Wedding Planning 101 – How to Choose the Best Wedding Venue (Part 2)

Ashley and Thierry Wedding (98 of 358)HOW TO CHOOSE TO CHOOSE THE BEST WEDDING VENUE



Finding the perfect venue can be a real challenge, but in our case, it became an exercise in extremes….from patience to frustration to downright disbelief! We set our criteria and were determined to find a place that met our requirements and stay within budget. It had to…

  1. Accommodate an outdoor wedding with a contingency plan should it rain
  2. Accommodate at least 90 guests
  3. Allow DIY components from providing homemade wine for dinner/toasting to decorations, signage, etc.

I ended up making a check list to ask questions pertinent to our requirements so we would have all the facts and not have any surprises down the road. You can download it here.

One lesson we learned is what you see is not always what you get so beware of the many hidden items you have to look out for if you don’t want to deal with unexpected expenses once you sign the contract/rental agreement.

    • SOCAN – fee to be able to play music in a public place. Stands for (Society of Composers, Authors & Music Publishers of Canada). I’m not sure if there is such a fee in the US or Europe, but it is worth looking into to be safe from copyright infringement.
    • Rehearsal- some venues charge extra to use space for rehearsal
    • Décor- some places charge extra for décor or to use in-house decorations/decorator
    • Tables, chairs, table linens, chair covers etc.- these items are not automatically included in rental fee
    • Wedding coordinator or point person
    • Clean-up after wedding
    • Gratuities and taxes- if you see a “++”, it means you’ll be paying a tax and gratuity on top of the listed price. Make sure it clearly spells out what you are paying the gratuity on. For example, we brought in our own dinner wine and were aware that we would be paying gratuity. It was our understanding that would be based on the $10 corkage fee as indicated in the fee schedule, but learned later when paying the final bill that it was based on a $24 bottle of wine (which was what we would have paid had we purchased the wine from the vendor). That wasn’t spelled out in the contract. My suggestion is to find out what exactly you are paying gratuities on and what the rates are. In our case, the percentage was different for the food versus the bar
    • Delivery charges – for rentals from outside vendors that may be delivering items to the venue on behalf of the venue

We did find the venue that met our needs and met our budgetary requirements. Were there glitches? You bet, but they were relatively minor in the grand scheme of things. In the end, Ashley and Thierry had their dream wedding on budget without breaking the bank. In my next post, I will continue with my “Wedding Planning 101” series as I talk about bridal showers. Stay tuned…….


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