If you can't cram all your friends and family into your home, you'll need to hire a venue for your bash. Your place may well be big enough for a large dinner party, but probably won't cut it if you're putting on your engagement party or arranging your partner's milestone birthday celebrations. If you're making plans for events such as these, hiring a hall will be your best bet.
Work out the logistics before you start looking for a hall. Establish how many people you're going to invite to your party and what you're going to do for food and drink. If you're hiring in outside caterers, you'll probably need some kitchen space. You'll also need to find a hall that can supply the tables, seating and food service equipment you'll need if you want to avoid sorting all this out separately. Your guests will probably want to dance once they've had a few drinks, so you'll need to decide if you want to shell out for a live band or DJ, or just play a few tunes over a sound system.
Check out local business listings to find possible venues for your party. Get in touch with the owners of places you like the look of to to find out if they meet your requirements. Always arrange to visit any hall you're considering before making a commitment. You won't want to arrive on the day of your party to find you've hired a dump. Think about the location too. Hiring a hall that's out of town in the middle of nowhere might save you a few dollars, but could be tough for your guests to get to.
Agree to terms before you commit to hire the hall of your choice. You'll usually have to pay a deposit, and will need to confirm cancellation terms with the hall's owner. You'll probably be asked to pay a cancellation fee if you pull out at short notice. Find out how long your party can go on for. Your shindig will be unlikely to go with a swing if you have to stop playing music at a ridiculously early time of the evening.
Make sure you have access to your chosen hall well before your party's due to start. You'll need to arrange to pick up the keys to your venue well in advance so as you can get in and set things up. This will be especially true if you're hiring caterers who need to prepare food on site. You should also make arrangements to clean up once your party's over. The owner of the hall could deduct money from your deposit if you leave the place in a mess.
Michael Roennevig has been a journalist since 2003. He has written on politics, the arts, travel and society for publications such as "The Big Issue" and "Which?" Roennevig holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Surrey Institute and a postgraduate diploma from the National Council for the Training of Journalists at City College, Brighton.