The last thing you want on your big day is unexpected fees from your wedding venue. When you sign a contract with a venue, this is a binding monetary agreement – so make sure you ask all the right questions. These nine money saving questions are the most important questions to get answers to before you sign the contract!
Is there an extra fee for bringing in my own vendors/food?
Often, venues will require you use their services, i.e. you must use their caterers or coordinators. Sometimes this fee is included in the cost of the venue – other times, not so much. Avoid being blindsided by this additional fee or limited in your choices of services by asking your potential venue in advance.
Does that price include alcohol?
So you do have to use their caterers, and you’re cool with that! But what about the bar? Make sure to ask if alcohol is included in the price of food. If the venue charges based on how much alcohol is consumed, naturally, that price will not be in your original quote.
If I do use my own services is there a fee?
You’re so not cool with using their services – you want a BBQ buffet and all they have to offer you is prime rib or fish. Check to see if there is a fee to bring in your own food/other services so you can factor this potential fee into your budget or choose another venue.
Usually, you are allotted 4 – 6 hours in your venue space. Going over that time slot can cost you at certain venues.
Are rentals provided?
Rentals here meaning: chairs, tables, linens, ect. Don’t assume they’re all included. You don’t want your guests sitting on the floor – unless that’s what you’re going for, in which case, more power to you.
Are there setup and breakdown fees?
This is a biggie if you’re having your ceremony and your reception at the same place. If there’s an extra fee for each setup and breakdown, you’re looking a four extra expenses. Yikes.
Do I have to do the setup/breakdown myself?
Is there an additional cost for my vendors (photographer, videographer, DJ/band, planner) to sit and eat?
Although you may not be thinking about it, keep in mind that you need to feed your vendors as well. Maybe they’ll refuse, but it’s polite to include them, of course. Make sure you inquire about this, or you could be left feeling a little silly with hungry vendors.
Is there a special rate for children?
This is a great hack: often, venues will charge a different fee for children to eat or attend your ceremony/reception. There’s no harm in asking, you could very well be looking at a nice little pay break you weren’t expecting.
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