As you already know working as a DJ there is great opportunity to determine good receptions and their facilities while having absolutely no drive to be bias towards one or the other. In this article I will explain 5 steps in helping you to decide the right venue.
Distance - People like convenience and being close to home and your guests will not want to travel too far, so make sure your reception within 30 minutes from the ceremony. If your venue is further you could improvise. A good example would be to drive in a parade from the ceremony to the venue as this will make your guests feel slightly special! Of the course the bride and groom's car should lead the way.
Timings - If there are any issues these will be similar to the ones of distance. If there is a large time gap between the ceremony and reception, there is high risk that people may loose interest and the buzz in the atmosphere may die down. Ensure that the reception is straight after the ceremony for the benefit of the bride and groom and their guest. This will keep the atmosphere electric. Whilst you're having photos' taken organise pre dinner drinks for the guests. This is a great bit of time for the guests to mingle before the dinner and get to know each other a bit better. Maybe setup a quick about the bride and groom from their childhoods.
Size - Give people space that will make them feel comfortable. After being in church sat on tight benches they will want some luxury, comfort and plenty of breathing space. Think about how many guests are attending for the day and evening to work out how much space will be required. You may be told a venue holds 250 people, however this may not be comfortably.
Climate Control - Celebrating a wedding in the summer? Did you visit the reception hall in the winter or summer? Is the venue air conditioned? If people sweat sat down, there will be a very strong chance that they will refuse to dance and spend time outside cooling off. You couldn't blame them either if you think about it! If you can have climate control then there is a temperature suitable and comfortable for everyone. Room temperature increases and drops depending on how many people are inside a room, so as people leave the room may cool down.
Smoking - Unfortunately this is always going to be a massive issue and problem. Everywhere indoors is non-smoking these days and you can expect a smoker to go outside every 30 minutes for a cigarette. If a large number of guests go out to smoke you will find the numbers inside will drop significantly and above all too often. Some guest may stay outside all of the time, unless they're going to the toilet or drinks bar!
Wedding coordinators and venue managers will probably have other concerns and plenty of questions during your viewing but these above points can easily be missed. Someone who is selling the venue booking maybe reluctant or steer away from asking or answer questions which are negative towards the venue. As long as you work closely and share ideas with your wedding coordinator you can be sure the day will be memorable and fantastic, just as it should be!