Holding your wedding, or any event, at a historic venue adds an ambiance no modern venue can match. When reviewing your contract with a historic venue, there will be additional constraints included to protect the building and décor. You’ll also want to make sure that necessary amenities usually found in newer buildings, such as restrooms, are included in your contract.
Keep your eye out for these details, so you can prepare within the constraints of a historic wedding venue.
Décor will likely be limited because you won’t be able to use tacks, staples or tape. Rearranging furniture or existing décor should be discussed beforehand and, if you want to move anything, include the ability to do so in your contract. Most likely, your centuries-old venue will lack modern firefighting technologies, so open flame (including candles and sparklers) is off limits.
Ask what spaces will be undergoing restoration and what will be available for you to use. Make sure you’ll still have plenty of room and ongoing construction won’t interfere with your ceremony or reception space. Just like any wedding venue contract, you should have the names of the spaces that will be available for you to use, including get-ready rooms.
How will the venue ensure a comfortable ambient temperature for guests? Include methods for heating and cooling within the contract, no matter what time of year your celebration will be.
Another amenity that may not be second nature to a historic venue is parking. Depending on your venue, you may be required to organize valet parking. At others, rainy weather could turn the lawn used for parking into a muddy mess. Consider whether any of your guests will require handicap-accessible entrances and how far they are from the parking solution.
Restrooms are a necessity and need to be included in your contract. This is especially true if your venue doesn’t have plumbing (such as in a barn) or older fixtures can’t handle hundreds of guests’ use. Make sure your contract includes an appropriate number of accessible restrooms.
The specifics of a wedding venue contract, especially for historic venues, shouldn’t scare you. Work with your vendor to make sure you are both on the same page about all the details, so you can enjoy the ceremony and reception of your dreams.