Today I want to talk a little about venue packages which are “inclusive” of venue styling aspects.
Over the years I have been contacted by many a B2B looking for chair covers etc at short notice having discovered their “inclusive” package was not as inclusive as they might have thought. Imagine, there you both are, all happy and content in the knowledge you are all organised and every box is ticked and then bang! You find you haven’t actually got chair covers at all. Arrgh! Don’t panic. It’s not the end of the world and you will almost always find a stylist who will provide a solution. But hopefully my blog will help you identify some of the pitfalls before you book and thus avoid that crisis.
So you attend a wedding fair at a venue and see those lovely rooms all dressed up. Aw! It’s your perfect venue.
Tip No 1. Every venue wants to look its best for a fayre/show/exhibition. Some will dress it themselves – some will enlist the help of one of their recommended suppliers. This doesn’t necessarily mean the venue offers that service as part of any package they might quote you. The approach to chair covers adopted by each venue varies considerably. Examples include:
1. Venue has a range of packages which vary in price – from the cheapest with nothing included, to the luxury which includes covers, sashes and centrepieces, even top table flowers! And other options in between.
2. Venue includes chair covers only (no sash) in their package as standard and at no extra charge.
3. Venue has their own covers which are bookable at an extra cost
4. Venue works with one or two (or more) recommended suppliers who do covers, but does not include any covers in any package
5. Venue is happy to book covers and sashes on your behalf through one of their suppliers
6. Venue offers nothing nor recommends any specific supplier.
My best advice is understand which category they/your booking falls into and then you cannot go far wrong.
Tip No 2. If the venue includes covers or offers covers (inclusive or extra) then don’t be afraid to ask if they do the dressing “in house” or if they use a third party. If it’s an external company you might want to add other aspects and the ability to go to that same supplier can make the world of difference to your planning and the overall look. So ask – I can see no reason why a venue would not release the details of their “dresser” to you.
Tip No 3. If you have a show round on “fayre/show” day then there can be a lot of information to take in. Did “yes you can get chair covers” mean they are included, or did the coordinator really mean “chair covers are an option” or “we know someone who can do them for you”? Two simple direct questions you can ask are: “do you do covers? Are they included at no charge or are they extra?”. Ok that’s three questions but often enough to give you clarification.
Tip No 4. Most venues I know will help you with the “extras”. For example. If you are on a “cover only” inclusive deal then you will surely need sashes. They may advise you buy them and they will put them on for you. If you have ordered extras – runners, swag, centrepieces then most hotels will put them on your tables for you. They want your day to be just perfect and stress free so will generally do their best to help – and they have hopefully completed many more weddings than you so will do a fine job! All I would advise is simply ask them. Asking is just common courtesy of course but be clear with your needs and it can prevent any misunderstandings later when you show up with three boxes of DIY covers and sashes and assumed they would put them on.
I cannot guarantee I have covered every scenario and of course there will always be exceptions. However these are the most common causes of the “Aargh we haven’t got chair covers” moment! Remember, those in charge of your day generally want the very best for you. I truly believe that no reputable wedding venue will set out to mislead you. However it is so easy to overlook, miss-hear or even assume something in the excitement of booking your perfect venue. Or inexperienced staff may make a throwaway comment which is taken as gospel. Your final discussions with your wedding planner/event coordinator before confirming your booking should cover every aspect. Assume nothing as they say. Finally – it may sound obvious but be sure your booking terms/details include the things you believe are included.
Happy venue booking!
Highland Occasions by Design,
Banffshire AB37 9DL
Tel: 07976 918185