I have received a number of emails asking me to discuss key elements to keep in mind as both a bride and a planner. I wrote about this in April and thought it was deserving of a re-post since so many of you are asking about it. Please share your thoughts on the post and any extras you would like to include below.
Brides: It is easy to get excited over venues when you first get engaged. Perhaps you’ve been thinking of a particular venue for a long time, maybe even since you were a little girl. However, it’s important to understand that (depending on the venue selected) there may be some costs that are not necessarily taken into consideration when you set your mind on the venue of your dreams. However, the sentimental value of the location may outweigh any financial implications that come with it.
Planners, it is an essential part of our job to help our brides and grooms make educated choices.
Here are some things to consider when it’s time to determine which venue is right for you. It’s easy to forget about some costs that appear hidden, but are very much present:
Additional Set Up Fees: Depending on how extensive your décor needs are, you will likely have to pay room charge fees in order for the appropriate set up to take place. Unless you have created your own event space (ie: tent), or have access to a banquet facility without any parameters or time restrictions, you should be prepared to pay the necessary fees. These fees of course, should always be negotiated ahead of time in order to avoid surprises.
Bartender Fees: If you are planning an intimate event this might not be an impactful number, but when you need multiple bars and your guest list exceeds 400 people, this number can become quite substantial. The same applies to carving fees for the cocktail hour.
Liquor License: Before you hire a caterer, please make sure that they carry a liquor license; otherwise you will have to incur those fees in addition to your food and beverage expenses.
Minimum Guarantees: Before your heart is set on a venue, find out if there is a minimum guarantee for the venue. If you are hosting a smaller wedding this might be an issue and will probably not be the most cost effective way to go.
Shipping: Most of us don’t realize how expensive shipping can be. This applies to the shipment of materials for destination weddings as well as the shipping of wedding essentials that will have to be ordered prior to your date. If there are specific items that need to be ordered online and will be needed to be shipped to the location, be sure to give yourself ample time in order to avoid rush fees in addition to your regular shipping fees.
With a Happy Heart,
Kathy Romero is the Director of Event Planning for Preston Bailey Designs. She shares her thoughts and advice on Preston’s Blog every Thursday.
(Photo Courtesy of Matthew Lee of CLY Photography)