I recently came across the story of a young bride-to-be frustrated and overwhelmed by the unforeseen issues at the venue of her wedding reception. The venue management went ahead with a large renovation project, which meant there were scaffolding, tarps and construction materials covering most part of the building. This was definitely not the picture perfect venue envisioned by the bride. To make matters worse, the management had not given her any notice about the work and was not willing to refund the payment.
Considering that similar situations are not entirely within our control, there are a few things to be prepared for as one puts together the wedding plan. We have listed the top ten things to consider before you reserve “the prefect space” for your wedding or reception.
1) Rain Plan – Even in the middle of gorgeous summer, make sure you are prepared for showers of blessing 🙂
2) Upcoming constructions/renovations – Ensure written confirmation of advance notice on any work to be done, and if extensive construction, ensure a refund or significant discount.
3) Multiple events – This is for large venues with several event spaces, where they might book multiple events at the same time. If there is more than one event, ensure they provide proper signage; else, it can be confusing for the vendors and guests as well.
4) Catering – Make sure their exclusive/in-house services fit your needs, or you have the option to use outside caterers, cake designer and beverage vendors.
5) Rules & Restrictions – Discuss any specific rules & restrictions at the venue that may interfere with your vendors’ requirements.
6) Rentals – When you compare venue prices and services, make sure any rentals such as chairs, tables, linens, cake table, stage, dance floor, etc are included. If not that is an additional cost which may take you over the budget.
7) Staff – Review the list of staff (if any) provided at the venue: Food & Beverage manager, F&B staff, manager for day-of coordination (if you are not hiring a wedding planner), bartenders, and emergency contact – in case something goes wrong.
8) Budget – Read the fine print and make sure everything they mention as their venue services is included in the budget and there is no or limited additional cost.
9) Private Suites – Check to see if they include the bridal suite in the contract. If it is a hotel, find out if they have a honeymoon suite for the couple.
10) Size/ Layout/ Ambiance – Can you imagine the space as the venue for your “big day”? Visualize taking your vows here or your first dance here. If the mental picture is great and addresses all your needs, go ahead and sign the dotted line.
If you have any wild stories about venues, share them here. We would love to hear from you!
(Photo courtesy – Shira Weinberger)