Wedding Venue Contract Guide: 13 Things You Need to Check For

Choosing a wedding location is a big decision (and a pricey one too). The most expensive decision couples make while planning is choosing a venue. As a result, if you’re a couple planning your wedding, make sure your wedding venue contract is comprehensive. Take our word for it: Before you sign the dotted line, make sure you’re covered and comfortable with every last detail.


Although it isn’t as much fun as picking flowers, trying on day-of clothing, or sampling desserts, finishing your wedding venue contract is perhaps the most critical step of the wedding preparation process.

1. Contact information & name (for you and the venue)


This may seem self-evident, but getting everything in writing is always a smart idea. This will come in helpful if you need to contact your wedding venue during the planning phase. Make sure that you communicate this to your on-the-day wedding coordinator


Here are some of the particulars in detail: 


  • Your full name (properly spelt) and the name of the venue
  • The date of your wedding
  • When do you want to start and end your wedding?
  • Which rooms have you reserved for the day
  • Extensions of time (if applicable)
  • Accommodation information (if applicable)
  • Evidence of the venue’s liquor licence
  • Proof of the venue’s approval to host civil wedding ceremonies from the city-building council
  • Total cost is broken down into components to show what you’re paying for


2. Are all financial obligations clearly stated?


This section may appear to be the most obvious, but it could also be the most important. Make a note of your deposit and final payment dates, as well as the payment schedule and amounts.


Refund policies, administration fees, and cancellation rules should all be specified in contracts. Many venues feature a payment schedule where you don’t have to pay the remaining bills until the event day. A price for administration is not always gratuitous. This charge should specify if it is distributed to employees.


3. Is there any guarantee of revenue?


Include any per-person or bar overage clauses, as well as the minimum amount that must be spent on food and beverages. According to Gordon, contracts should specify the minimum number of guests for which you must pay. It’s critical not to go overboard with your guest guarantee. A lower guarantee, if negotiable, permits you to add guests later if necessary.


4. What are the decor guidelines?


Keep in mind the rules regarding open fires, fireproofing, and hanging decorations. To avoid an unexpected expenditure, fireproofing decor should be addressed prior to contract signing, and it would be awful to be unable to use décor that has already been purchased.


5. Policies on payment, wedding postponement, and cancellation


  • Deposit: How much of a deposit do you need to secure your date? When is the final payment due? In the contract, the date must be written down. Is it possible to pay off the balance in monthly instalments? If so, how much is it every month?


  • Postponement: Is it possible to postpone the wedding? If so, what is the cost of inconvenience? Is there a cost to rearranging your schedule?


  • What is the cancellation policy for the venue? What percentage of your total payment will they refund? How much notice do they require? Is there a point at which cancelling and receiving a refund becomes impossible? What happens if your reservation is cancelled by the venue?


6. Is there any vendor exclusivity at the venue?


If the venue demands specified vendors for an event, the contract should state so. Exclusive vendors eliminate the choice of using vendors you know or that meet your budget, while mandatory vendors can add unforeseen costs.


7. What are the hours of access?


The contract should also indicate the hours covered by the rental agreement and when the host will be allowed to enter the property. Obtain written confirmation of access and final-out times. When you specify load-in and load-out times, as well as overtime rates, you’ll know when your vendors can start setting up and when you need to be broken down to avoid overtime charges. If overtime is required, the rates and times should be clearly stated.


8. Is there a noise limit at the venue?


Any noise limits that may apply to an event should be written down. Any noise ordinances or limits, such as no amplified music after 10 p.m., should be noted in a contract for an outside terrace or event, she says.


9. Which employees are included, and which are not?


This can include people like toilet attendants and security guards. To ensure a positive guest experience, the venue should be well-maintained throughout the event.


10. What are the provisions for damage?


While both parties to a contract hope that damage will never be an issue, the potential must be considered—and should be stated in the contract. Gordon recommends including terms in a contract for what happens if a guest damages property during the event, as well as a mechanism for collecting money to cover repair costs.


11. List of services provided by the site


Again, this may be an awkward request. Is it really necessary to go over each and every detail? Absolutely. Request an itemised list of everything the other party will supply (from waitstaff to linens, plus special services like coat check and valet parking). Make sure you understand exactly what you’re buying and how much it will cost you. This will reduce the likelihood of any unexpected costs on your wedding day.


12. Penalties


Is there a predetermined penalty price or will you be charged each over-run hour for weddings that exceed the stipulated time limits?


Broken or missing items: What are the fees for broken glasses, chinaware, missing napkins, or cutlery if the venue provides utensils?


13. Terms & conditions in general


Outdoor wedding weather protection: What will the venue do if it rains during your garden wedding? Is there a room that they could set aside for you?


Arbitration fees: Who are the arbitrators and who will pay their arbitration fees if there is a dispute with the venue?

If you find this post helpful, we would like to hear your thoughts below! Good luck with your wedding preparations!

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