Closing The Deal
You've practically walked your feet off checking out the snazziest hotels and country clubs in town. You even hot-footed it down to the wharf to inspect a cruise boat or two. But all that hard work, and maybe even those blisters, have paid off. You've found a spot that is as perfect for you as the balcony was for Juliet. Here's what to do next:
Crash A Party. You probably haven't showed up at a party uninvited since college, but we urge you to crash a wedding at your prospective reception site to sneak a peek at how your site looks and how the staff operates. Ask the venue manager to get you in, and remember to be discreet and dress appropriately.
Book It. You've put in the time finding that location, so make sure all the leg work wasn't for nothing. Reserve your date and send in your deposit as much as a year in advance so another lucky bride doesn't snap up your spot. If you're not sure about the location, you can always put a pencil hold on it with the right of first refusal.
The Fine Print. So it's going to be a swanky cocktail reception with an open bar and caviar and blini? And the manager, that angel, threw in the honeymoon suite just to be, well, sweet? Make sure all these details are included in the contract -- after all, no one wants their reception menu or bill to be a wedding day surprise.
Sign On The Dotted Line. All right, you've covered every contingency, and even your mother can't think of anything else to worry about. It's time to sign. Just don't forget to keep a copy for your records.
Do you want an outdoor wedding without all the hassle? Try hosting your reception on the grounds of a hotel. Not only will they set up for you, you won't have to deal with permits and you'll have a waterproof rain contingency plan.