{Expert Tip} Four Points by Sheraton London gives us their top 5 tips for a successful venue tour

Four Points by Sheraton London | Photo: Erin Woodgate Photography

Planning a wedding should be an exciting, fun and romantic experience. To help with the search for the perfect venue, here are Four Point by Sheraton London’s (fourpointslondonontario.com) top 5 expert tips for a successful wedding venue tour.

Four Points by Sheraton London
Four Points by Sheraton London

Tip #1: First Impressions Count

You’ve done your research and narrowed down the venue options. You arrive at the venue and what are the first things you notice? If you notice something right away chances are your guests will too, so trust your instincts! Important features to note are:

-Was the venue easy to find?

-Is there ample parking available?

-How is the overall cleanliness of the property?

-Were you greeted with a warm and friendly smile?

Photo: Erin Woodgate Photography | Four Points by Sheraton London
Photo: Erin Woodgate Photography | Four Points by Sheraton London

 Tip #2: PLANNING 101

With venues booking a year or more in advance it is difficult to know exactly what your wedding will look like at the time of securing the venue. There is one key thing you can do to make the search easier: come prepared with an understanding of your guest list. By knowing that you plan to invite x number of guests you can make an informed decision on what space will work best for your wedding vision. Other important questions you should ask on your tour include:

-What are the maximum capacities for the different reception spaces? Are there a minimum number of guests required?

-Is there an option to have our ceremony on site as well and what are the weather backups for any outdoor spaces?

– What is included when you book- think table setup, glassware, servers, etc.?

– Do they have an exclusive vendor list you must use or can you bring in your choice of suppliers?

-Are there any restrictions to set up, tear down, timelines and décor?

-Who will be your contact throughout the planning process and on the day of the wedding?

Four Points by Sheraton London
Four Points by Sheraton London

Tip #3: Food for thought

One of the most important (and expensive) features of any event is the food & beverage. This is also the easiest way to really make your wedding dreams come true, so have fun with it! Be sure to have all information clearly laid out on any contracts prior to signing. When you meet with the venue be sure to ask about:

-If the venue has a catering team that you are required to use or if an outside caterer will be needed.

-Ask to see menu options and go through them together. Are they willing to provide custom options if you don’t see exactly what you had in mind?

-Can you bring in a wedding cake from the bakery of your choice or do they offer this service?

– What is included in the bar service?

-Is a tasting provided prior to finalizing the menu?

Four Points by Sheraton London
Four Points by Sheraton London

 Tip #4: Money talks

Weddings are a huge investment that can quickly spiral out of control. The average wedding reception is about 50% of the total budget. Before scheduling your tour, do the math and know how much of your total wedding budget you are allocating the wedding venue and food costs. You want to be fully aware of all costs and how they relate to your budget so be sure to get answers to these key questions:

-What is the rental or minimum spend requirement for the venue?

-Do the rates vary based on the day of the week or season?

-Are there any extra costs such as: cake cutting, set up/tear down or service fees?

-What is the payment schedule?

– What is the cancellation policy should you have to cancel or reschedule?

– Can an estimate of charges be provided prior to signing the contract?

Photo: Erin Woodgate Photography | Four Points by Sheraton London
Photo: Erin Woodgate Photography | Four Points by Sheraton London

 Tip #5: Sleep on It

Couples often get so involved in planning the ceremony and reception that finding accommodations for any out of town guests gets delayed. This can lead to a last minute scramble if you are not careful, so be sure to finalize the details at the same time as securing your venue. Some helpful hints include:

-Does the wedding venue offer accommodations or are there options close by? If you are tying the knot at a hotel, be sure to check availability of both the ballrooms and guestrooms when you first inquire.

-When looking at your guest list, how many people are travelling from more than 2 hours away?

-How and what types of rooms are available? Suites are ideal for families or friends.

– Is a group discount available?

-Are there any costs associated with holding a block of guestrooms?

– Up until what time can the reservations be made under the group rate?

– What time is check in and check out? Most hotels cannot guarantee an early check in, so your guests may have to get ready prior to checking into their rooms.

Four Points Shertaon London
Superior King Guest Room – Four Points Sheraton London

It is important that you feel comfortable and confident with everyone involved in your big day, so that you can enjoy the wedding planning process. Remember to ask lots of questions of your wedding pro’s – after all they are the experts!

Contacting Four Points by Sheraton London

To learn more about Four Points by Sheraton London, contact Kim Samela directly by email using the form below. 🙂 You can also visit Four Points by Sheraton London online at www.fourpointslondonontario.com.