Wedding Reception Checklist

A wedding reception checklist is a great way to remind you of the important questions that you should ask when looking for your wedding venue.

No two reception venues are the same. They vary in size, formality and the services that is provided.

At some locations you rent an empty room and you have to transform it into a beautiful site.

Other facilities provide everything that you need for your reception.

Before checking out any venues it is wise work out the guest list. By knowing how many guests there will be, it will help determine if the site is suitable.

The following wedding reception checklist has questions that will help you to compare venues and be certain that you are getting just what you need for your wedding.

You can also download this wedding reception checklist using the link at the bottom of this page.

Picture of a wedding reception venue.

  1. How many guests can the establishment accommodate?
  2. Will there be other weddings in progress at the same time? If so how will privacy be ensured.
  3. For how many hours will you have the venue?
  4. What rooms will be available? How big are the rooms and what is the maximum number of guests each room can accommodate?
  5. What is the configuration of the rooms? A large square or rectangular open room is more usable than an L-shaped one or a room with pillars.
  6. Does the venue have a liquor license? What is the cost per drink?
  7. Can you bring your own alcohol? If you bring your own alcohol will there be a corkage fee for the wine and champagne?
  8. Is there in-house catering? Or can you bring our own caterers?
  9. If you are doing your own catering, is there a kitchen available and is it adequate? Are there dishes, pots, pans, cutlery, coffees pots and punch bowls available for your use?
  10. Is there an ice machine, and is there a charge to use the machine?
  11. Is there a rental fee? Does it include tables, chairs, linens, china, glassware, and flatware?
  12. Who does the set-up and clean-up, you or the facility?
  13. Is overtime use allowed, and if so, what is the charge?
  14. How much is the deposit and when will the balance have to be paid?
  15. Is the deposit refundable if you change your mind?
  16. What is the cancellation policy?
  17. Are there any additional fees charged, such as a fee to cut the wedding cake, security or cleaning?
  18. Can the site be used for both the ceremony and reception? If so, do both events occur in the same room or can two rooms or an outside area be used?
  19. Is there an in house florist?
  20. Will there be rooms for you and guests to sleep overnight at the venue? How much will these rooms cost?
  21. Will there be rooms for the bride and groom to change in? Can the rooms be locked when no one is there? How much will these rooms cost?
  22. Do you have the use of any gardens? Can you put up a marquee? Will it cost extra?
  23. If you are having and outdoor wedding ask: Is there plenty of electrical outlets available at the location?
  24. If the reception is outdoors will there be adequate lighting when it gets dark?
  25. When is the lawn mowed and watered? Freshly mowed grass can stain the wedding dress and people's shoes. What about sprinkler systems? Will it be too wet or muddy?
  26. If the ceremony/reception will be held outdoors, ask about bugs. Are they a problem? What will be done to reduce or eliminate the problem of the bugs?
  27. Are there restrictions on decorating the venue?
  28. How many staff-to-guests?
  29. Is there a place for the ceremony?
  30. If the ceremony is outdoor will chairs be provided for your guests?
  31. If the venue is outdoors what will be done if it rains and if it is too hot?
  32. Are there facilities for dancing and music?
  33. Is a dance floor available? If so, are there any additional charges to use it?
  34. Are there any restrictions on the amount of electrical equipment your entertainers can bring along, such as extra lighting, amplifiers etc?
  35. Will there be a designated wedding manager on site throughout the wedding?
  36. Are there parking facilities, wheelchair access, or any other guest conveniences?
  37. Is there a charge for parking?
  38. What type of packages do they have and what are the price ranges. And what do these include?
  39. Do the prices vary with the time of the week, day or month or year?
  40. Does the location have insurance in case a guest is injured during the reception and after leaving the reception?
  41. If the venue is off-site are there any charges to use the facilities? Can I choose any independent caterer and staff I wish?
  42. In winter is there a coat rack available? Is it located in a secure area?
Download checklist here.