8 things to consider when choosing a wedding venue
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When planning for the biggest event of your life, you want to be sure that every detail is in order for the perfect wedding. Here are several things on your checklist that you should consider.
Do you want to hold your solemnisation ceremony in a hotel, a church or a non-conventional venue like the beach or cafe? Consider important matters like accessibility for your vendors and guests. For instance, an obscure venue at a hidden enclave you're considering is only accessible by car and is a fair distance from any bus stop or train station. Tip: Choose a venue that is located centrally and near an MRT station. This will make it very convenient for your guests to get to the venue and reduce the number of latecomers.
Have in mind several potential wedding dates before viewing any venue. If you want to consult a feng shui master for auspicious dates, do it before picking any locations and make sure to check with important family members and friends if they're available on those chosen dates. Tip: Try to book your venue at least a year in advance. You'll get better deals on packages if you book early (if it's a hotel) and if it's a popular auspicious date, you probably will be competing with other couples after the same location too.
Consider these points while viewing any venue: What is the maximum seating capacity and how many guests are you planning to invite? If there are pillars or other permanent structures, can you work around it to make sure the seating capacity is maximised? Is it disabled-access friendly? Does the venue have ample parking lots? Tip: Look out for venues that are exclusive for your wedding. Banquet Suite at level 10 of M Hotel Singapore offers the entire floor for weddings, and it has with VIP and bridal changing rooms on the same floor.
Do a comparison of a few shortlisted wedding packages of what's included in them. How many food courses are there? Lunches are mostly 7 courses while dinners are at least 8-course. Is a pre-banquet reception part of the package? Can the venue provide complimentary tea ceremony set-up? How many themes are there to choose from? Does the package include complimentary carpark passes? Does it include invitation card printing and wedding favours too? Tip: If a guestroom is included as part of the package, check if the hotel provides F&B credit. Couples usually don't have time to have a proper meal at their banquet, so F&B credit that allows you to order room service comes in really handy.
Food & Beverage
Most venues will include a complimentary food tasting session for up to 10 persons. Check with the venue if they're able to make provisions for special dietary requests for vegetarian or halal food. Is alcohol inclusive in the package? How many bottles of wine or beer barrels are included in the package? Tip: Check if the venue can waive corkage charges for duty-paid liquor so you can save some costs.
If you're on a tight budget, you may want to look into reducing the number of guests. Also make sure you check on the payment and cancellation policies carefully. Always read the fine print. Tip: Select your venue that requires a flat-rate for deposit if you have a long guest list. If you are holding your wedding banquet at a hotel, check with the venue if final payment can be made on the next day during check out.
What is the service staff to table ratio? How many event or banquet managers are on duty for your wedding? How is the service attitude of the wedding sales personnel? Tip: Ask your married friends to recommend venues that have thoughtful service.
Is there the helpers' room included in wedding the package? When can you do the audio-visual testing? What time can you come in to do the set-up? Can you store props (if any) at the venue prior to your big day? Is there any minimum table requirement? Tip: Consider holding your wedding banquet during off-peak periods like lunch instead of dinner as venue providers are more willing to throw in additional perks or negotiate on reducing the number of minimum tables.