Lions and Tigers and Venues, Oh My!

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My first instinct when I was searching for venues was to look to the beautiful scenery that California had to offer.  I’ve loved this state ever since I was a little girl and was starting to imagine my wedding in sunny SoCal.  I went deep into google mode and found some great places that I always wanted to check out.

Rancho Los Lomas has been a favorite venue of mine since I first knew they had their own tigers on the property.  Many friends recommended getting married at this amazing zoo wonderland and it looked nothing short of magical.  I called the venue to set up an appointment with their wedding coordinator to view the property.

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Always call ahead of time and have a key list of questions in mind before you go.  You always want to be prepared.  They can be very overwhelming will all their information.  Sometimes you feel as if they are even speaking another language!! Go in with an open mind and a set BUDGET!

Here were my top questions that I asked.

(all found on Here Comes The Guide)

*How many guests can we accommodate on your location site for our event?

*What is the location fee and what does it include?  (rentals: tables, linens, flatware, lighting, chairs, etc)

*What is the weather contingency plan for outdoors?

*What is the food and beverage cost on a per/person basis?  And do you provide your own caterer and bartending services?

*Do you provide onsite coordination for an extra fee?

*What are your noise policies and hours?  How late can we stay after our reception and continue with music?

*What are you cancellation policies?

*How long will I have use of the event space and is there an overtime fee if we stay longer?

*Do you have a bridal room and grooms room for our parties to get ready during the day on site?

*What incentives do you offer to the bride and groom during our stay at the hotel? (free night stay, upgrade to honeymoon suite, champagne and roses, etc?)

*Do you provide transportation to and from our venue to other locations.  (hotel venue specific)

After you visit your venue and you and your groom have decided this is a location you really love, feel free to ask your tour guide to put together a proposal with all the pricing and policies you discussed.  Make sure you have them include all taxes and gratuities so you can get a true sense of what you will be spending.

All wedding coordinators will speak in a language of “per person” or “per head” lingo.  I was not prepared for this and it was hard to understand my first venue tour.  Do some research beforehand and calculate your own math to estimate the cost of your wedding “per head”.  This makes you sound more wedding savvy and you don’t have to feel uncomfortable saying out loud how much of a wedding budget you have.  If you want 100 people at your wedding try to figure how much that would cost per person to stay within your budget.

$10,000 / 100 people = $100 per person is what you need to spend on venue/food/beverage charges. 

*remember you don’t want to spend your whole budget on the venue, food and beverage.  You need to save for the other important things like photographer, videographer, music, rentals, flowers, and your wedding attire.  

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