You're engaged! Congratulations. Weddings are romantic and wonderful. And weddings are also a business transaction. The biggest chunk of your wedding budget will go to the venue. And finding the perfect venue isn't always easy. There are many options to choose from.
Whether you're looking for a barn, an elegant ballroom or a cozy inn. You want to choose a venue that fits with the theme and vision of your wedding day. It also needs to accommodate the bridal party and number of guests you are expecting to attend. It's much more than the cost of renting the space. It's price per-plate, taxes and service charges.
Here is a checklist of questions to get you started:
1. What is the food and beverage charge per person? Or are beverages by consumption?
2. If there is not in-house catering, ask for a list of preferred caterers. Is there the option of using an outside caterer?
3. Are there kitchen facilities?
4. Any additional charges for the staff?
5. Is there a charge for tables, linens, chairs, chair covers, glassware and flatware?
6. Can I bring my own wedding cake? Is there a cutting charge?
7. Is parking complimentary?
8. What are your music guidelines?
9. Is there electricity outside to accommodate the band/music?
10. What is the back-up plan for an outdoor ceremony if it rains? Is there a tent charge.
When visiting wedding venues, use your camera phone to take photos or videos of all the locations. Snap a shot of each venue's sign when you arrive so you don't get confused. Ask a lot of questions. Make sure to bring a notebook or your wedding binder to record the answers.
When you make your decision, get everything in writing. Ask the rep to put together a proposal. It should include all the pricing, policies, service charges and taxes. Your wedding date is not reserved until you sign a contract and put down a deposit. Make sure to read all the fine print. It should include everything you agreed upon. As things change, request a updated version.
Remember to stay true to yourselves. A lot of couples choose a wedding style they fell in love with online. It's important to ask yourself if the space and decor represent you as a couple. It's your day and it should reflect your style and personality.
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