banquet hall

How to Plan the Perfect Banquet Hall Event

Banquets are an increasingly popular way to cater for celebrations and events, giving guests a shared focal point and allowing them to bond over a sumptuous range of food. There is something deeply celebratory about this form of communal eating that appeals to our social nature and keeps everybody deliriously happy. To ensure your banquet meets those expectations, here are some event planning guidelines to keep you on track.


Setting the budget is your first priority. It provides the organizational limits for every other aspect of the event planning. Perhaps you have your heart set on one particular venue and regard it as more important to realizing your dream event than any other major element in your event planning. In this case, you can shape your budget around this main expense, making sacrifices elsewhere if necessary. The budget should consider these main items:

  • Venue,
  • Food, catering, drinks,
  • Entertainment,
  • Transport,
  • Theme decor,
  • Other vendors,
  • Event planning or management, and
  • Event theme.


Whether you are planning a wedding reception, a quinceanera, an engagement party or an anniversary celebration, selecting a theme also has an effect on the scope of the food, drinks, and entertainment provided. In the early stages of the event planning process, it is important to keep an open mind. The classic space and amenities of our banquet halls in southern California may lend themselves to a different theme than you had envisioned. If you are employing an event planner, they may have suggestions that could bring the banquet hall to life beyond the bare bones of the theme.

The food menu

Your choice of menu will be the centerpiece of the banquet. The chefs at our MGM Banquet Halls can adapt to any request, from classic cuisines to a smorgasbord of different options, as well as regionally specific foods to tie into your theme. The advantage of keeping catering in-house at our banquet hall is our team’s familiarity with the kitchen. You can also opt to outsource the catering if you have a trusted relationship with one particular provider. Remember to include a menu choice and special dietary requirements as part of your RSVP invitations to ensure enough food for everybody.

The drinks menu

It’s common to keep an open bar for the duration of the event (soft drinks, beer, wine and single shots of spirits), but we recommend you get a quote before committing to this option. For our quinceaneras, MGM offers specially named non-alcoholic drinks to suit your theme, as well as cocktails for the adults. Determine at the outset of your event planning what you wish to provide – and let guests know the limits – to prevent a budget blowout.

Masters of Ceremony and entertainment

If you wish to keep the whole event flowing and provide a single point of reference for guests, a master of ceremonies can be a smart option. Of course, your choice should be able to manage time well and be intimately familiar with the running order. They are especially useful for thanking special guests and making them feel honored and important. Entertainment options include musicians, comedians, magicians, DJs, and even circus acts. It all depends on your theme. We can also provide extras such as photo booths for quinceaneras.

Seating plan

Where guests are seated, and their allocated tables, has a big impact on their experience of the event. Take note of the event layout when designating tables to the closest members of the family. You want to make sure they are close to the main table and dance floor. Dedicate time in your event planning to make the table settings as attractive as possible within your theme because this is where people will be spending most of their time.


Be as detailed as possible about the transportation options – and driving and parking instructions – to get to the wedding venue or mass, and then to the banquet hall. If you are providing the transport to the banquet hall yourself, include the information in your RSVP. For the vendors, provide the same information with special attention to where they can unload.

These are the basic logistics for organizing your big event. The key is to shape your event early in the event planning process to stay within budget and give guests a very clear idea of what they can and cannot expect. Our banquet halls in southern California have experienced and attentive staff who can help you ensure that no detail is overlooked.