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!