Below are some helpful tips for choosing the venue and caterer that is right for you from April Butler, who has been the Sales & Event Manager for Celebration! Banquets & Catering for the past five years. Celebration! Banquets & Catering is an award winning company, which is part of Celebration! Cinema.
I love my job!
One big part of what I do is to play the event planner role with brides and grooms when they’re both considering Celebration! as a venue/catering option and once they’ve booked. I love my job! It is always rewarding to be able to help someone with one of the most special and important days of their life.
Not all venues are created equal…
When selecting a venue it is important to ask specific questions, but don’t forget to ask questions that are important to you, too! Some questions you might want to consider are:
• How much does the room cost and what is included with that price?
• How many people can the room hold?
• Do we have to meet a minimum with catering and bar services?
• How long will we have access to the room?
• When can we set up?
• Do we have to use specific vendors?
• Is it handicap accessible?
• Do you have restrictions on decorations?
• What is the deposit and is it refundable?
As you determine where you’d like your reception to take place, make sure to consider what is important to you. Should the room look traditional and elegant or be more unique? Is price a factor? Do you want staff to be in tuxes or more laid back? Ultimately don’t choose a place that doesn’t fit with your personality or your budget!
Don’t pick a caterer before you’ve picked a place…
Many reception venues offer exclusive in-house catering, which can make it tricky to find the place of your dreams if you already have a caterer in mind. Before you commit to a caterer make sure that they can cater at the place you like or make sure to secure a venue that doesn’t have restrictions. On the other hand, try not to get too set on a caterer – venues that offer in-house catering can really simplify things for you. In many cases you’ll only have to work with one person who will be your contact for any questions you have about the room, the food, or the bar services – and that person can also be a great resource for other wedding needs such as a photographer or a DJ.
Make sure you like the food…
Many venues will set up public or private taste tests so you can sample a variety of menu selections before making a commitment. This is one of the most important meals you’ll ever have, so be sure you attend a tasting! If your caterer doesn’t have a public tasting for you to attend, ask them to provide a private one. The food is one thing all guests will remember about your big day, so make sure to provide a memorable meal – in a good way!
The event planner at your venue makes a difference…
This may not seem that important, but you’ll be working with the person at your reception venue for the majority of the time you’re engaged – and probably more than any other vendor you choose. This person will be your go-to with questions about everything – ideas for other vendors, decorations, food, alcohol – and it won’t be fun or easy if you can’t relate to that person. Define your expectations and your vision for your big day with your event planner to make sure that they are feasible. Some ideas are just not possible to execute, but a good event planner will help you make as many of your wedding dreams as possible a reality.
So often I see brides forget to do this. Your wedding day is special, and ultimately nothing else matters but the fact that you’re marrying the love of your life. If something doesn’t go exactly according to plan, don’t sweat it. Let those you’ve hired handle things for you – that’s what you’ve hired them for! Relax and enjoy your day because it’ll fly by and be done before you know it!
For More Information
Check out Celebration! Banquets & Catering online.
Find Celebration! Banquets & Catering on Facebook
Thanks for the great article, April! As you are planning your wedding or special event, what do you look for in a venue or caterer? What does your dream venue look like? Do you have more questions for April? If so, please post your comments below! I love to hear your thoughts!
For more wedding inspiration, visit March 27 Designs.