Wedding FAQ

Banquet Rooms

What services are included in the rental of the facility?

The rental fee includes complete set up and clean-up of the venue according to your specifications. All necessary guest tables, chairs, service tables, cabaret tables and outdoor seating are also provided.

What is the standard Reception time allowed?

Our Bridal Packages include a 4-hour reception time.

Can this Reception time be extended and if so, what is the cost?

Yes, you can add time at cost of $150.00 per half hour plus tax. Additional bar time is available at $2.00 per person per half hour plus service charge and sales tax.

Are there hotels nearby that offer shuttles and overnight accommodations?

Yes, we currently have arrangements with several hotels. Please consult your Messina event planner for the hotel information

What is the capacity of your venue for a wedding reception?

Piazza Messina can be set up for up to 300 for Wedding Receptions. This includes up to 28 to 29 round tables seating ten at each + head table seating 10 to 20 people. This will allow space for the DJ and dance floor inside the room along with cake, gift and buffet tables. We can provide additional seating in covered patio area and the back open-air patio can be tented at an additional charge.

Are there any decoration restrictions?

There are just a few restrictions when decorating. Real candles are allowed but the flame must be enclosed. You can attach signs to the walls with painter’s tape. We do have easels on site that can be used for signs. No glitter or confetti is allowed. Any major installation of decor (tents, drapes, additional lighting, etc) must be done by an insured company. Please consult your event planner with any questions.

Bars & Patios

Can we have both indoor and outdoor bars open at the same time?

Yes, but additional fees may apply depending on size of your event.

How many bartenders will be provided at each bar?

Our Bridal Package includes one bartender for up to 125 people. A 2nd bartender will be added if count exceeds 125 people. We will always provide bar backs when necessary and you will not have bar lines at our bar.

Can we add a Satellite bar to the open-air Patio and if so, what is the cost?

Yes, we can add a bar with bartender(s). This cost runs $200 per bartender and includes set up and bartender for up to 4 hours. Additional charges apply for extra time and additional bartenders.

What is the cost for an additional bartender?

$200.00 for a standard bar.

Can we have additional time for Bar and if so, what is the cost?

Yes, and cost is $2.00 per person per half hour plus service charge and sales tax. Additional room charge also applies.

Can the covered patio be used year round?

Yes, we have ceiling fans for warmer months and heaters for colder weather. The patio is enclosed in the winter to keep heat in.

Are there fire pits on the property?

We have barrel propane fire pits that can be placed in specific areas. There is an additional $25 fee per fire pit to cover the propane.

Booking & Planning

What is the role of my event planner?

Messina Event Planners are your go-to contact for questions about the venue or catering during the planning process.

Messina Event Planners offer timeline creation, floorplan consultation, menu suggestion, food preparation management, and room setup supervision.  

Messina Event Planners are not professional decorators and could never replace a full-service florist, but can assist with signs, favors, and ready-made centerpieces.

Messina Event Planners love working with the best in the business, and are happy to coordinate with your vendors to execute your event.

Vendors you will need to have a smooth event start to finish:

  • Officiant
  • Florist
  • DJ/Band/Emcee
  • Photographer
  • Decorator (if not the florist)
  • Ceremony & Rehearsal Organizer
How far in advance do I need to book?

We can take bookings as far in advance as you would like. Every event timeline is different, from weddings that have long engagements, to corporate events that have two weeks to plan. We suggest to book as soon as you are ready to make a decision to ensure we are available for your event.

What is the timeline I need to follow for planning my event?

Upon booking: A preliminary contract will be sent to you, confirming the date, location and approximate time frame of your event. A deposit will be requested to be returned along with a signed contract. Approximately 3-4 months in advance: A planning session should be scheduled to discuss and confirm the details of your event. An updated contract will be sent following this meeting requesting 50% of your current balance due. 1 week in advance: Your final guest count is due. 3 days in advance: Your final payment is due.

What are the payment terms and deposits?

A non-refundable security deposit of $1,500 is due to secure the date with us and along with a signed contract. An additional 50% deposit is due approximately 4 months prior to your event. The final payment is due 3 days in advance. We will also take smaller payments throughout the planning process if you prefer to set up a payment plan. We accept payment via cashier’s check, money order, personal check, or credit card. Personal checks are not accepted for final payments. A convenience fee of 2.75% will apply to all credit card transactions, to be added at the time that credit card is used.

What is your cancellation policy?

The security deposit is non-refundable. Prepayments and additional deposits will be returned if the event is cancelled by client 120 days or more prior to the event date. If the event is cancelled by client less than 120 days prior to the event, all deposits are subject to forfeiture.

What decisions will be made at my planning session?

Timeline of your event / menu selections / customizing your cake design and flavors (if applicable) / Beverage & bar selections (if applicable) / linen colors / extra equipment to be rented like chairs, tables, etc / Set up of the room / A minimum guest count

What is the service charge?

Our 22% service charge covers the cost of the event staff for your event.

Will sales tax apply to the service charge?

We are required to charge sales tax on our service charge and labor fees.

Do I need to tip your staff after my event?

The service charge or minimum labor fee covers the labor for all the staff at your event. Any additional tips you would like to give our staff are at your discretion but not required, always appreciated but not expected.

Are there opportunities to try the food?

Yes, we have some great options for sampling our food. We offer a Menu Sampling event about every few months. This is a great opportunity to try the quality of our food and service we provide. We offer samples of our appetizers, salad selections, dinner buffet, and wedding cake. The Menu Sampling offers the experience of attending one of our events. Your event planner will invite you to the menu sampling that best fits your wedding date and location. You can also choose to schedule a private tasting. Charges start at $25 per person. We offer these Monday – Friday between 2:30pm and 5:00pm, subject to availability and our event schedule. Please allow at least 10 days notice. Please contact your sales planner for more details on this option.

Do you offer discounted kid’s pricing and / or kid’s meals?

Yes, the price varies depending on the style of dinner service and the age of the children, but we do offer several discounted meal options. Please see your event planner for more information.

Do I need to include my vendors in my guest count?

Vendor meals can be added for an additional $25/person or a boxed meal (sandwich, side salad & dessert) can be ordered for vendors at $10 each

Is the pricing on the website valid if my event is more than a year out?

Our menu pricing is guaranteed through the date listed on them. We will guarantee pricing will not increase more than 5% in a 12 month period after that date.

Will you set up my centerpieces?

We will gladly place centerpieces on your guest tables, with no charge if they are delivered ready to place and no assembly is required. We will also take care of setting out items such as favors and place cards.

Can I customize your menus?

Yes! Just let your sales person know what menu items you are interested in and they can give you pricing accordingly or work with you on putting together a menu to fit your preferences or budget. We can also create a menu for you based on a specific theme or type of cuisine.

Is there a minimum count or amount of money required for a Saturday?

We have a minimum guest count of 150 adult guests on a Saturday night and 100 adult guests on a Friday.

Can Russo’s cater an event on a Holiday?

We are closed for events on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The following holidays may be available but will incur additional labor fees: New Year’s Eve Evening & Day, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and Christmas Eve.

Can Russo’s accommodate dietary restrictions?

Yes! Just let your sales person know what menu items you are interested in and they can give you pricing accordingly or work with you on putting together a menu to fit your preferences or budget. We can also create a menu for you based on a specific theme or type of cuisine.

Will my event planner also be at my event?

Your Event Planner will assist you in planning your reception and prepare a contract that will record all of your preferences and decisions. This document will be shared with the Banquet Captain and Event Coordinator team from Russo’s that will be overseeing your event. Our Event Coordinators and Banquet Captains are Russo’s most experienced and fully trained team members that will focus on every detail of your contract to ensure it is fulfilled. The names of the staff in charge that night will be given to you the week of your event. While our event planners are also part of the event coordinator team, we cannot promise your specific Event Planner will also be available to serve as your Event Coordinator.

Wedding Ceremonies

Can we have our wedding ceremony at Piazza Messina? If so, what location on the property can this take place?

Yes, we have a few options to host your ceremony at Piazza Messina. We have a lakeside, outdoor patio or indoor option. The location can be customized to fit your style or time of year.

What does the ceremony fee include?

This fee includes up to 30 minutes of ceremony time with access prior for decorating. This also includes the set-up of chairs along with a time for a rehearsal walk through.

Is there a place for the wedding party to get ready prior to wedding?

Yes, we have a newly updated cottage on the property for the bridesmaids to use prior to the Wedding. We will also be adding a groom’s location coming in 2020. They are available for half or full day rental. Please see your event planner for current rates.

What is the ceremony backup plan for inclement weather?

The ceremony can be moved inside ballroom with a room flip provided for reception.

When will the rehearsal take place?

A rehearsal time slot is scheduled typically one to two days prior to the ceremony. This will be based on room availability and your schedule.

Are we allowed to bring in our own decorations?

Yes, please provide details and approval with your Messina Event Planner.

Is there a place to take pictures before and after the ceremony?

Yes, there are multiple locations that are available for pictures. They include the peninsula on the lake, garden area of cottage with deck and pergola, and our open-air patio. As our property evolves, there will be additional locations for pictures as well.

If we have our ceremony on site at Piazza Messina, how much time is allowed between the ceremony & reception?

Our Bridal Package appetizers are geared for 45 minutes of a cocktail hour. So, we can keep your guests within this time. This time is part of your Reception time, so we encourage you to get as many pictures taken prior to your Ceremony. This will hopefully allow less time needed for pictures after your Ceremony and thus get you more reception time!

Can we extend our Cocktail hour and if so, what is the cost?

The cost to extend the reception time is $150.00 per half hour plus tax. It is an additional $2.00 per person per half hour for the open bar, plus service charge and sales tax. The other thing that we recommend is to increase the hors d’oeuvres amounts for this extra time. This can be accomplished by adding stationary hot or cold hors d’oeuvres. Please consult your Messina event planner for guidance.

Can I take my engagement photos on site?

Yes, we are fine with this provided arrangements are made with your Messina event planner.

Wedding Cottage

We are using the Wedding Cottage on the property for our Bridesmaids. But we were wondering what time we could have access?

Access provided based on pre-arranged times of rental. This can be early in the morning or afternoon. Full day rental is available as well. Please ask your event planner for pricing.

Can we bring in food and beverages into Cottage?

You are welcome to bring your own alcohol and beverages into the cottage. We have our Gourmet Express menu with plenty of breakfast and lunch options delivered directly to you.

Can we use the Wedding Cottage for our Rehearsal Dinner?

Yes, please see Rehearsal Dinner Menus. Please consult your Messina Event Planner for rental details.