The perfect venue Midtown Magazine caught up with Lorin Laxton from Catering Works, and she offers up this advice: Planning a wedding and reception can be one of the most exciting and fulfilling aspects for a newly engaged couple. It is a balancing act of maintaining your desires and vision to coincide with your family’s and your checkbook. Reception costs consume the majority of a budget, so venue selection is paramount. Caterers/event planners consider three basic venue categories: 1. An all-inclusive venue such as a hotel or restaurant banquet room that provides chairs, tables, linens, food, beverage, wait staff service, and sometimes an on-site coordinator; décor and music may even be included 2. A non-inclusive venue such as a museum, historic home, art gallery or urban loft setting, which may provide some or none of those items 3. A tented event in your own backyard or other outdoor setting, where you essentially “build the venue itself”
Vision and style Guest count is a significant factor in choosing the venue. Fire code occupancy ratings are not the same as actual entertaining space. Headcount, food, beverages and entertainment with room to move around must be considered, and it’s advisable to see photos of prior events and space plan diagrams to ensure your preliminary guest count will fit. An all-inclusive venue has the added benefit of overnight accommodations, however the biggest drawbacks are set interior colors and the lack of variety in food and beverage options. Outdoor tented events are usually the most complex and the most expensive option, however the number of guests and the design potential are nearly unlimited. Non-inclusive venues incorporate the best of both worlds, allowing for more variety of food and beverage, unique and varied entertaining styles, and thematic design opportunity.