Finding the Right Hall For Your Guests

by Darryl Jacobsen

I was recently offered a unique opportunity by a banquet facility that recommends our services. They wanted to completely change the layout of their main ballroom and they requested my input as to what I thought their clientele might be looking for to make the room both aesthetically pleasing, yet functional for the staff and assorted wedding vendors.

As far as looks, I always like a hall that is as appealing in the daytime as it is at night. There is a facility in Brooklyn, NY that I will not name that has a spectacular view of three bridges. If you are having your event there in the evening it is quite magnificent with all the beautiful lights. During the day, the view is bleak and unappealing. The bridges and buildings appear drab. This facility could really use some drapes for day functions as the drapes would create a better view.

That being said, if you are having a day wedding, think about what your client will see out the window. Is it a beautiful lake or the ocean? Perhaps some woodsy scenery? The busy main road or parking lot is not appealing at all. Some people want a night feel (nice and dark) at their daytime wedding which is tough to do unless it is an inside room without windows or the room has some really great dark drapes. The best choice obviously would be to have a great view and drapes if desired.

The facility that requested my services has beautiful ceiling to floor windows that look out over a golf course. I recommended that they have the long dark drapery just in case the prospective brides don't happen to care much for golf. Keep in mind how you want your room to feel whether your event is in the day or evening.

The next point is the stationing of the entertainment to the bride and groom's table to the dance floor. A perfect placement is the bride and groom across from the entertainment (where eye contact can be made) with the dance floor in the middle and the guests alongside it. The guests should not be right on top of the entertainment as that space is utilized for sound reinforcement and you really don't want to blow your guests away (especially older guests) with loud dance music right against their ears. In addition, the photographers and videographers also use this space to collect their pictures and video. Rooms with tons of mirrors are not at all appreciated by photographers as it has an impact on how they use their flash. I had the hall set itself up in the way I just described and they have found that the room is much more sellable and the vendors are also enjoying the new layout.

These are only a few of the details you should be looking for when choosing your hall. Choose wisely.

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