A Time and a Place
03/26/2014 12:59 PM
03/26/2014 1:03 PM
The Timeline Soon after the proposal: Begin searching for a venue with a flexible date in mind. Consider how many guests you will want and the atmosphere you want for your big day.
1 year to 9 months: Book your wedding venue. If you want to have your wedding during the more popular summer and fall months, it’s important to book early to ensure the date you want is available.
6 to 9 months: Book a caterer, unless catering is included in the cost of the venue. Make sure that the venue will give them access to the kitchen! Book a DJ or band that fits the mood of the venue.
4 to 5 months: Pay first down payment.
1-2 weeks: Give venue the final guest count and pay the remaining balance.
Don’t Forget to Ask
Will I be able to use vendors of my choosing? Is there a fee for bringing in certain vendors?
Is there a fee for staying late? What time do guests have to leave?
Is there suitable parking for all of my guests?
Can I bring my own alcohol? If so, what is the corkage fee?
How many weddings will be booked on my day?
Do you have a facility director? Will she be there on the day of my wedding?
Are there additional costs for bar/wait staff?
What time will I have access to the site to set up?
Does the venue have a sound system? Or will that need to be rented?
Is the bridal suite included in the price?
Is the venue child-friendly?
Is there a payment schedule?
When are payments required?
Make An Exit Every couple wants to make an unforgettable exit. Below are some ideas for memorable (and picture-perfect) farewells.
Sparklers (make sure that the venue allows this)
Colorful streamers or ribbons
Paper cones with confetti (or poppers)
Tip Keep a copy of your venue’s policies on hand! As you begin coming up with great ideas during the planning process, it’s helpful to refer back to be sure your vision is attainable. Dreaming of a sparkler exit or candlelight? A venue’s fire prevention policy might not always accommodate these additions. -Gail Allen, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
True Story: “When selecting a venue it’s important to know what the venue manager’s role is on the day of the event. One bride arrived not realizing that our venue staff does not serve as a wedding director. Fortunately the venue manager and event vendors were all willing to step in guide the bridal party. Also, as you hire your wedding vendors, don’t forget to communicate to them your contracted set-up and breakdown time for your venue. One vendor arrived a few of hours prior to the client’s contracted set-up time. The vendor was unable to set-up anything due to another event on-site. The vendor had to wait until the event area was cleared before setting up.” --Gail Allen, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Join the Discussion
Charlotte Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.