Making the Most of Your Wedding Venue – The Right Questions to Ask

In the Philippines, wedding reception venues are a plenty. There are La Castellana, Baluarte de San Diego and Plaza Moriones in Intramuros if you want a historic wedding. Your other choices are 55 Events Place and Light of Love Events Place in Tomas Morato and Santol Street in Quezon City, respectively, and the ever-reliable Oasis Manila which is located in San Juan.

Choosing the right venue is a critical part of any wedding. When you have chosen the right venue, only then you can maximize such to your advantages. Preparing the wedding venue itself is equally important. Here are the right questions to ask so you can make the most of your carefully chosen venue.

1) Is this a full-service venue or not?

There are only two main types of wedding venues: full-service and place-only. Full-service venues offer not just the place, but also other services such as chair and table rentals, catering paraphernalia rentals, chauffeur services, etc. If it is a place-only venue, you need to book other vendors.

Before you do that though, you might also want to ask…

2) Should we be using the vendors of your choice?

The majority of the venues have a list of accredited catering services and florists. An events place expects its clients to use any of these. Thereby, ask if the caterer of your choice is included in the list or not. If not and you still want to use your catering provider, then you have to pay the corkage fee. The fee is usually 20% of the total bill.

In some instances, there are separate corkage fees for food and wine. Standard fees vary although some venues charge on a per bottle basis for wine. On the other hand, paying the fee is not always a bad thing. Some events places sell wines at triple the markup, so it is wiser to pay the corkage than to pay a hefty tag per bottle.

If you are not comfortable with the idea of paying your chosen caterer and the facility for its fees, you may want to ask your preferred caterer first about which venues they are accredited to. In this way, you can save yourself some serious cash that will otherwise go to the fees. Nonetheless, you need to choose a catering provider that is accredited to different types of events places so you can still shop around for the perfect venue.

3) Can you accommodate this number of people?

When you inquire about the availability of the place, the management would normally ask ‘for how many guests?’ With this, you must have a rough estimate of your wedding size and for the facility management would be able to plan the arrangements accordingly.

Consider asking…

4) Do you have an in-house Facility Manager?

If the events place says yes, ask if he or she will be there on your wedding day. A Facility Manager coordinates the people, groups, space and infrastructure at your wedding reception. He or she will be your go-to person, so make sure that this person is present on your wedding day should anything goes awry. Possibly, secure a copy of the Facility Manager’s duties.

However, not all venues and events places have this on their overhead so better ask about this. Some events places have on-call Facility Managers. With this arrangement, you have to establish whether the management or you should be paying for his or her services. If the management is going to pay the Facility Manager, there is no need to pay for the service rendered. A tip is not expected anyhow, but for superb service, this is highly accepted and appreciated.

If the facility provides no additional facility coordination services, you might as well ask if you can bring in your own Facility Manager. Perhaps, your wedding coordinator may also act as the Facility Manager.

5) Is a shuttle service from the ceremony to the reception included in the package?

Making on-the-day transportation arrangements is a no brainer. Definitely, you want your wedding to run as smoothly as possible.

Shuttle services may or may not be included in the package. If not, your next option is to rent cars, vans, coasters, mini buses, etc. Just make sure there is an ample parking space to accommodate all these. Also, ask if there will be a parking attendant who ensures that the area is organized and presentable.

6) Will there be other weddings booked on my wedding day?

Some venues accommodate one event per day only. While exclusive venues are a bit pricey, the place is all yours. You need not worry where your guests will wander especially the kids. The best part is, you can plan your reception based on the available spaces in both indoors and outdoors.

Further, there are massive events places that can book up to 3 or 4 weddings per day. If you are booking this, make sure that you will be getting the actual time that is alloted for your event as well as the allotted areas.

Perhaps, you should be asking…

7) Are there any restrictions for the photographers and videographers?

There are venues that designate specific areas for photo opportunities. This means that you and your guests are not allowed to take snaps whenever and wherever they want. Main photo opportunities happen during the reception. The problem is, you cannot utilize the venue for this purpose as possible due to the restrictions.

Regardless of which type of venue of you choose, consider having a pre-wedding visit your photographer and videographer. Your team needs to get acquainted with the venue so they may plan the best shots on your big day.

8) How many hours can we use the venue?

Majority of the events places can be used for up to 6 hours. Beyond the alloted time, the management will charge for overstaying usually on a per hour basis. Your main concerns are: the information should be written on your contract and the guests must be aware of the timeline of your wedding.

Ingress and egress may or may not be included in the count of hours. Better make sure with the management though by asking how early the catering service, for instance, can get into the place to set up everything.

Don’t forget to ask…

9) Do you have a contingency plan?

Other than the inclement weather, there may be unpredictable circumstances that may affect your plans at the venue. Ask about the venue’s air conditioning, lighting and sound systems, if there are any.

Not to mention, there may be special accommodations that some of your guests may request in the middle of your wedding planning. Are you inviting people with disabilities which means that the venue must have a full wheelchair access.

10) Will there be any planned changes to the venue before my wedding?

Venues and facilities upgrade their amenities from time to time, and your chosen reception venue is having a landscape change weeks before your wedding. We cannot emphasize enough the need to visit the venue at the time of day as your wedding day. In this way, you would know how the elements fall into their place like the lighting. It is important to know what goes into which and which goes into where.

If there will be changes that you and your coordinators are not aware of then, your plans are definitely messed up.

After announcing your engagement, you will be bombarded with questions as to when and where. While the when can be easily answered, some couples find it difficult to answer the where questions. There are many choices of wedding venues here in the country, but the question is: is this the most appropriate venue for my big day? Above are some of the questions that you have to answer in choosing the wedding that you think would be perfect for your wedding.

About Hizon's Catering

For more than 30 years , we have been blessed to be a part of thousands of weddings, debuts, kids parties, corporate events, and private celebrations. In all these events, we make sure we are not only your caterer but more importantly your partner in every step from conceptualizing, budgeting and planning up to final execution.

Find out how we can help you in your wedding

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