One of the first and largest decisions Tennessee brides make while planning their wedding is choosing their ceremony and reception venue (or venues!). Not only do you want to find a venue that fits the vibe of your wedding, but, with the site possibly being one of your larger ticket items, it is always smart to to talk with your on-site contact about how to get the most out of your venue rental. To help brides know a few questions to ask, I spoke with Audrey Feeney, Sales and Events Coordinator at gorgeous Memphis wedding venue Esplanade Memphis to find out how brides can utilize their Tennessee wedding venue to get the most bang for their buck! Read on for Audrey’s fabulous advice!
1. Save on Rental Items
In addition to the cost of renting a venue, brides will most likely need many other wedding rentals to complete their overall look. However, one fabulous way to utilize your venue, as Audrey explains, is to find out what items your venue can provide before sending in your rental contract. And, because there are many overlooked rental items, brides should prepare a list of everything they will need prior to inquiring about what is included in their venue rental contract.
“Be sure to see if your venue has tables, chairs, linens, etc. included in your room rental. Having to additionally rent those items can definitely send you over budget. When a venue has these items readily available to you, take advantage of it!”
2. Utilize Venue Relationships
Vendor contacts and relationships are one of the most valuable benefits brides can receive from their venue. Not only will the venue staff know of many reputable wedding professionals in your area, but they will also know who has worked with their venue on a regular basis and knows the ropes. This is why Audrey advises brides to check with their venue contact for suggestions on outside vendors. Plus, often times your venue’s vendor relationships might snag you a discounted rate!
“Ask your venue representative for suggestions with outside vendors. Most venues have established relationships with other companies in the industry. Planners, florists, rental companies, hotels and more! Some even have established discounted rates for the referred business.”
3. Understand Venue Staff Offerings
When it comes to your wedding-day timeline, there is no denying your day will be busy and jam-packed. With hair and makeup appointments, pictures and more, brides will almost certainly not have time to help set up their venue. And worse than setting up, you definitely don’t want to be tearing down afterwards. So, Audrey advises brides to check with their venue regarding staff offerings for these tasks, so that you, as the bride, can just relax and enjoy yourself (and so can all the family you would have tasked to do it!).
“When deciding on a venue, take note on who is setting up and cleaning up the area rented. You don’t want to get stuck with clean up at the end of the night! If set up/clean up is included in your room rental, mark that as a major perk!”
4. Two-Vendors in One
Another great way Audrey suggests that brides can save a little is by choosing a venue with on-site catering. Not only does this relieve a little of the headache of dealing with a long list of vendors, but by booking both the space and the catering, brides can save with a package deal!
“Does the venue offer on-site catering? If so, consider this a major perk as well. Having your room and food and beverage being taken care of by the same people is not only convenient but can also be cost effective! Also, no need to fret over licensure, insurances, etc – it’s already taken care of!”
5. Having an On-Site Coordinator
Whether or not you decide to have a wedding planner throughout the entire planning process, most every bride will need a day-of coordinator to help ensure that everything runs smoothly. Before adding an extra check to pay onto your list of vendors, Audrey advises brides to check with their venue to see if an on-site coordinator is provided in the contract.
“Will you have an on-site contact? Someone to help run the event, answer any questions or concerns throughout the day, orchestrate vendor/rental company delivery and set up times, and much much more! Having a contact throughout your planning process, as well as during your big day can help relieve stress and eliminate confusion. This is a “must ask” question when determining which venue will work for you.”
Audrey Feeney, a Mississippi native, holds a degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management from the University of Southern Mississippi. She currently resides in Memphis and works as an Event Coordinator and Sales Representative for Esplanade Memphis and Eclectic Catering Memphis.
Audrey and Esplanade Memphis would love to host your elegant Tennessee wedding. For more information, visit their website or connect with them on Facebook. Also, don’t forget to follow Esplanade on Pinterest. To schedule a tour, call (901) 753-3333. Tell Audrey The Pink Bride sent you!
All images courtesy of Esplanade Memphis website, first photo courtesy of Kevin Barre Photography via Esplanade Memphis.