Tips For Booking the Perfect Banquet Hall For Your Event  

Mar 7, 2022

The proposal is past. The big question has been answered. The ring is bought … and now it’s time to book a venue. But where should you hold your event? How many people should you invite? What time of year should you hold it? These are important factors to consider in planning your wedding or another event.

One of the first questions to ask before you start looking at venues is what type you want:

  • Outdoor setting?
  • Rustic cabin?
  • Old-fashioned ballroom?
  • Spacious banquet hall?

There are good reasons to consider the latter, so let’s explore the banquet hall as a wedding destination. If you’re wondering “what is a banquet hall used for?” you need wonder no longer; here’s a handy guide for finding and booking the right one today.

banquet hall polaroid of menu

First Ask: Is a Banquet Hall Right for You?

The best thing about this type of venue is how well appointed it is. Banquet halls already have tables and chairs on site, so you don’t have to worry about renting them, which can prove quite a headache if you get married during a busy time of year.

Typically, some of the décor is already in place as well: nice lighting, lovely backgrounds for photos, and often a library of decorations on site. You’ll also save yourself the hassle of dragging at least some of those lanterns, vases and bunting that make a wedding so lovely.

Flowers hanging on chairs outside

You can even hold your ceremony there before the reception if you want to minimize getting from A to B. This is especially desirable if you have your wedding out in the country, where there aren’t a ton of options for your ceremony or your reception.

But Wait, There Are Even More Banquet Hall Benefits

If that sounds like the ticket, consider these additional elements:

  • Bathrooms on site: Renting bathrooms for outdoor spaces can be a hassle, but with a banquet hall, you won’t have to. The best halls are nestled within gorgeous outdoor settings so you can have both, sans the inconvenience of making your guests head to the nearest gas station for relief.
  • Weatherproof locale: Worried about summer thunderstorms? Don’t be. The rain can’t hurt you when you plan your special day in a banquet hall. If it’s nice, you can enjoy the outdoors, and if it isn’t, you can cozy up inside.
  • Dressing rooms: Banquet halls usually have dressing rooms for getting ready. Those that are attached to hotels have easy access to guest rooms and bridal suites, so you won’t have to worry about where to spend the morning. Plus, catered breakfast. Yum.
  • Privacy: Because they’re indoors, behind closed doors, banquet halls offer a ton of privacy. No gawkers to worry about!
  • Onsite wedding planner: Though a wedding planner isn’t guaranteed, many halls give you the option to hire their coordinator. This is a huge benefit because the wedding planner is already familiar with the venue and can ensure the best possible flow of events.

bride holding a bouquet of flowers

Plus, they’re guaranteed to be roomy enough for large numbers of guests. If your dream is a big wedding, then a banquet hall is a great way to go. There’s space for the bar, the band, the dance floor and tables for hundreds. And your service providers have plenty of room to maneuver. They will be shown where to set up, staying out of the way while giving you the perfect big day.

Once you decide that a banquet hall is the ticket, though, what do you do next?

Choose a Date!

If you haven’t chosen a date by now, you absolutely can’t put it off any longer. All venues and service providers require the date before they’ll take a deposit or sign a contract, for obvious reasons: they fill up fast and can’t guarantee to serve you otherwise.

bride and groom kissing outside

Consider factors such as what time of year is cheaper, or if there’s a best month for your family and friends to travel. Feel free to consult other people before selecting your date, especially if they’re integral to the day or have tight schedules. Once you pick it, it’s time to plan the wedding timeline.

Think Through How You Want to Use Your Banquet Hall

When visiting your banquet hall, you’ll want to know your timeline. That will help you make the most of your tour and ask the right questions. When you’re going over the potential options later, you’ll have all the information you need to choose.

For instance, will you hold your ceremony there or just your reception? Will you have a cocktail hour or move straight to dinner? What will you do after dinner? Knowing the flow of activities can help you decide whether a banquet hall is the right one for you, for multiple reasons:

  • It will help you determine what elements you need in place, from required seating to the size of the dance floor to the bar’s capacity to serve your guests.
  • You can ensure that your number of guests will have room to move about the room, without it ever feeling empty. Even large weddings should feel a bit crowded, like a good party.
  • If you’re planning to hold your ceremony in the banquet hall, is there a nice space for an altar? Does it match your vision? If not, is there a nearby church or outdoor area that will?

These are all questions you can ask your tour guide, along with a few others.

table of glasses and flowers

Prepare a List of Questions Before Visiting Potential Venues

To ensure you get the proper information, here are some additional questions to put on your list:

  • What parts of the grounds and hall do we have access to? Is there anywhere we won’t be able to take photos or spend time in?
  • If the banquet hall has windows, how do you ensure its privacy?
  • Where will cocktails, dinner, cake cutting and dancing take place? Are there established areas or will you need to decide yourself?
  • Should you bring a band and a DJ? Does the hall provide that? If not, who in the area can do it?
  • Does the banquet hall shut down at some time or can your party go as long as it wants?
  • Are there other weddings nearby on the same night that might compete with yours?
  • Who is responsible for decorations, table setting and so forth?

Plan a Beautiful Banquet Hall Wedding at Skytop Lodge!

The good news is, Skytop Lodge can accommodate almost all of your wedding-day desires in our beautiful location here in the Poconos! Enjoy amazing traditional architecture amongst a natural setting, with plenty of room for guests and the party of your lifetime.

Plus, we’re happy to cater the events surrounding your wedding as well, such as the rehearsal dinner, wedding day luncheon, spa services and more.

If you’re ready to book a banquet hall, get in touch with us today at (570) 595-8939, or email [email protected] to arrange a tour. We can’t wait to help you out!