Never assume you have the wedding reception venue retained unless you have a written contract. At the very least, you must make sure the following things are part of your contract.
Everything that you agree on verbally should become part of the contract between you and your wedding reception venue.
The exact date of your wedding day. The exact time of you event should also be included.
Total cost and itemized rundown of what is included. Be sure to have accessories such as tables, chairs linens, etc. included.
How much decoration is included? What specific decoration is included? If you agreed on specific colors, be sure it is also included.
The date and dollar amount of your deposit and the date of when the total amount due.
The exact location of your event. If they have multiple rooms for events, be sure the name of the room is included in the contract.
Their cancellation or refund policy.
Emergency contact person. You should be provided with name and phone number of the emergency contact person.
Room capacity, to make sure the site accommodates your wedding party.
Contracts are a serious matter. They are legal and binding, so you might want an attorney or a wedding professional review the contract for you before you sign it.
Before signing the contract read it over carefully. Some companies will ask you to pay half of the total amount upon closure of the contract. Others will ask for a down payment. Be prepared with cash, personal check. To protect yourself, try to pay with a credit card. When reading the contract and before signing, find out what your obligations are. If you guests drink a bit too much, find out who would be responsible should anything happen.
Once you made your choice, you need to receive a written contract signed by the person in charge, and dated. The contract must include all of your responsibilities and all of the responsibilities, warranties and guarantees offered by the facility.