Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Wedding Guide, Part I: Venues

With options ranging from the Yacht Club and Boca Beach Club to the historic Cloister, couples hosting their wedding at the Boca Raton Resort & Club (501 E. Camino Real, Boca Raton, 561/447-3000, can take their pick of memorable venues. Combine that selection with turnkey services and the expertise of wedding specialist Jillian Stevens—who has hosted events for the likes of Matt Damon and Bill Clinton—and future brides and grooms know they’re in good hands.

How early should a couple book their venue?

If it’s going to be a destination wedding, give guests ample time to arrange their schedules, at least nine months. If it’s a smaller group—say 30 to 50 people, and everyone lives locally—you can plan in a very short amount of time. Traditionally, I would say six months to a year is the best amount of time to plan and execute a wedding.

How can a couple gauge if a venue is right for them?

Budget is the first gauge. I’ve learned throughout the last 10 years that going into a venue search, if you don’t know what your budget is, can be a time waster. Traditionally, the venue portion, your food and beverage portion, should be in the 40 percent to 50 percent range of your overall budget.

What questions should a couple ask while scouting venues?

Is there a complimentary room for the bride and groom? What is included in food and beverage pricing? Things like tables, chairs, dance floor, risers for the ceremony, DJ or band, all the equipment needs—are these included in F&B pricing or they additional?

Is it acceptable to negotiate prices with a venue?

It’s important to ask the question, to have an open and honest conversation about what the couple’s needs are and what the venue’s needs are. Oftentimes, it can be win-win for both.

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