Venue shopping and what to ask…
Hello again bridies! Hope everyone is settling in nicely in their new role as ‘bride to be’…you may laugh at me now, but pretty soon this is going to become your full time job! So brace yourself, and maybe give your boss a warning!
So, you have the ring (yeah ya do!), you’ve discussed ideas and themes (not just wih your pinterest board ladies, i do hope ‘hubby to be’ has gotten involved here somewhat!), you’ve an idea of your guest numbers and what your budget will be. Hooray, now its officially time to go find your dream venue.
Whether you’re choosing to have a civil marriage or a church marriage is an important factor here as with a civil you’ll want to get married on the grounds. So, what do the hotel have to offer and is there an extra charge for it. If you’re getting married at the venue is there an option for you to stay overnight and will there be ample space for bridal party plus hair and makeup the following morning. Is there a wedding the day before and if they have the entire hotel booked out what are your options? Some hotels will have several bridal suites and this wont phase them but some boutique hotels can only cater for one wedding every 24 hours so find out what they can offer.
I’ve compiled a list of questions below that we felt important to ask the venue before we signed on the dotted line. However, before I go any further, please ensure that everything you discuss ad agree with your venue is put into writing and confirmed. Even the finest detail. The average engagement time these days is two years and hotel prices can increase quite significantly within that time, so put everything you agree down in black and white so nothing can be changed or disputed closer to the time of the big day. Believe me, you will not need that stress in your life.
Questions to ask:
What is the wedding accommodation rate and does it apply to all guests or a limited number?
How many complimentary rooms (if any) are included in the bridal package?
How many rooms are available for guests and how long before you release them to the general public?
Are there family rooms available and possible babysitters offered by the hotel?
If not enough rooms at the hotel to accommodate guests what are the alternate options?
Is there a multiple night stay rate if guests are staying for the full weekend?
Do they offer a complimentary nights stay for your one year anniversary or what is on offer for your anniversary?
WEDDING RATE & SERVICES:
Are there peak and off peak rates? When exactly are they applicable? Some venues offer off peak rates for mid week and from November to January.
What exactly comes with the package? Are there any extras such as band, DJ, entertainment, flowers included. This may be an option at off peak times so always enquire.
Is there a minimum number of guests for the meal and what is it?
What is the deposit and when are final numbers and final balance due? Can they be paid in installments?
What is the meal rate for children and suppliers (you may need to feed your photographer/videographer)
What chairs are provided by the hotel and are there chair covers provided or extra cost?
Are there flowers included, if so what are they, for where and is there a budget?
What centrepieces or room decor is included – light draping, candleabras?
Is the tasting complimentary and how many can attend (You may want to involve parents). Do they provide accommodation if you’re travelling a distance.
How late does the bar serve? Is there an extra charge for a later bar? How many tend behind the bar and what is the policy of non resident guests staying for residents bar (especially if the hotel is too small to cater for all your guests and they have to stay elsewhere).
What are the options for a next day event and how does accomodation work if theres another wedding taking place? Rushing off after your big day is a tireless endeavour and might be nice for everyone to stay put.
Is corkage an option and if so what is the rate. Ask about bottled beer aswell as wine and bubbles.
Seems like a huge amount to have to think about but these are standard questions and the venue will be well used to them. Alot of this information will be in the brochure but no harm getting all areas covered and dont be afraid to go back again if you think of anything further. Once the venue has been confirmed you can give yourself a massive pat on the back that the biggest area of the wedding has now been finalised and you can truly start picturing this magical day starting to unfold. Now….onto the dress, where the real fun begins!!!