Some of the most interesting and attractive facilities accommodate smaller groups (under 75 guests). Designed for banquets, rehearsal dinners, bridesmaid showers, and other events, these sites are often in great demand. Reserve your date as soon as possible, especially if it's during a busy time.
Have your ideal banquet in mind: Before you start looking for a facility, determine exactly what type of event you want to have and how many people will be attending. You may envision something small and intimate, but the guest list may become larger than the facility can accommodate.
Visit the Rehearsal Dinner location: An on-site inspection allows you to narrow down your options before you reserve the facility-or send a deposit. Introduce the person who is paying the bill to the person-in-charge at your rehearsal dinner. If your guests ask for special items the staff knows whom to ask for approval.
Preferred vendors: Be sure to ask whether the facility you select has a list of preferred vendors they work with. It is often easier to have vendors who are familiar with the facility's set-up than to have someone who has never worked there before. Also keep in mind that some companies only allow you to work with vendors from their preferred list.
An opportunity to show appreciation: Take time at your rehearsal dinner to express your appreciation to your parents and guests, especially those who came a long distance. Each bridesmaid and groomsman should receive a gift at this time; try to personalize these gifts as much as possible.
Budget: Once you've set your budget, stick to it! Always obtain a detailed written estimate that includes any gratuities or taxes. Ask if the quoted price includes beverage, setup, tables and chairs, linens, etc.
Restrictions on music: Some facilities have restrictions on the type of music that can be performed. A facility in a residential neighborhood may allow a string quartet, but not a band or DJ. Most facilities, regardless of size, have cut-off times for any type of music. Be specific about your plans to avoid surprises later.