There are a lot of options when it comes to selecting your perfect wedding venue. The obvious is whether you want an indoor or outdoor venue. There are definitely pros and cons for each - outdoor venues typically cost less upfront and may offer more flexibility with catering, but may not include things like tables, chairs, cutlery, linens, lighting, tent(s), etc. You have the creative flexibility to design and transform the space to your liking, but it could end up costing the same or more in the end. We spoke to Michele Ganiko, Wedding Specialist at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa to provide some insight for couples looking for their perfect wedding venue.
Planning a wedding is an exciting time for couples but many are not sure how or where to begin. Setting a date and finding the perfect venue is usually the starting point for many. After narrowing down your choices and setting up site tours with your preferred venues, asking questions while you’re there can really help you make a smart, decisive decision on which venue is the right one for you. Here are a few tips for couples when looking for the perfect wedding venue:
What’s included? Most venues often share the basic information with all couples – maximum capacity, start and end times, menus, and basic pricing. You never want to assume, however, everything is included for your wedding. For example, if you’re planning an outdoor wedding, does the venue have a contingency plan or indoor location in case of rain? Do you need additional space for a dress change or tea ceremony and will the venue offer this at no additional charge? Think about what your wedding will look like and what your needs are before visiting a venue. Often times, venues do not list everything that they can truly offer you so it’s always good to ask even it seems unlikely.
Ask for an estimate. Many venues share their pricing upfront but sometimes there are fees that are not published or that you may not be aware of. After reviewing the venue’s fees and menus, ask to see an estimated total for your wedding. It is important, of course, to share as many details of what you want for your wedding (ex: dinner buffet with prime rib for 100 guests, hosted bar up to $2,000, ceremony with 50 chairs, etc.). Create a list first before asking for an estimate, otherwise, your estimate may be far from what the actual total may be. Also, it doesn’t hurt to ask if the pricing is guaranteed for your wedding should it take place the following year. This way, there are no surprises that may go well above and beyond your wedding budget.
Be mindful of response time. A good indication of a venue or vendor that you can trust and ensure everything will go well with your wedding is how quickly they respond to you. Wedding planning can be stressful as there are many pieces that need to fall into place perfectly. Communication between the venue, your vendors, and everyone else involved is key for your wedding to go as smoothly as possible. While this may not be something high on your list when starting your venue search, it is probably the most important down the road. If you’re not able to meet the wedding venue team in person, ask to meet via FaceTime or request a virtual meeting. Seeing and speaking to a person face to face is always a good idea too.
Michele Ganiko is the Wedding Specialist at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa
Download our suggested list of questions to ask your wedding venue during your site visit
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