Questions to Ask a Reception Location


The following is a modification of the "Questions to Ask Caterers" worksheet as written by Frances King of Moosetta’s Creative Caterers and the readers of Bliss! Weddings. It has been modified to reflect the questions necessary to ask reception locations for a successful event.


  1. How long have you been in business, and how many events have you hosted?
  2. Have you handled events of my type and size before?
  3. What is the capacity of your room(s)?
  4. What makes you better or different than another reception location?
  5. What are the reasons you think we should hire you?
  6. Do you have all the necessary licenses and health permits?
  7. Are you properly insured?
  8. Do you allow outside Caterers?
    If so, is the kitchen fully equipped?
  9. If the reception location is also the caterer:
    Do you provide tasting consultations/food tastings?
  10. Is there a fee for such tastings?
  11. How many people can I bring along with me to the tasting?
  12. What is the staff to guest ratio?
  13. What is the staff dress code? Formal or casual?
  14. If buffet style is offered, are servers provided or will it be self-serve?
  15. Is there an extra charge for buffet servers? If so, how much?
  16. Do you have a liquor license?
  17. Is there an extra charge for bartenders? If so, how much?
  18. Who is supplying the liquor, water, ice, etc.?
  19. Do you provide cake cutting/serving service? Is it part of the basic package? If not, what is the additional cost?
  20. Do you provide the wedding cake, or should I hire an outside baker?
  21. If you provide the cake, is there an extra charge? If so, how much?
  22. Is the champagne toasting service included or is that an extra charge? If an extra charge, how much?
  23. Does the headcount include wedding professionals at the event (photographers, DJs, etc.)?
  24. Are there special prices for feeding our DJ, band, photographer and other wedding professionals?
  25. Are there special prices for children?
  26. Is there a dance floor and, if so, how many people can it handle?
  27. May our DJ or other professional(s) have access to your electrical outlets? Are there enough?
  28. Is a deposit required? If so, how much?
  29. When is the deposit due to reserve the room?
  30. When is the final headcount due?
  31. May I make partial payments?
  32. When is the final payment due?
  33. Is gratuity included in the price?
  34. If not, what is the percentage of the service charge?
  35. What percentage are the taxes?
  36. What is the overtime charge?
  37. Is the set-up and clean up included in the final price?
  38. What are the costs for alcohol and beverages?
  39. Do you provide linens, tables, chairs, china, glassware, silverware, serving accessories, etc.?
  40. What equipment do you provide?
  41. Do you have Audio/Visual Equipment?
  42. Are the above items included in the basic price or are they extra? If extra, how much?
  43. Do you provide rentals, or are they from another company?
  44. Is there adequate parking?
  45. Is there a charge for parking? If so, how much?
  46. Do you offer valet parking? If so, how much?
  47. Do you allow outside Valet companies?
  48. Is there a coat checkroom? Is staff available for the room?
    If so, what are the fees associated with that service if not already included in the basic charge?
  49. Are there any additional charges not mentioned?
  50. Do you provide a written contract and guarantee?
  51. What are the refunds/cancellation terms?
  52. What is your leftover policy?
  53. How far is your facility from our ceremony location?
  54. How far is your facility from our guests’ hotels?
  55. If the reception location is a hotel:
    Do the bride and groom receive a bridal suite included in the package?
    Are discounts available to our guests for their accommodations? If so, how much is the discount and/or how much are the rooms?
  56. How many hours will we have the room? Beginning time/end time?
  57. How long before the event can we have access to the room so that we may prepare it?
  58. Are there any other events taking place at the same time as ours?
  59. A question to ask yourself: Has the facility addressed your personal concerns satisfactorily?



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