Do you think saying “I do” is going to be the most emotional moment in your wedding? Probably so, but putting down a deposit on your wedding venue could be a close runner-up 🙂
Reception costs consume almost half the budget for the wedding, Some venue you select can also limit your choice of caterers and drinks. Most stressful of all, the popular venues book far in advance, forcing couples to make the big decision almost as soon as they set the date.
For that reason, the savvy venue-hunters wants to know what questions to ask before they walk in the door, much less signs the contract. Here are a few ideas:
Do you have a pre-set list of caterers I can use, or can I choose my own?
Some venues especially the high budget ones may want you to go with their own catering staff, or require you to choose from a small list of “approved” vendors.
If you’re stuck with such a list, search high and low for brides who have “been there, done that” and can give you their honest opinions.
Any restrictions on decorations?
I once worked in hall with some many restrictions, trust me it is usually very frustrating especially on the decorator. Many venues have them, but rules vary widely from place to place. Common restrictions include: no open flame (or no flame whatsoever), no tape or tacks on the walls, or no confetti. When linens are provided, some halls will prohibit the use of pins. Ask the management what thier restrictions are then discuss with your decorator to know if they can work with it.
Are there any Corkage fees?
A corkage fee is charged by a resturant to costumers for bringing thier own wines to a hall.
Can we bring our own liquor, is there a “corkage” fee, But some venues prohibit this and require you to buy from them. Even worse is the venue that says “yes” to bringing your own alcohol, but charges you a mandatory “corkage fee” to serve it. You’ll want to be crystal-clear on this and know how much it cost before you commit to a venue.
DIY Detective Work
These, of course, are only a few of the questions you’ll want to ask a prospective venue manager.
A few more tips while you’re checking out the place:
– Bring a tape measure. Get the dimensions of the room, the tables, and the distance between any features that might impact your decor, like windows. How many outlets are there and where are they located? Check the kitchen. Does it look clean, roomy and suitable for your catering staff to work from?
– Check the hall itself. Where will you put the band, the cake table, Is a sound system available?
-Check out the parking. Is it paved, or can it get muddy in the case of rain? Is there handicap access?
– Check the rest rooms and convienences, are they clean, do they have water supply?
One final thing to get clear before you sign that contract is your venue’s cancellation policy.
But hopefully, with these helpful tips, you’ll have done enough homework to rest easy in your choice and not worry about having to cancel. Now that you’ve signed, take some time to sit back and relax … before you tackle the next task in that thick wedding planner! Have fun while planning your wedding!
Ask Onyeka…. Your question….. My passion