Now, I’ll try to keep this topic short for those of you who are not numbers people. I find that a cost analysis can be very beneficial and even crucial when selecting your venue and a real surprise when you do the cost analysis correctly. When it comes to selecting your venue, the best thing to do is to hire someone who can provide a cost analysis or put one together yourself using Excel. It’s not that hard but you’ll need to include numerous items to make sure that you are comparing all of the venues on the same level. Below are some questions to ask and additional costs that you may have to include when comparing:
- Make sure to ask what is included in the cost to rent the venue. I know this sounds simple but a number of couples just ask, “what is the rental fee?” It is imperative for the cost analysis to know if table, chairs, linens, etc. are included so when you are creating your spreadsheet (or at least taking notes) you add in the cost of the items that are not included in the rental fee so that your venue comparison includes all of the same items.
- Ask the venue if they have any additional requirements that cost extra. Some venues require additional staff to be booked (bartenders, security officer, event staff, and day of coordinators) depending on the number of guests and / or it is part of their contract. There are also a number of venues that require a one day insurance policy to cover the venue in case of any accidents. Make sure you ask about these additional costs.
- Also, note the distance to accommodations. If you plan to hire a transportation company for you or your guests, the cost will increase depending on the distance from the vineyard venue to the hotel(s).
- Ask about the number of hours that the venue is available. Some venues only allow for a certain number of hours on your wedding day and you may need more time to fit everything in. There may be an additional charge for extra hours and also for your rehearsal. It’s not always included in the rental fee. Also ask if you can use the facility for additional photos (engagement, etc.) to be taken on another date. Many venues include these extra hours; however, it’s always good to ask beforehand.
- Miscellaneous items. If the venue cannot accommodate the number of guests you are inviting indoors, then you may have to rent a tent. Also, if inclement weather is predicted, you may need to rent a tent for the ceremony if there is not enough space indoors to accommodate everyone. Both scenarios will also increase the cost.
After you gather all of the information for your preferred venues, add up all of the costs associated with each line item and compare each venue’s total to see what the actual rental fee is for each and then you can be sure on the exact amount the venue will cost. I always include a cost analysis in my Viognier Cluster, Venue Selection, which is very helpful in selecting the best vineyard venue within your budget. As always, let me know if you have any questions!