Everyone knows that wedding planning can be stressful and downright overwhelming at times. Once you are engaged, booking a venue is one of the very first things you should do, as popular places are booked well in advance—up to one year. No matter what you choose, there should be some rules of thumbs from which to follow. Once you have established what you want to book, keep these five questions in mind before committing to anything. They are the most important to ask.
1. What do you get for your money?
Some venues provide a wide variety of services, including catering. Also, ask if the tables, chairs and linens and everything that is needed for dinner service is included—and don’t forget to inquire about the wait staff (waiters, waitresses, bartender, etc.) You don’t want to book the spot and then learn that all of these sorts of things are an extra expense. Make sure all the bases are covered. Venues are expensive enough.
2. What is the payment and cancellation policy?
If for some unfortunate reason you need to cancel, make sure you ask about their cancellation policy. It is likely that they will require a deposit to secure the facility. Talk to them about the policy of getting the funds back. Most good venues allow a small grace period. If they seem very strict, you might want to think about finding something else.
3. Are there any restrictions you don’t know about?
It is very important to ask about anything to do with small print restrictions. Do you need to wrap things up by a certain hour? Are candles or others kinds of lighting considered a hazard? And also ask about guest capacity. If you are having a large wedding, this may be a deal breaker.
4. Is there a policy on alcohol?
If the venue offers catering, the fee may include an open bar, for which you’ll be charged either a flat fee, by the hour, or even by how much guests consume. If you are looking to save money, ask about having an open bar only for a short time during cocktail hour, then it turns into a cask bar for the venue itself.
5. Are there accommodations for physically challenged guests?
Not only for the physically challenged, but also for your elderly guests that may not get around that well these days, be sure and ask about ramps and elevators. These are things that venues are required to have. If they don’t, consider something else.