Choosing a Venue
1. Many halls in Israel can be found in the middle of an industrial zone or a similar unaesthetic environment. Don’t judge a book by its cover, most of these places are very pretty on the inside.
2. Price different halls and explore in-house/outside catering possibilities and pricing
3. Ask if the prices include VAT
4. Find out if the reception is included in the price quote
5. Remember that in Israel, almost everything is negotiable. If you can’t bargain the price down, try to have them throw in some “extras”.
6. Whenever possible, go for a tasting and see an event in action
7. Check out the maximum hall capacity
8. Do they include table centerpieces? Do they decorate the buffet tables as well?
9. Do they work with an outside decorator (and if so, can you contact them directly?)
10. What time can the decorator have access to the hall to start setting up?
11. Do they have a large enough dance floor? Mechitzot?
12. Make sure to meet or talk with the head waiter before the day of your event about things you that you want or any concerns that you may have.
13. Go over your event schedule with the coordinator from the hall. Make sure that they can be flexible if things don't run exactly according to the schedule.
14. Ask how the waiters dress (low cut, short, or tight clothing may be offensive to religious guests and generally unsuitable) What is their waiter/table ratio?
15. Do you need to tip the waiters (how much?)
16. Ask them to please put serving pieces in all dishes and salads.
17. If you prefer carafes to soda bottles, make sure to tell them in advance.
18. Make sure that they can accommodate your color schemes.
19. When making a floor plan, keep older guests away from the speakers.
For a wedding:
Do they decorate the chuppah? Tables? Bride’s chair?
Do they provide wine (request white!) and a glass for breaking under the chuppah?