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You’ve found the perfect partner, got the ring and plan to spend the rest of your lives in wedded bliss. Now you need to book the wedding venue and hotel event planner.
Planning for your special day is simultaneously exciting, nerve-wracking and stressful. There is a lot to consider, such as decorations, catering, buying your dream bridal gown, invitations and ordering the cake.
Let’s say you’ve decided to book your wedding at a luxurious hotel venue that’s easily accessible for your friends and family. With so much to do, meeting with your hotel event planner may be overwhelming. Don’t stress, though. Here are ten questions essential questions you should ask them.
1. Is the venue available for my preferred wedding date?
According to a WeddingWire.com survey, 36% of couples marry in the fall, with September and October being the most popular months for nuptials. Another 31% of couples opt for summer weddings, of which 13% prefer June.
Regardless of which season you want to be married, making sure your venue is available at that time is the first question you should ask.
If you have a specific date in mind, you may have to reserve your venue further out than you thought you would, especially if it falls in one of the busier wedding months. Of course, if you’re flexible, you can let your hotel event planner choose the date for you based on availability.
Couples should try to book their wedding out at least a year in advance, which is the average timeframe.
2. What Are Your Different Wedding Packages?
Your hotel event venue may offer various wedding packages to make your wedding planning go more smoothly. Brides and grooms can sift through the different options and choose a suitable wedding package for their budget. Some things you may see in various packages include:
- Cocktail reception
- Culinary stations or buffets
- Unlimited beverages
- A dedicated staff
- Overnight accommodations
- Wedding party suites
Your hotel event planner can review all the available packages with you, including tastings and choosing meal courses.
3. What is the Venue Capacity?
Some couples choose to keep their wedding intimate with just their closest friends and family. Others like to invite everyone they know.
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to your guest list. You should be able to celebrate your love in the company of whoever you want. However, it’s essential to ask your hotel event planner if the venue can hold everyone.
Many hotels have large reception halls that fit many people, so hopefully, you’ll be in luck. Be sure to consider how much room you’ll have for the dance floor, as well as table arrangements. You may also need space for a buffet table and bar if you plan on having those, as well.
4. When Do I Have to Pay?
Depending on when and where you book your wedding, your hotel event planner should go over the payment plan during your meeting.
You will likely have to put a deposit down when you sign the contract. Another deposit may be due six months before your wedding and a few days prior.
Make sure you understand the fine print before paying. Your hotel event planner should inform you whether your deposit is non-refundable. It would be best to understand what payment methods are accepted, such as credit or debit, cash or check.
5. Do You Have Plenty of Parking Availability?
If you’re booking your affair at a hotel, keep in mind that other hotel guests will be staying there, as well. That means there may be limited parking for your wedding, or it may be an additional cost.
When having this discussion with your planner, ask them the following:
- If you have on-site parking, how many vehicles can you accommodate?
- Is the parking area close to the venue site?
- Is there self-park or valet parking available?
- Do you offer shuttle services?
Keep your guests in mind when you discuss parking arrangements. If you have several older guests, you’ll want to ensure that parking is safe and accessible for them.
Also, remember to account for vendor parking, as well. Everyone from your photographer to your hair and makeup artists to your musicians and catering staff will need somewhere to park, load and unload.
6. Do You Have a Preferred List of Vendors You Recommend?
This is an important question to ask your hotel event planner, and it can help you throughout the wedding planning process.
Many hotels work with preferred or approved vendors, from catering to photography and videography to entertainment. The benefit of using preferred vendors is that most of them know the space and have worked with your event planner before.
The other advantage of working with preferred vendors is it may save you time and money. Some hotel event planners or the vendors themselves may offer you a sweet discount for choosing them.
7. Who Will Be My Main Point of Contact?
When planning one of the greatest moments of your life, you must know who to reach out to along the way.
Wedding planners are experts at arranging the perfect wedding event for you and your partner. They know the process well and keep organized notes and schedules to ensure your special day goes off without a hitch.
Ask your hotel event planner who will be the main point of contact. Will it be them? If so, what is the best way to reach them if something goes wrong or you have a question? Establishing a good rapport early on is essential.
8. Do You Provide a Bridal or Wedding Party Suite?
Your wedding package may include a bridal suite or wedding party suite. If not, inquire with your hotel event planner if there’s a place where you and your bridesmaids can get ready for the big day.
A lot goes through a bride and groom’s minds before they say, “I do.” You’re going to want to retreat somewhere to mentally and physically prepare yourself.
The wedding party will often join the bride and groom in their individual suites where they can toast, chat, make new memories, and get ready together. Surrounding yourself in support and love right up to the moment you walk down the aisle goes a long way in easing those pre-wedding jitters.
9. How Much Time Will My Vendors Have for Setup and Breakdown?
One of the most critical questions you need to ask your hotel event planner is how much time your vendors will have to set up and break down their equipment.
A lot of time, money and effort goes into planning a wedding. It’s easy to overlook the littlest details, from tea lights on the table to floral arrangement placements. Your wedding band or DJ will need enough time to set up the stage area while the catering team assembles the culinary stations.
Your hotel event planner can help you develop a to-do list and schedule for better organization. Ask your planner if they have staff that assists with the setup and tear-down, as well. This can help save time on both ends of the party.
10. What Is Your Cancellation Policy?
The last thing you want to think about is having to cancel your wedding for whatever reason. Nevertheless, you should always find out the hotel’s cancellation policy for major events.
You may have already determined that your deposit is non-refundable. However, there may be a clause or fee you need to be aware of.
Cancellation policies are in place to protect the vendor from lost wages. With limited availability, someone else could have booked your wedding day for themselves instead.
In some instances, you may receive a refund in a smaller amount, but it may be determined by how far out your event is to the time you cancel. If you need to reschedule your event instead, ask your hotel event planner if your deposit is transferable to another day without penalty.
It should go without saying, but you need to read your contract carefully and understand the cancellation rules before signing the dotted line.
Bring a Checklist to Your Meeting With Your Planner
Although there are numerous other questions you should ask your hotel wedding planner, these ten questions are a great place to start. Create a checklist to go over all the details to prevent yourself from forgetting anything important.
Also, stay organized by taking as many notes as possible and carrying a folder to collect and hold vital information and contracts.
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