The Diva Guide : Selecting Your Wedding Venue

By | 05:59 15 comments

Almost every bride and groom has got an idea of their ‘dream wedding’ … Whether it be the location, the colours, the style of wedding and even the venue.

As a wedding planner, over the years I have found that despite the bride & groom knowing ‘what’ they want – they don’t really know how ‘feasible’ it is to plan a wedding at XYZ venue because they haven’t got the facts sorted out.

These guide lines can be used for any type of wedding however I will be making references to Indian weddings along the way.

Step 1 : What Kind of Wedding Do You Want ?

I’d suggest sitting down with your fiancé and short listing ideas on exactly what kind of wedding do you both want. 

  • Is the wedding going to take place in your home town or are you thinking about a destination wedding ?
    • City weddings tend to be restricted to hotels and banquet halls. 
    • Destination weddings can sometimes work out more cost effective.
  • How many wedding functions are you going to have ?
    • The typical Indian wedding has no less than 3 main functions – so what locations / venues will you be having them in ?
  • How many guests are you expecting at the wedding ?
    • Start preparing your guest list so that you have a tentative head count of the total number of guests
    • If the wedding is taking place in your home city, and if the majority of the guests are from the same city – you can expect 75% attendance (even if it is just for a meet & greet at the reception)
    • If you are paying for your guests at a destination wedding (i.e paying for their accommodation); you can expect 50% attendance (most people will pay for their flights – it’s like having a mini-holiday)
  • And the most important factor to consider is what is the BUDGET you have for your wedding venue ?
    • Who is paying for the wedding ? Are you paying ? Are your parents paying for the wedding ?
    • Make sure you shop around and get an estimate of rates for venues before selecting a venue.

Step 2 : Site Inspection

It’s imperative that you visit the venues you are considering for your wedding.  Have you attended weddings there before ? The banquet managers or the wedding coordinators at the venue would be able to assist you with any of your queries.

  • Take your camera along – and photograph the venue.  This will help you stay focused when comparing 10 or more locations.
  • Are there any restrictions at the venue ?
    • Hotels tend not to allow outside catering (or alcohol) wherein some banquet halls allow you to bring in your own caterer and alcohol (there might be a corkage).
  • Does the venue have their own panel of florists and decorators ? Are you able to use your own decorators ?
  • What is the natural decor of the venue ? Does it suit your taste ?
  • Make sure you ask for a floor plan so that you can cross check / sketch out areas that you’d like to use for the bar, stage, seating, buffet etc

Step 3 : Weighing Out the Options

Get your excel sheets ready (or if you prefer old skool methods – get your note pads out) and start weighing out the pro’s and cons pros & consof each of the venues available to you.

Some of the factors to consider include :

  • Are the venues available on the ‘date’ that you want ?
  • Cost per head for meals (including crockery, cutlery, minimum guarantees)
  • Cost of alcohol for your desired brands that you will be serving
  • What time do you have access to the venue from ?
  • How long does your decorator require to do up the venue ?
  • Any restrictions at the venue
  • Venue accessibility – can your guests get there without too much difficulty (in a city like Mumbai – that’s the key factor to consider!)
  • What kind of deposits are required ? What is the payment schedule like ?
  • Are there any hidden costs within the contract ?

Step 4 : Block & Secure Your Space

Unless you begin venue finding at least 6 months prior to your wedding date – it’s unlikely your dream venue will be available.  If you do find a venue that suits your needs but still want to keep your options open – then make sure you pay a refundable deposit to secure the venue.

You don’t want to be left in a situation where you have NO venues that you desire … it’s always better to pay the deposit – keep your options open and then make a final decision.   This way there is always a back-up plan !

Most venues when giving out a proposal will hold the dates for you on their reservation system for 2-3 weeks.  During this time make sure you establish a rapport with the coordinator of the venue because selecting your wedding venuethis is one person who is going to be able to get things done for you !

So there you have it folks – a quick guide on how to select your wedding venue !

Just remember to make your wish list so that you can cross-check your desires with what is actually available in the city / destination of your choice.

I hope these tips come in handy for you – and if you feel like sharing any additional pointers, please feel free to do so.


purplepatch said...

this is neatt, gonna bookmark this one...even though its all planned in my head since awhile :p

Dazediva said...

@ Purple Patch ... oooh are you getting married ?? Congrats !! I can be your resident wedding planner :P (that is my profession btw)

There's another link as well which I will share with you to check out :)

how's things otherwise ? where's the dream wedding going be ?

purplepatch said...

haha babe everything is planned except the core "dulha"! my bad, I wasnt clear. Nowhere close to getting married, still struggling with the dating scene, remember. But am keeping all the links handy and you are surely gonna be my planner & maybe even matchmaker :D

Anonymous said...

Very nice! I'll take this list as a small indication that you're very good at what you do! :)

Dazediva said...

@ Purple Patch ... LOL the missing 'dhulla' hahah story of life eh ? Don't worry I clocked on - just thought it would be better to pimp my wedding planner skills than recall just how lame the dating scenario is LOL in fact I have a few interesting date stories that have come about !!

@ Ve .. ahhh *takes a bow / courtesy* (whichever appeals to you) .. merci my shining knight ;)

Anonymous said...

lmao.. hey.. just coz I said Im not into the soft, feminine type doesnt mean I like girls to be butch either! A courtesy works just fine :P

and umm... you want a poll taken on how many of us want to hear about the 'few interesting date stories', before you decide to share?

Anonymous said...

btw.. isnt it spelt 'curtsy'?? LOL

Dazediva said...

@ Ve .. courtesy / curtsy .. you knew what I meant right :P that's all that matters .. and the word 'curtsy' just looks so wrong don't you think ??

and just cos it bothered me that you 'corrected' me .. Wiki says :

"A curtsey (also spelled curtsy or courtesy) is a traditional gesture of greeting, in which a girl or woman bends her knees while bowing her head. It is the female equivalent of male bowing in Western cultures."

so :P to you :P

p.s I never said you were into butch girls .. just feisty ones :P

Anonymous said...

Captains log..Star date 10/07/10

"While their general demeanour is normally pleasant, it appears that the female natives take offence when it comes to being 'corrected'. This seems to be a characteristic issue with the gender through out the galaxy. Much caution advised! Over and out."

purplepatch said...

@DD - "interesting date stories" - ooooh Spilll!!! damn, I had some horrific dating incident recently. You think it could be the same guy hehehe

@Ve - How i have missed you!!!...what are the other observations in the Captains' log this one is spot on *thoughts drift away imagining Ve in a Captain uniform*

Anonymous said...

@purple.. well its good to know the missfulness was mutual :)

Ahh.. the Captain's log is a trove of observations.. the gems will surface as the conversations proceed!
And speaking of gems, its very rude when you girls get vague and dont share details of the horrific dating incidents!!

purplepatch said...

Quid pro quo, Captain - we dont know much about yours, start typing yo!

well at the risk of boring and alienating other readers, my blind first with 'the gentleman' involved him not talking to my face (if you get the drift), will never forget his terrible dance attempt, lil stalking after, among other things eiww *shudder

@DD - hoping yours wasnt the same and you meant 'good' interesting and thats why you been MIA - wooot!

Anonymous said...

lol.. well truth be told.. I've never had a horrific dating incident ever (I cant speak for the women who dated me!!) Call it a curse or a blessing.. I never jump headfirst into anything! And while that might have hindered my overall spur-of-the-moment experiences, on the whole I dont spend time regretting my decisions, as much as I've seen my friends around me do. Not to mention, this trait has served me very well at work! :)

LOL.. oh we're not bored at all! ;) While I'm not surprised that he paid more attention to the twins, the lil stalking after was quite surprising! I take it he didnt get a goodnight kiss?? lmao!

@daze.. yeah where are you?? and dont say busy coz of the wedding season.. .you owe us!!

Dazediva said...

@ Purple & Ve .. I'm here, grinning away cos you two are mad :) I luv it hehehe and yes I've been crazy busy .. I haven't slept more than 4 hours a day in the last 10 days .. my eyes hurt and I think my brain is fried LOL

@ Purple .. at least the twins got attention eh :P the biggest turn off for me is a man not being able to maintain eye contact ... sure the eyes can drift around but still keep the connection ! .. and we have to share stalker stories :P

@ Ve .. consider yourself warned captain :P and we are waiting to hear the read the rest of the captain logs :P in fact one of my first blogger friends Deft Digit has a super cool blog about intergalactic life forms :)

Anonymous said...

@daze.. firstly, the twins are always the first to get attention.. we're talking about men here, HELLO!! LOL.. and secondly, you're not really in a position to issue warnings when we get to see so little of you!! :P wedding season is far too long to wait it out!

Tho you do have my sympathy.. damn.. 4 hours a night is insane.. you must be sleep walkin!! Poor you.. feel free to vent if you need to :) and frankly, my gender provides so much food for thought.. why bother with intergalactic life-forms? ;)

but since we're in the spirit of Star Trek.. Till we meet again..Live long & prosper!! :)