception venue.THE VENUE
- What is the maximum seated capacity at the venue?
- Does the layout of the room work for your setup (buffet, dance floor, etc.)?
- Is there a bridal suite available for you to freshen up?
- Where will guests enter from and is there an area to greet them and set up your guestbook table?
- Is there a separate cocktail room?
- Is there a room or area for family pictures?
- Is there a coat room?
- Is there handicap access?
- If your reception is taking place outdoors, what is the backup plan in case of rain?
Envision your wedding reception set up in the banquet hall and go through the layout in detail. Is there space for everything you want to incorporate? Ask for a tour of the entire facility, not just the reception area.THE DATE
- Is your desired date available?
- Will there by other events booked on the same day? If so, what rooms will they occupy?
- How many hours will be available for your reception?
If there will potentially be other events at the same time, ask to see the areas where they will be held and ask about any noise concerns.THE DÉCOR
- Are there pictures available of the venue set up for previous weddings?
- Can you stop by before an upcoming wedding to view the setup?
- Will the venue provide any decorations or supplies (like votive candles, music equipment or seat covers)?
- Will you be able to bring in your own decorations?
- What are the limitations on decorations you can bring?
- When can vendors come in to set up and deliver items?
- Will there by any remodeling before your wedding day?
Ask yourself what changes you will need to make to the hall for it to flow with your wedding theme. Talk these over with the banquet hall manager in detail so you can find out about any restrictions.THE COST
- What is the total rental fee and what does this price include?
- Are there discounts for certain days and times?
- What is the deposit amount and when is it due? When is the balance due?
- Is the deposit refundable and what is the cancellation policy?
- What are the overtime charges?
- Are there any additional fees?
Many banquet halls will have wedding day packages which will suit your budget. Keep in mind that there may be numerous hidden costs that are not written out on paper. Some examples are cake cutting fees, linen and glassware rentals, corking fees, gratuity etc. Have the management discuss all fees with you in advance so you can arrive at a final cost that is within your budget.FOOD AND DRINK
- Does the facility allow outside catering?
- If you will be using the venue’s food service, when can you set up a tasting?
- Does the facility provide the alcohol and bar service? Can you bring your own?
- What are the various drink packages?
- Can you create a signature drink?
- Will bartenders be part of the package or will you need to hire them separately?
- How many wait staff members will be assigned to the reception?
Food and drinks can make or break a wedding reception! Ask about any restrictions for outside catering and any licenses the caterer must have before serving food at the venue. Many venues will also have a list of pre-approved Indian caterers for you to choose from. Bringing in your own alcohol will always be more cost-effective, so ask if this is an option and what quantity they recommend.PARKING
- Is valet parking available and what are the costs?
- Is there a separate parking area for the facility or is it shared?
- Are there any parking fees for guests?
Walk through the parking area to ensure that it is well-kept and maintained as this is where the first impression will begin for your guests. Will the parking area pose a problem if it rains?WEDDING COORDINATOR
- Does the venue provide a wedding coordinator to help you with the planning?
- Who will be your contact person on the day of the wedding? When can you meet them?
If you will not be hiring your own wedding planner, you will need to meet with the venue’s coordinator in advance and become comfortable with him/her. Also introduce the coordinator to your parents or whoever will be helping you most with the wedding reception.ACCOMMODATIONS
- If the venue is a hotel, do they provide discounted rooms for your overnight guests?
- Is overnight accommodation provided for the bride and groom?
Most hotels will offer group discounts for weddings and the wedding reception hotel may be the perfect place for out of town guests to stay. Find out their program in advance so you can send this information to guests with the invitation, or let them know through your wedding website.RESTRICTIONS
Are there any restrictions in using the facility?
- Lighting candles
- Noise levels
Many facilities will have certain restrictions and some can get tricky with Indian wedding receptions. If they have not had a number of Indian receptions in the past, walk them through a potential schedule to see if any issues may arise on the night of the reception. [Article thumbnail photo by Photography by Leah]