Tips for searching for the perfect wedding venue

04/18/2014 9:52 AM

04/18/2014 9:53 AM

There seem to be more choices than ever when it comes to locations for that special wedding. (And they’re all special, of course).

Engaged couples may find that the wide variety of options – plus the deeply felt emotions that accompany wedding planning – complicate things considerably. Add to that mix a desire to be as economical as possible and you’ve got a challenge on your hands.

Below are some suggestions the Better Business Bureau advises you to take into account when planning your big day.

Do your homework

Before approaching a venue, be sure you have taken the time to consider different aspects of your wedding.

• Have at least a rough idea of how much you want to spend on the venue.
• Consider the number of guests that will be there and whether they have special needs, such as mobility issues.
• Know whether you want the ceremony to be a traditional religious one. Some places of worship may require it. Some may have restrictions regarding the manner of decoration as well.

Ask questions

Inquire about the number of weddings that occur at the venue. Will there be staff on hand to help in any way? Are any changes to the venue expected before the wedding date?

Find out whether the venue is a full service one. That usually means they will be able to provide table and chair rental, linens and catering supplies. A non-full service venue only provides the space itself, leaving everything else up to you.

Does the venue have a required vendor that you must work with and if so, do they ever make exceptions? They may want you to use a particular caterer, rental company or event designer.

Get references and take the time to check them out – the more, the better. Ask other couples what their experience with the venue was like.

If the venue is not a place of worship, look them up on the BBB’s website. Pay attention to any unresolved complaints about them.

Ask about their refund policy. A “cold feet clause” may be unpleasant to have to consider but it is important enough not to be overlooked.

Friends and relatives who have attended weddings or staged their own at the venue are an invaluable source for helpful information. Quiz them and take their experiences to heart as you plan your own wedding.

As with any contractual consideration, get everything in writing. Be sure all dates and prices, products and services are listed. When the time for payment comes, pay with a credit card if possible. That protects you should a dispute arise.

Expensive proposals

It is no secret to most people that a wedding can be an expensive undertaking.

Since 2007, the wedding planning website TheKnot has conducted surveys to find the average cost of a wedding in America. Last year the amount was up to a whopping $30,000.

With so much money at stake, the wedding business can attract unscrupulous opportunists just like any other. Be sure that you exercise caution and deliberation as you put together the many details of your wedding event.

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