Hello beautiful brides-to-be! Congratulations on your engagement! One of the most important decisions when planning your upcoming wedding day is the choice of venue. Whether you are thinking of destination wedding abroad, or at a place nearby, resorts are an excellent choice. In my experience as resort venue planner and as a wedding planner, I have come across many questions revolving around resort policies on different aspects of the wedding celebration. Although I won’t be able to cover everything in this article, here is a list of 5 questions you should ask the venue event coordinator when booking your resort wedding.
1. Do You Allow Confetti at the Ceremony Site and Reception Area?
Many brides are interested in a spontaneous confetti explosion as they start leaving the ceremony site, or as they are entering the reception venue. Confetti are amazing and highly photogenic and this makes them very attractive to include in the wedding festivities. Unfortunately though many resorts don’t allow them, and have a no-confetti policies in their contracts. Why? Because confetti are an absolute nightmare to clean… (well not as bad as glitter… I must admit). I know that this bad news, however there are alternatives to consider. If you really set on having confetti on your wedding day, you can try to negotiate with the venue to possibly allow them, provided you are willing to cover the additional cost of cleaning. The second option is to use festive ribbon wands instead.
2. What is Your Policy on Flower Petals?
Similar to the confetti, venues might not allow flower petals to be used. Many of the resort are taking steps towards Earth friendly or Green certifications which may restricts the use of artificial flower petals outdoors. However, they may allow real flower petals if the ceremony is outside - on the grass or beach, as real flower petals are biodegradable. If the reception is indoors, artificial flower petals might be permitted; real flower petals inside might not be, as depending on the color and type, they might stain linen and the furniture. Different resort have different policies on flower petals. If you are thinking of having them at wedding, it is best to ask your venue on the rules.
3. What is the Policy on Using Candles as Decor?
Candles are a wonderful decor feature and are used often in wedding decor. They set the mood and create beautiful atmosphere. This said, in my career as a wedding planner, I have seen candle holder centerpieces catch on fire… We extinguished the fire on time and most of the guests didn’t even notice what happened, thank goodness. Candles can be a fire hazard and many venues have specific policy on using them. Most venues allow floating candles, or tea candles in mason jars or glass containers/vases.
4. Are There Any Alcohol/liquor Restrictions?
Liquor licensing is different from one establishment to another, even if you are in the same area. Most resort venues will not allow outside alcohol, as they have liquor license and outside alcohol needs to be purchased under their license. Regulations are different for different provinces, states and countries. I have planned culturally diverse weddings where traditionally the couple would offer a specific type of liquor for the guests. If you have any special requests such as this one, it is better to clarify this with your venue. It might require some extra effort on their side to address special traditions requests, but don't let this discourage from finding out if it’s possible and if so, would this be at an additional charge.
5. Are There Any Decor Restrictions?
Resort venues usually don’t have many restrictions on larger decor items. They mostly pertain to safety, damage, and extra labor. If you are planning heavy ceiling decor, such as an oversized flower chandelier or ring, crystal chandeliers and such, ask your venue planner for advice and if there would be any issues with the specific type of decor. No one wants to have a heavy chandelier crashing down during the wedding...
Most venues do not allow nails or pins to be used on the walls, but they would have an alternative solutions for decorators.
Another thing to keep in mind when your decor includes walls and ceiling drapery are Fire Exits. These usually need to be kept unobstructed. Your venue event coordinator can give you the details on the specific fire regulations of the building.
Different resorts, have different rules on what is allowed on their property. Many of these in-house rules will be described in your wedding venue booking contract. Take the time to go through the boring small font to really get an idea if the venue fits your unique wedding requirements. There is nothing worse than finding out that your venue doesn’t allow a crucially important vision detail, after you have signed the dotted line. Feel free to ask your venue event coordinator on how to go around certain restrictions - if there are ways, she might be able to help you. Better yet, if your budget allows - hire a wedding planner to navigate through the process. Your local wedding planning agency might already be familiar with the rules of the most popular wedding venues in your area.
One way or another, planning a milestone event such as a wedding requires due diligence and lots of research, but it is well worth it when looking at the bigger picture - creating loving memories to cherish for many years to come.