Conquering the Wedding Venue Contract

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May 24, 2011

Couples spend anywhere from 30-50% of the wedding budget just on the wedding and reception venues. For many South Asian weddings, that translates to tens and thousands, if not hundreds and thousands of dollars.


Before signing away such a huge sum, make sure to carefully review the contract to avoid being hit with a larger than anticipated bill. To help navigate your review, we’ve provided our venue contract checklist below. Above all, make sure you’re comfortable with what you’re signing, and don’t hesitate to question clauses in the contract.

Here are 10 crucial items to review before signing the venue contract:

1. Per Guest Charges: Venues usually bill one of three ways depending on the type of service provided: a room rental fee + per guest charge, room rental fee only, or per guest fee only. However your venue does it, make sure the fee structure is extremely lucid.

2. Function Space: The contract should list the exact spaces you’ll be using for each event,  including scheduled times, and how the rooms will be setup (i.e. rounds of 10).

3. Open Bar: How long the bar will be open, the number of stations, which liquors will be available, and the number and cost of bar tenders.

4. Baraat: If you’re having a Baraat, ask that the procession area be closed to the general public for 45 mins to 1 hour.

5. Dance Floor: If you’re venue is supplying the dance floor, have them list setup and breakdown on the contract.

6. Extra Fees & Charges: Most venues will charge you a 22% service fee in addition to a 6% sales tax. Usually, these are the only misc fees on the contract. Ensure that the contract outlines exactly what the 22% will be applied towards.

7. Arbitration Dispute: Under this section, the standard is that the non prevailing party will cover all attorney fees, etc. Instead, if the section reads “you shall be responsible for all attorney fees…,” have this corrected to “non prevailing party.”

8. Hotel Concessions: This section to detail charges for the bridal suite, hospitality suite, complimentary linen, server-guest ratio.

9. Contracted Vendors: If you’re using an outside vendors, this section should include hotel requirements for acceptability.

10. Payment Schedule: Make sure the contract outlines a payment schedule.


What other non obvious items should you check your venue contract for? Please share your thoughts by leaving us a comment below!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Shang May 25, 2011 at 12:21 am

This is such a great post! Can you explain what “non prevailing party” means?

Miss Indian Bride May 31, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Thank you Shang! In simple terms, the prevailing party is the side that wins a lawsuit. The Non Prevailing Party would hence be the party that loses a lawsuit.

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