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How To Choose The Right Venue For Your Catered Event

Whether for a wedding, corporate retreat, or baby shower, where you choose to celebrate is just as important as how you choose to celebrate.  Event venues come in all shapes and sizes from country barns to city rooftops, and everything in between.  But these simple considerations can help you choose the right venue for your event.

Start your search early

Prime locations can have long waiting lists. Once you’ve settled on what you’re celebrating and when, the next step should be choosing the perfect location in which to celebrate.  Fortunately, the Crescent City offers a wide array of event venues to fit any theme or celebration–whether it’s a wedding at the chic Art-Deco New Orleans Lakefront Airport or a corporate dinner in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter at Batture Bistro + Bar.  Be sure to scope out multiple locations, and most event planners suggest you start searching approximately one year in advance.

Messina's at the Terminal Wedding

Location, location, location

Just like in real estate, location matters.  Perhaps you are entertaining guests from out of town, so it may be best to have the event near a hotel.  Or maybe you’ll have a lot of guests driving to the event, therefore on-site parking is a big consideration.  Maybe giving guests a taste of the city is important, therefore a city-center location may be ideal.  Also, just like real estate, no venue is perfect.  You’ll need to decide what aspects are most important and which you can live without. (

Consider capacity and minimums

Keep in mind that the venue you love may not be the right size for your event.  No matter how gorgeous a space is, if guests will be cramped it won’t result in a positive guest experience.  Conversely, having too few guests in a large space will make your guests feel awkward.  Also take into account the format of your event.  Seated events require more space for tables and chairs than cocktail events with high-tops.  Pricing is also another important consideration when it comes to guest count.  Some venues may have a food and beverage minimum spend you must meet.  This will dictate what you can serve based upon your budget and preferences.

Consider services and amenities offered

Top-rated New Orleans caterers like Messina’s Catering & Events have venues where they serve as the exclusive caterer, giving you a one-stop solution for a venue and caterer.  Venues like this have full kitchens, prep areas and all the equipment required to let your culinary creativity run wild.  While venues without full kitchens can still be an option, it may require some menu constraints to ensure food can be prepared elsewhere and transported without losing integrity.

Also, be sure to find out what is included with the venue rental.  Does the venue have its own tables and chairs?  What kind of condition are they in, or will you need to rent your own?  All of these are an important part of the decision-process.

Messina's at the Sazerac House New Orleans

Make it easy to attend

We’ve already mentioned the importance of proximity to certain locations like a hotel or city center, but what about the ease of getting around once guests arrive?  To make it easy for your guests to arrive on time and maneuver around the venue, make sure the venue has appropriate signage or enlist the help of a mobile app that guests can download that feature GPS maps, driving directions, and parking or shuttle information. Apps like Whova’s mobile event app are perfect for conferences, community events, expos, and tradeshows and allow the user to take notes, share documents, and use interactive maps to get them around the city and the venue.

Partner with the pros to plan a gathering with big impact

A full-service caterer like Messina’s can help you plan the perfect get-together of any size just like they’ve been doing for 60 years. Learn more by visiting

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