Mary-Anne Lowe from The Riverstone Estate shares her advice on some great questions you should ask the reception venue when booking your special event
Often as a reception venue, the first question we get asked is What is your price per person? This is the worst question you can ask any type of wedding vendor. Sure budget does come into the question, but do you really just want to find the cheapest supplier possible. What about the service, the quality and above all, the experience and memory of your special day.
Instead of asking the price, ask what packages they offer that provide the best value from the vendor. Some venues may start with a lower base price, but quickly as extras are added it ends up more expensive with fewer inclusions and all of a sudden, the question about price is an issue when you find extra costs a few weeks before a wedding, often blowing the budget at the last-minute.
Instead of a Saturday night, you may look at off-peak, instead of 100 people for your reception, look at 80 people instead.
Great questions to ask any venue when shopping
What is the wet weather option? Are you really going to be happy getting married on the dance floor if it rains? If you dream of a garden wedding isn’t meant to be, you need to be certain you love the wet weather option.
Do you cater for one wedding at a time? This can be a deal breaker for some brides.
By having only one wedding per day means the staff and management are only worried about you and your guests, not running between the two, and secondly your wedding is never going to be affected by another wedding arrival, or tardiness – no car parking because the ballroom started before you, or the other room runs late so kitchen has to run late for you. This could simply lead into disaster.
Do you have any past clients we can talk to? Nothing beats a reference from a past client. Social media is a powerful thing. Simply Google the venue add the word reviews – very quickly you will see a pattern of review, and this is a great independent way to really see how a venue stacks up.
Above all, ask yourself – Do I feel like an important person when viewing, if a venue won’t take the time to answer your emails promptly, return a phone call or send a brochure when you are trying to buy something off them, how will they be once you hand over your hard-earned dollars…?
When booking a venue, do your research first. Check out online who you like the look of, who caters for your numbers and location. Consider alternatives and a wide variety – just because you pictured a beach wedding, doesn’t mean that the reality is what you will want. It is a public space, no privacy, windy with sand blowing everywhere, no toilets etc, you may find a venue that you fall in love with which was totally different to what you first dreamed of.
Remember it is your dream so you are allowed to change it along the day, as long as you don’t cross the very fine line into Bridezilla land.