» How to Choose Your Wedding Venue
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How to Choose Your Wedding Venue


Picking a venue can be tough. You fall in love and book it, only to find out later you must pay to rent tables and chairs. Or that you need to pay for additional hours because 6 hours is not enough to do setup and breakdown. Or that you must use their caterer and the minimum is $50 per plate. Below are a few common venue money pits.

Venue Size

Get an estimate guest count and then find a venue that can accommodate guest tables (divide guest count by 8 to get total guest tables) and dance area (20 x 30 will work). If the venue can only accommodate your guest count using outdoor space, you will want to add the cost of renting a tent in case of bad weather. Tents will rent from $1k to $5k.

Venue Hours

How many hours will you be allowed to use the venue without having to pay for additional hours? Typically, a wedding lasts six hours (1hr ceremony, 1hr cocktail hour, 1hr dinner and 3hr reception for a total of six hours). However, you must also account for setup and breakdown. You will want to set aside a minimum of 5hrs for setup and 1hr for breakdown. Therefore, you will want to have access to the venue for 12 hours.

Venue Restrictions

Find out the venue restrictions. Are you required to vacate the place by 10 PM? Do you need to hire security? Do you need to hire a cleaning crew? Do you need to stop the music by a certain time? Do you need to have your own insurance? Etc… The easiest way to avoid any problems is to ask the venue rep in an email, “What are your venue restrictions?”. If they fail to tell you prior to signing a contract you will have something to bargain with.

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