Are you looking for the right venue for your next big event? Click here for seven helpful tips for choosing an event venue.

The day of your big celebration had finally arrived, and your eager guests burst open the doors to the event venue only to see…

A boring hall.

After weeks or months of planning, is that the first impression you want your guests to have on arrival? The truth is, a unique, breathtaking venue can completely transform the ambiance of any party, from sweet sixteens to weddings. Do you know how to choose a party location that will keep attendees talking for years to come?

We’ve created this guide to help party planners like you investigate venue options like a professional. Read on to explore our seven super tips for choosing a space that sparkles.

  1. Ask About Capacity

We know you’re eager to book your venue and secure your ideal party date. Before you begin making calls, however, we encourage you to mock up a guest list. You don’t want to book a space only to recognize it’s too big or too small for your celebration.

Some venues will list capacities and space limits on their websites. We still encourage you to speak to a representative if possible. Those figures often reflect upward limits and don’t realistically reflect the ideal capacity of your preferred event space.

  1. Find Out About Exclusive Use

If you are holding your event during a busy time of year, some of the most popular venues might double up on bookings to accommodate the maximum number of events during their peak season. Multiple events may happen at once, or they may book parties back-to-back with a quick turnaround.

There’s nothing worse than booking your dream venue only to learn that you have a “hard out” and need to vacate and clean up immediately to make room for someone else’s event! If that sounds stressful, ask if you will have “exclusive use” of the space.

If your venue is a public location, such as a garden or museum, you might also want to ask if it is open to the public during the event—unless you want random tourists in all your photos!

  1. Make Sure There’s Parking

Booking a gorgeous, remote location might be a dream come true. For example, a venue hire in this area. A fleet of honking vehicles full of disgruntled guests with no place to park can quickly spoil the ambiance, however!

Before booking your venue, ask your representative about the parking situation. If there isn’t a dedicated lot, you might want to incorporate transportation (such as a shuttle or party bus) into your event plans. If there are lots in the area, include that information in your invitations or on your event website.

  1. Ask About Rain Plans

Nobody wants to plan for rain, but if there are sprinkles on the morning of your party, you’ll be glad you did! If you’re planning an outdoor event, ask your representative if there is an indoor location to move the celebration. You might also consider hiring a tent for a weatherproof party.

If your event is indoors, you might still ask about rain plans. Does your venue offer umbrellas to help guests get from their car to the lobby? Can they give out ponchos or waterproof bags for favors?

  1. Double Check Your Deal-Breakers

Do you dream of ending the night with a fireworks show? Do you imagine using candles in your centerpieces or party decor? Is there a confetti drop in your plans?

If your heart is set on any of the above, confirm that the venue allows them before you make your deposit. Some venues have hard and fast rules about fireworks, open flames, and confetti.

Furthermore, if you’re booking certain types of venues, such as historic venues, you might want to double-check the rules regarding decor. Some spaces don’t allow you to move or change anything in the event space.

  1. Don’t Forget Catering

If you’ve found a stunning venue where you can imagine your party, you might be too swept up in the aesthetic to think about the details. Not every party venue has an on-site kitchen. Even venues with kitchens do not always offer catering, which can complicate planning.

If your event involves a meal, this should be one of the first things you ask about. Bringing in outside catering sometimes means hiring your own waitstaff and even doing your own set-up and clean-up. The venue might not have a way to heat dishes, so timing your delivery is critical.

You can avoid many headaches by choosing a venue that offers catering as part of the event package. Sometimes a menu tasting is even included in your booking fee!

  1. Venues and Vendors

Caterers are only one of the vendors you need to worry about when planning a large party or event. Have you considered where you’ll get your cake, DJ, live entertainment, master of ceremonies, favors, photographer, or linens?

Some venues work with a specific list of outside vendors and will not allow any suppliers who aren’t pre-approved. Ask about this list upfront if you have your heart set on a particular bakery or performer. It can save you heartbreak down the line.

Most of the time, however, a pre-vetted list of vendors is helpful. These companies are familiar with the venue and its strengths and challenges. A pre-approved DJ will know where the outlets are, and a pre-approved bakery will know exactly where to deliver your cake.

Hanging decorative christmas lights for a back yard party

Choose an Event Venue that Will Transform Your Celebration

Your event venue is the container that will hold every stunning, thoughtful element of your party or celebration. Thus, the right venue can transform your party, adding ambiance and character. Remember the above tips as you begin your event planning and venue booking process!

You’re one blog post away from having the most incredible day! Check out the rest of the blog for more posts that might inspire your brilliant event.

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