Oliveaire - South Asian Events

Oliveaire provides the hospitality industry a channel to explore the ethnic event market influenced with culture and tradition. Clients are able to depend upon our knowledge and understanding of the unique needs of the customs, meal preferences, and accommodations generated by these events. Our team, with its ethnic background, has been our cornerstone in provding our clientele the best service in the wedding and special event market.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Selecting a Venue (Part 2)

We are back to continue our criteria for finding the perfect wedding venue for your celebration. Last week we covered some very important details such as establishing how many guests will attend, your budget, what events will be taking place, out of town guests and then some generic aspects of the venue. This week we will start to examine the more fun things about your venue search. Now we will begin to establish a tentative timeline and start working on the food & beverage items for the event. You may say to yourself, “My event is not until next year”, but you will need these details to ensure that you find a venue that can accommodate all your needs, and meet all the details you have dreamed about your entire life. You don’t want to be locked into a contract with a venue, and then find out later that they cannot meet some of your most cherished details.

Now let’s examine criteria 7 – 12:

7. What time do you want your events to take place?
This is an important aspect, especially to the venue, as many hotels will have multiple events happening on the same day. They will want to make sure that can accommodate your guests, without affecting the outcome of your event. Now, again, you may say to yourself my event is still more than 10 months away and I have no idea of my timeline. Do your best estimate on this, as it is a key element in determining that the venue is available during your event times.

8. What type of food service would you like at your event? Sit Down (Plated), Buffet, Family Style etc…
This decision will affect how much space you will need at your event. Buffet style events will require additional space for the buffets to be set-up, versus a sit down or family style event that will only need space for tables. This can also have an impact upon your budget as most venue packages will list out sit down (plated) meals with pricing on their literature. Buffet and family style service may not be listed, and will be charged at a premium due to the extra amount of food that is required for these styles of service.

9. What type of bar service would you like at your event?
There are three main types of bar service. First is the hosted bar, where the host pays for the drinks from the bar. This can be as a per person price or based upon actual consumption. Second is the cash bar, whereas each person pays for his or her own drinks at the bar. Finally you can elect to not have any bar at all at the event. As you can tell, each one of these can have an impact on your budget, which may be a factor in determining your venue choice.

10. Would you like to have wine service during dinner?
This is a factor when determining your bar times, as most venue packages will include a 4 to 5 hour window of time. This may not cover your entire event time, so the best scenario is for the bar to close during dinner and offer wine service to your guests during this time. This doesn’t necessarily affect your venue space, but it is an answer the venue will want, so they can determine their staffing, etc.

11. Would you like to have a Champagne toast during the event?
This is similar to the wine service question above. This again is a factor in staffing, and timing the event from the venue’s perspective.

12. Finally, would you like the venue to supply the wedding cake or will you have your own bakery supply the cake?
Most venue packages will include a wedding cake from one of their recommended vendors, but this is certainly a negotiable element. As mentioned above, this doesn’t necessarily affect the venue space but is a factor when determining your budget.

Now you have the tools to at least get started on the process of the finding the venue for your special day. Keep in mind that the most popular venues will sell their event space anywhere from 12-24 months in advance, especially when you are talking about the peak wedding season of late spring and early summer. Have fun visiting the venues, and don’t be afraid to ask questions of the venue managers. The only silly question is the one not asked.

Good luck in your upcoming search!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Selecting a Venue (Part 1)

Today Forrest Moody, Managing Director, of Oliveaire is tapping into his vast experience working in hotels to provide great tips on how to select your wedding venue. Take it away Forrest...

Well he has popped the question and you have accepted. You are feeling like you can fly and take on the world at the same time. Now your best friend, in her jubilation, asks where the ceremony and reception are going to take place. Suddenly your balloon deflates and you come back to earth to take on the task of finding the perfect venue for your special event. Do I want a religious ceremony in a place of worship? Do I want sit down dinner or buffet style service? What time of day do I want all of these activities to happen? The wedding reception is the largest expenditure for most wedding couples so taking your time and evaluating your decisions is important.

The top 12 criteria to consider for your Wedding Ceremony and Reception:

1. How many people do you anticipate inviting to your special event?
This is probably the most important aspect when starting to look for a venue. This will dictate how large of an event space you will need in order to accommodate your guests. Also, keep in mind that your guest count will be approximately 20% less then the number of people that you invite for various reasons. Many of the points below will be in direct relation to the estimated attendance for your event.

2. What is your estimated budget for the ceremony and reception location?
This is an extremely important factor before you start your search. Every venue will ask this question up front, and it can save countless hours of searching if you have an idea of this in advance. Also keep in mind that most venues will also have a service charge and tax added to their package prices sometimes increasing the listed package price by almost 30%. Keep this in mind when considering your budget.

3. Do you want a religious ceremony in a place of worship or can it be held at the same venue as the reception?
This is important to consider in determining if you have to find two venues or only one. Although places of worship are relatively inexpensive, it can save some money if you combine the two events at one facility. Always ask the question of your venue if there is an additional charge for the ceremony.

4. Will you require any hotel rooms for out of town guests?
This should be considered even if you are not having your event at a hotel. If you have out of town guests you will want them to stay close to the reception location, and also see if the facility offers some type of transportation back and forth from their hotel. If you are at a hotel venue for your event(s), ask the venue manager for a special room rate for your out of town guests. You will need to supply them an approximate number of hotel rooms needed. Depending upon the hotel and number of rooms requested you may be required to sign a contract for the guest rooms.

5. Would you like an aspect of your venue or event to be outdoors?
This is a key element to inquire in advance as not all venues offer an outdoor option.

6. Do you have any special requests such as windows, chandeliers or special architecture that you would like to see from your special event venue?
Again this is a key item to do your research in advance. Most venues have very informative websites that can answer most of these questions without wasting the time of trying to call the venue.

This should get you started thinking about your venue search. We will continue next week with the remainder of the top twelve criteria to consider for your wedding venue. We will get into some more fun things next week such as food, beverage and even wedding cakes.