Choosing a venue can be a tough decision. There are so many options to choose from, and yet, it can sometimes feel difficult to find one that has everything you want and need. Or, more likely, you don’t really know yet what amenities you actually need, so everything sounds like mumbo jumbo, wedding industry slang and it's making the selection process that much more difficult.
It's also likely your first big wedding planning decision and contract/payment, which can feel a little scary. It’s hard to know if you’re setting yourself up for a decision that’s a smart one financially, so I’m going to share some of the things that many venues provide that I’ve found to be the most helpful in wedding planning, and that can save you quite a bit in your budget if you don’t need to pay extra for them.
Did you know that the white folding chairs can cost anywhere from $2-3 each and those fancy Chiavari chairs can be upwards of $8-10 each? Multiply that by your guest count, and then add in any delivery and set-up fees, and you could be spending hundreds of dollars on those items. When the chairs are included, and there are enough for both the ceremony and reception, that can make a huge difference in your budget.
Along those lines, having tables on site can save you quite a bit in terms of rentals and delivery charges. Check their quantity for each size, though, so you know that there are enough for your guest count.
3. On-site kitchen
Whether your caterers are cooking on site, or just need space to prep the food and clear dishes, having a designated kitchen for them will make food service go much smoother. There are also a few things that you may be required to provide if there isn't a designated space for your caterers. The most common is a covered space, which would mean a tent rental with walls around it. You may also be required to provide additional tables for them to prep food on, and sometimes they may even need warming ovens. You can get all of these items from a rental company, but when you don't need to provide them, it can save you a lot of money. It can also be great if your venue has running water so your caterers to rinse your dishes, that way when they're returned to the rental company, you're not stuck with any additional cleaning fees.
4. Rooms for getting ready
When you can get ready on site you’re saving yourself the headache of finding a large enough space for all of the girls to get ready off-site. That means you can save money because you won’t need to rent hotel rooms or an AirBNB style home. Not to mention, it’s really nice to arrive to the venue and stay on-site the entire day, have a place to store your bags and personal belongings, and not need to pack up mid-day to change locations.
5. Garbage disposal
This is probably one you haven’t heard about, but some venues require that you take the trash off-site at the end of the evening. That may sound easy, but consider for a moment the amount of trash that’s produced from 100+ people eating and drinking heavily all night. And trash bags full of food and drinks are messy! Save yourself a trip to the dump, and save your cars interior, by choosing a venue that provides the disposal on their own. Or, this may be the only time I recommend you splurge and pay their trash disposal fee, if they have one.
6. Additional decor available on-site
This doesn't mean they'll have everything you need to style your wedding, but sometimes venues will have larger pieces on-site that can be rented and set-up before you arrive. This could include large furniture pieces, vintage tables, arbors for the ceremony, etc. It can save you a lot of time if these types of items don’t need to be sourced from another vendor, and while they may have an additional charge to use them, it’s usually less than the cost to rent them elsewhere and have them delivered to the venue.