It’s been an exciting time of welcoming some new faces to TVHB team recently and one of the new gals is Kaity who comes in to help me wade through my never ending list of things to sort (phew!!) Like many of you, Kaity too is engaged and busy planning her own special day so we’ve decided to start featuring some real world bride to bride advice to you all from her. As she goes through the ups and downs of planning her day she will share with us all some of the valuable lessons she is learning to hopefully make things easier for you!….
Hello fellow future brides and readers!
I have recently become engaged and like many of you know, before most of the big planning can be done (marquees, catering, band etc), your venue needs to be booked and a date locked-in. The task of researching, viewing and sorting venues can be quite tedious, especially if you and your fiancée have different visions (he wants a church wedding and swanky hotel reception and you have your heart set on an outdoors do). Luckily for me, when my fiancée and I got together to brainstorm venue ideas, we were on the same page and so I thought the whole venue-finding process would be easy…… I was wrong.
At first, we were set on having our wedding ceremony and reception at a family member’s newly purchased property. It was perfect. Picture beautiful paddocks and enormous trees complete with a bubbling little freshwater creek and barn. SOLD! As we looked more into backyard weddings, we realised that in our excitement, we had overlooked quite a few crucial details. The property was perfect aesthetically, but had only one working bathroom, no parking (the road leading to the property was windy and skinny), no commercial kitchen and the yard itself needed a lot of work. Another issue was that it was secluded, however a little too far away from accommodation in surrounding towns, meaning that we would have to pay for transport to and from the venue for our guests. Too much to think about and not worth the stress and cost for us, so onto plan B it was; sourcing another outdoor venue that was all-inclusive.
We did this and it was absolutely perfect. It was even better than the property we had wanted to tie the knot on in the first place! Giggly with excitement, we went and viewed the venue; rolling hills over-looking a cow-studded valley, a beautiful queenslander for getting ready-in, ample toilet facilities, big trees, lots of parking space and abundant surrounding accommodation, all for a very reasonable fee – what wasn’t to love?
We now had the date worked out and the paperwork was sent through for us to sign. We finally felt like we had something to work towards (admittedly, I had already researched every caterer in the area as well!) Ready to pay the deposit and sign the dotted-line, we paused to read the contract confident that everything would go smoothly. Then we were hit with the hidden charges. Apparently, the price quoted to us did not include GST, we needed to take-out ‘wedding insurance’ and show proof before the wedding could go ahead (no refund available), we had to hire port-a-loos even though the venue had five toilets already and we had to pay a handsome bond for the ‘included’ accommodation. Ummmm okay? We read on only to find that we would also have to bring and provide our own drinking water for our guests and pay an extra $500 for cleaning. All said and done, we would have been $3000 more out of pocket than what we were originally quoted. Yep, this amazing venue no longer fit into our budget. To say we were disappointed was an understatement.
The moral of the story – ask, ask and ask some more! Ask to view the contract then and there so questions can be answered on the spot, before you return home with your heart set, only to have the contact sent to you with hidden costs.
So for me……it’s onto plan C. Anyone have a nice big backyard and a few bathrooms I can use?
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