KwaDukuza, KZN, 13 March: One of the first steps to planning a wedding is booking a venue. The location you choose is vital as it will set the tone for your wedding and venue availability will also determine your wedding date. There are several important questions that you need to ask prospective venues to make sure that you understand what you are getting and that they understand what you want. Jacolette Mostert, Senior Functions Coordinator at Prince’s Grant, explains ten questions you should ask your venue before you give them a final answer.
Be careful to understand exactly what is and is not included in your room rental. Some places charge a flat rate for the evening, some places charge per head. Prices will also differ for plated menus, buffets or cocktail parties.
Some venues may provide the basics in your fee and you have to hire the rest. There are places that will allow you to hire outside people to do this and some will only do it themselves. Make sure of these small details before you agree to anything. Find out about any additional service fees, such as restroom attendants or corkage fees, and make sure these are added to your quote.
There needs to be enough room for tables, chairs, dance floor, DJ equipment, space to move around and more. If you are planning on having a small intimate wedding, don’t choose a ballroom for 150 people. Ensure that the idea you have of how big your wedding should be corresponds with what your venue can accommodate.
Services will differ between a full open bar with skilled bartenders to a place where liquor may be served only if you bring it and hire your own bartenders. Make sure to understand who will take on the liability concerning age limits. Get a list of drinks and services offered and prices so that you can make an informed decision.
There has to be adequate facilities for the number of guests you plan to invite. Find out if you will be sharing them with another event. Some venues have separate bathrooms for the bridal party and some can offer services like a basket of personalized amenities for your guests.
You may not be allowed to use confetti or candles in your centerpieces or you may not be able to use twinkle lights in your decorations. Some venues have restrictions on photography, loud music and time. Ask before you make any specific plans or pay for anything.
If your venue is providing bar services, they should have a liquor license as well as liability coverage. The same goes for an outside caterer, make 100% sure that they have all the required licenses, liability coverage and certifications required.
Is the parking free and off the street or are there any parking garages close by and will your guests need to pay? Find out if you can organize a reduced rate for guests staying overnight at the hotel or for the duration of the event at a paid lot. If the parking is on the street or away from the facility, consider hiring a valet service.
Regulations may require security personnel, depending on the number of guests and if alcohol is served. Ask your venue if they will provide this service or if you should hire outside security.
Many venues book events within tight time restrictions. Verify beforehand if there are any other events on your day and how much time you have before and after your wedding, especially if you need time to set up or if you decide to extend the celebrations for another hour.
The functions co-ordination team at Prince’s Grant is on hand to guide couples through the venue selection and wedding planning process. Prince’s Grant offers a variety of stunning wedding ceremony and reception venues including a private beach, stunning clubhouse, terraces boasting ocean views and a golf course backdrop and marque tents in a natural setting. If you would like to have your dream destination wedding at Prince’s Grant Coastal Golf Estate, you can contact their function coordination team on +27 32 482 0005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org; or you can visit www.princesgrant.co.za for more information.