Before doing anything a couple should know their BUDGET. This way when you do your research you know where to look and where not to look. Time is not on your side, so you want to spend your time looking a facilities that will benefit your Wedding Day! Very Important!!!
A few things to look for when researching the right facility for you:
- -Price per person
- -Tax and Gratuity
- -Service Provided
- -How many events at once
- -Down Payment
- -Room Capacity
- -Ratings & References/Testimonials
Questions to Ask???
Location- Is the location within a reasonable distance if getting married else where? What does the facility look like? Does it fit the style of your wedding? How many hours are given within a package- Four hours?
Price Per Person- When finding a location research the rate going for price per person. Ask what it entails: Open bar, Cocktail Hour, Wedding cake, How many Entree options, Linens? Is this a Sit-Down Dinner or a Buffet Style Dinner?
Tax & Gratuity- Depending on your state you will know your tax. For example New Jersey's is 7% and our Gratuity is 20%. Add this on to per person when adding up your total price. By doing this you can assure you will stay within your budget, you can not cut out tax & gratuity.
Service Provided- Some facilities are full service. Do they butler the cocktail hour? Do they offer a Day of Coordinator- if your planning your own wedding? Do they offer a Bridal Suite? Do they offer Entertainment? Facilities are different when it comes to services, so do not hesitate to ask and research what the facility is going to offer you on your Wedding Day. Is it included or an extra fee? What are the prices?
How Many Events at Once- Some locations service one event at a time, while some service four at a time. My recommendation is No More Than two! I've seen it happen where the bride is rushed to take pictures because the next bride is arriving. You want to have your day flow and be all about you and your spouse. So I say Less is Best! So do your research and ask that question! What will make you happy on your Wedding Day?
Ceremony- If you don't want to get married elsewhere and want to cut down transportation cost, get married at the facility. Do they offer Ceremony Services? Do they offer an outside wedding location? Do they offer a separate ceremony room from the reception room? What do you get with the Ceremony? What is the Ceremony price? It will be additional to the Reception price.
Down Payment- When booking a facility a down-payment will have to be made. Find out ahead of time how much it is. When will the next payment be due? For example some facilities might ask for $1000 down and 25% down of the balance 90 days after that. When is the final payment due? All these are very important when booking a facility and ensuring that you stay up on your payments! The down-payment also ensures the date for your wedding. Read over the contract before signing! Ask for a copy! Make sure you are getting what you are paying for and nothing less!! If paying with cash, have a credit card ready, as they may want to make a copy of it for security reasons.
Room Capacity- Making sure your guests will be accommodated is important, as you want their experience to be an unforgettable one! Research and ask, What are your room Capacities? How many rooms do they have? Is there a separate room for the Cocktail hour & the Reception? If not, what is the turn around time? Capacity is important, if the rooms are to small, then you should keep looking! There is something out there for every couple's dream Wedding!!
Ratings & References/Testimonials- I feel this is very important! There are plenty of times I have kept looking based solely on this factor. If the facilities ratings are down, they have little or no references, and no testimonials-KEEP LOOKING! Very important because their are too many A-Class Facilities available where you don't have to settle when it comes to your Wedding Day!
Your Wedding Day is one that should be remembered as one of the greatest days of your life! It will be captured in your Photography and remembered by your guests as well. Do not settle! Make sure you stick to your budget and do not go over! Guests don't need alcohol to have a good time-cutting the open bar out of the package will lower the price, allow you to have a nice reception and keep you within your budget! Stay firm, listen to your gut, and do not allow the facility to sway you. They want to help you, but they also want your money.
If you haven't done so yet or maybe haven't put much consideration into it- Consider hiring a Wedding Planner!! Our job, which we love, is created to make the planning process easier.
Stay committed to your budget!
Happy Planning and much success to your Wedding Day!