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When planning a wedding, selecting a venue is one of the most important decisions you will make. The venue you choose will basically shape the entire event, setting the stage for the aesthetic direction and overall vibe of your wedding celebration. Whether it’s an elegant manor, a rustic farmhouse, or a modern loft nestled high in a twinkling skyline, each venue will have its own unique contract that will outline all of the costs associated with the rental.

While most contracts are transparent and readily line-item every fee, did you know that there are some venue rules and regulations that may incite additional fees from your caterer, furniture rental companies, and other vendors?

Here are some questions to ask before booking the wedding venue of your dreams.

WHAT IS INCLUDED?

Many event venues offer competitively-priced table and chair rentals that can be added to your contract. Some venues have in-house furniture, such as built-in bars, specialty reception tables, and foyer suites that are included in your contract. Others may even provide customized bar packages that include glassware, ice, liquor, and bar staff.

Another area of importance is rental culinary equipment. If the venue has a designated kitchen, what equipment is included? Are there ovens and refrigerators — or will those need to be rented as well? Depending on your menu, your caterer can best advise what kitchen rentals will be required.

A new, growing trend for venues and catering halls that provide catering, staff, and rentals (“all-in,” as it’s referred to in the wedding world) is to charge additional fees if the ceremony is intended to take place in the same venue where the reception is being held. This cost is to leverage the added staff needed to reset the room for dinner in a timely fashion during cocktail hour.

And lastly, does your venue provide garbage removal — or is that your responsibility? Your caterer may charge additional fees if they are required to remove the refuse after an event.

WHAT ARE THE DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS?
Many event spaces require the rental equipment be brought in and later removed on the same day as the event. Some even require a specific scheduled time (a “timed-stop” delivery and/or pick-up, as it’s known with event rental companies.) Most event rental companies charge minimal fees for standard deliveries and pick-ups made within a four-hour window during business hours. However, when a venue requires deliveries and pick-ups to occur outside of these standard parameters, event furniture rental companies may charge additional shipping fees – in some cases, as high as $500 depending on the size of the order.

DOES THE VENUE REQUIRE ADDITIONAL INSURANCE?
While many are fully insured, it is a common practice for venues to necessitate the procurement of additional insurance from you or your vendors. For example, an event site may require a COI (certificate of insurance) from your caterer for the day of the event. While this is generally easy for a caterer to produce, there is usually an additional fee associated with this.