Tips & Advice
What services do banquet halls offer?
The services that banquet halls offer vary, though most banquet halls want to offer more than just raw space. The broad categories for banquet halls are BYO and Inclusive. BYO means “bring your own,” as in the renters have to bring in their own bar and catering, and figure the cost completely separate of venue rental.
If banquet hall rental only includes the space, the customer can usually rent basic décor that the space already owns (drapes, centerpieces, table linens) for a minimal upcharge. A full-service banquet hall will offer catering, audio-visual, a bar, professional photo and video, and special extras, like themed décor. Many will have partnerships with car services and hotels so that they can offer hotel and transfer to guests from out of town.
With an inclusive banquet hall (one with its own in-house catering), if customers commit to a certain catering spend on a less busy night or off season, they might get a discount on the hall itself. For example, a venue manager might waive half the $1,500/evening cost to rent the venue if someone agrees to spend $7,500 on food and beverage from the in-house catering and bar.
However, luxe halls that offer the full gamut of services (a stage, a coffee/tea station, shuttle service, security) usually don’t discount the cost of the venue even if there is a steep food and beverage minimum. Instead, the venue will include most services in the base price--even the catering and bar staff.
Do wedding venues allow outside catering?
Some wedding venues allow outside catering. It depends on the type of venue. Also, some venues have a specific list of preferred caterers they will allow. It is always best to speak to the specific venues you have under consideration and get each one’s rules.
Do wedding venues provide catering services?
Yes, many wedding venues provide catering services, either in-house or through a preferred caterer.
How far in advance should a wedding hall be booked?
A wedding hall should be booked nine months in advance, or even further in advance if you love a particular spot, or if you want a particular kind of space in a market with many weddings, or if you plan to get married in high season (this depends on the region, but June is a universally popular month). Some people who want a particularly popular venue during a busy season book their wedding venues a year and a half in advance. Others wait till the wedding is within six months, and this can work out fine if it’s in a destination with lots of venues at a range of sizes and prices, and also if the wedding’s taking place in the low season (November-December).
How much does it cost to rent a banquet hall?
The cost to rent a banquet hall varies widely, with the low end of the price range generally between $500-$900, and the higher end of the spectrum being $2,000-$3,000 for four hours. Mid-priced “inclusive” banquet halls (i.e. banquet halls with décor included and in-house catering) will sometimes charge less for the venue if there’s a higher food and beverage minimum. Some banquet halls will also charge by the hour, or per person, inclusive of food and beverage. For example, an “inclusive” venue might charge $80 per person for the space and food/bar, which comes to $12,000 for 150 persons.