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Wedding reception venue checklist

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

A wedding reception venue checklist will keep the bride organized

A wedding reception venue checklist will keep the bride organized

The big day has come and gone with a beautiful ceremony, your family and loved ones surrounding you.  The party has moved to the reception and the pre-wedding jitters have dissipated.  It’s time to have fun with an abundance of eating, drinking, and getting to know one another. 

Fortunately for you, the planning involved for your wedding transferred over to your wedding reception venue.  You’re set, and the night is yours to enjoy. 

For those looking for help in planning a seamless wedding and wedding reception, here’s an extended checklist on what you may need in order to choose the proper venue and stock it with the right amenities for your guests.

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Set the Budget

It’s always good to know whether or not you can afford something before you actually have to pay for it.  A good plan of action may be to start this overall process about 9-12 months in advance of the big day in order not be overwhelmed by any last minute minutia. 

Here, we’ll take a look at a few questions you may have to answer for your checklist:

  • Will you be hiring a wedding planner?
  • Will there be a DJ there to play the latest hits?
  • Which venue, location, and amenities will you be adding?  How expensive is your perfect wedding reception venue?
  • Understand the deposit for the venue and any such insurance that may be required (in case of a rowdy crowd or drunken accidents taking place).
  • Should you cater yourself, ask for help from a catering service, or decide on a restaurant in order to assist you in the preparation and serving of food to your guests?
  • Will the venue accept added decorations, specific to your theme?
  • Will flower arrangements be included, or will it be an extra charge, on top of the venue and other items already paid?
  • How many guests will be coming?  And how many +1s will need to be added, as well?  In terms of drinks, will there be a bartending service made available?  Can you bring your own alcohol without having to incur a corkage cost on wine?
The wedding reception will be a time in which you can hang out with friends and family.  People can get to know one another over good drinks and even better food.  It’s just another special moment in time to cherish.  That being said, with your specific wedding venue picked out, there will be additional factors to discuss with your significant other.  Here are a few more items for your reception location checklist:

The Organization of the Night

  • What extra rentals or amenities may you require:  linens, chairs, tables, wedding reception decorations, and the such?
  • The all-important wedding cake, professional wedding photographer, entertainment and overall night’s program, etc.  How much will you want to spend on this?  Are there ways to skimp a little bit or are you set on the best?
  • It’s also important to know and understand certain facets of the actual venue area, such as wheel-chair accessibility, parking, the size of the dance floor, child care services, transportation to and from said venue, and other items such as these. 
  • Understand cancellation terms as well (just in case).  Do a written contract and make sure it’s in place with everything you expect out of the night. 

There can be certain instances where things don’t come together quite as planned.  Check on contingency plans for items such as the electricity going out, a rain/storm the night of the wedding reception, fewer guests showing up than expected, and other similar issues you may face that night. 

~To plan ahead and understand all the different aspects of your wedding reception venue and party will allow you to relax, drink, have fun, eat some good food, hang with your closest friends and family, and enjoy a night that you should remember for as long as you live.  It will be a dream wedding and a dream reception after for all your friends and family to enjoy.  Start early and understand what can and can’t be done at your venue.  With that in mind, have a great time and enjoy the night!


My Wedding Checklist:  Wedding Reception Checklist.

Nathania Springs:  Venue Checklist.

Above photo attributed to Jon Day


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