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Weddings are exciting, tumultuous experiences, and making sure everything goes off without a hitch can be challenging. There are questions the Bride and Groom should ask while planning for their wedding day.
Can the wedding facility accommodate the number of guests that will be attending for dinner?
This is a really important question. You do not want to book a place that will only accommodate 100 guests and you have 250 guests. You do not want your guests being squeezed into a crowded environment that will be a miserable experience for them. The same applies in reverse. If you only have 100 guests but the location has a minimum of 150 guests, you will be paying for empty seats.
Once you have a general idea of the number of people who will be attending, make sure the wedding facility will be a good fit for your requirements. Ask them for a sample of their seating plan, will they provide round tables or long oblong tables? Do they have photographs of previous wedding events and how the tables were laid out? You want to ensure that the place you choose will be a wonderful experience for you and your guests.
What time will you and your guests have access to the facility?
Each wedding place has their own rules when you may entire the premises. Even if their website claims it’s yours for the entire day – check first! Once you know when you can arrive, it will not leave you and your guests standing around waiting to get in.
Will there be another wedding event at the facility on the same day?
In some cases, it’s a personal choice if you want a wedding facility entirely to yourself or you will only be there for a certain number of hours so another party would not be an inconvenience. If you have a large wedding, a small facility will probably not have the space to accommodate two weddings on the same day. They will not have the room for both, so you would have to share the facilities.
If you would prefer not to bump into the “other” bride, you might consider choosing a manor house, hotel or a club that caters to several events at once. Larger facilities have the rooms, the caterers, and they know how to handle several weddings at once! Find out ahead of time if your wedding will be the only event or will there be another. If there will be another wedding, ask yourself if you want to share your space and have the facility catering to another party during your wedding?
Will the facility for your wedding day be available on that day?
Although this might sound like an obvious question, you really need to ask ahead of time. Simply visiting the facility and really loving the place is a waste of time if that day is already booked for another wedding. Once you have set your date, give them a call, let them know your wedding date and see if they can accommodate you. If not, you haven’t wasted your time, just move on to another location.
How many wedding guests will your wedding location accommodate for your reception?
Whether you will have a small, intimate wedding ceremony or large one, you need a good fit for those guests attending the reception. Let’s face it, you don’t want to crowd everyone into a small area where it’s impossible for anyone to move around or even make their way to the bar. On the other hand, you don’t want a huge room with a small number of guests. If the place has a separate dance floor and bar, your guests are going to feel like they are in a barn! Imagine having a band performing to a half empty hall, your guests are sitting around the edges, and not connecting with each other. That’s the makings of a living nightmare!
What are the restrictions for the temporary bar area?
If you will have a canopy or tent at the location, they will probably have a temporary bar for your guests. If you want to stock the bar yourself or bring in someone to stock the bar and manage it, ask if this is OK first. If the facility insists you use their temporary bar, ask to see the list of prices ahead of time. Whether you or your guests will be flipping the bill, no one wants a big surprise when handed the bill. When discussing the bar situation, ask them about the wine or champagne that will be served for the toast.
Will the bridal party have a place to get ready for the wedding?
The bride would like to have her own special space to prepare for her wedding day. She obviously wants a comfortable area, not some conference room or a ladies changing room. Find out if the facility has a nice, comfortable room for the bride along with her hairdresser, make-up artist, and room for her entourage to help her get ready for her wedding day. She will enjoy the comfortable and calming surroundings to bring down some of the stress she’s experiencing.
Are you allowed to provide for the music selection for the bride’s entrance?
This will depend on your wedding venue. If it’s a public location, you will not be allowed to have music that is religious in nature, meaning anything referring to God, Angels, etc. If this is the case, the facility will provide “acceptable” music CDs for you. If you want to be able to choose your own music, you will have to make sure the location will allow it.
If it’s fine that you provide your own music, you should make sure the CD has been dropped off at their location a day or so before the event. They will test your CD to make sure there are no scratches or see if your CD-R will work in their player. Even if the registrar will have to approve the songs you have chosen, if you clarified this ahead of time, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Ask if they will provide the caterers or can you hire your own.
If there are restrictions, keep in mind that their caterers know the facility better than anyone else as well the kitchen operations because they have catered many weddings before yours. In the long run, it might be wise to use their people. On the other hand, if it’s not a problem for you to hire your own caterers, make sure you shop around and find the people you want a good deal ahead of time. You can visit different establishments, taste some food samples, and discuss what food you wish to offer your guests.
Ask if the wedding facility has a wedding cake stand that you may use. Let’s face it, the wedding cake is the centerpiece of your event. A really nice stand could set you back some money if you have to purchase one. If you have your own caterer, ask if they will be providing one. Usually, caterers for weddings do have stands. In other cases, the shop that created your wedding cake will usually rent out a stand along with the wedding cake knife. As a general rule, a good wedding facility will have a high-quality cake stand but ask ahead of time.
Do you have to order a buffet for the entire amount of guests that will be attending?
Let’s say you have 100 wedding guests but half have already eaten or a quarter of them would rather hang out at the bar. Are you obligated to pay for a buffet that suits all one-hundred of them? Check with your wedding facility and find out if you can pay for only 80% of your guests. You could possibly save some money and won’t be stuck with a lot of leftover food.
Check ahead of time regarding their level for sound control.
This might be something that you could easily overlook but you should ask. You have already financed a lot of money into your entire wedding and you want to have your band or DJ heard in the back of the room. Unfortunately, many wedding facilities are in residential areas and there are sound restrictions that must be enforced. Your musical entertainment could lose some appeal that you were hoping for, especially on the dance floor. If you are planning on a large party, it is wise you find out ahead of time.
When does the bar shut down & when are you required to leave?
You really need to know how long you are going to be allowed to party! A good facility is not going to go around the room, at the end of the evening, and hurdle your guests out! However, it is expected that your guests leave the facility at an appropriate time. Make sure you go over this with the wedding facility to find out what time last call at the bar is and when the music must wind down. This will prepare you for the last dance, let your band or DJ know when closing time is, and allow you to say farewell to your guests.
What if it’s a rainy day that will ruin your photo shoots?
Think positively that it would not dare rain on your wedding day! But should the weather let you down you should have a backup plan. Once you have chosen your wedding facility, walk around and ask where photographs are taken on rainy days. Let’s face it, the last thing you need is a really ugly backdrop in some room when you were planning on gorgeous photos taken outside with a beautiful, natural backdrop. Most places have indoor areas for rainy days and are actually quite beautifully set up.
Are guest rooms available at the wedding facility?
Many wedding events have family and friends visiting from elsewhere and they need some place to stay. If you are planning on spending your honeymoon night at the facility, find out if they have a honeymoon suite that will be available. Even if you are all set for your hotel accommodations, you will have to make plans for your out-of-town guests. Once you have the facility you are going to use, start making reservations for your guests and your honeymoon suite well ahead of time.
Before deciding on a wedding facility, you should ask as many questions as possible to ensure your wedding event will be just as you have planned.
Planning for all the events surrounding your wedding can be complex and will take time to pull together. You should have a list of what must be done and start looking for the perfect place for everything to take place at. With each event, talk with wedding facilities to see what they can offer you and what they cannot. It’s your wedding and you want everything to run smoothly while making sure your guests are comfortable at all times and having a really great time!
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