The Venue

It’s the big­gest (and pos­si­bly most con­fus­ing) ven­dor de­ci­sion you’ll make. Al­low us to shed some clar­ity.

New Zealand Weddings Planner - - Editor’s Letter - PHO­TOG­RA­PHY JES­SICA SIM

VENUE GLOS­SARY BAR PACK­AGE

A per-per­son rate for an open bar based on a spe­cific amount of time. This makes sense for wed­dings with guests who like to drink.

CON­SUMP­TION BAR

You will be charged based on the ac­tual num­ber of bev­er­ages or­dered through the night – good if your guests aren’t big drinkers.

EX­CLU­SIVE USE

The only peo­ple on the grounds will be those you in­vited – the venue is yours for the day.

FOOD AND BEV­ER­AGE MIN­I­MUM

This term refers to a dol­lar amount you must spend on food and bev­er­age to use the space.

FULL SER­VICE

Full ser­vice venues pro­vide all or most of the de­tails needed for a wed­ding. This can in­clude a cer­e­mony and re­cep­tion site, cater­ing, and your flow­ers or dé­cor.

OUT­SIDE VEN­DORS

Some venues have a clause not al­low­ing you to bring your own ven­dors, such as cater­ers, into the venue, in­stead pre­fer­ring you use the ones they fre­quently work with. This is of­ten the case with venues who have ex­pen­sive prop­erty or fit-outs (art gal­leries or mu­se­ums, for in­stance).

VENUE CO­OR­DI­NA­TOR

They’ll act as a li­ai­son be­tween you and the venue’s op­er­a­tions team (think kitchen staff and on­site sound tech­ni­cians). They’ll also show you the venue, help co­or­di­nate any ser­vices of­fered on­site (for ex­am­ple, valet park­ing), and process the fi­nal in­voice.

PO­TEN­TIAL HID­DEN COSTS THAT EVEN FULL- SER­VICE VENUES MIGHT CHARGE

CAKE CUT­TING/ CORK­AGE

You may hope to save money by bring­ing your own booze, or hav­ing an ex­ter­nal ven­dor or fam­ily bake your cake – but if it’s a ser­vice your venue pro­vides, they may try to make some coin back by charg­ing you a fee.

POWER FEES

Does your venue have enough power to sup­port your DJ booth, sound sys­tem and ex­ter­nal light­ing? If not, you may have to cough up for some ex­tra elec­tri­cal sup­port.

EARLY AC­CESS FEE

Your ven­dors may need ac­cess to your space ear­lier than the con­tract states you can come in. This means venue staff have to be there, and prevents an­other event from tak­ing place.

CLEAN- UP COSTS

Most full-ser­vice venues should in­clude this in their pric­ing, but it might only be all-in­clu­sive if the clean-up oc­curs on the same day. Be sure to check what the ar­range­ment is should your party con­tinue un­til the wee hours.

CHECKLIST

QUES­TIONS TO CON­SIDER BE­FORE YOU START LOOK­ING AT LO­CA­TIONS

¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨What’s our to­tal wed­ding bud­get, and how much are we pre­pared to spend on a venue?

What’s our rough guest count?

What will the weather be like?

Do we want to have our cer­e­mony and re­cep­tion in the same place?

What date or dates do we want?

Are we open to cater­ing re­stric­tions? For in­stance, if a venue tells us we need to use their caterer and cake maker?

How easy does our venue need to be for guests to get to?

Are lots of guests com­ing from out of town? If so, are there ho­tels rea­son­ably close?

What’s our vibe? (Op­tional – but if you’re set on a Tus­can-in­spired theme, you’ll make your life a lot eas­ier by look­ing at vine­yards in­stead of func­tion cen­tres). ►

EX­PERT TIP

If a venue doesn’t have es­sen­tials such as ta­bles or AV equip­ment, be sure to fac­tor this in to your venue bud­get.

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