Once the venue has been chosen, your role may include negotiating the contract, as well as supervising all arrangements for the reception. Later in this module we will talk more about working with vendors and contracts. This section is specific to venues.
If your clients decide to hold their reception in a hotel function room or venue such as a private room in a restaurant, country club or other wedding site (like a pavilion), most of the room set-up and catering will be professionally handled by an on-staff event coordinator. You will assist in choosing the menu and program for the evening, but you will act as liaison between the venue coordinator and your client.
In addition to conferring with the site’s event coordinator, you might also be introduced to the venue’s bar manager and catering manager to assist in planning any food service requirements. These people are the experts in their domain, so it’s a good idea to trust their judgment on items pertaining to the space, and allow them to assist in food and wine pairings.
Download our sample venue survey checklist so that you don’t miss any of the crucial details.
Unusual wedding venues
The old saying ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’ should become every wedding planner’s motto.
If you are hiring a private mansion, hall or function room where there is no onsite catering provided, you will need to hire a professional caterer. Catering companies can provide wait staff, bartenders and chefs, as well as all the necessary equipment to prepare and serve a meal.
It’s important to ask the caterer what items are included in their quote, and if labor is included as well. A lot of catering companies will give you a price per head for the food, but it doesn’t include any cutlery or napkins, or salt and pepper, or wait staff – which are all important factors. You will also have to check the start and finish times of the wait staff, and perhaps have staff stay on for an extended period of time, to serve the wedding cake. Some caterers will charge extra for cutting of the wedding cake, and some will charge a ‘cakeage’ fee to serve the cake on a plate with cream and raspberry coulis. It’s always important to check.
Reviewing the contract
Every time you hire a venue, you will have to sign a contract or terms and conditions for each venue. It’s important that your client knows the terms and conditions of the venue as well as yourself, so everybody is on the same page. You will need to check over the individual details on the contract, and make sure your client signs the terms and conditions.
Things to consider and double check in the terms and conditions include:
Quite often the venue will have several room layout designs that they can show you- that they have tried and tested before. The venue will know the best layout for the tables and guests to make sure everybody has enough space, and the event floor plan flows nicely.
If there is no floor plan templates provided by the venue, and you have to do the floor plan yourself, you should consider the below points:
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