Selecting your wedding reception location is one of the first tasks you will need to do as a new bride-to-be. Where do you want to have your reception? Plantations, museums, state parks, historic mansions, private clubs, church fellowship halls, gardens, beaches and backyards are but only a few options.

Compile a list of all the different wedding and event venues in your geographic area. Call caterers, florists and wedding cake bakers and ask them for a list of their favorite venues.

Become an event venue detective.

Try to find out the good points and the not so good points of each venue before you sign a contract. Not all venues are created equal! Some venues have been designed or redesigned to function beautifully, while others that might be simply beautiful, are in fact logistical nightmares for wedding receptions.

Each venue will dictate to a certain extent what you will or will not be able to do at that site. While most sites lend themselves to a variety of possible options of what is feasible, some of these options can get quite expensive. If the proposed wedding reception site is not already equipped with the infrastructure and equipment, you might have to rent or at least bring in a big long list of equipment to make the reception possible.

Crunch the numbers! If you are working with a limited budget, you will need to know up front how much each venue is going to cost to achieve what you want. While it is possible to rent most anything...if you are not careful your rental bill could exceed every other bill of your wedding. I have seen brides with rental bills that could buy a small home!

When you call on the venues ask them the following questions:

1. How many people will the site accommodate in each room for a seated dinner? A stand up reception? Is the space heated/air conditioned? Is there a bride's sitting room? How many bathrooms are there?

2. What are the dimensions of the rooms?

3. How many tables and chairs are available for use at the venue?

4. Is there a charge to use the tables and chairs?

5. What do the tables and chairs look like?

6. Does the venue provide tablecloths? Chair covers? Is there an additional charge?

7. Will the venue set the tables and chairs up for you? Will they create the diagram or will you have to provide it to them?

8. Does the venue provide an inventory sheet on the number, sizes of items available for your use? China, silverware, wine glasses, pitchers, bread baskets, etc?

9. What is available for use in the kitchen? Are there ovens, refrigerators, freezers, prep areas, a dish washer, coffee machines, etc?

10. What are the rules of the venue? Are you allowed to dance, drink, or have music after 10 pm? Does the venue let you come in a day in advance to set up? Will anyone else be using the space on the same day as you? How much time is allotted between receptions? How much does it cost to rent the site for the whole day, two days, three days?

These are the type of questions you need to consider carefully as you research the possible wedding reception sites.

© 2006 Kathi Dameron, Kathi Dameron and Associates

Note To Publishers: You are invited to share this article through your ezine, website or print publication provided you publish this article in its entirety and include the copyright statement, bio information, active website links and contact information for Kathi Dameron and Associates as provided in the resource section at the bottom of the article.