Questions to Ask Before Selecting a Wedding Venue

I recently wrote a blog post on how to find your wedding venue. I discussed a number of questions about the costs of the venue — which I think are important enough to reiterate! I also am adding questions to this list that you should keep in mind before actually signing any contract with a venue. If you’re looking to double check questions that you should ask, be sure and check out the Here Comes the Guide questions to ask when evaluatingĀ a wedding location.

Photo from The Wedding Lens

General questions on costs/facilities to ask

  • Seating/guests
    • How many people can they seat/fit?
    • How much is the deposit/down payment? Is it refundable?
    • Does the venue provide chairs? Do you need to rent chairs?
    • Do they charge for the chairs/setting up chairs?
  • Facilities
    • Is there a dressing area for the bride & groom?
    • Are there bathrooms accessible to guests?
    • Is it wheelchair accessible?
  • Food, drinks, & catering
    • Does the venue provide food, drinks, or other catering? Do they have preferred vendors?
    • If they have food & drinks for weddings, then find out a price range, you will select your final food/drink options later. Most venues give a per person rate. (Be sure to check whether each price option includes a buffet, a seated dinner, an open bar, limited drinks, etc.)
    • Can vendors use the kitchen facilities? (Are there kitchen facilities on site?)
    • Is there a per-person cake charge?
    • Is there an additional charge for linens and utensils?
    • Is there a service charge for serving the meals?
  • Music, Dancing, Flowers & Decorations
    • Does the venue have a dance floor? Does it cost extra?
    • Does the venue permit amplified music?
    • Is there a sound system? Can an outside DJ or band use it? Is there a cost
    • Do they permit decorations/flowers? Can you bring in decorations from outside or does it have to be done through the venue? What is the charge?
  • Miscellaneous
    • Do they charge for clean up
    • Does the venue require wedding insurance? (Check out the blog post on wedding insurance if you have no idea what this is!)
    • Are there restrictions on the site? (no confetti, etc)
    • Do they have any other costs and fees? (service charges, etc)

Specific Questions to ask yourself to make sure the venue is right — at the right time

  • Go to the venue at the time of day you want to get married to make sure the lighting is right and sufficient.
  • Is there sufficient lighting? Ask the venue if there is additional lighting available.
  • If it is outdoors, are there coverings or tents that can go up if it rains? Can you bring in umbrellas? (Are there charges for tents? What is the charge?
  • Do you like the people at the venue? Can you work with them?
  • If they require a certain vendor, is that okay with you? Do you like the vendors?

Questions to ask about the contract before you sign

  • What happens if one side or the other has to cancel? Do you still have to pay fees? Can you get reimbursed if it’s their fault?
  • Is there a contingency plan if it’s outdoors and it rains?
  • Are they requiring you to do something you do not want to do or incur costs that you dont want to incur?
  • READ it thoroughly! Make sure you understand it. Take your time, don’t feel strong-armed into signing it. If you can, have someone else who isn’t involved in the process read it too. They might see something you didn’t.

~ Natasha

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How to Tell People Where You’re Registered

Despite all of the blog posts on gift giving and gift etiquette that I have written, I just received word that I never explained the best way to ask for these gifts!

Photo from chatiryworld

Photo from chatiryworld

So here’s the scoop. The old tradition is not to put the registry information in the invitation. But it IS okay to put it in the invitation to a wedding shower. I’m not clear on why it’s ok for one, but not the other. Either way, some people still feel uncomfortable with including gift info in the invitations and some people do not have wedding showers. If you do not want to include the registry information with the invitation, here are some options!

  1. Website. Create a website for your wedding. (I’ll write a post on this soon — but The Knot has free wedding websites). List the website on your save the date or invitation. For example “for more information, check out our website…!” Then, on your website, list the places you are registered. This is also where you can let guests know you prefer cash or gift cards, by writing something like “no boxed gifts.” Or, you can tell people not to get you gifts or that you’re prefer that they donate to something in lieu of gifts.
  2. Word of mouth. When people are ready to get a gift for you, they will ask someone else where you’re registered, especially these days. Your long lost cousin might ask your aunt — and hopefully your mom or dad will have told your aunt where you’re registered. Basically, make sure everyone close to you knows.
  3. Question & answer. Just because you can’t volunteer that information doesn’t mean you can’t answer the question! When Uncle Andy asks you where you’re registered, tell him!

So what if no one asks or you dont have a website or your guest doesn’t have access to the website? Well, I’m afraid there’s nothing you can do if you’re not including the info with the invitation. Truth is, if someone wants to get you something from your registry, they’ll ask and they’ll find out. If they have something else in mind for you, they will probably get you that instead. And, if they’re at a complete loss and don’t feel like asking, then maybe they will end up giving you cash or a gift card — so you can go out and get what you want from the registry!

Regardless of what you end up receiving, be sure to say thank you!

Good luck!

~ Natasha

How To Ask for Wedding Planning Help

You’re getting married and you have your list of things to do — and you are totally, ridiculously, without a doubt, overwhelmed!!! How do you ask for help?

First, talk with your partner. You know, your future spouse? Usually you’re marrying that person because you work well as a team. And, my guess, is one of you is probably calmer than the other during this process.

Photo from The Wedding Lens

Photo from The Wedding Lens

Second, figure out what tasks you can delegate. That’s right, give up some control! Example: you know you want yellow flowers, but you haven’t figured out where to get them, what to get, how much it costs, where to put them, etc. Delegate.

Third, delegate for informational purposes. What do I mean? Well, it’s easy for one of your friends to take on calling a couple florists and finding out prices, how delivery works, what they recommend in yellow during that time of the year. And they can even research where to put the flowers once you get them.

I actually think that this is the easiest to do. It’s hard to let go of the entire task, but it’s easy to let someone else do some background work. For one friend, I looked up local hotels that were close to the venue and I figured out how much they cost, if the hotel allowed room blocks (and how many), and that was that. The bride made the final decision, but at least she didn’t have to spend the time doing the dirty work!

Finally, take deep breaths. Be zen. This is a day where you & your significant other share your love for one another with your family and friends. If it’s not perfect, it’s okay. You and your significant other will still be married, smiling, and happy at the end of the day.

Good luck!

~ Natasha

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