You thought to finalize your wedding venue all you need to do is choose one that fits your budget in the vicinity of your residence, right? Sounds easy but not exactly. It’s better to evaluate the venue thoroughly in order to avoid disasters like unexpected hidden costs, venue falling short of space or food on the wedding day. Choosing the wedding venue is very important in the wedding planning process, and it’s not to be taken lightly. Every type of venue, from hotel banquet halls to kalyana mandapams, come with their own pros and cons. Here’s our checklist of some important pointers that you should consider for evaluating a kalyana mandapam in Chennai.
Mandapam Capacity and Size
The mandapam should be able to comfortably accommodate all of your wedding guests, obviously. However, for a wedding reception, not all the guests will come and sit at the same time. So if you’re expecting 1000 people, you need not look for a mandapam that can seat 1000 guests. One with a seating capacity of around 600 should do. If it’s more than that, the venue might look empty since all the chairs won’t be occupied always. Make sure that the pricing and capacity are in tune with the wedding budget and guest size.
Mandapam Location and Convenience
One common mistake that usually happens is to choose a kalyana mandapam that is near to bride’s home. Choose a location that is easily reachable and accessible for all the guests. You might have guests coming in private and public transport. So choose a venue that is accessible by all these means. Traffic is something you cannot get away with if you are choosing a venue inside city. Also, the location should have ample parking space. It is difficult for the fully dressed guests to walk a long distance to the wedding venue. Another important aspect is the availability of hotels, restaurants etc near the mandapam if you have guests coming from out of Chennai. Unlike a hotel banquet hall, you will have to make these arrangements outside.
A kalyana mandapam that provides better on-site services and facilities will help your wedding day run smoothly. Evaluate the venue for experienced staff, valet parking facilities, roomy dressing rooms, hygienic rest-rooms etc
Flexible Venue Arrangement
One can never be sure about the weather! If you are planning a monsoon wedding, make sure that the mandapam is flexible is accommodate unforeseen events. They must have alternative indoor and outdoor seating plan.
Safety and Security Arrangements
With so much hustle-bustle around, accidents during the wedding function are not uncommon. Check the accident and safety record before finalising the mandapam. Likewise, it should also have good CCTV monitoring and security arrangements to safeguard your valuables.
Some of the kalyana mandapams in Chennai allow only in-house caterers, wedding planners, decorators etc. If you prefer to use your own vendors then check with the management in advance. And even if they do, there will most likely be a fee to use outside vendors. Consider this cost before you choose between in-house or your preferred vendor.
Vegetarian Vs Non-Vegetarian Cuisine
Some wedding halls do not cook or permit non-vegetarian food in their premises. Keep in mind to clarify this if you intend to serve non-vegetarian food especially for the wedding reception.
Unlike hotels, which mostly operate with a flat per head costs, kalyana mandapams come with a number of variable costs. Some of the costs that you need to discuss in advance are:
Wedding halls generally quote a rental for full-day or half day use of the hall. Confirm that all costs like service fees and taxes are included in the basic cost. Otherwise, you will be surprised to see it sitting on your final bill. So do your math before you cut the cheque.
Wedding halls usually charge additionally for electricity consumption – either fixed or in a variable form. Therefore, it will be wise to discuss your wedding style and theme, usage of air-conditioners and services like elaborate lighting, DJ etc. Based on that, the staff will be able to give you an estimate in advance for the power supply charges.
Most mandapams have in-house catering service. Others may have a preferred list of caterers from which you have to choose. Estimate the cost of hiring their catering service and compare it with the cost you would have incurred otherwise.
Early Access / Overtime fee
If you intend to serve liquor during the wedding reception, there may be an additional corkage fee per bottle. Also, some of the mandapams prohibit the use of liquor. Hence, check these factors upfront with the venue.
Do not forget to check the cancellation fee just in case you have to cancel the booking due to some unforeseen situation.
When you pay a flat space rental fee, you can anticipate additional charges to clean and set up the place before the handover. Though these are nominal labour charge, its always better to have all the costs broken down. With the exorbitant wedding expenses, you will soon realize that every penny matters.
The cost of wedding function requirements like stage, seats, chairs, dining tables etc will either be part of the halls basic cost or a variable cost. It depends on the wedding halls cost structure. Access your requirements and discuss with the staff to estimate the final cost of hiring the space.
Regardless of whether you hire a planner or do it yourself, these guidelines will help you in evaluating the venue. There can be more venue and wedding ceremony specific queries to address. If you have a wedding planner working by your side then they definitely do this groundwork for you. Generally, it will be more appropriate to evaluate a few venues on different parameters before making the payment.
Booking a venue is just the tip of the iceberg. Planning a wedding though is exciting comes with some tedious decisions to make. However, at BigFday we aim to make the entire process not only fun but also hassle-free. Choose from our network of venues with special deals and top professionals like decorators, photographers and makeup artists! And all this comes at no additional cost.
Also published on Medium.