When choosing the perfect wedding venue, many loved-up couples only take into account the address and quality of service. Others, in the heat of the moment, are more concerned with the availability of dates. But that isn’t always enough. In some situations, it’s necessary to put the emotions to one side and make a true checklist of the fundamental elements that simply can’t be overlooked to ensure that the night is unforgettable for everybody. So grab yourself a pen and paper and write these down!
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1. What is the capacity of the venue?
Before you start the hunt for your perfect wedding venue, make the guest list. The number will already serve as a yardstick and help you filter your options and then narrow down the possibilities. From this point on, list the location options that can hold a slightly larger number than the number of guests on the list, but not incredibly high, so the party doesn’t seem empty.
2. Closing time?
Inquire about the opening and closing time of each venue. Some locations, because they are in residential areas, have restrictions on noise and volume which is likely to put a dampener on your big day if you’re not prepared to have to end the party at 11pm. Just make sure to ask about the closing time so that the party doesn’t end well before the hour!
3. Does it come furnished?
There are event spaces that provide all kinds of wedding furniture such as table, chairs, dressers. Others, however, do not, but will give you a list of possible suppliers. The choice will also depend on the type of wedding you want: more rustic or more sophisticated. Before signing up, check for vendors near the site and check for extra charges if the venue has its own furniture.
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4. What are the extra fees?
Some places charge a fee for you to bring your own drinks to the wedding, known as the corkage fee. The best thing to do is to note down each fee from each venue and compare the options. The differences can be very different between the suppliers, so bear that in mind.
5. Can I use my own suppliers?
Some places will require the customer to choose the suppliers suggested by them, such as lighting, decoration and buffet. Check beforehand and ask if your own suppliers are allowed there.
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6. Do you have your own generator?
Who wants to say “I do” in the dark? The option of hiring a generator in place in case of an electricity cut is essential to ensure the excitement of the party and the sanity of the bride. Most venues already offer this option, but it never hurts to ask. NOTE: This is a particularly important question to ask if you’re having a Destination Wedding or re tying the knot in a semi-enclosed space or completely outdoors.
7. How many cars can we park on site?
Getting married in a wonderful hall in the centre of town, but there is no parking? The logistics will get complicated for the guests, especially those who aren’t local to the area. Check the options offered by each place beforehand and marry the capacity of the parking availability with the number of guests.
8. Is there air conditioning?
Not all spaces offer air conditioning. For some couples, this is not a requirement. For others, it is absolutely fundamental, particularly if you’re tying the knot abroad. Go for options that suit your profile. Of course it is always good to think about the comfort of the guests, especially if it is summer and in a very hot city. The important thing is to know exactly what you are hiring.
9. Is it possible to extend the hire period?
The scene is common in weddings. Picture this: the bride and groom hire the space until a certain time and then, an hour from the end, realise that there is no way the party will be over by then. The only option is to stretch the use of the venue for another one, two, three hours. Do check if this is an option!
10. Is there a spare room?
It’s quite common for brides to find out if there is a particular room reserved to touch up makeup, adjust the dress and redo the hairdo. It’s also possible to keep miscellaneous things in there such as guests’ belongings, coats, gifts, babies’ buggies etc. It costs nothing to ask if it exists and if there is no extra cost to use it.
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Other items such as the requirement of lighting and technical assistance, assembly and disassembly hours, area reserved for staff (such as band, etc., size of and access to the kitchen and a place to unload deliveries should also be evaluated. At the end of this checklist, you will have been able to choose the perfect place for the most important day of your life!