What a bride can do to help facilitate interactions with the venue and its staff?
ONE: Venue's book up really quickly so before you start looking around, pick at least 4 different dates that you'd be happy to get married on. If you only have one date in mind, you may need to shop around for venues that are not already booked.
TWO: Be very clear to your venue how many guests you anticipate inviting and whether you intend on using their own in-house decoration services. This will help them with fixing up your quotation.
THREE: Advise your venue as to who will be the main point of contact in the planning process of the wedding. This will ensure there is one clear stream of communication and will avoid Chinese whispers and confusion.
FOUR: If you have chosen to go with a quirky space where not much equipment is on hand and you have to organise all the external suppliers on your own, it is very important that you ask the suppliers for their public liability insurance and submit them to the venue for their record.
FIVE: Depending on the venue, some will require loads of direct contact whereas others will only touch base a few weeks prior to your wedding to finalise details. It is important that you ask your venue what their method of operation is and how involved they will be in your planning process. Don't be misguided by package inclusions and the offer for a "wedding consultant". In our experience most venues will not plan your entire wedding for you but will simply help facilitate some basic coordination or set up needs!
SIX: We strongly encourage you to draft a run sheet for the days leading up to the wedding and a very detailed run sheet for the day and give the document to the venue coordinator. A run sheet will help you keep track of what needs to be done and where you are at, and it will serve a great favour to the venue coordinator who at their end will know what to expect and will work with your schedule. Learn how here...
SEVEN: Draw up a floor plan which indicates where your band is, where you want your cake table, dance floor and tables (etc). This will help the venue understand what you want the day to look like. They will be able to advise if anything is not possible, if something is blocking exits or if there is power outlets near by.
EIGHT: Provide your venue with a list of on the day contacts. That way they will not have to disturb you if something goes wrong or someone does not show up. The last thing you want is to be disturbed during your photo shoot or make-up!
NINE: Visit your venue 3 months prior to your date just to make sure that the room is still the same as when you first inspected it. The last thing you want is for the room to have been painted an clash with your colour scheme.
TEN: Advise your venue on your decoration plans (if you are outsourcing). They will want to know what is being brought into the room and if you plan to have open flame or big structures.
Taking note of these quick tips will not only better equip your venue but it will help avoid any nasty surprises on the day. It might also be nice to sneak your co-ordinator a nice bottle of bubbles to thank them for their hard work. Always nice to feel appreciated!