The first step in organizing a wedding is choosing the location, i.e. the place where the reception will be held (and if possible, also the ceremony). It is not only the first step but also the most demanding and difficult one because many things must be taken into consideration. That’s why I decided to make this little guide to choosing the perfect location!
THINK ABOUT WHAT KIND OF RECEPTION YOU WANT
Do you prefer a luxurious party in an ancient villa? Or a picnic with friends? Depending on your idea of a party, the type of suitable place obviously changes:
VILLAS AND CASTLES: they are the most expensive and sumptuous locations, but they offer a dreamlike atmosphere. Perfect for more formal ceremonies, but be careful to book them as soon as possible! These places are in great demand, and reservations are often made even 1-2 years in advance.
FARMHOUSES AND COURTS: these are the most accessible locations, and not only allow you to keep costs down but also to have a place in the middle of nature. For those who do not have great expectations, it is the location that I recommend the most.
RESTAURANTS: here there is something for all tastes and budgets. There are small taverns suitable only for informal weddings with a few guests, as well as large restaurants with huge gardens suitable for hosting hundreds of people. You have to see what your area offers!
RECEPTION ROOMS: it is halfway between the villa and the restaurant. A beautiful and sumptuous hall will certainly make a good impression, especially if the wedding takes place in winter and the garden, therefore, becomes almost useless.
START LOOKING AROUND
And here the fun begins, looking! You can start by doing an internet search, the sites that I recommend (and which have been very useful for me) are:
Which in addition to being a very useful site for organizing weddings, also offers a large list of suppliers, obviously including the locations, which can be viewed by city and region.
This site, as you know, reviews restaurants so it’s not only perfect for seeing which restaurants are in your area, but also for seeing if they’re good or not.
Word of mouth!
I found my location thanks to the recommendation of my father-in-law: he had been there to eat and had a great time. So ask friends and relatives if they know of locations that may be right for you.
NOW THAT YOU HAVE A LIST OF ELIGIBLE LOCATIONS… GO AND SEE THEM!
You may already find some information on the prices and services offered by the various locations on the internet, but take this data with a grain of salt. The prices are only indicative, therefore the only way to know how much the location will actually cost you is to go and see it and ask for a quote that includes all the cost items. Yes, because the main cost will also be the price of the menu per head, but then there are many other items not included in that figure that increase costs: fittings, drinks, etc.
So my advice is to make a list of locations that inspire you, and then call to make an appointment to view the property and ask your questions. But what do you have to ask in order not to leave anything out? Here is a list of essential questions:
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LOCATION
Are the prices inclusive of VAT?
Never forget this question! If the location is a restaurant or a farmhouse, the prices usually include VAT, but in structures such as villas and courtyards where the structure is rented without food included, VAT is often excluded.
Is there a minimum number of guests required?
The largest and most beautiful locations often put a minimum number of guests. So ask…
Does the rental of the location have a cost?
Again, it depends on the type of location. In the case of villas and the like, there is always a rental cost, while for restaurants and agritourism there is usually not.
For how many hours can the location be used?
There is always a cut-off time, so ask what it is and what happens if it is exceeded.
Is the location given exclusively?
Another fundamental question. Larger structures often do multiple weddings during the day, which while on the one hand allows you to save money, on the other it can be unpleasant to share the same garden with other spouses. But it always depends on the structures: there are perfectly equipped to host multiple weddings so that no one will notice the other’s presence. So always ask if there are any common areas (entrance, bathrooms, etc.) or if they are all perfectly divided. In Places like Andheri East, There are many banquet halls, that have a bunch of exclusive wedding venues, If you are looking for an exotic one then, Do check out the banquet halls in Hiranandani Powai.
Is there parking for guests?
Usually, the answer is yes, but better to make sure, especially if the number of guests is large.
Which of which would be the spaces used for the reception? And if they were external in case of bad weather, would there be others to replace them?
If you want to have the reception outdoors, always ask for plan B in case of bad weather!
What are the services included in the cost?
ALWAYS ask what has included in the cost: arrangements, music, tablecloths, type of cutlery, etc.
Is there a music diffusion system including speakers?
It seems silly, but it is not at all! Maybe there is piped music, but not the speakers, or in any case they are not included in the price. So ask!
FOOD AND CATERING
Is the catering external or internal?
It depends on the type of structure, but usually, villas and companies do not also offer food, so you have to find external catering or rely on the one recommended by the structure.
What does the menu include?
Ask for some examples and menu proposals, so you can get an idea of the type of food on offer.
What is the cost per person including VAT?
Please, always ask for prices with VAT!
Should the staff (photographer, DJ, etc) also be counted as guests?
Usually yes, but in some cases, a separate menu is created for them that is much simpler and with just a few courses, so it will cost you less and the staff’s food will have a different price.
Are the drinks unlimited on the menu? What is included? And the open bar?
Another important question. Wines and drinks are often not included, so always ask how much they will offer you and at what price. The same goes for the open bar, also make sure how long the open bar is available.
Is the setting up and decorations included in the cost?
Usually, a basic set-up is included, most of the time meager and very different from what appears in the promotional photos. So always ask what the basic equipment includes and the costs of any particular details!
What are the shapes and sizes of the tables?
You will have to distribute the guests based on the availability of tables in the location, so ask which tables they have and how many people.
How can I book the location?
Ask for the booking procedure: deposits, deadlines, etc.
In the unfortunate case of cancellation of the wedding, in addition to the down payment, are there other penalties to pay? And if you have problems, are there refunds?
You never think about it (rightly so!), but unexpected events can happen so ask what the penalties are if the ceremony is moved or canceled.
Ask, ask, ask! Even the most insignificant details! Never take for granted, especially in the case of only verbal guarantees: Verba volant, Scripta manent!
And with this suggestion, I conclude this little guide on choosing the location for the wedding. I hope it was helpful, and if you have any other doubts or questions, comment below!