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Booking your Wedding Venue and Caterers

10 Months Before your Wedding: Booking your Wedding Venue and Caterers

After the engagement, one of the things you have to think about is where the wedding will be. You need to start looking for venues and interview caterers for your occasion. There is a lot of planning involved when it comes to weddings. You do not want to leave anything to chance and wait until the last minute. 

8 - 10 months to the wedding date should be the time you start looking for venues. That will give you enough time to book where the wedding will take place. If you wait until its almost the day of your wedding, you might get disappointed when you find all the places are booked out.

Here are some tips to help you have a smooth planning process at this point.

Don’t Rule Anything Out Just Yet 

It is difficult to know how much a venue will cost by looking at the photos. You need to have several venue options in mind and visit all of them. During your visit, you can find out the rates and see if there are packages that suit your wedding budget.

The same applies for caterers. Get references from friends, family and based on your research. Afterward, interview them and see if they are a good match for you and hire the best one. Keeping your options open ensures that you do not miss out on anything.

Consider the Bare Bones 

For the venue, you need to see how it looks without any decorations. It will give you a chance to figure out how much decor is needed. It can be easy to transform an underwhelming venue with the use of drapery, lighting, and centerpieces to a stunning location. But beware, décor that doesn’t come with an all-inclusive venue may come with a hefty price-tag. Knowing how the venue looks bare will give you an idea of what decorations to use and a rough estimate of the cost. A venue that looks good by itself will not require a massive makeover which translates to paying less for decor.  

Keep your Priorities in Check 

The intensity and passion involved in the wedding planning process can make you lose focus of the main objective. Every bride is entitled to their bridezilla moment. It is easy to get side-tracked when planning the most important night of your life, so take a step back when things look like they’re getting tense and remember to appreciate the process. It helps to have someone who will keep you in check and call you out when things are going overboard. After all, the wedding is only one night, compared to the months and months of preparation that goes into it. 

Inquire about the Deposit 

An easy way to get short-sighted is to be unprepared when you show up short-handed to your venue. If you are eager to book your date and make that first deposit, inquire about the date that you are wishing to book and how much the deposit will be. Ensuring that you show up prepared to put the money down.

Caterers would also require a deposit based on your agreement. It will show commitment on your end. 

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Be Ready to Negotiate 

Most wedding venues have a set amount of people that they need to fulfill for a date, which could be influenced based on how many guests you have attending. Offering to increase the minimum number of guests could knock your price per person down if you are sure that you can fill those seats. Politely tell the sales rep what your price range is and ask if there are any extra costs that can be subtracted. But be aware that even when negotiating the vendor will have its limits on how much they can discount. 

Caterers will normally have packages depending on the number of guests you have. The more guests you have, the lower the price per person. Pick the package that suits you and be ready to compromise where necessary. Remember, there is only so much that can be discounted.

Take Advantage of the Word-of-Mouth 

Being able to use the experiences that friends and family members of the bride have had at other weddings is arguably the most important information to give the vendors. Take advantage of the first-person accounts from couples who got married and used the same vendor who they recommended to you. Give this information to your assigned sales rep, they are likely to give you a slightly lower price solely based on your relation to someone who has done business with them before. 

Don’t Forget about Extra Fees 

Inquire about the total cost per person to your sales rep. They will often provide you with a quote of the total price, excluding the service charge and the tax for the state you live in. Also, don’t forget about the cost of extra services like cake prep, parking and overtime fees. 

Be Flexible with Your Date 

Weekend dates and evening venues don’t come without a high premium. In order to save money, it would be smart to book your venue on a weekday. Some venues are becoming more aware of the fact that Sunday bookings have similar prices to weekdays and may charge an extra fee because of this fact. Seasons that are not popular and months that do not have a holiday attached to them will be drastically cheaper than dates in December, June, July, or February, for example. 

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