He proposed, you said Yes and the countdown now begins! One of the first services you will book for your wedding is the venue. This, along with the catering, is one that will take up a good chunk of your wedding budget. Thus, choosing wisely is crucial! Below is a list of the top 10 things you should consider before booking your wedding venue in Malta.
First of all, you have to decide on your budget. It is a waste of time dreaming about a two-thousand euro (or more) wedding venue, if you are running on a restricted budget! Your budget will determine the venue to be considered. Apart from the rental rate, check whether any other fees apply such as overtime fees. Choose a venue that you can really afford – you do not want to spend half of your overall budget towards just the booking of the venue.
Is the venue suitable for the style of your wedding? Do you prefer an indoor or an outdoor wedding reception? If you will be opting for an outdoor wedding, can the indoor area accommodate all the guests in case of bad weather? Is the indoor area air-conditioned? The Summer months in Malta tend to be quite warm indeed!
3. Guest Count
Can the venue accommodate all your guests comfortably? Do not make the mistake of inviting five hundred guests to a venue that accommodates only three hundred. On the other hand you do not want to book a large venue for a small number of guests.
Are there enough chairs for those who might, at times, want to sit down? Some venues have a very limited number of chairs available. You do not want to have everyone seated, but keep in mind the elderly. Does the provision of extra chairs come at an additional fee?
Does the venue have contracted caterers or can you make your own arrangements? If it has contracted caterers, be sure to obtain a number of other quotations to determine if what they are offering you is indeed of good value or not.
Is the chosen date reserved exclusively for your wedding or is there a chance that there will be two, or more, weddings on the same premises at the same time? This is especially true with hotels having several venues and suites available.
6. Distance and Traffic Considerations
Try to find a venue which is not too far away from the church. This might seem to be an immaterial factor, but reducing the time spent travelling and driving in traffic, will be well appreciated by your guests. It will also leave more time for you and your guests to enjoy the wedding. In an effort to minimize traffic jams try as much as possible to avoid being on the road on a weekday at around 5 to 6pm.
Consider what parking availability comes along with the venue. Would you be provided with a number of complimentary parking permits for you and maybe a number of guests? What are the parking fees? Is the parking area safe?
Does the location have a sound system or should your musicians/dj/band make their own provisions? Are there any fees to use the venue’s sound system? Till what time is music permitted?
Is the location entrance accessible to you, your guests and other vendors such as the florist, photographer, caterer etc…?
If any of your guests are wheel chair users, make sure the venue is easily accessible for them too.
10. Backup Power
You may not think it will happen, but it did! What if there is a power failure during your wedding? Is the venue equipped with generators and are they regularly serviced? Are there emergency lights on site in case of a blackout?
Whilst the above points are a very good starting point, there are other things you need to discuss with the venue management. These include payment arrangements, damages and insurance liability, restroom facilities, etc.
Try to find time to visit the venue round about the same time at which your wedding will be held. If you are having an evening wedding, it is important to see how the venue looks in the evening giving special attention to the way it is lit up. You might need to hire a third party contractor to create the mood you are after.
As with any other service, make sure you have everything in writing. This way you will be sure there are no misunderstandings between you and your vendor. Always ask when in doubt and take nothing for granted!