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Finding the Perfect Wedding Venue


One of the very first decisions when planning a wedding is to decide where to hold the party! As couples get more adventurous these days, the list of places that is available for wedding celebrations is getting longer by the day. Rule of thumb, choose a place that holds a special meaning for you – it can be the place where you first meet, that museum you love, your favourite hangout, or that restaurant that serves the best Martini!

The perfect occasion! Photo by Plush Photography. Wedding of Melissa and James.

A resort perhaps. Photo by Studio Impressions.

Or a beach party. Photo by Studio Impressions.

When deciding on the venue, you need to first get a rough idea on your desired wedding date, wedding style, budget and guest count. Then make a list of the places you like and start researching on each of them (a little journal would be really useful for taking notes as you progress).

Here are some questions you may wish to consider:

  • Does it fit your wedding theme?
  • Can it accommodate the number of guest you wish to invite?
  • Does it fit your budget?
  • Is there already an event around the area on the same day?
  • What’s the payment policy – deposit and cancellation?
  • Do you need to apply for any license for using the venue? What are the services that are included in the package?
  • Can they accommodate special menus for guests with special dietary requirements – vegetarian, halal, gluten-free, or kids menu?
  • Is the food provided by the in-house kitchen or catered?
  • Is there any extra charge corkage for bringing your own bottles (wines, champagne, and hard liquor)?
  • Is there overtime charge on venue rental and wait staff if your event ends later than expected?
  • Do they provide equipment such as – wireless mikes, projector, laptop, sound system, and lightings? Do you have to rent it from them?
  • What is the ratio of number of wait staff to guests?
  • Are there basic amenities such as washrooms, wheelchair access, bridal room and etc?
  • What is the basic choice of decoration provided? Can you bring in your own florist? Do ask the sales staff to be very specific (décor on all tables can mean just a bowl of water with flower petals and a tea-light when you imagine a fresh flower centrepiece)
  • Is there a contingency area in case of rain (for outdoor venues)?
  • Is there any restriction on noise, capacity, alcohol, entertainment, open fire (candles) and so on?
  • Is there ample parking space? Valet parking?
  • What are the charges for breakages for crockery and decorations?

ExtraOrdinary Tips

  • Set aside approximately 50% of your budget to cover venue rental, food and beverage, and an extra 5% for decorations.
  • Check out the venue when they have a real wedding going on, this will give you a better idea of what you will get as well. (Ask if the couple had paid additional for any of the things you see on-site)
  • If you plan to have your own wedding invite, guest book and favours, ask if you can exchange it for something else like wavier of corkage or a rebate on the total bill. Exchange policy differs from each venue.
  • Be courteous and gracious, if the venue really cannot provide what you need, work together to find a solution. Be realistic with your expectations.

Have a great time hunting for the perfect location for your wedding!

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