Picking Your Venue & Vendors(Part 1 of 2)

October 5, 2015

Once you decide to have an event, be it a milestone event like a wedding – or a business event, some of the biggest decisions you will make are in regards to where and who.

Where will it be? Who will attend? Who will provide goods and services?

This week we are talking Venues! Part 2 will come next Tuesday the 13th, and will address “Picking your Vendors.”

When it comes to picking a venue, the first thing you need to have is expectations. Do you want the Venue to provide catering or floral? We recommend making a list (when you write it down, you’ll remember better) of everything you expect from the venue. This could include wait staff, decor, food & beverages, transportation, lighting/visuals, tables & chairs and anything else you might want to be provided. Always remember, the cheaper the venue – the less they will offer. If you spend under $5,000 for a venue – expect just the room. Anything beyond that is a bonus. From $5,000 to $15,000 you will start to see venues offering tables, chairs and sometimes staff.

When you make a list of what you are looking for, its also important to include aesthetic things. If you want roman columns, jot that down so when you are looking at prospective venues you know what to look for! In the day of the internet, you can even do most of your ‘venue window shopping’ online – which saves time. We also recommend looking around for reviews of the venue in all shapes and sizes. Most brides will post about it online – and some coordinators may blog about it!

When you’ve made your lists and appointments – and its time to walk through; remember these simple tips:

  1. They need your booking – you don’t need them. Don’t let a venue coerce into a booking if you are 110% sure its right for you.
  2. There is always another choice. If you fall in love with a venue that is already booked, remember that you’ll find another.
  3. Under budget is better than over. If your dream venue is $5,000 more than you wanted to spend on a venue – maybe its time to move on. If you give it a week, and you’re still in love – determine if you can manipulate the budget to accommodate it.
  4. Look for potential. Not every venue is gorgeous without help – and that’s why companies like us exist. Our job is to turn a venue into a gorgeous affair.

If you follow these simple tips, you assure your own success! Every venue is unique, and every venue has a level of potential.

Once you pick a venue, it is very important to get a contract and pay that deposit. Most vendors won’t start working with you until you have solidified a venue. If you don’t know a lot about the legalities of a contract with a venue, we recommend consulting a local lawyer to make sure you are protected in case any issues arise!

Most venues require you to hold event liability insurance, but some venues will provide it at no additional cost – again, this is something to ask about! If you do a quick Google search, you will find a handful of event liability companies. We have worked with a number – but we always recommend RVNA Insurance Group which has policies starting around $80. We recommend at least $1,000,000 coverage for less than 150 guests, $2,000,000 for under 250, and the highest possible for any larger parties. Most venues will require you to have a letter of subrogation – fancy for insurance with yours and their name on it.

Next week we are talking vendors – which is part 2 of this talk. If you have any questions about picking a venue don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always happy to help prospective clients before they have selected a venue. We can recommend some venues and even do walk throughs with you!




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