We offer a range of wedding packages at Carriages Weddings & Events, including our signature Diamond Service where we take care of every aspect of our clients’ big day from start to finish. However, every so often we do also get requests for our On The Day Management package where the couples have already chosen their suppliers, and simply need our assistance to help tie all the finer details together and ensure everything runs smoothly on the day.
While on the whole we have had extremely pleasant experiences working with venues across the country and abroad, there have been times when we’ve had to calm our couples down due to their obvious discontent with their wedding venue. Sometimes brides and grooms will see something and fall in love at first sight, but it’s only upon closer inspection that they realise not everything is as good and rosy as it seems.
If you’re currently on the look out for your wedding venue, then here’s presenting a list of 10 things you should watch out for, that are clear warning signs indicating you may need to look for an alternative wedding venue.
1. Bad or slow responses
The venues we typically work with will generally respond within a 24-hour turnaround time. While we appreciate not everyone works seven days a week, they should have some sort of holding email in place if they are unable to respond. If you’re having to wait weeks for a response and keep chasing someone, then it is a clear indicator of how your whole wedding planning process will be if you were to go ahead and book.
The only thing worse than a slow response? A bad one! If the venue do not seem very enthusiastic about your wedding when they are trying to make a sale, then we’re sorry to say, they really are not going to be very interested when it comes to managing it on the day.
2. No early access for your décor team
One of the big requirements for a lot of Indian weddings is early access for the décor team because putting up a mandap is a rather time consuming job. If you’re having an elaborate DJ set up then again this will take time. Be sure to clear any access times with the venue before you go ahead and book.
While we appreciate most people will book their venue even before they look for other suppliers, ask your wedding planner for advice or at least get an idea as to how flexible the venue might be in case you need to arrive earlier. If there’s no room for negotiation, you may need to rethink the flow of your day.
3. Bad reviews on social media
One of the great things about the modern world we live in today, is that everyone has a chance to air their opinion. Of course you should check out any venue’s own social media, but remember they will only be telling you the good and not the bad. Some people have been known to delete any negative comments and even disable their whole review function on Facebook if they’re not happy with the response. Check out independent wedding review websites and Tripadvisor to get an idea of how people really feel about your chosen venue. Read any negative reviews that may have been posted and see if any of these points might affect you or your day.
Don’t make up your mind based solely on a review as things can often change. There might be new management or a different wedding coordinator. All of these things can make any venue better or worse. So be cautious and do your research.
4. Hidden costs
If you find that everything hasn’t been clearly noted in your wedding hire contract and there are lots of hidden charges that keep cropping up then seriously be warned. Everyone has a budget to stick to and you need to bear in mind whether or not you are going to have enough funds to keep paying for hidden extras.
Make a full list of any requirements you have and ensure the wedding venue coordinator goes through these with you one by one and highlights any charges. Don’t be fooled by the ‘don’t worry about it’ and ‘we’ll sort it out later’ attitude, as you could be left with a huge bill at the end.
5. Agreements not being given in writing
Following on from the point above make sure that you get any agreements which aren’t part of the generic contract in a written form. You might think that it’s a trivial matter like whether or not the dhol player is allowed on site, but it’s best to be safe and clear up these issues before it’s too late – especially if it’s an important aspect of your wedding day.
If a venue is not willing to give you certain things in writing (even if it’s a simple email) then remember, they are free to change their mind at any moment.
6. No initial set up provided
A lot of venues are given out on a dry-hire basis, which basically means that you have purchased the shell and what you do within it is up to you. Even though the venue is not responsible for managing your timings there are certain basic elements they should be providing. One of these include providing an initial set up on the day. Whether it’s theatre style seating for your Indian ceremony or chairs and tables for an evening reception, it’s their job to do this for you.
If you’re having two functions then it is absolutely fair for your catering or décor team to be responsible for the turn around time.
7. No designated person on the day
Regardless of whether or not you have a wedding planner your venue MUST allocate a venue manager to you in case you need any assistance on the day. You will need someone present who can open any locked doors, turn the lighting on and off, who knows how to operate things in the kitchen and who simply has knowledge of the venue in case an emergency crops up. Ideally you should be introduced to this person if you have not been liaising with them from day one.
Your venue should know at least one month in advance who this person will be so if they haven’t given you a name then make sure you ask for it.
8. Negative supplier testimonials
Suppliers often have the best knowledge of which venues are great and which aren’t because of the high number of events they execute every year. If you’re not so sure then ask your wedding planner, caterer, décor or DJ for their honest opinion about a venue. Even if you haven’t booked someone yet, chances are if you ask them nicely enough, they’ll be open with you.
Just be wary for certain suppliers who work extremely closely with certain venues as they may give you a biased viewpoint.
9. Not providing cleaning staff
If you are hiring the venue for the full day then it’s absolutely necessary that there is someone on site who is able to clean the venue during turnaround time. While your caterer or décor provider might be happy to do a quick hoover around in your main function area, who will be cleaning the public areas like the toilets? You don’t want people to come to your event in the evening and find it to be a complete mess.
If the venue will not have someone on site to do this then find out if they can and what the additional cost might be. This is an absolute must!
10. Limited kitchen access
If there’s one thing your guests are going to be concerned about, it’s the food. In order to ensure the food is of the highest standard you need to ensure your catering team has everything they need which includes sufficient access to the kitchen. We’re not just talking access times here, we’re talking access to equipment and working space. If you’re getting married in a hotel for example then your caterer might be expected to share the space.
Find out exactly what is included so your caterer can make alternative arrangements if need be. If there are too many restrictions, you know in your heart of hearts that it probably won’t work..
Carriages Weddings & Events offers a free wedding venue finder service for couples looking to tie the knot. To let us help you find your dream wedding venue contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0116 268 8804