Searching for your venue is one of the first things you need to do in the wedding planning process, allowing you to finally set a date. Make sure you start the planning process off right by being prepared with the proper questions, giving you the base to your flawless wedding. These questions will help you keep an eye out for hidden fees and find the best venue for your needs.
1. Is there a place where the ceremony can be held in addition to the reception? How much does that cost?
Some venues can host both your ceremony and reception, which can be convenient for both you and your guests. Time saved driving from one venue to the next can be used for more time with your photographer, or more time to enjoy cocktail hour.
Here at the FORUM Conference & Events Center we can accommodate both ceremonies and receptions, utilizing your cocktail hour to flip the room from a ceremony/theater style setup to your reception/banquet style setup while your guests enjoy drinks in the foyer. For smaller weddings, our beautiful courtyard can host ceremonies as well.
2. How much time is given for the ceremony and/ or reception?
FORUM’s wedding package comes with 5 hours of event time for your reception. Some venue’s, such as FORUM, allow additional time to be purchased as well.
3. Can I use my own caterer? Is there an extra fee to do so?
A lot of venues have an exclusive cater, which can have a tremendous impact on your budget. Venues will either have an exclusive caterer, a list of preferred vendors, or both a preferred list and a policy that allows other outside catering, usually for a fee.
FORUM falls into the third category, working off a preferred list (shown above) but also allowing outside catering.
4. Am I required to hire security? How much does this cost and does my number of guests affect this?
Your guest count and whether alcohol is served or not can affect whether security is required by the venue. The charge is often per hour, and hired by the venue.
5. How much setup/ teardown time is given?
Don’t get stuck needing to cut your wedding short to setup and teardown.
At FORUM our wedding package comes with setup and teardown by our coordinators to allow you to head straight home after your reception rather than worrying about teardown that evening.
6. Are there multiple weddings held on one day?
Are you sharing the venue with someone else that day? Will parking be shared or will time be crunched?
FORUM only books one wedding a day.
7. Do you receive any discounts from your preferred vendors?
Occasionally a venue will receive discounts from their preferred vendors – so don’t miss out by simply not asking! Ask your venue about discounts before purchasing items and services from your wedding vendors.
8. Are there any limitations to decorations?
Common decoration limitations include candles, glitter/confetti, and hanging decorations from the walls or ceilings. Be sure to ask about these limitations up front rather than being told your decorations aren’t allowed on setup day.
9. How late can the reception go/ what time does the venue close?
Some venues have closing times. Does your venue accommodate to your late night reception for those late night party goers?
10. Is there a service charge and to what does it apply?
It is an industry standard for a service charge to be applied to your invoice. This charge typically falls between 18-22% of the invoice and covers all pre-event services, such as consultations. However, some invoice items can be excluded from the charge, such as labor fees per person. This service charge will be mentioned in the contract, but is often not mentioned during a tour and is seen as a “hidden fee”. Keep in mind that this charge is not the same as labor fees (labor fees are charged for the physical setup of the room).
FORUM’s wedding package includes all labor fees and service charge, to avoid any confusion and the feeling of “hidden fees”.
11. What is included in the wedding package?
All things to consider:
- Catering fees
- Labor fees
- Service charge
- Required Event Insurance
- Event Time
Happy venue searching!
Until Next Time,