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Nicki Ann’s Top Ten…

Things to do to help your venue build a perfect reception:

10. Set your budget.

It is an exciting time when you first get engaged. The first thing you want to do is to set your date and book a venue. But let me explain why this should not be the first thing you do. You aren’t going to know where to start. It’s as simple as that! Without setting a budget, you aren’t going to know if the venues you are visiting are even in the ballpark. And furthermore, once you get there, you aren’t going to know if you can afford the food, alcohol or decor packages you want. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment. Figure out how much money you can spend and then explore the vast number of venues in your area.

9. Do your research.

When I say explore the venues in your area, I mean exactly that. Do your research.¬†Explore online. Email them. Call them with your questions. Once you have all the info, you can narrow it down to the ones you want to visit. Sometimes you need to actually see the space before you can make a final decision, but you should be prepared before you go. It is just like choosing a wedding gown. You’ll know it when you see it.

8. Get your head count.

Talk to both sides of the family and have them draw up a tentative list of people. I say tentative because it is going to change slightly as your go through the process. You will want to do it fairly early because you need to know if your guests can fit into the space. You don’t want to go to a venue, fall in love and then find out all of your family and friends will not fit. If your list is 180, you are probably looking at around 150 people who will actually attend. There is an unwritten rule that 20% of your guests will not attend. I’ve heard: “But I went through my list and am pretty sure that everyone on there will come.” So did I. I ended up having 194 people on my guest list. One hundred-ninety-four people who I thought would never miss it. My final count was 144, of which about 8 people were no-shows.

7. Write up a vendor list.

About 1 month before the wedding is crunch-time. You are excited. You have final fittings, payments, and decisions to make. One final thing you should do is to write up a list of all of the vendors you are using along with a contact name, phone number and email to give to your venue. I know you are thinking, “You really want me to add one more thing to my to-do lists a month before the wedding?” No, I don’t. Compile this as you book your vendors. This is helpful to the staff at the venue because we can help to make sure that everything is set and just how you want it while you are primping your hair and getting dressed to walk down the aisle.

6. Make a timeline.

I know you probably don’t even know where to start with this. But there are a number of people who can help you with this. Your DJ, caterer, venue, or wedding planner have done this once or twice. You should talk to each one of these people and get input on how they think your day will work best. Then put this all together the way YOU want it. If you don’t like a suggestion, speak up. It is your day. But a timeline is a must. Trust me. The day of your event, you are being pulled in so many different ways. The last thing you will want to do is decide what comes next. Print out copies for each vendor who will be there the day of your event.

Check back tomorrow to read the top 5!!!


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