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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Things You Should Know When Searching for a Venue!

I have at least 50 questions in my mind when I research venues.   I don't have a written list any more.  It's in my head!  I may only ask ten or more of these questions, but the other questions are being answered just from my walking around a venue.

I would say that the number one thing you need to know to prevent surprises down the road when it comes to venues, is to truly identify what the word provide means in the venue's terms.  Provide does not and I repeat, does not always mean free.  They can provide a million things, but you might pay for the extra chair, table, or an unexpected amount of money for anything you might consider to be very simple.  Sometimes these lists of charges might feel like you are looking at a bill from a hospital.  If you are prepared you won't be saying, "It cost how much for that?!"  I cannot tell you how many times I've heard from a client, "I wouldn't have ever thought of that!"  Those are the very same things that can really cause stress when it gets closer to your wedding.  It's not what you know but what you don't know that can hurt you.

I won't go into all of my questions that are going through my mind on a tour of a venue.  Suffice it to say that every venue is different.  If I had a dollar for every time I heard a venue ask, "If you can think of anything we should do, please tell me".  I am happy to because that helps their clients.

What are some of the most obvious things you might want to know about when you are venue searching?  Listed below are just few things that come to mind.  You might actually have things that are more of a concern to you that are not listed here.

1.  I always want to know if a venue is handicapped accessible because sometimes they are not. Don't assume that because your guests, young or old, are in good physical shape that you don't need to take this into consideration.  Your wedding is probably several months away.  Anyone can break a leg or injure a knee and end up using crutches.  Not to be negative here, but being prepared is what will give you peace of mind.  We've heard enough horror stories!

2.  Do they provide a licensed bartender for your wedding or event? If so, what is involved on your part?

3.  Do they allow candles?  Most do not!

4.  What are their rules for decorating?  This is big issue!  Get ready to hear them say that they do not allow tape, nails, tacks, glue, etc.  This can destroy a lot of what you might have visualized your wedding and reception to look like.

5.  How much time will you have to decorate?  Be sure to realize that two hours is nothing when you are dealing with decorating a venue.  This isn't the Thanksgiving dinner table you are used to decorating.

6.  A big thing I look for is parking. This could make the difference between your guests arriving on time or not.

7.  Do they have a shuttle service arrangement with local hotels?

8.  Do they have linens in other colors than just white that you won't have to pay extra for to compliment the colors of your wedding?

9.  If you hear that they have a good sound system, please don't assume it will be good for a wedding reception.  A professional DJ is worth his or her weight in gold!  The house sound systems quite frankly frighten me and I find them to be unreliable all too often.

10.  If you hear "we let you bring in your own food" be sure to clarify that!  They might really mean they allow licensed caterers from outside of their venue provide the food.  It doesn't necessarily mean you can cook your own food and bring it to the venue.

The more you know about your venue, the greater your wedding day will be!  It's easy to get into that mode of hearing what you want to hear, but it's better to step back and take a deep breath and really examine things closely.

Wishing you the Greatest of Days!

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