A prom organiser signed a contract with a venue for only “££££” and later discovered that the venue only allows disposable tableware, the event facilitator is not available on the day, and the coordinator is not replying to emails and texts. Who wants to be in such a situation? Right, nobody! Venue will eat up most of your budget, so it is important to make thoughtful decisions. As an event coordinator, I want to share a few questions that you must ask your venue before making the final booking.
Do you have an Event Facilitator?
Hiring an event planner is similar to hiring an assistant, friend, and manager all wrapped up in one. You need someone to ensure that all the little things at your wedding, from linen to flower arrangements, are in place. And most venues provide event coordinators for the day. Confirm his attendance before you sign any contract and get a list of all his responsibilities (in writing). And also ask if you have to pay additional fee to hire him or the service is includes in the rental fee. Even if the venue pays him, make sure to offer a tip, from £100 to £300.
How Many Events Will You Host on the Day?
Make sure to ask this question as your party may be in the a.m. and you’ll have to rush if the venue has an afternoon party. And if your party is later in the day, you’ll get a messy venue and a tired staff. And also make sure what space will not be accessible to you. Imagine you have a party indoor and there’s another one going in the courtyard, and you guests can’t go out. Needless to say, if such is the situation, move on and find another venue.
What’s the Fee and What All It Includes?
Some London venues will charge £2000 to hire the space only and some may include the decoration, table, and linen as well”. Don’t assume anything on your part. You may have to pay additional service fees on top of the food bill which can range from 15-20%. Ask for what all is included in the cost. You might be being charged for something you don’t need. If you’re not serving alcohol, there is no need for security or see if there’s any crowd control fee for less than 50 people. If you’re serving alcohol, ask whether the venue offers cash bar or hosted. Also, ask what the standard tipping protocol is.
Is There a Room to Get Ready?
If it’s a wedding reception, there has to be a room for you to get ready. Lots of venues have a special room but you need to confirm beforehand and ask whether there is an additional fee for it. If you’re having a destination wedding, consider renting a hotel with wedding space for hire. This way, you’ll get some discount on rooms as well as the venue.
Is there a Parking Space and Will Guests have to Pay for Valet?
If you’re having a city wedding, makes sure that there’s enough space for parking. And since many venues have onsite parking lot, it’s wise to ask whether they are planning to charge your guests or is it free? If you don’t want your guests to pay, you can pay them beforehand.
Is the Venue Accessible?
Even if most of your guests are able, still it’s courteous to look for a disabled-friendly venue. An elevator, step-free entrance, hand-rails, seating area, and accessible bathrooms will be enough.
How Many Hours I can Use the Venue for?
Half-hour ceremony, an hour for dinner, cocktail hour, and two and a half hours for dancing, cake-cutting, and toasting, a five hour wedding is standard. And other parties and events usually last for 2-3 hours. But make sure that the venue offers enough time before the event to decorate and make other arrangements. The venue may have the policy to shut at 11pm. The caterer may need an extra hour before the event to set up. Venues may charge an extra £500 per hour if you continue the celebration longer. Make sure to get the time written in the contract. You don’t want to feel like rushing from the moment you enter the hall.
Are the Decoration and Linen Provided?
If the venue provides a set of chairs, tables, and linen required for your number of guests, nothing is better than that. And if it’s included in the cost, it’s the cherry on the cake. But if not, you’ll have to rent these items. It may sound simple but someone has to be there at the site to meet the rental company, unpack the items, set them up, clean them later, and repack after the event is over.
Can I Hire My Own Vendors?
If you don’t like the caterer or DJ in the list of vendors the venue works with or it sounds too expensive, ask them if you can hire your own vendors.Would you hire a photographer without looking at his portfolio, then why to book a venue without knowing who will cater your event or handle the flower arrangements? Ask whether these vendors will be easily accessible to answer your questions and consider your likes and dislikes.
Can I Bring My Own Booze?
While most of the venues don’t allow this, some still do in London. See what the venue will charge for alcohol. And if it surpasses your budget, you can get the alcohol yourself. Although you’ll have to pay corkage fee for opening and serving every bottle, yet it’s worth considering, as you’ll most probably save a few bucks. Venues can also mandate who will be the bartender. And it’s best to have a profession bartender recommended by the venue.
Make sure to hire these 10 essential questions to your venue before allowing it host your D Day. If you like the replies to all these questions, congratulations! You have chosen the right venue.