How to Pick a Site That’s Outta Sight: Southern California
Tips for choosing an event location in Southern California
Parking is seldom a critical factor if you get married outside an urban area, but make sure you know how it’s going to be handled if you’re planning a party in a congested area such as downtown Los Angeles, Pasadena or Santa Monica.
A map is a handy supplement to any invitation, and there’s usually enough room on it to indicate how and where vehicles should be parked. Depending on the location, you may want to add a note suggesting carpooling or mention that a shuttle service or valet parking is provided. If there’s a fee for parking, identify the anticipated cost per car and where the entry points are to the nearest parking lots. The last thing you want are surprised and disgruntled guests who can’t find a place to stash their cars, or who are shocked at the $20 to $40 parking tab.
Food and Alcohol Quality
Food and alcohol account for the greatest portion of an event’s budget; consequently, food and beverage selections are a big deal. Given the amount of money you will spend on this category alone, you should be concerned about the type, quantity and quality of what you eat and drink. If in-house catering is provided, we suggest you sample different menu options prior to paying a facility deposit. If you’d like to see how a facility handles food setup and presentation, ask the caterer to arrange a visit to someone else’s party about a half hour before it starts. It’s wise to taste wines and beers in advance, and be very specific about hard alcohol selections.
This may come as a surprise, but not all services and event equipment are covered in the rental fee, and some facilities hide the true cost of renting their space by having a low rental fee. It’s possible to get nickeled and dimed for all the extras: tables, chairs, linens, glassware, valet service and so forth. You can also end up paying more than you expected for security and cleanup. All these additional charges can really add up, so save yourself a big headache by understanding exactly what’s included in the rental fee and what’s not before you sign any contract.
If you’re a busy person with limited time to plan and execute a party, pick a facility that offers complete coordination services, from catering and flowers to decorations and music. Or better yet, hire a professional event or wedding consultant. Either way, you’ll make your life considerably easier by having someone else handle