Understanding Our Information
Explanation of Main Headings
Each venue description in Here Comes The Guide follows the same format. To help you understand the information presented, we’ve provided an explanation of the main headings in the same order as they appear.
Description, a.k.a. Why We Like This Place
Once you’ve selected a geographical area and you’re clear about your needs, then thoroughly review all the sites listed in your area of preference. The descriptions are written to give you a sense of what places are like, from ambiance to physical layout. However, before reading the descriptions, you may want to check the Capacity and Fees & Deposits sections to determine which places seem to be a good fit from a size and budget perspective. If a facility is still a viable option after you’ve read the entire two-page editorial, add it to MyGuide or bookmark it for easy reference when planning phone calls and site visits later on.
Standing and seated capacities are included for ceremonies since these numbers may be totally different than the corresponding numbers for receptions.
By now you should have a rough idea of how many people will be attending. If not, it’s time to zero in on the number, since many facilities want a deposit based on an estimated head count. Look at the capacity figures for each event location. Seated or sit-down capacity refers to guests seated at tables. Standing capacity refers to a function where the majority of guests are not seated, such as a champagne/hors d’oeuvres reception. Put a next to those facilities that are compatible with your guest count. If you’re planning well in advance and don’t have your guest list whittled down yet, then you’ll just have to estimate and refine the count as the date draws near. There is a world of difference in cost and planning effort between an intimate party of 60 and a large wedding with over 200 guests. Pin down your numbers as soon as you can.
In general, the seated capacity for meetings is listed as a range or a maximum. Sometimes, specific spaces are named along with their individual capacities. Occasionally, seating configurations are also provided: theater-style (auditorium row seating with chairs arranged closely together), classroom-style (an organized table-and-chair arrangement, usually in rows) and conference-style (seating around tables).
Fees and Deposits
We’ve tried to make the information regarding costs as accurate as possible. However, keep in mind that we can’t list the fees for all of the services a venue offers. Also, while packages tend to be more inclusive, they may not cover the full cost of your event—especially when you add in extras like appetizers or rentals. It’s important to find out as soon as possible exactly what is—and isn’t—included with any service or package you’re considering in order to accurately assess how your venue choice will impact your budget.
It’s a good idea to confirm it with the facility you’re calling, just to make sure it’s still valid.Look at the information regarding fees and deposits and remember that these figures change regularly and usually in one direction—up! Read more about fees and costs.
Some facilities are available 7am to 2am; others offer very limited “windows.” If you’d like to save some money, consider a weekday or weeknight reception, or think about having your event in the off-season (often November, or January through March, but varies depending on the region). Even the most sought-after places have openings midweek and during non-peak months—and at reduced costs. Facilities want your business and are more likely to negotiate terms and prices if they have nothing else scheduled. Again, read all the fine print carefully and those facilities that have time slots that meet your needs. If the date you have in mind is already booked, it doesn’t hurt to ask if someone actually confirmed that date by paying a deposit or signing a contract. If they haven’t, you may be in luck.
Services/Amenities and Restrictions
Most facilities provide something in the way of services and many have limitations that may affect your function. For instance, they may not allow you to have amplified music outdoors or bring your own caterer.
We’ve attempted to give you a brief description of what each venue has to offer and what is restricted. Please see our Key to Terms if you are wondering what we mean by anything in these sections.