Booking your wedding venue is an exciting milestone, you've found the place where your family and friends will gather to celebrate with your marriage. When you sign your venue agreement don't let your excitement rush you into signing before you have read the policies of the venue in close detail.
Dreaming of a romantic candle-lit reception or a sparkler send off? Want to party until 2 am? It is very possible your venue policy prohibits open flame and has an ordinance that requires music to be off by 10 or 11 pm. Maybe you want to bring in an outside caterer, double check that you are able to choose your vendors and if there are any additional fees for doing so. Bring your list of must-haves/wants with you to a venue appointment and go over each item.
From a timeline standpoint, the first thing I want to know is when you will have access to the venue and what the set-up and break-down terms are. Best case scenario is having access to the venue for rehearsal including some additional time for setting up tables and chairs (without linens if outdoors.) Not only does it save time for the wedding day, but it also allows couples to see the table placement, aisle and other set-up to make sure they approve of the layout. Will guests be able to leave their cars in the parking lot after the reception if they called a cab? These are important questions to ask your wedding planner!
Be sure to confirm if outside alcohol is permitted, and the requirements for serving. The venue may require you to hire security and the number of guards may depend on the guest count and the type of alcohol you are serving. For example, if you have 150 guests and the venue requires 2 guards, then figure $25-40 per hour for each guard for 5 hours plus travel.
This is the one area that couples often underestimate, because until you have gotten married you just won't understand how long the wedding day is as a whole, but how fast the reception goes by! You'll need to have all of your personal items, rentals & decor packed in addition to ensuring that all venue requirements are met (tables and chair put away, kitchen/common areas cleaned, and even removing garbage.) Unless you have several volunteers this may not be feasible in the 45 minutes to an hour that you have to clear out. The real question is, do you want your wedding party or family to clean after your wedding?
We totally get it, Pinterest has all of these inspiration photos that will drive you crazy until you find just the right place to hold your wedding. We just want to be sure our couples have all of their needs met along the way!
~ Happy Planning~