When you’re meeting with vendors, everyone will promise you the moon and the stars. Some can deliver. My friends in the industry take pride in NOT making promises they know are impossible. This is one of the main reasons that you should hire a wedding planner – someone to help you navigate these waters. If however you can’t afford it, decide if a friend or family member is going to do it for you, keep this list handy.
1 – How many other weddings are taking place on the same day?
This is an important day and why should you share it with other brides. Have you ever seen two brides play nice if they have to share the spotlight or the bathroom? You don’t want your guests going to another party (read: party crasher) and not attending yours. IF there has to be two weddings, ask about sound proofing to avoid clash of the musical titans.
2 – Are there any ‘overtime’ charges?
This can run from a few hundred dollars to thousands. Find out and be clear about the time your reception begins and ends. You don’t want the party to get good only to find ‘the parties over’.
3 – Parking near or far?
Is there parking on site? This is something you should consider especially for elderly guests. Is there a parking lot near by, is there a parking attendant and if yes, how much extra will this cost?
4 – Bringing it out side?
If you are having your wedding at a vineyard, park or outdoor space, are there sound/noise ordinance? It may be possible that the space has to have the ‘fun’ turned off by 11:00pm. Make sure you know this in advance so you can plan for your wedding a bit earlier or for an after-wedding, after-party.
5 – What other options are there for: the bar, caterer, florists?
Some venues restrict or won’t allow vendors that they have not used before. If you decide to bring in our own liquor, there may be a corkage fee and/or per person fee. This can cause the cost of your reception to go through the roof.
6 – Black-out prevention.
I know a very competent wedding planner who warned the vendors the brides choose to spread the voltage around because the bride didn’t invest in a generator. They had out-door heaters, warming trays, DJ etc…and there simply wasn’t enough power. What happened?? BLACKOUT!
It is an extra cost but a few dollars of prevention was worth eight-pounds of spoiled food and no music. (What happened in the end…the wedding planner – super prepared – brought a generator just in case, saved the day. Another reason to invest in a planner!)
Finally, make sure there are elevators or ramps for the elderly or handicapped; enough bathrooms for all (it should equal one stall per 35 guests) and if you decide to make any changes, have them in writing. You get what you do and don’t pay for. Remember that.