One of the very first wedding planning tasks that you do after getting engaged is finding the perfect venue.
Most brides already have a vision of what type of feel and location they would like their wedding to have; whether its an outdoor summer affair or a grandiose ballroom reception. Once you’ve found that perfect location, now’s the time to consider all the little details. Every venue has its own unique rules, regulations, what you can do, what you can’t do, etc. Typical questions to ask about the venue include things such as how many people it can hold and how many hours you can book the place for. But here’s a list of 5 things that are often overlooked that you should consider before booking your wedding venue.
1. Set-up & tear-down time.
Although this might not be deal breaker for choosing or not choosing a venue, it is important to know how much time you have before the official start of your event for your vendors to set up and put out decorations. This includes also knowing whether or not you are able to store any decor items for your event at the venue the night before. Same goes for the tear down time. Some venues may charge extra if your tear down time passes a certain time limit. All this information will be extremely helpful not only to you as you plan out your wedding day, but also to the other vendors you will book.
2. Tax & gratuity.
For venues that do their own catering, you are often quoted a menu price per person. Be aware that this price does not include tax and gratuity. In order to truly consider whether or not the venue fits your budget, you must consider the total price including tax and gratuity. Gratuity can often be anywhere between 20-25%. Being the budget savvy person that I am, I’d definitely say there’s difference between a $15,000 and a $19,500 banquet bill.
3. Required licenses & permits.
For outdoor venues and some churches, be sure to ask whether or not a fire permit is required for the use of any candles. Otherwise, obtaining a proper fire permit becomes another task on the to do list. Everyone wants some alcohol at their wedding! But make sure your venue has the proper license to serve alcohol. In addition, ensure you fully understand the venue’s rules and additional prices associated with bringing in your own bottles of alcohol.
Also not a deal breaker, but get a good understanding of what the parking situation will be like for your guests. Will guests have to pay to park? Will they need to walk a long way? Can the elderly be dropped off easily? If so, perhaps consider hiring a valet or pre-paying the parking fee for your guests.
5. Locked in vendors.
There are some venues that require you to use a restricted list of vendors for food or flowers. Consider whether or not this is something you are okay with or are you more comfortable with a place where you can freely book outside vendors that you can personally handpick. Also consider the cost differences between using their required vendors versus your own hired vendors.
Every couple has their own unique set concerns when it comes to booking their venue. What other considerations did you make before booking yours?
W Day Events
All of these tips are important to consider, especially Number 5. That can make or break your decision to book with a particular venue. Our thanks to April for this savvy bit of advice for when couples are out and about venue shopping!
If you have any advice you would like to share with our readers, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your tips!
Photo Credits: Tented Reception by Charlene Morton Photography, Ballroom Reception by Tonya Malay Photography
Submitted via Two Bright Lights