How Do I Choose a Venue for My Catered Event?

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So you’ve been put in charge of organizing an event this summer. Maybe it’s a corporate picnic, or a graduation party, or an anniversary. Whatever the occasion, you want to make it the best event it can possibly be. But this isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Your ‘to do’ list keeps getting bigger, and you’re a little worried about missing some of the details. You may have even imagined a few “worst case” scenarios.

Don’t worry — as long as you choose a reputable and skilled catering professional, things should fall into place with greater ease as your party approaches.

But there are still some important decisions to be made — not the least of which is where your gathering will take place. The process of selecting a venue is indeed one of the most important aspects of party planning. If the venue has been chosen, that certainly makes things easier. But in many cases, it’s up to you. You’ll have to choose amongst outdoor and indoor venues. You’ll have to decide whether your event is formal or casual. How do you break this decision down in rational terms? Where do you begin?

Define you event

One of the best places to start is to think about how your event should be defined. Is it modern or rustic? Casual or formal? Do you need specific facilities and amenities (e.g. a good setup for slideshows)? What kind of crowd are you expecting? The more you can definite the overall feeling of your event, the easier it will be to move forward.

Establish your budget

Choosing a venue will have a definite effect on the overall budget of your event. Venues can be expensive to book, and good ones often book months in advance. How much can you afford to spend on a venue? Once you establish your budget for the venue, the selection process may narrow considerably. Keep in mind that venues are often more expensive in summer months. Also, there’s no substitute for visiting a venue and seeing it with your own eyes before deciding whether or not to use it for your event.

Keep location in mind

Your ideal venue may simply be too far away for the majority of your guests, and this should be taken into account. People often choose the most idyllic venue, but not the most logical one. Keep your guests in mind, and ask yourself how far most of them will have to travel in order to reach the event.


Choosing a venue and a caterer often go hand-in-hand — and in fact, reputable caterers will have a very good knowledge of venues in the area. Chances are, if you reach out to a caterer first (assuming you find a really good one), they’ll be able to offer some poignant insights on what might be the ideal venue for your event.

Another item crossed off your list!

Choosing a venue is a big step in making your event a reality. People often don’t realize that venues themselves have been reviewed online by past customers; this can be a great way to get a feel for the pros and cons of a given venue. Asking a caterer for tips and insights — even if you haven’t hired them yet — is another useful tactic. Overall, this decision deserves careful thought. But once it’s made, you can relax and focus on making your event a success.