Picking The Perfect Venue
I cringe a little when a potential client reaches out to me to help plan their big day and tell me they have gotten a space/hall/venue already.
My reason is simple, many people do not understand the importance of getting the right venue/space and how to go about choosing the right venue for their big day.
As your favourite planner, I want you to have a great day and that is why I would be listing some tricks on how to choose the perfect venue for your special day.
Ask yourself if your 500 guests is inclusive of vendors, children and nannies or drivers. If no, then you know you are preparing for more than 500 guests in reality.
1. Prepare for more.
If you are expecting 500 guests for instance, it means you are looking for a venue/space that can sit at least 700 guests.
Put into consideration the vendors space for setup and also prepare for extra guests, say about a 100 more guests. This will include, children, nannies, vendors, and plus ones.
2. Number of tables
If a hall says their facility can sit 500 guests, they probably mean 400 banquet style (which is the style you need) and 500 theatre style. Ask for the number of tables they have. Most venues only have the number of tables that can fit into their space. A banquet table can sit 8/10/12 depending on the size of the table. Be sure to confirm.
3. What does their facility come with
For example, extra tables for vendors, canopies for vendors that will be setting up outside, if they power DJ and Band etc… This will help you to factor in the extra costs you will need to add up or whether you will need to get another venue all together.
4. Number of chairs and tables
Some halls do not have the number of chairs and tables for the number of people they claim their hall can sit.
5. Type of chairs and tables they have
Many halls come with plastic or banquet chairs while a few come with fancier chairs. If you want fancier chairs, you may have to get these separately.
More so, some halls have about 2 or 3 types of chairs (Chiavari, Dior) but at different costs, please be sure to ask which of the chairs your package comes with. Do not assume.
6. Tables for vendors
If they do, ask how many they have, because some halls do not give all the number of tables that you may need and you may still need more tables and if they do not have, you would have to rent more tables which will add up to your budget.
7. Changing room
You don’t want to hurry off to your hotel just to change into your reception outfit or you may need to rest your back or legs or use the restroom just before you are called in.
8. How many hours of electricity do they provide?
The average they should provide is 8 hours and an extra 30 minutes for vendors to test their equipments but some halls give lesser than 8 hours. Be sure to ask how much their extra hours go for (It’s normally from about 20k to as much as 100k per hour)
9. Parking space
If they do not have ample parking space, ask for their alternative parking space. Also ask if they provide Lastma officials for the cars to be parked by the roadside. If they don’t, you may need to get some Lastma officials for this purpose.
10. Do they power the band and DJ? Not all halls do and remember to tell your vendors so that they can make proper arrangements (this may cost you more because the vendors may add to their prices) don’t let it bother you.
11. Overnight decorations
Some halls do not allow this while some do. If they don’t, then your decorator may need to work a day before to get all done before the event date and if not, they may be able to reach some form of agreement.
12. Couples stage
If they do not have a stage, don’t be surprised if your decorator is calling you for extra money to rent a stage. Some halls may provide this at a cost, be sure to ask.
13. Vendors set up space
If you are expecting 500 guests and the hall can only sit 500 guests and they don’t have space for vendors outside (in their compound) then this may not be the right venue for your event.
14. If vendors are going to be setting up outside the hall, they need some form of protection/shade from the sun or rain as the case maybe. Ensure that the hall has arrangements for this. If they do not, be ready to add this to your budget.
15. If you are the type that likes all the decor paparazzi, hanging flowers from the ceiling, sticking one thing or the other on the walls… Be sure to ask the hall manager if they allow this. Not every hall allow decorators to hang stuff on their ceilings
16. Caution fees
Some venues have general caution fees for the client while some have the caution fees (which is refundable) for the vendors. Be sure to tell them so that they are prepared. Some halls won’t allow vendors to enter the hall or set up until they pay the caution fee.
17. Halls with pillars
Halls with too many pillars can be a disaster. The hall arrangement can be a bit tricky and decor can look funny if the decorator is not a skilled one, even a skilled decorator can be confused when working with a hall with pillars. Plus pillars eat into the space. So a 500 capacity hall with a lot of pillars would probably sit 300/350 banquet style.
18. Amala on point
Generally,cooking on the premises. Most halls allow this but some halls don’t. If your hall does not,it means that vendors like small chops, grills, Amala on point would need to prepare everything from home and bring to the venue.
19. Do they arrange tables and chairs for the decorator
We recently had an experience where the decorator came in the day before to set up and we were told that they don’t arrange tables despite asking for a floorplan. It set us bavk some hours because we had to set up first. So ask just to be sure.
20. Special effects
Special effects like fireworks/pyrotechnics are not allowed in some halls. Please be sure to ask.
I hope this helps. Good Luck!
Your Favourite Planner
Olamide~ The Heiress