Before you can really get into the thick of planning your big day, you need to secure your event space. These seven essential questions will help ensure that you pick the perfect spot.
1. What exactly is included in the per person price?
You should not assume that the price quoted includes everything needed to make your wedding dreams a reality. Some venues will tack on fees for things you might see as wedding essentials, but they see as extra special service. “The expense of renting and bringing in tables, chairs, props, linens, glassware and table settings is huge,” says Kara Lamerato, producer and host of the Wedding Planning Podcast. “A couple should fully understand what (if any) of these items are included on their venue contract.”
2. Does the facility have a specific caterer or a list?
Often, those exclusive caterers pay to work at the venue and pass the costs along to the couples who rent the spaces, says Chef Alexa Lemley of Artisan Foodworks Catering. “A venue that is open to having your choice of caterers can save you a lot of money–not to mention the ability to choose a vegetarian-friendly one.”
3. Do they have a preferred vendor list? Will they allow vendors that are not on that list?
If you have your heart set on a particular vendor, finding out you can’t use him or her after the fact can be a real disappointment, says Dave Yen of Roomblocker.com.
4. How many people will the venue accommodate?
You want to make sure the venue can safely accommodate all of your guests (is there a minimum or maximum number allowed), says Lamerato. “You also want to know how much flexibility is there for adding guests as the RSVP date nears.=:
5. Any required insurance certificates which must be obtained and paid for by the couple?
This can be a danger-zone hidden cost that typically comes up very last-minute, says Lamerato.
6. Will there be multiple weddings or events happening on the same day?
Some couples don’t mind having other weddings taking place at the venue, while others want strictly one-on-one attention, says Lauren Randolph of My Hotel Wedding. If there are other events, where are they located on the premises? Will guests be able to hear the other couple’s band/DJ in the hallway? Share restrooms? Wait in a long line for the coat check?
7. Do they add any taxes or gratuities to the cost quoted?
Is this part of the quoted price or extra? You’ll want to be able to budget for these items so you’re not surprised when you’re handed the final bill, says Heidi Hiller of Innovative Party Planners.
For more wedding tips, check out how to plan a bridal shower and mistakes couples make when planning a ballroom wedding.