One of the most difficult things for a bride to do is to find a venue for their wedding. They want it to be suitable for the numbers that they anticipate – not being too big if the numbers are low and not being too small if the numbers go out of control.
A huge factor with everyone is the food and service – and so it should be. You are leaving a lot of money with the venue and so it has to feel right for you.
First thing to so is draw up a guest list. There is usually an average of a 10% drop off from this – but it has happened where everyone who was invited was able to attend so you need to be ready for that also.
Make sure you see the set up for a wedding in the venue of your choice. From this you will see what they do and then you know what you need to do to make it the setting that you would like. If this runs into big money to decorate it the way you want, perhaps you should look elsewhere as it may be less work and less money coming up to the wedding.
Also, if you are having a winter wedding look at the venue at that time of year and not in the summer as it will be completely different.
Ensure that they venue you choose suits you and the guests – o.k. we all want the fairytale wedding and you may go for a venue to fit into this dream but you do not want to take a venue that you feel you can not relax in or you can not enjoy and let your hair down! You will be doing unnecessary worrying coming up to your wedding as to how the day will turn out and will everyone behave.
Always ask lots of questions to see what is included – corkage, see if the venue offers this. Although a lot of venues will not allow it and if they do, the corkage price is very high and you are better off going for the hotel wine.
Insist on getting menu prices in writing along with bar exemptions, evening food and room rates. Once you have them in writing you have nothing to worry about, but I have seen it too many times where the price goes up on the bride – all her budgets are done and now because of this she is way over her budget because in the hotel contract they have put – price subject to change. Not every property would do this but it is better to have it all in writing to ease your mind.
Another good point is after you have decided on your menu ask to have a meeting with the chef. This is a very worthwhile exercise as then the chef knows for whom he is cooking for on that day and that is not just another wedding. He can put a face to the name on the function sheet and calling this meeting he will know that you mean business!
Keep a separate file for the hotel and document everything – therefore your mind is more at ease and fewer surprises can occur.
Selecting the venue is one of the hardest things to do but after that has been done everything else will fall into place…..really!